HC Deb 29 January 1974 vol 868 cc232-3
12. Mr. Greville Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when she expects to be able to publish the results of her survey into truancy.

Mrs. Thatcher

I hope that the results of our various lines of inquiry will become available about the middle of the year.

Mr. Janner

Does the right hon. Lady agree that truancy is a massive problem which commences in the primary school?

Will she please assure the House that the terms of reference of her inquiries will be sufficiently wide to enable her to cover primary as well as secondary schools?

Mrs. Thatcher

On the statistical exercise we are carrying out—the forms have just gone out to the schools and should have been filled upon a day last week—we have confined the inquiries to middle and secondary schools because we think the problems are much worse there. We did this because it restricts the amount of statistics with which we have to deal and also because it restricts the number of forms with which head teachers have to deal. I think it is right that we deal with the most urgent aspect of the problem first.