HC Deb 18 July 1910 vol 19 cc857-8

asked whether it is the intention of the Board to carry out any, and, if so, which, of the proposals contained in the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Partial Exemption from School Attendance, issued in July, 1909; and whether, in view of the practically unanimous opinion of agricultural educationists that many of the boys best fitted for farm work do not in fact improve their education by remaining at school after the age of twelve years, and that boys who do not handle live stock before the age of thirteen years seldom develop into good stockmen, the Board will, while abolishing altogether half-time labour in the best interests of the child, the teaching staff, and the school, consider the desirability of permitting total exemption at the age of twelve years in the case of all boys in rural districts who, although backward in the literary work of the school, have displayed proficiency in the school garden or at manual instruction classes, and for whom beneficial employment to the satisfaction of the local education authority or of an after- care committee can be secured immediately upon their leaving school?


The Report is still under consideration, and my right hon. Friend is not yet in a position to make any statement as to the action the Board propose to take on it.


Are we to understand that the Board is considering the proposal to reduce the age to twelve years in any circumstances?


The Board is considering the whole question of partial and total exemption with a view to legislation.


Before any decision is put in force will the House have an opportunity of discussing it?


It will have an opportunity, of course, when legislation is brought forward.