(1) It shall be lawful at any time after the first election of education authorities under this Act for the person or persons vested with the title of any school which at the passing of this Act is a voluntary school within the meaning of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1897, with the consent of the trustees of any trust upon which such school is held, to transfer the school, together with the site thereof and any land or buildings held and used in connection therewith, by sale, lease, or otherwise, to the education authority, who shall be bound to accept such transfer, upon such terms as to price, rent, or other consideration as may be agreed, or as may be determined, failing agreement, by an arbiter appointed by the Department upon the application of either party.
(2) Any school so transferred shall be held, maintained, and managed as a public school by the education authority, who shall be entitled to receive grants therefor as a public school, and shall have in respect thereto the sole power of regulating the curriculum and of appointing teachers.
(i) the existing staff of teachers shall be taken over by the education authority and shall from the date of transfer be placed upon the same scale of salaries as teachers of corresponding qualifications appointed to corresponding positions in other schools of the same authority.
(iii) subject to the provisions of Section sixty-eight (Conscience Clause) of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1872, the time set apart for religious instruction or observance in any such school shall not be less than that so set apart according to the use and wont of of the former management of the school, and the education authority shall appoint as supervisor of religious instruction in any such school, or in any group of such schools of the same denomination, a person approved as regards religious belief and character as aforesaid, and it shall be the duty of the supervisor so appointed to
report to the education authority as to the efficiency of the religious instruction given in any such school.
§ Mr. MUNRO
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "buildings" ["any lands or buildings"], to insert in the Bill the words, "and furniture."
I submit that this is a reasonable Amendment. It deals with the case of schools which are transferred under the provisions of the Bill. It is provided that there shall be transferred the school, the site, and any land or buildings held and used in connection therewith. I propose to add "and furniture." It seems to me that the furniture will be quite useless to the authorities transferring the schools while it may be of service to the authorities to which the school is being transferred. It is, I think, a necessary and reasonable corollary to the previous words.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. MUNRO
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to insert in the Bill,(2) Any Grant payable to a transferred school which has accrued in respect of a period before the date of transfer shall be paid by the Department to the education authority to whom the school is transferred, and shall be applied by that authority in payment of any liabilities on account of the school then outstanding and, so far as not required for that purpose, towards the maintenance of the school.This Amendment is really an adaptation of paragraph (2) of the Second Schedule of the English Education Act of 1902. That Act made similar provision for the application of Grants which would be otherwise due in respect of unexpired portions of the school year on the occasion of the transfer of voluntary schools to the local education authority of the district in which those schools are situated. It seemed to us that it was a reasonable provision to insert in this Bill—that is the view which has been taken by my colleagues who represent the interests of the transferred schools, and I think it is quite a reasonable view to which to give effect.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. WATT
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (2) (i), to insert in the Bill the words,and that years of recorded service in any school or schools transferred to an education authority shall for the purpose of this Subsection be deemed to have been in the service of that education authority.199 This Amendment deals with the transfer of voluntary schools to education authorities. Those transfers are compulsory under certain provisions. One of those provisions is that the existing staff of teachers shall be taken over by the education authority and placed on the same scale of salaries as teachers of corresponding qualifications appointed to corresponding positions in other schools of the same authority. The Amendment seeks to provide that the years of recorded service in the schools so transferred shall be placed to the credit of the teacher, and it seems to me it is so reasonable that it is quite likely that the right hon. Gentleman will accept it. It is scarcely necessary to argue that the teachers transferred from voluntary schools will be under a disadvantage if they do not get credit for their years of recorded service they would suffer in status, pension, and seniority, and I contend that this Amendment should therefore be passed in order that those disadvantages may not arise.
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
I beg to second the Amendment. I am not by any means certain that this Amendment is necessary, but the object of some of us in putting it down was to remove any doubt. As the Bill stands, the provision is that in the case of those voluntary schools taken over the existing staff of teachers shall be taken over by the education authority, and shall, from the date of transfer, be placed upon the same scale of salary as the teachers of corresponding qualifications, and so on, under the other schools under that authority. There is a doubt whether under this provision they would be entitled to count their years of recorded service as if that recorded service had been under the old school board, and it is in order to remove that doubt that this Amendment is moved specifically providing that the years of recorded service in any school or schools transferred shall for the purposes of this Sub-section be deemed to have been service under that education authority. I hope my right hon. Friend will see his way to accept this proposal.
§ Mr. BOLAND
I desire to support this Amendment. I know that the teachers do attach very considerable importance to it, and not merely those teachers who will be in the area of schools transferred, but very largely in the case of teachers who may be transferred from other education authorities. They are very anxious to 200 make it quite clear that any service they have given in past years will count in future.
