§ MR. E. ROBERTSON (Dundee)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the following advertisement which appeared in the issue of the Schoolmaster dated 2nd April, 1892:—Willand School Board (Devon).—Wanted, Midsummer next, Certificated (Married) Master and Mistress, Mixed Board School, Willand, Collumpton, Devon. Wife, Infants, Needlework. Average 63 children. Harmonium in church. Drawing";and whether it is the duty of the district auditor to surcharge the members of the Willand School Board, who sign the cheques for the salaries of teachers, with any amount which may be paid out of the school fund for work other than that directly connected with the office of schoolmaster?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. LONG, Wilts, Devizes
(who replied) said: My attention had not been previously directed to the advertisement referred to. I have no doubt that the district auditor will duly consider any question which may arise as to the legality of any payment which may appear in the accounts of the School Board; and if the Local Government Board are called upon in the exercise of their equitable jurisdiction to determine any appeal which they may receive against his decision, the facts will be fully considered by them.
§ MR. E. ROBERTSON
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether his attention has been called to the following advertisement which appeared in the issue of the Schoolmaster, dated 2nd April, 1892:—Willand School Board (Devon).—Wanted, Midsummer next, Certificated (Married) Master and Mistress, Mixed Board School, Willand, Collumpton, Devon. Wife, Infants, Needlework. Average 63 children. Harmonium in Church. Drawing";whether he is aware that the income of the Willand School Board is entirely derived from Government grants and local rates; whether he will instruct Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools for the district to inquire at his next annual visit to the school whether, in the Form IX. presented to him, the amount returned thereon as expended in salaries includes any payment to the master for playing the "harmonium in church"; and whether he is yet prepared to take any steps to prevent the masters and mistresses of elementary schools being compelled to undertake work for which they either receive no payment, or else receive payment out of public funds provided solely for educational purposes?
§ * THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Sir W. HART DYKE,) Kent, Dartford
Such advertisements as that referred to in the hon. Member's two questions are, I believe, not uncommon; but a note has been introduced into the manager's Return which makes it the duty of the Inspector to see that the salary paid to the teacher does not include any sum paid in respect of services in any other capacity, and will thus prevent any misapplication of the school income. I must, however, demur to the terms of the last paragraph of the second question, as teachers can always discover, on applying for an engagement, whether it involves distasteful duties.
§ MR. H. J. WILSON (York, W.R., Holmfirth)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether he has seen in the Schoolmaster, of 27th February, an advertisement of the Painswick School Board for a certificated assistant 1093 master, which advertisement states that "the post of organist at the Parish Church is vacant, salary £20 a year. Assistant would be eligible;" whether it forms any part of the duties of a School Board to advertise for a Parish Church organist; and whether, in view of the fact that such an intimation is calculated to deter all but members of the Church of England from becoming applicants for the assistant mastership, the Department will take steps to prevent a repetition of such proceedings?
§ * SIR W. HART DYKE
I cannot undertake to review the advertising columns of the Schoolmaster, but it does not appear to me that the School Board limited its choice to persons who were competent to undertake the duties of organist. There is, however, no power in the Department to interfere, and I cannot accept what appears to be the doctrine of the hon. Member that such an advertisement is in the nature of a religious test.