§ MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether he is aware that the managers of St. Thomas's School, Stockport, have recently imposed a fee on the children who had been attending free for some time, in consequence of which some hundreds of children were turned away from school; whether he can state the total sum received by this school in voluntary subscriptions and in school fees during the last school year; whether the school has a satisfactory playground area; what would be the accommodation of the school if it were measured according to the Rules of planning of Schedule VII. of the Code; and whether in the accommodation are still included the following class-rooms: three rooms, each 12 by 25½ feet; one room 50 by 37 feet by 8 feet high; and one room 12 by 25½ feet by 11 feet high, as specified on page 265 of the Final Report of the Elementary Education Commission?
§ Mr. ACLAND
The Department have been informed by the School Attendance Committee for Stockport that on the 17th November 337 children who had been attending St. Thomas's School as free scholars were sent home for fees. I understand that the greater number of these children are still not attending any school. The managers state that they were forced to this step by financial reasons. The voluntary contributions to the school during the last school year amounted to £7 5s. 6d.; the fees to £697 16s. 4d. Her Majesty's Inspector reports that the playground area is insufficient. The managers, while not denying this, urge that it compares favourably with those of the other voluntary schools in the borough. Without full plans of the school it is not possible to estimate the number of places which it would provide if measured according to the Rules of Schedule VII. Two class-rooms (including the room 50 by 37 feet by 8 feet high) have been condemned, thus reducing the nominal accommodation from 1,966 to 1,692, but four class-rooms of 25½ feet by 12 are still recognised. If the rooms which, primâ facie, do not meet the requirements of Schedule VII. were omitted, and the remaining accommodation calculated at 10 square feet, it would 68 be reduced to 1,374 places. The average attendance last year was 1,376. It is, of course, smaller now.
§ MR. LODER (Brighton)
Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the statement from the managers of the school? Has one been recently received?
§ MR. ACLAND
I am not aware whether any statement has been received since the facts I have quoted were laid before me.