HC Deb 27 May 1880 vol 252 cc516-7

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether the Council will so far modify the instruction contained in Article 69 of the Code of Regulations for Scotland as to allow the school teachers whose certificates it is proposed to suspend to send an explanation of their conduct direct to the Department?


Sir, I think it is desirable, in reply to the Question of the hon. and gallant Member (Sir Alexander Gordon), to state what has of late years been the practice of the Education Department with respect to this painful and difficult class of cases. When either the Report of the Inspector or the certificate of the managers shows anything seriously wrong, we write to the managers, setting out what appears to call for explanation, requesting that this may be communicated to the teacher, and that such statement as the teacher wishes to submit in reply may be forwarded to the Department with the remarks of the managers thereon. We do not communicate with the teacher personally, because we have no direct official relations with him; we know him only as being in the employ of the managers. By proceeding as we do we save an interminable amount of copying letters for transmission to and fro between the managers, Inspector, and teacher before the case is decided. Every case which appears to call for serious notice is referred to the Vice President, who has before him, when deciding it, the Inspector's Report, the managers' certificate and statements, the statement of the teacher's defence, and the comments of three superior officers of the Department—namely, two Examiners (one at least a senior)and an Assistant Secretary, and in cases where questions as to registration are at issue, a special Report by an expert in such matters. There has been no case for some years past of cancelling or suspending a certificate of a teacher, except after a careful investigation and consideration by the Vice President himself; and I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that, in a matter so vitally affecting the teacher, I shall endeavour to be as careful as my Predecessors, and I shall give the teacher the fullest opportunity of stating his case.