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Gce Examination

Volume 650: debated on Thursday 30 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Education if he will provide in future legislation that the General Certificate of Education examination be scheduled earlier in the year so that it follows the winter studies more closely and equally avoids conflict with the widening holiday period in the summer.

The Secondary School Examinations Council, which advises me on the arrangements for the General Certificate of Education examination, are now considering the possibility of advancing the date of the summer examination. But this is a complex matter which involves extensive consultations. A change of date would not require legislation.

I am obliged to the Minister for that answer. May I ask whether he will make sure that the rhythm of the students during the winter, and the summer recreational requirements of both students and parents, are fully borne in mind and not excluded because of the mechanics of the system? Secondly, will he bear in mind that many professional examinations terminate by the end of June, and that the medical people conclude their examinations by Easter? Because of this, it is desirable that it should be brought forward to, say, the period between Easter and Whit week.

The schools fear that there may be dislocation in their work if the date is advanced very much, and it is for that reason that we have to have careful consultations.