HC Deb 07 May 1896 vol 40 cc732-3
MR. J. P. FARRELL (Cavan, W.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) if he can state what is the number of work mistresses at present employed in mixed National Schools in Ireland; (2) what was the amount of their industrial result fees for the last school year and the average sum each received; (3) has any invitation been yet extended to the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland to consider the advisability of reasonably increasing their annual salary and annual industrial results; and, if so, what has been the decision of the Commissioners; and, (4) as the Board now have an extra grant of £33,383 to allocate, will he kindly use his influence with the Commissioners to grant a decent proportion for the increased attention to and encouragement of an industrial education by these work mistresses.


The number of work mistresses employed in mixed National Schools on the 31st December, 1895, was 843. The Commissioners could not give the information required by the second paragraph without making inquiries which would occupy some time. The third paragraph appears to refer to a statement made by me in the House on the 18th February, when I pointed out that I was not aware that any grounds existed for proposing a further increase in the fixed salaries of work mistresses, though I should be prepared to invite the Commissioners to consider the matter. Certain proposals have in consequence been submitted by the Commissioners to the Irish Government and will receive due consideration. I cannot state what is the nature of these proposals. The Commissioners have no power to apply any portion of the increase in the amount of their Estimates for the current year to the object mentioned in the last paragraph.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he can state if assistant school teachers in Irish National Schools are paid as much salary as assistant teachers in model schools; (2) whether his attention has been called to the desire of the Conference of National School Teachers, held in Belfast last month, requesting that the Government would pay class salaries, and that the duties of assistant teachers are quite as onerous as principals; and (3) whether he will consider the claims of assistant teachers to be paid class salaries?


The fixed salaries of assistant teachers in ordinary National Schools is limited to £42 for males and £32 8s. for females, together with a bonus addition in certain cases of £9 to males and £7 10s. to females. Assistants in model schools receive their full class salaries, and in addition male assistants receive a supplemental salary of £20 and females a supplemental salary of £16. But they do not receive any payment from the Customs and Excise Grant in which assistants in ordinary schools share. I have seen a resolution passed at the meeting referred to in the second paragraph, but it does not appear to declare that the duties of assistant teachers are quite as onerous as those of principals. I have already more than once pointed out that the position and duties of assistant teachers are quite subordinate to those of principals. As regards the third paragraph I must refer to my reply to the similar inquiry addressed to me by the hon. Member on the 3rd March.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, seeing that the National School teachers of Ireland were deprived of the sum of £70,000 during the years 1892–3, 1893–4, and 1894–5, he will take steps to have this sum repaid to the Irish teachers?


If the hon. Member will refer to the Debate on this subject on the 30th March and to my Answer to a Question put by the hon. Member for North Cork on the 27th April, he will see that I have already explained to the House that the grants for the years mentioned were definitely settled by the late Parliament in strict accordance with the Act, and that it is impossible for the Government to reopen the account.