Secondary Education

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st January 1958.

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Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock 12:00 am, 21st January 1958

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will set up a committee to inquire into the present state and organisation of Scottish secondary education and to make recommendations.

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

As the hon. Member will recall, my right hon. Friend reconstituted the Advisory Council on Education in Scotland early last year, and he will refer to it any questions affecting secondary education which from time to time appear to him to require examination by such a body.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is more than a feeling that the whole question of the state, organisation and future development of Scottish secondary education is much in need of reconsideration and will he look at this from a much wider aspect than problems that arise from time to time?

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

My right hon. Friend will certainly look at it from time to time, but he is not convinced at the present time of the need for a thoroughgoing inquiry into secondary education.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is some concern that the best use is not being made in some areas of students in the 14–15 range, and that the relationship of the 14–15 range to the general body of secondary education is not quite clear even to the teaching profession? Has not there been enough experience of the working of this extended leaving-age to enable the matter to be thoroughly investigated as a whole?

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

Our view is that it is still premature. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, a paper on junior secondary education was published a little more than two years ago, and that is being discussed and acted upon by teachers and followed up carefully by inspectors of education.