HC Deb 15 July 1943 vol 391 c352
27. Mr. Driberg

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction caused among fruit-growers and parents by the change in holiday arrangements at Tiptree Council School; and whether the five weeks' summer holiday is to be arranged in future years, as in the past, to coincide with the fruit harvest?

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

I have seen references in the Press to dissatisfaction due to the holiday arrangements for the Tiptree council school, but I understand that in fact the need for help in fruit picking has been met by the three weeks' holiday which was given and the exemption of a number of older children from school at the beginning of the subsequent term. The local education authority concerned will, I am sure, continue to co-operate in meeting the Government's request to provide for the fixing of holidays for schools in rural areas by district committees or managers, who with their local knowledge and the advice of the war agricultural executive committee are in a position to assess the requirements for the assistance of children in urgent seasonal agricultural work in their neighbourhood.

Mr. Driberg

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the managers of the school concerned were unanimously opposed to the action taken by the education authorities? Will he look into this question again before next year's harvest?

Mr. Butler

This is a matter essentially for local arrangement in conjunction with the war agricultural executive committee, but I shall make myself fully acquainted with the situation, as the hon. Member has put it to me.