asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if his attention has been, directed to the finding of the Vice-regal Committee of Inquiry (at page 6 of Committee's Report) that after the lapse of thirteen years a considerable number of alleged grievances of undergraded teachers-are still undetermined; what is the cause of the delay in dealing with these cases, and when will they be decided; how many teachers are still suffering financial loss owing to the change of system in 1900; and what is the total amount now due to these teachers?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
My attention has been called to this matter. The Commissioners of National Education inform me that they have not yet considered the report of the recent Vice-regal Committee. The Commissioners are aware, however, that there are "alleged" grievances in regard to salaries fixed for national teachers in 1900, but in the vast majority of these cases which have been submitted to them and which they have carefully investigated, they have found no substantial cause of complaint. In a few cases the Commissioners found that either through errors on the part of the teachers themselves or through a misconception of the rules, they did not receive the full financial benefits which they might claim under the new rules, and the necessary rectifications of payment were made in these cases.2109W
asked the Chief Secretary whether it is proposed to build a national school at a place called Ballyholand, near Newry; whether there is a national school at a place called the Commons, Newry, under Protestant management, with a Protestant as principal teacher and a Roman Catholic assistant; whether the Ballyholand school is to accommodate 150 pupils, thirty-six of whom are at present enrolled in the Commons national school; whether the erection of this proposed school would deprive the minority of the services of a trained second grade teacher and a Roman Catholic assistant; whether objections have been raised by both parents, managers and teachers to the proposed site of the new school; and will he recommend that the proposed new school be built on the site of the old school at Grinan?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education inform me that they have provisionally approved of the erection of a schoolhouse at Ballyholand, county Down, for the accommodation of 130 pupils in mean average attendance. Although this school will replace the existing Grinan national school, it is primarily intended to serve a thickly populated district from which many young children do not go to school at present on account of the distance they would have to travel. The site offered for the proposed now school is one mile distance from the Commons non-vested national school under Protestant management, and having a Protestant principal teacher and a Roman Catholic assistant teacher. Of the children on the rolls of the Commons national school on the 31st December last thirty-four were Roman Catholics. If all these children left the school and were not replaced by others the average attendance would fall below the number required for the continued recognition of the assistant teacher, but there is no reason to anticipate that the number would be reduced so as not to warrant the payment of full-grade salary to the principal. Although these children are included in a list which was furnished by the Board's inspector of Roman Catholic children living within a radius of two miles of the site for the new school, and, consequently, are regarded as possible pupils of that school, it is by no means certain that they will leave the Commons national school for the new school. Moreover, as there are over 240 other children on these lists, it would seem that the new school can be filled without encroaching on the pupils of the Commons2110W national school. From the manager and the principal teacher of the Commons national school the Commissioners have received a joint letter formally objecting to the erection of the new school at Ballyholand because of its proximity to the Commons national school. Objection has also been urged against the erection of the proposed school from persons interested in another school in the district. Having fully considered the inspector's report and the needs of the district for which the new school is intended, the Commissioners decided that the site proposed is in a much more suitable position than that of the existing Grinan school.