asked the President of the Board of Education if he will state the number of children educated, the total cost of such education, the number of teachers, and the number of inspectors in public elementary schools in England and Wales for the years 1899 and 1909 respectively?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I assume that it is desired to draw a comparison between the statistics of the same two years on all the various points referred to in the question. I propose, therefore, in my reply to substitute for the year 190–9 the year 1907–8, which is the latest year for which complete returns are available under all the heads referred to. The total number of children on the registers of public and other elementary schools (including special schools, higher elementary schools, and certified efficient schools) was, in the year 189–9, 5,664,182, and in the year 190–8, 6,016,398. The total expenditure of the Board of Education on elementary education was, for the same two years respectively, £8,519,885 and £11,412,815. The total expenditure of school boards and local education authorities on elementary education, for the same two years respectively, from other sources than Parliamentary Grants, was £5,280,275 and £10,784,186. These figures exclude the expenditure of school boards and local education authorities on industrial schools. In any calculation of the total cost of the education of children in public elementary schools account must be taken of the expenditure of voluntary school managers on their schools, which the Board are unable to state. This point is of importance in a comparison of the total expenditure of the two years, inasmuch as in the year 189–9 the whole cost of the maintenance of voluntary schools, so far as it was not met by Parliamentary Grants, had to be provided by the managers. The number164W of teachers of all grades (including pupil teachers) in public and other elementary schools in the same two years respectively was 140,511 and 179,545. In the year 1898–9 the staff regularly employed in the inspection of the work of public elementary schools consisted of 103 inspectors, 241 sub-inspectors, and six women inspectors. The corresponding staff for the year 1907–8 consisted of ninety-nine inspectors, 186 sub-inspectors, twenty-eight junior inspectors, and seventeen women inspectors. In addition to the above, certain inspectors and women inspectors of special subjects, such as music, physical training, agriculture, etc., assist from time to time in the inspection of public elementary schools.