HC Deb 20 July 1908 vol 192 cc1462-3
MR. J. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he can state what educational advantages the Commissioners of National Education anticipate from the appointment of a female assistant to a school, Roll 1,950, Circuit 9, Section A.; whether he can state 'how many girls' schools in the same circuit are being more efficiently conducted than the school referred to; whether, if the boys' school be made into a girls' school and to the present girls' school a class room were built and the boys transferred school, Roll No. 2,997, would there be space in school, Roll 1,950 for the present, attendance of girls plus the infant boys; whether the withdrawal of the infant boys would mean the probable dismissal of the assistant; whether such contingency constitutes an exemption from Rule 127 (b); whether in enforcing this rule the Commissioners take into account the qualifications and ability of the teaching staff; and whether, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the Commissioners will re-consider their decision.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The manager of the Carrick National Schools for boys and girls respectively has applied to the Commissioners of National Education for a grant towards the cost of the enlargement of the present schools, which are contained in the same building. The Commissioners pointed out to him that before they could sanction a grant it was necessary that provision should be made for the transfer to the girls' school of the infant boys at present in the boys' school. The Commissioners further stated that if the manager objected to this condition they might make a grant if he should undertake, on the occurrence of a vacancy, to appoint an assistant mistress to the boys' school to look after the infant boys. The Commissioners are satisfied that infant boys are better instructed and cared for by mistresses than by masters. They could not say without prolonged inquiry how many girls' schools in the same circuit are more efficiently conducted. The existing boys' school would afford sufficient accommodation for all the girls and infant boys. The withdrawal of the infant boys from the present boys' school would make precarious the position of the assistant in that school, and in such circumstances Rule 127 (b) is not enforced. Before enforcing that rule in any case the Commissioners consider all the circumstances of the school and its staff. The Commissioners see no grounds for varying the modified conditions in which they will consider an application for a grant-in-aid, as already notified to the manager.