Mr. WILLIAM REDMOND
asked the Chief Secretary whether the Commissioners of National Education have written to the manager of the schools at Parteen requiring him, under pain of withdrawal of grants, to equip the boys' and girls' schools there so as to make them suitable for the education of children under seven years of age; whether the Commissioners attempted last year to enforce Rule 127b in the case of these schools 166W on the ground that the girls' school was suitable for the education of children under seven years of age; whether the Commissioners have now dropped that demand and, if so, on what grounds; and whether he will explain why the failure of the manager to comply with the details for the accommodation of five or six infants under seven years of age has resulted in the closing of the only schools in the district?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
On 15th February the manager of Parteen school was advised that grants would be withdrawn from the Parteen schools from 31st March, 1912, unless certain necessary articles of school equipment were provided in the meantime. The question of the application of Rule 127b in the case of these schools has not been dropped. It is to be further considered during the current year. It is not quite correct to say that the articles of school equipment were required merely for five or six infants under seven years of age; they were required in connection with the instruction of the junior group, which consists in these schools of the infants and first standard pupils. The manager, in a recent letter, undertakes to see to these matters.