§ MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether he is aware that in many public schools in the Metropolis pressure is being brought to bear on the scholars to induce them to subscribe to a fund now being formed in connection with the approaching Royal Wedding; whether the collection of subscriptions for such a purpose properly falls within the duties of teachers; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?
§ MR. ACLAND
The Department has received no definite information to the effect stated by the hon. Member; but, under the circumstances stated by him, it would depend upon the nature and amount of the pressure put upon the scholars whether it would be necessary to take any action. The collection of subscriptions for such a purpose does not fall within the duty of a teacher as such. In the absence of further information, I do not propose to take any action; but if it were shown that any child suffered any kind of disability for not subscribing, it would be a matter for careful consideration.
§ MR. DALZIEL
Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been directed to the case of a scholar attending a school in Kennington, who, having brought the teacher a message from her mother saying that she was too poor to subscribe, was told by the teacher that her mother "must be a very mean person." Can any steps be taken to prevent a repetition of such incidents?
§ MR. ACLAND
Though such incidents are to be regretted, the only duty of the Department is to consider cases where children suffer any kind of disability through the action of the teacher.
§ MR. A. C. MORTON (Peterborough)
Will the right hon. Gentleman inform the managers of Board schools that 792 these enforced subscriptions must not be made?