HC Deb 16 December 1943 vol 395 cc1679-80
38. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the President of the Board of Education the number of children belonging to itinerant van-dwellers who have received any substantial education this year; and whether, with regard to the prosecution of parents for non-attendance of their children, any fixed period of such attendance is prescribed as a minimum?

Mr. Butler

I regret that the informa-asked for in the first part of the Question is not available. As regards the second part, the prosecution of parents for the non-attendance of their children at school is primarily a matter of taking proceedings under the school attendance by-laws which, generally speaking, require whole-time attendance at school. It is, however, necessary to bear in mind the provisions of Section 10 (3) of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, which gives relief from proceedings under that Section in cases where a child of the type referred to makes not less than 200 school attendances from October to March.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is my right hon. Friend aware that actually the school attendances of most of these children is at best intermittent, partly owing to the nomadic habits of their parents in moving and partly owing to their being sent away dirty or verminous, and will he take steps to see that they receive more education?

Mr. Butler

If my hon. and gallant Friend will study the new proposals which I have put before the House, he will see that these matters, among others, are referred to in the draft Bill.

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