§ In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:
§ The expression "service" means such service as is determined by the Board to be full-time service, but does not include service after the age of sixty-five years unless the Board in any special case allows such service to be treated as service for any of the purposes of this Act:
§ The expression "recognised service" means such service as is recognised by the Board for the purposes of this Act—
- (i) in the capacity of a certificated or un-certificated teacher, or a teacher of a special subject, in or in connection with a public elementary school:
- (ii) in the capacity of a certificated teacher or of a teacher or such other kind as may be prescribed in a school certified under Part TV. of the Children Act, 1908, under the Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act, 1893, or under the Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act, 1899:
- (iii) in the capacity of a certificated or un-certificated teacher in a certified institution Tinder the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913:
- (iv) in the capacity of a teacher in any other Grant-aided school:
- (v) in the capacity of a certificated teacher during any period before the commencement of this Act in any service which in his case was recorded by the Board under the Act of 1898, and, in the case of a teacher who was employed in such service at the commencement of this Act, in the capacity of a certificated teacher in such service during any period after that date:
- (vi) in the capacity of a teacher in any school, not being an elementary school or a school certified under Bart IV. of the Children Act, 1908, which though not Grant-aided at the date of the service was Grant-aided at the commencement of this Act, or becomes Grant-aided within five years after that date:
- (vii) in the capacity of a teacher during any period after the commencement of this Act in any other school being a school which is of such kind as may be prescribed and which satisfies the prescribed conditions:
- (viii) subject to the prescribed conditions, in the capacity of a teacher during any period before the commencement of this Act in any other school, not being a school conducted for private profit, so, however, that not more than ten years' service in any such school shall be recognised for the purposes of this Act:
§ The expression "qualifying service" means any employment, whether in the capacity of a teacher or otherwise, which the Treasury, on the recommendation of the Board, may declare to be qualifying service for the purpose of calculating the period qualifying for a superannuation allowance:
§ The expression "Grand-aided school" means a place of education (other than a university or university college) in receipt of a Grant, or in respect of which a Grant is made, out of moneys provided by Parliament from or by the Board or from or by any public Department whose place has been taken by the Board:
§ The expression "average salary" means the average amount of the teacher's salary (exclusive, unless the Board otherwise direct, of fees or other emoluments) in respect of his recognised service for the five years of recognised service (whether continuous or not), next preceding the commencement of an annual superannuation allowance or the Grant of an additional allowance or gratuity, or if the teacher has not been employed in recognised service for five years, then the average amount of salary exclusive as aforesaid during the period for which he has been so employed.
I beg to move, in paragraph (vii), to leave out the words "of such a kind as may be prescribed and which satisfies the prescribed conditions," and to insert instead thereof the words,approved by the Treasury for the purposes of this provision and which—
On the Committee stage several hon. Members expressed a desire that some more definite indication should be given as to schools in which service would be pensionable under the Amendment which was then proposed, and this is an attempt to give effect to that wish. When the Bill was introduced it contained no provision for recognising as pensionable service service in schools not aided by Grants, and consequently the Board had not directed its attention to the problems which might arise if schools of that class were included; and even if they desired to do so they had not the machinery for obtaining the necessary information. Schools which do not receive Grants do not come within the purview of the Board, and we have no official information respecting them. As the territory is to a large extent unexplored, it has been found impossible to draft an Amendment stating with precision what schools would be included, and the Amendment now proposed indicates what schools will be excluded, and on this point it Lays down four principles. The first is that service in a school which is conducted for private profit cannot be pensionable. The grant of pensions to masters in a school necessarily relieves, either directly or indirectly, the finance of the persons who conduct that school, and it would be impossible for the Government to give subventions to the owners of private schools. The second condition is that schools must be open to inspection by the Board of Education. This, of course, does not exclude the Board making use of a university as an inspecting agency; but we lay it down that the school should be shown to the satisfaction of the Board to be efficient. In order to ascertain whether a school is efficient, it is necessary to inspect, and clearly the body which inspects it, or is responsible for its inspection, must be the body which is responsible to Parliament for the administration of pensions. The object of the Bill is to promote efficient education, and education is not promoted by the continuance of inefficient institutions, and it would be clearly contrary to the general policy of the Bill to give pension aid to teachers in inefficient schools.
- (a) is not conducted for private profit; and
- (b) is open to inspection by the Board and is shown to the satisfaction of the Board to be efficient; and
- (c) is unable out of its own resources to maintain a satisfactory pensions scheme; and
- (d) satisfies such other conditions as may be prescribed as necessary or desirable for securing the public interest."
The third requirement is that the school shall be unable, out of its own resources, to maintain a satisfactory pension sys- 1834 tem. Here the principle is that Government money should be given to schools which require it, and not to schools which do not require it. The fourth requirement is that a school should satisfy such conditions as may be prescribed by the Board of Education, with the consent of the Treasury, as necessary or desirable for securing the public interest. It is impossible to state at this stage what these conditions will be; but a school which takes public money must be prepared to comply with conditions which the responsible Government imposes as conditions of the receipt of that money and as essential to the public interest. It must, for instance, be made as far as possible acceptable to persons who can benefit from education in that school. It must have a responsible governing body admitting of some degree of public interest, and its internal organisation should be such as at least not to contravene any guiding principle which it may be in the public interest to impose. In addition, the school must be approved by the Treasury for the purpose. This requirement is imposed because the Board of Education is not at present in a position to give a detailed list of the schools in which service can properly be pensionable, and the Treasury, as guardian of the public purse, must be satisfied before public money is given that the case is one in which public expenditure is proper. These are the principle conditions which we propose to attach to the grant of pension aid to schools which are not in receipt of Grant aid. I hope the Government will not be pressed to seek any further for definitions. The matter is very largely unexplored, but I feel certain that those who have the interests of this class of school most at heart will be the first to acknowledge that the Government has gone a very long way towards meeting desires which have been expressed during the discussions upon the Bill.
