HC Deb 18 March 1887 vol 312 cc714-5
MR. SHAW LEFEVRE (Bradford, Central)

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether the Education Department expect school attendance authorities to carry out the requirements in the Department's model form of bye-laws, to the effect that before a child of school age can be partially exempt from attendance at school, its parent must show to the satisfaction of the Local Authority, that the employment of the child is necessary on account of the circumstances of the family; if so, whether school attendance authorities should carry out this requirement fairly to all parties by making no distinction as to the kind of employment, provided that it is not an injurious one; and, whether any unfairness to others would arise in the Local Authorities making a distinction as to the kind of employment, by acting in accordance with a declaration by the Department, that if a child of school ago is employed half-time in a factory, it should be assumed that the employment of such child is necessary, without having any regard to the circumstances of the family?


The Education Department do expect school attendance authorities to carry out the bye-laws; and they should do so, of course, in a manner which is, in their opinion, fair to all parties. What the Department has said is, that where a child is employed in a factory, school authorities generally assume that such employment is beneficial and necessary, and grant partial exemption to such children as half-timers. It is difficult to see how this view can involve injustice to others, as the bye-laws leave the Local Authorities the right to exercise their judgment in the matter.