An Urgent Plea
Sm.,-The news in your columns shows clearly that now is the time to fight for justice for our Catholic schools. I am writing to suggest that there is one major front in this battle which is being seriously neglected: Catholic teachers-in the Home Counties at any rate-are not making themselves felt in their Unions. Some teachers recently approached on this point declared bluntly that they would not think of joining the most powerful Teachers' Union in the country
" because it is too Communist" 1
I have even heard it rumoured (I
hope falsely). that some convents
would strongly discourage their teachers from joining the union for the same reason.
Yet here is our great opportunity. We have a good case, and inthe union branches our colleagues listen sympathetically to pleas for justice. Many who believe in equal opportunity for all are surprised to hear details of the burdens confronting denominational schools. If Catholic teachers (who outnumber the Communists) were but to become active members of the union, I am convinced that within a year or so we could have powerful union hacking for justice for our schools. In our branch of the union opposition to Communism is growing and looking for leaders. Six or seven active Catholics would make all the difference. Surely we ought to play our part in shaping the educational policy of the future. The beginning of the year is the time to join, for elections to committees will be taking place very soon. All teachers who have the interests of Catholic schools at heart should join at once and help to vote the right people on to the bodies who represent the teachers in negotiations with the authorities.
SECONDARY SCHOOL Teecteee. London, S.W.7.
Sts,-The contention of "Senex " that the Catholic teacher is doing a
good work, if he happens to be employed in a non-Catholic school, he himself bases on the assumption that there is no acute need for Catholic staff in Catholic schools.
The remarks of the Archbishop of Birmingham recently reported in your paper should be sufficient indication to any Catholic entering upon a teaching career where his duty probably lies. The shortage of Catholic teachers in Catholic schools varies much from place to place, but there are districts where it is acute, and dangerously so. The remarks of " Senex " should be read with this fact in mind.
SIR,-Your correspondent, E. M. Brash, appreciates the fact that there is a difference between the N.U.T. and the N.A.S., but it is not in the subscription; it is that the N.A.S. is run for men teachers by men; the subscription is the same as that to the N.U.T., viz. 30s.
Greenlands, Mowbreck Lane, Wesham, Kirkham, Lancs.