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Family Notices








THE POSITION UNALTERED. I Althpugh many interesting things have happened, and many pertinent speeches made since I last wrote, yet the position remains prac- tically unaltered. If anything there seems a likelihood of the door being opened again by the Local Education Authority, for Colonel Decie, after slapping the N U.T. in the face, said the Committee would see the representatives of the teachers if they wished. So perhaps a conference will come—as it must come sooner or later-and sweet reasonableness will prevail, bringing peace at tie eleventh hour. But I cannot anticipate a weakening on the part of the teachers, for it seems that things are going their way. There seems to be no end to the blunders of the Committee, for they are advertising widely (in Scotland for Church of England teacheis), for teachers at much higher commencing salaries than they are giving their old tried and trusted servants. For instance Ledbury Gills'and Infants' schools are amongst the laigest in the County and the salaries since revision are X110and X115 respectively. Now the advertisements 8tate several heidmistresses are required at commencing salaries up to £ 130. Mark you the N.U.T. demands are sure to be greater when they know that the Committee are advertising at higher rates, for it once again proves that the Committee are in the wrong and are trying to wriggle out. The best way to wriggle out is "by compromise,and there can be no real objection to a scale after all, since this same Education Committee has adopted a scale for its uncertificated assistants and for the clerks in the education offices. It was certainly strange for Sir James Rankin (whom we all revere and respect) at the County Council meeting last week, to show that he thoroughly misinterpreted the meaning of a scale of salaries, but such was the case. It is nor nfecessary for me to again dwell upon it. February I is drawing near and it is well known that the advertisements have not brought in the number of applications anticipated, so the crisis is close at hand. Of local events the Farmers' Union meeting calls for just a note. I was struck by the calmness of the deliberations, the evident desire for a settlement, and the respect for the teachers. Mr Bunn showed a thorough grasp of the situa- tion, especially the application of a scale, which so many have failed to understand but it was the worthy chairman of the Guardians (Mr W L Pritchett), who pleased me most, for he proved beyond doubt that he knew of the teacher's work, troubles, and drudgery. Had he been fully cognisant of the whole situation I feel sure he would have gone a little farther, for the full study of the subject has opened my eyes very considerably. The Managers' meeting proved a very import- ant one. I caanot understand the Chairman's desire to avoid a discussion upon this subject, but as he ruled the matter out of order, the teachers looked like being done out of a good deal of support. However the Rector of Led- buiy, as befits his position, has handed in a copy of his intended remarks to our representative, as gopd and straightforward a statement as I have yet seen, for managers seem afraid to speak out their minds. Mr Lawrence strongly seconds the Rector's statement. But the "tit-bit" of the meeting was the appointment of a new teacher, This is of vast importance to parents. The Local Education Authority has deputed to the man- agers of Council Schools the appointment of teachers, and the agreements are between the managers and the teachers, yet without notice the Local Education Authority appoint a teacher to the Ledbury schools and, I suppose, expect the local managers to sign the agreement and be responsible. 1 admire the Chairman for Ins action. The patents I consider have a voice in the appointment of the teachers of their children through the managers. It seems that any class of teacher could be foisted upon the school, and no one is to say nay. Were I a manager I should absolutely refuse to be a party to any agreement without the right of appointment, which right has been deputed to them. This is just the time when care in the appointment of teachers is necessary, for we know that no teacher with a grain ot honour, being fully cognisant of the situation, would apply for a post in Hereford- shire. One of the stalwarts in this campaign has been the Rev George Morgan, of Stoke Lacey, who is most anxious to avoid the pending cessation of work and has endeavoured always to bring about peace. He is very strong upon the point that the managers of the non-provided schools should use their powers to the utmost. At a meeting of these managers held this week under the Bishop, strong resolutions were passed, the trend of which was to bring the parties together in conference. The Local Education Authority have nothing to fear, for the money they are offering in new salaries I feel convinced would more than set up a scale. Mr Rhys Nicholls in a well contributed article to a contemporary sets out the new grant system of the Government, and points out that Hereford- shire will get hardly anything out of them unless it does more fer education, and the recent return of the Local Government Board shows that Herefordshire is very much behind on the basis of expenditure per head of the population. Look at it how you will, Here- fordshire is much behind, and Colonel Decie was certain!) Not tactful in his remarks on Saturday, when he said that the N.U.T. had grossly and habitually misrepresented the facts of the case, because it is so palpable that the Committee has been so inert 10 the past in dealing with the vexed question of teachers' salaries. Well: there let the matter rest. The position remains much about the same, the gain probably being on the side of Lhe teachers. Of this I'm certain, the longer a conference is delayed the greater the trouble will be, and the stronger will the teachers' position become. J.B.S.