§ Mr. MOONEY
asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that, at a public meeting recently held in Newry, it was stated that teachers were expected to teach to others the rights of citizenship denied to themselves; will he say on what educational grounds the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland withhold their civic rights from teachers when the people of Ireland have repeatedly demanded that their teachers should have reasonable freedom; and can he state whether teachers in England and Scotland enjoy the full rights of citizenship?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I have seen a newspaper report of the proceedings referred to, but I have not been able to find in it the statement mentioned in the question. The rules of the Commissioners of National Education do not require teachers to give lessons in civic duties to school children, but in the programme for National Schools it is suggested that as an alternative to the study of a special period of history a course of lessons in citizenship may be given in the highest standard of large schools. The restrictions imposed on teachers with regard to their civil rights were relaxed to a considerable extent in 1907. The Commissioners hold that general abstention of the teachers from local political quarrels has added materially to their usefulness, and they do not consider that it would be in the interests of the teachers or the schools to modify still further the rules on the subject. As regards the conditions of employment of English teachers, I would refer the hon. Member to the Code of Regulations for Public Elementary Schools in England which has been presented to Parliament.
§ Sir JOHN LONSDALE
asked the Chief Secretary if teachers affected by the regulation as to standard numbers are informed by the Commissioners of National. Education, when promoted to either section of first grade, that the date from which service entitling to an increment in the section of first grade shall count is the date from which payment in that section of the 55W grade shall be awarded; if teachers have to wait for a vacancy, is the satisfactoyr service given during the waiting period counted as part of the next triennial increment period; if not, does it amount to a cancellation of satisfactory service so far as the financial prospects of these teachers are concerned if the satisfactory service referred to could be counted in the next increment period without an extension of the standard numbers; and, if so, will he recommend that this should be done?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The answer to the first paragraph of the question is in the affirmative, and to the second paragraph in the negative. The Commissioners of National Education inform me that service during the period between the date of promotion by the Commissioners and the date on which a teacher receives the salary attached to the section of the grade to which he is promoted is not cancelled. It cannot, however, be counted as portion of the period of three years that must elapse before an increment can be granted under the Regulations. The "continued good service salary" attached to each grade or section of grade is a supplement to the fixed salary, and is awarded at the end of three years after the grant of the fixed salary. The answer to the last paragraph is in the negative.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many male teachers promoted to the second division of the first grade since the 1st April, 1911, have reached the grade salary to which such promotion entitles them?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education inform me that there are ninety-six male teachers who qualified for promotion to the second division of the first grade since 1st April, 1911, but owing to the want of vacancies it has not yet been possible to grant any of these teachers the salary attached to that grade.
§ Mr. REDDY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many junior assistant mistresses of thirty years' service have been discontinued in their schools since April, 1912, owing to the rise in the average attendance; how many of these have since been reinstated owing to a modification of Rule 86A; whether those discontinued have got any gratuity or pension; and what steps does he propose to take to do justice to those who have been thus deprived of their livelihood?56W
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education are aware of only one case of such a junior assistant mistress who has been discontinued since April, 1912, on account of the rise in the average attendance at the school in which she was engaged. She has not been reinstated, as a fully qualified assistant teacher has been appointed in her place. The Commissioners have no power to grant her a pension or a gratuity.
§ Mr. HACKETT
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he can state the number of married female teachers whose salaries wore withheld by the National Board because they could not provide substitutes, as required by Rule 92 (j); whether he can state the total amount, withheld under this rule; whether he can state the number of teachers who employed and paid substitutes, and the amount paid to these substitutes; and whether he proposes to recoup those teachers the amounts which have been withheld?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education inform me that salary amounting in all to about £ 900 was withheld from 152 married female teachers because they could not provide substitutes as required by Rule 92 (j). Two hundred and eighty-seven teachers employed and paid substitutes, but the Commissioners have no information as to the total amount paid to those substitutes. The Irish Government are in correspondence with the Treasury on the subject of the inquiry contained in the last paragraph of the question.