HC Deb 15 February 1898 vol 53 cc643-4
MR. MACALEESE (Monaghan, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, seeing that the remuneration of work-mistresses in an Irish National school is 10 or 11 times less than that of a male principal teacher, although they are required to be present in school at least half as long as the male teachers, and that they derive no advantage from residence or pension, will he undertake to place industrial teaching in the Irish National schools on a better footing than it now occupies?


There can be no proper comparison drawn between the position, services, and pay of a work-mistress and of a principal teacher. The former is unclassed, and her function is restricted entirely to the teaching of needlework, knitting, etc., whereas the principal teacher of a National School has had to undergo a long course of study preparatory to obtaining classification at examination in the several subjects of an extensive and varied programme. Moreover, the attendance of the work-mistress is limited to two hours daily, and her function, whilst conversant with the one subject only, extends to the female pupils of the school in which she is employed, and which must be a mixed school for boys and girls under a master, and without a female assistant. As regards the remainder of the question, I have nothing to add to my replies to the similar questions addressed to me last year.