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Extraordinary School Board Prosecution.

* At a recent sitting of the Wandsworth Police Court, Mr Charles Kennedy, of Fullerton road, Wands* ’ worth, was summoned tor not sending his three children to school. Defendant was represented by his wife, who said she was educating her; own children, which she supposed , was, allowed, but the officer told her it was ' not. Her husband had been a solicitor in practice, and she was highly educated. A note was handed to- the Magistrate from defendant, stating that his children were being trained at home by their mother, who hatd been a governess. Mr Paget thought it was not a case for the interference: of the fechool Board. Captain Pasley, the superintendent, said that he could not obtain any proof tqat the children were being educated. Mr Paget wished to know from the visitor why he thought the children required the enforcement ’ of the penal rules. The visitor said he found the children playing in, the street. He called on the parents, and . was told by the mother that she would send the children to school, but she had not done so. Mr Paget said the children were getting education at home. It seemed to him that the School Board officer had interfered improperly. Captain Pasley stated that the houses in the street where defendant lived were inhabited by persons who would come under the Education Act. . They generally drew a line at a rental of L4O per annum. Mrs Kennedy denied that her children were in the habit of playing in the street. The youngest child, a girl of 5 years of age, was called on to the Bench by Mr Paget, as he was informed by her mother that she could: work sums, though so young. Mr Paget then set the child a small addition sum, which she cast up correctly. ; He then gave her a book, and she appeared to read the letters without difficulty. Captain Pasley said if proof : had been given before, he would not have proceeded with the case. Mr Paget said it was quite clear that AJt Kennedy was a gentleman of education, whose children were being educated at home by his wife. If a gentleman was to 1 be subjected to that inquisitorial treatment, the Act would become intolerable. It was an extremely difficult Act, which required care to carry out He must say, in that district, Captain Pasley had administered it with great discretion and kind feeling. He adjourned the summons for the attendance of Mr Kennedy and his eldest daughter. β€”On the following Tuesday, Mr Kennedy appeared with his eldest daughter, aged 11. Mr Paget tested her knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic and was satisfied. Defendant said that some months ago he offered tO submit his children to the test j but he received a reply stating that it was unlawful to educate the children at home. Mr Paget said the object of the Act was to prevent children being brought up under such circumstances as were likely to cause them to be a burden on the country, and not to educate senior wranglers. It was most desirable that the object of the Act should not be misunderstood, and that it should be carried out with extreme forbearance. He dismissed the summons, and ordered the School Board to pay defendant Lx is and costs.

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Bibliographic details

Extraordinary School Board Prosecution., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 350, 21 May 1881

Word Count

Extraordinary School Board Prosecution. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 350, 21 May 1881