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Pamphlet (Schools And The Commonwealth)

Volume 650: debated on Thursday 30 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Education what steps have been taken to circulate Pamphlet No. 40, Schools and the Commonwealth, throughout schools in the United Kingdom; and with what results.

Copies of Schools and the Commonwealth were sent to local education authorities in England and Wales and a notice about the pamphlet was sent to all independent and direct grant schools. Similar action was taken by the Scottish Education Department. Local education authorities have drawn the attention of their schools to the pamphlet. Her Majesty's Inspectors tell me that, compared with three or four years ago, schools are showing an increased interest in the Commonwealth.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that Answer. Can he assure us that his Ministry and the inspectors, in particular, will take every opportunity open to them to encourage an understanding and awareness of the Commonwealth among the schools? Can he also tell us whether this pamphlet has been sent to any other Commonwealth countries?

Yes, Sir, I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. We think that this is a most important task. I personally sent a copy to each High Commissioner in London and copies also went to education departments in all Commonwealth countries. I have been assured that they have been very well received, and I hope before long to hear that they have actually been put into use.

Can the Minister assure us that every encouragement is being given in the schools to inform children of the backgrounds of Commonwealth citizens who come to this country to work or study?