§ (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, (including any rules made thereunder), the Board of Education (in this Act referred to as "the Board") may grant such superannuation allowances as are hereinafter mentioned in this Section to any teacher who—
- (a) has attained the age of sixty years, and has either—
- (i) been employed—
- (A) for not less than thirty years in recognised or qualifying service; and
- (B) for not less than ten years, or, if he was employed in recognised service at the commencement of this Act, for not less than the prescribed number of years, in a grant-aided school or in service which has been recorded by the Board before the commencement of this Act under the Act of 1898; and
- (C) for not less than the prescribed period after the commencement of this Act in recognised service; or
- (ii) being a teacher to whom the Act of 1898 applied at the commencement of this Act, been employed in recognised service for a period equal in the aggregate to not less than half the number of years between the date on which he became a certificated teacher and the date on which he attained or will attain the age of sixty-five years; of
- (i) been employed—
- (b) having completed ten years of recognised service and been employed in recognised service within the prescribed period before the date on which he applies for a superannuation allowance under this Section, has, in the opinion of the Board, become permanently incapable through infirmity of mind or body of serving efficiently as a teacher in recognised service.
§ (2) The superannuation allowances which may be granted under this Section are—
- (a) an annual superannuation allowance of an amount not exceeding one-eightieth of the average salary of the teacher in respect of each completed year of recognised service, or one-half of the average salary, whichever is the less; and
- (b) by way of additional allowance a lump sum not exceeding one-thirtieth of the average salary of the teacher in respect of each completed year of recognised service, or one-and-a-half times the average salary, whichever is the less.
§ (3) In the case of a woman teacher, who after ceasing in consequence of marriage to be employed in recognised service has subsequently returned to recognised service and satisfies the prescribed conditions, twenty years shall be substituted for thirty years as the qualifying period of service.
§ Major D. DAVIES
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "teacher" ["to any teacher who"], to insert the wordsor organising master, inspector, secretary, director or other technical education officer who has been teacher in a provided school and.This Amendment is designed to bring within the scope of the Bill, inspectors, organising masters, and secretaries who have at some period or other been teachers in schools, and who before having been promoted to fill the offices which they now hold have actually had experience in the teaching profession.
The attention of the hon. and gallant Member is drawn to the Money Resolution, which refers only to the word "teachers." I observe that in the Amendment which the hon. and gallant Member is now moving he uses such words as "inspectors, secretaries, directors." I shall be very glad to hear what the hon. and gallant Member has to say, but at first sight it appears to me to be outside the scope of the Money Resolution.
§ Major DAVIES
On the point of Order. It would appear that the Amendment which I have proposed is more of a definition of what a teacher has been. I believe there is a precedent for this Amendment, because I understand that, on looking up the records in the OFFICIAL REPORT in the Teachers' Superannuation Bill of 1898, the Money Resolution was identical with the one which has already been passed in respect of the Bill we are now discussing. A new Clause was inserted in that Bill in order to include organising masters and inspectors, and inasmuch as that Amendment increased the expenditure under that Bill by 10 per cent., whereas my Amendment only increases the estimated expenditure under this Bill by less than ½ per cent., I submit very respectfully that the precedent of 1898 is good and that the present Amendment is within the scope of the Resolution passed by the House.
I should like to hear the view of the Minister in charge of the Bill on that point before I give my decision.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Herbert Fisher)
I submit that the Amendment which has been proposed by my hon. and gallant Friend does exceed the Money Resolution. This is a Bill for the superannuation of teachers, and I should not have thought that it would have been possible to bring within the terms of the Money Resolution or the terms of the Bill directors and secretaries and inspectors who are not actually engaged in the teaching service.
§ Mr. ROWLANDS
Might I draw your attention to the fact that this Amendment simply deals with persons who have devoted their lives to the teaching profession, and who, having gone through the various grades, have received a certain promotion? They have won promotion in that career, and they are still teachers. I am prepared to give numerous cases in Kent of men who have passed right through all the grades and who have their certificates, and I submit that this Amendment does not go outside the teaching profession.
Sir MONTAGUE BARLOW
There are many of us who feel that there is a very strong case for this Amendment, and we should be extremely sorry if owing to a technicality the matter were not discussed If the President of the Board of 1214 Education feels that he must Insist on his view and if you rule against this Amendment, I would ask him whether he would take these cases into consideration at introduce legislation to put these classes on a similar footing and in a similar position of advantage with regard to pensions?
May I have the reference in the OFFICIAL REPORT to the precedent on which the hon. and gallant Member has founded his case?
Mr. L. WILLIAMS
I am sure the President of the Board of Education will be only too anxious to meet the sense of the House in this matter. There is a very strong feeling in South Wales in favour of including in the benefits of the Bill people who have been teachers. I am perfectly certain that my right hon. Friend, who really has the interests of the teachers at heart, will not be averse from doing what is the fair and right thing. I have put down a proviso to Clause 16. Unfortunately, it is not on the Paper. I had to put it in in manuscript a short time ago. I hope my right hon. Friend has it. If he has, he will see that I endeavour to include these classes. There are six categories of persons there included, and I propose to add a seventh embracing practically the people mentioned in this Amendment. Suppose you rule this Amendment out of order, would it be in order to move the addition to Clause 16, which I propose?
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
I should like to ask whether it is not possible to include under the word "teachers" those who have been teachers and are still engaged in the teaching profession, although at the present time they may be employed at directors of education or inspectors, or in some other capacity in which a knowledge of teaching is absolutely essential? Would it be possible in any way to interpret the Clause in that direction? I am quite certain that it would give a large amount of satisfaction to a very considerable number of persons who otherwise will be excluded from obtaining a pension to which they certainly are entitled by reason of the fact that they have been teachers, and have been promoted to a higher rank of teachers in consequence of the experience that they had as teachers.
§ Mr. LESLIE SCOTT
I would suggest that directors of education are certainly teachers, inasmuch as I understand that most of their time is spent in teaching the councils to which they are attached. If you have Vol. 62 of the OFFICIAL REPORT, Col. 440, of the year 1898, you will find that there was a similar limitation in the Superannuation Bill of 1898, but in Section 5 of the Act as passed both inspectors and organisers appeared. Possibly that might be treated as a precedent for a reasonably wide interpretation of this word "teachers," and I would invite you to treat the word as covering those connected with the teaching establishments of the country.
§ Mr. C. ROBERTS
In the Act of 1898, which provided superannuation and other annuities for elementary school teachers, the word did include organising teachers. I presume it was recognised that there might be some teachers whose main business was organising, but who did incidentally perform some teaching offices. It is a somewhat narrow interpretation to say that teachers belong to one profession and that inspectors and organisers in teaching belong to another, namely, the Local Government service. That really is the point: Whether they are to be relegated to the chances of a Local Government scheme or whether they be brought in under a scheme which deals with the educational service. If it is true that they are placed out of order, I hope it may be possible to meet some part of the case in the way in which I have suggested by Amendment. I would hope that the larger question might be allowed, and it is surely our very argument that men who are really engaged for the purpose of teaching who give all their lives to teaching who may have had teaching experience in the past and are very closely indeed associated with the teaching profession should not be entirely divorced from that profession.
§ Sir J. YOXALL
I would ask your attention to this point in regard to the point of Order: When does a teacher cease to be a teacher? A teacher taken from the school is placed in the position of organising teachers. He goes round schools supervising teachers; he is teaching himself or herself. I should suggest that that man or woman might possibly count. As far as organising teachers are concerned and inspectors, I submit that they come under the terms.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
Clause 16 evidently recognises that it applies to others besides teachers; the expression "qualifying service," means any employment whether in a capacity of a teacher or otherwise." It is clearly defined there it is meant to apply to others than teachers.
§ Mr. COTTON
Another point of Order. I have a case here which it is very difficult to place, if your ruling, Sir, rules out all except teachers. How will you place a man of this kind: Here is a a man who is principal of a technical school, at the same time he is a director of "Further Education," as they call it. He is paid two-thirds of his salary as principal and one-third as director. He is actually engaged in teaching but is, at the same time, a director. Is he only to come into the Bill as regards two-thirds of his pay as principal and to be docked of one-third as a director? Then there is also the question of inspectors who have been teachers. I find that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education, on the Second Reading of the Bill, said:We are proposing in future that it shall be possible for teachers who have completed ten years' service as teachers to become inspectors without any loss of pensionable rights which have accrued through their ten years of service in an aided school."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st October, 1918, col. 481.That contemplates the inclusion in the Bill of teachers who have become inspectors. I cannot find any trace of it in the Bill, and I should like to know how the right hon. Gentleman proposes to meet that case. I cannot find any Clause of that kind. It is unfair to suggest that because a teacher has become an inspector he should be cut out of the Bill.
