HC Deb 19 November 1970 vol 806 cc1404-5
6. Mr. Greville Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will seek powers to promote social service work by senior pupils.

Mrs. Thatcher

No, Sir. Social service work by school pupils is a matter for local and voluntary initiatives.

Mr. Janner

Is the right hon. Lady aware of the excellent work being done by senior pupils in Leicester and elsewhere, particularly among elderly and ill people, and will she not take positive steps to encourage that work?

Mrs. Thatcher

Yes, Sir, I am aware of it and applaud it. The Schools Council put out a working paper entitled "Community Service and the Curriculum". It is doing a great deal of work and I applaud the amount of work that is going on in the schools of Leicester and elsewhere.

Miss Lestor

The Secretary of State no doubt is aware that in June this year there was a circular in the Department ready to go out suggesting that there should be voluntary work in schools. Is the circular going out, and is it her intention to promote this sort of thing directly from the Department?

Mrs. Thatcher

Documents of a previous Administration are, I believe rightly, not available to those in a successive Administration.

Mr. Lane

Is my right hon. Friend aware that my constituency is another area where a lot of this excellent work is done, and will she continue to set her face against any compulsion from the centre?

Mrs. Thatcher

I will indeed.