§ Mr. Mainwaring
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether he has considered a communication from the Rhondda education authority indicating that in recent weeks 616 children absented themselves from school owing to lack of suitable footwear; that 3,078 children attend school badly shod; and whether he will consider taking steps to afford some assistance so that this condition can be remedied?
No communication from the Rhondda local education authority has been received by the Board. The policy of the Board in this matter is set out in paragraph 10 of their Circular 1450, of which I am sending a copy to the hon. Member. Under the existing law the Board have no power to authorise expenditure by local education authorities on the purchase of footwear for necessitous school children or to pay grant in respect of such expenditure. I am, however, making immediate inquiries of the Unemployment Assistance Board as to the position.