I think the Committee will agree that it is rather a complex point that is sprung upon me. It is quite clear that there were no Amendments made in Committee in this House in the Bill of 1898. There were apparently some Amendments made in the House of Lords, and this House may have waived its privilege when they came back here, which apparently it did. I am very much affected in my view by what the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rawlinson) pointed out, that is in page 11, Clause 16. The expression used there, "qualifying service means any employment, whether in the capacity of a teacher or otherwise." It is quite obvious that the word "otherwise" must be 1217 ejusdem generis to the word "teacher." But I find in the Amendment there are words which limit the scope of the secretary, director, and others, and these words are "who has been a teacher in a recognised school." With such consideration as I am able to give to it, I feel, on the whole, that I am justified in allowing the Amendment to be moved.
§ Major DAVIES
I beg to move the Amendment. I feel sure your ruling on this matter will have great effect on the decision of the Committee in regard to the list of Amendments, and my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Education must sympathise with the claims of directors of education and of administrators of education who themselves have been in the past teachers, and who have been appointed to their present post owing to the fact that they have distinguished themselves in the teaching profession. I cannot quite make out that these people should have been omitted from the Bill except by some oversight on the part of those who were responsible for originally drafting the Bill. I cannot see that there is any earthly reason why this category of educational experts, who are responsible for the general direction of education and of teaching, should have purposely been omitted from the scope of this Bill. The increase in the cost would be less than one-half per cent. of the total cost. I understand that the number of people who will be affected by this Amendment is 356, whereas the total number of teachers in the country who come within the scope of the Bill is 180,000. Therefore, I really do not see that the gentlemen who preside over His Majesty's Treasury, and who are naturally anxious to keep down expenditure, should object on the ground that it is going to land them in a very large amount of extra expenditure. I think, also, it is quite clear that this Amendment only applies to those engaged as directors and engaged as administrators in education who have themselves been teachers. It does not apply to the organising staff and the administrative staffs throughout the country, whose claim has, on the Second Reading of the Bill, been put forward as coming in.
This Amendment is not intended to cover those who have not been teachers. Therefore I hope the Board will not put that forward as an objection to accepting the Amendment. I want it to be perfectly 1218 clear that if this class of organisers and directors are to be excluded from the purview of this Bill these men are to be penalised, and it must follow that in future it will be impossible for the President of the Board of Education to get the best teachers to apply for these posts. I take it that a director of education should be a man who has had himself experience of teaching, and that he is much better able to fulfil the post of director, inspector, or organiser if he is a man who has gone through the mill and has had practical experience of the work he is called upon to supervise. Therefore, if it is proposed in this Bill to penalise these gentlemen and put them in a worse position than they were in before, it means that when you promote them it will be a case of the Dutchman's rise.
There is another point which is essential. If we want increased efficiency in education it is important that the men who occupy these high positions should come under a superannuation scheme. We are told that in the case of the police, the Poor Law officials, and the pensions officials, they all come now under a scheme of superannuation. Why does not the same thing apply in the case of directors of education and education officials all over the country? We may be told that it is possible that the Local Government Board are considering as to whether they may not some time in the future bring forward a measure of superannuation for all these people who are employed by municipalities and in local government work, but I submit that now that this Bill is before the Committee it is our duty to see that so far as educational institutions in this country are concerned a proper and comprehensive scheme of superannuation is established which applies from the very top to the very bottom. Many speeches were made on the Second Reading of the Bill urging the President of the Board of Education to bring this class within the scope of the measure, and I sincerely hope that he will not spoil the ship for a halfpennyworth of tar, but will accept this Amendment, and by so doing do something towards increasing the efficiency of the educational machinery in the country.
§ Mr. L. SCOTT
I beg to support very strongly this Amendment and to endorse every one of the reasons advanced in its favour by the Mover. He has stated the case so clearly, so moderately, and so conclusively that I need only add a very few words. There seem to me to be two 1219 strong dominant reasons in favour of the Amendment. The first is, that in any very large administrations where you have a very large staff, if the great bulk of that staff are in receipt of low salaries it is the greatest incentive to efficiency and the best means of inducing good men to come into the organisation if you have, to use a colloquialism, good plums at the top for those who can succeed in reaching them. Therefore, I think that anything which will give opportunities for increasing the attraction of the senior posts in the education service will promote efficiency in the rank and file far beyond the mere money obligation made upon the Treasury by doing so. The second reason is this: it may be that if this Amendment were not accepted the President of the Local Government Board would have to introduce legislation which would give some kind of comparable pension rights to the class we are concerned with. If those pension rights are only equivalent to the pension rights we propose here in point of money—indeed, I think from any point of view—they would be infinitely less attractive and would also serve the purpose we want much less efficiently. The only big thing you want in administration is that those at the top who are responsible for running it successfully should be the people who have to do with, so to speak, pulling the purse strings—the heads of the Department should be responsible for all questions of salary—and after all the question of pension is only a question of deferred salary. I think for that reason it would be most unfortunate if the Local Government Board should be concerned, directly or indirectly, in the question of pensions in this case. It may be and probably will be said that the points at which direct intervention by the President of the Board of Education or the educational authorities in the question of pensions may be very limited, but for all that I think it is common sense that if the President of the Board of Education is the authority concerned with the question of pay the question of pension will be regarded by the staff as part of the field of operations of the President of the Board of Education; but if it is in any way dealt with by the Local Government Board, or if this class of officials is brought in any way under the purview of the Local Government Board, indirectly or directly, as a matter of fact, or as a matter of imagination, the 1220 working of the staff will suffer from the general impression, accurate or inaccurate, that the authority at the top is divided and that this is not a matter within the general jurisdiction of the President of the Board of Education.
Mr. L. WILLIAMS
The very informing speech of my hon. and learned Friend (Major Davies), supported by the speech to which we have just listened, has made it Perfectly clear that in some way or other the case of the inspectors and directors and other people who have been teachers and promoters of the higher course must be dealt with, and I do not think the Minister of Education would dispute that for a moment. It is cither a question whether it is to be dealt with now, as I submit, in its proper significance or whether it is to be dealt with again by a Bill to be brought in by the President of the Local Government Board. What is the position if these men are left where they are left by this Bill? If a teacher has been in the profession for ten years and breaks down in health he is entitled to a pension, or something equivalent to a pension. If a teacher has been teaching for ten years and has then been promoted to be a director or inspector of education, he will, according to this Bill, be entitled to have the benefit of the ten years' teaching experience that he has had, but it will be deferred until he is sixty years of ago. In other words, the man who has been chosen for promotion because of his excellence as a teacher, after ten years' experience will have his benefit deferred until he is sixty years of age, so that it would be much better for him, from the point of view of pension, if he had broken down in health after ten years' experience as a teacher.
If that be anything like the true position, the mere statement of it is enough to enable everyone to see that something must be done, either now or hereafter, to put the teacher who has been promoted into a more favourable position than he is left in by this Bill. Is it not better that the right hon. Gentleman should deal with the whole matter in this one Bill? He is in a position in which no Minister of Education has ever been since I have been in the House, or since I have known the House has the universal confidence of every section of the House, and therefore could do things that no other Minister of Education ever could do. WE all know that he is here merely in the interests of education. I know a 1221 great number of these men who have been teachers, and who have been promoted to be inspectors, who will feel a sense of injustice if this Bill goes through in its present form, and I would appeal to my right hon. Friend to use the strength which he undoubtedly possesses. The hon. Gentleman on his left (Mr. Baldwin) smiles. It may be that that is the difficulty with which the right hon. Gentleman has to contend. I have never been in the secrets of Governments, but I am perfectly certain that if the right hon. Gentleman will only consult his hon. Friend, after hearing the speeches of the two hon. Gentlemen who have preceded me, he will find little difficulty with a flinty-hearted Treasury in doing justice to these men.
§ 9.0 P.M.
