§ MR. SNOWDEN (Blackburn)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education if he is aware that the children are being sent home from St. John's School, Wakefield, because the parents refuse to pay school fees: and that where parents insist upon free places the local education committee compel children to attend a school nearly a mile away from their homes; and whether the managers of St. John's School, which is rate aided and State-supported, can refuse free places or charge fees; and, if so, will he consider an Amendment to the Education Bill making all places in a primary school under the local authority free.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Mr. LOUGH,) Islington, W.
The Board of Education have no information of the incident referred to in the Question, and I am not aware of any complaint in regard to school fees in Wakefield. No fees may be charged in a public elementary school unless sanctioned by the local authority; and in other ways the conditions in regard to the charge of fees are very strict. It is the duty of the local authority to provide a sufficient number of places in public elementary schools without charge of fee, for the needs of the area; and no parent can be called upon to pay a fee for his child in a public elementary school if there is no room for him in any other school within reach without payment of fee. If any Wakefield parent appeals to the Board of Education I will see that the case is carefully investigated.