HC Deb 07 June 1962 vol 661 cc654-5
36. Mr. Short

asked the Minister of Education what steps he proposes to take to give further financial assistance to mature students, particularly those who are married with dependants, who are undergoing teacher training.

Mr. K. Thompson

My right hon. Friend hopes to make an announcement shortly.

Mr. Short

When deciding what to put in this announcement, will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that these allowances act as a deterrent to mature students undergoing teacher training? Will he also bear in mind that a married student with two children at the training college in Newcastle receives allowances of about £9 a week on which he is supposed to exist for three years? If the hon. Gentleman is "on the level" about attracting mature students, will he try to make considerable increases in these allowances?

Mr. Thompson

The hon. Gentleman will discover, when it is possible to make the announcement, that the needs of the mature student have not been overlooked.

Mrs. White

How soon will an announcement be made? Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that recommendations were put forward in February and that everyone, not only the mature student, is most anxious to know what will be his position?

Mr. Thompson

We have had to have consultations with the local authority associations and with others. Some of the authority associations are meeting in the next three days. It is not possible for us to reach conclusions until we know that they will be agreed by the authorities.