§ 26. Mr. KING
asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that, previous to the Act of 1902, any ratepayer had the right to inspect documents in the office of his local school board; that this right was appreciated by ratepayers, especially those desirous of knowing the reports of His Majesty's inspectors; whether he is aware that the ratepayers in different localities are now prevented, under the Education Act of 1902, from knowing whether the reports of the schools to which their children are sent are satisfactory, and that suspicion 16 and friction have thereby arisen; and whether the right of ratepayers to know how their money is spent will be restored by the Education Bill of next Session?
The answer to the first part of the hon. Member's question is in the affirmative. Section 87 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, which conferred the right which he mentions, was repealed by the Education Act, 1902. Article 23 of the Code directs that any report on a school sent by the Board to the local education authority or to the managers must be entered in the log book. The managing bodies of public elementary schools in county areas now include representatives appointed by minor local authorities, to whom, in practice, the inspectors' reports are communicated. I am not aware of the existence of such suspicion and friction as the hon. Member suggests. I will consider the point raised in the last part of the question.