HC Deb 20 April 1893 vol 11 cc762-3
MR. FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)

In the absence of the hon. Member for the Ince Division of Lancashire, I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether his attention has been called to the fact that the head schoolmaster of St. Luke's Mission School, Stubshaw Cross, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire, has openly refused to educate the daughter of John Crooks; that he has reported him to the School Board of the township, and that the said School Board has threatened legal proceedings against Crooks unless he send his daughter to school with the school fees; whether the schoolmaster is acting within the meaning of the Education Act in refusing to educate the girl in question; and whether the School Board have power to compel payment of fees in such a case; and, if not, what steps he proposes to take in forcing compliance with the Act of Parliament?


A letter was received yesterday from Mr. Crooks, from which it appears that he sent his daughter to Stubshaw Cross National School without a fee, that she was seat away in consequence, and that he has been summoned before the School Attendance Committee and told that proceedings would be taken against him if he did not send the child to school and pay her fees. This school retains the right of charging fees under the Act of 1891, and the managers are within their right in refusing to admit a child who comes without the fee. There is no School Board for this district; the duty of enforcing school attendance belongs to the School Attendance Committee for Ashton-in-Makerfield. Mr. Crooks now, for the first time, makes application to the Department for free education for his child, and the Department will at once proceed to take the steps required by the Act to provide a free place for her. But until the free place is provided, he is still obliged to send the child to school and to pay the fee.