From Councillor Parker
SIR,—May I trespass on your space, " Letters," to comment on the observations made by Mr. C. Frank Shaw.
1. The eatement that " teachers for Catholic sehools are definitely chosen by the perish priest is in general un
true. Where it ia true in particular instances he has unwittingly cited the reason, viz., " a Catholic manager hesitates to exercise his undoubted rights." May I add, fails thereby to do his duty, and in consequence forces the parish priest to act alone. One of the finest educationists in this country, who is also a parish priest, has to my knowledge had appointed to his school two headmasters neither of whom was known to any of the managers and canvassing was forbidden. Many other instance& 1 cancite if necessary.
2, As a head teacher of two Catholic schools with More than twenty years in that capacity, and who has been seconded as head teacher of two Council schools for particular purposes at the request of the LEA., may I state that the managers of schools whether county or voluntary have equal tights at meetings. The only difference between the respective boards is thid the managers of a county school have al their disposal the advice of the inspector and of the administrative officer of the L.F..A.
3. With regard to the alleged decline in good manners, a Ministry of Education inspector asked me this question, " Is training in good manners a special feature of Catholic schools ?" A similar question was also put to me by an inspector of the LEA. The deduction is obvious.
4. With regard to palm (4) and its Supporting matter I fail to see how lack of knowledge of the Catechism by a fourteen-year-old child can be attributed to the " bug of unionism " biting a teacher.
5. As chairman of the Southwark Diocesan Council of Catholic Parents' Association 1 asked for, secured and wholeheartedly welcomed the formation of maroohial associations, and am of opinirm that mach good resulted thereby in recent legislation. All Catholic teachers were asked to plaoe their knowledge of the educational position at the disposal of the associations, and the parent-teacher cooperation was magnificent. I have not known of any other relationship between teachers and parents that was not equally happy.
Mr. ,Shaw desires action to result from the publication of his " observations," and as a contribution to the elimination of the recurrence of Such incidents, I suggest: 1. That managers obtain information as to their rights and duties and local regulations governing the convening of meetings.
2. That teachers are appointed from a panel drawn up by the Catholic Schools Committee of the L.E.A.
3. That head teachers are appointed from a promotion list of candidates whose application for inclusion in the list is supported by the managers of the applicant's school, and by reports of the inspectorate of the L.E.A. and the Diocesan Religious Inspector.
There are ill my opinion plenty of educated men and women holding the views of either one of the political parties. Encouragement should . be given to them to induce them to sacrifice time and energy to join in the fray of party politics to secure for future generations national and local legislation based on Christian principles.
It it; a job worth while, and the doer of which is liable to more kicks than ha'penee: 'nevertheless one should not expect earthly reward for taking part in Catholic Action.
J. F. PARKER (Councillor). 88, WoodhM, London, &EIS.
StR,—In THE CATHOLIC HERALD Of
December 29, which I have only just nom " Jotter " writes of a soldier back from the Middle East who told him that Catholic padres are more popular than the others out there, because " they don't speak of religion all the time !"
I, the soldier in question, would like to point out that this remark was made not by me, but by a non-Catholic in the next bed to me in hospital; and that though I think it is true to say that Catholic padres are more generally popular, this particular remaik applied only to this particular hospital, where the C. of E. and 0.D, padres adopted the doubtful technique of starting off is tonversation by inquiring gloomily "When did you Iasi go to Holy Communion ?"
As regards compulsory church parades, it is perhaps worth mentioning that I came across several C. of E. padres who foright bard ageinst the principle of " compulsory " church parades, generally in the teeth of opposition from the C.O.
In every case where church service,s were allowed to be voluntary, there was a large attendance every Sunday, and, so far as I could judge, a much more sincere and genuine spirit among those attendihg