§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement regarding the rights of parents and headmasters in the choice of school for secondary education; and if he remains satisfied that these rights preserve the interests of parents.
§ Mr. McElhone
The rights of parents as to the choice of school at which their children receive their secondary education are set out in Section 29(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1962, which provides that the Secretary of State and education authorities shall have regard to the general principle that, so far as is compatible with the provision of suitable instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents. Normally, pupils are allocated to secondary schools through zoning arrangements made by the education authority and must be accepted by the schools to which they are allocated. I am satisfied that the interests of parents, and of pupils, are adequately safeguarded.