§ MR. LANE-FOX (Yorkshire, W.R., Barkston Ash)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that Mr. O. B. Milnes has fulfilled his duties as head teacher at the Sharlston elementary school in a most satisfactory manner; that the West Riding education authority have refused to consent to the appointment of Mr. Milnes by the managers of the Royston national school as head teacher to that school on educational grounds; that Mr. Marvin, the inspector sent by the Board of Education, on their being appealed to by the managers to inquire into the circumstances of the case, reported that Mr. Milnes was one of the most deserving of the younger men in his district, and very strongly recommended him for the appointment; and that the Board informed the authority on 30th January, that Mr. Milnes' career, as shown in the reports of His Majesty's Inspectors, presents an unbroken record of success and good deserts under very adverse circumstances, and advised the authority to reconsider their decision: and will he say on what ground or fresh information the Board have, since that time, completely reversed their decision.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Mr. MCKENNA,) Monmouthshire, N.
The facts are substantially as stated, except that the Board of Education have not reversed any previous decision. Their powers in such cases are limited by the Education Act, 1902, to determining whether the local education authority withheld their consent to the appointment of a teacher on educational grounds. It was clear that the West 217 Riding County Council withheld their consent to Mr. Milnes' appointment on educational grounds, and on finding that the council were not prepared to reconsider their action in the matter, the Board had no alternative under the Statute but to decide accordingly.
§ MR. LANE-FOX
asked whether the Board of Education had not some option of deciding whether the grounds urged were genuine or not. Was the right hon. Gentleman aware that the grounds alleged were based entirely on a visit lasting only three-quarters of an hour, and on six questions put to particular people? Was it not unfair that a promising teacher should be under the stigma of being inefficient?
§ MR. MCKENNA
The Board of Education have to satisfy themselves that the decision was come to on educational grounds. There is no shadow of doubt that the decision in the present case was come to on those grounds.
§ VISCOUNT TURNOUR (Sussex, Horsham)
Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House what the educational grounds were?
§ MR. LANE-FOX
Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the teacher has been fairly treated in this matter?