Sir M. BARLOW
I wish to put only one point to the Committee. It is quite clear to all of us who have had any experience of the class whom we are discussing now that they are people who have gone to the top of their profession, and therefore, if merit has any recognition, they should be the people to have the best and not the worst treatment under the Bill. Therefore, as far as any claim they may have can be considered, every care should be taken to see that they are not badly treated. This is a point I wish to put rather strongly. If they are badly treated, what will be the result? In the first place, I take it that they will all, or most of them, take every step possible to give up the positions which they occupy and go back into the teaching class before this Bill passes. They must do it. It is their only chance of safeguarding themselves. I put it to the Minister of Education—and I entirely agree with the tribute paid him by my hon. and learned Friend who has just spoken—are we going to give his great Act, our great Act of 1918, a fair chance? If you begin by lopping off from the top of the administrative tree the finest branch—because we all know what an immense debt the machine owes to the people who are doing this partly administrative, partly teaching, partly organising work—you cannot get on without it. It would be a most unfortunate thing, and the worst thing possible for the new Act, if at one blow you make a class, on which we must be largely dependent, discontented, and possibly force them back into the ranks of ordinary teachers as the only means of safeguarding themselves.
It may be said that they need not trouble, because they are bound to be 1222 looked after, either by the Board of Education or the Local Government Board, and that they will become Local Government Board officers for a scheme of pensions. But I would ask the practical question, if that is so, Are the years in which they were teachers pure and simple to count for pensions, if they become Local Government Board officers, from the time they become organisers or directors? We are dealing with one of the finest professions in the country—the teaching profession. We owe to it an immense debt, a debt the extent of which is only half recognised. It is a profession to which we are going to owe more and more in the future. Therefore it is a very unfortunate thing if the Board of Education is going to force for certain purposes the administrative heads of the profession to go elsewhere for their remedy. It would be a much better position for the President of the Board of Education to be able to say, "I look after, from the pensions, as from every other, point of view, the best interests of all branches of this great profession," and I believe that he will be serving the best interests not only of the men concerned, but also of education in this country, if he treats them reasonably and recognises their services under this Bill.
§ Mr. ROWLANDS
The point has been put so forcibly in regard to this case that I really sincerely hope the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Education will not mar his great measure, but will pioneer it with success through the House without this little drawback in it. As has been stated very clearly, what has been asked for is not to admit into the measure any person who cannot be designated as a teacher. The only question that can possibly be raised by the Treasury, and that is a very fine one if they do raise it, is whether these people, who have devoted the whole of their lives to teaching, and who have gone through all the preparatory work which has led to their success and has put them in their present position, shall still be considered as teachers to all intents and purposes and come within the scope of this measure I have received from the county of Kent, not from people who are directly interested in what may be done in this House but from those who are members of the county of Kent Education Committee, and from others, the strongest possible expression of their view as to the desirability of these men and women being brought within the 1223 scope of the Bill. The members of the committee have even supplied me with the records of every one of their staff, and anyone reading these records cannot but admire the way in which these teachers have passed through the various stages of the teaching career till they reached the position which they now occupy.
The whole of them have had a lifelong experience of the teaching career. To use a popular expression, they have by their ability risen from the ranks. We do not want them to be excluded from that to which they are entitled, and I sincerely hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to accept the Amendment, and include these officials within the scope of the Act. They are not satisfied with the promise that sooner or later the Local Government Board are going to appoint a Committee. Nobody know how long that Committee would take before it reported to the Local Government Board, nor do the people concerned in this matter know whether or not they would be brought under another designation as the result of the recommendations of the Committee. They belong to educational work; their whole life has been spent in it, and it is their desire that they should continue to be connected with the particular work to which they have devoted their lives. I trust the right hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendment, which has been so earnestly and so forcibly supported by the various speakers, which is backed by the feeling and sentiment, to my own certain knowledge, of all persons who take an interest in education, and who desire to have a strong expression of the House in its support.
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
It has seldom happened in one's experience that any Amendment of a Bill dealing with education has received such unanimous support as that which is now before the House. I feel, moreover, that no Amendment could invoke the sympathy of the President of the Board of Education more than the one which we are now considering, and therefore I do venture to appeal to the right hon. Gentleman very strongly, with a view to obtaining this Bill in as short a time as possible, to accept the Amendment now before us. It has been pointed out—and these words I address to the Secretary to the Treasury—that this Amendment will increase the amount to be granted for pensions, but it will be a very small 1224 increase, and I must say that I think, therefore, that, so far as he is concerned, he will do what he can to enable this Amendment to be carried. It has been suggested that the case of these inspectors and organising directors may be met by the proposal that has been made by the President of the Board of Education, to appoint a Committee to consider the conditions under which pensions could be paid to officers under the local authority. It ought to be remembered distinctly that these men belong to the educational world, and not to that part of the administrative Departments concerned with matters altogether of a different character from those of education. Moreover, we do not know in the least what may be the character of the recommendations of such a Committee if it does sit. The proposals that they may make may not be of a kind so satisfactory to members of the teaching profession as the generous terms proposed by the President of the Board of Education. This is a non-contributory scheme. We have every reason to believe it possible that a scheme may be suggested by the Committee appointed making it a contributory scheme, in that way establishing a distinct division between the several members of the same educational body. Therefore, in the interests and union of the teachers, I earnestly hope that the right hon. Gentleman may be able to accept the Amendment.
§ Colonel DALRYMPLE WHITE
I would ask the right hon. Gentleman how it is to be defined where the functions of a teacher end and the functions of an administrator begin. A college or school may be entirely engaged in military work, and it would be for the right hon. Gentleman to decide if the official in that case is to be treated as an officer or an administrator, and I submit it would be far better to make a clean cut, and to include all those who are connected with State education as a whole. The hon. Member for the Carmarthen district mentioned the case of a teacher of ten years' service, but I know in my Constituency a case where as a teacher and one year as a director. He would be very severely penalised. In view of what has been said, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see his way to include all these people in the Bill.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
I desire to associate myself with the arguments which have been adduced in support of the Amend merit of my hon. and gallant Friend. I 1225 am quite sure that the right hon. Gentleman, if he yields to the general view of the Committee, should accept the Amendment. Support of it has been expressed with the greatest unanimity on every side to-night, and I think the same unanimity will be found in the teaching profession. Obviously, those who occupy these positions and have been associated with teaching all their lives would naturally very much prefer to be included in this Bill rather than attached to the Local Government Board. If the contrary view prevailed, no doubt the possibilities are that many education authorities might make these appointments outside the teaching profession, and as an old member of a body engaged in the administration of county education, I support this Amendment. I believe that if it is not carried the educational authorities might exercise a very much narrower choice and make appointments outside. There can be no doubt that if an appointment of this kind is advertised the teachers who are most capable of filling it will hesitate to apply if they believe the question of their pension is thereby jeopardised. Therefore, from the point of view of the teacher and of the education authority, and from every point of view that can be advanced, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. HERBERT FISHER
I am glad that you, Sir, have not taken the course which I indicated and ruled this discussion out of order, although it was my opinion that directors, secretaries and inspectors could not be considered as teachers under the Bill and did not come within the Financial Resolution. I think it will be generally agreed that this is a very generous Bill to teachers, and under the genial rays of the educational enthusiasm which the House has so recently shown the flinty heart of the Treasury has effectually melted. At any rate, I have no complaints to make, and consequently I feel that the Committee will not be disposed to press me or the Treasury too hardly if the Government does not see its way to go the full length of the desires which have been expressed by many hon. Members on this Amendment. With all that has fallen from the lips of hon. Members in praise of the educational work done by the inspectors of the Board and of the local education authorities I am in hearty agreement. I cannot too generously or too fully acknowledge their services to education, and I consider it 1226 to be an educational interest of the greatest importance that the administrative officers of education should be well remunerated for their labours and that the administrative career in the sphere of education should be made attractive to the best teachers whom our schools can supply. The object of the Bill is to provide a generous scheme of superannuation for teachers and to attract men and women of good education and character into the service of our schools. Any measure of superannuation must be circumscribed in its operation. It must have limits, and outside those limits there will always be a certain number of hard cases. Wherever you draw the line there will be a certain number of hard cases outside. It is said an inspector under this Bill will be penalised. Will he be penalised? An inspector of the local education authority may or may not have recorded his full tenure of service under the Act of 1898. Let us suppose that he has. Then the Bill offers him all its advantages. He can exchange the superannuation prospects which he has under the Act for the more liberal prospects of the Bill, and a very considerable number of inspectors fall under that rule. Again, we have another class of inspectors who have gone into the inspectorate from the schools and have deliberately sacrificed their prospects under the Act of 1898. Should it be a grievance that, having bettered themselves in other ways, they are not brought under the terms of the Bill? Further, the directors, secretaries, and inspectors under the local education authorities are officers of local authorities, and the Local Government Board is contemplating a scheme of superannuation for officers employed by local education authorities.
