BOURNEMOUTH'S Town Council on Friday upheld the education committee's decision not to continue to allow free places for Catholic children qualifying for grammar school education at the two Catholic independent schools in the town.
This decision is the result of an appeal by a Catholic deputation, including Mr. R. A. G. O'Brien, secretary of the Catholic Education Council, Mr. L. Donleavy, chairman of the Bournemouth C.P.E.A., and Dr. Tolburst.
The proposal that the free places should be restored was moved by the Deputy Mayor, Alderman Benwell, but was defeated by 25 voles to 18.
The parish priests of Bournemouth had previously sent a letter to all parents concerned urging them to resist attempts by the local education authority to induce them to send their children to the authority's nonCatholic schools.
"This stand," said the letter, "is vital to our Catholic cause. Any wavering now will do untold and lasting damage."
Another attempt will be made at next month's meeting of the town council to get free places for this year's children on the grounds of a public notice in the local Press last March, offering free places to Catholic children if they passed the selection test-a notice inserted by the local authority.