HL Deb 16 March 1900 vol 80 cc1031-46

My Lords, the Bill which I desire to present to your Lordships and to ask the House to read a first time is not one of great length, but I venture to characterise it as one of considerable importance. It is somewhat complicated in its character and provisions, because it is necessary to fit the reforms which we now propose intoexisting statutes and into the condition of affairs as regards education in Scotland which we find in existence at the present time. I have thought it would be convenient that I should make an explanatory statement in regard to the Bill on presenting it to your Lordships, rather than wait for the second reading, and I believe that course will be convenient to all concerned. I propose, if your Lordships are good enough to give the Bill a First Reading to-night, to postpone the Second Reading stage for a considerable time, in order that full opportunity may be given for the consideration of the measure in Scotland. The Bill is one for the purpose of amending and extending the provisions of the law of Scotland on the subject of education. It is mainly concerned with higher education, and its chief purpose is to organise in one system the administration of the various funds which are now devoted to the purpose of higher education in its various branches; and also to appoint local representative bodies and give them statutory powers for the management of higher education. The Act of 1872, although it dealt mainly with elementary education, contained various clauses dealing with higher schools and higher education. It put all the burgh schools under the school boards of the places in which those schools were situated, and it made certain provisions for their maintenance and for their upkeep out of ancient endowments, a large proportion of which are known in Scotland under the name of "The Common Good." These higher schools are histori- cally an integral part of our Scottish system of education, and the duty was laid upon school boards of maintaining them in an efficient state, and of providing them, from time to time with premises suitable for carrying on their work. I am to-day in a position to say that upon the whole the powers of the school boards in this matter have been well and wisely exercised; but there have been in some quarters a tendency to grudge the expenditure necessary for the maintenance of these higher schools, which were placed at a great disadvantage compared to all other schools in Scotland in that they have never, from first to last, received any assistance from Imperial funds. There has been, as I have indicated from time to time, a feeling amongst communities—often communities of very moderate size and not very wealthy—that the maintenance of these higher schools was to some extent an undue burden upon them, inasmuch as these schools were used by, and were the means of educating a large proportion of the population who reside beyond the bounds of the communities which are rated for their support. I for one shall certainly not undervalue the work which has been done by the higher schools in Scotland, and it is a cardinal point in my policy to give them greater aid than they have yet received. There have, however, grown up beside them a number of upper departments, as they are called, of elementary schools which give a very efficient higher education. The traditions of our Scottish system of education—the traditions which gather round the parish schools of Scotland—entitle them to participate in the work of higher education. Many localities could not, and do not, maintain higher schools, but they have in large numbers managed to devote a portion of their funds to the maintenance of these higher departments, and in any scheme for the reconstitution of higher education in Scotland the interests of these upper departments must be considered and taken care of. But, my Lords, these higher departments are in a position of great advantage, in one respect, compared to the old higher schools, for they have not been excluded from participation in Imperial grants, and they have continuously, from the time of their establishment, obtained considerable amounts under the Code, although these amounts have not been sufficient to save the locality which supports them from incurring considerable expense in their maintenance. To some extent also, in the case of the communities that maintain these higher departments, the same feeling has grown up that the particular parish in which one of these higher departments is situated is unfairly burdened in comparison with the parishes around it, because, as in the case of the burgh schools, the children of those who reside beyond the bounds of the school board district which maintains these schools come and attend them. There are thus at present two main lines of provision out of public local funds for higher education in Scotland, both of these main provisions being thoroughly contemplated by the Act of 1872 and the Amending Acts which have been passed since that time. In addition to these two classes of schools, there are a large number of endowed schools, and there are certain endowments, not attached to schools, which are distributed amongst various schools and which have had a great influence on the efficiency of higher education in Scotland. All these endowments have been reformed, and in the main have been brought into harmony with modern requirements, and I am not at all prepared to admit that the state of our system of higher education in Scotland is in the complete chaos and confusion which it pleases some people to indicate to be the case. Recently the Department for which I am responsible has reconstituted the Code under which the Imperial grants are given to Scottish education, and I think I may safely say that the principles upon which that Code was re-constituted have been met everywhere with a cordial welcome. We have, I believe, also solved, at any rate, fairly satisfactorily, the problem of the line of demarcation between elementary and secondary education, and the method of solution has been found in the merit certificate