HC Deb 05 March 1891 vol 351 cc236-7
MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate what public purpose is served by Table B, No. 1, appended to the Report of the Scotch Education Department of 22nd July, 1890; whether the Department has any information to lead them to believe that anything like 120,283 children, being one-seventh of the children of school age, may be receiving "education in higher schools" in Scotland as set forth in said Table; whether he is aware that, according to the same Table, it would appear that there are 419,169 children between the ages of 7 and 12 on the school register of State-aided schools in Scotland, whilst there are only 395,851 possible children in existence in Scotland between these ages available to attend State-aided schools on the basis or assumption of the Table; and whether the Department will, in future, eliminate Table B, No. 1, from their Reports?


The Table to which the hon. Member refers has appeared in the Report for many years. The assumption of one-seventh as the number of children who might be in attendance at higher schools, was based upon very careful inquiries made by the Schools Inquiry Commission in 1867, and has since been adopted as a general scale. But the Table referred to by the hon. Member at least serves a useful purpose in proving that the applicability of the scale to Scotland is more than doubtful. The Tables appended to the Report are annually revised and re-cast as occasion requires; but it is doubtful whether an alteration in the scale adopted, which might give rise to erroneous inferences, would be expedient on the eve of a new Census.