§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ LORD ASHBY ST. LEDGERS
My Lords, this Bill which I have the honour of presenting for Second Reading has the advantage of being an agreed Bill. I think I should explain that the. Intermediate Education Board for Ireland appointed in 1878 hold annual examinations of students and grant exhibitions and certificates to successful students. They are also empowered to reward the managers of the schools to which the successful students belong. There are several age categories to those examinations. There was an age category for children between twelve and fourteen. That was adopted in 1892, but it was discontinued last year because it was felt that, it was injurious to such young children to submit them to competitive examination. Clause 1 of this Bill is a statutory prohibition to give effect to the discontinuance of the examination of children under fourteen. But a difficulty arises. According to the present Statute it is only on the result of examinations that awards can be paid to the school managers, and subsection (2) of this clause provides that an inspection of the intermediate schools may take the place of examination, and if the Board are satisfied, on this inspection, that the teachers have earned some share of the fund intended to promote intermediate education they can, on that inspection and without examination, reward the managers accordingly. That is practically all that the Bill contains, with the exception of power to make rules, and things of that kind. I understand that my noble friend Lord MacDonnell wishes to move an Amendment in Committee with the object of including quite a different matter. He desires to make a provision enabling the Board to apply to the teachers a new scale of pensions, and also to draw out a scheme by which those entering the service will see exactly what they will become entitled to by way of pension at the end of their service. We take no objection to that Amendment on principle, and, subject to seeing it on the Paper, I do not think there will be any difficulty in our accepting it. But I would like to add this word of warning to my noble 1492 friend. This is an agreed Bill, and if it is amended in this House it is conceivable —although I do not think it is at all likely—that objection may be taken to the Amendment when the Bill goes back to another place. I do not think the risk is great, but so far as we are concerned we are prepared to take that risk, because the object which my noble friend has in view is one with which we fully Concur.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Ashby St. Ledgers.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.