HC Deb 26 April 1951 vol 487 cc85-6W
63. Mr. H. Price

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that the recruiting policy of the Civil Service Commission is resulting in 15 years of age pupils leaving grammar and secondary schools before completion of the covenanted period; that this is causing concern to headmasters and headmistresses; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Jay

It is the policy of the Government to relate the age limits for recruitment to the Civil Service to the ages at which education at the various levels is normally completed. Competitions with a minimum age limit of 15 years are not primarily designed for secondary grammar pupils. But the Civil Service Commission has no power—nor do I think it should have power—to refuse to accept applications from children whose parents decide to take them from school before the end of the covenanted period. But it should be realised by parents of grammar school children who so desire to curtail their education that the Civil Service posts for which they are eligible at 15 offer less good pay and prospects than those open to them at higher ages.