§ Sir C. HENRY
I am somewhat disappointed at the terms of the Amentment, and especially at the manner in which the right hon. Gentleman proposes to deal with private schools. In the past those schools have done useful work, and work of great necessity for education, and at one time they filled a gap, and if they had not existed education would have been in dire straits. To a certain extent, if the right hon. Gentleman excludes them, he is instrumental in sounding the death-knell of many of them. It will be 1835 difficult to get teachers when they have no likelihood of receiving pensions, and they will go to schools where they will obtain them. But I think the Amendment does not entirely shut the door to private schools. Supposing a school is ready to be open to inspection by the Board or a university, and is shown to be efficient and still is run for private profit, will it be excluded? Further, if a school which may start out as a proprietary school with the hope of making a profit is unable to do so owing to the growth of secondary schools in the neighbourhood and is unable out of its own resources to maintain a satisfactory pension scheme, would the fact of its being a private school exclude it from the benefits of a pension scheme? As regards paragraph (d), if a private school run for a profit satisfies such conditions as may be prescribed as necessary or desirable for securing the public interest, will its teachers be excluded? If so, I really think the right hon. Gentleman is dealing very harshly with these private schools. Does he want to close them up entirely? I would ask him to say that private schools which submit themselves to inspection by the Board or university should come under the benefits of the measure, and if they prescribe to the necessary and desirable conditions for the public interest they also should come in. I do not expect that all private schools should be allowed to benefit under the measure if they will not comply with those terms, but in the interests of the masters of the private schools and of the community generally I ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether he cannot admit them. I would put another proposition to him. Supposing a proprietary school admits a certain number of free scholars, nominated by a county council, would its teachers be debarred from the benefits of the Bill? I appeal most earnestly and sincerely to the right hon. Gentleman to take this into consideration. I feel that private schools have had a real grievance. They expanded and equipped themselves and then secondary schools came in and took away a large measure of the support from them, and now, if they are to be further handicapped, the right hon. Gentleman might just as well say candidly, "It is my intention to do all I can to exterminate private schools."
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
It was my privilege to place on the Paper an Amendment the 1836 object of which was very similar to this proposal, and, in the circumstances, I am pleased to be able to support it. I thank the right hon. Gentleman for the extremely sympathetic attitude which he took up when the Amendment was first placed on the Paper that the teachers of schools which are not Grant-aided should be pensionable. I feel with my hon. Friend who has just spoken some regret that the efficient private schools cannot be included within the scheme now before the House, but I do recognise at once that having regard to the principle that underlies the whole of this Bill, it would have been extremely difficult for the President to have included in this particular scheme the private schools. The Amendment, as it stands, if it forms part of the Bill, will be received with gratitude by a large number of efficient schools in this country, and I have very little hesitation in saying that it will be a means of including in this pensionable scheme hundreds of good, sound teachers, and that that inclusion will take place without any additional cost to the Treasury. As regards large private schools, I do hope and believe that on some future occasion it will be possible to introduce an amending Bill to the Bill now before the House, founded altogether on a different principle from that which underlies this Bill, by means of which efficient teachers in private schools will be capable of receiving pensions. There can be no doubt, I am afraid, that if private schools had been included in the Bill as it now stands it must have been at some additional cost to the Treasury.
What I hope in the future to be able to see is that the teachers and not the school shall be the unit for the application of the principle of pension. In accordance with the present Bill it is the school that has to be efficient in order that the teacher in the school may receive a pension. What I want to see is that every competent teacher, who may be placed upon the register of teachers, shall be capable of receiving a pension under the scheme, and that the teacher shall be the unit rather than the school itself. That would involve an entirely different principle on which such a Bill would have to be founded. Under these circumstances, and hoping that this Bill may pass its Report stage to-day, and its Third Beading on Wednesday, so that it may be passed into law this Session, I am glad to be able to accept the Amendment, and, 1837 at the same time, to thank the President for his sympathetic attitude towards the object which I and many others have in view.
§ Sir W. PEARCE
I want to ask the President as to the position of the Poor Law schools under the Amendment he is introducing. The teachers of Poor Law schools are largely recruited from the same class as the teachers in elementary schools, and if they are not allowed to come under the same rate of pensions it will be extremely difficult for Poor Law schools to get a satisfactory supply of teachers. Poor Law schools are doing a great service to the State and I, therefore, hope that it is possible that they may be included in one of the three classes indicated in the Amendment. I think it is necessary to have the point cleared up, because the Guardians are very anxious on this point. They feel that the efficiency of their schools may be very greatly hindered and impeded if it is not possible to brine their staffs under this scale of pension. There is no doubt a great deal of anxiety on the subject, and I should be very glad if the President would state that it will be possible for teachers in Poor Law schools to be included under this scale.
