§ 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 allow 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 uncertificated teacher, or a teacher of a special subject, in or in connection with a public elementary school or a school certified under the Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act, 1893, or under the Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act, 1899:
- (ii) in the capacity of a certificated teacher or of a teacher of such other kind as may be prescribed in a school certified under Part IV. of the Children Act, 1908:
- (iii) in the capacity of a teacher in any other Grant-aided school:
- (iv) 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:
- (v) in the capacity of a teacher in any school, not being an elementary school or a school certified under Part 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;
- (vi) 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:1404
§ The expression "Grant-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 salary (exclusive, unless the Board otherwise direct, of fees or other emoluments) received by the teacher 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 of 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:
§ The expressions "certificated teacher" and "uncertificated teacher" means respectively a teacher who is recognised under the regulations of the Board for the time being in force as a certificated teacher for public elementary schools, and a teacher who is so recognised as an uncertificated teacher for such schools:
§ The expression "the Act of 1898" means the Elementary School Teachers (Superannuation) Act, 1898, and includes a reference to that Act as amended by any subsequent enactment:
§ The expression "superannuation allowance" means any annual superannuation allowance, or additional allowance, payable under this Act, and the expression "gratuity" means any gratuity or any death gratuity payable under this Act:
§ The expression "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act.
§ Mr. COTTON
I beg to move, in paragraph (i), after the word "teacher" ["or uncertificated teacher"] to insert the words "or a supplementary teacher."
The object of this Amendment is to bring in a very ill-paid, and on the whole a very deserving class of teachers, the teachers known as the supplementary teachers. We have, happily, very few of them in the London area, but they are to be found in the rural areas, and I am afraid that they ought really not to be found anywhere at all if you proceeded on the principle that the worker is worthy of his or her hire. They seem to have sprung into existence because, firstly, it has been found so hard to obtain certificated assistant teachers for village schools, and secondly, because local education authorities, as far as I can make out, have taken the opportunity of getting cheap labour. The only qualification that is required is that they shall be women of respectability and above the age of eighteen. Very often it happens that the want of technical qualifications is due to 1405 no fault of the teacher. It also happens in a great many cases that excellent work has been done by these supplementary teachers, but they are entitled to no pension and no retiring allowance, and the salary which they receive is so inadequate that it is impossible for them to put by anything for old age. I have here a letter from an association of supplementary teachers in Preston, Lancashire, which states,Our maximum salary is £65 per annum, and after paying for the necessities of life I can assure you we have nothing to put away for old age.The last statement is almost an axiom. In ordinary circumstances, in normal times, it would be very hard to put by a sum of money from a salary of £65 a year; it must be an absolute impossibility in existing circumstances. As the Bill stands no provision is made for the case of these teachers, and, so long as they exist, inspectors will find themselves in the unenviable position of being asked to report as to the fitness of supplementary teachers, knowing that if they send in an adverse report it means the workhouse for that teacher. If we are going to confer a benefit upon the teaching profession, and elevate it to its proper position, we ought not to leave out of account those who are at the bottom, who are badly paid, and yet are doing excellent work in the great majority of cases. I hope very much that the right hon. Gentleman can see his way to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. BOLAND
I desire to support this Amendment for a special reason, which will make it unnecessary for me afterwards to move my Amendment lower on the Paper. In a great number of non-provided schools there are teachers who are classed as supplementary who, for some technical reason, are not called either certificated or uncertificated teachers. In a great many cases these teachers are women who have passed the Irish King's Scholarship examination, but as that certificate is not recognised here in the same way as the English and Scottish King's Scholarship examinations are recognised, these teachers are not put down either as certificated or uncertificated teachers. I trust that the President will consider their case particularly, and if he cannot do it on this particular Amendment I would ask him to consider whether, in revising the code for the coming year, he will not see that the Irish King's Scholarship examination 1406 is taken as the equivalent of the King's Scholarship examination in this country. When we look at the list of examinations which qualify teachers in this country to be either certificated or uncertificated, we see that there are fifteen or sixteen sorts of examinations, including the Oxford and Cambridge local certificates. In the case of the Irish girls who have passed the King's Scholarship examinations in Ireland it was only because there was no room for them in the training colleges they are unable to get a position in Ireland. They come over here in response to advertisements, they are given positions in schools, they give full service, and they are classed as suppelmentary teachers. Therefore, if they do not come under the Amendment now I trust that the President may give me some assurance that he will consider the position of these teachers in revising the regulations.
