§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
To ask the Secretary to the Board of Education whether, in view of the difficulties caused to local authorities by the present inadequate supply of teachers, he will modify the pupil teacher regulations in such a way that the engagement of boys and girls as pupil teachers at the age of fifteen may be allowed for a further period than that at present permitted in those regulations.
(Answer by Sir William Anson.)It has been represented to the Board of Education that their regulation requiring pupil teachers admitted on or after the 1st of August, 1904, to be not less than sixteen years of age at the date of their admission is likely to produce serious inconvenience in certain districts, owing to the difficulty of supplying immediately the additional staff which would thus be rendered necessary, and to the impossibility of provision being made by that date in those places for the full-time instruction of intending pupil teachers between the ages of fifteen and sixteen. In view of this, the Board will be prepared, where it is shown to their satisfaction that the circumstances of any area require exceptional treatment, to postpone as regards that area the date at which this regulation will come into operation until a date not later than the 1st of August, 1906, and to allow candidates between the ages of fifteen and sixteen to be admitted as pupil teachers for engagements of three years from the 1st of August, 1902, and, if necessary, also from the 1st of August, 1905.