HC Deb 24 February 1927 vol 202 cc1907-8
49. Sir B. PETO

asked the President of the Board of Education whether the primary day school at Burston, Norfolk, known as the Burston Strike School, receives any financial support from the education grant or from the rates?

50. Sir B. PETO

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that the curriculum of teaching at the Burston Strike School includes trades unionism and Socialism as school subjects, and that the ninth anniversary of the Russian revolution was celebrated by speeches from the children and the singing of the International and the Red Flag; whether such education is accepted as a substitute for the education provided in the council school; and, if not, whether he will call the attention of the local education authority to the matter?


With my hon. Friend's permission, I will answer these questions together. The so-called "strike" school at Burston receives no aid from public funds. I understand that it has been provided and supported largely out of funds supplied by certain Labour organisations, and that it is run as a private venture by two teachers who were dismissed by the local authority from the council school in 1914. I have no information as to the nature of the curriculum or the manner in which the school is conducted. The local authority, who are primarily responsible for the administration of the law of school attendance, are fully acquainted with the facts of the case, and I do not think that I can usefully intervene in the matter.


May I have the pleasure of sending to the Noble Lord the information upon which my second question is based, taken from the official monthly organ of the Teachers Labour League?


Has the Noble Lord ever read the song entitled "The Red Flag," and, if so, has he any objection to it?


I should be very glad to receive from my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) any information which he can send to me. With regard to the second supplementary question, I may say that I have the strongest objection to the "Red Flag" on artistic and other grounds.


Has the local education authority ever sent a complaint regarding this school?


I do not think the hon. Gentleman can be acquainted with the history of the whole incident. It is a very long story, but I will explain matters to the hon. Member, if he likes to see me afterwards.


Is it not possible to answer my question?