With reference to the point which has been raised by the hon. Member for Kerry, we are always ready to consider claims in reference to any particular class of teachers and we shall always recognise Irish teachers with qualifications equivalent to those required from the teachers who are brought under the operation of this Bill. With respect to the Amendment itself, I am afraid that I cannot accept it for a very simple reason. Supplementary teachers occupy a position very different from that of other persons who are pensionable under this Bill. All pension systems are based on the existence of an established service, into which qualified persons enter for the period of their active life, and from which they are seldom removed, except for misconduct. Persons who come under a pension scheme are nearly always appointed on a proof of their qualifications, and it is assumed that they are capable of doing the work which they may be called upon to do. The supplementary teacher is the woman over eighteen years of age of satisfactory physique, employed in teaching young children in schools, in which the circumstances appear to the Board to justify the employment of supplementary teachers. These teachers are required to pass no examinations but are specially approved by His Majesty's inspector as possessing the requisite aptitude for the particular work in which they are engaged. Recognition may be withdrawn any time if the circumstances of the school or the teacher appear to demand it. Since 1914 1407 the employment of these teachers has been confined to rural places. Is it to the public advantage or the advantage of the teaching profession that these teachers should have pensionable rights? I think that it is desirable that these teachers should be encouraged to qualify as either Uncertificated or certificated teachers, and if you grant them pensions under this Bill you are removing one of the great incentives to improvement which are held out for these teachers. I think that it would be a very bad educational policy to accept the Amendment, and I hope therefore that the Committee will reject it.
§ Amendment negatived.
Amendments made: In paragraph (i.) leave out from the words
or a school certified under the Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act, 1893, or under the Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act, 1899.
At the end of paragraph (ii.) insert the words,
under the Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act, 1893, or under the Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act, 1899."—[Mr. Fisher.]
§ Mr. A. ALLEN
I beg to move, at the end of paragraph (ii.), to insert the words,or in a certified institution under the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913.I have been asked by my right hon. Friend the Member for North St. Pancras to propose this Amendment on behalf of the Board of Control who are anxious that it should be inserted. I raised the point on the Second Reading of the Bill. I think that my right hon. Friend the President of the Board is acquainted with what the point is. As he knows, there are a certain number of institutions under the Board of Control where there are children who have to be educated, and it is desired that in those institutions teachers of some ability should be employed, and of course it is impossible to get teachers into those institutions if they have to give up their pension rights by going into them. There are many cases at the present moment, and they will increase, I think, after the War, when the Act of 1913 is seriously put into force. Therefore I do hope my right hon. Friend will see his way to accept this Amendment, or, alternatively, to accept the Amendment in the name of the hon. and learned Member for the Exchange Division (Mr. Leslie Scott), who is chairman of the Central Association 1408 for Mental Defectives, and who is equally anxious that something of this kind should be inserted in the Bill.
§ Sir N. HELME
I have pleasure in supporting this Amendment, because of the fact that so many of the children—
I should be very glad to accept this Amendment, but I would prefer it in the form to be moved by the hon. and learned Member for the Exchange Division.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Further Amendment made: At the end of paragraph (ii.) insert,
(iii.) In the capacity of a certificated or Uncertificated teacher in a certified institution under the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913."—[Mr. Acland Allen.]
