§ MR. J. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Notts,) Mansfield
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education—(1) whether he is aware that in the Return of the Religious Teaching of Board Schools (No. 2, 1895) 1593 it is stated that the Church Catechism or portions of it is taught in the schools of the following Boards—Bucks: Steeple Claydon; Cambridgeshire: Great and Little Abington, U.D.; Cheshire: Whitley, U.D.; Dorsetshire: Stower Provost; Durham: Washington; Essex: Alphamstone, Hockley and Wimbish; Gloucestershire: Churchdown and Elmore; (2) whether he will have an examination of the Return made to ascertain whether the same illegal practice is adopted in the other counties, and will also take steps to secure its abandonment; (3) whether the following schools, in which the Church Catechism is stated to be taught, are correctly described in the Return as having been transferred to a school board for secular hours only—Cumberland: Holme and East Waver; Derbyshire: Marston Montgomery; Devonshire: North Molton; and, if so, why the religious instruction given in them, not being under the control of the boards, appear in the Return; and (4) whether the Elmore School, Gloucestershire, mentioned above, is a board school as described in the Return, or a national school as described in the last Annual Report of the Department?
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Sir JOHN GORST,) Cambridge University
Parts of the Church Catechism are not distinctive of any particular denomination. I will make inquiry, and take care that only such parts are taught in the schools mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Question. The schools mentioned as transferred to School Boards for secular instruction only were included in the Report by inadvertence. The Committee of Council are inquiring whether Elmore school is or is not a Board school.