§ MR. SUMMERS (Huddersfield)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the Government will consider the advisability of taking advantage of the introduction of a Free Education Bill entirely to dissociate education from all connection with the administration of the Poor Law, by repealing not only the clause of the Education Act of 1876 which compels parents of children whose fees are remitted in voluntary schools to appear before the Boards of Guardians, but also that section of the same Act which provides that the educational authority in a parish outside the jurisdiction of a School Board shall be appointed by the Guardians of the Union comprising such parish? I also beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the following statement in the last Report of the Committee of Council on Education:— 1390We are sorry to find, on examining the school Returns, that the education of so many children of 10 years of age and upwards is discontinued as soon as, by passing the prescribed standard, they are freed from the obligation to attend school and become entitled to go to work. Out of 481,106 children presented in Standard IV. in 1888 as many as 167,742 disappeared from the examination lists of our schools in 1889, while the 309,388 scholars in Standard V. of 1888 fell in the year to 138,864, and the 127,863 scholars in Standard VI. to 38,362";and whether, in view of these facts and figures, the Government will consider the advisability of freeing all the standards, and especially the higher standards, from the payment of fees?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
The hon. Member's questions seek to anticipate the announcement which will be made upon the introduction of the Education Bill, and I must ask him to exercise a little patience for a few days.