Lord Sandon, who had withdrawn the clause of his Elementary
Education Bill which offered additional grants to schools in poor districts, substituted for it on Thursday and carried, a clause still more objectionable, by which private and volun- tary schools which earn less than 17s. 6d. a child may receive as much as that from the State, even though the income of the school from all other sources does not amount to so much. If the income of the school from all sources exceeds 17s. 6d. a child, then the grant may exceed it, but not otherwise. In schools placed in scantily-peopled districts, an extra grant is to be given of £10 a year when the population within two miles of the school exceeds two hundred, and £15 when the population is less than two hundred. In other words, Voluntary schools are to be com- pensated for the loss of those subscribers who gave them their voluntary character, and yet the management is not to be taken into public hands. In other words, there is to be no motive left for gaining public confidence, and yet the management is to be un- touched. Moreover, on Thursday night Lord Sandon appeared to be quite willing to give power to dissolve School Boards in
rural districts where there are no schools to administer, and on Friday the discussion was again adjourned. This is altogether the most reactionary step taken by the Government this Session, and will turn a Bill which had been much improved as regards the policy of compulsion, into a Bill for putting a premium on private schools managed by irresponsible persons for denominational ends.