HC Deb 06 May 1914 vol 62 cc264-5
32. Mr. KING

asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been called to statements made by Mr. L. C. Elmslie, a Birkenhead magistrate, that when he was on the bench hearing attendance cases the excuse was constantly made that the child had attended school but was sent back for not having its penny, and that the attendance officer, Mr. Thompson, confirmed this excuse; and whether he will now urge that fees should be abolished in the eleven voluntary schools of Birkenhead which charge fees and also receive the fee Grant?


I have no knowledge of the statements referred to by the hon. Member, and I have no information which would justify me in taking the action which he suggests.


In view of the many serious allegations I have brought before him, will the right hon. Gentleman send down an inspector to inquire?


I am inquiring of the local authority, and before taking other steps I will wait and see what they have to say.


If it proves unsatisfactory, will the right hon. Gentleman accompany me there?


asked the President of the Board of Education if he is aware that school attendance officers generally are desirous that a superannuation scheme should be established on their behalf; and whether he will consider the desirability of his Department formulating such a scheme, or, if preferred, will he set up a Committee charged with the preparation of a scheme in like manner to that appointed to provide for the superannuation of officers of reformatory and industrial schools?


It is difficult to deal with the question separately from the similar question which arises in the case of other employés of local authorities, and I am not in a position at this moment to take the steps indicated by the hon. Member. I may add that some local authorities have obtained powers to adopt superannuation schemes for their employés, amongst whom school attendance officers may be included.

66. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has considered the statement made by Mr. L. C. Elmslie, a Birkenhead magistrate, that when he was on the bench heaving school attendance cases he heard cases where children had attended at school yet were sent away because they had not brought school pence, and that in such cases parents were summoned and could be fined; and whether he. will introduce into the Criminal Justice Amendment Bill a provision to ensure that in such cases parents shall not be liable to fine or imprisonment?


Neither the Home Office nor the Board of Education have heard of this statement. If it was made, it must, I presume, have referred to a state of things existing before the Elementary Education Act, 1891, which required education authorities to provide sufficient public school accommodation without payment or fee. I see no necessity for further legislation on this matter.