§ Mr. KEATING
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that a rule of the National Board of Education debars principal teachers from being promoted from the second section of Grade I. to the first section of Grade I. unless the average attendance reaches seventy; that emigration and the War have depopulated many parishes in Ireland and have automatically reduced the average attendance in some cases from 100 to 50; that the National Commissioners are in favour of the abolition of standard-number test; that some principal teachers with forty years' service have been recommended by the inspectors for promotion, but the rules of the Board debars them; that this rule operates harshly in such cases; and will he take this into consideration in connection with his present efforts to improve the conditions of service for Irish teachers and have the rule abolished forthwith?
§ Mr. DUKE
By a rule of the Commissioners of National Education no teacher 1263W of a school in which the average attendance for the preceding calendar year is under seventy is eligible for promotion to the first section of the first grade or for increment in that section. The Commissioners are aware that there has been some slight decline in the attendance of pupils owing to the causes mentioned. It is possible that there are teachers of forty years' service whose efficiency would entitle them to promotion to the first section of the first grade if their schools had an average attendance of seventy pupils. As regards the remaining points in the question, I would refer to the reply given on the 21st August last by the Financial Secretary of the Treasury to the question of the hon. Member for South Down.
§ Mr. O'DOWD
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will state the scale of pensions paid to retired Irish national teachers of the first, second, and third grade, respectively?
§ Mr. DUKE
The scale of pensions paid on retirement to National School teachers under the pension rules of 1914 is at the rate of one-eightieth of the average annual income during the three years before retirement in respect of each completed year's service, the maximum pension being forty-eightieths.
Taking the average incomes of teachers on 31st March, 1916, as calculated by the Commissioners of National Education, the average pension at forty years' service would be as follows in each grade:—
Grade. Men. Women. 1 (1) … £96 … £79 1 (2) … £74 … £65 2 … £60 … £51 3 … £43 … £35