§ MR. STANLEY LEIGHTON (Shropshire, Oswestry)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education if he can inform the House how many applications for School Board loans have been made since the last published Return, and at what figure the School Board debt stands at the present time?
§ SIR W. HART DYKE
During the year 1890, 343 applications for loans have been sanctioned by the Education 399 Department. The School Board debt on the 29th September, 1890, stood at £18,511,491 7s. 11d.
§ MR. STANLEY LEIGHTON
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether his attention has been called to Returns lately published, showing that the triennial elections of School Boards, although a large number are uncontested, cost about £50,000; that the cost of the administration of School Boards, before any portion of the rates levied under their precepts is applied to education, amounts to about £325,000 a year; that the School Board debt amounts to £21,481,772; and that the School Board rate has risen from the maximum of 3d., as estimated by Mr. Forster in 1870, to an average of more than 7d. in the School Board districts, to Is. in 300 cases, and in some to more than 2s. in the £1; and whether the Government are able to propose any means by which the ratepayers may be relieved?
§ SIR W. HART DYKE
1. The cost of the triennial elections of the School Boards slightly exceeded £50,000. 2. The cost of the administration amounted in 1890 to £375,388 2s. 3d. 3. The School Board debt on 29th September, 1890, stood at £18,511,491 7s. 11d. 4. The average School Board rate for England and Wales slightly exceeds 7d. in the £1. 5. The rate was Is. 3d. in the £1 in 223 cases; and 6. There are five cases where it reaches 2s. The Elementary Education Bill now before the House will be of substantial relief to the ratepayers in cases where a high school rate is partly due to the Board having charged a low fee; but no general reduction of the rate can be looked for except through the action of the ratepayers themselves.