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_---._-_---' Hearts of Oak…

,.^a^twit vardre SCHOOL BOARD.



Letters to the Editor.

The Pontypridd United Choir.

Early Closing Movement at…




* CaerphilJy- Tuesday




RHONDDA MAlftlED MISTRESSES. DISCUSSION AT THE SCHOOL BOARD QUESTION REFERRED TO A COMMITTEE. On Monday, at the monthly meeting of the Ystradyfodwg School Board, Mr T. Bevan, Ferndale, in the chair, notice of motion by Mr David Williams appeared on the agenda "that hree months' notice be given on the 1st day of April, 1899, to each married female teacher un er the Ystradyfodwg Board to terminate their engagement with the Board on the 30th June, 1899, and that for the future every fe- niEue ^cacher will terminate their engagement with the Board at the end of each school year following their marriage." In proposing his motion, Mr Williams said if it were possible he would Ike the motion to be deferred for another month as some of his supporters were absent. But as the time to give notice, 1st April, so as to terminate at the end of the school year would come around before they met again, he thought it best to dispose of the matter then. Mr Daniel Thomas: Allow the matter to be referred to the School Management Commit- tee. Mr D. R. Jones: No. finish it now. Mr Thomas thought it would be better to discuss the matter at the next Management Committee or have a special committee. Rev W. Sforris: I have an amendment here. Mr Daniel Thomas: I only take up the sug- gestion of Mr Williams. e Mr W. Jenkins: Does Mr Williams propose that the matter be deferred? Mr Williams: Yes, if it can be brought for- ward in time to give notice on the 1st April. Mr D. R. Jones: Finish right off, and not postpone the matter all the time. Rev W. Lewis (to the chairman): I should like to ask what is your ruling about the re- solution which was passed last year? The Chairman: It is irregular. Rev W. Lewis: In June, 1898 the Board de- cided that all married female teachers should cease to be teachers under the Board at the end of the school year. That was carried by a majority of three. Rev W. Morris: You know very well it was pronounced invalid. Rev W. Lewis: It has not been pronounced. Rev W. Morris: It has, over and over again. The Chairman: I ruled it out of order. Mr David Williams The Chairman ruled it out of order after it was confirmed by the Board. It was not ruled out of order at the time, but some time after the minutes were confirmed, and that resolution stands to-day passed and confirmed by the Ystradyfodwg School Board. Rev W. Morris: I proposed an amendment then to postpone the consideration of the mat- te until the next meeting, and that the matter be placed on the agenda for the simple reason that it was illegal to discuss the matter at the time. The Chairman said that some of his reasons were very delicate. and he would not like to give them in public. He had consulted a bar- rister on the point, who had advised hi. Rev W. Morris: We accept your ruling. Mr David Williams then proceeded with his motion, which he brought forward with every confidence that it would be passed after what had been said there a few months ago, when the majority of ^e Board were in favour of doing away with all married famale teachers. Why that resolution was declared illegal he could not say; if it had been {declared there and then he would not have said anything, but after several weeks, if not months, it was de- clared illegal after being confirmed by the Board. He did not wish to say a single unkind word against the teachers; he was on very friendly terms with them-(laughter)-but this was a question of principle,and he believed they were doing the right thing in carrying out the resolution passed by the Board when they dealt with the matter before. He would like to know the qualifications of a large number of the married teachers. He knew they had been very useful to the Board for many years, they had been good teachers he had no doubt, but he would like to know how many were trained teachers, and what were their quali- fications. They might say the results of the schools would prove they were splendid teach- ers, ,but, of course, they could not take that as a guidance. They all knew that many of the schools in their district got the very best assistants—trained assistants—from the col- leges, who were equipped with every possible advantage to carry on the work of the school. His motion did not deal unfairly with the mar- ried teachers. They all knew an Act of Par- liament—a Superannuation Act—had been passed which gave a very fair grant to any teacher who had been in the service of any Board a certain number of years, and the moment that teacher gave up the profession she became entitled to that amount. He did not say it was more than they deserved; he had no wish to deal with the question at all, but he simply