§ 28. Mr. MORLEY
asked the President of the Board of Education what was the answer of the Board to the request received from the East Ham education committee for permission to abolish secondary school fees?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Lees-Smith)
The authority were informed that the board were unable to sanction the abolition of secondary school fees, but that they would sanction the award of free places in excess of the normal 50 per cent. to the extent necessary to secure that no children were debarred from admittance to secondary schools because of the inability of their parents to pay fees, if the authority would revise their scheme of free place awards with this object in view.
§ Mrs. MANNING
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether that offer of an increase in free places was made contingent upon the authority lowering the age at which they gave the maintenance grant?
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the board are doing all that they can to encourage free secondary education in this particular district?
§ Mr. MUGGERIDGE
Can the right hon. Gentleman say in what circumstances Bradford got powers to make all its secondary schools free?
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
The number of free places in secondary schools has increased to a remarkable extent in the last few months.
§ 35. Mrs. MANNING
asked the President of the Board of Education how many local education authorities, responsible for higher education, have not proposed such an increase in free place admissions and scholarships to their secondary schools for the forthcoming school year, as shall secure that the children born in the year of abnormally high birth rate, 1920, shall not have a smaller proportion of free place entry or scholarships to their ago group than is enjoyed by children born in 1919 and 1918; and what steps he is taking to secure such an increase in free places and scholarships in each area?
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
I am not in a position to answer the first part of the question since the Board's sanction to an increase in the percentage of free places awarded is not required except where it is proposd to make awards in excess of the normal maximum percentage of 50, or such higher percentage as may have been sanctioned in any particular case. As regards the last part of the question I would invite my hon. Friend's attention to the Board's Circular 1412, of which I am sending her a copy.