HC Deb 08 July 1971 vol 820 cc1502-3
12. Mr. H. Boardman

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether, in view of disputes concerning suitability of apparel for school wear being subject to the opinions of individual school heads, she will request local education authorities to lay down guide lines to apply to all local authority schools within their jurisdiction.

Mrs. Thatcher

No, Sir. I believe this is best left to the discretion of local education authorities.

Mr. Boardman

Is the Minister aware that disputes of this nature are becoming more frequent, and that they cause embarrassment and annoyance to the head teachers concerned and very often humiliation to the parents? If the local education authorities have these powers why does not she insist that they use them?

Mrs. Thatcher

Local education authorities are as well able as the Government, if not more able, to judge the suitability of school uniforms or school wear.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Is this not a matter on which sensible heads will consult the pupils, and are there not instances in which that has been done with the most admirable results?

Mrs. Thatcher

In the vast majority of cases any difficulties are dealt with sensibly by headmasters and by school managers and governors.