HC Deb 02 July 1907 vol 177 cc534-6
Lord EDMUND TALBOT (Sussex, Chichester)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that in January, 1906, public notice was given of the intention of the promoters to provide a new Roman Catholic school at Low Valley, to replace the school struck off the grant list in September, 1905, that the inquiry under Section 9 of the Act, 1902, was not held till July, 1906, and that the decision of the Board of Education, as a result of the inquiry, was not announced till April, 1907; and what is the explanation of this delay of nearly fifteen months, seeing that the law is to the effect that the Board of Education should act without unnecessary delay.


I regret the delay which occurred in arriving at a decision in this case. In view of the fundamental changes in the organisation of elementary education which would have taken place if the Bill of last session had become law, it was found impossible to determine the questions at issue while that Bill was under the consideration of Parliament. Some further delay arose owing to the change in the office of President of the Board.


I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that the Catholic school at Low Valley has been declared unnecessary, although there is no school accommodation for the children in the neighbourhood; whether he is aware that the parents of the children, for the most part working men, have maintained the school at their own expense for close upon two years rather than sacrifice the religious and secular education of their children; and what course he proposes in redress of this undoubted grievance.


The school accommodation in the neighbourhood appears to be sufficient in quantity, but the buildings are unsatisfactory. The local education authority are taking steps to provide a new school which will meet all the requirements of the district, and I am urging upon them the need for all possible expedition.

LORD EDMUND TALBOT (Sussex, Chichester)

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the local education authority have acquired a site for the school?


I am in communication with a member of the authority who is also a Member of this House, and will ascertain that.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

How was it the school was declared unnecessary, when there was no accommodation?


There was existing accommodation, but not of a very excellent kind.