§ 70. Mr. KING
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that, in spite of an increase in population and a decline in infantile mortality, the statistics for the last completed school year show a decrease of the number of elementary scholars in England; and whether the promised Education Bill will be so framed as to secure that in those areas, especially in London, where school places are insufficient for the child population, there shall be immediately supplied enough accommodation for all possible scholars?
The number of scholars on the registers of public elementary schools 1645 for the year ended 31st July, 1912, showed an increase of 3,823 over the figure for the previous year, and the actual increase in numbers of scholars on the registers over five years of age was 19,635. The hon. Member will be aware that the question whether children under five, who are under no obligation to attend school, shall be admitted to any particular school is one which the local education authority have discretion to decide. The hon. Member must wait until the introduction of the Education Bill for an answer to his second question.