HC Deb 21 March 1878 vol 238 cc1751-2

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether the insertion of the words "or by Parliament" in Art. 17 (g) of the Education Code now lying upon the Table, preclude the idea of teachers being paid for the Annual Return required by Regulations of 9th February 1877, relating to Education Act, 1876; and, if it be intended that managers, and not teachers, should be responsible for furnishing the Return, why are teachers who refuse to draw up the Return threatened with loss of certificate?


Sir, the insertion of the words "or by Parliament" does not preclude teachers from being paid for the annual Return alluded to by the hon. Member. These words were introduced to assist the Department in obtaining from school boards and school managers answers to Returns ordered by Parliament, which the Department has found great difficulty in securing in previous years, and in some cases were only able to obtain by threatening to withhold the annual grant unless the Order of Parliament was obeyed. With regard to the second part of the Question of the hon. Member, teachers are not threatened with a loss of certificate if they refuse to draw up the Return he alluded to; but if they decline to make an entry from the school register, so as to give the parent the certificate of the age of his child, the certificate of school attendance, or the certificate of proficiency, to which he is entitled, in the first instance without payment, under the Education Act of 1876; or if they make a charge for such an entry when such charge has not been sanctioned by the Department. It was found necessary to make this regulation in order to fulfil the stipulation in the Act of 1876, to which Parliament during its passing attached great importance, that the parent should not pay for the certificates which are needed to enable him to send his child to work, and also because in former cases—for example, under the Agricultural Children's Act— teachers were found to make excessive charges to parents for certificates, in some instances demanding 2s. 6d. for the information which the parent was obliged to require under Act of Parliament. I am glad to have had the opportunity of removing the misapprehension which appears to have existed on the subject.