§ MR. STANLEY LEIGHTON (Shropshire, Oswestry)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether he can inform the House of any case, before 1891, in which the Department warned managers of schools that they could not compel the parents of a child to pay for school books, except on the plea of poverty, or for some other reasonable excuse; whether, in the fee-paying schools, where in the determining year the payment for books was added to the school fee and merged, the parents have a right now to deduct the amount which represents the payment for books; whether, if the parents refuse to pay the full merged fee, the managers are or are not entitled to refuse admission to the child; and whether he will state the course which the Department advise should be adopted by the managers of those fee-paying schools, where, on the assurance of the Department that a book fee might still be charged in addition to an instruction fee, the fees were not merged in the determining year?
§ MR. ACLAND
In reply to the first paragraph of the hon. Member's question, I may say that the Education Department informed the correspondent of the Clipston Church of England School, Northamptonshire, on the 1oth August, 1888, that they did not consider the managers would be justified in refusing admission to hildren whose parents were unwilling to pay for school books. Letters in similar terms have been addressed to both Board and Voluntary Schools. I must add that, as I have already pointed out more than once, the Code has, since 1890, obliged managers to furnish their schools with all needful books and apparatus. I informed the hon. Member, on the 27th December last, that fees for the use of books in the determining year have been added to the other fees, for the purpose of calculating the fee allowable under the Act of 1891, in all schools which had made the claim. If there are any which have not yet made it, they may still do so.
§ MR. STANLEY LEIGHTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Manchester School Board, in one of their schools, charge fees for school hooks and yet receives the Government Grant for that school? Is that not contrary to the Rule of the Department?
§ MR. ACLAND
was understood to reply that the fees, if charged prior to the decision of the Department, could he continued, hut it was not now possible to compel children to pay any fees for hooks at all.