HC Deb 05 May 1914 vol 62 cc247-9

(1) For the purposes of the principal Act and this Act a child shall be deemed to belong to the area in which the residence or permanent home of the child is for the time being situate:

Provided that in the case of a child in a school or boarded out in pursuance of the principal Act or this Act the local education authority who are making provision for his education shall continue liable to make such provision pending the determination of any question which may be referred to the Board of Education under this Section.

(2) If any question arises as to the area to which a child is to be deemed to belong, that question shall be determined by the Board of Education, and the Board on determining the question may direct such financial adjustments between the local education authorities concerned as they may consider just.


I beg to move in Sub-section (1) after the word "of" ["permanent home of the child"], to insert the words "the parent of."

The Clause as it stands is unsatisfactory. "Residence or permanent home of the child for the time being" is very vague. The child rightly belongs to the area in which the parent resides, it is not fair to London and other large centres that they should provide for the children who are residing within the area for the time being. The home of the child is really where the parent resides. It is continually found to be the case that defective children are sent away from home, and in many cases to the Metropolis, and for that reason I should like to have inserted that the child's residence should be considered to be the residence of his parents. Another reason is that the continuity of responsibility of the parents should be maintained. Under the Clause as it stands that may be to a certain extent removed. It is much easier for the authority to trace the child through the parent, and it is much better for the authority to have the parent always to apply to rather than some temporary guardian with whom the child may be residing. All through the Act, and all through the discussion to-day, I noticed that the parent is referred to in every case as the person who has to be applied to in connection with the child for consent and everything else. Therefore, why in this Clause should we turn round and make the area to which the child belongs where it happens to be residing for the time being?


I beg to second the Amendment.

The word "parent" does, in fact, by reference to a previous Statute which is incorporated in this Bill, include "guardian," and so would cover the case of any child who might for the time being, although not living in its own home, be under the custody of someone who is taking care of it in loco parentis


I am not prepared to accept this Amendment, because I think, in actual practice, it is much more convenient that a child should be educated where the child lives rather than in varying places which might be the case where you have parents engaged in occupations which prevent them from having any permanent place of abode. I am not merely dealing with the unfortunate class which it is very difficult to deal with from the education point of view, such as wandering gipsies, or those who go about with shows in the country, or bargemen who travel about on the inland waterways of this country, but rather with the children of men engaged in connection with large contract works which necessitate men leaving often what might be regarded as their permanent homes, and taking up temporary homes in the districts in which their occupation for the time being calls them. When engaged in connection with large contract works men sometimes have no permanent homes, and they make arrangements for their children to be kept with some relative, and it would be far better to adhere to the words already inserted in the principal Act and not to attempt to alter them now. In the interest of the child, I believe it would be advisable to adhere to the words of the Bill, and for these reasons I am not prepared to accept the Amendment which the hon. Member has moved on grounds which I at the same time appreciate.

Question, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill," put, and negatived.

Bill to be read the third time To-morrow. (Wednesday).