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I FOREST DANGERS. j

Board of Education Enquiry…

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Board of Education Enquiry at Newport. At the Town Hall, Newport, on Wednesday, an inquiry, ordered by the Bourd of Education, as to the making of a Provisional Order for the constitu- tion of an Education Committee for Newport, in view of the scheme submitted by the Newport Town Council on the 16th of April, 1903, being deficient on the question of co-option, was presided over by the Hon W. N. Bruoe, one of the principal assistant secretaries of the Board of Education. The Town Clerk (Mr A. A. Newman) represented the Newport Town Council, Mr J. Moxon, solici- tor, appeared for the minority on the Newport Council, and Mr Le Brassaur, solicitor, represented the Roman Catholic party. The Town Clerk submitted the views of the Newport Council, and defended the position they had taken. Mr Moxon said that to provide for the co-opting only of three persons would not meet the views of the minority, which stood on the Council at 18 to 22. He asked that the spirit of the Act, which made no distinction between provided schools and non-provided schools, should be recognised, and said that in Newport there were 2,000 children attending the latter, against 11,800 in the board schools. The minority had relied on the Board of Education dealing with the question of co-option, by which he meant that the services of gentlemen who were experienced in education should be secured. Unfortunately, this question had been mixed up very much with politics, but the welfare of the children was the thing to be studied in dealing with its solution. Apparently, the Pro- visional Order intended to be made for Newport 4aye over the voluntary schools absolutely, and would tend to make their continuance impossible. Mr Bruce said the representatives of the denomi- national schools would always be a small minority on the Education Committee, and pointed out that if the majority determined to act in the particular manner indicated by the Llandrindod conference that would not prevent them from doing so. Mr Moxon complained of the action of the Newport Council on the previous day, when they allotted the minority only six out of eighteen members on the Education Committee, although the minority on the Council was eighteen to twenty. two, and on the School Board it was six to seven. He asserted that the majority was composed of representatives bitterly hostile to voluntary schools The minority asked the Board of Education to protect the voluntary schocls from being stamped out. Mr Le Brasseur, on behalf of the Roman Catholics of Newport, also addressed the Commis- sioner. He said Newport Roman Catholics were in the unique position of contributing one-seventh of tho children of school age, and asked that the scheme should provide for the election on the Committee of a Roman Catholic representative who should be one of three recommended. At present there was not a single member of the Town Council who was a manager of public schools, and, therefore, the question of co-option would arise at once. Alderman Bear said that three gentlemen out of the eighteen to constitute the governing body for Newport were Roman Catholics. That was a proportion of a sixth for a seventh of the number of children, and at once showed that the Newport Council had acted fairly. Mr T. Parry said the minority would be glad to see some of the members of the Newport School Board elected on the new authority. That, amongst others, was the reason why co-option was favoured. The Commissioner concluded the inquiry with the intimation that he would report to the Board of I Education in duo course,

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