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Public Schools

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 11 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Education whether he will set up a working party to consider methods of entry and selection to public schools and to consider whether this entry should be more broadly based.

No, Sir. My policy is to raise the standards in the maintained day-schools. If there is some special reason for a boarding education, and the parents cannot afford it, local education authorities have power to help.

May I draw my right hon. Friend's attention to a speech made recently by the headmaster of Eton, at Manchester? Is it not time that more positive steps were taken to encourage local authorities to make grants for boys to go to public schools? Would not this do much to encourage these great institutions to expand and, perhaps, new ones to be set up?

I do not think that public schools are in any need of candidates at the moment. They have nearly all got waiting lists. I read a report of the speech of the headmaster of Eton. It raises large issues, which cannot be answered at Question Time.