HC Deb 17 July 1899 vol 74 cc1005-6
MR. JEBB (Cambridge University)

I Beg to ask the Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education whether the appointment recently announced of a Principal Assistant Secretary of the Science and Art Department, and a Principal Assistant Secretary of the Education Department, is to be understood as indicating that it is contemplated to organise the Education Office in two principal departments only—one for elementary and the other for technical education, secondary education proper being treated as subsidiary to, or included in the latter; whether he is aware that the willingness to accept inspection which has been intimated by the authorities of many public secondary schools rested on the belief, created by the speeches of the Lord President of the Council on 1st August, 1898, and 2nd May, 1899, that in the re-organised Education Office there would be a department for secondary education proper, separate from that for technical education, or including the latter as a sub-division; and whether he can give an assurance that, in any re-constitution of the Education Office which may follow the passing of the Board of Education Bill, secondary education shall be represented by a secretary distinct from, and not subordinate to, those who have charge of elementary and technical education respectively.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

I beg at the same time to ask the Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education whether, with a view to allaying certain apprehensions entertained by teachers in the higher secondary schools, he will state, either now or when the Board of Education Bill comes again before the House, the administrative arrangements which Her Majesty's Government contemplate for enabling the proposed Board of Education to discharge the new duties proposed to be entrusted to it with regard to secondary and technical education, so far as any conclusions regarding those arrangements have yet been reached.


The Committee of Council are of opinion that the work of the Board of Education in relation to secondary education will differ widely in character and extent from that which relates to elementary education and science and art teaching. The division of the Board charged with secondary education proper cannot be completely organised till some experience has been obtained of the extent and character of the work. But it is not intended to entrust this work to either of the existing Departments, but to a third official, whose responsibility to the principal secretary will be distinct from and equal to that of the two existing assistant secretaries. Instructions to that effect will be given to the Departmental Committee which will consider the organisation of the Department.


Is it intended that this Departmental Committee shall begin to consider this question as soon as the Bill now before the House has passed?


I am afraid I cannot answer that question without notice.


Will a representative of secondary education be placed on this Departmental Committee?


I am afraid I must also have notice of that question.