HC Deb 04 August 1885 vol 300 cc1042-3

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council, Whether the Charity Commissioners, in their draft scheme for Tonbridge School, proposed that a second or middle school should be established in or near the town of Tonbridge; whether the Skinners' Company provided an endowment fund of £20,000 for the purpose of establishing such school; whether the Charity Commissioners, after obtaining possession of this money, insisted that the promised new school should be placed at Tunbridge Wells, a town five miles distant from Tonbridge; whether this proceeding on the part of the Charity Commissioners is in violation of their statutory powers; and, whether, pending the inquiry to be made by the Select Committee into the working of the Endowed Schools Act, the Charity Commissioners will postpone the expenditure of the said endowment fund, in order that the grave charges brought by the inhabitants of Tonbridge against the action of the Commissioners in respect to this school might be inquired into?


In the year 1875 the Charity Commissioners published a draft scheme for Sir Andrew Judd's School at Tonbridge, providing, among other things, for the investment of the residuary income of that endowment as a fund for the ultimate establishment of a middle school "in or near the town of Tonbridge." In the year 1878 a fresh draft scheme was published for Sir Andrew Judd's School, from which the former provision for the establishment of a middle school "in or near the town of Tonbridge" was omitted. At the same time another draft scheme was published for the application of a sum of £20,000, to be provided from sources independent of Sir Andrew Judd's School by the Skinner's Company, and wholly unconnected with Tonbridge, for a middle school to be maintained "in or near the parish of Tonbridge," leaving open the position of the school, at the express desire of the Skinners' Company. The scheme for the middle school in the form agreed to by the Skinners' Company having, in due course, been approved by Her Majesty, the Charity Commissioners received representations both from Tonbridge and from Tunbridge Wells, in both of which towns sites for the new school were offered. After inquiry and full consideration of the circumstances, the Charity Commissioners arrived at the conclusion that, however desirable it might be that a second or lower school should be established in the town of Tonbridge, the reasons in favour of placing the middle school at Tunbridge Wells preponderated. The approval of the site for the school was expressly reserved to the Charity Commissioners in the scheme as approved by Her Majesty, and a suitable site for the school at Tunbridge Wells has now been secured by voluntary gift from the inhabitants.