Awards

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th October 1952.

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Photo of Mr Ralph Morley Mr Ralph Morley , Southampton, Itchen 12:00 am, 30th October 1952

asked the Minister of Education how many local education authorities are still giving a fixed number of new awards for universities and other institutions for higher education each year.

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

I regret that this information is not available.

Photo of Mr Ralph Morley Mr Ralph Morley , Southampton, Itchen

Does the Minister approve of local authorities having a fixed number of awards irrespective of the number of State scholarships and open awards, of the school population, and of the merits of the applicants?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

I am still engaged in these discussions with local authorities. I deprecate the practice of giving a fixed number of new awards. The making of awards should be guided by a standard and not by a fixed number.

Photo of Mr James Johnson Mr James Johnson , Rugby

asked the Minister of Education the number of major and minor awards to the universities given by local education authorities for the years 1951–52 and 1952–53, respectively.

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

For the academic year 1951–52 8,830 new major awards and 1,455 minor awards were made by local education authorities for students at universities and taken up. Comparable figures for 1952–53 will not be available until December.

Photo of Mr James Johnson Mr James Johnson , Rugby

Is the Minister aware that the economies made so far this year under this part of her policy are regarded as little short of scandalous by students, teachers and parents in all parts of the country? Does she not think that this is most regrettable in view of the need for the future of executives of all kinds? Will she not reconsider her policy, in the light of these things, by next Session?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

If the hon. Member will look at my reply to the hon. Member for Itchen (Mr. Morley) on 23rd October he will see that I said that there were 113 authorities who have given me the information, and there is very little change. I also reminded the House at that time that there will be about 400 extra students going to the universities with State scholarships.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

Does the Minister not agree with the view that these awards are of extreme importance, as they are an encouragement to student quality which is of very great importance to the future of education in this country?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

Certainly. I feel that they are of great importance and I also think that it is important to give students a sufficient award. That is why we have suggested an increase in the maintenance grants.

Photo of Mr Hilary Marquand Mr Hilary Marquand , Middlesbrough East

Has the Minister taken any action to impress upon local authorities the need not merely to give generously but to search for students with the requisite quality? One has had information sometimes suggesting that the reluctance or misunderstanding of parents may prevent the most gifted children in the country from getting a chance.

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

Yes, Sir. That is why I have discussed with the local authorities the methods of selecting those who shall have awards and I am continuing those discussions at the present time.