HC Deb 24 January 1962 vol 652 cc349-65

9.59 p.m.

Mrs. Eirene White (Flint, East)

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Direct Grant Schools Amending Regulations No. 1, 1961, (S.I., 1961, No. 2203), dated 15th November, 1961, a copy of which was laid before this House on 22nd November, be annulled. I turn to this relatively minor item of public expenditure after the debate on national finances with no apology, because it is of great interest to those of us concerned with education. We are not discussing this Statutory Instrument with antagonism. Its purpose is to increase the grants which are payable to direct grant schools. There are two forms of grant, one the yearly capitation grant for pupils in general in the upper school, and the other a special grant for pupils in the sixth form.

I have a number of questions which I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will be able to answer satisfactorily. Naturally, one of the first is, what is the estimated total cost of these additional grants? The amounts were increased not so very long ago, in 1959, and we wish to know by how much this expenditure is to go up. We should also like to know why these grants are to be increased and what is to be covered by the proposed amounts. Are these increases directed, for example, towards the increase in the remuneration of teachers? Or are other elements of cost included?

We should also like to know whether there is any element of capital involved, or whether the extra money is to be entirely devoted by these schools to their recurrent annual expenditure. I believe that I am right in saying that there is probably no capital element involved, but I should like that confirmed. We also want to know how far these increased grants will meet the increased costs. All of these schools are fee-paying schools. Parents or, in certain circumstances, local authorities, pay fees for the pupils. Are these fees to go up as well in the future? If so, by how much, and what are the proportions of any estimated increased cost to be borne, on the one hand, through the capitation grant by the Ministry directly and, on the other hand, by the local authorities or parents?

We need answers to all these points before we can be in a position to judge whether or not the House will be justified in agreeing to this Instrument. I also wish to ask some questions about direct grant schools. This expenditure is confined to a relatively small number of schools, and we want to know more about the justification for it.

The latest figure I have been able to obtain is that the grants will apply to 179 schools, of which about 15 have been added to the list in the last ten years. I have here a list of the schools all over the country which fall into the category of direct grant. It is an interesting list and shows a most odd distribution. Of the 179 schools, no fewer than 43 are in Lancashire. Why should Lancashire have this extraordinarily large number, relatively, of direct grant schools? The whole of London, for example, has seven.

Then, these schools vary astonishingly in size. This is particularly relevant to these Regulations, because, while the proposed increase in the ordinary capitation grant is relatively modest—only £4 a pupil—we are being asked to increase by as much as £15 per annum the grant for a sixth-form pupil. Comparing the different sizes of these schools, one cannot help inquiring of the Minister whether he is satisfied that we are justified in paying the sixth-form grant on this rather lavish scale to schools with only about 130 pupils, such as a school in Herefordshire. What sort of sixth form would there be in a school of that kind? Does a school of that size really justify the increase in the grant for sixth-form work which we are being asked to approve?

There are two schools in Devon, for example, one with 240 and one with 275 pupils. What sort of sixth forms can it be hoped to have in schools of that size? At the other end of the scale we have Manchester Grammar School with 1,400 pupils, a very different proposition. In other words, we have a most astonishing variety of schools, both numerically and in other ways, and before agreeing to spend more, particularly on sixth-form grants, we ought to have a good deal of explanation from the Minister.

What is the Ministry's policy in adding these schools to the list? Does it take any school which comes along and asks? On what possible basis can some of these schools justify sixth-form grants? What differentiates them from certain other schools? We on this side of the House are rather worried about this. With one exception, these are all grammar schools. There is one school, in Bury in Lancashire, which is bilateral—a grammar-technical school. However, with that single exception, every one is, or purports to be, a grammar school, some boarding, some day.

That worries hon. Members on this side of the House because, as is well known, we prefer a rather broader basis of secondary education. I do not propose to go into the whole question of comprehensive education and so on, but whether or not one agrees with comprehensive schools, there are many others in the country, local education authority maintained schools, which are bilateral, or where a technical branch of the school is growing up. If we are to be asked to pay extra money for the sixth forms in direct grant schools, what guarantee do we have that the pattern in those schools is the most desirable pattern educationally? What powers, if any, has the Minister to suggest that some of these schools should expand their technical sides? Is it that although they do not call themselves bilateral. in effect they may be? If so, we should be reassured on that point.

