HC Deb 21 March 1878 vol 238 c1753

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether the Government will consider the expediency of modifying the regulations of the New Code (Article 19), relating to certificates of birth, by which considerable extra labour is cast on teachers, and expense on parents of children in elementary schools; and, whether the objects of sections 24 and 25 of the Act of 1876 might not be attained by requiring certificates in those cases only in which the age or proficiency of any child is required to be ascertained and proved for the purposes of the Elementary Education Acts?


Sir, in accord-ance with the Circular which we issued to all local school authorities at the beginning of this year, we propose shortly to lay on the Table of the House a Minute modifying the regulations which were issued with respect to the certificate of birth which is ordered to be entered in the Child's School Book. We hope to issue this very shortly; but I may remind my hon. Friend that no action disadvantageous to the schools can be taken upon the former regulation before May or June next, so that there is ample time for considering the modified regulation. With respect to the second part of the Question, I can assure nay hon. Friend that the Child's School Book was considered carefully before it was determined upon; and, as we find that it is highly valued by those who have the greatest experience in school matters in all parts of the country, including most of the leading school boards; and, as we have no reason to believe that it will be a matter of great convenience hereafter both to the parents of the children, to the children, and to the employers of labour, I cannot hold out any expectation of being able to make any change with regard to it, beyond removing the difficulties which undoubtedly exist as to the certificates of birth.