Cross Report (1888)

Background notes

The complete report (with the exception of pages 395-488 - see Notes on the text) is shown in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go to the various sections.

Preliminary pages (page ii)
Contents, list of witnesses, synopsis, commissions etc.

Introduction (1)

Part I The existing law (3)
I Administration of education grant 1832-1858
II Newcastle Commission 1858. Codes from 1862 to 1870
III Education Acts 1870-1880
IV Codes and instructions to Inspectors 1870-1885

Part II The existing state of facts (45)

Part III Machinery of public elementary education (52)
I Supply of schools
II Structural suitability of present school supply
III School management
IV Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools
V Teachers and staff
VI Training colleges
VII Attendance and compulsion

Part IV Education in public elementary schools (112)
I Religious and moral training
II Curriculum of instruction
III Manual and technical instruction
IV Various classes of elementary schools
V Elementary schools and higher education

Part V Government examination, Parliamentary Grant, cost of public elementary education (172)
I Government examination
II The Parliamentary Grant
III Income and expenditure of schools

Part VI Local Educational Authorities (201)

Part VII Summary of conclusions and recommendations (208)

Reservations (224)

Minority Reports (237)
by E Lyulph Stanley, John Lubbock, Bernhard Samuelson, Dr Dale, Sydney Buxton MP, TE Heller, Henry Richard MP, and George Shipton

Appendices (489)
I Instructions to HMI under Code of 1882
II Instructions to Inspectors 1878
III London School Board Religious Instruction Syllabus 1885
IV Liverpool School Board Religious Instruction for Infants

The text of the 1888 Cross Report was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 5 May 2019.


Cross Report (1888)
Final Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Elementary Education Acts, England and Wales

London: HM Stationery Office


[title page]

ELEMENTARY EDUCATION ACTS



FINAL REPORT

OF

THE COMMISSIONERS

APPOINTED TO INQUIRE INTO THE

ELEMENTARY EDUCATION ACTS,

ENGLAND AND WALES


Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty

LONDON:
PRINTED FOR HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE
BY EYRE AND SPOTTISWOODE,
PRINTERS TO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY

And to be purchased, either directly or through any Bookseller, from
EYRE AND SPOTTISWOODE, EAST HARDING STREET, FLEET STREET, E.C., and
32, ABINGDON STREET, WESTMINSTER, S.W.; or
ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK, 6, NORTH BRIDGE, EDINBURGH; or
HODGES, FIGGIS, & Co., 104, GRAFTON STREET, DUBLIN.

1888
[C.-5485.] Price 5s. 6d.


[page ii]

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
LIST OF WITNESSES WHO HAVE GIVEN EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COMMISSIONiii
LIST OF RETURNS, &c. WHICH HAVE BEEN FURNISHED TO THE COMMISSIONvi
SYLLABUS OF POINTS FOR INQUIRYix
SYNOPSIS OF THE FINAL REPORTxii
ROYAL COMMISSIONSxx

INTRODUCTION TO THE FINAL REPORT
1
PART I. THE EXISTING LAW3
PART II. THE EXISTING STATE OF FACTS45
PART III. THE MACHINERY FOR CARRYING ON PUBLIC ELEMENTARY EDUCATION52
PART IV. THE EDUCATION AND INSTRUCTION GIVEN IN PUBLIC ELEMENTARY EDUCATION112
PART V. GOVERNMENT EXAMINATION, THE PARLIAMENTARY GRANT, AND THE COST OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS172
PART VI. LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AUTHORITIES201
PART VII. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS208
RESERVATIONS224
REPORT OF THE HON. K. LYULPH STANLEY, Sir JOHN LUBBOCK, Sir BERNHARD SAMUELSON, Dr. R. W. DALE, Mr. SYDNEY BUXTON, Mr. T. E. HELLER, Mr. HENRY RICHARD, AND Mr. GEORGE SHIPTON237
RESERVATION250
FURTHER REPORT OF THE HON. E. LYULPH STANLEY, Dr. K. W. DALE, Mr. T. E. HELLER, Mr. HENRY RICHARD, AND Mr. GEORGE SHIPTON251
RESERVATION393
SUMMARY OF THE STATISTICAL REPORT394
LIST OF THE RECORDED DIVISIONS OF THE COMMISSION446
APPENDIX489


[page iii]