Sir M. BARLOW
With regard to the Amendments which have been brought forward by the President, so far as they go we are grateful for them. There is no doubt about that. As the hon. Member for London University (Sir P. Magnus) has said they do go further than we had originally anticipated. At the same time I hope we shall not be accused of being unduly ungrateful in saying that the Amendment in its present shape does fill us with a good deal of misgiving. I think it is common ground that we want to do what is best in the general educational interests of the country. You have here what admittedly are a thousand strong schools, which at present are not in the position of being rate-aided. They surely are doing the work of the State. I am only here putting the argument which has been put so ably by the hon. Member for Cambridge University—therefore, if they are doing the work of the State and doing it at no cost to the State when their individual teachers say, "Give us reasonable consideration in regard to pensions," surely that is a reasonable claim. As I understand, the President has seen the solid ground for that claim and has accepted it. Let us see how he deals 1838 with it. He says, first of all, the school must not be conducted for private profit. I think we are all agreed about that. I have no difficulty in accepting that. Secondly, the school is to be open to inspection by the Board, and it must be shown to be efficient. There, again, I think that is a perfectly reasonable proposition. Next we come to paragraph (c), that the school must be unable of its own resources to maintain a satisfactory pensions scheme. There are two words in that provision which are open to a lot of trouble. One is "unable," and the other is "satisfactory." On whose judgment is the school determined to be "unable"? Who is to decide whether the pension scheme is satisfactory? I suppose it will be the Board of Education. Or is it to be left in the hands of the teachers or of the school authorities to decide? In any case, if it is the Board which is to decide whether the school is unable of its own resources to maintain a pensions scheme, and if it is for the Board to decide whether the pensions scheme put forward is satisfactory, I think we ought clearly to understand it. It would prevent a good deal of confusion in the future.
Assuming it is the Board which is to decide—and as the Board represents the paying authority I presume it is the Board that will make the decision—then surely we are doing what we pleaded so hard in the Committee stage should not be done, namely, we are putting a burden of uncertainty upon these schools. They propound a scheme, they get actuarial calculations. They have, of course, their own conditions as to the payment of masters and elaborate arrangements about houses, and so on, very often. Those of us who are familiar with the work of Thring, of Uppingham, know the immense difficulties there were in the way of his getting adequate masters for his school. He was obliged to make arrangements with them in the early days as to the building and owning of their houses which, later on, he probably would have been glad to modify. Each school is apt to have its own special financial arrangements and financial difficulties. Supposing a school puts forward a scheme and it has actuarial calculations. It is open to the Board to say, "You are able to put up some sort of scheme, but it is not a satisfactory scheme." Suppose the governors think it is satisfactory? It is very hard if the Board come down and say, "No, it is not." I should have thought that if the 1839 teachers and the governing body were satisfied that the scheme was satisfactory such a scheme ought to be satisfactory for all purposes, because you may rely upon the teachers looking after their own interests. Then there is an Amendment which is to be moved, which puts a maximum limit of salary in certain cases. I do not mind a maximum limit, but we will deal with that when it comes. It is, however, difficult to deal with these two Amendments except together. I have no objection to a maximum limit provided it is reasonably high.
Generally speaking in regard to this Clause, I do urge the President to see whether he cannot give us a little more consideration. I do not think this Clause is going to be satisfactory from the point of view of getting peace and from the point of view of getting good teaching staffs in the schools we have in mind. That is the object we have in view. We want to improve the standard of teaching in the educational world throughout the country. Then for heaven's sake, and for the sake of some little conditions, do not render a large class of teachers—and that class admittedly in schools of the highest outlook in this country—discontented! I suggest that there should be some modifications of paragraph (c) in order to make it a little less uncertain and a little more clear as to what is in the President's mind. Generally speaking, both in regard to this Clause and in regard to the Amendment of Clause 16, I am very much afraid the effect will be to make the position of teachers concerned more difficult than it was before, and it will render it more difficult for the governing bodies to get the best teachers. If that is the result, I should deprecate it very much.
§ Sir J. D. REES
For financial reasons I should think the President of the Board of Education could not properly propose to include the teachers in private schools, although I quite realise that to leave them in the position of not coming under this Act will be, if not to sound the death-knell of private schools, to seriously prejudice them. As one who prefers private effort to Government effort and private schools to Government schools, I should most deeply deplore that. But I do not think that it is admissible to include them with any fairness to the taxpayer. We are fast approaching a state of things in this country in which half the population are Government servants receiving and the 1840 other half are impoverished taxpayers providing salaries of different dimensions. My hon. Friend (Sir M. Barlow) argued that the teachers in private schools are doing State work. That might very fairly be argued, and with equal force, of almost everybody else. I do not see how these teachers can be more properly brought under the head of State servants doing Government work than any other persons engaged in any beneficial occupation. The effect of the moving of this new Clause emphasises my point that at the present time in an almost empty House, while the Members are away and are occupied with far greater issues, Acts are being rushed through the House of Commons and through Parliament which will entail upon the taxpayer heavy charges, and which would not have been accepted by Parliament had they been brought forward at a time when domestic issues of this character could receive the attention they deserve. I have urged that before, and it arises very much upon this present Clause. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman how the paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d) will work. Are the great public schools—Winchester, Eton, and Harrow, and such ancient foundations—not conducted for private profit?
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Sir J. D. REES
No? The housemasters make their little bit, I suppose! I contend that it is very difficult to say that they are not conducted for private profit. It seems to me a rather difficult definition. I do not suppose that these masters make large fortunes, far from it, but I presume there is some private profit made in the case of these great public schools. As regards Sub-clause (b), under which the schools are to be open to inspection by the Board and shown to the satisfaction of the Board to be efficient, may I ask the President of the Board of Education, does it mean "shown after inspection," because I have always understood that such inspection was entirely optional? None of the great public schools are bound at present to undergo such inspection, and if they were not inspected would it be taken for granted that they were efficient?
§ Sir J. D. REES
Then under this Clause it might happen that the Board of Educa- 1841 tion might declare one of the great public schools to be inefficient. The Board of Education might fairly explain what seems to be a dilemma. As regards (c), I agree with the hon. Member that it is open to very serious objection as regards the words "satisfactory and unable." How would it be if in addition to the word "unable," we read "unwilling"? Suppose a school is unwilling out of its own resources, as heaven knows it might reasonably be, to maintain a pensions scheme—because we do not want the whole world to be brought under pensions schemes—what would be the effect, because I do not understand it? The President of the Board of Education, referring to the Clause generally, said that he had gone a long way. I am sure that he has, but has he increased the cost?
