§ Mr. DALTON
asked the President of the Board of Education the number of children who left school last year aged between 14 and 15 and aged between 15 and 16; the corresponding number for the present year; and the probable num- 3036W ber for the next three years, assuming no substantial change in educational policy?
§ Lord E. PERCY
Excluding those pupils who proceeded to secondary schools or other institutions for further full-time education, the number of pupils who left public elementary schools maintained by local authorities, between the ages of 14 and 15 (including pupils who left at the end of the term preceding the holiday period during which they became 14), during the years ending 31st March, 1927, and 1928, was 494,935 and 524,174, respectively. The numbers leaving between the ages of 15 and 16 were 12,811 and 14,730, respectively. As regards the next three years, the hon. Member will appreciate that many unkonwon factors are involved, but there will probably be a decrease in the number of pupils leaving between the ages of 14 and 15 in the years 1930 and 1931 corresponding with the fall in the birthrate in the years 1916 and 1917, while there may be a slight increase in the numbers of those leaving between 15 and 16.