Teachers' Salaries.

Oral Answers to Questions — Elementary Schools. – in the House of Commons on 15th April 1920.

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Photo of Major Sir William Prescott Major Sir William Prescott , Tottenham North

11.

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that large numbers of teachers in the elementary schools who are entrusted with the actual work of forming the minds of the incoming generation are still being paid at the rate of unskilled labour; whether he is aware of the fact that amongst these teachers there is a spirit abroad that is restless and prevalent enough to be injurious to the exercise of a beneficial influence upon the younger generation; whether he has read the reports of speeches delivered from time to time at recent meetings of the National Union of Teachers complaining about the rate of pay; and if he can make any announcement as to the steps proposed to be taken to end this unsatisfactory state of affairs?

Photo of Mr Herbert Fisher Mr Herbert Fisher , Combined English Universities

The agreement arrived at last November by representatives of the Local Education Authorities and the National Union of Teachers, who sat as a Joint Committee under the chairmanship of Lord Burn-ham, has already had the effect of greatly improving the remuneration of the mass of teachers in elementary schools. That Committee is industriously pursuing the orderly and progressive solution of the salary problem, and I am sure that the best thing teachers can do is to give loyal and consistent support to that Committee.

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

13

asked the President of the Board of Education, (1) whether he is aware that the teachers in the Monmouthshire schools were supplied with cards, through the school authorities and on behalf of the Board of Education, entitled Salaries of Teachers in Public Elementary Schools of England and Wales, and stating that the cards were for use only in areas where the Burnham minimum scale was adopted or about to be adopted, and that in November last a scale was agreed upon which is substantially higher than the above scale; will he cause instructions to be issued for the withdrawal of these cards;

(2) whether be is aware that the teachers employed under the Newport (Mon.) education authority were supplied with cards which read for use in areas which were paying salaries above the Burnham scale; if he will state why this card was not supplied to the teachers in the county area; and whether he will state whether any effort has been made by the Board to induce the Monmouthshire education authority to withdraw the scale adopted in November last, and now operative, and to substitute the Burnham scale?

Photo of Mr Herbert Fisher Mr Herbert Fisher , Combined English Universities

The cards referred to are required for statistical purposes. They are of two series: Series A, for use in areas in which the provisional minimum scale recommended by the Burnham Committee will be adopted, and Series B, for use in areas in which the provisional minimum scale will not be adopted.

The Monmouthshire Local Education Authority applied for, and were furnished with, cards of Series A. The Newport Authority applied for, and were furnished with, cards of Series B. When the Monmouthshire cards were returned it was found that the scale adopted by the authority differed materially from the provisional minimum scale. The cards', however, had been filled in so as to give the facts required by the Board, and they are consequently being treated as cards of Series B.

The reply to the last part of the second question is in the negative. Nothing has been said or suggested by the Board in this matter to induce the Local Education Authority to alter their proposals' for the payment of the teachers in their area. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the Board's Circular No. 1146, which gives information regarding the returns referred to in the two questions.