asked the President of the Board of Education whether any other education authorities have adopted the same position in regard to day continuation schools as the West Ham local authority in their refusal to take legal proceedings to enforce attendance; and whether he can give any approximate sum as to the cost of day continuation schools throughout the country?
At the end of March, 1921, the Birmingham Local Education Authority ceased to maintain day continuation schools on a basis of obligatory attendance, and I understand that the Kent Local Education Authority do not enforce the attendance at London schools of young persons employed in London. The expenditure of local education authorities on day continuation schools in the current financial year is now estimated at less than £500,000.
Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that on the whole, as the local authorities are gradually dropping them, they might be done away with altogether and save the £500,000?
According to the latest authoritative information at my disposal, namely, the census of 1911, the number of young persons between the ages of 14 and 16 was 1,357,226. I cannot say how many of these would have been liable to the obligation to attend day continuation schools, regard being had to the statutory provisions for exemption. In London the number of scholars enrolled is now about 41,000, but I have not at present the figures for the schools in Swindon, Rugby, and Stratford-on-Avon.