Alphabetical List of Witnesses who have given Evidence before the Commission

NameDescription
Adams, Mr. W. B.Head Master of the Fleet Road Senior Board School, Hampstead
Alexander, Mr. A.Director of the Liverpool Gymnasium, and Hon. Sec. of the National Physical Recreation Society
Allies, Mr. T. W.Secretary and Treasurer to the Catholic Poor Schools Committee
Anderson, Mr. W.Chairman of the Erith School Board, Kent
Arnold, Mr. O. T.Honorary Solicitor to the National Society
Arnold, Mr. M.Formerly one of H.M. Chief Inspectors of Schools
Aston, Rev. W.Vicar of St. Thomas', Bradford, Yorkshire
Atkinson. Rev. J.President of the Free Churches of the Primitive Methodist Society

Balchin, Mr. R.

Head Master of Nunhead Passage School
Barber, Ven. ArchdeaconArchdeacon of Chester
Baxendale, Mr. P.Head Master of Eastbrook British School, Bradford
Belsey, Mr. F. F.Chairman of the Rochester School Board
Birley, Mr. H.Member of the Manchester and Salford School Boards
Bodington, Professor N.Principal of the Yorkshire College, Leeds
Bourne, Mr. A.Secretary to the British and Foreign School Society
Bradbury, Mr. J.Head Master of the Abney British School, Mossley, Manchester
Brodie, Mr. B. H.H.M. Inspector, Worcester District
Bromilow, Rev. W.Principal of the Home and Colonial Training College for Mistresses, Gray's Inn Road
Brooke, Mr. J. A.Chairman of the Huddersfield and Saddleworth Church Day School Institution
Bruce, Rev. R.Congregationalist Minister, Huddersfield, and Member of the Huddersfield School Board
Buckmaster, Mr. J. C.Organising Master for the Science and Arts Schools in connexion with the Science and Art Department
Burges, Rev. R. B.Vicar of St. Paul's, Birmingham
Burgwin, Mrs.Head Mistress of the Orange Street Board School, Southwark
Buxton, Mr. E. N.Late Chairman of the London School Board

Calder, Miss F.

Hon. Sec. of the Liverpool Training School of Cookery, and Hon. Sec. of the Northern Union of Training Schools of Cookery
Castle, Miss A. M.Head Mistress of Duncton National School, near Petworth
Clark, Mr. D.Head Master of the Pensnett Board School, near Dudley
Clough, Mr. R.Chairman of the Bingley School Board
Combes, Mr. E., C.M.G.President of the Institute for Technical Instruction in New South Wales
Conway, Mr. L.Head Master of the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Schools, Liverpool
Cromwell, Rev. CanonPrincipal of St. Mark's Training College, Chelsea
Crosskey, Rev. Dr.Chairman of the School Management Committee of the Birmingham School Board, and one of the Hon. Secs, of the Central Nonconformist Committee
Cumin, Mr. P., C.B.Secretary of the Education Department
Cunynghame, Mr. H. H. S.One of H.M. Assistant Charity Commissioners

Daglish, Mr. W. S.

Representative of the North of England Voluntary Schools Federation
Daniel, Rev. CanonPrincipal of St. John's Training College, Battersea
Davenport-Hill, Miss R.Member of the London School Board
Davies, Mr. D. I.H.M. Sub-Inspector of Schools, Merthyr Tydvil District
Deane, Rev. Preb. MackeethRector of East Marden, and Manager of the Chichester and Brighton Training Colleges
Devonshire, Mr. J. H.Head Master of the Wesleyan School, Mintern Street, Hoxton
Diggle, Rev. J. R.Chairman of the London School Board
Duncan, Rev. J.Secretary to the National Society

Evans, Mr. B. G.

Secretary to the Society for the utilisation of the Welsh Language in Education, Cardiff

Fawcett, Mrs. H.
Fielden, Mrs.Todmorden, Lancashire
Finch, Mr. A.H.M. Inspector's Assistant, West Ham District
Fish, Mr. J.Head Master of the Blue Coat School, Durham
Fitch, Mr. J. G.H.M. Chief Inspector of Training Colleges for Schoolmistresses
Fox, Miss C.Head Mistress of St. Patrick's Infant School, Manchester


[page iv]

Gilmore, Rev. J.Chairman of the Sheffield School Board
Graham, Rev. Dr.Principal of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Training College, Brook Green, Hammersmith
Graves, Mr. A. P.H.M. Inspector, Taunton District
Greening, Mr. W. H.Member of the Birmingham School Board
Griffiths, Ven. ArchdeaconChairman and Hon. Treasurer of the Council of the Society for the utilisation of the Welsh Language in Education
Grove, Mr. J. W.Head Master of All Souls' School, Langham Place

Hance, Mr. E.

