HC Deb 24 November 1909 vol 13 cc193-4

asked the President of the Board of Education whether the German teacher now employed at the council school at Holloway, who had been brought over from Germany on the interchange system, was allowed to take ordinary class work; whether the Board of Education had sanctioned this arrangement; whether his being employed to do this work was in accordance with the Board's regulations on the is subject; whether the Board would cancel its approval, if it had been given, so that an Englishman might be appointed to do this work; and whether he had any official information showing that the Prussian Government had in any case employed its English teachers, whose services it had obtained under the interchange system, to take ordinary class work to the exclusion of German masters?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Runciman)

The conditions under which German assistants are assigned by the Board of Education to English schools are regulated by the Convention between His Majesty's Government and the Prussian Government. The Convention provides, among other things, that assistants must not be required to give regular class instruction, or to take supervision duty, and that not more than 12 hours' work a week may be demanded of them. These provisions were inserted for the protection of the assistants, and in order that they might have plenty of time and opportunity to pursue their own studies. In the case to which the hon. Member refers, the approval of the Prussian Ministry of Education was asked and given to an arrangement whereby the assistant would take class instruction within the limits of time laid down toy the Convention. The Board see no reason to withhold their approval of this arrangement. I am informed that as a matter of fact the teacher in question is supernumerary to the ordinary establishment of the school, and that his removal would not necessitate the appointment of another teacher in his place; but I cannot admit that that has anything to do with the case, or that any obstacle should be raised to the appointment of a foreign teacher where such an appointment would be in the best interests of the school. The answer to the concluding paragraph of the question is in the negative.


Why are there granted under these conditions to German subjects special privileges which are not allowed to British subjects in Germany under similar conditions?


I understand that that is not the case. As a matter of fact, I am informed—not officially, but by some of the assistants who have returned from Germany—that they have had the privilege of taking class instruction in German schools.