asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the large number of higher school bursaries which have been refused; and, to avoid any further hardship, if he will increase the ceiling value of these bursaries.
My right hon. Friend has no evidence that education authorities are refusing higher school bursaries to pupils entitled to receive them. The rates are kept under review and we will be glad to consider any evidence of hardship the hon. Member may have.
Is my hon. Friend aware that it is estimated that nearly half the applicants for higher school bursaries in Lanarkshire this year have been refused? Will she bear in mind that that is due not to parental incomes being too high—because these are the incomes of ordinary people—but because the ceiling for bursaries is too low? Will she and the Secretary of State look into the matter?
I am looking into it at the moment, as is my right hon. Friend. A number of factors are involved when secondary school children leave school earlier than they otherwise might. The economic factor is certainly very important.However, any particular evidence of hardship which my hon. Friend can supply will be very welcome in the study which we are making.