HC Deb 18 May 1876 vol 229 cc919-20

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If any deci- sion has been come to by the Government with reference to the complaint as to the increase of fees payable in the Model Schools in Ireland, which was brought before the Prime Minister by a Deputation in the month of March last?


The special complaint urged by the memorialists was that in January last a new fee of £1 per quarter was added by the Commissioners of Education in Ireland to the scale of fees previously existing in the model schools. Having inquired into the matter, the Government find that even this increased fee cannot be taken to represent the real value of the education given in the model schools; that it will only be exacted from children whose parents are in such a social position as to be well able to pay for the whole cost of their children's education; and that the children of poor parents, and those in training for the office of teacher, can still avail themselves of the benefits of these schools at a scale of fees descending as low as 1d. per week. Under these circumstances, the Government have not considered it advisable to interfere with the decision of the Commissioners of Education on the point, as they cannot anticipate that it will lead to the results feared by the memorialists. But they fully recognize the necessity of maintaining the model schools in efficiency and usefulness, and the working of the new scale of fees, and of the system generally, will be carefully watched with that object.