With the maintained system, it is always possible to transfer a pupil from one type of school to another. If a boy—or a girl for that matter—during his school career shows that he is more practically inclined, in the larger authority areas it is not difficult to transfer him to some kind of technical school, even though not necessarily under the same roof or the same administration. However, what happens to a child of that type who goes to one of these direct grant schools? It seems that there is a certain lack of flexibility in this respect in direct grant schools. If I am wrong, I should like to be corrected. From the list, they all seem to be the rather conventional type of grammar school, no doubt many of them excellent of their kind, while I have doubts about others, wondering why they should be regarded as eligible for direct grant status.

It is interesting to note that in my own country of Wales there are two, the Howell's School in Llandaff, near Cardiff, and Dr. Williams' School in Dolgelley, which is a boarding school. There are two schools in the town of Monmouth, the Monmouth School for Boys and the Monmouth School for Girls. As a Welsh person I find it extraordinarily difficult to follow why it is that those two schools in Monmouth should be different from all the other grammar schools in the Principality and why they should be direct grant schools while no other ordinary day school in Wales is. I think that Dr. Williams' School is entirely boarding and Howell's School partly so, and one appreciates that the position is a little different for boarding schools. It is of some significance that we have managed perfectly well in Wales to carry on secondary education without these direct grants. I should like to know what is the justification for these two day schools I mentioned.

While I am on this point, there was another peculiar differentiation which puzzled me on looking at this list. In some cities one has side by side a school for girls which is direct grant, and a school for boys which is maintained, and vice versa in other cities. In Northampton the girls' school is direct grant but the boys' grammar school is not. In Blackpool the boys' school is direct grant and the girls' is not—the two Arnold High Schools. What criterion is used by the Ministry? Is it purely financial? Is it simply that they come along and ask? Why is it that some of these schools are fee-paying, and others are maintained entirely and are non fee-paying? This seems a little odd from a purely educational point of view.

We had a great deal of discussion on the 1944 Education Bill about this whole question of direct grant schools. It would not be appropriate to raise the entire subject tonight on these relatively narrow Regulations, but I cannot leave the Regulations without pointing out that we on this side of the House have some reservations about the direct grant schools. Many of them have junior schools. The junior schools, as far as they deal with pupils under 11, do not come under the Regulations, but, on the other hand, the connection between the junior school and the senior is often very close, and one cannot help wondering just how far selection takes place, or how far promotion is more or less automatic. I think that it probably varies a good deal from one school to another.

In other words, how far are the direct grant schools just a way of getting round the 11-plus? In some areas there is no doubt that they are highly selective and probably very much stiffer in their entry requirements than the ordinary 11-plus. I accept that, but I repeat that the variations in the size and character of these schools is such that one cannot help suspecting that some of them at least provide an easy way around the 11-plus for the children whose parents are prepared to buy a place.

In relation to that, I should like to quote a short passage from the speech of the now Home Secretary who at that time was in charge of the Education Bill. He said Let me examine the principle I have enunciated, that it is not immoral for parents to contribute towards the cost of the education of their children. It would be an immoral thing. in my view, if a parent were to purchase a place in a school to the exclusion of someone who would make a potentially better citizen."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd March. 1944; Vol. 398, c. 1303.] I agree with that last remark. What worries us about direct grant schools is how far they provide for someone to buy a place which might be of use to a potentially better citizen.

We recognise that in this respect they are not as subject to criticism as the public schools, because the direct grant schools at least have the advantage that a certain proportion of their places must be made freely available to the local authorities—I think that it is 25 per cent.—and a further 25 per cent. must be available if the local authorities wish to take up places and pay the fees. But, nevertheless, 50 per cent. remain reserved for parents who are prepared to pay the fees, though even they can be helped by the Ministry on a means test.

One can, therefore, say that 50 per cent. of the places are places which might be better used by pupils who are not able to obtain them because their parents do not wish to pay the fees. It would be useful to know what sort of study the Ministry has made of the selection procedures of these direct grant schools. In the Ministry's research projects, is there any item which deals with the direct-grant schools? Does anybody look at them? I know that they are inspected for minimum standards, but has there been any research into the virtues, or lack of them, of this group of schools?

