HC Deb 29 June 1883 vol 280 cc1869-70

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether, in view of the recent disaster at Sunderland, any steps will be taken by the Education Department to instruct or caution school managers to insure the due supervision and care of school children brought together in large numbers for the purpose of entertainment in theatres, public buildings, or other similar places for popular public amusement?


Sir, if the managers of schools cannot of themselves read the lesson taught by the terrible disaster at Sunderland, I am afraid that no Circular from the Education Department, in a matter which is outside of our jurisdiction, will induce them to do so. But I do not understand that the children attended the entertainment collectively as scholars of public elementary schools. If they had done so, the managers and teachers would have been responsible, not only for their good conduct, but for their safety. The objectionable feature of the case was, as I understand, that the giver of the entertainment was allowed to go the rounds of the schools in the town to tout for the sale of tickets to individual scholars. This ought, under no circumstances, to have been allowed; and I trust that the recent catastrophe will prevent the recurrence of such an objectionable practice. The Department is considering whether a paragraph cannot be inserted in the Code calling the attention of managers to the importance of children not being taken to any entertainment, school treat, or excursion, unless they are under proper guidance and control.