§ Mr. Dorrell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment by how much he expects the school population to increase in the summer of 1998 as a result of the introduction of a single school leaving date of 30 June. 688W
§ Ms Estelle Morris
[holding answer 20 January 1998]: The single school leaving date for 1998 and successive years is the last Friday in June in the school year in which child reaches age 16. In 1998 the date will be Friday 26 June. It has been estimated that under the previous arrangements as many as 17,000 young people, many of them capable of securing good GCSE results, had been leaving school earlier in the year with no qualifications.