HC Deb 27 March 1906 vol 154 cc1070-1
* MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that a young lady teacher in the Holyhead Intermediate School, Miss Peggy Williams, daughter of the Rev. John Williams, was ordered to remove a ring from her finger, which she wears with her father's consent, and that, having refused to comply, she was suspended by the head teacher; and whether, in view of this case and the one at Rotherham recently, he will issue instructions to the principal teachers in all schools receiving Government or rate aid, prohibiting the use of such powers over female teachers by their superiors.


I have seen a newspaper report of the case at Holyhead referred to. I may point out that girls in both these cases were pupils and not teachers in the schools. I quite agree with the hon. Member that the treatment of these girls appears to have been of an arbitrary and most unwise character. At the same time sumptuary laws of this kind are very common, especially in girls' schools, and are, so I am informed, attended with very satisfactory results. I do not think that the central authority in Whitehall should interfere with the discretion of the governors or managers of the schools in laying down rules of discipline unless such rules have led to a loss of efficiency in the school.


Will the right hon. Gentleman see that Miss Turner is not prevented going on as a teacher, seeing that her engagement has been broken? Is hers not a grievance which it is within his duty to deal with?


I deal with that case in answer to the next Question.