HC Deb 15 June 1972 vol 838 cc1700-1
4. Mrs. Kellett-Bowman

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress is being made to wards enabling 15-year-old children to take part in work experience schemes.

Mrs. Thatcher

Legislation will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time permits.

Mrs. Kellett-Bowman

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Those in my constituency, of whom there are many, including myself, who have always opposed raising the school-leaving age will be relieved with her reply and will be glad to know that children will be able to take part in work experience. I hope this will be in conjunction with the colleges of further education, of which I have a particularly good example in my constituency.

Mrs. Thatcher

I am grateful for what my hon. Friend says. The work experience schemes are valued by teachers and pupils alike. It would be to our greatest advantage if we could procure the legislation by Easter, 1973, but it is not within my power to promise that.

Mr. Marks

Will not "as soon as parliamentary time permits" be too late? Are not the children now able to go on work experience schemes those who stay on voluntarily for a fifth year, and will not they be unable to go after September because of the regulations, unless the regulations are altered?

Mrs. Thatcher

Work experience schemes normally apply for one year before the compulsory school-leaving age. I am therefore advised that the relevant point to secure legislation would be Easter, 1973.