§ MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether he has received complaints from the parents of children attending the Fisherton National School, Salisbury, that their children have received religious instruction contrary to their expressed wish and desire; and whether his attention has been called to a letter in the Daily News of 21st February, to which is attached the names of four whose children attend the same school, and for whom the benefit of the Conscience Clause had been claimed, complaining that, during the time of religious 1640 instruction, their children, with others, have been shut up in a porch, between the inner and outer doors, in darkness and cold, and without instruction?
§ SIR W. HART DYKE
The Department has received complaints of the kind described. It is admitted by the managers that owing to the confusion caused in the school by a sudden influx of scholars some children did, inadvertently, receive religious instruction, contrary to the wishes of their parents. The Department is making inquiries into the matter, including the allegations of the writer in the Daily News, and if the facts are proved is prepared to take ample security against any repetition of the circumstances complained of.