Some hon. Members have said that this prospect of superannuation is remote—perhaps they have exaggerated the remoteness—and they have also argued that it would be much more desirable in the interests of education if the administrative service of education were severed from the other portions of the administrative service of local bodies and placed under the Board of Education. I have been asked whether, as Minister of Education, I ought not to be very anxious to bring the whole administrative service of education under the Board. Whatever my own private feelings on that point may be, it occurs to me that I have only one course, and that is to wait till the scheme is elaborated by the President of the Local 1227 Government Board. I do not feel that in a Bill for the superannuation of teachers we can provide superannuation allowances for the administrative service of education, but, in consultation with my hon. Friend (Mr. Baldwin), I have come to the conclusion that we can go this far to meet the desires of hon. Members. We are prepared to accept, as recognised service under the Bill, the teaching service of administrative officers or inspectors provided it has extended over a minimum of ten years in a Grant-aided school. In other words, we are willing to recognise teaching service in Grant-aided schools performed by administrative officers in the employment of local education authorities and inspectors in the employment of local education authorities and of the Board provided it reaches the minimum for recognised service under the Bill. That is as far as we are prepared to go, and I hope it will satisfy the Committee.
§ Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
May I ask whether it is clear that the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion will apply to existing officials at the present time, and does it also mean that their administrative service will count as qualifying service for the period of thirty years, which they have to complete before they are entitled to their pension or not? Otherwise they might lose under the condition that they must have thirty years' service, the advantage of the ten years' pensionable teachers service.
§ Mr. ROBERTS
The proposal, I think, is a halfway house. I do not know how the right hon. Gentleman is going to carry it out. I had an Amendment down which was intended to do that in case the larger measure failed. I think we must be grateful for what we can get from the President, if he cannot give us the full measure, and that we recognise that it would be a real advantage to treat the past teacher's service of these administrative officials as pensionable. I think you will require to do that by some modification of paragraph (c) of Clause 1 of the Bill. We must thank the right hon. Gentleman for what he has given and for the instalment and partial recognition of the claim made by the Committee.
§ Mr. SCOTT
The wording of the Amendment is to insert the wordsor as organising master, inspector, secretary, director, or other technical education officer.May I ask which of those categories are excluded from the right hon. Gentleman's offer? The other point I want to be clear about is this. Is the arrangement suggested that if he has done a minimum of ten years qualifying service as a teacher—
§ Mr. SCOTT—that then spending the rest of his time in a non-teaching office will not prevent him from being fully qualified for pension purposes?
§ Sir J. YOXALL
The point is whether a teacher having had a ten years recognised service, and then completing thirty years' service under an education committee as inspector, will receive his pension based on the average of the last five years as inspector, or whether he will only receive his pension on the ten years' service?
§ Mr. COTTON
That makes a very serious difference. I believe that a deputation has already waited on the right hon. Gentleman, pointing out to him what a serious difference it will be if the last five years as teacher is taken and not five years as inspector. In some cases it will reduce the pension almost to the level of a breakdown allowance. I would appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to just go a little further and give the pension on the last five years as inspector. Then there is another point. There have been various policies on the part of the Board of Education. At one time teachers who became inspectors were told that they might go on contributing to a particular superannuation scheme, and at another time they were told those contributions should cease when teachers became inspectors, and again they were told they must contribute, and subsequently not to do so. Those different policies on the part of the board have created some sort of confusion. Take the case of a man who has put in thirty-two years' service as a teacher, and is then appointed an inspector under the local authority. On being appointed, acting on the policy of the board, he ceased to con tribute to the superannuation scheme of 1229 the local education authority. Is that man to be shut out from the Bill, simply because through no fault of his own he ceased contributing?
Mr. C. REES
Organisers who have not been teachers have to be left out because they cannot come under this Bill, and we are dealing only with the case of organisers who have been teachers. The suggestion is that organisers who have been teachers shall be put into exactly the same position as if they were pensioned at the time they ceased to be teachers. If a man was twelve years a teacher and eighteen years an organiser, his pension on the twelve years is exactly the same as he would have got at the end of the twelve years had he then ceased. It seems to me that the Amendment has been fairly met as regards organisers at the present time who have been teachers, and when the Local Government Board comes to deal with the matter those organisers who have not been teachers will come in.
§ Sir R. NEWMAN
Do I understand that the right hon. Gentleman more or less promised that the President of the Local Government Board will deal with the question of directors who have not been teachers? I had an idea it was understood that they could not come under the scope of the Bill, but some other measure would be taken later on to meet their case. I mention the matter because in the county I come from there is some strong feeling on the subject, and to illustrate the point let me give one case out of many. Take cookery classes. All the teachers in the cookery class come within the scope of this Bill, while the lady who superintends the whole of their work in the county would be excluded.
§ Sir R. ADKINS
Do I understand that the effect of the right hon. Gentleman's concession is to place organisers who have been teachers in the same position which a person would be put in after the passing of the Bill who ceased to be a teacher and joined the administrative service?
§ Mr. FISHER
I would suggest that perhaps the best way of dealing with the matter would be to negative the Amendment now before the Committee and to accept the Amendment which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. C. Roberts) which gives effect to the intention I recently announced.
§ Major DAVIES
I think hon. Members will have heard the announcement of the 1230 right hon. Gentleman with a considerable measure of disappointment. Every speech that has been delivered has been an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to meet us on this point I am very sorry that he has not seen his way to do so. He referred to the fact that there would always be hard cases, but I understand there are only 356 cases which come within the scope of this Amendment, and I think that in order to make the Bill a real measure and not a patched-up business it would be well if the right hon. Gentleman would accept the Amendment as it stands. I profoundly distrust the policy held out to us by the appointment of this Committee by the Local Government Board. We all know how many Departmental Committees and Commissions are being appointed from day to day, from week to week, and from month to month, and that the proceedings of these Committee generally find their way into the archives of the various Departments which set them up. Personally, I have no faith whatever in these proceedings, and I appeal to my right hon. Friend when this Bill comes up on the Report stage to secure that all the officers who are now engaged on this work come within the scope of the measure. Under these circumstances I shall ask leave to withdraw my Amendment, so that we may be able to ascertain what exactly are the proposals which the right hon. Gentleman is going to insert in the Bill, and on the clear understanding that there will be an opportunity of bringing the matter up again on Report.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. COTTON
I beg to move, in Subsection (1, a), to leave out the word "sixty" ["attained the age of sixty"], and to insert instead thereof the word "fifty-five."
I ventured, on the Second Reading, to call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to this point, and I then expressed the hope that he might be able to meet the very general wish that has been expressed in this direction. The minimum period of qualification is thirty years. Very many teachers will complete their period of qualification before they reach the age of sixty, which is the age upon which they will obtain their pension, with the result that when they retire there will be a certain number of years during which they will be in the position of waiting for their pension. That may not operate so 1231 hardly in the case of those teachers who are in the better-paid areas, but when you have cases where teachers are, shall I say, being not too well paid, even under the right hon. Gentleman's new scale, the position of those teachers will be that they will be left in the interval between their retirement and the age of sixty in a very difficult and very unenviable position. What are they to live on in the interval? They cannot live on the promise that if they have the good fortune to attain the age of sixty they are going to receive this pension. I suggest, therefore, that the most equitable way of dealing with these cases would be to fix the pensionable age at fifty-five, so that on attaining the age of fifty-five and having put in the requisite thirty years of service, they will be able at once to obtain their pension. I suggest that if the right hon. Gentleman can see his way to do that it will have the effect of increasing the number of recruits to the profession. I think the right hon. Gentleman himself admitted, on the Second Reading, that it would be a good thing if a good many women teachers were able to retire at the age of fifty-five, and I venture to think that what is applicable to women teachers may also be applied to men teachers. I believe they would be all the better if they could retire on their pension at fifty-five instead of retiring, as many do, at fifty-five, and having to wait five years before they actually receive their pension.
