HC Deb 29 July 1890 vol 347 c1169
MR. WALTER M'LAREN (Cheshire. Crewe)

I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether he is aware that the Duddon Elementary School, in the Parish of Tarvin, Cheshire, which was erected by a voluntary rate over the townships of Duddon, Burton, Clotton, and Stapleford, has had less than seven scholars in attendance at any time for the last two years; that the mistress and about 120 scholars, all except three, left the school in consequence of the action of the clergyman; that these 120 children are now being taught in a room which is so inadequate to the requirements of the Department that for two years it has declined to examine the school or to make any grant; and that the ratepayers generally wished the mistress to be retained, while the clergyman insisted on her dismissal; can he state what was the cause of the dismissal of the mistress; whether he will cause an inquiry to be made by the Department, with a view to the school being handed over to the ratepayers, who are willing to support it, or whether he will order a fresh election of school managers; and what steps he is prepared to take to see that the children of the township are taught in a school recognised by the Department?


I am informed that the facts of the case are, in the main, as stated in the first part of the question. The managers appear to have been dissatisfied with the teacher's manner, and the Department had no right to interfere with their discretion in dismissing her. I have no power to order an inquiry for the purpose suggested, nor to cause a fresh election of school managers, but I will see what can be done to bring the present unsatisfactory state of things to an end.