Clerk to the Liverpool School Board
Hanson, Mr. J.Vice-Chairman of the Bradford School Board, and Chairman of the School Management Committee
Harrison, Mr. H. E. B.H.M. Inspector of Schools, Liverpool District
Headdon, MissMember of the Association for the Promotion of Housewifery
Healing, Mr. T.H.M. Sub-Inspector, Romford District
Henderson, Mr. A. D. C.Head Master of St. Luke's Church of England School, Chadderton, Oldham
Holdsworth, Mr. D.Head Master of Clarence Street Wesleyan Schools, Newcastle-on-Tyne
Holgate, Mr. W.H.M. Inspector of Schools under the Local Government Board for the Metropolitan District
Horn, Mr. J. S.Clerk to the Burnley Union School Attendance Committee
Horsefield, Mr. E.Head Master of St. Saviour's School, Everton, near Liverpool

Jones, Mr. H.

Professor in the University College, Bangor

Keenan, Right Hon. Sir Patrick, K.C.M.G., C.B.

Resident Commissioner of National Education in Ireland
Kelly, Rev. C. H.Secretary to the Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School Union
Knowles, Mrs. S.Head Mistress of Dibden National School, near Southampton

Lambert, Miss A.
Lee, Mr. W.Clerk to the Leeds School Board
Leigh, Mr. W.Chairman of the Stockport School Attendance Committee
Lewis, Rev. D.Rector of Merthyr-Tydvil
Lingen, The LordFormerly Secretary of the Education Department

McCarthy, Rev. E. F. M.

Vice-President of the Birmingham School Board
McKenzie, Mr. J.H.M. Sub-Inspector on Supply
McNeile, Rev. CanonVicar of St. Paul's, Liverpool, and Chairman of the Liverpool School Managers' Conference
Magnus, Sir P.Organising Director and Secretary of the City and Guilds of London Institute for the Advancement of Technical Education
Manley, Miss L.Head Teacher and Mistress of Method at the Stockwell Training College
Mansford, Mr. C.Vice-Principal of the Wesleyan Training College, Westminster
Martin, Mr. W.H.M. Sub-Inspector, Marylebone District
Maul, Rev. R. G.Vicar of Hopesay, Aston-on-Clun
Menet, Rev. J.Vicar of Hockerill, Herts, and late Chaplain of the Hockerill Training College
Mitchell, Mr. C. T.Member of the Committee of the National Vigilance Association
Morris, Mr. E.Head Master of the British School, Menai Bridge, Anglesea
Morrison, Dr.Director of the Free Church Normal Training College, Glasgow
Murray, Mr. J.Head Master of St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Schools, Liverpool
Muscott, Mr. W.Head Master of the Garsington Church of England Mixed Schools, near Oxford

Napper, Miss S.

Head Mistress of Rochford Church School, near Tenby
Neath, Miss C.Head Mistress of Ditton National School, near Maidstone
Newbold, Mr. J.Late Head Teacher of a Wesleyan School, Manchester
Nickal, Mr. J.Inspector under the London School Board
Norris, Ven. Archdeacon, D.D.Archdeacon of Bristol
Nunn, Rev. J.Chairman of the Manchester Sohool Board

Oakelet, Mr. H. E.

H.M. Chief Inspector of Training Colleges for Schoolmasters
O'Donoghue, Mr. J. J.Clerk to the Kingston-on-Hull School Board
Osterberg, Madame B.Principal of Hampstead Physical Training College
Owen, Dr. I.Member of the Society for the Utilisation of the Welsh Language in Education


[page v]

Palgrave, Mr. R. H. InglisBelton, Great Yarmouth
Palmer, Mr. J.A representative of the Church of England Sunday School Institute
Parish, Rev. W. D.Vicar of Selmeston, Sussex
Parker, Mr. H.Chairman of the Birkenhead School Attendance Committee
Paton, Rev. J. B., D.D.Member of the Recreative Evening Classes Association
Powell, Mr. J.Head Master of the National School, Northill, Beds
Powell, Mr. T. E.A representative of the Working Classes
Price, Rev. N.Vice-Chainnan of the School Board, Bushey, Herts

Randall, Miss E.

