HC Deb 18 February 1920 vol 125 cc872-4

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will state the number of schoolmasters who have been entered into His Majesty's Navy as a result of the recent Admiralty advertisement; and how many of all the dockyard apprentices or ex-apprentices who have been invited to enter the Navy as schoolmasters have accepted the invitation?


Under the regulations for the Schoolmaster Branch, it is provided that schoolmaster candidates must have such qualifications as will enable them to undertake the preliminary course of instruction, Recently, applications were received from a number of dockyard ex-apprentices to enter for the 22 weeks' training as probationer schoolmasters. Six of these had completed their apprenticeship some time ago, and had actually had teaching experience. Of the remaining four, all had completed their apprenticeship some time ago: two are Whitworth Exhibitioners, and the other two had continued their education in outside secondary education establishments. These ten candidates have been accepted, and so far as we can see, appear to be quite suitable to take advantage of the probationary training now offered thorn. But we are not at all satisfied that in the case of applicants who have had no teaching experience whatever, the course of 22 weeks can equip them for the specialised and advanced educational work which they will ultimately have to undertake as schoolmasters, Royal Navy. That part of the scheme for training schoolmasters for the Navy is therefore now receiving consideration.


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, if he is aware that all naval schoolmasters, except the four head-masters, are in receipt of less pay and allowances than a large percentage of the chief petty officers of the Navy; that of the numerous branches of naval officers those of the schoolmaster branch only do not receive the pay of the rank they hold; and, as the new rates of pay for naval officers were approved in consequence of the changed economic situation, can arrangements be made so that schoolmasters also should receive corresponding rates of pay?


As regards the first part of the question, no doubt the pay of chief petty officer of the engineer and artisan branches is in many cases in excess of the initial rates of pay of schoolmasters. As regards the second part, schoolmasters are the only warrant officers who do not receive the same rate of pay as other warrant officers, but it must be borne in mind that schoolmasters are given this rank on entry whereas in other branches it is rarely obtained, I am advised, under 10 years' service. As regards the final part, the question of the rate of emoluments for schoolmasters has been before us for some time, and representations on the matter have been made to the Government.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that not only is the schoolmaster the worst paid of his rank, but he receives no separation allowance, no clothing allowance, no badge money, and no grog money?


I could not say off-hand, but I will take it from my hon. and gallant Friend.


Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that the pay of the schoolmaster compares as favourably to-day with the pay of the other warrant officers as it did before, the increase to the other warrant officers?


As I have said, we have the pay of the schoolmasters under consideration.