HC Deb 28 July 1903 vol 126 cc536-7
MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the inquiry into the model schools in Ireland, which was in progress in 1897, was completed; whether the Report and evidence have ever been presented to Parliament; and, it not, whether he can state when they will be presented.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) This question was referred to the Board of National Education, who have made a statement as follows:—A committee of the Board to inquire into the working of the model schools was appointed on the 5th January, 1897. The committee sat at various times between January and August, 1897. During that period the committee inquired into the working of the central model schools only, and made certain recommendations to the Board, which were subsequently given effect to. The investigation into the cases of the other model schools, twenty-nine in number, has not yet taken place, although some preliminary Returns have been called for. The changes in the system of national education brought about by the recommendations of the Manual and Practical Instruction Commission of 1898, involving the revision of (a) the entire school programme; (b) the methods of promotion and payment of the teachers; (c) the methods of inspection of schools and modifications in the classification, method of appointment, promotion, and remuneration of the inspectors, together with other important changes in the system, occupied so fully the time of the Board that the model school inquiry was necessarily suspended. Last year the Board directed that the inquiry should be resumed. It must be observed, however, that owing to the changes in the national system above alluded to the model school question has assumed a new phase. Under the revised arrangements model school teachers come under the same conditions of the service as the teachers of ordinary national schools, and are subject to the same regulations in regard to promotion and payment. Model schools are now somewhat like ordinary national schools which are vested in the Commissioners, that is, the buildings are maintained at the cost of the State, and the teachers are paid, in the case of new appointments, according to the same scales as the teachers of ordinary national schools. Model schools really only differ from ordinary national schools vested in the Commissioners in having a staff of pupil teachers and some teachers of special subjects, and in being under the direct management of the Board instead of local management. It is impossible to say when the committee of inquiry will terminate its labours.