§ MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether the Education Department have entertained the application for annual grants to the new infants' school proposed to be opened by the managers of All Saints' Schools, at Wellingborough, in the Midland Road; whether he is aware that there are at present 700 vacant places in four schools in the immediate neighbourhood, including one Church of England, one Roman Catholic, and two Board schools; whether the Department has also refused to sanction the provision of a new Board school in the neighbourhood of the Northampton Road, at the west end of Wellingborough, although the inhabitants of that growing 761 district have petitioned the School Board to provide such a school; whether the Wellingborough School Board have represented to the Education Department that the parents at the west end of the town wish to have a choice of schools, and that the existing accommodation in the immediate neighbourhood is unsuitable, being in denominational schools; and whether he will re-consider these decisions in view of the provisions of the Act of 1870, and especially with the 5th and 18th sections of that Act?
§ *SIR W. HART DYKE
The new infants' school which the Department have sanctioned is only new in the sense of its having been transferred to new buildings, and it is not the practice to place any obstacle in the way of managers improving their school accommodation, whatever vacant places may be found in neighbouring schools. The Department have not refused to sanction the erection of a new Board school at the west end of the town, but have, after careful inquiry, expressed an opinion that the project should, for the present, be deferred. I am not able to follow the hon. Member in respect to his concluding suggestion, as it was a fundamental principle of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, and has since been an axiom of the Department's administration that every public elementary school is, ipso facto, suitable.