which is sought every year by increasing numbers of children, and which has, to a large extent, I am glad to say, discredited and taken the place of the labour certificate as the goal of elementary education. For both the higher schools and these higher departments we have established the leaving certificate, which is now regarded, I think, throughout Scotland as the standard of what a good secondary school ought to aim at; and the system of inspection established by the Scotch Education Department now includes nearly all the higher schools of the country. All those which are aided by public funds are, of course, under it compulsorily, as also are many endowed schools, and some voluntary schools, which are not obliged to come under the system, have placed themselves under inspection because they have become convinced that that inspection is conducted in a manner which is for their benefit, and which is calculated to ensure the confidence of the public. In these respects, therefore, the range of the central authority for education in Scotland—namely, the Scotch Education Department—covers not only elementary education, but a very large portion of the secondary schools, and more recently we have also had placed under our charge, with, I am glad to say, good results, the grants formerly administered by the Science and Art Department at South Kensington. By these means we have made the working of the whole system more harmonious, and although I do not say we have completed our work, because I think we may possibly do more by means of amalgamating the evening schools which are conducted under the Code and those which are the recipients of the Science and Art grants, we have, I think, obtained by administration and without legislation a very fair measure of success in co-ordinating our whole system of secondary education in Scotland. The central Department has gradually, in this way, extended its influence, with the object of bringing all educational administration under one homogeneous system suitable to the needs of the country. The difficulty with which we have to deal, and the difficulty which I hope this Bill, if it meets with the sanction of Parliament, will remedy, is twofold, and it is of a very real character. In the first place, there is the absence of a permanent and local authority for the administration of higher education and the disposal of the funds which are provided by the central authority for higher education, and secondly, those funds now reach their destination through too many and too diverse channels. We look for the main initiative in all matters of education to local effort, and I venture to lay it down as a proposition which will not be controverted that if the funds devoted to education arrive at their destination through too many and too diverse local authorities, if their application is uncertain, if they are sometimes devoted to education, given in one year and withheld in another, and, perhaps, given in part in a third, and if, above all, there is no local body to supervise and prevent waste, it is absolutely impossible to look for the best attainable results. The funds with which this Bill proposes to deal are the Local Taxation Fund of 1890, which may or may not be given to technical education, but which, as a very general rule, is devoted to technical education, and which amounts every year to between £50,000 and £60,000. The second fund with which we propose to deal under this Bill is the sum of £60,000 devoted to secondary education under the Act of 1892. I do not wish to revive the controversies which surrounded the first administration of this fund. The noble Lord opposite will remember that I carried a motion against the Government of which he was then a member, when my predecessor in office had departed from the scheme authorised by his predecessor, and to which he himself at first adhered. I regret the result of what was then done, and I venture to say that it has been a great calamity to Scotland that the sum of £60,000 should have been administered for these years upon different principles in different localities, that it should have been dealt out in homœopathic doses, that no common standard of attainments should have been required before it was expended, and that no effort to regulate any proper proportion between local and Imperial effort should have been made in regard to it. The third fund with which we propose to deal is a sum of about £35,000, which was set apart under an Act of Parliament of 1898, and which is, at present, being administered by the Department. The Minute which regulates the administration of that fund was sanctioned by Parliament last year, and we are now in process, for the first time, of arranging the distribution of that money. We have found that the claims and proposals which have been sent in to us are very diverse, that there is very little of common principle in them, and the co-ordination of all the different demands has entailed a great deal of labour upon the Department; but we hope very shortly to announce the result of the first division of this fund. I hope it will be possible to announce, at any rate, the main principle upon which it is distributed before I ask the House to take the Second Reading of this Bill. There is still another sum which is in part devoted to higher education in Scotland—a sum of £100,000,set apart under an Act of 1892, which may be applied to education or to purposes of public utility, under conditions which are laid down in that Act. The first three of these funds that I have mentioned, amounting altogether to about £150,000 a year, we propose to amalgamate and put into a Higher Education (Scotland) Fund, but we do not propose, at present, to attempt to divert the last-mentioned sum of £100,000, because it is not, as I have said, exclusively, at present, devoted to education, and there are some useful objects to which part of it, at any rate, is applied. But, if we leave it in the hands of local authorities, I hope that, should there be a demand for rating on the part of the local committees which we now establish, the local