§ Mr. KELLAWAY
asked the President of the Board of Education whether the provisions of the minute of the Education Department of 13th August, 1875, to the effect that all arrangements for transfer of school premises for a term of years must provide that the education authority shall retain possession of the premises at the end of the term until the then value of any works executed with the aid of a loan shall have been repaid, was included in the arrangement for transfer of the school premises at Ightham, Kent, in 1876; whether the minute also provides that the amount to be repaid may be ascertained by a surveyor appointed by the Education Department; and what is the present value of all the work executed with the aid of loans on the school premises at Ightham, Kent?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part of the question, power was reserved to the Education Department to appoint a surveyor in the event of disagreement between the school board and the trustees. I understand that the local education authority and the trustees have agreed upon a valuer, but I am not aware whether any valuation of the present value of the works executed with the aid of loans has yet been made.
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
Have any representations yet been received from the Education Committee of the Kent County Council?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
asked the total amount expended out of loans on the school buildings at Ightham, Kent, from the date when the school was transferred to the school board; whether the refusal of the trustees to renew the lease of the school buildings to the Kent Education Committee is an attempt not only to recover the buildings, but also to secure by indirect means a retransfer of the school itself; and whether the Board of Education will withhold its consent to this transaction until the whole of the money expended out of loans has been repaid, as provided by Section 24 of the Act of 1870 relating to the retransfer of schools?
The Education Department sanctioned the following loans: On 5th January, 1877, £363 2s., and on 3rd July, 1882, £417. In the latter case thirty years were specified as the period of repayment, and I understand that on 31st March, 1910, a sum of £39 only was outstanding on this loan. This may now have been paid off. The trustees of the school premises gave notice on 22nd April, 1911, under Section 8 of the Education Act, 1902, of their intention to determine the tenancy of the premises by the local education authority and to provide in the premises a new voluntary school. If the council school is continued in new premises the school, as distinguished from the premises in which it is conducted, will apparently not be retransferred, under Section 24 of the Act of 1870. I will, of course, use any powers which I possess to protect any financial interest which the local education authority have in the premises as successors of the school board.