HC Deb 09 March 1906 vol 153 c775

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether, in the case of parents who desire to send their infant boys to boys' schools, he would direct the Board of Education in Ireland to respect parental rights in this matter by exempting the children of such parents from the application of Rule 127b.

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) The rule in question is as follows:—127 (b). Boys under seven years of age are ineligible for enrolment in a boys' school where there is not a mistress, unless—(1) there is no suitable school under a mistress available in the locality, or (2) the probable effect of this rule will be the loss of an assistant teacher to the school. On the occurrence of a vacancy for an assistant, a mistress should be appointed, otherwise no further exemption as regards the prohibition of the enrolment of boys under seven years of age can be granted. The Commissioners of National Education inform me that they cannot sanction any exemptions from the operation of the rule other than those provided for by the rule itself. If boys under seven years of age should be sent by their parents to boys' schools in other cases, the attendance of such infant boys cannot be included by the teachers in the calculation of the average attendances of their schools.