My hon. Friends and I are not entirely critical of them. We recognise that if the relationship between them and the Ministry is all that it should be, it may be very good for the Ministry to have some schools with which it has a rather more direct connection than it has with the fully maintained schools of the local education authority. The Minister is enabled to make grants in respect of any special or experimental work at these schools involving extraordinary expenditure which is approved by the Minister. It would be interesting to know about the special or experimental work which is receiving grant from the Minister and whether this is just ad hoc, when a school asks for a project to be considered, or whether the Ministry looks at these schools in their rather peculiar situation as national laboratories for education.

Does the Ministry initiate or suggest any special or experimental work which might well be undertaken by these schools with their special relationship with the Minister? That would be particularly interesting, because if these schools were used in that way, of course with the fullest consultation, they would have a certain justification which some of them, I frankly believe, at the moment lack. If they are used for boarding schools for children for whom boarding education is particularly desirable for one reason or another, that, too, is a justification. If the sixth-form grants are used in a way which will provide better sixth-form opportunities for areas in which children at some of the maintained schools have difficulty in getting a full range of opportunities, that, too, might be a justification for these schools.

But when one looks at these lists one cannot help wondering whether any of these purposes is served by at any rate a fair proportion of the schools concerned. I know that some of these schools are schools of very great distinction academically, that they have a very good record and that a number of them can fairly be said to serve areas wider than or cutting across the boundaries of individual education authorities, even if they are not boarding schools. This means that there is some justification for this direct relationship with the Ministry, but we are entitled to ask what thoughts the Ministry gives to this special group of schools, what is its policy in dealing with them, whether it takes advantage of this special relationship, and how far it is satisfied that by continuing these direct schools it is not, at any rate in some cases, frustrating the possible organisation of secondary education by the education authority.

In some places—for example, in Bristol and Coventry—the education authority may favour a certain type of organisation for secondary education. If in such places there is a very large number in proportion to their size of direct grant schools which opt out of the maintained system, except in so far as they offer a proportion of places to the local education authority, it may make it very difficult for an education authority wanting to reorganise its secondary education to do so.

I mention Bristol because it is one possible example. There are no doubt many others. There are seven direct grant schools in Bristol. There are a number of bilateral schools in Bristol. It is clear that in that situation there cannot be a catchment area giving the bilateral schools a completely free selection, because pupils are being creamed off to the direct grant schools. Pupils who go to direct grant schools are not available for selection for the education authority's own secondary schools.

In these circumstances there can be frustration of the education committee's plans. There can be distortion of the pattern of secondary education. From this point of view my hon. Friends and I would look at direct grant schools with some caution, because they are in a sense an anomaly. This is not unusual in British administration. Because they are anomalous—they are neither one thing nor the other; they are not completely independent; they are not main tained—we welcome this opportunity of examining them. It is a very long time since the House discussed direct grant schools. Therefore, we welcome the opportunity afforded by these Regulations of having what I hope will be a considerable amount of information from the Parliamentary Secretary.

10.23 p.m.

Dr. Horace King (Southampton, Itchen)

I am glad that my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) has opened this little debate in such an interesting way. I would probably go a little further than she has done and say that we are discussing tonight some very good grammar schools. Most of the direct grant grammar schools with which I have come into contact in my life have been, on the whole, very good ones, but the criticisms which we on this side make of them are very deep. They are permanent, but they are no reflection on the character and quality of the education provided in direct grant grammar schools.

Direct grant grammar schools are a halfway house between the State school and the independent school. They probably have a more uniform standard of excellence than public schools, which range from some excellent schools to some very inferior independent schools.

I call direct grant grammar schools a halfway house. They are financed in three ways. They are financed partly by endowment. Usually, they have very little endowment, because if they had large endowments they would never have come under the direct grant scheme, but would have remained independent and relied on their endowment, plus the fees they charge, to keep other people's children out. Because their endowments are small, they reach a compromise position. They allow their local education authority to allocate 25 per cent. of the places. Indeed, of necessity, if the local education authority claims that it needs another 25 per cent., up of half the children can be sent there by the local authority on the basis of the ordinary sending of children after selection to grammar schools. The third source of their money is the fees paid by the fee-paying section of the school.

