§ MR. J. R. MACDONALD (Leicester)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he has received an application from the Education Committee of Leicester, asking that the teachers may be excused from being vaccinated against their will; and whether, in view of the fact that vaccination is no longer compulsory by law, he will allow persons with a conscientious objection to vaccination to be accepted as teachers.
§ MR BIRRELL
I have received the application mentioned in the Question. It has always been the practice of the Board to require that all persons proposing to be engaged as teachers should be vaccinated. I understand that in certain districts local authorities find it difficult to obtain teachers owing to the fact that a considerable part of the population has not been vaccinated. As it is the local authority and not the Board which engages the teacher, it is a matter for consideration whether it might not be possible to throw upon local authorities the onus of consenting or refusing to employ un-vaccinated teachers. But the question is one of so much importance that I am not yet prepared to make any definite statement.