authorities at present administering this £100,000 a year will remember that they have it, and that the fact that they do receive it is a set off and compensation for a possible burden of rating. I recognise fully that every district cannot have a higher school. I will go further and say that probably within the reach of every child we cannot have a really efficient higher department; but what we hope is that the authority which we shall set up under this Bill will rule over a wider area than the parish or the burgh, and will be enabled to harmonise the action of school boards and others, and to provide means whereby every child, either by means of higher schools, higher departments, or, in the event of those two methods failing, by means of bursaries, will be brought within the reach of a school giving efficient higher education, should he or she be able to profit by it. We propose to take as our unit of administration the county and some of the larger burghs, and the parish of Govan which at present has a higher education committee of its own. I am sorry that it has not been found possible to lay down, in precise terms, the constitution of these higher committees, the circumstances of which differ very widely. We propose to do that by schemes to be subsequently approved by Parliament. The reason for that is this, that the circumstances of the counties and the towns differ so widely. We intend that there shall be upon these higher education committees a considerable representation of the municipal element, whether county council or town council, that those school boards which give higher education shall also be represented, and that there shall be a small admixture of gentlemen chosen for their interest in education and on account of their possessing the confidence of the locality. It is impossible, as I have said, to prescribe in any one case a scheme which will be satisfactory for every county in Scotland. When I tell your Lordships that in the county of Lanark there is a population of more than a million; that in Kinross, the smallest county in Scotland, there are only 6,000 people; that the number of burghs in the county of Fife is twenty-eight, some of them extremely small; that in Inverness, which is a much larger county, there are only three burghs; and that in the county of Aberdeen there are eighty-three parishes, whilst in three or four of the smallest counties in Scotland there are only five parishes, it will be seen how very diverse are the circumstances with which we have to deal. We have under consideration the expediency of dividing some of the larger counties. These committees, once established, and the proportions once settled upon which the various interests in them shall be represented, will have a permanent statutory position. They will be independent of the Department to a much greater extent than they are at the present time, and they will have statutory powers for regulating higher education within their various bounds. One question which confronted us was whether we should have to break altogether with the principle of purely local management for the school; in other words, should we have to attempt to take the burgh school from the school boards and limit the operations of those boards to elementary education only? We do not think that would be for the public interest. We value greatly the careful and constant supervision and the intimate acquaintance with local needs which perhaps can only be got in the highest efficiency from a purely local board, and on other grounds we thought it not desirable. There are other institutions, endowed schools and voluntary schools, which must remain under local management, and therefore we have thought it better not to attempt to take away the management of any school from the local authority under which it is now placed, but to confine the new bodies which we are setting up to the large powers, as they will be, of supervision and regulation, and to the complete power of control which will be given by the financial provisions to be found in this Bill. They will have power to admit and exclude all schools, both higher schools and higher departments, from the benefits of this Act; they will have, as I have said, a large measure of financial control; they will have an ample opportunity of expressing their opinion upon the curriculum of the various schools, although, in that matter, there will be an appeal to the Department, because it is obviously more of an educational than a financial character. They will have power to employ teachers, where necessary, in the schools under local management, with the consent of the bodies who manage those schools; and they will have power to contribute to, and, I hope, to be represented on, the management of large central institutions for advanced scientific and technical education. We believe that by these means they will be better able to compare the results which are attained in different schools through the zeal of the local managers. We believe that a county authority so constituted will be able to arrange that the various educational agencies within their district shall not interfere with each other, and that there shall be no overlapping of provisions, much less a wasting of resources, which, I am afraid, is the case at the present time. The absence of any local authority makes it difficult to give the grants-in-aid from the central fund upon any proper system, and your Lordships will be aware that deficiencies in the funds of various schools arise from a great variety of causes. Some get very little assistance from the rates, some are, perhaps, extravagant in their management, some are starved by having too low a fee, and some, with a mistaken idea of keeping the school exclusive, have too high a fee, and do not exercise the influence upon the locality which they might otherwise do. The premises which are provided vary very greatly, and one of the chief duties of these county committees will be to consider all these various circumstances, and how far the local management meets the requirements of the district; in fact, they will represent the