§ MR. HUBBARD (Bucks, N.)
asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, How many of the 19,022 day schools in England and Wales, inspected in 1886, are situated in the rural districts; in how many of the above 19,022 inspected schools did agriculture in "simple conversational lessons," or as a "class subject," form any part of the instruction of infants, and of older scholars; and, whether, in parts of the country where farming can fairly be said to be the "leading trade of the district," the Education Department would, in future, instruct Inspectors to require that lessons in agriculture shall be a necessary condition for earning the Merit Grant for infants, Article 106 (b), and the grant for class subjects. Article 109 (f)?
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT (Sir WILLIAM HART DYKE) (Kent, Dartford)
The Education Department have not the figures my hon. Friend asks for, nor do I think that his proposal to make the conditions of the Merit Grant more onerous, and to further restrict the liberty of teachers as to class subjects, would meet with much favour; but the whole question as to how the knowledge of agriculture can best be promoted in elementary schools is engaging the serious attention of the Government.