Catholic Managers' Rights Explained
Our Educational Correipondent
One of the largest handicaps which confronted managers of Catholic schools in the past in their endeavour to provide education facilities of a standard equal to that of the provided schools has been the difficulty of obtaining sites for new schools and for the extension or remodelling of existing schools.
At the National Conference of Catholic
Teachers held in Liverpool it was pointed out that under Section III of the Education Act (1921) the local education authority was empowered to enforce the purchase of land for educational purposes; that the Acquisition of Land Act, 1919, and the
To* HA Omit!!! Planning AN (1E)
gave local authorities power to purchase land and to determine the character of the buildings to be erected thereon.
Despite these powers few such facilities have been offered by local education authorities to Catholic school managers.
Power of Local Authorities
Ilke powers g•Lvtn it5 local autbotlitin 111 assist non-provided schools have been extended by the new Education Act (1936), for it is stated in Section 8 (6): " Where a local education authority has agreed to make a grant under this section, anti the mat of carrying out the proposals with respect to whi:th the groat is made attributable in whole or in part to the purchase of land, the authority shall have power themselves to rurchaso the land and to permit it to be used. and o convey U. or (AIM It to cunreyed for the purpose of carrying out the proposals: " Provided that the land SO purchased by the authority shall not he lased or conveyed OS aforesaid until, either by being set off against a payment on account of the grant or otherwise. all expenses of or incirfental to the purchase have been repaid to the authority."
It is clear, therefore, that managers can
IllakG a fCai claim for assistance in IMF' ing sites SO long as the local education authority is willing to make an agreement in accordance with the terms and spirit of the Education Act.
Purchase of a Site
That local authorities will make an
aircement is to it cuccial sat Ill ll article in Education, the journal of the local education authorities, the secretary of the Association of Education Committees, Dr. Percival Sharp, B.Sc., writes: "It ds sometimes difficult by agreement to purchase land in a situation most convenient for a school and where there are obstacles to such an Ireement the local education authority is usually better able to surmount them than the managers of the school to be enlarged or the persons proposing to provide the new school. Also S. 8. (6.) seems to extend ihe power of compulsory purchase given to local education authorities by Section III of the principal Act in that it would appear, at least at first sight, somcwhat unusual to Yt 1113Cal al1111114 power of compulsory purchase of land so that they may transfer to another body. It is not expected, however, that such transacticin will be open to objection for the reason that the local authority will be considerably interested in it."
The new Education Act (1936) was said to be " a first step towards a settlement of
the education question " and if it assists Catholic managers to obtain sites for schools this commendation has been fully earned.
A Scottish Custom
When one reads a notice like the following one cannot but wonder when the final step towards an education solution will be taken in rnsiarict and s!m!lar nodees " After the summer holidays, the pupils of St. Bride's Schools, Cambuslang, have been transferred to a new school of the same name, provided by Lanark Education Committee. Overcrowding will be remedied through the accommodation afforded by 20 classrooms with places for 1,000 children.
The cost has Leen Babb. te .11 school will in due course be utilised as an advanced division centre for Roman Catholic children."
The point is that in common with other citizens, Catholics are rate and tax-payers and under the Scottish Education Act schools for Catholic children are erected eAuAR gf fiunt obtained from rates and taxes.