HC Deb 19 March 1891 vol 351 cc1422-3
MR. KEAY (Elgin and Nairn)

I beg to ask the hon. Member for Penrith (Mr. J. W. Lowther) whether his attention has been called to articles in Truth and the Daily Chronicle of 12th February, and the Daily News of 11th March, containing serious charges against the administration of St. Paul's School; whether it is true, as stated to a Committee of the School Board for London by a deputation from the Fulham Vestry, on the 9th instant, that the standard of the entrance examination having been gradually raised so high as to exclude altogether the pupils from elementary schools, the Bursar of St. Paul's School, stated to be in partnership with the Head Master, has established a preparatory school as a private undertaking, which he designates "St. Paul's Preparatory School;" that many, if not all, hoys seeking admission to St. Paul's School are sent by the Head Master to this preparatory school, from which he and the Bursar reap very large profits; that a new building has been erected by one or both of these gentlemen, at a cost of over £20,000, exactly opposite St. Paul's School, in the same style of architecture, and with a bust of Dean Colet, the Founder of St. Paul's School, in front of it, the words "St. Paul's Preparatory School" being also engraved in a prominent position; that the proprietors of this preparatory school send their pupils to compete for free places on the foundation, notwithstanding that the whole conduct of the examination is in their own hands, and that both gentlemen are present at the election of free scholars; and whether, if these statements are true, the Charity Commissioners have any authority to compel the School Authorities to conform to the scheme prepared by them for the school, or if any other Public Department has any control over the school?

MR. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith)

As I am only an intermittent reader of Truth, the Daily Chronicle, and the Daily News, the articles referred to have escaped my attention. The admission of boys from public elementary schools is not provided for by the scheme for St. Paul's School, which is one of a high grade. The other matters referred to do not come within the cognisance of the Charity Commissioners, who have no jurisdiction over private adventure schools.