§ Mr. FISHER
This Amendment has been proposed and supported on the ground that teaching is a harassing occupation, and that many persons have lost all pleasure and zest in the occupation and all freshness of outlook by the time they have reached the age of fifty-five. I regret to say that this feature is not peculiar to the teaching profession, and that there are many other occupations in regard to which the same thing can be said. We must recognise, broadly speaking, that pensioners are supported at the cost of the mass of the nation, and the people who are quite willing to give ample and generous pensions to persons who have done their life's work in schools and are incapacitated for further work as teachers might very well hesitate to grant pensions to persons who give up work, not because they are incapacitated in mind or body, but for reasons of personal preference. After all, there are a good many men in this 1232 country who are working hard between the ages of fifty-five and sixty. But there are two further arguments of considerable strength against this Amendment. The Amendment proposes that teachers retiring at fifty-five should be granted pensions at the same rate as the pensions that are granted to those who retire at the age of sixty. What is the consequence of that? The consequence is that the State would be paying the teachers who retire at fifty-five a greater sum, for a less period of service, than it would pay to teachers who retire at the age of sixty, and I think that is an anomaly which cannot be desired. But even if the hon. Member were to modify his Amendment and to propose that teachers retiring at the age of fifty-five should be pensioned off at a lower rate than those who retire at the age of sixty, there would still be an objection to the proposal. That objection is, that we cannot afford to lose the teachers. I have had a calculation made as to the effect of the Amendment on the numbers of the teaching profession. If an Amendment of this kind were carried, and if the opportunity of retiring at the age of fifty-five were generally taken advantage of—it would not probably be generally taken advantage of, but if it were—we calculate that we should require 17,000 additional teachers to make good the loss which would ensue from the reduction of the pension age from sixty to fifty-five, and in these circumstances I hope the Committee will not accept the Amendment.
§ Colonel YATE
I am sorry to hear the President's decision in this matter, because I think it is so very important that we should have no men in charge of young people's education—and there are many such men of the age of fifty-five—who are tired and worn out and are not physically fit to go on. Would it not, therefore, be possible to have some arrangement whereby a man need not hang on until he is sixty to get a pension when he is not fit to continue his duty and is really the wrong man to teach young people? Could not a reduced pension be given to men whom it is advisable to get rid of? We do not want to have men hanging on in the teaching profession when not fit for their work and yet are compelled to hang on in order to get their pension. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether some scheme could not be introduced by which, either on a 1233 medical certificate or on a certificate of the managers of the school, a man should be retirable at a younger age than sixty?
§ Mr. FISHER
We are doing something under the Bill, because we do provide very generous disablement allowances under the Bill in the case of teachers who happen to be disabled in the service of teaching.
§ Colonel YATE
Might I ask what these disablement allowances are? I did not notice anything in the Bill about them. Is there any real scheme under the Bill?
§ Colonel YATE
That is "permanently incapable," which means hopelessly incapable, and that after ten years' service. Suppose it is after twenty years' service. There are many men who cannot be certified by a doctor as permanently incapable in whose case it would be a great advantage if they were able to retire before sixty.
§ Mr. FISHER
I must point out that a teacher under this Bill receives one-eightieth for every year of recognised service in a grant-aided school, and consequently the teacher who is disqualified after a period of twenty years' service receives more in the way of pension than a teacher disabled after ten years.
§ Mr. ROWNTREE
In connection with the last point referred to I rather hope, before the Report stage, the right hon. Gentleman will consider whether the Wording in Clause 2 quite meets the point that I believe two or three Members of the Committee have in their minds. It cannot be a desirable thing in the case of a woman who reaches the age of fifty-five to force her practically to keep on teaching if she is not fit for the service, and yet it might be rather difficult to get a certificate saying that she was really medically unfit—permanently incapable. I feel, therefore, from some experience that I have had recently, that there are large numbers of women who cannot give their best after reaching the age of fifty-five, and I handed in an Amendment to add at the end of the Clause the words, "An option shall be given to any teacher to accept a correspondingly lower rate of superannuation allowance or a lump sum on voluntary retirement at the age of fifty-five, or at the completion of any intervening year prior to the age of sixty." I think the actual numbers of teachers 1234 receiving that would be extremely small, and that the figure of 17,000 my right hon. Friend gave really need hardly be taken into consideration. But I do think from the educational standpoint it must be a bad thing if men or women after reaching the age of fifty-five merely continue in the teaching profession in order to get their pension. I would, therefore, press my right hon. Friend to consider between now and the Report stage whether the words in Clause 2 are really the best that can be found to apply to the cases I have mentioned.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I do not wish to press this point, as I have not strong views upon it, but in the inquiries by the previous Committee which sat on pension matters considerable care was taken to get the views of schoolmistresses on this point as to whether they would have the larger sum at sixty or a very much smaller sum in the way of annuity at fifty-five, and they practically unanimously voted in favour of the smaller annuity at fifty-five rather than the larger annuity at sixty. I am not in the least pressing the Board to add to the expense of the Bill on this particular point, but I should have thought that possibly between now and Report the right hon. Gentleman would consider whether it was possible to meet this Amendment. I shall certainly not go to a Division against the Government in any way on this point, but possibly he might consider it.
§ Mr. COTTON
I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman would be so good as to consider this matter before Report. I do not want to press the Amendment if he can give the assurance, but I should like to say how much I have been fortified in putting down this Amendment by the speeches of the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Rawlinson) and the hon. Member for York (Mr. Rowntree). It does seem to me it would be much better to give the option. However, if the right hon. Gentleman would give the assurance asked for, I should be glad to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Mr. FISHER
Of course, I do not mind considering the question again, but I cannot give the hon. Member any assurance that my answer will be different on the Report stage.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.1235
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1, a, i), after the word "Grant-aided" ["in a Grant-aided school or in service"], to insert the wordsor as a registered teacher in any other efficient school inspected by the Board of Education or by a British university.I have put an Amendment down under Clause 16, and I notice that the President of the Board of Education has since then also put down an Amendment dealing to some extent with the object of this particular Amendment. I should prefer to move this Amendment under Clause 16 if I can be assured that the Section 9, Clause 1, will not be interpreted as deciding the question before my Amendment can be introduced. What I am nervous about is the words in Clause 1, Sub-section (1), paragraph (b), which requires(b) For not less than ten years, or, if he was employed in recognised service at the commencement of this Act, for not less than the prescribed number of years in a Grant-aided school.My doubt is whether, if the words "required to be employed for a certain number of years in a Grant-aided school," were passed unamended, it might preclude me being able to move the Amendment which stands in my name in connection with Clause 16. If I can be authoritatively assured that no objection will be taken to my Amendment under this Clause, I prefer not to detain the Committee at present by-moving my Amendment on the earlier Clause. I should like to be informed by the Chairman, or the President of the Board of Education, whether or not any objection will be taken to my moving my Amendment on Clause 16 if I waive the present occasion?
§ Mr. FISHER
As far as I am concerned I shall raise no objection to my hon. Friend's Amendment on Clause 16.
§ The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Whitley)
I think the hon. Baronet is quite right in raising the question here. I am not at all sure that the words in Clause 1 really could be amended in the sense required in the definition Clause. If, however, it is more convenient generally to the Committee to take this question on Clause 16, now that it has been raised, I should be prepared to hear the Amendment then.
§ Sir R. ADKINS
Could not the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the President on Clause 16 be equally moved now in connection with Clause 1?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think I had better put this Amendment before the Committee and then we can hear what the President has to say.
§ Mr. FISHER
I think it very desirable that the Amendment of the hon. Baronet should be considered in connection with the Amendment which stands in my name, for both deal with the same subject, and that where one Amendment is raised we should have the opportunity of considering the other Amendment in juxtaposition to it. They are different ways of doing the same thing. They deal more or less with the same object. I am prepared that my hon. Friend should proceed now with his Amendment.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
Under those circumstances I should like to detain the House for a few minutes while I say, speaking to the Amendment, that it has received a very large amount of support. I really did not know it was coming on at this early period. A very large number of persons interested in the schools, to which this Amendment refers, had intended to ask the President of the Board of Education to receive a deputation with the view to urging upon him the points of this Amendment. I am very glad that no objection has been made in regard to this proposal to the effect that it is outside the scope of the Bill. It is perfectly evident that in this Amendment we are dealing with persons who come well within the scope of the Bill—that is to say, that are teachers and persons who have been employed as teachers. The object of the Amendment is clear. It is to give pensions to recognised teachers in efficient schools which may not desire to receive Government Grants-in-Aid. I am perfectly certain that this has the sympathy of the President, because I know he would have as much sympathy with teachers employed in those schools as with the teachers who are employed in Grant-aided schools.
