§ 58. Mr. MORGAN JONES
asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been directed to the serious financial injustice to the Principality of Wales involved in the proposals of Circular 1259 issued by the Welsh Department, seeing that the county schools of Wales established under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act are regarded as aided schools, and are in the same category as schools under private management, but receiving financial assistance from local authorities, while other secondary schools established under a later Act are classified as provided schools, and therefore do not come under the terms of the circular; and whether, seeing that education authorities have adopted their Estimate for the year previous to the issue of the circular of 2nd May, he will consider the advisability of postponing the operation of the circular pending a discussion of its provisions with educational authorities in Wales?
§ Mr. FISHER
The decision in this matter was made by the Government after considering a recommendation of the Committee on National Expenditure, and it applies to England equally with Wales. I do not think that any injustice is done to the Welsh intermediate schools, in view of the fact that the Government's decision is to assimilate the position of the aided schools as regards grant to that of the provided schools. I cannot hold out any hope that the Government will postpone the operation of their decision.
§ 59. Mr. JONES
further asked the President of the Board of Education whether he has received any representations from local authorities in Wales relative to Circular 1,259 issued by the Welsh Department of the Board of Education; 2372 whether he is aware that this circular will have the effect of crippling the work of Welsh intermediate schools; that these schools have for years suffered greatly from lack of funds; and that the Board's inspectors have in recent reports called attention to the strain placed on the present staff in certain intermediate schools in Wales and have made recommendations, the adoption of which would necessitate increased staffing?
§ Mr. FISHER
I have received representations from one Local Authority in Wales concerning Circular 1,259. I see no reason to think that the decision of the Government which the circular announces will have the effect of crippling the work of the intermediate schools. The Board's inspectors have occasionally drawn attention to cases of under-staffing in Welsh intermediate schools, duo to an increase in the number of pupils, and the Board have asked that the staff should be strengthened. Such cases occur in England also, and I have no reason to suppose that relatively they are more numerous in Wales.