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Provided School Managers (Norfolk)

Volume 65: debated on Monday 20 July 1914

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asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that out of the six local managers of the Burston and Shimpling, Norfolk, provided school, two are clergymen, the rectors of Burston and Shimpling, respectively, and one the wife of a clergyman, the rector of Burston and his wife both being managers, thus giving two votes from one house and family in the case of the dismissal of teachers; whether he has considered the legality or otherwise of the appointment of the parish manager of the school as representing Shimpling; whether, on the last occasion of his appointment, April, 1913, any public notice had been given of his proposed appointment or election; and if he intends taking any action in the matter?

I have no information as to the persons forming the body of managers at this school, or as to the manner in which the parish meeting of Shimpling appointed their representative. The Board have no power to decide questions relating to the legality of the appointment of managers of council schools, and in the circumstances I do not propose to take any action in the matter.


asked the President of the Board of Education, in view of the convictions held in the parishes of Burston Shimpling, Norfolk, and in the surrounding localities in regard to the dismissal of the teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Higdon, from the Burston and Shimpling provided school as being uncalled for and unjust, and of the suspicion of church and political partisanship as being the real reasons underlying these dismissals, and in view of the present position of affairs in Burston, where the parents have since 1st April persistently refused to send their children to the council school as a protest against the dismissal of these teachers, if he will consider the possibility of the Board of Education interviewing at this stage and either advising the reinstatement of the teachers concerned or instituting a thorough public investigation into the causes leading up to and culminating in their dismissal; and if he intends taking any action in the matter?

It would, I think, be inconsistent with the relations which Parliament has established between the Board of Education and responsible local education authorities that I should intervene in a matter of this kind. I understand that the action of the local education authority was taken after an investigation at which the teacher was legally represented.