asked the Chief Secretary whether the Commissioners of National Education have received a copy of a resolution adopted by the County Down National, Teachers' Association, calling for an additional Grant of £6 5s. 2067W for every teacher not provided with an official residence; whether the sum is now annually paid to each teacher living in an official residence; and can he state when those teachers not having an official residence will get a Grant to assist them to pay their rent?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education have received the resolution referred to. When an official residence for a national teacher is provided locally by means of a loan from the Board of Works the Commissioners pay half the annual instalment required by the Board of Works to clear off the loan so long as the house is usedbonâ fide as a residence by a teacher. This half instalment is paid to the manager of the school. The manager may charge the teacher a rent not greater than a half instalment, but many of the managers make no charge for rent. Half the annual instalment on a loan of £250 (the maximum loan) is £6 5s. The provision of official residence is, in the first instance, a matter for the local parties interested in the school. The Commissioners have no funds from which they can make Grants for any other residences.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been called to the effect of Rule 86 (a) of the Commissioners of National Education in the case of Miss Eliza Hennessy, late junior assistant mistress in Tolerton national school, Roll No. 11,321, Queen's County; whether, after thirty years' efficient service, she was discharged without any fault on her part when the average attendance of pupils temporarily reached fifty; whether she received no compensation on dismissal; whether there is a precedent in any department of public service for such treatment of officials; and whether anything will be done to compensate this lady or to avert a like result in the case of others of her class?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education inform me that Miss Hennessy was appointed work mistress in Tolerton national school in March, 1882, and served in that capacity up to March, 1904, when she became junior assistant mistress. In December, 1911, the manager's attention was drawn to Rule 86 (a) of the Commisisoners, which lays down that when an average attendance of fifty pupils is maintained in any school a fully qualified assistant must be appointed, and he was asked what steps he would take to carry out this rule. The manager had 2068W given the required three months' notice to the junior assistant mistress, and he subsequently notified the appointment of a fully qualified assistant from 6th May, 1912. The Commissioners have recently decided that junior assistant mistresses who have given very efficient service, and who are over forty-five years of age, will not be disturbed in their positions under the rule, but Miss Hennessy, who is fifty years of age, had not succeeded in obtaining good reports on her work during the last two yaers. The Commissionrs have no funds at their disposal for compensating junior assistant mistresses who lose their positions owing to the operation of the rule in question or any other cause.