§ Sir J. D. REES
If the right hon. Gentleman can make a proposal which increases the cost of this Bill, is my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Montgomeryshire ruled finally out of order in proposing, what I meant to support him in doing, that directors, inspectors, secretaries, and organisers should be included?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
This Amendment does not increase the cost of the Bill. As the Bill passed through the Committee stage the addition was made. An Amendment to increase the cost should start in the Committee stage, but the Amendment which is now under discussion does not increase the cost.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Is it finally ruled out as impossible on this occasion to propose that those administrative officers should be included? I ask because my right hon. Friend gave some sort of encouragement to the idea that he would consider the point, presumably favourably. If so, apparently he will be unable to give that encouragement.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That clearly would add a fresh class to those already included in the Bill, and that would mean an extra charge.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
I am sorry that I cannot join completely in the sentiments which have been expressed as to the scope of this Amendment, but let us remember exactly what this Amendment means. This Bill is, to my mind, in some degree a very great and new departure, and I think in some respects a dangerous departure, but 1842 this Clause is the only one which to a certain extent gives a little relaxation and a little freedom within what I consider to be in some respects a dangerous Bill. If this Bill were going greatly to improve the position of the teachers I would not grudge its cost for a moment, but I think that it is not merely from its financial point of view, but from its administrative point of view, that this Bill is in some respects most dangerous. I brought that out when first the Financial Clause came before the House. Instead of a contributory scheme of pensions for teachers in public or aided schools you have now a system of non-contributory pensions established for a particular set of schools arbitrarily selected, and not selected because they have contributory schemes. This Clause is the only concession which the right hon. Gentleman has made in regard to that dangerous point. It is all very well to say that you cannot admit private schools and cannot recognise service in private schools. Certainly, if you have a contributory system of your own, you are quite right to keep them out, but remember you cannot keep them out without saying, "You are outside altogether the class of teachers." It is fair to refuse them admission to a class of pensions which are contributory, but it is not fair to say to them, "We open wide to teachers who have not contributed the advantage of these pensions, but we shut out a very large class of teachers from these pensions."
That is the central point. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Education has never really satisfactorily dealt with it. This Amendment is the only relaxation. But when he says, in the second Sub-section, "is open to inspection by the Board," that is not, as he said it would mean, inspection by the universities. There is a tendency in all later administration of the Board of Education to draw the rope tightly round educational administration and to make it more and more a thing which is to be under the official eye, with very little freedom of action or choice, where everything is to be inspected by the Board and everything is to be regulated and approved by the Board. That is not what I, at all events, think is the ideal of education in this country. He now makes a very large step forward, and I warn him that, however small this Bill, and however little attention is given to its various stages, he is taking a very new and a very long step 1843 forward towards making teachers in public schools into Civil servants, and I object to that on the part of the teaching profession. I think that sooner or later this will work evil in the teaching profession. Why are you to take one class of the community more than another, unless they are to be considered as Civil servants in the service of the State, and give them pensions without any contribution? There is no other class who hitherto have been pensioned on a non-contributory system.
I have a right, also, to intervene here, because this matter does not deal only with England. It affects also Scottish teachers very largely. Hitherto it has been the case that Scottish and English teachers were on an equal footing. The degrees in one country were recognised in the other. Service under one Department counted as service under the other. In all respects interchange of teachers between England and Scotland was perfectly open. This Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman does not permit that. If an English teacher goes to Scotland for a certain number of years he will lose the advantage which he has hitherto had. If a Scottish teacher, on the other hand, comes to an English school, his years of service will not count towards his pension. That is introducing a very serious breach in what has been a satisfactory arrangement hitherto between England and Scotland. No one can maintain that it is not a good thing that teachers in England and Scotland should exchange perfectly freely. There was a general standard maintained between them. Now you are digging a gulf between the two sets of teachers. A teacher cannot change from England to Scotland without dislocating entirely the scheme of pensions for which he stands. In Scotland we have, so far, only contributory pensions. I am quite aware that teachers are not a very reticent class in Scotland if they have any grievance, and they have not, so far as I am aware, asked that the contributory system should be entirely abolished. I have always insisted on liberal aid being given, but that it should be started on a principle of small contributions, and I do not see why you have suddenly started an entirely new scheme for England, which is to leave Scotland out altogether, and which is to exclude from the category for which provision is made one class of schools which do not come within the hard-and-fast official regulations. That is the centre of 1844 my doubts about your Bill, and it is not removed by the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman, though it is the only Amendment which has been introduced to alleviate this hardship. I do not think that it is sufficient to do away with very many of the objections which can be urged against this Bill.