To be quite frank, I had hoped that those schools would wither away in the post-war years. I am distressed, as is my hon. Friend, that the Government have added to these schools rather than stand by and see the inexorable pressure of mounting educational expense bring them into the State system. I have never understood why the direct grant grammar school finds it more respectable to take money from the State than from the local authority. It is a sort of hang-over from the past; a feeling that the headmaster and staff might be directed by the chairman of the education committee, who might be a butcher. It is a feeling that it is more respectable to receive money from the Ministry of Education than from the local education committee.

A myth that is worth exploding whenever we debate education is that the headmaster of the direct grant grammar school is much more free professionally than is his colleague in the State grammar school. I know that that is not true, and I speak as a former headmaster. It is worth emphasising again and again that ours is the freest system of education in the world, and that the freedom that the headmaster of a direct grant grammar school gets from his governors—a sort of sympathetic interest, and a refusal by the governors to interfere with the running of the school—exists in the relations between the governors of any State grammar school and its headmaster.

Our deepest worry is the double standard of entry to the direct grant grammar school. I know that the Regulations lay down that that must not be so; that no one should go into a direct grant grammar school who is not capable of profiting from the education it gives. I smile, because for fifteen years I marked the entrance examination papers to a grammar school in the South of England where I taught—a double-entry school. I could never correlate the marks I gave to fee-paying entrants with their admission or rejection. When a new boy came in, we in the staff room often said that he had obviously come in not because he had passed the entrance examination, but because his father was a bank manager.

Despite that, the children with ability who went in by the more favoured alleyway to grammar school education in the bad old days when we had this dichotomy in the grammar school system got a lot out of the grammar school, just as the dullest boys get a lot out of Eton, and just as the dullest boy gets a lot out of the State grammar school. I maintain, however, that that is an argument for integrating this type of education.

We said that as long as we had the present set-up we would pay a capitation fee for every boy over the age of 11 and under the age of 18, and a bigger fee in respect of sixth-form work. I think that as long as we accept the existence of the direct grant grammar school, the reform mentioned in the Regulations is long overdue. In fact, my question to the Minister would be whether the increase in the capitation fee from £39 to £43 and the increase in the sixth-form grant from £66 to £81 are adequate—especially the sixth-form grant.

Throughout the grammar schools today sixth forms are expanding and extending their work and range. The cost of books has mounted sky-high, and the battle fought by every local authority and by the governors of direct grant grammar school must have been with exactly the same problem. It is almost impossible at present prices to provide the sixth former with the number of text books he needs, and the books he needs for studying in the library, and the rest.

If I had any anxiety at all, it would be whether the increases in the amount of the capitation fee and the sixth-form grant were adequate. It is worth emphasising that the fee payer in the direct grant grammar school does not really pay for his education any more than the child at Eton pays for his. Some day, I hope, we will end this segregation of children and this method by which some children are selected on ability and others can come in by the second way. But while it goes on, and we have this system of capitation grants, it is essential, for the well-being of the sixth form in direct grant schools, that the capitation grant should be adequate.

10.30 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Mr. Kenneth Thompson)

I am grateful to the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) for taking the opportunity of the presentation of these Regulations to raise this subject on a Prayer this evening, because it is quite a long time since the subject of direct grant schools was mentioned in the House and it is time that we had a look at them.

Our more formal education debates, which are all too rare in any case, are always so crowded with the many other aspects of education that we never really get down to considering something which occupies only a small part of this great and active empire. Thus the hon. Lady has done the House a service tonight. Although the place that these schools occupy in our education system is small, it is a very important one.

As the hon. Lady suggested, and as is the case with so much in our society, the direct grant schools cannot claim to owe their place to logical conclusions reached after an examination of ascertained facts. I would not make that claim for them at all. They are, in the proper sense of the word, anomalous. I do not think that anyone would say that they fail to perform a most useful function in the system of which they have become a widely accepted part. I do not claim for them that they are all of the same high standard. They are not. They vary. Some of them are good. Others are not. Some of them rank among the best in the country. Others have still to win for themselves the same high rating.

We might look back to the beginning of the system. In the 1920s, when the grammar school system as we know it now was beginning to take shape, these schools were offered the option of either coming within the maintained system completely or of taking this direct grant status in the hope that, by offering this alternative to them, their places would remain, at least in part, at the disposal of local education authorities who were, at that time—and some local authorities still continue to be—in great need of extra grammar school places.

