§ Mr. BYRNE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many assistant teachers in Ireland who entered the service of the National Board since April, 1900, have been promoted to Grade II., and of these how many are men and how many are 1131W women; can he explain how it is that only eight men assistants were so promoted during the year 1915, while there were sixty-two women promoted to Grade II. in this year, and whether of these a large proportion are teachers in infant junior schools; is the same standard for promotion required for men teachers working in senior schools under much more difficult conditions, and, if so, what is this standard; whether assistant teachers prior to 1914 were kept in total ignorance of what the standard for promotion to Grade II. was; and will he ask the Board to consider the advisability of modifying this standard, by taking into consideration difficult conditions of employment, and thus ensure more rapid promotion for this deserving class of teachers, many of whom have no chance of promotion to principal-ships?
§ Mr. DUKE
It is not possible for me to state how many assistant teachers promoted to second-grade entered the service before and after April, 1900, without elaborate investigation. In practice the same conditions of promotion apply to both classes of assistant teachers, and 54 men and 252 women have been promoted up to the present. Eight men and 62 women were promoted in 1915, and of the latter 10 were teachers in infant schools. Special difficulties in particular schools are considered by the inspectors when making their reports, and the Commissioners of National Education have no reason to suppose that the conditions of promotion press more hardly on men than on women. The small number of men promoted may be accounted for by the fact that few men of high efficiency remain assistants for so long as twelve years, whereas many women do not seek employment as principal teachers. Moreover, the number of women assistant teachers is largely in excess of the number of men. Assistant teachers are eligible for promotion only in exceptional cases of long service and high efficiency. Those in the second class, or who have been trained, are eligible for promotion after twelve years' service if they have received very favourable reports for six years consecutively before date of promotion. The conditions of promotion were not published before 1914. The Commissioners do not consider a modification of the conditions necessary apart from that of revising the conditions of promotion of principal teachers.