§ Sir W. COLLINS
I have not intervened in the Debate on this Bill, because I am anxious not to delay for one moment its successful passage into law. I rejoice that the work of the right hon. Gentleman, both in the improvement of the salaries of teachers, and in the provision of pensions will, as I hope, secure that the teaching profession, at any rate in public elementary and secondary schools and in these non-Grant-aided schools, will be a more remunerative, more honourable and a more attractive profession than in the past. As has been pointed out, in the matter of principle this Bill has made a most important change in the whole method of retirement legislation, and I think that that might be given as a reason for not pressing the right hon. Gentleman to go much further than he has done in the case of these non-Grant-aided schools. After all in 1912 a committee was appointed to consider the pensions of secondary school teachers, and the right hon. Gentleman has told us that he threw over the proposal of a federated university scheme on the contributory principle, and, under this Bill, pensions are being given out of moneys provided by Parliament to persons who are not in the employment of the State without any contribution either from the beneficiaries, or from those who employ them in the shape of local authorities or managers. These, indeed, may be described as revolutionary principles, and very generous principles, in the matter of pensions, but I think one can hardly press the right hon. Gentleman to go much further when we are dealing with these private schools which are still less, as it were, connected with any State organisation. If the teachers in them are to enjoy pension rates on the Civil Service scale without any contribution whatever, if that principle be conceded, I can hardly see where the development on these lines will stop. You must remember that the schemes of the police, the Poor Law, the Asylums officers, the Metropolitan borough councils are contributory schemes, and obviously in the case of the municipal employés and the borough and county councils, about whom 1845 a committee is sitting, the principle in this Bill will be cited as a model for future pension schemes I confess that to press the right hon. Gentleman further in the matter of these private schools than he has already gone or to widen the limitations he has prescribed in this Amendment is scarcely fair. I was rather surprised to hear the right hon. Gentleman say—I am not sure I understood him—that the adoption of this Amendment would not involve additional cost. I think he put the estimate at £2,000,000 as the cost of working this scheme.
The hon. Member is confusing two things. The Amendment in Committee will, of course, increase the cost. This is an amendment of that, and its effect will be to reduce the cost.
§ Sir W. COLLINS
I am obliged, but I do not think even in Committee it was stated what would be the cost of embodying the private schools. I think the right hon. Gentleman said he was dealing with an area which had not been very fully explored and possibly he will find difficulty in giving us the final figure. I do not think in the Committee stage or now we have heard any estimate of the final cost out of the public revenue of pensioning these teachers in private schools. For these reasons I do not think the right hon. Gentleman should be pressed to go further. He has made generous provision for the private teacher and I hope this Bill will satisfactorily pass into law.
§ Mr. DILLON
What the hon. and learned Member says is absolutely true of this Bill. It introduces a wholly novel procedure or principle as regards these retiring allowances. It is much more generous than any scheme I know of now in working. That may be right or may be wrong, and what the hon. and learned Member has said applies to the teachers in these State-aided schools. No doubt that principle will be quoted all over the country, and will be made the subject of application by other bodies to have similar principles applied to their case. That goes without saying. I do not think these principles which the hon. and learned Member dwelt on applied to the vitally important question, which raises in my mind a very great principle as regards the whole future of education of this country, whether this privilege should be confined to a specified class of teachers; not at all whether a pension is a good or 1846 a bad precedent, or what the consequences may be, but whether, when you apply it to the teaching profession, you should narrow it to a settled class of teachers. That undoubtedly is a very difficult question, which transcends in importance the question of mere finance, because the additional cost, although it may be considerable, would not be very considerable as compared with the cost of the whole scheme as it stands. Can there be any doubt that what the hon. Member for Glasgow University says is absolutely true, namely, that if you, under this very generous scheme, set up a privileged class of teachers who have a comfortable provision for their old age which all my life I have regarded as a sort of Utopia for teachers, who have been the most neglected of all classes, that if you set up that special privileged class in certain schools, the inevitable result will be to set up a great draw of all the best teachers to those schools and deserting the private schools? I think there can be no controversy. It is absolutely manifest, and therefore you are by this Bill setting up a system which will be bound to give a vast advantage to the new Grant-aided schools as against the private proprietary schools.
They have the advantage already of getting aid from the rates, but that is counterbalanced to a large extent by the conditions to which they are subject. Nevertheless, I believe their competition has been very severe, but it is not so bad as the competition which tends to draw all the best and makes the position of teachers most unsatisfactory in secondary private schools, no matter how well off the secondary private school may be, as compared with the career of a teacher in one of the State-aided schools. I say in my opinion the effect of the arrangement will be to set up an irresistible drive towards turning all the schools of the country into State-aided schools. The Minister of Education ought really to take fully into consideration—I do not profess now to have the exact object of his Amendment; I have not carefully examined what its effect will be in minimising the Bill—he ought to take into consideration whether he will commit his Department to that policy, because it is a policy. I myself have always been strongly in favour of the other policy. I think it would be a great misfortune, or let me say I think it is a great advantage and I wish we had it more in our own country, that 1847 there should be different systems and that we should have public schools competing with private I have no doubt they have done great good to the private schools in developing in them all the latest developments of education, but is it the policy of the Minister of Education to crush out the privately owned school and have only one system? I would put to him this fact, that all experience in this matter goes to show that when you introduce measures of this character which set up a privileged class the results of the operation of these measures go far in excess of what their originators dreamed of. They set up a tendency which grows and becomes irresistible, and although it is only recently that he has got control of a Government Department he must know the inevitable law, like one of the great laws of science, that all the Government Departments are consumed with a desire to eat up everything that comes their way. I am not blaming them. It is of their essence and nature and Government Departments universally—I never knew an exception—imagine that their methods are the best, and their whole desire and tendency is to gather everything under the machine, run it all in accordance with the machine and get it under their control. You are committing into their hands an enormously powerful weapon, and I put it to the Minister of Education that he should consider whether he really does desire to set up a system which will tend to destroy the variety of schools and the rivalry between privately owned schools and the schools which are constituted and controlled by his Department. I hope he does not. I should be much surprised if he did, and I hope he will consider the whole situation from that point of view.
