§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is aware of the anomalies and hardship caused by discretionary awards to students; if he will make all awards mandatory; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Prentice
I am well aware that the present arrangements give rise to a good deal of discontent and criticism. I do not think the remedy lies in making all awards mandatory, but rather in the adoption by local authorities of common practices to deal with particular categories of student. I have, therefore, been glad to learn that the local authority associations have recently given guidance to their members to the effect that the rates and conditions of grant for all students on advanced courses, or for those over 19 on non-advanced courses, should be the same as they would be entitled to if they held mandatory awards; and that those under 19 on non-advanced courses should receive assistance equivalent to that which they would have received had they remained at school. I hope this will lead to a fairer and more uniform system.