HC Deb 08 March 1904 vol 131 cc460-1

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state how many national schools will be prevented from teaching Irish as an extra owing to the recent regulations as to the general standard of the school.


I am informed by the Commissioners that it is not possible to answer this Question with any near approach to accuracy. A considerable number of schools cannot at present be regarded as reaching the standard "good," but it by no means follows that a corresponding number of teachers will be prevented by the recent regulations from teaching Irish as an extra subject. In consequence of the public interest aroused by the new regulations, I have been in communication with the Commissioners in respect of some points in the recent circular which seemed to me to invite their further observations. Under the old results system, no special fee was payable for Irish in any class lower than fifth. Under the new regulations a fee will be payable in classes as low as the fourth. If Irish or any other extra subject be taught by a person unconnected with a national school, who holds a certificate of competency satisfactory to the Commissioners, such teachers will not, as might be assumed, be penalised in any way, or debarred from earning fees by reason of the fact that the ordinary school teacher has failed to conduct his school in such a manner as to earn a "good" report. Moreover, it is intended to give the inspectors a discretionary power to recommend that a teacher of a school shall be allowed to give instruction in extra branches under exceptional circumstances, even though such teacher fails to secure a "good" report on his school. The inspectors will be required, in their reports, to take into consideration the social condition, ages, etc., of the pupils, as well as the locality of the school, and any other circumstances that might render exceptional treatment necessary.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

Who is the individual responsible for these regulations? Tell us the name of the gentleman.


I cannot do that. The responsibility rests with the Commissioners of National Education.


But there is some one driving the wheel. Who is it?


I can only say that the Commissioners, as a body, are responsible.