HC Deb 27 July 1910 vol 19 cc2101-2

asked the Lord Advocate whether, in view of the fact that the Grants paid out of the Education (Scotland) Fund to voluntary schools in Scotland, under the minute of June, 1909, averaged only 5s. 9d., and some received as little as 9d. per scholar, while the Aid Grants received in the previous year averaged 7s. 9d. per scholar, the Government intends to take means to compensate the managers who were led to expect at least 6s. per scholar for the past year, and to prevent elementary education being starved during the current year?


Against the payment at the rate of 9d. on an average attendance of 1,576 pupils in twelve voluntary schools in three separate districts must be set payment at the rate of 10s. 3d. per head on account of no less than 20,740 pupils attending twenty-three voluntary schools within the district of the Glasgow Burgh Committee. These figures are exclusive of the Voluntary Schools Aid Grant of 3s. per head, which continues to be paid to all voluntary schools, and are the equivalent, not of 7s. 9d. per scholar in the previous year, as stated by the hon. Member, but of 3s. 6d. only. The position of the voluntary schools has, therefore, improved by 2s. 3d. per head on the average as compared with the previous year, and there is no ground for the suggestion that elementary education in these schools is being starved.


asked the Lord Advocate (1), whether he is aware that many school boards in Scotland, including the school boards of Edinburgh and Glasgow, are exercising their powers under Section 3, Sub-section 6, of The Education (Scotland) Act, 1908, in a partial and unjust manner for the purpose of penalising parents who prefer to send their children to voluntary State-aided schools; whether he is aware that the school board of Edinburgh grants books at the expense of the ratepayers to all children, rich and poor alike, provided only they attend its board schools, all of which are conducted as purely Presbyterian schools, while the school board of Glasgow grants books at the expense of the ratepayers only to such children as are necessitous and attend its own schools; what action he proposes to take in the matter; (2) whether each child to whom books are granted by the school boards of Edinburgh and Glasgow costs, respectively, the ratepayers of Edinburgh £3 3s. 10d. and the ratepayers of Glasgow £2 17s. 4d. per annum, while the children to whom free books are refused by those two boards cost the ratepayers nothing; whether the family circumstances are inquired into by the School Board officials before the Glasgow Board grants free books to any child, and there is no difficulty in making similar inquiries in regard to children attending non-board schools; whether the school boards are the only public bodies in Scotland that apply for the benefit of one denomination public rates are levied on citizens of all denominations; and whether the Government intends to take any means to prevent boards continuing to penalise parents who are not Presbyterians for not sending their children to board schools specially adapted for Presbyterian children, and especially from differentiating in cases of extreme poverty between children who do and those who do not attend hoard schools?


I would refer the hon. Member to my answers to his questions of 22nd April, 29th April, 26th May, and 17th June, 1909, dealing with the same subject. To those answers I have nothing to add.


In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman gave me no satisfaction last year, will be undertake to do it in the future?