HC Deb 03 March 1904 vol 131 cc63-4

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Board of Education whether his attention has been drawn to the letter written to a candidate selected for appointment to the office of headmaster of the Hopton Wafers Non-Provided School, Shropshire, by the corresponding manager on 9th February; whether that letter, which asks the candidate if after appointment he will play the organ and trim the lamps, is a violation of Article 71* of the Education Code, which makes it illegal to impose any duties outside the ordinary school hours as a condition of appointment; whether he will ascertain whether the local education authority has sanctioned the appointment in question; and, if so, whether he will call the attention of the authority to the fact that, if Article 71* be violated, the Board of Education will not recognise any teacher in schools where the conditions of that of Article have be n evaded.


I have seen the contents of the letter to which the hon. Member refers. It is a letter of inquiry addressed by one of six managers to a candidate for a teacher's place as to whether he can play the organ, and contains some information as to work done by the retiring teacher outside the duties of his post. There is nothing in the letter to suggest that the undertaking of this work was a condition of appointment—indeed, the exact contrary is stated—or that the manager who wrote the letter addressed this inquiry on behalf of his five colleagues. I am informed that the local education authority will shortly consider the matter. In the absence of further information, and until the local education authority have considered the matter, it would not be desirable for me to give a definite opinion as to whether Article 71* has been violated.


Does the hon. Gentleman think that for a corresponding manager to write such a letter is a proper proceeding?


Order, Order! That is a matter of opinion.