I beg to move, at the end of paragraph (v.), to insert,(vi.) 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.This Amendment is introduced for the purpose of enabling pension aid to be extended to schools which are not in receipt of grant aid under such conditions as may be hereafter prescribed. The Committee will readily agree with the proposition that the grant of a State pension to the teachers in a school is in effect the grant of a State subsidy to that school, and I think there will be no dissent to the further proposition that such a subsidy should not be granted to a school unless the public is in a position to have security that the school is efficiently conducted, that it plays a useful part in the scheme of national education, that it is not conducted for private profit, and that it is deserving of encouragement from the public funds. The question then arises as to the form in which that security may be most conveniently given In the Board's Secondary Schools Regulations the acceptance of Grants is made dependent upon a number of conditions which are designed to safeguard the public character of the school and the freedom of the teacher, and among those conditions is the acceptance of representative local control. Now there are a certain number of schools to whom the form of public control laid down in the Regulations is inappropriate. These are the non-local secondary 1409 schools, many of which are admirably conducted and rank among the most efficient and vigorous secondary schools of the country. These schools realise that the conditions attaching to the Grant are inappropriate to them, however appropriate they may be to the thousand and odd schools which accept Grant, and the question therefore arises whether a secondary school, non-local, not run for private profit, efficient, submitting, as it may readily do, to the inspection of the Board, playing a part in the national scheme of education, should be compelled to accept Government Grant and local control as a condition of securing a pension for its masters. I confess that I should be glad if some means could be found consistent with public policy whereby such a result might be avoided.
An hon. Member in the course of the Second Reading Debate asked the very pertinent question whether, in order to give the benefit of pensions to teachers in a school, it was necessary to insist that the school should take Government money. On the face of it that does not seem a very economical proposition. The important point really is not the acceptance of the Government money, but the acceptance of some adequate form of security which would give the taxpayer a guarantee that his money would be wisely and properly spent. I do not think it is altogether a very easy task to devise a scheme of Regulations which would be suitable to schools to whom it might be expedient to provide pension aid at the cost of the State. I doubt, for instance, whether the Committee will ever consent to grant pensions to well endowed public schools, many of which have pension schemes of their own. I doubt whether the Committee would grant pensions to private schools and preparatory schools managed for private profit, and I doubt whether it would see its way to grant pensions to a theological college or to a central labour college. Consequently I have drawn my Amendment in very wide terms. It is intended to keep the door open for consideration of this class of school. The Government is not in a position to pledge itself to extend pension aid to schools which cannot accept the conditions attaching to the Grant, but it is very anxious to explore the situation and to provide, if possible, conditions which may enable teachers in non-aided and non-local secondary schools to be brought within the compass of the Act.
1410 While it would probably be the wisest course to leave a very wide discretion to the President of the Board of Education and the Treasury to settle the Regulations which should accompany the Grant of pension aid, I think the Committee would desire me to indicate the kind of conditions, both positive and negative, which we should certainly have in view in framing such conditions. I think the Committee will agree that schools conducted for private profit, which are not open to inspection, and schools which, after inspection, are pronounced to be inefficient, should be excluded. Again, I very much doubt whether the Committee would desire that theological colleges should be included. I think it will probably be held that the Grant of pension aid, which, after all, is a Government subsidy, would be inconsistent with the government of schools by close bodies. I think also that the Committee might reasonably desire that schools in receipt of this form of subsidy should be required to perform some kind of definite function in relation to the general system of State-aided public education, such as the admission of scholars sent by a local education authority, the conditions and pay of the teacher, the adoption of a system of secondary school examination, training for teachers intending to work in secondary schools, and the adoption of a proper standard of admission. I am not prepared to say at this moment what the prescribed conditions would be, though I have mentioned some of the points which I have in mind and which will have to be discussed. I do not think it will be in the interests of the schools at present, in view of the great complexity of the problem, that we should attempt to narrowly define the conditions in the Bill. I do not say this because I desire to have a wider authority, or because I desire to have the responsibility of settling the Regulations. For my own part, I should very much prefer to have the responsibility taken from me by the Committee now. It would be simpler if we could, here and now, define quite narrowly and precisely the particular conditions to which these schools would have to conform, but, after thinking over the matter very carefully, I have come to the conclusion that we should get a better system of secondary school regulations, and rules more adapted to meet the complexity of the situation, if we leave there matters to be settled hereafter. I hope that this indication of the 1411 kind of consideration which will be present to the mind of the Board in framing the rules and regulations for Pension Aid will in general commend itself to the sense of the Committee and to the community at large. My object in putting down the Amendment is to secure that the admission of non-aided schools to pension aid should not be prejudiced by the present measure. I hope it may be possible to bring to a certain number of non-aided schools the pension aid without compelling them to accept and to conform to a type of regulation which is not in reality appropriate to their situation.
