§ MR. AINSLIE (Lancashire, N., Lonsdale)
asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, If he is aware that there are at least 100,000 children who still escape the notice of the attendance officers of the School Board; whether most of these children are of the very poorest class, and, owing to their extreme wretchedness, unable or 1261 unfit to attend the existing schools; and, whether he will consider the advisability of establishing numerous small schools similar to dame's schools in localities where these children are to be found; and, whether it is his opinion that the ragged schools, which particularly deal with these children, have been crushed out by the Board schools?
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT (Sir WILLIAM HART DYKE) (Kent, Dartford)
, having elicited from the hon. Member that the first part of the Question did not refer to London alone, but referred to the country generally, said that he believed oven so there were no grounds for supposing that so large a number of children evaded the vigilance of the attendance officers. He did not think it would be expedient or practicable to re-introduce dame's schools for the purpose of dealing with such children. School Boards had ample powers for meeting the difficulty; and he believed the School Board for Birmingham had adopted a system of free orders. As to the last Question, he really did not wish to hazard a statement on what was, after all, a matter of opinion upon a branch of a largo question.