HC Deb 26 March 1895 vol 32 cc177-9

On behalf of the hon. Member for the St. Patrick's Division of Dublin (Mr. W. Field), I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that at the Teachers' Congress of 1893 a resolution was adopted, asking the Commissioners to exempt members of teachers' families from the new regulations, which provide that no person shall be eligible for the position of principal or assistant who has not successfully passed through a five years' monitorial course, or who has not been trained in one of the recognised training colleges; and whether, in view of the fact that the members of teachers' families have the same facilities for acquiring a knowledge of the best methods of teaching that paid monitors have, he will recommend the Commissioners to admit them to the examinations under the old regulations, and more particularly so in cases where, when a teacher is obliged to retire through ill-health, a member of his family is qualified to take his place?


The Commissioners of National Education are aware of the resolution of the nature indicated in the question. The Commissioners appoint paid monitors on the recommendation of the Inspectors, who select them by competitive examination from the eligible pupils. They are appointed only in National Schools that are efficiently conducted, and whose teachers are certified by the Inspectors as well qualified to instruct and train monitors in the art of teaching and the organisation of schools. At the end of their course of five years, monitors are examined for classification, and if they pass the examination successfully they are eligible for teacherships, without passing through a training college. There is nothing in the Rules to debar pupils who are the sons or daughters of the teachers from candidature for monitorships in their schools, in cases where the ordinary conditions are fulfilled. But the Commissioners would strongly disapprove of a relaxation for purposes of family interests, of those conditions which, in respect to untrained candidates, they consider to be necessary for maintaining a due standard of fitness for teacherships. As regards the cases of teachers retiring from ill-health, it is open to the manager to appoint a member of the teacher's family as successor to the teachership; but the Commissioners could not sanction any arrangements under which the incoming teacher shall be exempt from the conditions of monitorial service or of training.