§ Mr. A. SOMERVILLE
asked the President of the Board of Education whether it is the practice of the Board to disallow for grant purposes payments of salary in respect of the unemployed period which occurred in many cases between demobilisation and reappointment?
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the practice adopted by some local education authorities of counting for increments of salary the period between demobilisation and the resumption of teaching service. There is no provision in the Burnham Reports to cover this practice, and consequently the Board have been unable to recognise expenditure on such increments for the calculation of grant.
§ Mr. SOMERVILLE
asked the President of the Board of Education whether he 938W is aware that payments of salary to secondary school teachers, made by local education authorities under their interpretation of the Burnham Report, are now being refused recognition for grant purposes by the Board, in some cases after the lapse of more than two years since such payments were made, with the result that local education authorities are making reductions in salary over and above the superannuation deduction and the five per cent. abatement agreed to by the teachers; that in some cases the action of the Board is causing local education authorities to call upon teachers to refund sums of money paid to them; that this retrospective demand is regarded by teachers as a breach of the original Burnham agreement and of the special temporary agreement arrived at this year whereby it was understood that there was to be no further deduction beyond the five per cent. deduction agreed upon for the year ending 31st March, 1924; and that the action of the Board of Education combined with that of local education authorities is causing much anxiety amongst secondary school teachers; and whether he will take action in the matter?
I am aware of the circumstances referred to in the first and second parts of the question, but I must add that requests for refunds are not the result of any requirement made by the Board. I regret the inconvenience occasioned by thee disallowances, but the Board have been under the necessity of scrutinising the salary expenditure of local education authorities, in order to satisfy themselves for the purposes of grant that the salaries paid do not exceed those which they are able to recognise under the Burnham Report and the Board's circulars thereon, and, where overpayments have been revealed, they have been compelled to disallow the excess expenditure for the calculation of grant.