HC Deb 23 November 1950 vol 481 c492
30. Mr. James Johnson

asked the Minister of Education if, in view of the increasing numbers of small fee paying independent schools, he will take powers to inspect these establishments, and license whatever fraction of them he may deem efficient.

Mr. Tomlinson

I already have power under Section 77 (2) of the Education Act, 1944, to inspect independent schools. As I announced in Circular 196, a copy of which I am sending to the hon. Member, I am arranging for all such schools in England and Wales to be inspected. Schools which desire to do so can apply for recognition as efficient under Rules 16, a copy of which I am also sending him. Part III of the 1944 Act, which provides for the compulsory registration of independent schools, is not yet in operation.

Mr. J. Johnson

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that many of these places are educationally inefficient by any standards, and that they inculcate into the pupils the peculiarly English disease of social snobbery?

Mr. George Thomas

Would my right hon. Friend say how many of these independent schools have already been inspected and found unsatisfactory?

Mr. Tomlinson

I cannot go into that now.

Mr. Rankin

Would my right hon. Friend indicate how long it will take to carry out the inspection?

Mr. Tomlinson

It would take. I assume, a matter of two years.