HC Deb 21 February 1924 vol 169 cc1995-6W

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is willing to entertain proposals by local education authorities to exercise their powers under Section 43 of the Education Act, 1921, to raise the age of obligatory attendance at public elementary schools to 15 years?


asked the President of the Board of Education if he has received representations from local education authorities urging that the school-leaving age be raised to 15; and if he will state his attitude to this matter?


I am prepared to consider byelaws for this purpose on their merits, subject, of course, to any objections which may be elicited by their publication, and in doing so I shall have regard to the considerations set out in paragraphs 8 and 9 of Circular 1180 of the 12th October, 1920.


asked the President of the Board of Education whether, in view of the hardship caused to parents of large families by the operation of a regulation whereby a child arriving at the age of 14 years during the early part of the school's term is thereby compelled to remain at school until the end of the said term, he will take steps to cancel the regulation or grant discretionary power to district education committees to deal with cases of known hardship?


This matter is governed by Statute (Section 138 (1) of the Education Act, 1921), not by Regulation, and I have no reason to suppose that a case could be made out on general grounds for the repeal of that Section. It appears to me that Sections 42 and 45 of the Act provide sufficient opportunity to local education authorities to deal with any individual cases of exceptional hardship that may be brought to their notice.


asked the President of the Board of Education whether, in view of the number of juveniles and young persons out of employment, he will allow those local authorities who are willing to do so to raise the school age; and whether he proposes to take any steps to extend and improve the juvenile unemployment centres?


I may refer the Noble Lord to the answer I have given to-day to the hon. Members for the South-East Division of Essex (Mr. Hoffman) and East Birkenhead (Mr. G. White). The second part of the question falls, under existing arrangements, within the province of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour.