HC Deb 05 June 1924 vol 174 cc1484-5W

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he will encourage local education authorities to exercise their powers under Section 86 of the Education Act, 1921, both directly and by aiding juvenile organisations in their areas, so that children who stay at school instead of seeking immediate employment may enjoy special opportunities of social and physical training?


I think that local juvenile organisations may well exercise a most beneficial influence in the direction suggested, and I shall be very glad to see them strengthened by close cooperation with and financial assistance from local education authorities. I think everybody would desire that in present circumstances as many children as possible should stay on at school, and local education authorities have in some areas been fairly successful in persuading them to do so. But where they are not prepared to take the step of raising the school age, and are unable to secure voluntary full-time attendance at school after the age of 14, I think they may well consider the possibility of establishing special evening classes for unemployed children, and providing for them, either directly or indirectly, the advantages contemplated by the Section, which, I think, might by a little ingenuity be made highly attractive. The expenditure incurred by local education authorities under approved arrangements would rank for the calculation of grant, and I shall welcome proposals for this purpose.