§ Mr. CLYDE
It is not by any manner of means from lack of sympathy with what hon. Members had in their minds that we are compelled to refuse acceptance of this Amendment. The reason why it must be refused is this. To accept it would only create another grievance, and a more serious one. Let me explain what the situation is. The teacher in the transferred school taken over is placed as regards salary, exactly in the same position as other teachers of similar qualifications in the education area into which he is absorbed. There are not many schools in Scotland in which the salaries depend on the number of years' service. What I mean is this: There are few, but very few, cases of teachers employed in Scottish schools at a salary of, let us say, from £100 rising £150, or £150 rising £200. There are some, but there are very few, and it is only in those few cases where the importance of getting reckoned your number of recorded years' service is great. There of course it is, but nowhere else, because in all other cases when the school is transferred the teacher, whatever be the salary that was paid to him or her before, gets in future exactly the same salary as the educational authority gives to other masters or mistresses, as the case may be, of the same qualification. The grievance, limited though it is, is undoubtedly there, and that is why we have sympathy with it. Why we are compelled to refuse it is this: No similar arrangement exists, nor under the Bill can be made directly, in the case of the appointment of a teacher to one school from another.
The reason why there is no such arrangement is that there are so few cases in which there is a salary rising by years' service; but suppose a man is employed in a school in Aberdeen and he gets a better appointment in Glasgow or Edinburgh, wherever it is, which is one of these appointments with a rising salary, there is no allowance given under the existing system at all to the fact that he has already served for so many years in Aberdeen, and therefore, if you were to try to get this in in the case of the transferred school, you would only create a fresh grievance, and a more serious one, because the person who was in the position of having been appointed first to school A, and then appointed 201 from that to school B, would not get the benefit, and he would naturally say, "You have given this to the teacher in a transferred school, and it is monstrous that I should be left out in the cold and rain." Lastly, there is another matter to which I must refer. There is, as hon. Members who have written to me know, going to be a new scale of salaries propounded, and it is hoped—and certainly, if it can be done, it is intended—under the new scale to avoid difficulties of this kind altogether; but for the reasons which I have indicated the Amendment which is proposed is one which we are driven to refuse, not out of lack of sympathy with those who have the grievance, limited as it is, but because we think it better not to give a merely partial remedy which would create a fresh grievance elsewhere.
§ Mr. SCANLAN
The right hon. Gentleman has explained frankly—he is always frank with the House—the true facts of the case with which this Amendment deals, and what he said plainly comes to this, that there is a grievance, and that he thinks the words used in the Amendment are not words appropriate to cure this grievance, and that if they removed the injustice under which the teachers from transferred schools suffer they would intensify the injustice in other cases. I think the very fact that the Lord Advocate admits a grievance of a flagrant nature in the case of a certain number of teachers throws upon him and upon the Secretary for Scotland the duty of finding a means for removing this grievance, and I trust my hon. Friends who have proposed and seconded this Amendment will ask for a Division unless the Secretary for Scotland will give us an assurance that, if not here, at least in another place, he will find an opportunity of introducing some Amendment which will remedy the grievance which the representatives of the Government on the Treasury Bench admit will exist unless something is done in this matter. We do not want to intensify the grievance of the teachers in the ordinary schools, but where you are going to put teachers in the transferred schools under disability I think something should be done to cure this grievance without doing anything to injure any other person in Scotland. The matter is so reasonable as it has been put by the Lord Advocate that I trust the Secretary for Scotland will be 202 able to give us an assurance which will obviate the necessity of going to a Division on this matter.
§ Mr. MUNRO
I am not sure that I can really add anything to what has been already said by my right hon. Friend the Lord Advocate, or to what has been implied in his speech He referred, among other matters, to the provisions of Section 7 of the Bill, and, in answer to what my hon. and learned Friend has said, I think that very probably the cure for the grievance which he feels, and which is not disputed, will be found in the provisions of Sub-section (c) of that Section. My hon. and learned Friend will remember that when the Bill was passing through Committee upstairs he, I think, moved to add this Sub-section. Now, it is the duty of every educational authority within twelve months after the appointed day to prepare and submit a scheme for the approval of the Department. That scheme formerly was merely to deal with the provision of educational facilities throughout the area and also for the power to facilitate attendance at secondary and intermediate schools. But we have now added at the instance, I believe, of my right hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow and St. Andrew's Universities (Sir H. Craik) this also, that every scheme must includea scheme for scales of salaries for the teachers employed by the authority, satisfying such conditions as to minimum national scales of salaries for teachers as may be laid down by the Department after consultation with representatives of the educational authorities and of the teaching profession.These schemes are to be adjusted after full representations have been made, not only by the educational authority, who are familiar with the grievance, but also by the teachers themselves, who know it, and I really put it to my hon. and learned Friend that along these lines, without any alteration or addition to the Bill, I am very hopeful that the grievance he has felt will eventually be solved.
§ Mr. SCANLAN
My right hon. Friend is a great and distinguished lawyer as well as an important State official as Secretary for Scotland, and he admits that it is a matter of some doubt whether the provisions of Sub-section (c) of Section 7 will remedy this grievance, and I think if he could give us the assurance that if he or the Department finds that the grievance will not be remedied by this provision he 203 will take some departmental or some other means of meeting the grievance, there may be no necessity to go to any Division.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. BOLAND
I beg to move, in Subsection (26, iii.), after the word "supervisor" ["shall appoint as supervisor"], to insert in the Bill the words "without remuneration."
