HC Deb 30 March 1961 vol 637 cc1523-5
51. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Education if he will state, for the latest date for which figures are available, the number of university students per 1,000 of the school population for each county

Mr. Willey

Is the Minister aware that it is extremely difficult to obtain information about G.C.E. results, and that this is a matter of general interest and importance? Will he consult with the examining bodies to arrange that information is made more generally available so that one may gain a better picture of what is happening in the examination?

Sir D. Eccles

I am considering the adequacy of these and other statistics.

Dr. King

While these achievements are very important—I agree with all that my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler) said—does the Minister agree that it would be a bad thing if we judged the triumph which is undoubtedly taking place in secondary modern education merely by what it does for the able children at the top? It would be a bad thing, would it not, if we used only the yardstick of the G.C.E. to measure the remarkable achievements of secondary modern education for the ordinary child?

Sir D. Eccles

I accept entirely what the hon. Member has said.

Following is the table:

and county borough in England and Wales.

Sir D. Eccles

An analysis of all university students by area of residence is not available. I am sending the hon. Member details for each county and county borough of the number of students holding State Scholarships and of the number of students holding local education authority awards tenable at universities. The numbers of award holders also are expressed as a proportion of the population in the relevant age groups.

Mr. Swingler

I am obliged to the Minister for supplying the information. Is he satisfied that equal treatment in this matter is being meted out by education authorities in general?

Sir D. Eccles

There have been, rightly, I think, some charges that the treatment has not been equal, but, with the coming into force of the new regulations for student awards, I think we shall have uniformity to a very large degree everywhere.