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Secondary Schools (Transfer Age)

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 28 February 1952

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asked the Minister of Education what changes she is contemplating in the age of transfer to secondary school.

I would refer the hon. Member to paragraph 12 of Circular 245, of which I am sending him a copy. I contemplate no change in the age of transfer before September, 1956. By that date, a large number of spare places will have become available in the primary schools, and some of these we shall have to use for older children.

Is the right hon. Lady aware that many teachers do not agree with her figures for 1956, when this change-over comes about? Is she further aware that it will cause enormous difficulties in schools with regard to teaching staff, curricula, furniture, and the like? Is she aware that, since 1945, due to the late Labour Government, the youngsters are bigger than they were before and occupy more space, that they are too big for the furniture, and that girls of 12 and 13 will be much too big for the furniture in junior schools?

I will certainly take into account any further increase in the average size of children and see that where part of a primary school is to be used for a short time for children receiving secondary education the furniture must be of a suitable type and size.