He ought to look at this—as he has taken up this great problem and shows an amount of human sympathy with these unhappy teachers which I never saw displayed by any Minister before—he ought to look at it from the point of view of the profession rather than that of the individual school, because if he does not he puts a slur on the men who are teaching in the private schools. As the Member for Glasgow University (Sir H. Craik) said, they become a boycotted class outside the profession. The idea ought not to go out that a man who teaches in a private school is a kind of inferior teacher not to be recognised in the profession to which he belongs. For years and years I have been 1848 advocating that this profession of teachers, if we are genuinely anxious to overtake the arrears of education in this country, ought to be put on the footing of an honourable profession. The idea of trusting our sons to teachers who have been oppressed and looked down upon and looked upon as a kind of, I do not know where to find a word to describe it, but rather scorned socially and in their pay, and standing in every way—that idea was one of the gravest fundamental mistakes made by this country. In conclusion, I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman where I think this Amendment very grievously fails. It has already been pointed out by one hon. Member—and I entirely agree with him—that the two last Clauses (c) and (d), and especially Clause (d), are in the highest degree objectionable, because they play right into the hands of the official. Clause (d) provides that the school shall satisfy such other conditions as may be prescribed as necessary or desirable for securing the public interests. That is a direct invitation to the Board of Education to go on framing conditions which will entirely destroy the initiative and independence of private schools. There are some private schools in this country of which I think it would be a public misfortune if they were crushed, and I think it desirable that independence, new ideas, and private enterprise should be encouraged. That Clause is undoubtedly a direct incitement to the officials to go on framing regulation after regulation with the object of forcing all these private schools to become public schools. The first two Clauses are different. "Are not conducted for private profit." I take no objection to that, because the higher-class public schools are not conducted for private profit at all, but for reasons which I need not go into. Secondly, they must be open to inspection by the Board and be shown to the satisfaction of the Board to be efficient. That also is a good condition. I do not see how we can bring this matter to an issue, but I hope the Minister for Education will consider it.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)
Except in the last part of his speech the hon. Member travelled a long way beyond the Amendment before the House. The question is whether the words left in this Clause by the Committee shall stand or the words proposed by the right hon. Gentleman be substituted? The other Debate should arise on the Third Reading.
I hope I may be within the limits allowed for debate in referring to the position of certificated teachers in Poor Law schools. The question has been raised as to whether these teachers will come under this Act. I have had a couple of letters asking me as to what their position is now under the Act when they had been, though not now, certificated teachers in Poor Law schools. One correspondent wrote to me as follows:I was a certificated assistant-master in the North Surrey District Schools from April, 1892, to November, 1895. Will you please tell me exactly how I stand with regard to the superannuation benefits for those years of service? Will those years count as recorded service under the above-mentioned new scheme and, if not, shall I lose all superannuation benefits for those years or can I claim anything under the Poor Law scheme?To that the National Union of Teachers replied:The service referred to would hardly qualify for a pension under the Poor Law scheme because it consisted of little more than three years. Nor will those years count under the provision 'for teachers in other schools' embodied in the new superannuation scheme unless you have been unable to make up the minimum number of years of service.I would ask the right hon. Gentleman exactly what is the position of these teachers. It is perfectly obvious that if they are excluded that an Amendment ought to be moved to bring them in. It may be they are in already, and therefore I will not move an Amendment. If the right hon. Gentleman gives me no assurance that these particular gentlemen will benefit under this Bill, and if I am told that those years of service are to be excluded, I should like to move an Amendment.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
This question does not arise on the present Amendment, and the extension supported by the hon. Member could not be moved on the Report stage.
I saw in the "Times" to-day that at a meeting of teachers they calculated that 15,000 new teachers would be required under the new Education Act. How many years it would take to get that number of teachers I do not know, but at all events the mere fact that those people are to have pensions must have a very great effect upon private schools, or any schools that do not come under this pension and superannuation scheme. What right has the Minister for Education or the Government to pick out 1850 one class of teacher and one class of officially conducted school, like the board schools in this country, and give them a system of pensions non-contributory, which must do a great deal of harm to and cripple very largely an enormous number of teachers in this country, when we are told that so enormous a number of teachers are to be added to those now engaged in those national board schools, with the result that other schools must be depleted? There is only one cure for this matter, and that is to treat all teachers on the same basis and not to exclude those in schools which are carried on for private profit, as this Amendment docs. No person ought to be allowed to be a teacher in this country unless he is efficient. If he is an efficient teacher, registered as such, and a member of the recognised teaching profession and has spent years of his life teaching in an efficient school, then he should be, entitled to a pension just as much as those who are engaged in teaching in board schools. Why the right hon. Gentleman has selected just those few I cannot understand. This Bill does not include all people connected with education. There was a good deal of controversy in Committee about the exclusion of inspectors, directors, and others, who were just as much a part of the system of education in this country as the teacher. I do not wish to go into that subject further than to say that every clerk in the Board of Education, and every higher official in the Board, has a pension. The right hon. Gentleman himself—I hope he will never want it—can have one if he pleases. [An HON. MEMBER: "No, no"!] Yes, if he pleases.
I think I am right. Those officers have pensions, and this scheme does not provide to carry the thing out as it should. It does not include teachers in any schools except the board schools, and does not include administrative officials connected with the Board. In my opinion the scheme is a patchwork one, incomplete and founded on a wrong principle. I think it should be made universal by having the teaching profession in it with its inspectors and directors and other officials, and thus have one homogeneous scheme. It is now designed on a vicious principle, and I only accept it because teachers in this country have been hitherto so neglected and badly paid and with very poor pensions, that one 1851 accepts it because it is a move in the direction of justice for the teacher. But in principle it is absolutely illogical and wrong.
