HC Deb 21 January 1965 vol 705 c390
15. Mr. Hopkins

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his policy towards separation of young people into different educational establishments on the basis of their different abilities and aptitudes, and, in particular, to separation at all stages of the education process.

Mr. M. Stewart

My policy is to retain the comprehensive principle at the primary stage and to promote its development at the secondary stage because I believe it is better on educational grounds than separatism. Quite different considerations apply to institutions for higher and further education, many of which are training their students for particular courses and professions.

Mr. Hopkins

Will the Minister answer a simple question? If separatism is wrong at the age of 11, 13 or 15, why should it be right at any stage later?

Mr. Stewart

Because everybody goes to a primary and a secondary school but not everybody pursues courses of further education. There must, therefore, be some separation between those who do and those who do not. Perhaps the hon. Member will consider this. If separatism is in his view right at the secondary stage, does he also advocate it at the primary stage.