So, a list was begun on that basis in 1926. In 1944, these schools might have gone independent had they not been offered the opportunity of remaining in this special relationship with my Department. In order that they might continue to play a part in the publicly maintained system, many of them continued as direct grant schools. The original list has been twice revised since 1944. Miss Ellen Wilkinson, when Minister of Education, reduced the 1944 list from 230 schools to 164. Fifteen further schools have been added since 1957. There are now 179.

It is reasonable to say that, generally speaking, the schools on the list today can claim their place either by long historical right, by reason of the high standard they have achieved, or by history and standing. A considerable number of schools which applied to be included in the list have been refused admission and my right hon. Friend has no present intention of making any further additions to the list.

This includes some large schools whose fame is widely spread wherever education is discussed. Some are smaller. Most of them are wholly day schools while some are partly boarding schools. Many are denominational. All have to satisfy certain conditions imposed by my right hon. Friend in his Regulations; I shall return to the point the hon. Gentleman the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Dr. King) made about how the Regulations bite.

Direct grant status carries with it a very substantial measure of public control. They are, of course, inspected by Her Majesty's inspectors. One-third of the governing body must be appointed by the local education authority, or be representative of the locality in other ways. Any increase in fees is subject to the approval of my right hon. Friend, and my right hon. Friend must approve plans for alterations or extensions to the premises but these must be carried out—and I think that this answers a question addressed to me by the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East—at the expense of the governors of the school.

But the most important public interest is quite properly in the system of admissions to such a school which, as I have said, may often be the best grammar school in the neighbourhood, or it may merely be that the school is one to which is attached a particular mystique or esteem perhaps not justified by results or performance as measured in strict educational terms.

The regulations governing admissions are quite clear. Each school must place at the disposal of the local education authority 25 per cent. of the places in the school and be prepared to hold at the disposal of the local authority for use if required a further 25 per cent. of the places. The local education authority pays the fees for all the places that it takes up.

The selection arrangements with regard to places for which local education authorities do not pay are designed to ensure that no child shall be excluded from these schools by reason of the parents' inability to pay the fees, and the child shall be admitted, whether fee-paying or otherwise, only subject to achieving a minimum educational standard. This minimum educational standard is to be the same for the children who come in as fee payers as it is for those who qualify for the places reserved to the local education authority. These are the regulations.

It may very well be that, for reasons best known to themselves, some governors use an elastic tape measure to accommodate a special child who, by the strictest of tests, would not normally qualify. Our society is that kind of society, I think. I do not think that we feel too tragic about this kind of thing, provided that it does not become a scandal and is not used as a deliberate device to frustrate either these Regulations or the normal processes of selection and admission to grammar schools on a grand scale. That would be wrong. My right hon. Friend clearly would expect his inspectorate to advise him of such misbehaviour and he would then take the appropriate steps to see that the rules were conformed to.

Dr. King

Does the Parliamentary Secretary know of a single direct grant grammar school in the country which would accept as its method of selecting children whom it admits as fee payers the method used by the local authority in which it exists?

Mr. Thompson

I would have to have notice of that question. I have stated the standards by which the process is to be established and the principles which apply to those children who seek admission to those schools either by the use of a local authority place or by applying in the normal way for admission direct to the school. The educational standards must not be different just because the child comes by one route as opposed to the other.

Mrs. White

Could the hon. Gentleman tell us whether he has any know ledge of any instances in which Her Majesty's inspectors have drawn the attention of the Minister to discrepancies in these matters? I am told that the practice varies a good deal. Some authorities send children who have just passed their local authority 11-plus examination, but others send all candidates to the school for the school to examine, and if that is done I would like to know whether the inspectorate has any sort of say in the methods or the standards adopted by the school. There seems to me to be a good deal of variation in practice.

Mr. Thompson

I would expect that there would be a good deal of variation in precisely how the thing is applied from school to school and from local authority area to local authority area. This is at the heart of the point which the hon. Member for Itchen was making about the degree of independence accorded to all our education institutions.

My point is that, so long as these standards which I have described as being written into the Regulations are accepted, then the way they are applied is for the local authority or the governors to decide in the light of their knowledge of local conditions. What I can add is that, if the hon. Lady or any hon. Member knows of an abuse, I should be glad to hear about it so that I may make inquiries. I should be willing to arrange for that to be done.

