HC Deb 14 April 1910 vol 16 c1557W

asked the Chief Secretary whether the attention of the Commissioners of Intermediate Education in Ireland was, so long ago as the 10th February, 1910, called to the fact that the dates of the annual examination prevented Jewish candidates from competing; did they then promise to make arrangements as regards obligatory subjects that would get over the difficulty; have they made any such arrangements; and, if so, why did they not publicly announce them?


I am informed by the Commissioners of Intermediate Education that the Board did not make any promise such as that suggested in the question. The attention of the Board was not called to the date of the Jewish holy days till it was too late to adapt the time table to that date, all the schools in Ireland having nearly two months previously made arrangements in accordance with the published time table, which could not be altered without great inconvenience and expense. The Board having considered the whole question, find that the only remedy now possible, namely, that of setting alternative papers for Jewish students, both in pass and honours, would involve insuperable difficulties inasmuch as no care or skill could make such papers so uniform with those set to candidates in general as to avoid the possibility of unfairness in the awards, and the certainty that such awards would be challenged by unsuccessful candidates.