I must point out to the hon. Lady that there has been a substantial increase in the number of women university students between 1979 and 1986, from 38 to 42 per cent. It is a basic principle of the system of attainment targets and programmes of study to bear in mind that the curriculum should provide equal opportunities for boys and girls and to consider In their work the expectations and aptitudes of girls with regard to those subjects.
Does my hon. Friend agree that what is important about children's examination results is not the gender of the children but the authority to whose schools they go? Some of the highest spending authorities in this country have the worst examination results.
My hon. Friend is entirely right. Our proposals in the Education Reform Bill will, of course, bite on all education authorities, irrespective of their political nature.
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