asked the Minister of Education whether, in view of the fact that some local authorities operate agreements between the parents or guardians of children attending secondary schools after having reached the statutory school-leaving age by which provision is made for the payment by such parents or guardians of an agreed sum in the event of the pupil ceasing to attend such schools before the date fixed by such agreements without the consent of the authority concerned, he will consider issuing a circular with a view to achieving uniformity of practice in this matter throughout the country.
Since the educational authorities obtained, or failed to obtain, authority for these agreements—it was all done in a somewhat haphazard manner—would my hon. Friend at least try to ensure that those local authorities that do have agreements administer them consistently as between one and another?
I will certainly bear that in mind. I am sure that my right hon. Friend does not wish to encourage the general adoption of school-life agreements, but at the same time he does not think that he would be justified in interfering with those authorities that already make use of such agreements. I do agree, however, that too much variety of procedure here is a danger and I will certainly look at it.