HC Deb 06 August 1888 vol 329 cc1711-2
MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether an order has lately been issued to the effect that all Battery Sergeant Majors, Quartermaster Sergeants, Colour Sergeants of Infantry, and Troop Sergeant Majors of Cavalry, who are not in possession of a first-class certificate for educational attainments, are to be considered ineligible for further promotion; and, whether a second-class certificate has hitherto been regarded as sufficient; and, if so, what is the reason for the change?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

Hitherto it has been the rule to require a second-class certificate of education on promotion to Sergeant, and no higher test has been demanded for subsequent promotion. Now, however, the ranks of Warrant Officer and Quartermaster sergeant carry such advantages and have such duties that, considering the general state of education in the country, it has been thought that a higher standard might fairly be required for promotion to those ranks. It is also hoped that the Regulation may induce better educated men to enter the Army. Accordingly, from the beginning of 1889 the first-class certificate will he required. This will give candidates time to prepare. I may add that the test is only about equivalent to Standard VII. in the Board Schools, which many boys reach before the ago of 14.