HC Deb 09 March 1882 vol 267 cc461-2

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether his attention has been called to an opinion lately expressed by the presiding magistrate at Hammersmith Police Court, to the effect that a parent who takes advantage of the State schools to get his children educated must be regarded as being in receipt of parish relief; and, whether he will give emphatic denial to the correctness of such opinion?


Sir, there is nothing in the Education Acts which justifies the statement attributed to the presiding magistrate at the Hammersmith Police Court. On the contrary, the Acts expressly provide that even in cases where, through the inability of the parent to pay the school fees of his children, the Guardians of the Poor provide the necessary funds, the parent shall not be deemed to have received parochial relief. It has been held by the present and the late Government that the children of the poorest and of the wealthiest classes are equally entitled to attend a public elementary school. I do not see why a parent who educates his children at a State-aided school is to be regarded as a pauper, any more than one who educates his sons at a State-aided University.