§ 14. Mr. HARRIS
asked the President of the Board of Education why 50 is fixed as the age limit for assistant inspectors of schools; whether he is aware that there are very competent men over that age who are quite qualified to fill that position; and will he consider removing the age limit so that the Board can have the services of the most competent men available to fill such positions?
Duchess of ATHOLL
The general Regulations respecting appointments to His Majesty's Civil Establishments under the Order in Council of the 22nd July, 1920, prescribe that no person not already holding an established post shall be appointed to an established situation at an age exceeding 50 without the consent of the Treasury, and the Treasury have informed the Board that they are averse from sanctioning the establishment of a person over 50 unless he will have sufficient reckonable service to qualify for pension at the age of 60. Apart from these considerations, my right hon. Friend regards it as essential that assistant inspectors should be recruited at an age when they are likely to retain their adaptability for new work, which on physical grounds alone is of a trying character, and for this purpose he regards the age limit of 50 as by no means too low. My right hon. Friend is, therefore, unable to accept the suggestion contained in the last part of the question.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Does not the Noble Lady realise that it is rather serious policy to lay it down that a person is too old at 50? At that age some teachers are at the height of their experience, and much more likely to be experienced as inspectors than at any other period?