HC Deb 26 April 1883 vol 278 cc1131-2

asked the Vice President of the Council of Education, Whether his attention has been called to the refusal of the Principal of the Carnarvon Training College to admit a student (who had completed his term of five years as a pupil teacher at the Conway National School) on the ground that he had been baptized by a Nonconformist Minister; whether the Carnarvon Training College received last year a grant from Government of £2,070 towards an expenditure of £2,688; and, whether the Committee of Council on Education intend to take any action in the matter?


Sir, my attention has been called to this case. It appears that a pupil teacher in a Church of England school at Conway, who had been confirmed by the Bishop of the diocese and was a communicant, was refused admission to the candidates' list of Carnarvon Training College because he had been baptized in infancy by a Nonconformist minister. These facts becoming known to the Education Department during my recent absence, a communication was at once addressed to the Governing Body of the College to ascertain whether the action of the Principal met their approval, to which they have replied that the Committee have unanimously decided that the pupil teacher in question is eligible for admission to the College. Although this is satisfactory so far as this pupil teacher is concerned, the correspondence of the Principal of Carnarvon Training College with the Vicar of Conway is of so extraordinary a character that he cannot be regarded as a fit person to superintend the training of teachers who will have to deal in a spirit of courtesy and tolerance with the children of parents of all denominations. This circumstance, taken in connection with the general results obtained in the College in recent years, necessitates the consideration of the question whether, without considerable changes, it should continue to receive annual grants. The figures quoted by the hon. Member as to the amount of annual grant for 1881 are correct. I think I may venture to express the belief that what has happened at Carnarvon Training College—which I know has caused much pain and regret to some of the managers—could not happen at any other Church of England Training College in receipt of annual grants.