HL Deb 18 July 1884 vol 290 cc1583-4

asked the Lord President of the Council, Whether, if he is correct in saying that the Education Act of 1870 puts no limit to the number of hours that children may be kept in school, he will assign some maximum limit of hours for compulsory attendance at school? Last year he had complained of cases in which children were kept in school for eight hours; and if the noble Lord opposite the Lord President were justified in saying that no limit was assigned under the Act, the children would be at the mercy of any school board and Inspector who might be willing to sign a time-table which might require more hours in school than were allowed by the Factory Acts. In Alsace and Lorraine, a German Commission had lately recommended that young girls should not have more than 18 hours a-week schooling, and it would permit 6½ hours' home lessons. It also recommended 11 weeks' holidays in the year.


, in reply, said, that it was not for him to fix any limit, neither were the hours of attendance limited by any hard-and-fast lines; but the authorities of each school framed a time-table, which had to be approved or disapproved by the Education Department. The Education Department, in the case of each school, judged whether the hours proposed by the managers were reasonable; and, if so, they were sanctioned accordingly. In the great majority of instances the hours sanctioned were practically those provided by the Code—namely, two hours in the early part of the day, and two hours in the afternoon.