§ MR. WHITEHEAD (Essex, S. E.)
To ask the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been called to the circumstances under which twelve children in Standards IV. to VI., residing in the parish of Hawkwell, Essex, have been excluded from Hawkwell school, and thereby lost three months' instruction; whether he is aware that the parents of such children refuse to send them to the school in the adjoining parish on the alleged ground that such school is in an insanitary condition and their children would be obliged to walk about four miles extra per day; whether the scheme of reorganisation of the schools under which these children are excluded has received his sanction, and is in all respects regular; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter.
(Answered by Mr. McKenna.) My attention has been called to the exclusion of certain children from the Hawkwell parish school with a view to the reorganisation of that school as one for younger children only. I am also aware that certain parents have objected to send their children so excluded to the Hockley council school on the ground of distance and of the insanitary condition of the school. In consequence of these representations the Board wrote to the local education authority asking for further information, and intimating that in any case the change in the organisation should not be carried out until the Hockley school had been made sanitary. In reply the local education authority have stated that they see no reason for changing their decision. Under these circumstances I propose to inform the local education authority that the Board are unable to regard the exclusion of these children as reasonable under Article 53 of the Code, and to point out that the grant to the school is liable to forfeiture in consequence.