§ Mr. G. Longden
asked the Minister of Education whether she will introduce this autumn the revised conditions of entry for the General Certificate Examination, including a distinction mark at the advanced level.
§ Miss Horsbrugh
I am anxious that the more flexible arrangements should take effect at the first suitable opportunity, but in the light of advice recently given me by the Secondary School Examinations Council I have concluded that the balance of educational advantage is against making an abrupt change on the occasion of an autumn or winter examination which has generally been regarded as supplementary to the main examination in the summer. I have therefore decided that no change should be made in the published arrangements for this year, but that the new conditions should be introduced for next summer's examination.
As regards the award of distinctions, the Council have pointed out that, since for practical purposes there are no advanced level examinations in the autumn, the change could have general value only in relation to the summer examinations, which for this year have already begun. I have decided, therefore, that this change also should be made next summer.