To-day, Friday, _,Mr. Butler, President of the Board of Education, meets the Executive of the
National Union of Teachers to tell them how he would like the new Schools Bill to he framed. His proposals fall under two alternative categories: (I). The obligations for repairs, etc., under the proposed reconstruction scheme of managers of nonprovided schools tosiass to the Local Education Committas; the appointment of teachers to pass to the Committees in the same way, subject to certain conditions regarding reserved teachers; an agreed syllabus of religious instruction for children whose parents want it, such instruction to be given at any hour.
(2). Mr. Butler's alternative proposal, which affects Catholic schools and has been subjected to considerable criticism by Catholics, is that non-provided schools wishing to rctain their actual independence and powers shall be reformed, repaired and reorganised in accordance with the required standards within a specified time, 50 per cent. of the cost to be found through a direct Exchequer grant.
The attitude of the N.U.T. Executive, who met on Saturday in London, is, as was to be expected, favourable to the former solution. They spent many hours of the morning debating it with a certain heat.
Catholics Begin Offensive
The meeting brought to a close a week of excitement around the whole controversy, the notable feature being
a marked spirit of offensiveness among Catholics. Sir Walter Moberley, D.S.O., D.Litt., speaking as a Christian on the B.B.C. on Friday, could well ask, " Why all this ferment?" Incidentally, he said in his notable broadcast: " Officially Christianity is our national Faith ; actually, it is doubtful whether it is. The movement for better education will lead to disappointment, or worse, unless children are given a Christian purpose."
Catholic teachers from Last London formed a block of twenty out of thirty-five, and included eight nuns, when the East London Teachers' Association met on Saturday to discuss the future of Dual Control. Their presence was largely due to the action of the Secretary of the Simmarian Club, who circularised all Catholic teachers in the area prior to the meeting, urging them to attend.
The happy result was that after Mr. It. F. G. Henderson had outlined Mr. Butler's two alternative schemes for settlement, protests were voiced from a number of subsequern speakers, all of whom were Catholics " We ask the N.U.T. to give and take." said one of them, " we Catholics cannot accept either proposal." Like other speakers, he went on to state the principles for which Catholics stand Interesting facts mentioned at the meeting included the following: that so far only 16 per cent. of non-provided schools had been reorganised in accordance with the 1936 scheme; that there exist 43 agreed syllabuses in the country, approved by Anglicans and Nonconformists; that in 100 out of the 350 existing Education Authorities Protestant clergy habitually enter Council schools to inspect the religious training given in them.
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