asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware that Derby's local education authority have notified women applicants, for a post of divisional education officer, that it is not their intention to appoint women to such posts; and whether their action meets with her approval or what action she proposes to take in the matter.
The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. I consider that appointments to such posts should be made on the merits of the candidates, and that the introduction of any sex-discrimination is most undesirable. The power of local education authorities to appoint staff derives from the Local Government Act, 1933, and not from the Education Act, 1944. It would not, therefore, be competent for me to give a direction under Section 68 of the latter Act. My hon. Friend's Question and my answer will, however, bring the matter to the notice of authorities generally, and I hope that, in consequence, they will not, when making appointments to administrative posts, discriminate against either sex.