HL Deb 07 July 1873 vol 216 cc1842-3

Bill read 3a (according to Order) with the Amendments.


said he had again to propose the Amendment which he submitted on the Report. Reformatory schools were under inspection, and were under the Secretary of State for the Home Department. They were placed under general rules and regulations, part of one of which was that— The secular instruction shall consist of reading, spelling, writing, and ciphering, and, as far as practicable, the elements of history, geography, social economy, and drawing. It shall be given for three hours daily. The rules for industrial schools made the same provision. The Secretary of State had power to deduct from the grant if these rules were not complied with. Under these circumstances there was surely a sufficient safeguard that the children would be properly educated. The intention of the Education Act was not to interfere with these schools, and. he certainly would have inserted a clause in the first instance had he not imagined they were exempted from the restrictions of the Bill by virtue of the Acts under which they were established. As to the particular school he had mentioned in Northamptonshire, where the labour of the children was let, he found the educational portion of the instruction spoken of most highly in the last Report of the Inspector, as indeed it was in most cases in other schools throughout England and Scotland. The Bill would affect but very few children, it was true, as the account given of the admissions to reformatory schools in 1871 would. show. Out of 1,575 admitted, all but 28 were above 10; 1,340 (or about three-fourths) were above 12, and 760 (or nearly half) were above 14 years of age. In order, however, to avoid interference with special Acts, and with the good work which these schools were doing, he proposed this clause. He must remind their Lordships that, if the clause of exemption was not inserted, children in these schools could not profit by the exemptions of the Bill, for no doubt schools would be provided everywhere within two miles, and in this case, under the interpretation clause, they could never qualify for a certificate of attendances or of proficiency; and no one could say for a moment that children ought to be educated away from the reformatory school to which they had been sent—in fact, no manager would consent to such a course being adopted. In deference to the opinion of the noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond), so good a friend to education and to this measure, he would gladly have proposed an addition to the clause. There was a great deal in the objection of the noble Duke, but he found it almost, if not quite, impossible to meet it. For the reasons he had stated, and after representations made to him by experienced managers of reformatory schools, he did not think it right that these schools should be included in the Bill, and he hoped their Lordships would agree to the addition to the clause for the purpose of exempting them.

Amendment moved, at end of Clause 10, insert— Nor shall the said provisions apply in the case of any child for the time being detained in a certified reformatory school or in a certified industrial school within the meaning of the Reformatory Schools Acts, 1866 and 1872, and the Industrial Schools Acts, 1866 and 1872, respectively."—(The Lord Henniker.)

After a few words from the Marquess of SALISBURY, the Marquess of RIPON, and the Duke of RICHMOND,

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made.

Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.