HC Deb 15 December 1908 vol 198 cc1560-1

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the inspectors in Circuit (8) are urging that cookery and laundry work be added to the present curriculum in national schools, and if they have authority from the Commissioners of National Education to threaten the withholding of increments and promotion if these subjects are not introduced by teachers; and whether the Commissioners have made any provision for equipping schools for these subjects, or if it is intended to impose this monetary obligation upon the teachers who have already many such burdens to bear.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Commissioners of National Education are not aware that the inspectors in Circuit (8) have been making exceptional efforts to secure the teaching of cookery and laundry work. In cases where cookery is not taught, and where prima facie there seems to be no reason why it should not be taught, inspectors have been requested to say whether they have brought the provisions of the rule on the subject under the notice of the managers but they have not been instructed to threaten the withholding of increments or other penal action. Under the Commissioners' rules increments may be withheld from the teaching staff of schools in which cookery is not taught, unless special sanction has been obtained for the omission. As regards the concluding portion of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to a Question asked by the hon. Member for East Kerry on the 10th instant.