wider area which profits by these schools, and as they have these duties so they will have the power to come to the assistance of the local authorities and lighten the too heavy burdens which are now pressing upon them. We hope that the provisions of the Bill, which, I think, I had better leave to speak for themselves, will be found to provide that the grants in future will be distributed on well-defined principles, and upon principles which will be distinctly stated and understood by all concerned, and that they will be to a large extent in proportion to local effort. But, at the same time, the really effective control will be divided between the two local bodies interested, the local school board or managers, and the county authority. In regard to the charges upon this Higher Education Fund which I have mentioned, the first will be the cost of inspection. That may amount to £8,000 or £9,000 a year, but we do not think it will very largely increase. There will then have to be a certain charge for the higher schools. We propose to put them upon an equal footing with the higher departments. These higher departments, as I have indicated, are at the present time in a position of considerable advantage; they get large grants from the Code, never much less than 50s. per head and sometimes as much as £5 10s. In those grants the higher schools do not share, and we propose, as a second charge upon the Higher Education (Scotland) Fund, to put a charge for an "equalising grant" of about £3 per head for the pupils in attendance in the higher schools. This we believe will come to about £33,000 a year. The balance of £110,000 will remain for all the other purposes of the localities as decided by the county committees. We allow these committees to make arrangements whereby the distribution of the central fund will depend very largely in proportion to the extent to which the localities themselves meet their own burdens. I do not think I need go into the matter in further detail. Broadly, I may say, with regard to the financial provisions, that we believe and hope that the deficiency in any school fund will, as a rule, be made up in the following proportion. We propose that a quarter of it will be chargeable to the immediate locality, that another quarter will come from the resources of the county authority, and that the remaining half will be made up from the central fund. A special definition of higher education is inserted in the Bill for the purpose of meeting and covering a great deal of the special and useful work which is now done under the county councils and through their agencies. As is customary, we have not confined this Bill to higher education only. There are one or two other points which we have thought it necessary to include. There is one clause which deals with the attendance of children at elementary schools. The evils of what is known as the standard exemption—that is, exemption on the attainment of a certain standard, perhaps at a very young age—have been present to the minds of many educational authorities in Scotland for some years. It is possible, at the present time, for an exceptionally clever boy of ten to pass the fifth standard, and so got exemption from school long before the age at which he could undertake any useful work, and as a consequence his time is simply wasted. In place of a purely standard exemption we propose to insert the age of fourteen; but should this age be thought too severe, the school board may exempt any child after the age of twelve if he goes to an evening continuation school. I believe public opinion in Scotland is ripe for that change. At any rate, we believe the new condition will do much to bridge over the dangerous year which elapses after a clever boy has passed the fifth standard, and the age at which he can be taken into continuous employment. There is another matter with which I have attempted to deal, which has been the subject of much controversy. It may be in the recollection of noble Lords from Scotland that a year or two ago the question of the tenure of office of teachers was very much discussed. Many allegations of hardship in the matter of dismissal were made. I asked at the time, from those who came to me on a deputation, for a statement of specific cases, and I gave them very careful consideration, with the result that after a very thorough inquiry I was not convinced that a good case had been made out for all that the teachers demanded. They were anxious for a court of appeal. I am desirous that every legitimate hardship should be removed; but I find it difficult to place any limit whatever on the discretion of school boards with reference to the em- ployment of their teachers, or to compel them to continue to employ a teacher whom they wish to dismiss. I have not seen my way to interfere with the power of school boards in that matter, or to set up a court of appeal. At one time I did think that, in regard to those schools which will remain under local management but which give higher education, and which will be subject to the review of the new county authority, I might bring in the county authority more as a court of conciliation though not of appeal between school boards and teachers, but I have, after full consideration, abandoned that idea. There is, however, a clause in this Bill which empowers the Department, in cases where they are satisfied that it would be right to do so, to grant a certificate to a teacher who has been dismissed that in spite of his dismissal his work has been satisfactory. Some cases occur in which from, perhaps, misunderstanding, want of tact on one side or on both sides, or from certain casual circumstances, a bad feeling grows up, and it results in a state of matters in which it is not in the interests of education in the parish that a teacher, though he is morally blameless and actually efficient as a teacher, should remain in the school, and the object we have in inserting this clause is solely to secure that a teacher who has lost his employment through no very grave fault of his own should not have his professional position destroyed. The