§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the President of the Board of Education whether, in view of the tendency on the part of some parents to withdraw their children from a secondary school to which they had been admitted under Article 20 of the Regulations for Secondary Schools after the expiration of either one or two years to enable them to become wage-earners, the Board will consider the advisability, in the interests both of the child and of the school, of amending Article 20 of and the Appendix to the above Regulations so as to secure that all students provided with free places in a fee-charging school shall, as a condition of entry, remain students of the school for a period of at least three years?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Trevelyan)
The Board are aware that this tendency prevails among many parents of pupils at secondary schools. It is not, however, confined by any means to the parents of free pupils. It is now the practice of the Board in cases where this evil is prevalent to suggest to the school authorities that they should require an undertaking from the parent of each pupil on his admission to the school that he shall not be removed, without good reason, before completing an adequate period of school life. Such an undertaking, with a penalty attached, has already been exacted by certain school authorities with marked results. I am not, however, prepared to apply a rule of this character to the holders of free places only as distinct from fee-paying pupils. I may observe that representations have been made to the Board from a number of schools that the financial burden of the free-place rule is greater than was anticipated because holders of free places in fact remain at school longer, as a rule, than fee-paying pupils.