§ 53. Mr. D. MASON
asked the President of the Board of Education whether he can inform the House what measures, if any, His Majesty's Government intend to propose for the financial improvement of school teachers?
The matter is receiving my most careful consideration, but I am not yet in a position to make any statement on the subject.
54. Mr. DENNISS
asked the President of the Board of Education if he will state the numbers of the boys and of the girls, respectively, who are known to the Board of Education as preparing to qualify for the position of teachers in public elementary schools?
The total number of boys and girls (including in each case students in training colleges for elementary school teachers) known to the Board at the beginning of the year 1916–17 to be preparing to become teachers in public elementary schools was 22,858, namely, 2,914 boys and 19,944 girls. This number includes boys and girls in all stages of their preparation. I am sending the detailed figures to the hon. Member.
§ Mr. PERCY HARRIS (Leicester, Harborough)
Does not this scale show a serious decline compared with previous years?
§ 55. Mr. OUTHWAITE
asked the President of the Board of Education whether any steps are being taken to increase the salaries of certificated teachers in public elementary schools during the war?
As the hon. Member is, no doubt, aware, teachers in public elementary schools are applying in many areas to the local education authorities for improvement of their salaries. Many authorities have granted increases of salary, usually by way of war bonus. The problem of securing a permanent improvement in the remuneration of the teaching profession is one which I need hardly say is regarded by me as of the first importance.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
Does the right hon. Gentleman think it is a fair position that while in some localities teachers should get an increase of salary, in others it should be denied to them, though they are all suffering?
That, I take it, is part of the price we pay for having our system of education managed partly by central authority and partly by local authority.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Assuming that local authorities are anxious and willing to increase the salaries of the teachers, will the Board of Education make them a larger grant?
The Board of Education is considering very seriously the question of teachers' salaries, and I need hardly say, considering it in a spirit of sympathy.