The manuscript Amendment which has been handed in by the hon. Member far the London University (Sir P. Magnus) seems to me to be in substitution of the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman, and he ought to move it as a fresh Amendment. If he attaches any great importance to it, perhaps he had better speak on the Government Amendment.
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
It was stated yesterday that the proposal, of the President of the Board of Education required further definition and that my Amendment which I had moved was too wide. I was quite prepared to admit that it was too wide, and I put down an Amendment to the proposal of my right hon. Friend in order to indicate to some extent the extent to which I thought the proposed Amendment should be limited. The Amendment which I suggested was that all the words after "which" in the President's Amendment should be omitted and that other words should be substituted. My reason for that was that I had hoped within the ambit of this Bill to provide conditions in which these schools might be included within the scheme. As an indication of one of the conditions which I proposed to attach I suggested inserting after the word "which" the words "is inspected by the Board or by a British university and is certified as efficient by the Board, and provided further that the teacher is registered and his pensionable salary is limited to £500." It seems to me very desirable that some of the conditions indicated by the President might be included in his own Amendment. Personally, I do not expect that the teachers in a school receiving very large salaries, such as those indicated by one hon. Member, should receive these pensions. The right hon. Gentleman, however, 1412 has indicated a large number of conditions to be attached to these non-Grant-aided schools which I believe would exclude practically every one of the schools which might desire to be admitted. I do hope, therefore, that the President will be prepared, on the Report stage of this Bill, to deal with this matter, and that a sufficient time will elapse between the Committee stage and the Report stage in order that opportunities may be afforded to hon. Members of seeing what these conditions are. I hope he will be able to formulate those conditions so that we may have an opportunity of considering them. What we desire is that it shall not be left altogether to the Board of Education to draw up regulations which may be of such a nature as practically to exclude all those large and small schools, the teachers of which certainly ought to be included in a Bill of this kind. I caused a circular to be written to a large number of schools to ascertain whether they wished to be included in this scheme, and whether they were prepared to join a deputation to the Board of Education to induce the President to assent to the proposal which I made yesterday. Having consulted some of those schools I find that there are 100 of them willing to be inspected, and which at the present time receive no Grant, but which nevertheless desire that their teachers should receive pensions. I will place this list in the hands of the President so that he may see it.
I would also like to repeat what I said last evening, and that is by granting pensions to schools of this kind you are not increasing in any way the cost to the State or the Treasury. If these schools are induced by means of Grants to be Grant-aided schools they conform to the uniform conditions laid down in the regulations of the Board of Education, and it seems to me they would receive large sums which they do not ask for by way of grant, and the pensions to the teachers would be considerably less than the amount of Grants they would receive from the State. Therefore instead of being an additional cost to the Treasury, the acceptance of my Amendment would really decrease the amount of the Treasury Grant which would have to be paid to these schools if they are excluded from the pension-aid scheme.
It seemed to me in listening to the speech just delivered by the President that the complexity of this problem has been somewhat exaggerated. I feel quite certain if the Board desire to include these 1413 schools within the scheme of the Bill as is most important, the problem might be considerably simplified and there will be very little difficulty in placing upon the Paper the essential conditions under which such schools might be admitted to the scheme. It might be said that the salary of no teacher should exceed £500. It might be thought desirable to exclude schools carried on for private profit, but having regard to the fact that according to the proposed Amendment which I put on the Paper all these schools will be inspected by the Board of Education or by the university and would be pronounced efficient. That ought to satisfy the public that the schools to which these pensions would be given would be of a satisfactory character. I think the guarantee would be quite sufficient if the schools were inspected in the way indicated. I would add the further condition that every teacher who is pensionable should be placed upon a register of teachers and should belong to the great profession of teachers. I shall, of course, accept very willingly anything I can get from the President with a view to obtaining the inclusion of these schools within the scheme. I believe it would be a great blot upon the scheme if these schools are not included. You will be creating the great division between teachers who ought to belong to one united profession, and that can be avoided without any cost to the Treasury by accepting my proposal. All I desire now is to obtain from the President the promise that on the Report stage of this Bill, which I suppose will not be taken immediately, he will consider the conditions, which ought not to be so complicated as he has suggested, under which the schools to which he and I refer might be brought within the scheme. If this is not done, I feel certain there will be a sore feeling created among the 200 schools of the sort I have described, 100 of which have already sent in their names as willing to be represented upon the deputation. It seems very undesirable that when introducing a generous scheme of this kind supplemental to the great Education Act which we passed not long ago that we should leave behind a sore of this description by which vast numbers of people will be left without the pensions which are given to other teachers, and will be absolutely separated from the profession as a distinctly lower class of teachers. This is 1414 my last appeal, and I trust that the President will take into consideration what I have said, and indicate on the Report stage the precise conditions under which those schools can be included.
§ Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
I think there is a good deal of force in the appeal which has just been made by the last speaker. I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman felt that this proposal was making rather a large draft upon the confidence of the Committee, but I think we are quite prepared to extend that confidence. I am afraid, however, the President cannot answer for his successors. These Rules are to be prescribed and laid before Parliament, but one cannot be quite sure how they might be altered or varied by an Education Department of the future, and although they will be presented to Parliament we all know that this procedure does not give very much control by the House of Commons. I think that probably we cannot push the matter any further to-night. I do not think we could conceivably set to work to draft the conditions at the present time. That is quite impossible, and the matter has not been considered for a very long time. I thought my right hon. Friend was right in arguing that if public money is given by way of these superannuation allowances to schools you might fairly ask that they should fall in with the public service, and that some regulation such as this might be fairly demanded of those schools. That I think is fair, and I should like to have known what is the feeling of the President towards the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Liverpool in reference to some limit being applied. I think a case might fairly be made out on those grounds. Perhaps we should be doing right to leave the matter as it stands for the present and ask my right hon. Friend on the Report stage to bring up a, clear and harder outline of the conditions which he has in his mind. He has gone a very considerable way to deal with a difficult problem and to give a somewhat greater definition of the condition. I think the Bill will be improved by such admission of the teachers in this school as he contemplates.
§ Sir J. YOXALL
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not respond to the advice which has been given to him and bring up the conditions on the Report stage. If one can judge from what appears in the public Press, this Session is not likely to be very prolonged, and I should like to think that 1415 this Bill, which will certainly benefit education in a thousand secondary schools, will have consideration in itself and for itself and will not be jeopardised by long Debates upon the Report stage concerning the interests of a hundred schools which apparently are not willing either to accept public grants or public control. I think the President's Clause as it stands goes further than the Committee as a whole might be willing to accept if there could be a Debate. I am quite sure that those who in the past championed the cause of public control and public representation in connection with public grants would have a great deal to say against the Amendment proposed by the President of the Board of Education, and such a Debate upon the Report stage might be so long as perhaps to jeopardise the Bill. The right hon. Baronet, I think, would therefore be wise to accept what has been already granted, and not stipulate for more precise conditions. It might mean a long Debate upon the Report stage and perhaps imperil the Bill.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I quite agree that it would be highly undesirable in any way to jeopardise the Bill, but I would remind my hon. Friend that though he had an opportunity of discussing its provisions throughout the long vacation, the representatives of the schools to which he refers have not had that advantage, and it is therefore no fault of theirs that they have been unable to put their case so clearly as he has been able to put the case of the teachers for whom he speaks. We have ample time before eleven to discuss this Clause this evening, and there will be ample time on the Report stage to discuss any necessary Amendment. We are extremely grateful to the President for having introduced the Amendment, which will certainly be extremely useful to the interests of education. If the State can get schools to do their work according to a high standard of educational efficiency, then it is better economically that they should do it at their own cost rather than the Government. The Bill as it stood before the Amendment would have had the effect of forcing practically all schools into a Government Grant-aided scheme which would have been expensive, and, I think, educationally unsound. This Amendment would at all events leave some of them out, and the more you keep out so much the better economically for the 1416 State. I welcome this Amendment, but at the same time I support the appeal that something definite should be brought up upon the Report stage. Once the broad principle is kept in mind, there is not very much difficulty in drafting a Clause which will give the right to a pension to the teachers of any school doing efficient educational work to the satisfaction of the Board of Education or any tribunal it might be desired to set up. That would sufficiently safeguard the public money from being wasted. The right hon. Gentleman has indicated various conditions which might be necessary to put into the regulations. Surely some Amendment had better come up on the Report stage. He has stated that schools which are run for private profit could not come within the scheme. I have no views myself one way or the other upon that point, but surely it is a matter which ought to be decided by the House, or by the Government putting it into the Bill. If it is right to exclude those schools, let us say so here. If it is not, let them remain in. Again, there is the suggestion that theological schools should have the Grant. There are, of course, theological secondary schools which receive Grant-aid at the present time, and they would be entitled to pensions even if this Amendment were not carried. There are many other theological schools which would be entitled to pensions, and it is very desirable that they should have them. There is the Leys School at Cambridge.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
