HC Deb 30 October 1930 vol 244 cc188-9
25 Mr. EDE

asked the President of the Board of Education (1) the number of private schools which have expressed a willingness to be inspected by the Board; and the number of such schools which have been so inspected;

(2) if he contemplates legislation this Session to give him more adequate powers of control over private schools, and especially those schools which are of a residential character;

(3) in how many cases the inspection of a private school by the Board has resulted in representations for the improvement of the school being made by the Board; what steps are taken by the Board to see that the representations receive attention; and in how many cases compliance with the Board's representations has been secured?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Sir Charles Trevelyan)

Up to date, 216 private schools have declared themselves open to the Board's inspection under Section 147 of the Education Act, 1921, of which 197 have actually been inspected. The Board send to the local education authority copies of the reports made as a result of such inspections, but the Education Act does not give the Board authority to take any action on these reports. I am fully alive to the importance of this subject and am watching with pleasure the growing public interest in it. I propose to set up a Departmental Committee to advise me as to what legislative or other changes are necessary to secure the country against certain disadvantages and even abuses inherent in the present system.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that when the local authorities receive these reports they are unable to act under any legislative enactment to deal with the situation?


That matter will, of course, be considered by the Departmental Committee.


Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to send an inspector to any private school which is willing to be inspected?


Yes, certainly.