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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education whether he is aware that under the present regulations governing the pro vision of dependants' allowances to mature students at training colleges, those taking the one-year course can receive such awards, whilst those taking the two- year course cannot; and whether he will take steps to correct this regulation which is causing difficulty to certain older persons wishing to take up a teaching career.
My noble Friend regrets that he does not think he would be justified in making dependants' grants more widely available. If my hon. Friend has any particular category of people in mind, perhaps he will write to me.
As it is now an accepted principle that one-year students of this type are eligible for this type of grant, is it not completely illogical that two-year mature students of the same type should not have the benefits of the same maintenance grants? Would not my hon. Friend look at this matter a little more sympathetically?
I shall be glad to consider any evidence which my hon. Friend brings to me. I think that this is a genuinely difficult question. I doubt whether many students who embark on a two-year course do so with the expectation of receiving a grant for their dependants.
Will the Parliamentary Secretary look into this matter again, not only from the point of view that it is discouraging people from taking up a teaching career, but also from the point of view of the hardship that is caused to a few students who are unaware of the regulations, marry after embarking on a course and then find that they get no allowance for their dependants, when the whole of the family circumstances may well change?