HC Deb 30 March 1976 vol 908 cc1095-6
17. Mr. Lane

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he next expects to meet the Chairman of the Schools Council.

Mr. Mulley

I spent most of last Wednesday 24th March with him, and have no immediate plans for a further meeting at present.

Mr. Lane

Will the Secretary of State keep in mind that although changes in the present examination arrangements may be desirable, the proposals by the Schools Council have run into very serious criticism from a large body of informed educational opinion throughout the country?

Mr. Mulley

I read about these matters from time to time in the education Press, but no such proposals have reached me and it would be injudicious, to say the least, to comment on proposals before they are submitted.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

In view of the widespread concern and the possible harmful effects of a single examination on standards in school and in higher education, will the Secretary of State assure the House that he will take no final decision on any proposals until he has had further and widespread discussion with industry, the professions and the universities about the desirability of this examination?

Mr. Mulley

I certainly give the hon. Member the assurance that I shall take no decision before I have studied the proposals. I have no reason to suppose that the proposals will come to me in the same form as they were sent out for consultation. I shall want to consider them carefully.