HC Deb 24 April 1907 vol 173 cc8-9
MR. MURPHY (Kerry, E.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that it is customary for the Commissioners of National Education to transfer their inspectors of national schools every three years, and that more than half these inspectors were transferred at 1st April, 1906; whether he is aware that inspectors, as a rule, give unfavourable reports against which the Board will allow no appeal or re-examination, on their first visits to schools, when reports equal to the two preceding reports would mean promotion; whether his attention has been called to a resolution of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, requesting that no teacher who had got two consecutive reports up to the required standard for promotion should be disallowed that promotion through the first report of any inspector; if so, will he say whether the Board will comply with that resolution when considering the promotions during the year commencing the 1st instant upon the inspectors' reports for the three preceding years; if not, how many teachers will be disallowed to first grade and first-of-first grade respectively through the Board's non-compliance with that request; and will he, in view of the slowness of promotion, impress on the Board the desirability of complying with the request mentioned.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Commissioners of National Education inform me that there is no fixed rule as to the transfer of inspectors from one circuit to another. The period for which an inspector may be retained in any district depends on the exigencies of the service. It is not the case, as stated, that inspectors as a rule make unfavourable reports on their first visits to schools, when reports equal to the two preceding reports would mean promotion. In January last the Commissioners received from the National Teachers' Association a resolution to the effect stated in the Question. They do not, however, consider it necessary or desirable to adopt the suggestion contained in the resolution. The Commissioners cannot at present say in how many cases promotion will be disallowed. The question of the promotion of teachers is one entirely for the Commissioners, and I am afraid that I cannot interfere with their discretion in the matter.