§ MR. PICTON (Leicester)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, whether he is aware that in the town and district of Rochdale, when children are taken from a Board School for employment as half-timers, it is frequently the practice of their employers to insist that the children shall be taken from the school preferred by the parents, and sent to some other school selected by the employer, and most commonly of a denominational character; and whether parents who send their children into employment as half-timers thereby lose the right to the free choice of a school; and, if not, whether he can take any means to prevent the infraction of this right in Rochdale and the neighbourhood?
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Sir W. HART DYKE, Kent, Dartford)
So far as I am aware no complaint of the kind suggested has reached the Department, and I do not know of any practice in the matter calling for inteference. It is obvious that a parent's right to select a school cannot be affected by the fact that a child attends as a half-timer, but it may be the case that a school is sometimes maintained in connection with a factory in which a child is at work, and the child is expected to attend that school as a matter of convenience.
§ MR. PICTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman in a position to deny that a large firm, employing a considerable number of half-timers, is in the habit of insisting that they shall go to a particular school?
§ Sir W. HART DYKE
The question of the hon. Gentleman is of too abstract a character. If he will put it more in the concrete, with the name of the firm and the school, I will make inquiry into the matter.