HC Deb 17 July 1879 vol 248 cc619-20

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether his attention has been directed to the constantly increasing expenditure of Schools under the Education Act, by the em- ployment of masters with a high art certificate at a much higher salary than a man without such an extra qualification could command (namely, an ordinary certificated master) with the avowed object of making the school earn much more, such extra earning and extra learning eventually coming out of the pockets of the ratepayers; whether it was originally contemplated and intended by the Education Act of 1870 that such a result should ensue at such an extra cost to the ratepayers, especially in rural districts; and, whether the Government intend taking any steps to discourage such extra cost being incurred by placing a limit to the salaries to be paid to schoolmasters, or, at all events, by making those who desire to receive such a high education pay the extra expense of it themselves instead of throwing it on the ratepayers as now is the case?


Sir, no doubt, the salaries of masters have considerably risen during the last few years, partly owing to an increased demand and partly to the higher qualifications of the teachers. No doubt, school managers do sometimes pay a higher salary in order to attract a more competent master, but as this is entirely optional on their part, I can hardly so interfere with their discretion as exactly to prescribe the salaries which they may or may not pay to those whom they employ, although, I think, it is advisable to make the payment of school fees to a great extent dependent upon the character of the education given.