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
I rise to express my gratitude to the President for this Amendment. I think many Members viewed with some alarm the provision in Clause 16 in its original form and regarded it as too vague, undefined, and as likely to lead to endless disputes in the profession with the Board. Therefore I am very glad that he has defined some of the conditions upon which schools outside the State-aided system are to receive recognition. I listened with very much respect, as I always do, to the remarks which fell from the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon). I am sure we will all sympathise with the ideal he set forth of a unified profession, and with the appeal which he made to have regard to the nature of the profession, and the great dignity that should attend it. But I think that the President has gone a long way towards assisting in the realisation of the ideals so eloquently pointed out by the hon. Member, and I am glad to receive his confirmation of that. My hon. Friend took exception to paragraphs (c) and (d) of the Amendment. Paragraph (c) excludes those schools which are able out of their own resources to provide a satisfactory pension scheme. That is obviously aimed at those schools with wealthy foundations and endowments outside any State-aid and outside any measure of public control, and which are obviously under no need of assistance. No hardship can arise by the enforcement on such schools of paragraph (c). Paragraph (d) seems to me to be essential in order to protect the State against schools which are conducted under conditions which should preclude public assistance being given. May I give an example? There was a very great secondary school in London having great traditions behind it and established for a particular purpose and to provide in a religious atmosphere for a certain class of boys. This school was in the habit of receiving local aid, and in connection with that had a number of scholarships and gave a number of free places to boys sent by the local educational authority. That school under new management decided to reverse its traditions and its methods, and decided arbitrarily to expel all scholarship boys and to admit no scholarship boys in future and to have no 1852 places under their system for free education. It decided also only to admit boys to the school in future who came from a certain social class, which was to be judged by their ability to pay certain fees. It would be nothing less than a public scandal if a school like that were able to claim pensions for its staff out of public funds, without the President of the Board being able to say "as a condition of receiving these pensions I require you to fall in with the general public system of education and to receive those scholarship boys." That instance alone, I think, is sufficient to justify the President in bringing forth this part of his Amendment, which I respectfully and very cordially support.
I can only speak again by leave of the House, but there are one or two points in connection with this discussion to which I should like very briefly to advert. The discussion has ranged very far afield and, if I may say so, was more in the nature of a Second Reading Debate than a discussion on the Amendment. It has been assumed in the speeches of some hon. Members that this Bill makes provision for a privileged class of teachers, and the inference which I think was drawn by one hon. Member was that that privileged class was somewhat small. What are the facts? The facts are that this Bill provides superannuation allowance and disablement allowance upon a scheme which is admittedly very generous, for no less than 170,000 teachers in our elementary and our secondary schools, and it provides pensions for teachers in 1,050 secondary schools receiving Grant aid. Outside that very large number there are 105 schools, containing 2,600 teachers, which are secondary schools and on the Board's efficient list, and the object of this Amendment is to see whether we cannot provide pension aid to teachers in some of those 105 schools who are at present without any. I am referring to schools not conducted for private profit and on the Board's efficient list, and not Grant-aided.
Yes. There are 105 of these schools. Here I may refer to a point raised by an hon. Member who asked me whether I could give an estimate of the cost of the Amendment. If all the 2,600 teachers came into our pension scheme—and, of course, that will not be 1853 the case—we calculate it would involve an annual cost of £90,000, say, in ten years' time. That is the size of the problem. When it is realised that this Bill does benefit—very materially benefit—the vast mass of teachers both in our elementary and secondary schools and that it is only a comparatively small number of teachers who are left outside its provisions, many of the objections which have been raised will disappear. The hon. Member for South Salford raised an objection to the Amendment on the ground of its vagueness. He would like a more specific Amendment. But here I must remind the House that it is impossible for the Board at the present moment with the knowledge at its disposal to indicate precisely what schools will be entitled to pension aid as distinct from Grant-aid. I think it is too much to ask us to come down to the House with a list of such schools. As I have pointed out, the Board has no official knowledge with regard to those schools. We have to explore the subject much more thoroughly before we can frame a satisfactory set of Regulations, but I would remind the House that under Clause 15, Sub-section (2), the Regulations of the Board with respect to the schools will be submitted to the House, so that there will be an opportunity for hon. Members, if they find anything they do not like in the Regulations, to comment upon them.
I have been asked a question with respect to Poor Law schools. The teachers of Poor Law schools come under a separate pension scheme, consequently they are not included in this scheme; but I may point out that a teacher of three years' service in a Poor Law school or in a State-aided school will not come under the provisions of this Bill, because the minimum recognised service which is admitted as pensionable under the provisions of the Bill is a period of ten years. The hon. Member for South Salford criticised the third condition laid down in my Amendment—that is, the provision that a school should not receive pension aid which is able out of its own resources to maintain a satisfactory pensions scheme. Obviously we must have some provision which will exclude from the benefit of this subsidy from Parliamentary money schools which are richly endowed and which are perfectly able to provide for their own teachers. I do not see how that can be done more adequately than by a provision of this kind. I hope now that I have met 1854 the comments which have been made upon the Amendment, the House will find no difficulty in accepting it.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I am not going into the substance of the Amendment, and only wish to say one thing, in part of which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will agree, that is with regard to the financial results of the Amendment. I should be sorry if the idea were to go forth from this House that this Amendment would impose an extra charge upon the State. As a matter of fact, this Amendment and the Clause it supersedes will be a distinct economy to the State, because all those schools which benefit by this Amendment—for which I thank the right hon. Gentleman—would have had the opportunity of coming into the Government scheme in five years. Consequently, large numbers of them would have been forced into the scheme, in which case the Government would have had to find pensions for them on the full scale and Grant aid as well. Therefore, in that respect, this provision will be a distinct economy. A large number of the schools would probably have struggled on and not come in at the end of five years. As the pensions scheme is applied under this Bill, they would have been squeezed out altogether. The schools would have come to an end and places would have had to be found in secondary schools at an expense far in excess of the amount required for giving pensions to those in secondary schools. I only intervened to point out that it was a false idea that this involved a further draw on the Treasury. In the long run, it will mean economy rather than more expense.
§ Amendment agreed to.
