HC Deb 20 February 1890 vol 341 cc748-9
SIR HENRY ROSCOE (Manchester, S.)

I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether, in view of divergence of opinion expressed in the country as to the working of the provisions of "The Technical Instruction Act, 1889," especially with reference to the powers of the Department of Science and Act, he will undertake to publish a statement of those powers; and, whether the powers thus conferred interfere with the action of the local authorities; and, if so, to what extent?

MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

Is it the fact that the Education Department decline to give any interpretation of the Act?


The powers of the Department of Science and Art under the Technical Instruction Act are so very limited and are so clearly defined that I am at a loss to understand the divergence of opinion to which the hon. Member refers. But if he will be so good as to inform mo of the specific points with regard to which it exists I will see whether a statement of those powers can be prepared. Local institutions have the right of appeal to the Department under certain circumstances if they consider themselves unfairly used by the local authority; and the latter cannot grant aid to subjects of instruction other than those contained in the Science and Art Directory, except in a Minute sanctioning the same, made on the representation of the local authority by the Department and laid before Parliament. But as this is a protection to the local authority by affording it an authoritative interpretation in a matter which would otherwise rest with the auditor and the Law Courts, it can scarcely be called a power of interference.