asked the Minister of Education if his attention has been directed to the proceedings which took place before the magistrates at Eccleshall, on 7th April, at which two male persons, without academic or other qualification, were found to be unfit to have care of pupils; and what action he proposes to take.
asked the Minister of Education whether his attention has been drawn to the conditions prevailing at a private school known as Horsley Hall in the county of Stafford, owned and managed by Mr. Copping, recently convicted at Eccleshall in the same county, of being an unfit person to have the care of children; and what instructions as to the use of powers of inspection or supervision have been issued with a view to the prevention of similar cases.
I have recently made arrangements, of which particulars are given in a circular which I am sending the hon. Members, for the inspection of all independent schools under Section 77 of the Education Act, 1944. I understand that there is an appeal pending on the particular case mentioned in the Question, and I would therefore prefer not to make a statement at present.
May I ask this of the Minister, notwithstanding the appeal, that he will take such measures as are possible in the Ministry of Education to prevent any schools operating in similar circumstances in the future?
Will my right hon. Friend take steps to ensure that the information contained in the circular which he is sending to the hon. Member becomes available to other hon. Members of this House?
Yes, I will do that.
Has the right hon. Gentleman any reason to suppose that there are any other cases at all similar to this, or is this unique?
I would not like to say. I have only just taken the power to inspect, and we are inspecting all independent schools. It is a very big job. My object would be that those which are brought to my notice of which there is any suspicion at all, should be taken first.
Is this inquiry also to be conducted into schools like Eton and Harrow, where there are undesirable cases of corporal punishment?