HC Deb 24 February 1966 vol 725 cc613-4
27. Mr. Duffy

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of pupils remained at school beyond the statutory leaving age in maintained schools in the Yorkshire East and West Ridings in 1963 and 1964; and what were the comparable figures for the metropolitan, southern and south-eastern regions.

Mr. Redhead

34 per cent. and 31 per cent. in 1963 and 1964, respectively.

The comparable percentages were 42 and 39 in the eastern, 54 and 53 in the metropolitan and 52 and 49 in the south-eastern regions. The apparent fall in the proportions staying at schools was due to the abolition in 1963 of the Christmas leaving date for 15 year olds. Whereas in 1963 all 15 year olds were regarded as staying on at school voluntarily, in 1964 only those born between 1st January and 1st September could be so regarded.

Mr. Duffy

Is the Minister aware that his Answer will be read in Yorkshire with the gravest disquiet? Will he say what proposals he has for redressing this situation?

Mr. Redhead

I am sure that the local education authorities concerned in the region to which my hon. Friend has referred have an equal concern, and my Department will be glad to know what proposals they have to meet the situation.