Evidence that Anglicans are now pressing for reliefs to save their schools — threatened with extinction under the 1944 Education Act—has now come to light.
The National Society, official Anglican body concerned with schools problems, and the Church of England Schools Council have rejected charges of " idleness" at a time when the country's Catholics were conducting a widely publicised campaign.
The Rev. H. A. S. Pink, National Society secretary, stated in the Church Times last week that proposals for " substantial reliefs " were put forward in February. These proposals, he claimed, were " sound and reasonable," though they were not accompanied by any
publicity campaign. It was understood that they should be carried out within dee framework of the 1944 Act.
"The grant of fifty per cent. offered to aided schools was then, and is still, in the light of the strange history of popular education in this country, a genuine and generous offer," he said.
"Circumstances have changed to the Church's disadvantage and may change again in her favour. In the meanwhile, Church people still have a real opportunity, if the mitigations suggested below are accepted, and if the capital can be made, to retain their schools."
The " mitigations " referred to are : Reduction of improvements to what is strictly demanded by efficiency; reduction of the amount of land demanded for sites so that existing schools can be redeveloped: retention of existing schools in good repair, and a bigger grant analogous to the 75 per cent. grant for the " special agreement " schools of 1936.
Special State aid is also asked for schools that cannot be reconstructed " for perhaps 20 years."