§ SIR JOHN DORINGTON (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Board of Education whether, in view of the fact that under the system of grants set out in Article 31 of the new Code there would be a gain of one shilling 799 on any child attending school continuously from the age of three to fifteen, but that if a child leaves school, as is commonly the case, at the age of thirteen, there would be a loss of five shillings on that child; and, in view of the financial loss thus involved to local authorities, the Board of Education will withdraw Article 31 of the new Code and substitute for it Articles 98 and 101 (a) of the existing Code for another year, so as to enable the financial results of the proposed change to be fully considered.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Sir WILLIAM ANSON,) Oxford University
I am not prepared to accept the representation of the effect of the new grant given in the Question as accurate. Statistics show that the age at which a child begins to attend school is, in fact, nearer four than three. Again, the hon. Member has sesumed that the average age at which a child ceases to be paid for as an infant is seven; the age is, in fact, about seven and a half. Beth these facts tend to vitiate the argument underlying the allegation in the Question. It must further be remembered that any loss of the kind suggested in the Question is not an annual one, but is spread over a period of ten years, and is very small compared with the total amount of the grant earned during the period. The Board estimate that if a child comes to school at three and stops until fifteen, it will earn 3s. 6d. more than was possible before, assuming that it was paid for as an infant until seven and a half. If a child attends from four to thirteen, there would be a loss of only 6d., spread over a period of ten years, as against the 5s. annually which the Question might imply.
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
No, Sir. I think my Answer tends to show that there will not be a considerable loss at all, and that in some cases there will be a considerable gain.
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)
Will the hon. Gentleman under- 800 take that the Question shall be discussed before the Code comes in force?
§ Sis WILLIAM ANSON
An opportunity of discussing the new Code will be available. It does not come into force until the 1st August.
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY
It has to lay on the Table thirty days, and that period has already nearly expired.
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
can assure the hon. Member there will be ample opportunity of discussing it before it comes into operation.