Do not think that I wish to say one word against these schools. I have the highest possible opinion of them. That shows the advantage of making these things plain. I understand the right hon. Gentleman when he said that you could not possibly give it to a school of which the governing body was a corporation to mean such a school as the Leys School at Cambridge, which is an excellent school with a denominational qualification, to use a neutral word. Is it intended that a school of that kind should be deprived of pensions? It would be an educational calamity if such a school were excluded from the benefits of this Bill. Therefore I agree with my hon. Friend (Mr. Chancellor) that when the right hon. Gentleman used the expression "theological," coupled with the next phrase, he could not have meant to include a school 1417 of that kind; but I was rather frightened that it might include such a school and that there might be some difficulty in allowing other people to come upon that Board and take part in the management. It is important that it should be made clear in the Bill itself that such a school might take advantage of the Bill. Then, again, he gave examples and said that there would be free places in certain schools. It would be unwise to make that a hard and fast rule. There might be many schools doing good work in regard to which it might not be necessary to make such a condition. Be that as it may, I wish to press the point that if a school is doing good educational work and can satisfy you of that by any test of inspection or efficiency that you choose to make, then it should come within the purview of this Bill. It hardly becomes necessary to raise the old controversy about public control, and so forth, to which my hon. Friend referred, because you certainly have sufficient control over the schools, either by inspection or in some other way, to make full control of the public money certain. Again I thank the President, and I hope on the Report stage that he will be able to put into this Bill some charter upon which these schools may rest, rather than upon a mere expression in this House of what the intentions of the Board of Education may be in the future.
§ Mr. KING
I should like to assure the President of the Board of Education that though I have put down no Amendments on this stage of the Bill, and though, so far, I have not ventured to intervene in the discussion, yet I have been watching its procedure and the course of this Debate very anxiously. I must intervene at this stage to warn the right hon. Gentleman against this Amendment, which I think is ill-timed and unnecessary. He said, on the Second Reading of the Bill, that the Bill had as its object the unification of the teaching profession. Now that would be a very good object if it were possible, but do not unify them by offering them all pensions. Unify them by bringing them into some definite relation to the Board of Education and public authority. As I understand this Amendment, the right hon. Gentleman is going to make it possible for he or his successor—whom I hope will be a long time coming—to issue rules by which a certain number of teachers, over whom he has got no control, will be entitled to get pensions. Who will 1418 be the sort of person who will be pressed forward as entitled to have a pension? First of all, there are a great number of teachers who own their own private schools and who make large profits out of them—who make even large fortunes, I would say. Preparatory schools for Harrow and Eton; coaching schools for the Army. Why, the people who have this sort of school have amassed great fortunes and have become landed proprietors. I think they have even become peers; certainly they have become Members of Parliament. Why should they have pensions given to them by the Board of Education for their great services to the country? In the interests of economy, and in the interests of unified education, which ought to proceed, not upon the basis of giving pensions, but of maintaining and imposing control, I protest against this Amendment. It is altogether ill-timed. It has not occurred to me to put down here the number of other sorts of teachers who would be entitled, if the Board of Education is as generous as it ought to be and has a wide idea of what the teaching profession is, to come in under this Bill. There are people who carry on now motor drivers' schools. I suppose teachers in that sort of school would be included?
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
Might I ask if the hon. Member considers that that school would be regarded as efficient by the Board of Education?
