HC Deb 13 May 1948 vol 450 cc2270-1
40. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Education the number of education authorities in England and Wales, respectively, which provide for the maintenance of pupils at boarding schools; and whether he is satisfied with the arrangements made.

Mr. Hardman

Sixty-six local education authorities in England and one in Wales are known to have arrangements for assisting pupils to attend fee-charging schools as boarders. My right hon. Friend's approval is required to authorities' general arrangements for the purpose and this is not given unless they are satisfactory.

Mr. Thomas

Is my hon. Friend aware that considerable hopes were raised in connection with the 1944 Act, and that there is now confusion on the part of parents who believed they were entitled to send their children to boarding schools? Will he ask his Department to deal with this matter in the case of Wales?

Mr. Hardman

We are aware of the present situation in Wales. This is a matter which was considered in some detail at a meeting of Welsh working parties. So far as local authorities are concerned, all the arrangements are laid down in the principal Act.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Is the Parliamentary Secretary satisfied with the response made by local authorities to the offer of places by fee-paying schools?

Mr. Hardman

Yes, Sir, I think we are satisfied with the offers. No doubt as we learn from experience the response will grow.