asked the President of the Board of Education what are his present instructions to local education authorities with regard to the opening of schools in holidays; and whether he is aware that, as recent examples submitted to him demonstrate, the past attendance of pupils under this scheme has been of such negligible proportions as to cause widespread dissatisfaction among teachers whose leisure has been thus sacrificed?
I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of Circular 1615 which deals with the opening of schools during the holidays. In view of the widely varying circumstances of particular areas I am clear that the decision whether schools should be opened and, if so, on what basis, is one which could only be decided by the local education authority. The Board have, however, suggested in the circular that the task of supervision shall be shared by teachers in all types of elementary and secondary schools on a rota. I have considered certain complaints from individual teachers forwarded to me by my hon. Friend, but I have no reason to believe that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the working of the circular.