§ Mr. Loyden
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many applications have been made to his Department during 1975 for children who have reached the age of 16 years to leave school prior to the statutory date of leaving.
§ Miss Joan Lestor
My right hon. Friend received in 1975 some 50 letters from hon. Members asking about the possibility of pupils leaving school before reaching their statutory leaving date; no record is kept of the number of such inquiries made by members of the public. There is no power to make exceptions to the law on school-leaving dates and consequently no machinery for submitting or considering applications to leave school earlier than the law allows.