§ MR. PARNELL
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If his attention had been called to the Resolution of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, forwarded to the Commissioners of National Education last December, condemnatory of the recent action of the Board in requiring an average attendance of seventy instead of fifty scholars to secure the payment for the services of an assistant teacher in national schools; whether the Right honourable Gentleman, in view of this Resolution from so influential a body, will direct the Education Board to modify the Rule; whether the work of teaching in national schools, owing to the system of payment by results, is not greater than it was in 1863; and, whether it is true that half the inspecting staff, during the years the results system has been in operation, have left the service through infirmity, or have died?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
I have seen, Sir, the Resolution of the Roman Catholic Archbishops and Bishops with regard to the question referred to by the hon. Gentleman, and I have also seen a Memorandum from the Commissioners of National Education, stating the grounds 1242 on which they do not agree with that Resolution. It would not be fitting for me, or anyone appointed to a responsible office, to decide upon the Resolution without full inquiry into the matter. Payment for results has increased the salaries of teachers. I do not think that the labour of conscientious hardworking teachers is greatly increased owing to payment for results, though, no doubt, the additional payments will stimulate those who were apathetic before. It is not correct to say that half the inspecting staff have left the service through infirmity, or have died since the system of payment for results had come into operation. The number of inspectors is 98, and the total number of vacancies from all causes is 26, or little more than one-fourth, in the eight years.