HC Deb 15 October 1942 vol 383 cc1763-4
61. Sir R. Young

asked the President of the Board of Education how often preparatory and private schools, religious or otherwise, for young people are visited in the course of a school session for the purpose of checking attendances; whether any steps are taken to inquire into absences from school; and what action follows long absences and irregular attendance not due to health reasons?

The President of the Board of Education (Mr. Butler)

The inspection of preparatory and private schools is carried out at the request of the school by His Majesty's Inspectors under Sections 134 or 147 of the Education Act, 1921, for the purpose of determining the efficiency of the school. No periodical visits are paid to such schools for the purpose of checking attendances nor are inquiries made into the absence of pupils from school. If the local education authority of the area has reason to believe that individual pupils are not receiving efficient elementary instruction, it is open to them to take proceedings under Section 43 of the Education Act, 1921.

Sir R. Young

Who gives the local authorities information about non-attendance at these schools?

Mr. Butler

They have to find that out for themselves.

Sir P. Harris

Will my right hon. Friend consider dealing with this matter when he has an opportunity of doing so?

Mr. Butler

I agree that in respect of these schools there is a certain gap to be made up, and the right hon. Baronet may feel confident that in looking into the future I shall not forget this question.

Sir H. Williams

Does not my right hon. Friend realise that when people pay out of their own pockets for the education of their children, they take good care to get value for their money?