HC Deb 13 July 1904 vol 137 cc1467-9

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Com- † See page 800. missioners of National Education have received a statement of the case of the principal teacher of Victoria Street National School, Lurgan (District 11, Roll No. 15,020), in which it is shown that the new system of fixed salaries, introduced in 1900, owing to the rapid increase in the average attendance, has resulted in a loss to the teacher of over £60 in the first three years, and that a teacher of the same service, standing, and qualifications, and the same average attendance, but whose attendance during the three years was normal, would receive about £900 more in salary before being pensioned than the teacher of the Victoria Street School; and, if so, whether in view of the Statement of the Resident Commissioner that no teacher would lose a single penny by the change, the Commissioners, under Rule 200 (III.) or other wise, will give special consideration to this case, and increase the remuneration of the teacher to correspond with the increased average attendance of the school.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) The Commissioners do not admit the loss of income alleged by this teacher. On fixing his income under the present system the fact that the average attendance at the School was increasing rapidly was taken into consideration, and he was allowed not merely the average of his receipts for the three years ended 31st March, 1900, as his initial salary under the new system, but he got the benefit of Rule 200 (III.) and was allowed a "normal" income of £100 per annum. This "normal" income represented the estimated value of his position at the time on the supposition that the old system of payments remained in force. The abolition of the old system of payments has resulted in an increase of the actual payments to national teachers generally of more than £40,000 per annum in three years. The teacher referred to was promoted to the second grade from 1st April, 1903, which carried with it an increased salary of £7 per annum. He is eligible for further triennial increases of good-service salary according to the prescribed scale and also for promotion, by which it is possible for him to reach an income of £175 per annum exclusive of the annual capitation payment from the school grant under the Irish Education Act, 1892, which payment is augmented by any increase in his average. His prospects are much better in every way under the new system than under the old. No such unqualified promise was given by the Resident Commissioner in regard to the salaries of teachers as stated in the Question.