HC Deb 15 December 1955 vol 547 cc1373-4
22. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Education what action he is taking against the four private schools which last year and this year have failed to respond to the requests to supply details of teaching staff; and how many children are involved.

Mr. Vosper

My right hon. Friend has no authority to take action against these schools, but he is taking steps which he hopes will procure from them the staff lists required. As I said in my reply of a week ago, the four schools concerned are small but the exact number of children in them is not known.

Mr. Dodds

Is it not obvious that these schools have something to hide, and will not the Minister name the schools? Is it the Minister's case that because only a few children are involved there is little to worry about? Does he recollect making a speech on 10th December in which he said that private schools were not a retreat for undesirable teachers? Is he aware that since then three private schoolmasters have been given long sentences of imprisonment for offences against boy pupils?

Mr. Vosper

I am aware of that, but all the schools concerned in those cases had responded to the request. Since there were 3,500 schools concerned originally, the response can certainly be called successful. I believe that it will be possible to obtain replies from the remaining four schools.