HC Deb 04 April 1878 vol 239 cc528-9

asked the Vice President of the Council, If he can now give the substance of the promised Minute with regard to the means of obtaining a certificate of birth for the child's school-book., as required by the Education Act of 1876; and, whether any arrangement is possible whereby a parent may obtain a duplicate certificate without extra charge?


Sir, I am glad to be able to give my hon. Friend a Minute which we have drawn up on this subject, and which will be laid on the Table of Parliament immediately. It is as follows, though perhaps some words may be altered. As we have inquiries from all quarters about it, I had, perhaps, better read it— The usual form of the child's school-book will continue to be distributed by the Department; but in cases where the local authority think fit to dispense with the registrar's certificate of the date of a child's birth, it shall be lawful for the local authority, on the production of a baptismal certificate, an extract from the vaccination register, or such other evidence as they may consider sufficient, to direct an entry of the child's age to be made in the child's school-book, under the hand of their clerk, or other person specially deputed for the purpose, such as a school manager, teacher, or other responsible person resident in a school district. The entry when once made must not be altered. It shall not be competent for the local authority to insist upon the production of the registrar's certificate of birth when the managers of a school offer reasonable evidence of the age of the child, unless the local authority be prepared to pay the cost of procuring the registrar's certificate. As to the second part of the Question, it seems to me worthy of consideration whether a parent should not receive gratuitously, on the registration of the birth of his child, a copy of the register, something in the nature of a counterfoil. Any arrangement of this kind, however, would have to be made by my right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board. I have no doubt that if my Successor in the Education Department thinks the plan worth suggesting, it will receive every consideration at the hands of my right hon. Friend.