Service Men's Children (Education Allowances)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th November 1955.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Farey-Jones Mr Frederick Farey-Jones , Watford 12:00 am, 16th November 1955

asked the Minister of Defence if he will consider reducing to below 11 years the age at which the children of Service parents will become eligible for grants in aid of their education.

Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing:

asked the Minister of Defence whether he will consider starting the recently-announced education allowances for Service children at nine years of age in place of 11 years of age in order to give such children adequate continuity of schooling before taking the 11-plus examination.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

I am afraid that the answer is "No, Sir.

Photo of Mr Frederick Farey-Jones Mr Frederick Farey-Jones , Watford

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that frequent changes of schools, which these grants are intended to avoid, represent a serious difficulty to children when they come to the 11-plus examination, other children being more fortunate in this respect?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

It is, of course, in order to avoid the disadvantages of these frequent changes that the scheme of allowances has been introduced. We had better wait and see how it works before we consider possible modifications.

Photo of Mr Frank Beswick Mr Frank Beswick , Uxbridge

As only half the rate is being paid in respect of children of men in the Services compared with that in respect of the children of men in the Foreign Service, does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman think there should be ample scope for a reduction in the age limit in these cases?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

The hon. Gentleman knows that the plan has taken a very long time to achieve. I repeat that we had better see how it works before we consider modifications.