HC Deb 24 July 1973 vol 860 cc1398-9
22. Mr. Dormand

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will make a statement on maintenance allowances paid to pupils attending maintained schools beyond the compulsory school leaving age.

Mrs. Thatcher

I have nothing to add to the reply given to the Question by the right hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) on 15th May.—[Vol. 856, c. 1213.]

Mr. Dormand

Inadequate maintenance allowances are the biggest deterrent to pupils staying on at school. Is not that particulary true of pupils in the Northern Region? Has not the time now arrived when there ought to be national scales for maintenance allowances instead of having some of the pitifully inadequate allowances which some local education authorities provide?

Mrs. Thatcher

I do not believe that that is the biggest deterrent to pupils staying on after the compulsory school leaving age. Again, however, the remedy lies with the local authorities, and if we are to take ail their discretions away there will be little point in having local authorities.