I beg to move, at the end of the last paragraph ("average salary") to add the words,Provided that rules under this Act may pre-scribe as respects teachers in schools which are not Grant-aided the maximum salary which may be taken into account in calculating the average salary.This is, in a sense, a consequential Amendment. It is introduced in consequence of the determination of the Government to extend pension aid to schools which are not in receipt of Grants. That extension of the Bill brings the Board into contact with a number of schools with respect to whose salaries it has at present no official knowledge. It would clearly be undesirable that the Board should take no power to limit the amount of salaries upon which pensions 1855 are calculated in the event of that amount being very considerable. Let us assume that a school pays its headmaster £5,000 per year. It seems to me that it would be undesirable that the Board should take no power to fix some amount lower than £5,000 as the amount upon which the pension is to be calculated. I feel that the extension of pension aid to schools not in receipt of Grant aid would be open to a considerable amount of very legitimate criticism, unless some such definite precautions were taken. With regard to the schools now in receipt of Grant aid, the position is different. The Board is already acquainted with the salaries paid in those schools and it knows that these salaries are on the modest side. Even if the Board were to take power to limit the pensionable salary in respect of the schools on the Grant list now, it is very improbable that that power would be acted upon. I speak at random, but I doubt whether there are any salaries now paid in those schools which would be sufficiently high to justify the course proposed. Consequently, I hope the House will see fit to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I am exceedingly sorry to see this Amendment down in the name of the right hon. Gentleman. It is totally different from the Amendment he moved in the Committee stage. He then moved a manuscript Amendment which had not the objection which may be argued against this Amendment, but he withdrew the Amendment then because it was a manuscript Amendment, and hon. Members said that they had not had time to consider it. Now he has put down this Amendment in another form. This Amendment really has the vice which so many hon. Members have spoken about this afternoon in discussing the Bill generally. It differentiates adversely between the State Grant-aided school and the schools coming under this Clause. If they are rightly admitted, there can be no reason for any such differentiation as to the maximum. The question of the maximum pensionable amount came up in the Committee stage owing to some hon. Member saying that there were large sums involved, and it would be well that the higher salaried officials should not be pensioned. The hon. Member for West Nottingham (Sir J. Yoxall) was asked whether any of those he represented received salaries of more than £500 per year, and he said "No," and the question 1856 of 1500 per year was bandied about in the Committee stage. The principle is now introduced that there is to be no limit as regards Grant-aided schools, but there is to be a limit as regards schools which come in in this particular way. What defence is there for the alteration? If a limit is to be put on, why should there not be a limit in regard to Grant-aided schools as well as in regard to any form of school? There are Grant-aided schools now where the headmasters receive £2,000 a year. Under this Bill they will get a pension, and no doubt on a very liberal scale. I have not the slightest objection to that. If a headmaster is receiving £2,000 a year, he has probably taken that post without the idea of getting a State pension, as he will under this Bill, but he may feel it to be a hardship if the pensionable amount is reduced to £1,500.
There is a fair number of State-aided schools who pay £2,000 a year without any prospect of pension at all. Now they are to have pensions. There are other schools who do their work with the aid of voluntary subscriptions or endowments. What is the defence of the President for putting on a limit in their case? The suggestion is that they are rich schools which can very well afford to pay the pensions. Under provision (c) in the Amendment we passed a few moments ago, pension-aid is only going to be extended to schools which are unable out of their own resources to maintain a satisfactory pensions scheme. Therefore, you are only going to extend it to poor schools and not to rich schools, which have been the green dragon in the Debate—Eton, Harrow, and so forth. Why should there be a limit placed upon all these schools and no limit placed upon the State-aided secondary schools? By this competition which is being set up you are seriously injuring the schools which are not State-aided. Whatever the school may be, Mill Hill, Leys, or any other, if a master is in receipt of £1,000 a year and you make your pension limit £500 a year, there is every reason why he should leave that school where he has worked for many years and go to a State-aided school so that he may enjoy a pension which will come to him under this Bill. It is introducing an unfair competition between two forms of schools, and for that reason I do hope the right hon. Gentleman will reconsider this Amendment. I hope 1857 he will put his Amendment in some other form, if it is necessary to have it at all, or still better, withdraw the Amendment, leaving the Bill as it is at the present time. Then no harm would be done, because it is entirely discretionary in the Board of Education what pensions they grant, and they could treat all alike, instead of differentiating, to which I object very strongly.
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
I find myself in full agreement with the remarks made by my hon. and learned Friend opposite. I wish very much that the President could see his way to withdraw this Amendment, and I do so not only in the interests of the schools for which I have pleaded, but also because, without this Amendment, there are invested in the Board all the powers that could be demanded. Under the powers of the Bill, it is quite possible for the Board to refuse as a pensionable school one in which teachers are receiving very high salaries. Therefore, there does not seem to me any reason to make this marked distinction between pensions in Grant-aided schools and in non-Grant-aided schools. Unless, therefore, some very strong reason can be given by the President, I really think he would be doing a graceful act in withdrawing this particular Amendment. But if he finds it impossible to withdraw it, which I hope he may not, will he give us some assurance that, at any rate, so long as he remains President of the Board of Education, the highest salary of a teacher in a Grant-aided school shall be regarded as the limit of pensionable salaries in non-provided schools, so that certainly no teacher in a non-Grant-aided school shall be refused a pension on the ground that his salary is £800 a year, when the salary of a teacher in some Grant-aided school who is receiving a pension was £1,200 or £1,400 a year? Will he in some way indicate that there is equality in this respect between the pensionable salaries of teachers in the one class and in the other class of schools? I appeal to the President to do one or the other, in order to make this satisfactory.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Bill to be read the third time upon Wednesday next.