§ MR. HIGHAM (Yorkshire, W.R., Sowerby)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education if he is aware that on Ash Wednesday, Ascension Day, and All Souls' Day the children of St. John's and St. Cuthbert's Schools, Lytham, and of St. Anne's School, are taken to the adjoining churches in spite of the fact that these schools are on the foundation of the Lytham charities (Lancashire), and that these charities have been stated by the Board of Commissioners to be undoubtedly undenominational in their character by an answer given on 6th August, 1894; and if he will take the necessary steps to compel the managers and trustees of these schools so to alter their methods of working the schools as to cease this denominational action.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE BOARD or EDUCATION (Mr. LOUGH, Islington, W.)
I am not aware of the practice mentioned. The character of these schools is determined by the provisions of a scheme dated 14th February, 1899, and they appear to have been conducted as Church of England schools for many years past. The Board have received no formal complaint in regard to the existence of such a practice as the hon. Member mentions, but if any such complaint should be made I will inquire carefully into the matter. In any event I may remind the hon. Member that not a single 1429 child need be taken, or can legally be taken to Church during school hours by the managers (as alleged in the Question) if the parents withhold consent; and any breach of the Conscience Clause in this respect should be immediately reported to the Board of Education, who would take drastic steps at once.
§ MR. HIGHAM
Is it necessary for the parents to send a written request asking that the child be kept back?