HC Deb 02 May 1968 vol 763 c1265
11. Dr. David Kerr

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will seek to make provision to assist unmarried student mothers to continue a course in further education while retaining custody of their child.

The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Mrs. Shirley Williams)

It is within the discretion of local education authorities to pay allowances for the dependent children of unmarried mothers.

Dr. Kerr

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Department could do much more to help these girls and that it is not so much a question of financial resources as of housing and the care of children during the time when mothers are studying? Can she say what help is being offered to students who are lone mothers, whether through divorce, widowhood, or any other reason?

Mrs. Williams

I am aware of the need particularly for creches for the children of both unmarried mothers and women who are made single by circumstances. I assure my hon. Friend that we share his concern and that we are looking at the matter to see whether much more help can be given to widows and separated wives.