granting to him of a certificate to the effect that he is an efficient teacher may help him in securing further employment. There is only one other topic to which I need allude, it is that of a Consultative Committee. A Consultative Committee has been established, I know, for Wales, and one will shortly be established by the noble Duke the Lord President of the Council for England. In regard to this question as effecting Scotland, I have had a variety of representations on both sides. I venture to think that the cases of Scotland and of England are hardly paralled in this matter. Scotland has much less to do in the matter of the organisation of its system of higher education than is the case in England. Secondary Education has for a long time been part of our national system of education, and I do not find any difficulty in ascertaining Scottish opinion. I believe that in most cases I could forecast pretty accurately the view which any particular district in Scotland would take in regard to any matter of importance which might be put before it. But, on many matters of administration, large towns such as Edinburgh and Glasgow differ materially from one another. There are different problems affecting Highland and Lowland counties, and there are points of difference between urban and rural districts, and even between two classes of rural districts, those which are pastoral in their character and those which are arable, which questions are often very difficult and require separate consideration from an educational point of view. I propose, therefore, to rely mainly for advice and assistance upon the county committees. I believe they will form the best consultative committees for the Vice-President of the Scotch Education Department. They will exist all over Scotland, and will know intimately the needs of their own particular district, and I myself look with considerable jealousy upon the establishment of any committee which will tend to come between the Vice-President of the Council and the local bodies who are aiding the local work of education. I hold the opinion that the country is not too large for anyone to arrive at its opinions, and, as I have said, its inhabitants are by no means backward in making suggestions when their interests are affected. Those suggestions, on matters affecting the Code, for example, are carefully tabulated and considered each year when the Code is being revised. I do not regard this as a matter of principle. Although I have indicated my view, I am open to argument and conviction on the subject, and if I find there is a more general desire for a Consultative Committee in Scotland than I believe there is, I shall be willing to revise my opinion. But if representations in that direction are to be made, I hope they will be definite recommendations. I shall be glad to be informed as precisely as possible how the Consultative Committee is to be formed; whether, for example, it is to be manned by those who are already recognised authorities. If so, their ideas are already fixed and may be difficult to change, but in any case their opinion can be ascertained, whether they are on the committee or not. If it is to be manned by men taken haphazard, I think the experiment will be a dangerous, one. I shall, as I have said, listen to any representations, on one side or the other, which may be made to me on that subject. I have ventured to detain your Lordships at greater length than is usual with me, but I hope you will not grudge the time I have occupied on account of the great importance of the subject. I now respectfully ask the House to give the Bill a First Reading.


My Lords, I think that I shall exercise a wise Scottish caution if I do not attempt to go in anything like detail into the subject which the noble Lord has just brought before the House. I may, however, express what I am sure will be the universal opinion in Scotland, that we are extremely glad to welcome a Bill which is directed to the improvement and the consolidation of secondary education in Scotland. There is no portion of Her Majesty's dominions where education is more highly valued than in Scotland, and I am sure the experience of the past also shows that there is no part of Her Majesty's dominions where the value of secondary education is more highly esteemed than north of the Tweed. I understand that at the present moment there are three funds which are, or can be, more or less devoted to the purposes of secondary and technical education, and that it is proposed to consolidate those funds and use them for the purpose of secondary education in Scotland. I assume that in the future the £50,000 or more which is devoted from the Local Taxation Fund, and which may be used either for the relief of rates or for technical education, will be used entirely for the purpose of education, and that the power of devoting any portion to the relief of the rates will be taken away. That is very satisfactory, and I am glad to welcome the change in the allocation of this money. The noble Lord also spoke of a further sum of £100,000 which is used for certain local purposes, and a portion of which can be used for secondary education. I am sorry that he simply held out the possibility of a portion of this sum being taken for secondary education. I should have been more pleased if he had at once said that he intended to devote a certain portion to the same purpose as the other funds. I think it would have been much better if the noble Lord had named the full sum which could be devoted to secondary education in Scotland. The new system of secondary education would have started more happily on its way if it had been at once endowed to the full amount that was possible, and arrangements could have been made at the very outset for the administration of the larger sum. The local committees which are to deal with this subject are, I understand, to consist of representatives of the school boards and the county authorities or burgh authorities within the various areas. The noble Lord did not tell us what proportion one would bear to the other, or whether others would be added by