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Parents (Financial Assistance)

Volume 477: debated on Friday 21 July 1950

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asked the Minister of Education whether, in order to relieve the pressure on the teachers and reduce the size of classes in day schools, he will consider encouraging local education authorities to make grants not exceeding the amount which it is estimated would normally be expended by the local education authorities on a child attending a day school, to parents whose child has been offered a place at a boarding school which cannot be accepted without some financial assistance.

In general, the places available to an authority in its own maintained and in any accessible direct grant schools should enable effect to be given to parents' wishes and the only circumstances in which I consider that authorities may assume responsibility for independent school fees without regard to parents' means are where the facilities provided by the authority are insufficient educationally. Otherwise, in view of the terms of Section 81 of the Education Act of 1944, any assistance by an authority with the fees at independent schools, whether day or boarding, should be on an income basis. I could not sanction flat rate grants based on the assumed cost of tuition in a maintained day school.