HL Deb 06 July 1880 vol 253 cc1733-5

in calling attention to the scheme for the future regulation of the Grammar School at Kirkham, said, that certain Petitioners who had petitioned their Lordships' House objected to the scheme on the ground that it did not observe the section applicable to such cases, and which provided that, on the framing of schemes for endowed schools, regard was to be had to the interests of all parties concerned. There were about 100 boys in the Kirkham Grammar School. The object of the founders was free education; and of those 100 boys 80 hitherto received their education under the foundation free of charge. By the new regulation a charge of not less than £4 and not more than £8 a-year would be made from last month for each boy. The change was very sudden, and it would press hardly on the poorer parents in the parish. No doubt, it would be said, the imposition of the charge was in accordance with what was being done throughout the country generally in respect of such schools; but he thought that more regard should be had to the intention of the founder than had been shown in this case. It could scarcely be said that the Charity Commissioners could not find funds for free education in the school. The foundation amounted in value to between £900 and £1,000. The salaries paid to masters were—to the head master, £250; to the second, £170; to the third, £120; and to the assistant to the head master, £120. Besides these sums, £15 a-year was paid to the French master, who had fees also. At a time when the Universities were being reformed, and efforts being made to improve the education of the country, it was very inadvisable to largely curtail the privileges offered by the free grammar schools. What the Petitioners asked for in this case had been done in the case of the Rugby Grammar School; and he hoped their representations would receive the favourable consideration of the Education Department.


said, that, as the scheme for the Kirkham Grammar School was drawn up when he was at the head of the Education Department, he could say that those who drew it up had endeavoured to consider the interests of all parties. As to what had been done at Rugby, he might observe that he did not think it was done under the same Endowed Schools Act as that under which the Kirkham scheme was framed. Both political Parties, when in power at the Education Department, had acted on the principle that the education in the endowed grammar schools ought not to be free. A sum of £4 a-year was only about 18d. a-week, for which a boy got a good commercial education. Those who could not afford to pay such a sum ought not to go to a grammar school, but to a primary school. At Kirkham School £260 a-year was to be given for out scholarships, and two sums of £100 each for scholarships in the school itself. What his noble Friend wanted to have done would not be effected in the way he seemed to think. The scheme, or any paragraph in it, might be rejected; but that would not give free education, and words could not be added to the scheme.


concurred in what had been stated by his noble Friend the late Lord President of the Council. He might add that children who had been for three years in a primary school at Kirkham might obtain one of the scholarships at the grammar school, and in that way obtain a free education. He could not hold out any hope that the scheme would be changed; it would be impossible to amend the scheme without wholly altering its character. He saw no objection, however, to let the matter go before the Charity Commissioners; and, if they thought fit, they might alter the scheme as they had power to do. He had not been able to hold any communication with the Commissioners upon the subject; but if his noble Friend would do so, he might possibly be able to obtain an extension of the time in regard to the commencement of the scheme.