I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that in October, 1905, the Board of Education sanctioned the use of the endowment of Christopher Wharton's foundation for the erection of a non-provided school at Stamford Bridge, and that on the faith of that sanction, land was conveyed as a site for the school; whether, in June of this year, the Board of Education withdrew their sanction, alleging as a reason altered circumstances; and, if so, why the Board changed the decision which they had in their quasi-judicial capacity arrived at in 1905.
The Board of Education did not in October, 1905, or at any other time, sanction, whether in a quasi-judicial capacity or otherwise, the use of this endowment for the erection of a non-provided school. The Board did, however, inform the trustees of the endowment in December, 1905, that the-proposals made by them—which involved the use of the endowment money for the purposes of the rebuilding, but, so far as the Board were then aware, not the enlargement of an existing non-provided school—could only be carried out on the authority of a scheme; and in January, 1906, the Board, in order to assist the trustees, drafted a scheme under Section 75 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, which the trustees might, if they thought fit, submit for the Board's approval. The trustees took exception to certain provisions of the suggested draft scheme, and it was not until April, 1907, that they adopted it as their own, and submitted it for the approval of the Board. In the meantime it had appeared that the proposals of the trustees involved a substantial enlargement in the numbers of school places provided in the school, which was not before the Board in the original proposal. Moreover, circum stances affecting the position and prospects of non-provided schools in the Kingdom generally, which are as familiar to the noble Lord as to myself, had occurred which, in the view of the Board, rendered it undesirable in the interests of the Foundation itself that eudowment money should be sunk in the provision of public school accommodation in non-provided schools.