§ MR. H. HOBHOUSE (Somerset, E.)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Council whether he is aware that the relaxation of Article 83 of the Day School Code, already announced by him in consequence of the effect of the recent severe weather on the attendance of such scholars at public elementary schools, will only give relief where the effect of the weather has been to induce the actual closing of the schools for a considerable period; whether he has considered the case of schools which, not being thus closed, have nevertheless suffered in respect of average attendance by reason of the weather, and will there 1477 fore suffer in respect of the grants payable to the schools on average attendance; and whether he will, to meet the case of these schools, arrange that the grants payable upon average attendance to all public elementary schools during the school years which include the said period of severe weather shall be computed on the basis of the best attended 400 school meetings during the school year, or such smaller number as he may agree to regard as the minimum for the present purpose?
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Mr. ACLAND,) York, W.R., Rotherham
I hope the measures which I have already promised will give relief to schools which have suffered from the recent severe weather generally, and not only to the closed schools. To pay Imperial grants on the basis of the best attended school meetings would introduce an entirely new principle into the system of State aid to schools, and would impose a heavy additional burden on the Exchequer. I fear I cannot make such a proposition.
§ MR. H. HOBHOUSE
asked the right hon. Gentleman if he was aware that, as a result of the recent weather some schools had been closed entirely?
§ MR. ACLAND
said, his attention had been called to the fact. All the circumstances would be taken into consideration.