HC Deb 10 May 1923 vol 163 cc2562-3

asked the President of the Board of Education whether Sections 11 to 16 of the Education Act, 1921, which deal with the submission of schemes by the local education authorities to the Board, are in operation; if so, what action the Board has taken on schemes which were submitted to them by local education authorities during the course of the years 1920 and 1921 and, if no action has been taken by the Board, what steps he proposes to take in the immediate future to give effect to Sections 11 to 16 of the Act?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Edward Wood)

I may refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave on the 12th April to the hon. Member for East Birkenhead. There has been considerable correspondence between the Board and local education authorities upon the details of their schemes, and the absence of statutory approval must not be taken as indicating that many of them are not on sound educational lines. In view, however, of the financial position, the Board have not felt justified in giving their statutory approval to these schemes, which would have made it obligatory upon the authorities to give effect to them and would have committed the Board to aiding the expenditure involved. In the case of a few schemes, they thought it better even to defer their criticisms until the prospect became clearer; but they are now prepared to resume this process in the case of any authority who may desire it, and without prejudice as to the date upon which any such scheme can become operative.