HC Deb 05 May 1913 vol 52 cc1676-8
13. Sir J. D. REES

asked the President of the Board of Education whether, when there is slight overcrowding in schools, the provisions of the Code are ruthlessly enforced, or whether a reasonable regard is exercised and latitude allowed in respect of the pockets of the ratepayers, who on account of the burden of rates and taxes are themselves too often overcrowded and unprovided with the accommodation exacted for their children?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. J. A. Pease)

Each case is considered on its merits, and, generally speaking, a deduction is only made from the Grant for failure to observe the Regulations with regard to overcrowding in cases where the Board are satisfied that there is no adequate excuse for the failure by a local education authority to provide sufficient accommodation and after warning has been given.

Sir J. D. REES

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider an education rate of £200,000 in Nottingham an adequate excuse?


No, I do not think that the education rate in itself would be an excuse.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Article 19 of the Code says:— The average number of scholars in attendance most not exceed the recognised accommodation, and in view of that Article and the right hon. Gentleman's answer, does he intend to withdraw it or to insist on it?


I intend to insist on it, but to use my discretion as to the merits of every case.


Who is going to decide what are the merits of the case?


I am.

14. Mr. KING

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that the proposals for a Council school at Chorley, which are still under consideration, originally included the erection of cookery and manual instruction class-rooms; that these class-rooms were objected to by the managers of the voluntary schools which offered no similar facilities, and that these class-rooms were consequently withdrawn from the plan; and whether it is the policy of the Board of Education to prohibit all improvements in curriculum, teaching, and equipment wherever such improvements are objected to by the clergy and others interested in existing voluntary schools?


The Board have, of course, no official knowledge in regard to the discussion of plans by the local education authority before their submission to the Board for approval. The preliminary sketch plans for the new Council school showed no rooms for cookery or manual instruction. The Board do not insist upon the inclusion of rooms for special subjects in plans of new public elementary schools.