§ 12. Mr. Gwilym Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the provision of enterprise education in Wales.
§ The Minister of State, Welsh Office (Mr. Wyn Roberts)
The "Survey of Enterprise Education and School Industry Links," by Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, which was published earlier this month, confirms that the enterprise culture is taking hold in Wales. Nearly 90 per cent. of all Welsh secondary schools are now involved in some form of enterprise education, with more than 70 per cent. specifically involved in mini-enterprise activities.
The HMI report suggests that in the best schemes enterprise education has helped to relate the curriculum to industrial and commercial activities and to the local community. Pupils acquire an awareness of the world of business through practical experience and develop personal abilities and initiative.
§ Mr. Roberts
Certainly the business community has reacted extremely well to the industry-schools initiative of 1986. There is a very prominent role for the business community in the governance of schools. Some 25 per cent. of the governors of local authority colleges are required to be representatives of the business community for the future.
§ Mr. Morgan
Does the Minister agree that in encouraging enterprise in education, which is very desirable, one must take the greatest care not to affect the public service ethic, which is the foundation of all proper education, including the conduct of all our public examinations at GCSE level? In particular, does he agree that the activities of academic racketeers, such as Mr. William Hoole, the principal at New college, Cardiff, who has shown a great deal of enterprise but not very much ethic, are thoroughly undesirable? Does he also agree that if he were to study the dossier of allegations of misconduct in GCSE, O and A-level examinations at that college he would see that students were being given tip-offs about which subjects were coming up in A and O-level practical examinations, that atlases were being taken into examinations when that was not allowed under Welsh Joint Education Committee rules, and other examples of ways in which the public service ethic would be very seriously affected if that kind of thing were continued?
§ Mr. Roberts
The hon. Gentleman is confusing at least two matters. With regard to the situation at New college, Cardiff, he is well aware that I have asked him to submit to me any information that he has. The premises will be visited by Her Majesty's inspectors for the second time in the coming year.
On the hon. Gentleman's other point, of course education is a public service, whether it is provided by the private sector or the maintained sector. I am sure he will agree that an important part of education is that children should be introduced to the world of work.