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Garforth School

Volume 181: debated on Monday 19 August 1907

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On behalf of the hon. Member for the Barkston Ash Division of Yorkshire, I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether, seeing that on 17th April, 1907, the Board of Education, at the suggestion of the local education authority, inquired whether the manager of the Garforth parochial school would agree to the reorganisation of the school, by which the scholars above standard two were to be transferred to the provided schools, and that the Board, after receiving the reply of the managers informed the local education authority on 3rd June, 1907, that the Board saw no adequate reason for requiring the reorganisation of the school in view of this opposition, but required certain improvements in the premises, which the managers have declared themselves ready to carry out, and that on 12th July, 1907, the Board of Education wrote reversing this decision, he will say whether the Board founds this interference with the functions of the managers upon Section 7, Subsection 3, of the Act of 1902, which section relates solely to questions regarding the maintenance of schools; and whether the Board has had regard to Section 12 of that Act, which requires the consent of managers to the grouping of schools.

No, Sir, one of the two schools being a provided and the other a voluntary school no question of grouping them under one body of managers could arise under Section 12 which deals only with grouping two or more schools of the same type. In the case referred to, the total number of children attending the voluntary school was in excess of that which could properly be accommodated in it, and thus some children had to be excluded. It therefore became necessary to settle which of the children, the older or the younger, could best be excluded. A question on this point arose between the managers and the local education authority, and in view of the nature of the alternative accommodation that was available elsewhere the Board of Education decided that it was better on educational grounds that the older children should be excluded rather than the younger, and therefore held that the reorganisation of the voluntary school from a mixed department and an infant department into a school with a junior mixed department and an infant department must take place.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there was an alteration made in the decision of the Board between 3rd June and 12th July? He has given no explanation as to that.

It is in the Question. Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why the Board absolutely reversed their decision between those dates, and as a result took steps to interfere with the manifest rights of the managers as to re-grouping?

It is in the Question, and the right hon. Gentleman apparently declines to answer.

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Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the school is so overcrowded that there is less than nine feet space in the mixed department and eight feet in the infants' department, and that in addition the sanitary arrangements are very bad?