I myself have no knowledge of cases where it has been necessary to issue anything like a ministerial rebuke, though I have no doubt that a great deal of interplay goes on from time to time between schools and Her Majesty's inspectors who are in fairly close and regular touch with these matters. We want to have things right. It is in everyone's interests that they should be right.

The Ministry helps parents with fees in cases of need if the problem of fees looks like proving an obstacle to the right child having a place in a school. This means that a child whose parents cannot afford a place has, if he satisfies the entrance qualifications, as good an opportunity as the child whose parents can pay.

The hon. Lady addressed certain questions to me, and I think it important, as she indicated, that the answers should go on record. In 1959–60, the cost per place averaged for all direct grant grammar schools was £110. This £110 cost per place was met by income derived from the following sources; fees from parents and others, £19 per pupil. Fees paid by local education authorities, £36 per pupil. Fee remissions paid by my Department in the way I have just described, £5 per pupil. The combined capitation and sixth form grant in that year 1959–60 was equivalent to £47 per pupil. There was also an income from endowment and other resources of £3 per pupil. Those figures total the £110 cost per pupil. The most recent figure representing the total cost on the Ministry Vote is for the current year. This is £5,426,000. It will be seen from these figures that £88 per pupil, or 80 per cent. of the whole, was met by public funds in one way or another.

A true comparison with the maintained grammar school system is not easy to make, because local education authority accounts show the cost of all types of secondary education together, and secondary modern schools do not have the same proportion of children over 15 whose education is more expensive, as do the grammar schools. The published figures by themselves do not, therefore, give a fair basis of comparison. But we can draw some inferences from figures published by the Local Authorities' Committee on Inter-Authority payments.

For 1959–60, these average figures per pupil were: up to compulsory school age, £82 per pupil, and above compulsory school age, £143 per pupil. I think that we can draw from these figures the conclusion that there is no great difference in costs per pupil between the comparable maintained grammar schools and the direct grant grammar schools.

The Regulations before the House have as their single purpose the increase of the capitation and sixth form grants from the present figures of £39 and £66 to £43 and £81 respectively. In a full year, these increases will add a total of £659,000 to the total grants. Of this figure, teachers' salaries account for about £588,000. These grants represent about half of the cost to the schools, to meet the other half, fees will be increased to parents and local education authorities alike. This will result, of course, in an increase in the remitted fee grant which is paid by my Department, which is expected to total about £87,000 in a full year.

I should draw the attention of the House to the fact that this proposed contribution to the grant of these salary increases is the smallest as a proportion since the revision of the direct grant list in 1945, namely, 50 per cent. of the total cost. I should observe that we are doing here for the direct grant schools what I expect will be agreed for the maintained schools through the variation of the general grant in meeting this part of the increased salary bill.

In January of last year 59 per cent. of all the children attending direct grant schools were paid for by their local education authorities. About 20 per cent. of the cost of the running of these schools is met from non-public funds. They therefore represent a positive saving to public funds. They offer a wider parental choice within their own rather limited field, and this choice is particularly important where there is a denominational preference. Many of the direct grant schools recruit their pupils from a wide social range. The income scale upon which fees charged to fee-paying parents is based, whatever its deficiencies, does ensure reasonable accessibility to all who are able to profit regardless of their financial circumstances.

In some respects direct grant schools bridge the gap between the two worlds in grammar school education. But, as my right hon. Friend reminded the House when we were discussing the public schools, the grammar and other secondary schools in the maintained system are improving all the time—improving rapidly. There are many cases where the parental choice is now on the side of the local education authority school in preference to any other because it appears to offer the best chances to their children. This may well be so where, for example, the direct grant school is small with a tiny sixth form and not much in the way of a record of acadamic achievement, and that is how it should be, and we intend to go on with improvement of the public system. This process will continue, and direct grant and public schools alike will find their standards increasingly matched and often bettered by the maintained school round the corner.

The badge on the blazer does not really matter today as much as it did. It is only part of the curious inverted snobbery of a limited section of our society. What matters is the type of man who wears the blazer. If all schools devote themselves to looking after that, I believe that we shall get somewhere.

Mrs. White

I think that we have had at least some further justification of these Regulations. I am a little sorry that the Parliamentary Secretary did not say something about the experimental work, and so on, but doubtless that matter can be pursued on another occasion. In the circumstances, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.