HC Deb 01 April 1887 vol 313 cc212-3
DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether the attention of the Scotch Education Department has been called to a Memorial from the School Board of Paisley, asking the withdrawal by the Department of a Report, made by Professor Roberts, of St. Andrews, on the French and German section of Paisley Grammar School, on the ground that it deals unjustly with that section of the school, and reflects unmerited censure on its teacher, and that it was based on a perfunctory examination by an examiner unskilled in modern languages; whether it is true as alleged that, among other things, in the course of his examination of a French class, the Inspector recorded a mistake against each of a class of 30 pupils, because they pronounced hier (yesterday) with the "h" mute and the "r" audible, instead of the reverse, and that, in examining in German, pupils were marked as in error because they correctly gave gebracht and not gebrungen as the past participle of bringen; whether the examiner in question is regularly or only occasionally employed on examination duty of the Department; and, whether the Scotch Education Department have taken, or will take, steps to test the accuracy of the statements made in the Memorial of the School Board of Paisley, and the evidence therein referred to?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities)

The Scotch Education Department, at the request of the School Board, appointed examiners for the inspection of the Paisley Grammar School, one of whom was Professor Birrell, of St Andrews; and owing to his sudden illness, their Lordships adopted the suggestion that Professor Roberts, who had at the request of the School Board examined the school on several previous occasions, should take his place. Their Lordships have received a Memorial as described from five of the School Boards, and also one from a minority of four expressing agreement with the Report. Having appointed as examiner a gentleman of position which warranted belief in his fitness, and who possessed apparently the confidence of the School Board, their Lordships' function is at an end, and they have no means of testing statements made with reference to the Report.