§ Mr. KING
We are going to have very revolutionary methods after the War, and very revolutionary persons in power. I want to guard myself and my country against their depredations upon the public purse. Then there are secretarial colleges where they train young ladies to get good posts in munition or business firms or in other very good national service work at the present time. Why should these teachers be unified on the basis of being entitled to pay? Then there are some schools which carry on their teaching entirely by correspondence. I suppose there are thousands of scholars and pupils who are members of correspondence colleges, carrying on their education worthily under the circumstances, sending up answers to questions, reading books and replying on examination papers submitted and getting them corrected, and so forth. The variety and scope of this sort of teacher is unlimited. I must warn the President of the Board of Education that he is opening a door 1419 which he will find it hard to shut. He will want to shut it, but it will be too wide, and it is too vague altogether. In the interests of public economy and also of the ideal of a profession which shall be unified, but shall not be an omnium gatherum of all sorts of teachers and all sorst of conditions, and all sorts of schools, I really hope the right hon. Gentleman will withdraw the Amendment. Let him think it over if he likes before the Report stage, but let him withdraw this, and even if he cannot think of a better formula by the Report stage let the Bill get through without it. He will have a year or two probably before he is turned down with the rest of the Ministers in which he can bring in another Bill. Let him try again.
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
The Amendment really places the Committee in a somewhat extraordinary position, in which it is quite impossible to discuss the proposal because it is not clear what the proposal is. The President takes power in the Amendment to extend the pension aid to any school which is outside the State-aided schools, and when he uses the term "Secondary schools outside any State aid" he includes not only the great private schools but the great public schools. He includes Eton and Harrow and Rugby, and schools of that class. As I listened to the right hon. Gentleman and to the hon. Baronet (Sir P. Magnus) no condition was proposed upon which this pension aid would be given to schools outside the State-aided system which would exclude the great public schools, which may not be in need of any aid whatever, and which are quite wealthy enough to provide for their own teachers. The Committee is entitled to ask whether it is proposed to include in the pension scheme the great endowed foundations?
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
The fact that the school has an adequate endowment would itself rule it out. That is the point. The President, as I understand his interruption, has no sympathy with the proposal to pension the masters of the great endowed foundations. Then that point ought to be made clear in the Amendment, because whilst that may be the personal view of the President it is in no way binding upon his successors and the Amendment is drafted in such a wide form that a successor 1420 to the right hon. Gentleman to-morrow, with the assistance of the Treasury, could extend the pension scheme to Eton, Harrow, Rugby, and other public schools. I do not want to be misunderstood. I have every sympathy with the desire to aid certain schools which are outside the State system, certain of which are doing a public service and doing work which, if they failed to do it the State would have to do, and I understand it is this class that the President has chiefly in mind in this connection. That is another reason why the type of schools and conditions as to public control, and so forth, should be stated in the Bill, because the Department is not bound, and the successors of the right hon. Gentleman are not bound, by what the President now does. The Amendment is so drafted that the whole policy that has been outlined by the President may be upset by his successors at the Board of Education. I want to put this practical point—and I desire also to put it to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Rawlinson), whose fairness in argument I have always acknowledged—I want to put this serious objection, which I think is a fatal objection, to the Amendment in the form in which it is drafted. The President may decide that a school where the headmaster, or masters, is receiving £1,000 or £2,000 per year is a school of such a nature that the staff are entitled to the benefits of the Pensions Act—
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
I am very glad indeed, and will say nothing more, except to point out that the President realises that he has no power under the Bill, as drafted, to reduce the rates of pension in the Bill. Therefore when you take a wealthy housemaster or headmaster getting a big salary, he would have to be paid a very heavy pension indeed, which might amount, at present rates of salary in the schools indicated, to £1,000 a year. The President sees that, and he is going to meet it; but I would suggest that the type of school that is sought to be benefited should be clearly stated in the Bill either at this or on the Report stage. The matter ought not to be left to these vague terms which will lead in the future to constant wrangling and discussion and will stir up all kinds of dissension in the profession.
