HC Deb 04 August 1890 vol 347 cc1729-30
MR. CODDINGTON (Blackburn)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he refuses to sanction the rules and regulations submitted by the Blackburn School Board, for the management of the Mayson Street Day Industrial School, provided by that Board, and which has now been ready for occupation for nearly three months, and the teachers and other officers for which have been appointed for the same time, and more especially as such rules and regulations are based on those prepared for the Day Industrial Schools of Nottingham, Gateshead, Wolverhampton, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Sunderland, Great Yarmouth, and Oxford, which have been sanctioned by previous Home Secretaries?


The Order in Council of March, 1887, which regulates Day Industrial Schools, expressly provides that religious instruction at those schools shall be given to the children by ministers of the religious persuasion, to which they belong with no restriction on the denominational character of that instruction. The rules proposed by the Blackburn School Board do not at all give effect to this provision, nor do they correspond with the rules of the other schools mentioned. They prohibit the teaching of any distinctive religious catechism, or formulary, and for Roman Catholic children provide for religious instruction only by an assistant mistress, and if they are numerous enough to form a class. I have, therefore, declined to sanction these rules, and have advised the adoption of the same rule as that which obtains at the Salford and Manchester Schools. The Inspector of Industrial Schools has strongly urged the adoption in future of such rules as will accord with the intention of the Order in Council, and will, at the same time, remove the causes of that discontent which has arisen, and will necessarily arise in schools where, owing to the imperfect provision being made in the rules, particular denominations have reason to believe that insufficient opportunity is allowed for the religious instruction of the children, belonging to them.