HC Deb 11 December 1979 vol 975 cc610-1W
Mr. Watson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he intends to publish the report of Professor Keohane's group which has been considering the Schools Council's proposals for a certificate of extended education; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mark Carlisle

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I have arranged for the group's report to be published today, as Cmnd. 7755. Copies are available in the Vote Office and in the Library of the House. We are grateful to Professor Keohane and members of his group for their useful work.

The report recommends the development of a Certificate of Extended Education (CEE) for young people seeking one year full-time courses of education leading to examinations normally taken at 17. The recommendations differ in some respects from those originally put forward by the Schools Council in 1976. The group considers it crucial that the CEE should take account of the fact that most of the young people for whom it is intended are likely to seek jobs on completion of their CEE courses; and that these courses should therefore help prepare them for employment. The report suggests that proficiency tests in basic language and numerical skills should be a compulsory part of the CEE, and that more CEE syllabuses with vocational relevance should be developed and made available by all schools and colleges providing CEE courses. The report finds that the intended differences between CEE syllabuses and examinations on the one hand, and O-level and Certificate of Secondary Education examinations which are normally taken at 16 on the other hand, would make it difficult to link their grading schemes; a free standing pass/fail examination is therefore proposed.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I are inviting the main interested bodies to comment on the report by the end of February and comments will also be welcome from others.