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Orders of the Day — Sex Discrimination Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:54 pm on 22nd May 1986.

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Photo of Mr David Ashby Mr David Ashby , North West Leicestershire 7:54 pm, 22nd May 1986

No, I do not agree. Thank goodness, we are all individuals and everyone is different. One could pour millions of pounds into the education of some individuals but they would never read or write properly because they do not want to. Such people do not aspire to managerial work but they are given hopes beyond their abilities and expectations. That is not a fair reflection on the teachers. Many teachers spend a great deal of time trying to get people to read and write but at the end of the day they have no success.

A careers master told me that one out of every 10 young school leavers cannot be placed in a job. He said that one could pick that person out at the age of 12 or 13. Such children are given a great deal of care. At the end of the day, they do not wish to stay at school, they are not interested in work and they leave unable to read or write, despite the efforts of teachers. Employers are not terribly happy to have such people and they would positively discriminate in favour of the better educated person.

It would be an unfair reflection on the excellent school in my constituency to suggest that the staff were bad teachers to allow that one person to go through school and to leave without being able to read or write adequately. The teachers have tried all they can but they have not been successful.