HC Deb 10 June 1980 vol 986 c277
1. Mr. Brinton

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to establish, in addition to the normal public examinations, a documentary record of a school leaver's achievements.

The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Dr. Rhodes Boyson)

The Department is considering what action might usefully be taken centrally to encourage the introduction of such a documentary record.

Mr. Brinton

Does my hon. Friend agree that if such a scheme were introduced, behaviour would come into achievement? If he were to introduce such a scheme, would he take the opportunity to mount a campaign to persuade teachers to take more notice of discipline and the behaviour of their pupils?

Dr. Boyson

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. Discipline is essential in the classroom if there is to be proper education. It would be necessary for lateness, punctuality, regular attendance, discipline and general attitude to be included in such a documentary record.

Mr. John Evans

Does not the Minister feel that it is somewhat hypocritical of his hon. Friends, who are constantly calling for cutbacks in public expenditure, to suggest schemes of this nature which will vastly increase public expenditure? Does he accept that the greatest problem facing young people is not getting records of this nature, but getting jobs when they leave school.

Dr. Boyson

It is not expensive to produce such a document when children leave school, and any reasonable school is already doing so. It is a matter of spreading an existing practice. That suggestion has come not only from my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Brinton), but from educationists and many others throughout Britain. Pupils leaving school are more likely to find employment if employers can see a full record of their behaviour and achievements at school.