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Education Act 1918

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

8Provisions as to attendance at elementary schools

(1)Subject as provided in this Act, no exemption from attendance at school shall be granted to any child between the ages of five and fourteen years, and any enactment giving a power, or imposing a duty, to provide for any such exemption, and any provision of a byelaw providing for any such exemption, shall cease to have effect, without prejudice to any exemptions already granted. Any byelaw which names a lower age than fourteen as the age up to which a parent shall cause his child to attend school shall have effect as if the age of fourteen were substituted for that lower age.

(2)In section seventy-four of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, as amended by section six of the Elementary Education Act, 1900, fifteen years shall be substituted for fourteen years as the maximum age up to which byelaws relating to school attendance may require parents to cause their children to attend school, and any such byelaw requiring attendance at school of children between the ages of fourteen and fifteen may apply either generally to all such children, or to children other than those employed in any specified occupations:

Provided that it shall be lawful for a local education authority to grant exemption from the obligation to attend school to Individual children between the ages of fourteen and fifteen for such time and upon such conditions as the authority think fit in any case where after due inquiry the circumstances seem to justify such an exemption.

(3)It shall not be a defence to proceedings relating to school attendance under the Education Acts or any byelaws made thereunder that a child is attending a school or institution providing efficient elementary instruction unless the school or institution is open to inspection either by the local education authority or by the Board of Education, and unless satisfactory registers are kept of the attendance of the scholars thereat.

(4)A local education authority may with the approval of the Board of Education make a byelaw under section seventy-four of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, providing that parents shall not be required to cause their children to attend school or to receive efficient elementary instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic before the age of six years :

Provided that in considering any such byelaw the Board shall have regard to the adequacy of the provision of nursery schools for the area to which the byelaw relates, and shall, if requested by any ten parents of children attending public elementary schools for that area, hold a public inquiry for the purpose of determining whether the byelaw should be approved.

(5)Notwithstanding anything in the Education Acts the Board of Education may, on the application of the local education authority, authorise the instruction of children in public elementary schools till the end of the school term in which they reach the age of sixteen or (in special circumstances) such later age as appears to the Board desirable :

Provided that, in considering such application, the Board shall have regard to the adequacy and suitability of the arrangements made by the authority under paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (1) of section two of this Act and to the effective development and organisation of all forms of education in the area, and to any representations made by the managers of schools.

(6)The power of a local education authority under section seven of the Education Act, 1902, to give directions as to secular instruction shall include the power to direct that any child in attendance at a public elementary school shall attend during such hours as may be directed by the authority at any class, whether conducted on the school premises or not, for the purpose of practical or special instruction or demonstration, and attendance at such a class shall, where the local education authority so direct, be deemed for the purpose of any enactment or byelaw relating to school attendance to be attendance at a public elementary school :

Provided that, if by reason of any such direction a child is prevented on any day from receiving religious instruction in the school at the ordinary time mentioned in the time-table, reasonable facilities shall be afforded, subject to the provisions of section seven of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, for enabling such child to receive religious instruction in the school at some other time.

(7)In section eleven of the Elementary Education Act, 1876, (which relates to school attendance) for the words " there is not within two miles " there shall be substituted the words

there is not within such distance as may be prescribed by the byelaws.

(8)Nothing in this section shall affect the provisions of the Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act, 1893, or the Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Acts, 1899 to 1914, relating to the attendance at school of the children to whom those Acts apply.

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