HC Deb 14 January 1913 vol 46 cc1875-6
41. Mr. HOGGE

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he proposes to adopt the suggested changes in administration in the Scottish Education Department contained in the evidence given by Sir John Struthers before the Royal Commission on the Civil Service?


The evidence referred to is still unpublished and confidential. The question, therefore, is premature.


Where did Hogge get it?


Does the right hon. Gentleman not recollect that he has already informed the House that he has never seen any of the evidence?


Yes, the hon. Member asked me some time ago whether I had seen any of the evidence before it was given to the Royal Commission, and my reply was that I had not. I thought that as the officials were asked to give evidence personally as officials, that it was not at all my duty to have anything to do with the preparation of the evidence.

44. Mr. LYELL

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether there is a considerable body of opinion in Scotland which considers that the courses of study laid down for non-university students in the training colleges are from many points of view unsatisfactory; and, if so, whether he will consider the advisability of appointing a Committee to inquire into the whole question of the training of Scottish teachers?


I am not aware that there is any considerable body of opinion of the nature indicated. But, as a matter of fact, the training of teachers is primarily in the hands of the various provincial committees which are composed essentially of representatives of school boards in all parts of the country, of universities, and central institutions, and of representatives of various grades of the teaching profession, and any proposals which these bodies may choose to submit for the modification of the system of training will be carefully considered. In view of the existence of committees so constituted, I consider the appointment of any special Committee of Inquiry unnecessary and inexpedient.

48. Mr. LYELL

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether the Educational Institute of Scotland, representing 14,000 teachers, has expressed strong disapproval of the present system of training teachers; that the Glasgow School Board has condemned the junior student system of training teachers and has ceased to nominate such students, and that other large school boards are contemplating the same course; and, if so, what steps he proposes to take to bring about a more satisfactory state of affairs?


I am not aware that the Educational Institute of Scotland has expressed disapproval of the present system of training teachers. I have certainly not heard of any such expression of opinion. The Glasgow School Board has adopted as an experiment the alternative method of the preliminary training of future teachers which is allowed by the Regulations and it is open to other school boards to do the same. I am not aware that the present system which allows these alternatives is unsatisfactory.