HC Deb 03 December 1908 vol 197 cc1644-6
MR. NANNETTI (Dublin, College Green)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland what is the average salary of trained assistant teachers in ordinary national schools in Dublin city, model schools not included; why are assistant teachers in Dublin schools paid smaller salaries than assistant teachers in London, Edinburgh, or other English or Scottish towns, if they perform equally efficient work; is he aware that no assistant teacher in an ordinary national school in Ireland receives promotion, that is, he is placed in the lowest or third grade and must remain there, no matter what his qualifications and length of service, or how effective his work may be in the school; is he aware that married assistant teachers in Dublin pay from one-third to one-half their salaries for house rent alone, and cannot possibly live up to that standard of decency and respectability expected from those who educate the children of the citizens of Dublin, while unmarried assistants have to pay such high rents for rooms and board that they have not a living wage; and will he recommend the promotion of assistants to the higher grades, according to efficiency and length of service, as they receive the same training, pass the same examinations, possess equal qualifications, and with equal service are quite as efficient as principal teachers.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Commissioners of National Education inform me that the average salary of the assistant teachers referred to in the Question is £79 17s. for men and £71 5s. 5d. for women. I am not in a position to compare the salary and work of assistant teachers in Dublin with that of assistant teachers in English and Scottish towns. Assistant teachers rank as a rule in the third grade, but there are exceptions to this rule. None have as yet been promoted to a higher grade since 1900. I have no means of ascertaining what house rents they pay. The Commissioners' rules provide for increases of salary to assistant teachers and for their promotion in exceptional circumstances, but it was never contemplated nor would the Commissioners consider it desirable to give assistants the same rights as principals in regard to promotion. The Commissioners desire that principals should, as a rule, be recruited from experienced assistants, but few assistants would be willing to undertake the responsibilities of principals if they could do as well from a monetary point of view by remaining assistants.