Education (Scotland) Bill.

Part of Supplementary Vote of Credit, 1941. – in the House of Commons on 16th December 1941.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Kilmarnock

Not on that basis. The teachers at Kilmarnock have rebelled against taking part in school meals. What is the answer of my right hon. Friend to that? Is he going to say that this is part of teaching work? What is the function of a teacher to-day? The function of a school is not five hours a day, with young people sitting in rows, but a lively community centre, where there is feeding, and where there are gardens, workshops and domestic science on a new basis. That is what is happening in all the live places. Scotland has to get used to the fact that you do not necessarily have a good system of education by having 20 counties doing roughly the same thing. I have come to the conclusion that the environment side, the buildings, the milk, the food, should be equal, otherwise what is the meaning of "equality of opportunity"? Why, if you were born in Edinburgh, should it mean one thing, and, if you were born in Kilmarnock, another? It is fantastic. There is no phrase as susceptible to humbug as the phrase "equality of opportunity." I ask the right hon. Gentleman to analyse the position every time he has to give attention to it. If you are to have compulsion, and (even standardisation in the provision of food, then let us have every variety in education itself. Let us have the greatest flexibility in the curriculum, from the nursery school up to the university.

There is another question that I want to ask in connection with the case of the recalcitrant authority. Who brings the matter to the notice of the authority? In the old days there was a very elaborate provision. Who brings to the notice of the education authority the fact that a child is suffering from malnutrition or is not suffering from malnutrition but is a long way off proper nutrition?