asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been drawn to the suggestion of the Somerset County Council that in rural areas post-primary schools should have sufficient ground attached to have a garden and demonstration plots and that children should be encouraged to take an interest in livestock; whether he will do everything possible to encourage similar proposals throughout the country; and whether he will instruct local education authorities to give special consideration to applicants with a knowledge of agriculture and an interest in country life when appointing teachers in rural schools?
Yes, Sir. In the volume of Suggestions for Public Elementary School Planning issued by the Board in 1936 the suggestions of the Somerset County Council were anticipated, and during the war my Department has circulated to the schools a number of pamphlets on aspects of school gardening and the keeping of livestock such as poultry, rabbits and pigs. The Board have also continued, with the co-operation of Local Education Authorities, to hold teachers courses in rural subjects in different parts of the country. I have no reason to think that local education authorities are not fully alive to the importance of appointing to rural schools teachers with an interest in country life and pursuits.