mentioned it to shew the Board was not dealing hardly with them at all. They were dealing very hardly indeed with a large number of young girls who had finished their college courses. About 28 or 30 of those girls stood to-day in need of headships. They simply acted as assistants in their schools,and he did not see how they could hope for head- ships if the present system was carried on. The population was "increasing so rapidly that this question of dual salaries should receive attention. It was very difficult for one to get a herth, but they often saw two in the same family earning and saving money from the rates as seme of their teachers were doing, while others stood in need of that very berth. Those facts were welLknown to the public. Nearly every school authority throughout South Wales had passed a similar resolution U the one he now proposed. The most impor- tant Boards had done so, including Cardiff, Swansea, Merthyr, Llanwonno, and Ponty- pridd. Rev W. Morris": Not exactly in the form of yours. They are not swept away-entirely. Mr Williams: I tried a motion some time acro, but the Board then wished to make a clean sweep. I hope you are satisfied now. The Chairman: My ruling was on the 11th July, on the same day when Mr Williams says It was confirmed, so it was not months after. Mr Williams: But the minutes were con- firmed ? The Chairman: Yes, sir, but that was be- fore the question was raised, that months did not elapse before I ruled. Mr W. W. Shod: I should* T,ike to know whether Mr Williams means by this motion all teachers, including pupil teachers, or only head-teachers ? Mr Williams: All teachers. Rev W. Charles asked how did Mr Williams propose to fill up the vacancies which must occur. They found now that month plenty of vacancies, but only two applications. Mr Williams: I think, Mr Chairman, at the last School Management Committee it was de- cided to send a deputation to Swansea College to engage as many as possible. Bev W. Charles: Even with that, I can't see that is sufficient, because we see in March 20 vacancies and only two applications. Even if we went to Swansea and engaged every one we would not have enough. t> 0 Rev Thomas Williams: How many married teachers have we now? Chairman: Seventy-nine I think. Rev W. Charles: We are compelled to carry on the work of the Board wliatever our senti- ments and objects, and it is only fair to ask Mr Williams what are his proposals as to carrying on the work of the Board. Mr Williams: There's one of them; send down to Swansea to engage. The Clerk now stated that the number of married head-mistresses was 15, or a total of 60 married female teachers. Mr D. R. Jones: There are very different statements given in the office here. Rev Thomas Williams: Then we will have to find 81 teachers by including the 21 vacancies we have now. Whether we are going to dis- miss or not, we should consider the efficiency of our schools. For a long time no one offered to second Mr Williams' motion, and the Rev W. Morris announced that he had an amendment to move. The Chairman ruled that no amend- ment could be proposed unless Mr Williams' proposition was seconded. Rev W. Charles said that for the sake of discussion he would second Mr Williams. He, however, desired to withdraw when Mr Mor- ris' amendment had been proposed. Some discussion took place as to whether Mr Charles could adopt that course, but ultimate- ly he was allowed to do so. The Rev W. Morris then proposed an amend- ment, "That three months' notice be given on the 1st April to all female married teachers to terminate their present engagement, and that the School Management Committee be instructed to frame new regulations under which all such in future shall be engaged.' There was a grievance, and the Board must face that grievance. Whatever might be their private opinions with regard to Mr Williams' motion, it was utterly and absurdly impracti- cable. To sweep away such a number and re- place them was impossible even if they sent ,to Swansea. He felt about that married teachers' question that there should be some regulations with regard to engaging them just as the London School Board had, and they could then consider the question in committee and not in a public meeting like that. Mr Williams now withdrew his motion in favour of Mr Morris' amendment, which he seconded. The Board agreed to the ■with- drawal. Kev Thomas Williams: According to Mr Morris' amendment all the married teachers that are to be dismissed to-day will be re- engaged ? Mr W. Jenkins: Supposing that notices are given to the teachers to dispense with their services by the 30th June, and in the meantime certain new contracts are to be submitted to them, which they may either accept or refuse, how are we going to carry on our schools as from the 1st June? We have been told we have 60 married female teachers who will be free to leave