§ Amendment agreed to.1421
There are two other manuscript Amendments standing in the name of the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Rowlands) which have just been handed in. The point he deals with was thoroughly discussed yesterday. It is a question of the administrative staff qualified for pensions. We cannot have that Debate all over again. The hon. Member can move his Amendment if he wishes to do so, but I cannot hear the arguments yesterday addressed to the Committee repeated to-night.
§ Mr. ROWLANDS
I beg to move at the end of paragraph (vi) to insert the words—In any employment, whether in the capacity of a teacher or otherwise, which the Treasury, on the recommendation of the Board, may desire to be a recognised service.I am sorry that I could not give my Amendment on the Paper. It is intended to give a wider scope than is in the Clause or in any of the several paragraphs in regard to what is a recognised service. It is intended to meet the point which was stated to some extent last night by the President. It is not re-opening the whole case that was debated last night. I see the hon. and learned Member for Camarthen also has an Amendment down on somewhat similar lines. What I want to secure is this: Supposing there is delay with regard to a scheme, the Board should have power to recognise the services of a person as coming within the scope and definition of "recognised service." From cases which have come to my knowledge, I am quite sure that the concession which was granted last night is not anything like so generous as the right hon. Gentleman imagined it to be. I have had a case brought to my notice of a director of education who at the present time is getting over £1,200 a year salary. His pension under the concession granted last night for the period of time he was a teacher would amount to the magnificent sum of £15 per year. I have been informed of another case, that of an inspector in London, who for the seventeen years he was teaching before he went into what is considered to be a higher grade of the profession would be entitled to a pension of £35 a year. Having made the concession last night, I think a case is made out for an extension on the lines I have indicated.
This subject was very fully debated last night, and I then gave the decision of the Government in regard 1422 to it. Nothing has occurred to make me alter my view, and I cannot therefore accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Further Amendments made: In paragraph dealing with "average salary." after the first word "of" ["amount of"], insert the word "teacher's."
§ Leave out the words "received by the teacher."—[Mr. Fisher.]
I beg to to move, at the end of the same paragraph, to insert the words,Provided that the Rules under this Act prescribed for the purpose of calculating all superannuation allowances or gratuities under this Act on the salary or average salary of teachers or any class of teachers, or in any schools or any class of schools, shall be treated as not exceeding such amount as may be prescribed.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
This is hardly a drafting Amendment. It is something more. It puts restrictions on the amount upon which he shall grant the allowance. There is nothing to prevent it restricting it to salaries of £1,000 or £500.
Yes. It is drafted widely. It gives power to the Board to limit the salary in respect of which the superannuation allowance is calculated. It is clear that at this moment it would be ridiculous for the Treasury to go into the question of fixing a maximum sum, because of the fact that a very great part of the salaries are already so low that the question of fixing a maximum does not come in.
§ Sir J. YOXALL
This Amendment might be attended with lamentable consequences when schools outside are brought in. Suppose any teacher has more than £500 a year, is he to receive a pension? That arises out of this Amendment, which covers the whole ground and affects all the schools. That is an effect which was never contemplated. Surely this Amendment is applicable to some particular class of school which the Amendment of the hon. Baronet is intended to bring in. If that is so, let it apply to that class of school which comes under Clause 15. To bring up an Amendment of this kind at this stage is surely an unheard-of thing, and to my mind it goes very far to affect the whole Bill in a most unsatisfactory way.
I am quite prepared to meet the hon. Member so far, if the Committee accept this Amendment now, and I will put anything in on Report which will limit this power to certain schools.
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
I wish to ask whether, if large schools like Harrow or Eton choose to become grant-aided schools, they will come within the scope of the Bill and will receive pensions in addition?
§ Mr. KING
May I put it to the President of the Board of Education that it is really not quite fair to the Committee to introduce an Amendment of this kind without having consultation? Let me say that apparently he had hoped to get it through without explanation, and it is only because someone behind me saw that it was very important that a Debate has arisen, though we have not the words of the Amendment before us. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw the Amendment, and put it down for the Report stage. That is really the fair way.
May I suggest to the hon. Member that there is a good deal of substance in what the hon. Gentleman says? It is of course an important Amendment, and if it meets with the views of the Committee I will bring it up on the Report stage, and withdraw it now.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 17 (provision for Expenses) ordered to stand part of the Bill