HC Deb 06 February 1969 vol 777 cc562-3
13. Mr. Peter M. Jackson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimates he has now made of the percentage of children expected to continue full-time education beyond the age of 16 years, comparing the years 1967 and 1970.

Mr. Edward Short

In the academic year 1966–67 there were 202,400 pupils, aged 16 on 31st December, 1966, in schools and 36,800 full-time and sandwich students of the same age in grant-aided further education establishments, these were 29.9 and 54 per cent. of the age group. The corresponding percentages for the academic year 1969–70 are at present estimated at 35.7 and 6.4. The figures exclude students in independent further education establishments.

Mr. Jackson

Does my right hon. Friend accept the implication of his reply, namely, that in future years we must spend a higher percentage of our gross national product on education? May I ask whether this is something that he has brought to the attention of his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

Mr. Short

Yes, I have done that; and I hope that my hon. Friend and everyone else will face the consequences with me. It means either cutting down other expenditure in some way, or cutting down private consumption by means of higher taxation. There is no other way of doing it.