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Education

Volume 889: debated on Wednesday 26 March 1975

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17.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will publish a White Paper on Scotland's educational system.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will publish a White Paper on policy towards education in Scotland.

Will the Minister be flexible over the timetable for phasing out the grants to grant-aided schools in the discussions which are due to take place with those schools?

Yes, we shall certainly be flexible in the discussions. One reason for the discussions on the phasing out period is to examine the various propositions which might be put to us. We have an open mind about the length of time over which phasing out takes place, but we certainly do not have an open mind about the principle.

Will the Minister explain why, in a Written Answer to me, the Secretary of State refused to give the assurance which was given by the Secretary of State for Education and Science that arrangements would be made to safeguard the interests of children presently at grant-aided schools?

The circumstances of grant-aided schools in England and Scotland are totally different, and require different solutions. In our discussions with the grant-aided schools I have no doubt that one issue which will arise is the question of pupils who are already in those schools. We shall certainly listen to what is said. These are matters for discussion.