HC Deb 13 March 1905 vol 142 cc1184-5
SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)

To ask the Secretary to the Board of Education whether the attention of the Board of Education has been directed to the evidence given in December, 1903, by Dr. Eichholz, one of their inspectors, before the Committee on Physical Deterioration, in which he testifies that in a school in Lambeth he considered 90 per cent. of the children unable, by reason of their physical condition, to attend to the duties of the school in a proper way; that in a school in West Ham he found in a similar condition, 87 per cent. of the infants, and 77 per cent. of the elders; in a school in Manchester, 66 per cent.; in another Manchester school, 60 per cent, of the infants, 44 per cent. in the lower standards, and 27 per cent. in the upper standards; and in many schools in other towns a considerable, though less, proportion; and what steps the Board of Education have taken to prevent the waste of public money involved in providing instruction for children thus unfit to receive it.

(Answered by Sir William Anson.) I have carefully read the evidence referred to, and have myself visited the Lambeth school referred to in the Question. The right hon. Member is probably aware that there are very wide differences of opinion as to the extent of the evil complained of, and the remedies to be applied. A Departmental Committee has been appointed by the Lord President for the purpose of providing useful and precise information on the subject.