asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that Professor Bompas Smith, Director of the Department of Education of the Manchester University, has issued a circular to persons taking up teaching as a profession warning them that there is a possibility of their not being able to obtain a suitable post at the conclusion of their course of training and giving them an opportunity of withdrawing their application to enter the training department, and that the number of males entering the profession in proportion to females has decreased during the last few years; and whether, in view of these facts, he can make a statement on these matters?
I have seen in the Press a copy of a letter addressed by the Director of the Manchester University Training Department to applicants for admission. The statement that the number of males entering the profession in proportion to females has decreased during the last few years does not agree with the Board's records as to the number of intending teachers recognised. The proportion of males has risen from 14-8 per cent in 1917–18 to 17·2 per cent in 1920–21.
Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate the hardship entailed on these young people who are informed by the professor of their future?
It is to avoid such cases of hardship arising that this notice has been issued by the Director of the University Training Department.
Is that letter by the permission or consent of the Board of Education?
No. The Director acted on his own responsibility, as he was fully entitled to do.