University Interviews (Pupils' Expenses)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1972.

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Photo of Mr Donald Coleman Mr Donald Coleman , Neath 12:00 am, 27th November 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will seek powers to reimburse Welsh secondary school pupils the expenses they incur as a result of travelling to university interviews.

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

Local education authorities already have the necessary powers to reimburse expenses, at their discretion, in cases of hardship.

Photo of Mr Donald Coleman Mr Donald Coleman , Neath

I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for that reply. Is he aware that many Welsh schoolchildren have to travel to three or four universities and that this places a considerable burden upon the finances of poorer families and also restricts the children's choice of university? Will he make local authorities more aware of this facility and advise parents of these opportunities to get reimbursement?

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

I am aware that the cumulative cost to parents may be considerable when pupils attend a series of interviews, but I am satisfied that local education authorities have the power to assist in necessitous cases. The fact that the hon. Gentleman has asked this Question will serve to remind local authorities of the existence of this facility.