§ Mr. GUINEY
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that according to the last Report of the Commissioners of National Education there are upwards of 4,000 untrained teachers in the service of the National Board; will he say how many of these teachers applied for permission to each of the denominational training colleges for the session of 1909–10; how many were refused admission, and the reasons for such refusals; and whether he will suggest to the Commissioners of National Education and to the heads of the Irish denominational training colleges the advisability of admitting the Irish untrained teachers to all future courses, and of excluding extern teachers until the untrained staff at present employed in our national schools receive the benefits of a regular course of training?
§ Mr. BIRRELL:
According to the last report of the Commissioners there were 4,496 untrained teachers serving in national schools. The Commissioners cannot say how many teachers applied to the various denominational training colleges for admission to the current session. The names of 201 teachers who were can- 166W didates for one year's course of training were submitted by the principals of these colleges to the Commissioners for approval. Although 190 of these teachers were approved, the college authorities, with whom lay the selection of King's scholars from among the eligible candidates, admitted only twenty-five. The reasons for excluding so many eligible candidates are not known to the Commissioners, but they think it probable that, owing to the difficulty of training teachers properly in one year, the college authorities selected only those who were best prepared to profit by the training offered. The one year's course of training has been abolished after the current session, and the Commissioners do not anticipate that untrained teachers will find any difficulty in future in gaining admission to the training colleges. The Commissioners have, however, decided to reserve to themselves the power to require each training college to set apart a certain number of places for untrained teachers serving in National Schools. As regards the concluding portion of the question, the Commissioners point out that many of the untrained teachers are old, and would not be likely to profit much by a course of training.