HC Deb 09 June 1986 vol 99 c15
14. Dr. Roger Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards voluntary donations by parents towards the cost of introducing the general certificate of secondary education.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

It is the statutory duty of local education authorities to provide suitable education for their pupils. If voluntary contributions are invited it should be made clear that no child will suffer any detriment because his or her parents are unable to make those contributions.

Dr. Thomas

Is it not the position that headmasters in Wales have reached the stage where they are perhaps panicking and demanding of parents between £5 and £10 per pupil? If these payments are not made, there is no guarantee that the new examination will be introduced successfully.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

I disagree with what the hon. Gentleman has said about the introduction of the new examination. We are now getting the will and the commitment of the teachers. I have already said that the syllabuses are out. Thirty six out of 47 have been issued and the remainder will be out shortly. I stand by what I have said about parental contributions. There may be parental contributions, but that does not mean that children whose parents are unable to contribute should suffer.