Skip to main content

Education Department—Agricultural Children Act

Volume 221: debated on Friday 17 July 1874

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Vice President of the Council, with reference to the eleventh Clause of the Agricultural Children Act, enabling children to go to work, Whether such timely instructions will be given to Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools as will ensure the obtaining from them or from persons deputed by them, before the close of this year, the requisite certificates, without which children who have previously reached the fourth standard of education may, on and after January 1st 1875, be prevented taking employment in agriculture; further, in the case of outdoor pauper children, whether the Vice President of the Council will state if any and what arrangements have been made for the examination of such children, so that where a child shall have reached the requisite standard of education, he and those concerned may be enabled to take advantage of the provisions of the third Clause of the Elementary Education Act, 1873; and whether, in cases where Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools decline to give to managers of voluntary schools on application the names of those children who have reached the different standards, although such information is given by the Inspectors in the case of Board schools, the Vice President of the Council would direct such information to be given when needed for the purposes of the Agricultural Children Act and the Elementary Education Act, 1873?

Sir, the Education Department will furnish to the managers of any school who forward a list of children on whose account certificates are required under the 11th section of the Agricultural Children Act, a statement of the results of the examination of such children in the Fourth and higher Standards. The Department examines only those children who attend public elementary schools in receipt of annual grants. In districts under school boards arrangements have been made for granting certificates on behalf of all children who pass the examination prescribed, for either total or partial exemption from school attendance. These Standards are fixed by the bye-laws of each school board, and being generally either the Third or some higher Standard, the certificates in question, which are granted to children either in Board schools or voluntary schools, will be available under the 3rd section of the Act of 1873. In other districts the Department have suggested to the Local Government Board, with whom the administration of this section rests, that the guardians should accept a certificate of a child's having reached the Third Standard of the Code from—(1), any teacher of a school under the management of the Guardians who holds a certificate of efficiency or competency from the Local Government Board; or (2), from any certificated teacher of a public elementary school in the Union under the inspection of the Education Department. The managers of any school may, on payment of a fee of 2s. 6d., obtain a copy of the examination schedule, showing the results of the examination of every child in their school. It is left to the discretion of the Inspectors whether they will furnish to the school managers a list of the children who reached the different Standards prescribed by the Code; but the Department would view with great displeasure the proceedings of any Inspector who gave information to one class of schools which he withheld from another class.