One objection that may be taken by the Treasury to the Amendment is that it may, under certain circumstances, increase the cost of providing pensions and thus add to the expense of the Bill. I have reason to believe that that will not be the case. Just see for one moment what it is that this 1237 Clause proposes. It proposes the teachers in Grant-aided schools shall be pensioned. I need scarcely point out that if this Bill passes without the Amendment which I have moved the effect will be to attract large numbers of teachers who might be disposed to give their services to schools in which no Grants are received to the Government Grant-aided schools. Without hesitation I say that the cost to the Treasury of giving these additional Grants to the schools which do not in any way desire to receive such Grants would be for greater than the cost of providing pensions. Therefore I think I have clearly indicated, if not proved, the statement that the acceptance of this Amendment will not in any way increase the cost of this Bill to the country. There is another point. It has sometimes been said, as it naturally would be said, that we cannot expect that the State shall give pensions to teachers in schools unless satisfied that those schools, or those teachers, come in some way under the jurisdiction of the State, by way, it may be, of the Board of Education. The Amendment I am proposing to some extent answers even that objection. In the first place I have added to the word "teacher" in this Amendment the word "registered." That is a very important addition which does not occur in any part of the Bill. For many many years in the House we have endeavoured to obtain a Register of Teachers. Such a register is a register of those persons who really belong to the profession.
Just in the same way as a registered medical man is regarded as such, so a registered teacher, in consequence of having to satisfy a council as regards his qualification is recognised as a teacher. Therefore I have limited the application of the word "teacher." The Bill refers to any teacher, and it does not say that he should pass any examination or have any qualification. My Amendment restricts the application of this Bill to those who satisfy the council as to their qualifications. The registration council is appointed by the Board of Education. The Bill establishing this registry of teachers had to be approved by the House, and to that extent the teachers of these schools have, to some extent, satisfied the Board of Education with regard to their qualifications. The second condition is not only that the teachers shall be qualified, but that the school shall be an efficient school, and I have put in the word "efficient." 1238 The efficiency of the school is to be determined by the inspector appointed by the Board of Education or a British university in accordance with the Act of 1908. If the Board of Education thought the school should be inspected no objection would be raised, having regard to the fact that the Board employs the universities to undertake the work of inspection on their behalf. If this Amendment is passed it is certain that the schools in which these teachers are employed must be efficient schools, therefore I cannot see any objection to my proposal. It will be seen that by excluding the teachers of such schools from the operation of this Bill the unity of the teaching profession, which we are all so desirous of maintaining, will not be attained. There will be teachers in Grant-aided schools who would be pensionable, and teachers in non-grant-aided schools who would not be pensionable and thus you make a line of cleavage which is most undesirable.
There is another point, and it is that there can be no doubt if the Bill is passed without this Amendment you will bring a very much larger number of schools under the control of the Board of Education, and to that extent you will bring about a degree of uniformity in our secondary schools which I feel quite certain is not desired, and is not advisable on educational grounds. We want to see as much divergence of arrangements in our secondary schools as is possible, so long as the teaching in those schools is efficient. I need scarcely point out that a Grant-aided school must be carried on in accordance with the regulations of the Board. Those regulations are laid on the Table of the House, but they are prepared and arranged by the Board of Education, and therefore it becomes a necessity that there must be a larger amount of uniformity in the schools immediately under the control of the Board than would be the case in other schools which must be inspected by the Board or a university, and which are declared efficient. The reasons I have advanced are pretty well known to the President of the Board of Education, and he knows as well as I do that the desire on the part of a large number of highly efficient schools, such as Mill Hill and others, which are not necessary denominational schools, is that this Amendment should be accepted. That desire is very wide indeed, and seeing that it tends to improve the secondary schools throughout 1239 the country and that it places practically no additional charge upon the Treasury, and takes away the suspicion that the offer of Grants to these schools is intended to draw in these schools under the control of the Board, whereas they prefer to remain as they are, for these reasons I hope the President will accept his Amendment.
§ Mr. FISHER
I find myself very largely in agreement with the general principles laid down in the hon. Baronet's speech. He is anxious to extend the benefit of pensions to some schools which are not in a position to accept a grant aid under the condition now attached to the grant made to secondary schools. The hon. Baronet is anxious that these schools, which are efficient and playing a great part in the public system of education, should not be debarred from pension aid, and he fears that they may be crushed out of existence. The hon. Baronet will have observed that an Amendment to Clause 16 has been placed upon the Paper in my name which has very much the same result as the hon. Baronet's own Amendment, and I hope to explain to the satisfaction of the hon. Baronet and the Committee why I prefer the acceptance of the Amendment standing in my name to that moved by the hon. Baronet.
I think the hon. Baronet's Amendment does not quite do justice to the delicacy and the complexity of the problem. He proposes three tests—in the first place, that the teachers must be registered; secondly, that the schools must be efficient; and, thirdly, that the schools must be inspected by an inspector appointed by the Board of Education or a British university. If the hon. Baronet's Amendment is accepted the State would be obliged to find pensions for the masters of some of the wealthiest of our public schools, such as Winchester, Rugby, or Harrow, which have great renown, and all of them have pension schemes of their own. I doubt whether this House would sanction such an expenditure of public money. In the second place, I would remind the House that under a Clause of the Education Bill recently passed the inspection of the Board is to be offered free of charge, and we contemplate that a very large number of provided schools will offer themselves for inspection and that many of them will be found efficient. Does the hon. Baronet propose that efficient schools which are 1240 run for private profit should be subsidised by the State? I think that is a proposition which? he would not wish to press upon the Committee. In other words, I submit that the Amendment is drawn too wide, and that if we are to deal with this problem as it ought to be dealt with, if we are to attempt to establish a category of schools that receive pension aid and not grant aid, we should investigate the circumstances somewhat more closely, and should weigh and frame at our leisure and after consultation with the governing bodies and headmasters of the various institutions concerned a scheme of regulations which will be satisfactory alike to the public and to the schools. I venture to suggest to the Committee that the method which is adumbrated in the Amendment which stands in my name, for the reasons I have mentioned, is preferable to the method contained in the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend.
§ Sir R. ADKINS
The Committee are grateful to my right hon. Friend for the underlying current of acknowledgment of the urgency of this matter and for the sympathy which has been shown. As he says, it is a matter not only of great delicacy and complexity, but there is a long road between the proposal of my hon. Friend below me and the proposal of my right hon. Friend. The proposal of my hon. Friend below me may conceivably be too wide for the reasons that my right hon. Friend has just given, but the alternative proposal of my right hon. Friend has all the qualities of vagueness, good and otherwise. It leaves everything in the air, and in the air at such a distance that it is barely visible. Because what does his proposal mean? As it stands it means that the Board of Education may pick and choose any school as being qualified for this help or disqualified for this help. I am perfectly sure that the Board of Education would apply itself to this delicate duty with great conscientiousness and great dexterity. I think it is very important that this Committee should know, and that the public should know, and know as soon as possible, something more definite than my right hon. Friend's words indicate. For this reason: There are a large number of schools to whom this applies—a very considerable number if this Bill passes, as we all want it to pass, promptly. Those schools will be in a most terrible difficulty at once. What are they to do? Are they to struggle on with contributory pension schemes, well knowing 1241 that many of the masters they would like to engage would naturally be drawn principally from State-aided schools with non-contributory schemes, or are they to let things drift, not knowing whether in the future they will be included by my right hon. Friend or his advisers? In that case they are running the risk of masters leaving them and going to places of greater pension security. If this Bill passes it should pass in such a form as to give general lines of direction to the governors of schools in order that they may set their house in order where they require to be put in order, and so that they may know where they stand under the new condition of things. I cannot but believe there is a via media between the too embracing method of my hon. Friend and the too vague proposal of my right hon. Friend. As to schools which are run for profit, the Committee may come to the conclusion that these schools ought not to be included within the purview of these proposals. Very well, there is something definite in the exclusion of a certain type of school or, rather, in laying down the principle that it must be a school run and organised for reasons other than the profit of the proprietor or proprietors. That, at any rate, is another limitation of general application. Will not my right hon. Friend consider whether, if that limitation is put in, he cannot accept it so far? There is another conceivable limitation. No one, I suppose, would suggest that pensions from the State should be given to an educationist who is in the enjoyment of the salary of a Cabinet Minister or of a bishop. Is it not conceivable to have a money limit beyond which salaries should not be pensionable? After all, the vast bulk of the most deserving men and women who are brought under the purview of the Bill, and who are intended to be brought under it, do not enjoy much over £500 I should imagine that very few of the body of persons for whom my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham (Sir J. Yoxall) speaks so persuasively on all possible occasions receive above £500.
