HC Deb 07 April 1892 vol 3 cc859-60
MR. PICTON (Leicester)

I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether his attention has been called to a letter written to the Birkenhead News of 26th March, 1892, by Mr. Hugh Williams complaining that he has applied to three schools, without success, for admission for his child; whether he will cause the facts stated by Mr. Williams to be inquired into; and whether, seeing that the Census shows that there is an actual deficiency of school accommodation in Birkenhead of over 800 places, which will be still further increased owing to the recent condemnation by Her Majesty's Inspector of two of the existing schools, the Education Department will take immediate steps to have this deficiency supplied?


By the courtesy of the hon. Member I have seen Mr. Williams' letter, but inquiry has up to this date failed to elicit any evidence that children are on the whole not attending school properly, and I have reason to believe that the pressure upon certain schools is, in consequence of the representations of the Department, in a fair way of being removed by the provision of additional accommodation. A scheme is also on foot to build new schools sufficient to provide for the estimated increase of population during the next decennial period, and in connection with this movement the Wesleyans have undertaken to re-open their old school in the summer with modern improvements.


Has the right hon. Gentleman inquired into the case of Hugh Williams?


We have inquired generally, and, as I said, can learn nothing to show that there are many such instances. But I may say that though in most parts of the district there is ample accommodation, there are others where the accommodation is not sufficient.