HC Deb 18 May 1893 vol 12 cc1234-5

I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether objections have been raised by Trades Unions against the instruction in technical schools of persons not connected by their ordinary employment with the industry about which they desire to be taught, and whether the managers of any such schools, either in London or elsewhere, have consented by agreement or tacit understanding, or in any other way, to exclude students unconnected with the trade about some branch of which instruction was being given; and in view of the fact that these technical schools were designed to give instruction to all persons who might desire it, and that the Charity Commissioners have allotted large sums derived from charitable sources to founding and supporting such schools, whether he will take steps to secure the open use of these schools by all who may wish to attend them?


I believe that the objections raised by Trade Unions have considerable weight. It is not the function of technical education, as understood in England, to teach trades, but rather to supplement workshop practice by a knowledge of scientific or artistic principles connected with certain industries. That being so, it may be reasonably held to be undesirable to admit to certain kinds of technical classes the se who have not the foundation of workshop practice. If a number of amateurs were admitted to such classes, the teaching given would have to he distorted, or even altogether largely changed. It is mainly a question of organisation for the Governing be dies concerned. I am not aware of any reason for interference.