HC Deb 23 November 1972 vol 846 c1501
11. Mr. Meacher

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will set up a further inquiry into the intelligence quotients of those who leave school at or before the age of 16.

Mrs. Thatcher

No, Sir.

Mr. Meacher

Is the right hon. Lady aware that merely raising the minimum school-leaving age to 16 will not by itself stop the waste of the national pool of ability, because the Crowther Report and others since have found that a third of the top 10 per cent. by IQ rating leave school at that age anyway? What alternative plans has she that will definitely stop this drastic under-achievement, which neither the nation nor those concerned can afford?

Mrs. Thatcher

The survey given publicity in the Crowther Report was not an IQ survey, and I know of no purely IQ survey. It was a test of ability of National Service recruits, conducted through the Army's own tests of ability. Since that time—[Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman will know that IQ is not the only measure of ability. For that reason I was a little surprised by his Question. The Government have taken steps to raise the school-leaving age to 16, and I hope that many other young people who wish to do so will continue their education in colleges of further education and through the many facilities available.