HC Deb 28 February 1929 vol 225 cc2166-7
20. Viscount SANDON

asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been called to the closing of elementary schools at Dover in consequence of the inability to keep class-rooms up to the required temperature; whether this is due to lack of technical knowledge or to the expense involved; and whether he will take steps to have the matter remedied?


I am aware of the closing of elementary schools in Dover, and I am informed that this was due partly to inability to keep the classrooms up to the necessary temperature, and partly to epidemic sickness. I have no reason to think that the inability to maintain a suitable temperature in the schools was due either to a lack of technical knowledge or to a desire to avoid the expense involved. I understand that the weather at Dover was exceptionally severe.

Viscount SANDON

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in Canada and the United States, where 40 degrees below zero is quite a normal winter temperature, they have no difficulty in maintaining rooms fully heated?


Yes, Sir, but it is obvious that, while the schools in Canada and the United States are constructed to meet the normal temperature of the country, the schools in this country are built to meet the normal temperature of this country.


Is it fair to allow the statement to go out that the normal temperature of Canada is 40 below zero?


Have His Majesty's inspectors made any report upon this matter?


Of course, His Majesty's inspectors have made reports as to schools, but I cannot say whether the information that I have given to the House is based upon reports by His Majesty's inspectors, or not.


Is the Noble Lord aware that there are very few country schools which have central heating that do suffer in this way, and is not that an argument for having central heating installed in the schools?

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