HC Deb 09 June 1904 vol 135 c1206
MR. HALSEY () Hertfordshire, Watford

To ask the Secretary to the Board of Education whether His Majesty's Inspectors have, or have not, acted in accordance with instructions received from the Board of Education in approving a time table for a voluntary school which provides for the attendance at church of those children whose parents do not object, on certain specified days, during the time set apart for any religious observance or instruction in.

(Answered by Sir William Anson.) The Education Department held in 1871, that attendance at church, as described in the Question, was not attendance at school; but that where children, with the consent of their parents, attended church in place of receiving religious instruction in the school premises, they should not be marked on the register while so absent, and that the occasions on which they were to be absent for this purpose should appear on the time table, in order to show that they were not in attendance at school. As attendance at church has never been regarded as attendance at school, and as by-laws now usually require that attendance at school should be for the whole time during which the school is open, it seems to the Board that the time table should not contain any reference to arrangements which have nothing to do with school hours or school attendance, and instructions to this effect are being given to His Majesty's Inspectors.