HC Deb 30 July 1894 vol 27 cc1258-9

On behalf of the hon. Member for South Down, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, he is aware that female assistant teachers under the National Board in Ireland are paid 10s. per annum under third class salary, no matter what their classification is, whereas male assistant teachers are paid full third class salary, although the former are quite as responsible for the literary proficiency of their divisions of schools as are the latter, and are besides solely responsible for a very extended course of instruction in needlework; whether this state of affairs was aggravated in 1892 by disallowing the female assistants the 20 per cent. on those 10s.; what reason there was for first establishing this difference; and whether any reason now exists for continuing it; if not, whether provision will be made to abolish this anomalous disparity?


Assistant teachers, males and females, are paid fixed salaries, not class salaries. This principle was laid down by the Government in 1879, when they fixed the salary for a male assistant at £35, and for a female assistant at £27. The rate of £35 for a male assistant happened to be coincident with the third class salary for male principals; but that for female assistants did not coincide with any class salary. In some cases, that is, of mixed schools under principal male teachers, it is quite true that the female assistants have necessarily the entire charge of the needlework. It is not so in schools where the principals are females. The Education Act of 1892, which increased the salaries, distinguishes between "class salaries" and the "salaries of assistant teachers," in awarding 20 per cent. augmentation of salary to both. The female assistants receive the full augmentation of salary allowed to them by the Act—namely, the 20 per cent. added to the £27 fixed salary. The Commissioners inform me that it has not hitherto occurred to them that the matter referred to called for action on their part, and that as it would cost much to accomplish, the Treasury would resist any change.