§ MR. BIRKMYRE (Ayr, &c.)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the hardship entailed on secondary schools, such as the Ayr Academy, by the conditions by which grants towards. secondary education can alone be obtained according to the terms of the Minute of the Scotch Education Department of date 31st January last, and which now lies for confirmation upon the Table of the House; whether he is aware that Ayr Academy by accepting the conditions proposed in the said Minute would be the loser to the amount of over £1,000 per annum; and whether the Government will take into consideration the desirability of devising means whereby the managers of the Ayr Academy and other secondary schools may be enabled to participate in the benefits of the secondary education grant without making such a large pecuniary sacrifice?
§ SIR G. TREVELYAN
The Ayr Academy under the Minute of the 31st January, and on recommendation of the County Committee, may receive a grant possibly as high as £200 for the general purposes of the school without any conditions except those of efficiency. Next in respect of any number of free pupils a capitation grant of £6 may be paid for each pupil. This proposal was recommended to the Committee of last year by the Rector of Ayr Academy. For anything beyond this the Committee were of opinion that before a school should share in the grant of £60,000 it should be required to make the education it offers more extensively available by a reduction of fees. This principle is a very important one, as a guarantee that the 1379 grant shall not be absorbed by schools which charge a large fee, and are consequently available only for a limited class.