the Department or by election to those committees. As I understand, the county committee will consist partly of members of the school boards of the county, and partly of members appointed by the county council. I do not know whether that is to be the complete constitution of the committee, and I should be glad to be informed on this point. With regard to the proposed Consultative Committee, I thought the argument that my noble friend put forward in support of his case against the Consultative Committee might very well have been used in favour of such a committee, because he pointed out that in Scotland there were many differences of opinion and that he could almost forecast them. I quite recognise that the noble Lord has every opportunity of discovering the differences of opinion, because I know how very ready my countrymen are to present before the Department which looks after them the various convictions they hold. I agree that the differences of opinion in Scotland are very great, and that an opinion held in the west would, for that very reason, be refused in the east; but I think that is an argument in favour of the formation of some solid consultative body which might try to secure uniformity of action among the various local secondary education committees. I am not prepared, on the spur of the moment, to suggest what the exact constitution of such a committee should be, but I must say that I look with a little suspicion on the proposal of my noble friend the Secretary for Scotland, which amounts to this, that the body which is to act as the consultative committee, and which is to secure uniformity in Scotland, is the Scotch Education Board, or, in other words, the Scotch Office. I think we should like to have a little say of our own in that matter. We are not prepared to leave it in the hands, however excellent they may be, of the authorities at the Scotch Office. I am rather inclined to agree that it is impossible for the Bill to lay down the exact conditions under which each particular committee throughout the country is to act. I fully recognise the immense differences there are between the various burghs and counties in Scotland, and I quite see that to really satisfy the wants of each locality it is necessary to deal with each one separately. I quite understand that no general provision in the Bill could give thorough satisfaction in that respect. I am very glad to welcome the announcement that the school age is to be raised to fourteen—a step which will recommend itself to us in Scotland—and I also desire once more to express my pleasure that a Bill dealing with Secondary Education in Scotland has been brought forward, and is to be proceeded with and carried into law during the present session.


My Lords, as I have often urged my noble friend opposite to introduce this Bill, I wish to add my thanks to those expressed by my noble friend Lord Tweedmouth, that at last he has done so. I shall not anticipate the criticism which may be the result of a careful perusal of its contents, but the Secretary for Scotland has alluded to the Code of last year. I wish to seize this, the first opportunity I have, to congratulate him on the success of that Code. That Code, by introducing the system of cohesive courses of instruction, has, in my opinion, conferred a greater benefit on Scottish education than could be conferred by any administrative proceeding: and, if imitation is the best form of flattery, the noble Lord must have felt great satisfaction when he saw that in the recently issued Code for England the example of Scotland had been followed. In other respects, however, the tendency of the two Codes is entirely different. Whereas my noble friend the Secretary for Scotland gives the school boards every encouragement in dealing with secondary education—and I am extremely pleased to hear that the measure he has now laid before your Lordships does not interfere with the direction of school boards—the tendency of the English Education Department, as illustrated by the new Code, is to make it more and more difficult for school boards to have those higher departments on which in Scotland we lay so much stress. The only other point to which I shall allude is the success of the merit and leaving certificates; and there, again, he may be pleased to hear that the London School Board have instituted a merit certificate, in order that it may have the same effect which the noble Lord wishes it to have in Scotland—namely, to supersede the labour certificate. I trust that my noble friend will allow plenty of time for the examination of this very important measure by the educational experts in Scotland. For myself, I shall consider it a very pleasant duty to give the noble Lord all the co-operation in my power in passing this Bill.


I will gladly consider the suggestion of my noble friend Lord Tweedmouth, with regard to the £100,000. With the assistance of the noble Lord and his friends I may, perhaps, be able to get a part of that money, but I rather shrank from taking it, in the fear that I should incur considerable opposition. In reply to the noble Lord's question as to the constitution of the committees, the Bill provided that for each of the districts enumerated in the schedule there shall be established a local authority for higher education, to be called the Local Higher Education Committee. The Department will, after due inquiry, prepare a scheme for the constitution of the local higher education committee in each district, and such scheme will make provision for there presentation on the committee of the county council, town councils, and the commissioners of such police burghs as have a population above ten thousand, of school boards and other managers of schools recognised as giving higher education, and such other persons conversant with educational reform as may be nominated by the committee. The latter will be in a small minority, and the number will be fixed in each scheme.

Bill to amend and extend the provisions of the law of Scotland on the subject of education—presented by the Lord Balfour; read 1a; and to be printed. (No. 31.)