HC Deb 01 March 1906 vol 152 cc1317-8
MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education, whether he will at once consider the desirability of amending the regulation which comes into force next year, and make it quite clear that the Education Department will encourage university training to be given in the elementary teachers' training colleges, having regard to the fact that most of the students in training are the sons and daughters of those who are unable to give them an opportunity to obtain degrees in either of the universities.


In replying to the Question I should like to assure the hon. Member that the Board of Education have no desire to discourage the entrance to University courses and the acquisition of University degrees on the part of persons intending to become elementary school teachers, who are qualified to profit by such courses and to obtain the degrees. The intention of the circular to which the hon. Member seems to refer in his Question is not to discourage this movement, but to secure that persons of inadequate attainments should not be diverted from other courses of training more suited to them. I am giving the whole matter my most careful consideration as I recognise the importance of the issues involved, but I must remind the hon. Member that these grants are voted by Parliament to secure the regular supply of competent teachers for our elementary schools, and that the Board are bound to see that other objects, however desirable in themselves, are not allowed to supersede this primary purposes.


Is it not the case that the permanent officials of the Department discourage rather than encourage the movement?


I hope not. It is not my view that they should.