§ Mr. KING
asked the President of the Board of Education whether, on 12th December, 1911, the Board intimated to the Birkenhead local education authority that the Beckwith Street school could not be reopened without the usual three months' notice, and that it must be regarded as a new school; whether the Hoard of Education has now withdrawn from that position; and, if so, what reasons can be given for this change of attitude?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. J. A. Pease)
The premises of the Holy Trinity school at Birkenhead were recognised up to the 1st April, 1911, for 696 children. In December, 1911, a proposal was made to the Board to enlarge the school by the provision of additional accommodation for ninety-eight children, the extra places to be obtained by moving the infants' department into premises in Beckwith Street, referred to by the hon. Member, in which a Wesleyan school has been conducted until July, 1909. This enlargement amounted, in the opinion of the Board, to the provision of a new school, and notices were accordingly required under Section 8, Subsection (2), of the Education Act, 1902. In February of this year a revised scheme of enlargement was forwarded to the Board showing a proposal to provide fifty-eight additional places only, instead of ninety-eight, as proposed in December. The Board did not consider this enlargement to amount to the provision of a new school, and accordingly waived their requirement that notices should be issued under the Section above referred to.
§ Mr. PEASE
Yes, it is necessary for the Board of Education to accept some rule-of-thumb as to the percentage required to create a new school. We think that 10 per cent may, as a rule, reasonably be taken as an addition which does not create a new school, whereas, if an additional number of places over and above 10 per cent, are required, we may reasonably consider that that does create a new school.