HC Deb 21 July 1966 vol 732 cc848-9
15. Dr. Gray

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether his policy of allowing local education to fix the transfer age at 11 years or 13 years from junior to senior schools was shortand long-term in its aims.

Mr. Crosland

My decision to allow an age of transfer other than 11 was explained in Circular 13/66, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.

Dr. Gray

Is my right hon. Friend aware that considerable anxiety exists in the minds of many local authorities in case the Plowden Council should recommend a universal transfer age? Further, will he consider writing to local authorities and advising them how to iron out the difficulties that will arise when one authority chooses 11 years and another 13 years and they make mutual or one-sided use of each other's educational facilities?

Mr. Crosland

On the first point, we had better wait and see what the Plowden Council recommends. Certainly nobody would want to take a decision about a new national age of transfer until the Council has reported—which will not be for some time. The second point is precisely the sort of point that we shall look al: whenever proposals are put to us for middle schools.