§ Mr. GEORGE GREENWOOD
asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been called to the case of the headmaster of the national schools at Ashford, under the Middlesex County Council, who was convicted by the magistrates at Feltham, on or about 6th September last, of assaulting a little boy of 10 years of age, one of the scholars under his charge, by flogging him with great and unreasonable severity, and fined £5, being the highest penalty which the magistrates were competent to impose; whether he is aware that during the hearing of the case the vice-chairman of the school managers stated that when he was chairman of the school attendance committee the boy's mother was summoned before them for not sending her children regularly to school, 1250 and alleged as the reason that it was impossible for her to do so owing to the headmaster's conduct towards them; whether he will take steps to ascertain the extent to which the infliction of corporal punishment in the elementary schools of England and Wales prevents regular attendance; and whether he will prohibit the use of flogging in all schools under the direct supervision and control of the Board of Education?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Runciman)
I have communicated with the local authority with regard to this case and I am informed that it will come before a sub-committee on 18th October. I propose to postpone further consideration until a report from the local authority has been received. I know of no effective means of ascertaining whether the infliction of corporal punishment has any effect upon regularity of attendance, but I have no reason to suppose that the effect, if any, is appreciable. The answer to the last paragraph is in the negative.