HC Deb 09 August 1875 vol 226 cc775-6

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether it is true, as reported in the public prints, that the Reverend William Stanford Grignon, Head Master of Felsted School, Essex, has been summarily removed from that post by the Trustees of the Felsted Charities, against the wish of the whole body of the parents of the boys, after nearly twenty years' service, during which time the number of scholars has risen from 67 to 220; whether the Bishop of Rochester, visitor of the school, sanctioned this summary dismissal without giving Mr. Grignon any opportunity whatever of being heard in his own defence; whether the Endowed Schools Commissioners have determined not to inquire into the case on the ground that Mr. Grignon, having been dismissed, was no longer an officer of an endowed school, and consequently not within their jurisdiction; and, whether the Charity Commissioners intend to comply with an application made by a large number of the parents of the scholars, and will cause an inquiry to be made forthwith into the government of the school?


Sir, I am sorry not to be able to give my hon. Friend any information on the subject of his Question on my own personal responsibility; but my hon. Friend doubtless remembers that I gave an undertaking to this House last Session that I would take no part in the business of the Charity Commission, as there would be an obvious impropriety in my assisting as a Charity Commissioner in the preparation of schemes respecting which, as Vice President, I might have to act in somewhat of a judicial capacity. I therefore know nothing of these matters until a scheme is submitted to the Privy Council for approval. I referred the Question at once to the Charity Commission, and beg to read the reply they have sent me— It is believed that Mr. Grignon was appointed to the office of Head Master of Felsted School under a scheme established by the Court of Chancery in 1851, by which the Trustees are empowered to remove the Head Master at any time with the approbation of the Bishop of the diocese. The Commissioners are informed that Mr. Grignon has been removed by the Trustees, and that the Bishop has approved of his removal, but they have no power to control or interfere with either the Trustees or the Bishop in the exercise of the authority given them by the scheme. The Commissioners have recently caused inquiry to be made into the circumstances of the School with a view to the preparation of a new scheme for its management, which is now in course of preparation.