§ Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will issue a circular to education authorities directing them not to charge the parents of schoolchildren for examination fees for CSE and O and A level examinations;
(2) under what statutory provision local education authorities are enabled to charge the parents for the examination fees for CSE and O and A level examinations taken by schoolchildren;
(3) how many local education authorities ask the parents of schoolchildren to pay the examination fees for CSE, O and A level examinations.
§ Miss Joan Lestor
I do not believe a circular to authorities is called for. Section 61(1) of the Education Act 1944 provides that no fees shall be charged in respect of the education provided in schools maintained by local education authorities, and I am advised that, in general, authorities are, therefore, responsible for paying examination fees for candidates entered for examinations by such schools. A number of authorities have been advised of the Department's view of the effect of Section 61(1) and I am not aware that any have adopted a policy of asking parents to pay examinations fee.
My Department does not collect information about the extent to which authorities refuse to pay fees in individual cases. My understanding is that such cases are comparatively rare. Nevertheless there may be circumstances in which such refusal would be reasonable—e.g., where a pupil is entered in the same year for CSE and GCE 0-level examinations in the same subject.