§ MR. J. F. VESEY KNOX (Cavan, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the attention of inspectors has yet been called to the desirability of leniency in examining schools, owing to the recent severe weather; and, if so, what was the date of the National Hoards Circular; and whether he will say what are the objections to including among the rules of the National Board a rule similar to Rule 101 in the English Code, giving to schools where the average attendance has been greatly reduced by the prevalence of an epidemic, or other exceptional cause of the like nature, a special grant making up the loss in the ordinary grant?
MR. J. MORLEY
No circular of the nature indicated in the first paragraph has been issued to Inspectors of Schools. The difficulty in adopting a Rule for Ireland similar to that in the English Code is that the modes of payment of teachers in the two countries are widely different. In England the payments mainly depend on the average daily attendance of scholars, and are therefore liable to fluctuation. In Ire land, on the other hand, about one-half of the teachers' incomes are in fixed salaries which, under the discretion allowed to the Commissioners, remain unaffected for whatever period the attendance may be injuriously affected by severe weather epidemics, &c.