§ SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)
To ask the Secretary to the Board of Education what is the result of the inquiry made by the Board of 1329 Education into the alleged caning of children in the public elementary schools at Preston because their parents did not pay school fees; whether school fees are charged in the Preston schools with the sanction of the Board of Education; and, if so, on what specific ground such sanction has been given.
(Answered by Sir William Anson.) I have made inquiries, and I find that on three occasions a councillor has called the attention of the council to alleged cases of caning for non-payment of fees. As a result of careful investigation the education committee came practically unanimously to the conclusion that there was no foundation for the charge in the first set of cases. In the second set it was found that all the children had been in occupation of recognised free places for more than twelve months. The third set are still under investigation. In all the schools except one, where fees are charged, the right to do so is based upon Section 2 (2) of the Act of 1891, and no sanction of the Board is required. In the remaining case the fees were sanctioned by the Board under Section 4 (1) of the Act of 1891.