§ MR. SMEATON (Stirlingshire)
To ask the Secretary for Scotland whether the withdrawal of the grant of £130 a year enjoyed by the Kilsyth Academy for eight years,after having been duly certified by the Scottish Education Department as qualified to receive grants for secondary education, and of which it was deprived without warning or cause shown, is in pursuance of the policy of the Government to remove higher grade instruction from the parish schools; whether he is aware that the Kilsyth Academy is the largest school in Stirlingshire providing education largely elementary but in part secondary, to a population of about 10,000 in an isolated part of the county; and whether, in view of the proviso in Section 67 of the Statute of 1872, which lays down that the standard of education in the public schools of Scotland shall not be lowered, he proposes to take any and, if any, what, steps in the matter.
(Answered by Mr. Sinclair.) The policy of the Department is to encourage the establishment of higher grade schools or departments wherever possible, and is directed generally to the improvement of education in the public schools of Scotland. The amended scheme of the Stirlingshire Secondary Committee for the year 1904 did not provide for payment of a subsidy to schools of the class to which Kilsyth Academy belongs, that is to say very large elementary schools in which some secondary instruction is given. The alteration of the scheme was duly advertised in December, 1903, in the local newspapers in accordance with the Department's regulations. If the school board will submit proposals that would justify the Department in recognising the academy as a higher grade school, there is no reason to think that the county committee would not be prepared to regard it as a suitable centre for secondary instruction.