The object of this Amendment is to make it perfectly clear that when the supervisor who will have the duty of attending the schools and seeing after the religious instruction is appointed, so far as he is concerned no charge of any kind will fall either on the rates or on the central funds. Any expense that is incurred in connection with his duties will entirely be borne, if my Amendment is carried out, by the denomination to which he belongs.
§ Mr. MUNRO
This Amendment I have no hesitation whatever in accepting. I am glad to see my hon. Friend has put it upon the Paper. I am well aware there was a feeling in some quarters in Scotland with regard to the proposal which was assumed to be contained in the Bill that the supervisors to be appointed should be paid for out of the rates. That objection has entirely disappeared in virtue of the Amendment my hon. Friend has put upon the Paper. In those circumstances I have no hesitation at all in accepting it.
§ Sir J. JARDINE
Will my right hon. Friend say to what particular denomination this proviso applies?
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. SCANLAN
I beg to move, in Subsection (2, iii.), to leave out the words "in any such school, or in any group of such schools of the same denomination," and to insert instead thereof the words "for each such school."
204 This Amendment follows, I think, necessarily and very reasonably after the Amendment which has just been accepted. The supervisor is to be unremunerated, and what I submit to the House is that it is a domestic matter for the religious bodies which have set up and carried on those schools to decide for themselves the religious instruction which shall be supervised. The change I am proposing is that there shall be a supervisor for each school, instead of a supervisor for a group of schools. If there were a supervisor for a group of schools it would be necessary to give remuneration. It is not suggested that he should be remunerated out of the rates, but it stands to reason that if a Catholic clergyman, say, in regard to Catholic schools, devotes his time to supervising a group of schools, he is unable to discharge the other duties which ordinarily fall to him, and we propose that the clergyman who ordinarily looks after the religious instruction in the school should continue to do so. That is the effect of the Amendment which I move—that there shall be a supervisor for each school.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)
The Amendment as handed in, I think, is not quite in regular form, but I will take it, as the intention is expressed quite clearly.
§ Mr. MUNRO
I agree with what fell from my hon. and learned Friend that this is largely a domestic matter. I do not regard this as a question of substance really. I think it is consequential upon what has preceded, and in that view I have no hesitation in accepting the Amendment. I would like to take the opportunity at this stage, if I may, in coming near to the end of this Clause, of expressing my indebtedness to my hon. and learned Friend and his colleague for the spirit in which they have met me with regard to all the Amendments upon this Clause during the Recess. The House will remember that this Clause was not discussed in Committee upstairs, but was left over in the hope that by interchange of views and by conference it might be possible to avoid many of the controversies which seemed to lie underneath the numerous Amendments then on the Paper to this Clause. The net result has been that, instead of three pages of Amendments, we have only three Amendmenta 205 moved upon this Clause to-night, which result seems to justify the policy then pursued. I thought it was due to my hon. and learned Friend and his colleague to say how much I appreciate the fairness with which they have met me upon all these points.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. SCANLAN
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (2), to insert in the Bill the words,The supervisor shall have right of entry to the school at all times set apart for religious instruction or observance. The education authority shall give facilities for the holding of religious examinations in every such school.This Amendment is similar to the last Amendment in that it is purely domestic. It provides for religious examinations. If it is conceded that there is a right to have religious instruction in the schools, it follows most naturally from that that there should be an annual or other periodical examination in order to see that the instruction has been properly given and properly carried out. In asking the House to accept this Amendment, may I express, on behalf of my colleague, who was with me on the Committee, and myself, our indebtedness to the Secretary for Scotland? We believe that this measure, incorporating as it does the denominational schools of Scotland in a great national system, is a great Act, and in perfecting this measure and bringing as great a degree of co-operation as we have seen in the House to-day my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Scotland has achieved a distinct triumph in educational legislation. I ask the House to accept this Amendment in the spirit in which they have accepted the other Amendments. I have believed all along that the people of Scotland and the Members from Scotland, representing all classes, would act fearlessly and generously towards those who have been responsible for the carrying on of denominational schools in Scotland. Those schools have been built by the denominations at their own expense. They are now being given over, and the safeguards asked for and granted are considerably less than the safeguards given when a similar transference of denominational schools was carried out in regard to England. We might have hoped for more, but, as the result of negotiations and interchange of views, we have accepted on behalf of those for whom we are entitled to speak the Amendments 206 which have been made, and I ask the House in that spirit to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. MUNRO
As the House will observe, and as I think my hon. and learned Friend has said, this right of entry which is supposed to be conferred upon the supervisor is limited to the time set apart for religious instruction or observance. So limited, it seems to me to be the corollary to what the House has already accepted from my hon. Friend. If there is to be a supervisor of religious instruction it naturally follows that he must have a right of entry to these schools at a time when that instruction is being given. It also follows that he should be given facilities for holding examinations in these subjects at appropriate times. In that view therefore, again, I think it is reasonable to accept this Amendment, as I propose to do.
§ Amendment agreed to.