§ Sir R. ADKINS
I have at any rate one bedrock of fact on which to base the argument that I am submitting. There may be another general limitation. The object of deferred pay in the form of a pension is not to increase the benefits of persons who, by the ordinary standards, are wealthy, but to secure that persons 1242 who have given their lives to ill-paid work should not be in a position of difficulty in the latter portion of their lives. I, therefore, respectfully put these questions and points: If you exclude schools run for private profit, and if you admit a financial limit of pensionableness, are you not taking steps towards a position in which you can include in a Clause what is the policy of the House, and what would be the administrative policy of the Board? I would ask my right hon. Friend whether, on the lines of his speech and in strict accordance with the intentions that he has shown, he would not give some undertaking that on the Report stage, at any rate, he would be prepared to insert a form of words whereby a person giving proper service in a proper type of school, even though that school was not receiving State aid, would get a pension? Otherwise a great difficulty will arise. If these pensions are not extended to people who are serving in non-aided schools, you are certain of stopping that interchange of engagements between one type of school and another which is most important. One of the arguments so frequently used in the days of acuter controversy against the dual type of elementary schools was that it was so difficult to get a proper interchange of teachers because of other considerations which legally, and in fact, came in. We all know that that difficulty was felt by those who urged it and by those who thought that other considerations outweighed it. Here it is most important when dealing with secondary education, that there should be no obstacle to that free movement which in many cases ends in men and women getting just those positions for which their talents qualify them. Another thing will follow unless the Amendment is accepted. If these types of persons are not to be pensionable, then those schools not State-aided will become more and more the preserves of the rich, and will become more and more dependent upon private wealth expended upon them. That tends to intensify a sense of caste and a dividing line between the rich and those who are not rich which is bad for the State and bad for the individual. I see no other way of preventing that becoming intensified as the years go on except by the extension of this pension system to efficient schools managed not for private profit to which to a limited financial extent the benefit of this Clause ought to apply.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
The principle underlying this Amendment is an important one. It covers many other matters besides education. If the State can get work done efficiently and to the satisfaction of the State at somebdy else's expense, there is no reason why they should pay for it. That is the position here. Here you have a large number of schools which are doing excellent work, admittedly well done, and not being done at the expense of the State. I am seeking by this Amendment to get those schools to continue to do that work. Unless that Amendment is brought in the effect will be that a large number of these Schools will have to go and ask for State aid and become Grant-aided schools at once. Therefore, financially this Amendment is good so far as the State is concerned. From the educational point of view it is of even more importance, because we should bring all the schools under one head and one regulation which exists for State-aided schools. Therefore for both these reasons I support very strongly this Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman to a certain extent has admitted that, and has answered my hon. Friend's Amendment in two ways. He has raised, first of all, subsidising the rich school. He said Eton and Winchester would be asking for pensions under this scheme.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
Getting pensions under this scheme. I am not the least afraid of that, because I do not believe Eton or Winchester will come for inspection under the Board of Education for many years. But even if it were so, even if they were to come Info the scheme, there is nothing very terrible about that for they are doing really good work and as good work as schools which now get State aid for the work. Why should they not be entitled to pensions as well? The difficulty in the matter is met by my hon. Friend who spoke last and said there would be a limit as to the amount of salary at which pensions should apply, an Amendment which no one could object to, and which the Government could put in if they thought fit. That would be a great advantage to other schools besides the rich schools that there should be a constant interchange between masters in one school and masters in another. What does the right hon. Gentleman propose instead? Those smaller secondary schools that are in this: Mill Hill, Morden, and Brighton, a large number one after the 1244 other. What does the right hon. Gentleman suggest instead of this Amendment? I am exceedingly grateful that the right hon. Gentleman has recognised the principle at all. At the same time I am afraid I have so often criticised this form of Amendment before that I must say some things against it to-day. It is taking away from the House of Commons the whole of the power they ought to rectify. I will read the Amendment—In the capacity of a teacher during any period after the commencement of this Act in any other school, being a school which is of such kind as may be prescribed and which satisfies the prescribed conditions.That is the Board of Education are to decide if we pass this Bill. I do submit that in a matter of this importance the Committee has no right to give up its duty and its power to the Board of Education in that way. If they think that it should be limited in the way hon. Members suggest, private schools kept by private proprietors should be included, this House should determine upon it. Personally I think they ought not to be included.
Be that as it may, it is for this Committee to decide; it is not for the President of the Board of Education to decide three or four months hence. We ought to decide to-night, or on the Report stage, as to the particular type of school we shall exclude and which particular type we shall include. For these reasons, though I am grateful there has been some recognition, I would like this to be done. It is an important matter for the teachers—and that view is confirmed by the large number of people who have spoken to me since I spoke on the Financial Resolution—and also from the point of view of education. You would be crushing out of existence in their present state a very large number of schools which are doing excellent work, and by isolating them from the educational community you will never have the advantage of a change of teachers. Those schools will not be able to exist in their present form without a very great sacrifice, which they ought not to be called upon to bear.
Sir M. BARLOW
I think the feeling which is aroused in regard to this exclusion is a feeling which pervades a large number of people who are not always found acting together. I think that makes it very important from the point of view of discussion in this House. I believe it has not been mentioned so far that the most important education authority in the 1245 country, the Education Committee of the London County Council, met only a few days ago and passed unanimously, with the support of members of very different views, a resolution supporting the Amendment standing in the name of my hon. Friend (Sir P. Magnus). I mention that as showing that there is no question of party favour or of outlook of a narrow kind. It is a genuine educational proposition that we are making. The right hon. Gentleman said the condition that would have to be laid down would require time for consideration, and would be of a very delicate character. What, exactly, does that mean? Does that mean that the conditions will vary with varying schools, because if the conditions are so delicate and the matter requires so much consideration, it rather suggests that there may be different conditions for different schools. I think that will not be so. I hope the conditions in future will be general conditions. If conditions are to be general in character, then I would urge the right hon. Gentleman to give us—to use his own word—adumbration of the conditions before the Bill leaves the control of this House. Whatever conditions are laid down by him could clearly be revised by him. Therefore, if he makes conditions now which are found not to be effective it will be open to him to revise them. I do want to urge upon him the position in which the smaller secondary schools without Grant will be placed. If this Bill passes into law, and there is no provision made at the same time for dealing with the pension arrangement, the masters in those schools will be put into a position of horrible uncertainty, and there is great risk of those schools either losing their existing teachers or finding great difficulty in filling up the gaps as they arise. They will be at once put into a position of more or less suspended animation. It is only fair to the House and to the country that the right hon. Gentleman should give us, at any rate on broad lines such as were urged by my hon. Friend, an indication of the ambit within which the conditions will work. I would be quite willing to accept limitation as to the private profit or as to £500 in pensionability. I think that there may be other limitations which would occur to one, which could be easily expressed in a small compass, but whatever it is, I would urge the President to give us some indication now. The House is entitled to ask him, and if some 1246 indication is not given before the Bill leaves this House, these secondary schools will be left in a position of uncertainty.
§ Mr. GOLDSTONE
I find myself greatly in sympathy with the President of the Board. He appears to me to be making an effort to safeguard one of the sound principles of public finance. He is not prepared to endow certain schools with public funds, if they are run for private profit. It think that he is entirely right in that regard. Very few Members seem to support he soundness of that principle. So far as public expenditure is concerned, surely it is the right thing to demand that if a public contribution in the shape of deferred pay is granted there should be some amount of public control exercised. I alway understood that that was one of the sound and outstanding principles of Radicalism. It seems for the moment to have been forgotten, and though I agree that the restrictions which are suggested by the right hon. Gentleman are not definitely drawn at the moment, they give an outline of what he intends when he proceeds to draw up his restrictions. I think that he should further extend them and say that, if there is to be a superannuation scheme in schools outside public provision of education, only those schools should participate in which there is some public control over the teachers who are to participate in the pension scheme. For example there should be some voice in the appointment of the teacher who is enjoying deferred pay from public money. There should also be some amount of control as to how that teacher can be dismissed. As regards what I imagine the canons of public finance should be the right hon. Gentleman seems to be much more in line with correct sentiment in this matter than what is expressed in the Amendment of the hon. Baronet. We have not had any clear outline of the various points which should govern the disbursal of this money so far as this particular type of school is concerned, but in the main, I find myself in agreement with my right hon. Friend. I hope that he will adhere to his principle and give us a little clearer indication of the kind of restriction that he proposes to draw.
§ Sir N. HELME
Time is passing, and as the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman to Clause 16 may not be reached to-night I would strongly appeal to him that if this comes up on Report stage he will take into account the demand which 1247 has been so well backed by the arguments on the Amendment of the hon. Baronet opposite. It is a matter of very great importance that encouragement and protection should be given to the class of men serving in these schools, and if the schools are compelled to go under the Government scheme it will entail considerable expense upon the Treasury.
