§ LORD EDMUND TALBOT (Sussex, Chichester
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether the words, children in attendance as computed by the Board of Education, in Clause 2 of the Education Bill, mean children in average attendance; and, if not, what is the meaning of those words.
§ MR. McKENNA
I am considering the possibility of replacing by some more satisfactory system the present method of computing what is known as "average attendance," which is open to serious objection on several grounds, among others, as affording a pecuniary inducement to retain children in school who, for medical reasons, ought to be excluded. Any change would, however, apply to the whole system of grants, and until certain inquiries which I have recently instituted into the working of the present system and the effects of various possible bases are completed, I cannot make any statement on the subject. Any changes, however, which are ultimately adopted in this respect will necessarily be of such a nature as not to alter materially the numbers in each school on which grants are calculated, or upon which Clause 2 of the Bill will turn.