HC Deb 29 April 1915 vol 71 cc835-6

asked the President of the Board of Education whether the circular of the Somerset County Council Education Committee, permitting the withdrawal of children of at least eleven years of age from attendance at school, has the consent and sanction of his Board?

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

I have seen a copy of a circular, dated October, 1914, to which the hon. Member probably refers, but it was not submitted to the Board before issue, and it has not received the Board's sanction. I am not aware whether the circular or the practice of the authority has been modified in the result of the discussion which took place in the House on the 4th March last. I am asking for a further Return from all county authorities, and will communicate the results to the House. I need hardly say that I deplore the employment of children of such tender years.


May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will, in due course, publish various regulations made by education authorities in regard to the exemption of children from school attendance since the date the War began?


I shall be glad to look into the matter and give the hon. Member a reply. I have already circulated a White Paper which contains a good deal of this information.


asked the President of the Board of Education whether he could supplement the table given on page 4 of the Report on School Attendance and Employment in Agriculture [Cd. 7881], so as to show the number of children excused from school attendance owing to circumstances connected with the War up to the 31st March?


I propose shortly to issue a circular with a view to obtaining the figures for agricultural employment for the three months ending 30th April.

70. Mr. KING

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that Dolly Hammett, aged nine years, is engaged to shave soldiers at Budbroke Barracks, Warwickshire; and whether it is with the sanction of the board and in accordance with the conditions laid down for child labour that the Warwickshire local education authority has sanctioned this girl's withdrawal from school?


I am making inquiries into this matter, and will communicate with my hon. Friend.