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
Of course, the speech of my right hon. Friend cannot be taken in any way at the present moment as either an Amendment to the Amendment which I have moved or as an original proposal before the House. I take it that his Amendment is only intended to come on on Clause 16, and, therefore, I should like to be more definitely assured than I am at present that my right hon. Friend's Amendment will be in order having regard to the words to which I have referred in Clause 1. That has been done by the Chairman of Committees, and I hope my right hon. Friend will do it. If that guarantee is given, then the proposal by my right hon. Friend the President will come as an Amendment to Clause 16. I hope by that time he will be; able to consider to some extent the argument of my hon. and learned Friend behind me, in Amendments that may be proposed to his Amendment, which might possibly meet the difficulties which he has suggested, and which I readily admit are difficulties in the way of accepting my Amendment in the exact terms in which it stands. I understand that either on the Report stage or when the proposal of my right hon. Friend is brought up on Clause 16. Amendments can be made, so as to limit to some extent my own Amendment and to give greater definition and precision to his Amendment. Then I shall be prepared to withdraw my own Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
On the question of the point of Order, I should like to take the opportunity of drawing the Government's attention to the drafting of this part of Clause 1, namely, that the conditions (a), (b), and (c) are separated by the word "and," and therefore would appear to be cumulative and not restrictive. That is the reason I have some doubt whether the words "Grant-aided" do not cover the whole series of conditions. I have not put the question for an answer now. The Government can examine that point, but that understanding would not stand in the way of the discussion on Clause 16.
§ Mr. FISHER
I have been asked to give an assurance that I will not be opposed to the consideration of Amendments for the purpose of introducing some further definitions into the Amendment which I have moved. I am quite willing to give that assurance. I cannot, of course, pledge myself to any form of words at the present moment, but I shall be very glad to consider the point.
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
I wish to thank the President of the Board of Education for the sympathy he has shown in regard to the Amendment it was my privilege to move, and which I now ask leave to withdraw.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), paragraph (c), after the word "recognised" ["Act in recognised service"], to insert the words "or qualifying."
The Amendment is intended to deal with the educational administrative staff, and I understand that the President has expressed his willingness to except it. I should like to explain what I understand this Amendment would do. As the Bill stands the administrative staff would be cut out of any benefit from the Bill. But if the words, "or qualifying service" were inserted the administrative staff would come in to this extent. If a man was sixty years of age, if he had been for thirty years in recognised or qualifying service and had done a minimum of ten years recognised service in a Grant-aided school or otherwise, he would if he passed into administrative service, be entitled to pension on his teaching service, and the rate at which he would be paid would be one eightieth of his average salary while he was in teaching service for each completed year of service. So that if a teacher who had been for thirty years in the teaching profession, passed over to administrative side, he would get two advantages under this Amendment. He would not lose his pensionable rights in respect of his teaching service, and also such number of years as he was doing the administrative service would count towards the period of thirty years laid down in condition (a) which is for recognised or qualifying service. Qualifying service is defined as service in employment, whether in the capacity of a teacher or otherwise, which the Treasury on the recommendation of the Board may declare 1249 to be qualifying service for the purpose of calculating the period qualifying for superannuation allowance. That is trusting the Education Office and the right hon. Gentleman to draw the line and to prescribe the conditions, but he has already given us an assurance that the existing officials of the administrative staff would get these advantages if the Amendment were accepted. It does not go the whole way desired by a number of speakers, but it goes some way, and I think it is a very great advantage that when a teacher passes over on to the administrative side he should not be penalised by the loss of service which would otherwise have been pensionable. It enables him to go on to the administrative side without loss of pension rights in respect of the services which he has already done as a teacher, and though it is true if he had only been as a teacher for ten years, it would not be a very large allowance, still it is something, and as such, as the right hon. Gentleman wishes to confine such money as he has to the teaching service and to grant pensions only for actual teaching work, I suggest this is a compromise for which we may be grateful so far as it goes.
§ Mr. FISHER
I believe the hon. Member's Amendment, in fact, carries out the effect of the concession which I recently made, and does no more, but I should like to accept it provisionally. I am not quite certain whether it does not or may not go a little beyond the concession which I recently made, and, while accepting it provisionally, I should like to consider whether my concession cannot be inserted in some more effective form. I dare say the hon. Member's form is really the best way of doing it, but the matter is somewhat intricate, and I shall be very glad to consider it before the Report stage.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
The objection to the present form of words is this, that while we thoroughly accept the right hon. Gentleman's undertaking there is nothing in the Bill, if only these words are taken, which in any way safeguards the rights of the class whom the hon. Gentleman wishes to serve. We have had on previous Superannuation Bills a tremendous amount of trouble because the Minister gave us a very definite undertaking, within three or four years the point came up, and as there was nothing in the Bill to safeguard 1250 the people concerned there was a great deal of confusion about it. Would it not be better to insert eo nomine those whom it is desired to assist? If terms are subsequently announced from the directors by the Local Government Board, are those who come under this proposal to be separated and not get the advantage of that new scheme? We wish to help the directors and we do not want by careless drafting to hurt them.
§ Mr. COTTON
I rejoice at the announcement which the right hon. Gentleman has made, but I wish he would make it quite clear that he intends to include within the scope of this proposal all inspectors and other administrative officers who have been teachers and have put in ten years as teachers. I wish that made clear, because my information is that certain or the teacher-inspectors will come within the scope of the Bill and others will be excluded. Those who will be excluded will be those who at the time they ceased to be teachers and became inspectors were prevented by order of the Board from continuing their subscriptions to the particular superannuation scheme of the local education authority. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to say if he proposes to include all teachers who Lave become inspectors and bring them within the Bill in respect oft the period they served as teachers so long as that period was not less than ten years?
§ Mr. FISHER
My hon. Friend the Joint Financial Secretary is of opinion, and I agree with him, that an inspector who has served a period of ten years as a teacher of recognised service in a Grant-aided school would be qualified for a pension on those ten years' service. That, I think, is the position.
§ Mr. ROBERTS
When we arrive at Clause 16, if the right hon. Gentleman will look at the definition of "qualifying service," he will see that that depends upon a mere declaration by the Treasury upon the recommendation of the Board, that qualifying service was such service as was prescribed. I think we should have a little more security against possible misunderstanding upon this point. At the present moment the matter is left entirely to a declaration by the Treasury on the recommendation of the Board, but if it was prescribed by rules to be laid before Parliament we should then get the matter quite clear.
§ Amendment agreed to.1251
§ Mr. COTTON
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to insert the wordsor(c) has been a certificated teacher whose certificate had expired before the commencement of this Act, provided that in such case any condition with respect to employment after the commencement of this Act shall not apply.Provided that notwithstanding anything contained in this Act certificated teachers who were at the commencement of this Act in receipt of any superannuation or disablement allowance under the Act of 1908 shall cease to be entitled to such allowance, and in lieu thereof shall be entitled to all the benefits under this Act.The object of this Amendment is to remove into the qualifying Clause those teachers who have retired. Within the last two or three days I have received quite a number of letters, which I am bound to say have considerably shocked me, because they go to show that there are many teachers in the country who have retired upon what can only be described as a scandalously low pension. I have letters which speak of certificated teachers, who have retired on pensions of £27, £41, £37, and so on. If certificated teachers have through no fault of their own attained the age of sixty-five before this Bill comes into operation their position will be hard indeed. You are going to create two classes. First of all, there will be the teacher who is happy enough to be in front of a class on 1st April, 1919, and then there will be the teacher who perhaps a few months before has attained the age of sixty-five, and has had to retire on this scandalously low pension. You will have the one class of teacher who has his old age well provided for, and the other class of teacher left practically unprovided for. In a good many cases teachers would be retiring between now and 1st April, 1919, which is the appointed day upon which this Bill is to come into operation; and in a good many cases educational authorities are asking for the extension of the certificates of all teachers who would normally retire between now and 1st April next so as to enable them to come within the operation of the Bill I should be glad to know from the right hon. Gentleman whether the Board is prepared to consider those applications favourably, and if, whether the application is made by the local education authority or not, he is prepared to extend the certificate generally until 1st April, 1919, always provided there is no solid 1252 and adequate reason against such a course. Unless that is done, you may get a case of a man who would retire on 31st March, 1919; is he to be cut out of the operation of this Bill by one day, or by thirty-six hours or forty-eight hours?
§ It being Eleven of the clock, the CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.