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Jlhondda Education .Committee.

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Jlhondda Education Committee. Premium on Nationaiity. Committee's Protest Against College Principal's Action. The monthly meeting of the Rhondda Education Committee was held at the Council Chambers, Pentre, on Friday, Dr. W. B. Thomas presiding. Other members present were Mrs. W. P. Nicholas, Councillors R. S. Griffiths, Griffith Evans, Edward Jones, D. O. Evans, Danl. Evans, W. P. Thomas, H. E. Maltby, Dr. A. G. Tribe, Ben Davies, Lewis Hopkins, Tom Evans, W. H. Morgan and Tom; Harries, together with the Clerk (Mr. W. P. Nicholas) and the Director (Mr. T. W. Berry). The Clerk reported having received a letter from the Board of Education in reference to the action of the Principal of the Portsmouth Day Training College, who refused admission to a Welsh appli- cant for entrance to the college, and who explained her action on the ground that all -other things being equal, she gave preference to English girls." The matter was subsequently raised in he House of Commons by Mr. W. Abraham (Mfbon), M.P., on representations from this Com- mittee, and the following are the obser- of the Board of Education on the matter: Board of Education. In reply to Mr. Nicholas' letter of the 20th ult., I am directed to state that the Board have given careful con- sideration to the case of Miss John, a.nd they have now determined that the action of the authorities of the Ports- mouth Day Training College in refusing to admit Miss John to the college this year was not unreasonable within the meaning of Article 8 of the regulations of the training for elementary schools. —I am, sir vour obedient servant, }1,. G. Mayor. The Chairman said that he failed to see from this letter that it was un- reasonable for the head of any English college to penalise a girl because of her nationality, and he would suggest that the Board be asked whether it was within the power of a principal of an English college to keen a Welsh girl out because of her nationality. Councillor Tom Evans: It is very vague. The letter gives no reason for refusing this girl. It simply says that nothing irregular was done. What we want to know is whether it is right. I wish, you to go further into it. Mr. Nicholas quoted Article 8 men- tioned in the letter, which reads thus: — No student may be refused admission to the college except on reasonable ground; in particular, no student may be refused admission on the ground that he had not been vaccinated, or on the ground of social antecedents." In reply to Councillor R. S. Griffiths, the Clerk said that the final power in deciding the action of a principal was the governing body of the college. Councillor R. S. Griffiths: Supposing we had a college in Wales where the prin- cipal is a lady of strong Welsh national sentiment, and the Committee also; would we be prepared to give preference to an English girl, all other things being eq-ual P We must be prepared to grant what we claim. The majority of Training Colleges at present are located in Eng- land. Excepting two or three instances, we are entirely dependent on English colleges. 'On the ground given by the principal—that all things being equal, preference is given to English girls-I rather think we would do the same thing ourselves. Councillor Tom Evans: Are not these colleges maintained by the general rates or taxes of the country, irrespective of whether they are English or Welsh? If that is so, I say it is not fair that the governing body of any college in England or Wales should carry on this preferential treatment. Councillor R. S. Griffiths: Here you have 20 applicants equally qualified for one place. Who is to get it? Nineteen may be English girls and the twentieth a Welsh girl, and the whole decision rests in the hands of the authorities of the college.. Councillor Tom Evans: They don't even tell us that that is the case here. Councillor R. S. Griffiths: They are not bound to tell us. The reason given by the principal—at least, the only inference you can draw from her answer, was that the Welsh girl in question was not better qualified than any of the other applicants who happened to be English girls. That being so, preference was given to the English girls-precisely what we would do ourselves. Councillor Tom Evans: If these col- leges are maintained by the rates, there is no difference between an English and a Welsh girl, and no preference-should be given. Councillor R. S. Griffiths: Is not the same thing done in Welsh colleges? The Chairman: Only in cases where special. scholarships are given by donors to candidates who must be Welsh. I think that unless we make some kind of protest, we are not worthy of the trust reposed in us. Councillor R. S. Griffiths: The same thing might happen in a Welsh college. The Chairman: Do you advocate it should be done in Welsh colleges? Councillor R. S. Briffiths: Supposing there are 20 applicants, all equal; 19 are Welsh girls and one from England. Who would get it? Councillor Tom Evans; We would sym- pathise with the one (laughter). The Chairman: All I can tell you is that in my nrivate capacity I employ Scotchmen," Englishmen, Irishmen, and Australians. I really think we should not accept the explanation given us. I would suggest that we ask the Board whether we are to understand that in future prin- cipals of training colleges have the right to bar candidates because of their nationality. This was seconded by Councillor Tom Evans, and agreed to. BREACH OF UNDERSTANDING? Arising out of a minute in the School Management Committee's report granting a half-holiday to Pontrbondda and Tre- alaw Schools on the occasion of the recent unveiling of the late Mr. Archibald Hood's memorial on Pandy Square, Coun- cillor R. S. Griffiths called attention to what he considered a breach of an under- standing effected when a half-holiday for the same purpose was granted to Llwyny- pia and other schools in the district, namely, that the teachers should be pre- sent to accompany their classes during the ceremony. Mr. Griffiths said that this undertaking was not carried out, and that the children were running about to their own danger and annoyance to others. On the motion of the Chairman, the Director was instructed to investigate and report. TONYPANDY H.E. SCHOOL. The Building Committee reported the reoeipt of a letter from the Board of Education statin"- with reference to the interview which the Clerk and the Director had with Officers of the Board on the 6th October, that the Board had now fully considered the representations made at that interview, and that, while they did not recede from their view that 300 to 350 was a desirable limit educa- tionally for a Higher Elementary School, nevertheless, having regard to the ex- ceptional circumstances existing in the Tonypandy area, they would not press their objection to the proposed Higher Elementary School at Tonypandy being built for 400. The Committee's recommendation that the Architect be instructed to proceed forthwith with the preparation of plans for the proposed Higher Elementary School to accommodate 400 scholars, was agreed to. SCHOOL SITES. Letters were also received from the Board (1) enquiring what progress had been made towards getting a site for the proposed new school intended to relieve I the Tonypandy and Llwynypia Schools, and possibly, later, pressure from the ,h Cwmclydach side, as provided for in the Conspectus, and (2) requesting to be in- formed what further progress had been made with the proposals to secure -a site for the new school at Penygraig, and with the proposed enlargement of the infants' department of the Williamstown School. The Architect was ordered to report at the next meeting of the Committee as to the additional accommodation which can be provided on the sites of the exist- ing schools in the Mid-Rhondda district by means of the provision of additional storeys or otherwise and the Clerk was instructed to. inform the Board that the matters referred to in their letters were receiving the serious consideration of the Authority, and that steps were about being taken to seek compulsory powers for the acquisition of the proposed school site at Penygraig failing a satisfactory arrangement being made with the land- owners.