on the 30th June. That is not what is intended, I understand; still, it is the resolution. Rev W. Morris: You presume that a large number will possibly reject. Mr W. Jenkins: Yes, I do. Rev W. Morris: That will solve the pro- blem then. How can you say they will reject the new regulations without knowing what they are ? Mr Jenkins thought the Board could form themselves into a committee to determine exact- ly what it was that they found objectionable in the married teachers. After they had made up their minds let them put the matter before the teachers. Rev W. Morris: Would you not give notice to the married teachers? Mr Jenkins: If we have a grievance against them, let us formulate our grievances first. Rev W. Morris: I understand you want to reverse the order of things? Mr Jenkins: Exactly. Rev W. Morris: It comes to the same thing. Mr Jeukfns: Ño, it doesn't. M- D. R. Jones thought it was not manly to give notice to all, and then those who accepted the terms. It was humiliating h. t' t" the teachers. He thought the question had been mooted there as a principle, and he dii not think that it could be mutilated in that way. To give notice to all their teachers with th? full knowledge that they were going to re-engage 99 per cent, of them was not righ+ The Rev W. Charles said that after the first resolution had been passed, there had been a great calm, and they had not seen any pro- tests. He did not think the ratepayers were against the engagement of some married teach- e-j. The objection was just to a few cases, and if they were going to carry out the wishes of the ratepayers they must look that matter in the face. Mr W. Jenkins: We have to administer the business of the Board; that is to educate the children. Rev W. Charles: Yes; we have to adminis- ter the business according to the wishes of the ratepayers. I think the great objection is to a certain number. We have heard that he'e to-day. We are quite willing to do it in th way Mr Jenkins wishes, but I believe if I were in their position I would prefer to have M- Morris' motion passed. Mr W. Jenkins: What I understand by Mr Morris' proposition is this: That it is desir- able that certain regulations should be drawn out affecting married teachers in certain stages of their lives. Atter these regulations are drawn out, submit them to all teachers 10 without exception; those who are prepared to accept them, well and good; those who won't, well, we take care that these regulations won't be arbitrary, but simply necessary. Rev Thomas Williams: What I intended to propose just now was to refer the whole mat- ter to a committee, but if the vice-chairman Is prepared to move his motion according to Mr Jenkins, I have nothing to propose. If' not, I propose the whole question be referred to a ccmmittee. Rev W. Morris agreed to alter his motion Be as lo coincide with the views of Mr W. Jen- kins Mr W. W. Hood I don't think it is our duty to interfere with the liberty of the sub- ject. Our duty is to educate the children,and not to inquire into the private life of the teach- ers. I don't know what these regulations are, so I can't say how I will vote. The motion now submitted by the vice-chairman was "That the question of continuing the engagement of married female teachers be referred to the School Management Committee with the view of framing regulations under which they shall engaged in future, the same after being con- firmed by the Board to be sent to each 0 mar- ried female teacher under the Board." I don't understand that it is binding upon the teachers at all whether they will be dis- missed or not. I should like it to bo known tha t if they do not accept they will be dis- missed. Rev W. Morris: That is understood. Rev W. Lewis: I want to pledge the Board in favour of a principle. It seems to me we are almost trifling with the subject, and if the truth were known the majority of the Board realise there is a grievance in the matter, and the ratepayers feel that it is not right that matters should go on as they have for a long time. It is a great pity that the first motion Mr Williams moved last June was not allowed to stand. It seemed to me to be so fair. My amendment is that motion with little addition to it. It is this: "That in future no married female teachers be appointed by the Board or retained, except those in the Board's em- ploy, and it is hoped the married teachers, es- pecially head-teachers, will resign their ap- pointments as soon as possible." I feel this is a very important question, and I hope it will be one of the election cries next year. Mr D. R. Jones seconded this amendment, for which there voted the Vicar, Mr D. R. Jones, and Miss Ada Jones. The Chairman, Rev W. Morris, Rev Thomas Williams, Rev W. Charles, Messrs W. Jenkins, W. W. Hood, Daniel Thomas, and David Williams, voted for the motion, which was, therefore, declared carried.