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Church Commission. .


Church Commission. THE QUE8T!ON OF SCHOOL TRUSTS. An Eye-Opener for Sectaries. The Welsh National Committee preparing evidence to lay before the Church Commission might with advantage direct its attention to the Parliamentary Paper recently issued by Mr BirrelJ dealing with school trusts in tVal<'s and Monmouthsh'ie. A genera! survey of this paper wa.-<g'v*i 'n Hie South \V:i,IC3 Od,!)v Ne-v-t a fortnight ago. A closer study of ita tabular content-t it to ba even more valuable than was then anticipated. The South Wales Dai)y News has con- sistently maintained that the term "Church" schools as apptied to the majority of the non- provided schools, particularly in Wales, is a, misnomer. They a:e, for the greater part. Church "schools on!y by the accident of circumstance and the hardihood of a sectarian ctergy. Trust schools would. we havo att along contended, have more accurately described their real character. This contention M fuUy bome out by the returns now before us. Nor does this convey the whole truth of the matter. Not oniy are these schools for the greater part essentially Trust schools, but in the overwhelming majority of instances they are held in trust for educational purposes, Mot of them were built for. and can be ap plied to, no other than purely educational purposes. Thus, taking the seven counties of South Waies, with their county boroughs and autono- mous area'3, out of a tola) of 439 schools, no fewer than 300 are hetd under express charit- able trust for educational purposes only." That i-i to say, these 300 buildings CAN BE USED FOR NO OTHER PURPOSES than educational, and if they fail to be used tor educational purposes through any iau't on the part ot the trustees, auch trustees will be guiity o) a breach of trust. The next B," inc!udes schools in which the" express chal"itable trusts" are: parity educational and partly non educational, That is to say, the buildings may be used out- side school hours for denominational or other purposes which are non-educational. Still the buitdings cannot be alienated trom school uses. A schoot for the education of the chitdren of the Door must be carried on therein There are 12 schools of this class in South Walea. There is yet a third class of buildings, classi- fieJ as D," in which schools must continue to be carried on. In these the trusts, though not express," are implied, and are equally opera- tive as in Classes A and B." There are 21 schools coming under this class in South Wales. Alt the school buildings in each of these three classes are held ONLY ON CONDITION THAT SCHOOLS ARE CARRIED ON THEREIN. Neither managers nor trustees, nor both bodies acting together can therefore capriciousty t doss these schoois If they are not prepared to carry on the schoois themselves—of course under such conditions as the iaw for the time being may require- they must either (a) ask to b? relieved of their trusts, or (b) permit some other authority to fulfil the trust obligations If they adopt the first course, tt will be com- petent for the Board ot Education to hand over the control of the buildings so far as the educa- tional trusts are concerned to the local educa- tion authority. If they elect to follow the second course, then they may themselves come to terms with the local authority. In neither case does it seem either necessary or reason. abte that the local authority should pay the trustees of these buildings rent for the use of the building-! for the purposes specified or unplied m I' thetrusts. There remain two cla.9se9 of schools to which the trusts do not apply. These are those classed under "C.'where existing tmsts permit the alieniation of the buildings from all educational purposes, and those classed under E," where consequently the owners can, after due notice, ] resume possession and apply the bufldings to any purpose or purposes they may deem nt. resume possession and apply the bufldings to any purpose or purposes they may deem nt. Under class C there are m South Wales only 43 schools, and under class E only 63 schools, Thus, out of a total of 439 school buildings in South Wales, only 10S. or less than one.fourth.. can be capriciously closed again.-it use ior < educationa.1 purposes. In the remaming 333 buildings the public is entitled to demand that SCHOOLS SHALL CONTINUE ? to ba held therein. Thus, in Breconshire. 3S out of the 45 non- { provided schools are held under trusts which require theLr continued use for educational Plu'po;e:i. In Cardiganshire. 23 out of 31 schools come ( under the sa,me rule. In Carmarthenshire—the administrative ? county—49 out of 54 schools in the borough. one ot the three sclMols in Llanelly, one of the two non provided schools will be found to be similarly circumstanced. In the administrative area. of Glamorganshire 50 out of 70 non-provided schools come under the rule; in Merthyr. three of the five; in Neath. one; of the two in Aberdare. three of the four in Cardiu, 12 ol the 19 <md in Swansea, six of the nine schools, In Pembrokeshire, 51 out of its 64 school, 1 and in Pembroke the only non-provided school ? a,re held under conditions. 1 in Radnorshire 33 out of the 40 non-provided s schools arc sfmilarly held. < In \lonmouth>'hire (administrative area), 65 J of the 79 school-! are so held in Abertillery t the only non-provided school, and in Newport ] one out ot tiie Gve non-provided schools are ii thus safeguarded azainst priestly tyranny, It is worthy of note, too, that in Glamorgan- < shire and Monmouthshire, both in the admini- strattve areas and in the boroughs and autono- ] mous areas, all the schools in clasa C "— that is, those whose trusts provide for their 1 ahenation from educational purposes—are Roman Catholic schools. It follows that in < these two counties thf only Church of England ] schools which may be arbitrarity or capriciously ? Liosfd arc those where the buildings are < privately owned—and of these there are only 14 in the whoie of Glamorganshire (including the boroughs aad autonomous areas), and in the < wholf of Monmouthshire oniy 10. ? These are facts which the advocates of puMic rights should careiulty digest. 1