HC Deb 14 March 1916 vol 80 cc1929-30W

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he knows that it is the intention of the Somerset County Council to discontinue at the end of the present month the grant of a sum of money to assist technical classes in the Somerset coalfield; and whether, in view of the facts that such grant was originally made in 1892 and has been continued annually ever since and the number of accidents has decreased greatly during that period, he proposes to sanction the discontinuance of the Grant?


My right hon. Friend is aware of the intention of the Council. As stated in my reply to the hon. Member for North Somerset on the 9th November, 1915, the matter is within the discretion of the local education authority, and their action does not require the Board's sanction; but on the 8th December last the Board informed the authority that on educational grounds they would greatly regret the discontinuance of mining instruction in the area, and that they hoped that before finally deciding to terminate a type of technical instruction bearing upon an important local industry the authority would fully weigh the detriment to those engaged in the industry against the advantage of the immediate saving effected. The Board have received no reply to this letter, but they will again communicate with the authority.