HC Deb 05 August 1875 vol 226 cc557-8

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether he received the memorial of a number of ratepayers of Gravesend in March last, calling attention to the deficiency of school accommodation in that borough, and praying for the establishment of a School Board; and, if so, whether he proposes taking any action thereon?


Sir, we have received a memorial from some of the ratepayers of Gravesend asking us to order a school board, but hitherto no formal resolution in favour of a board, as required by the Act, has been sent to us, or, in accordance with our practice, we should at once have ordered an election. The case of Gravesend is somewhat peculiar. We were informed by the Town Council at the beginning of the year that they had been assured that our requirements respecting the schools of the place would be voluntarily met with due despatch; and I may add that we had been also informed by the Mayor that a public meeting was held towards the close of last year, when a proposal in favour of a school board was negatived by a decided majority. The actual buildings are, I believe, sufficient; but the question is whether some schools would be made efficient, and whether others would be re-opened or replaced. Considering all these circumstances, and the apparent dislike of the place to a school board, as shown by the vote of the public meeting summoned to consider the matter, we felt bound to allow sufficient time for the real wishes and intentions of Gravesend to be ascertained. Unless we receive information very shortly that our requirements are in course of being actually complied with, as a matter of course we shall order the election of a school board forthwith, to meet the requirements we have made.