HC Deb 11 April 1963 vol 675 cc1465-6
20. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Education what progress has been made regarding the methods of examining for the Certificate of Secondary Education.

Sir E. Boyle

The Secondary School Examinations Council is making good progress with proposals for the recognition of regional examining boards for the Certificate of Secondary Education. It is also considering the question of standards, and I hope to receive its advice on both of these questions shortly.

Mr. Willey

Will the right lion. Gentleman keep a careful eye on the developments of this examination? Is he aware that there is a good deal of apprehension that if this examination develops as exclusive and entirely separate from the G.C.E. O-level it may have a bad effect on the schools? Will he bear that in mind and see that it is avoided when the new examination is introduced?

Sir E. Boyle

I am glad to be able to agree entirely with what the hon. Gentleman has just said. This is an experiment and an examination of great importance, and I am keeping a very careful eye on it. There are likely to be 13 examining bodies covering England and Wales. The Certificate of Secondary Education Standing Committee has been considering each proposal on its merits, and I think that the geographical coverage will be satisfactory. The time may not be far ahead when there will be sixth-formers who have reached sixth forms through this examination rather than the G.C.E. O-level, but I will certainly watch the situation very carefully.

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