Head Mistress of St. Philip's Girls' School, Heigham, Norwich
Richards, Rev. H. W. P.Vicar of Isleworth
Richards, Rev. W. J. B., D.D.Diocesan Inspector of Roman Catholic Schools, St. Charles' College, Notting Hill
Ridgeway, Mr. W.Head Master of the Staveley Works School, near Chesterfield
Rigby, Mr. T.Secretary to the Royal Manchester, Liverpool, and North Lancashire Agricultural Society
Robinson, Mr. J.Chairman of the School Attendance Committee of the Leek Union
Roe, Rev. PrebendaryRector of Poyntington, Dorset. Diocesan Inspector and formerly Lecturer of the late Training College at Highbury
Rogers, Mr. A. C.Assistant Teacher in the Bellenden Road Board School, Peckham
Roofer, Mr. T. G.One of H.M. Inspectors of Schools
Roscoe, Sir H. E., M.P.Member of the late Royal Commission on Technical Education

Sargent, Mr. E. B.

Toynbee Hall, late Secretary to the London Pupil Teachers' Association
Scotson, Mr. J.Head master of the Higher Grade School, Manchester
Scott, Rev. J. J.Rector of St. Clement's, Salford
Seabrook, Mr. J. F.Organising Master of the Rochester Diocesan Board of Education
Sharpe, Rev. T. W.One of H.M. Chief Inspectors of Schools
Sizer, Mr. G. J.Chairman of the School Attendance Committee, Tendring Hundred, Essex
Smith, Mr. C.Head Master of St. Thomas' Charterhouse Church School
Smyth, Mr. T.A representative of the Working Classes, Chelsea
Snape, Mr. T.Member of the United Methodist Free Churches
Stamer, Ven. Archd. Sir L.Chairman of the Stoke-upon-Trent School Board
Stevens, Mr. E.Head Master of the Hartlip Endowed School, Sittingbourne
Stevenson, LadyManager of Schools under the London School Board
Stewart, Rev. D. J.One of H.M. Chief Inspectors of Schools
Synge, Rev. F.H.M. Chief Inspector, Eastern Division

Tait, Mr. S. B.

Late Head Master of a Board School, Huddersfleld
Towers, Mr. E.Secretary of the Sunday School Union
Trevor, Miss P.Principal of the Bishop Otter Memorial College, Chichester
Twiss, Mr. C.Head Master of the British School, Warrington

Waller, Rev. D. J.

Secretary to the Wesleyan Education Committee
Warbubton, Rev. CanonOne of H.M. Chief Inspectors of Schools
Waymouth, Mr. S.Head Master of a Private School, Seven Sisters' Road, Holloway
Whittenbury, MissHead Mistress of the Sydney Road Board School, Homerton
Wild, Mr. R.Head Master of Byron Road Board School, Bromley, E.
Wilkinson, Mr. T.Late Head Master of a Board School, Harrow
Wilks, Mr. M.Member of the London School Board
Willes, Rev. CanonRector of Monk Sherborne, Basingstoke
Williams, Rev. C.Chairman of the Baptist Union, Accrington
Williams, Mr. H.Representative of the Working Classes, Gray's Inn Road
Williams, Mr. H. R.Chairman of the Ragged School Union
Williams, Mr. L., J.P.Chairman of the Cardiff School Board
Williams, Mr. R. B.Superintendent of the Visitors of the London School Board, East Lambeth Division
Williams, Mr. T. M.Member of the Society for the Utilisation of the Welsh Language in Education
Williams, Mr. W.H.M. Chief Inspector in Wales
Wingfield, Rev. CanonRector of Welwyn, Herts
Wright, Mr. T. G.Inspector of Board Schools, Bristol


[page vi]

LIST OF RETURNS, TABLES, AND OTHER PAPERS FURNISHED TO THE COMMISSION AND PUBLISHED IN OTHER VOLUMES OF THE REPORT

Returns, Tables, &c. furnished to the Commission by Mr. P. Cumin, C.B.

Vol. I
I. Relating to -
    (1) Buildings.
    (2) Progress in numbers, 1860 to 1885.
    (3) Income, maintenance, and annual grants.
    (4) School staff and average salaries.
    (5) Merit grants.
    (6) Tables 1870 to 1885.
518
II. Return obtained by Mr. H. H. Fowler, Sess. 1883, No. 107, with additional figures522
III. Return showing the amount of grant claimed per scholar in small schools524
IV. List of School Boards dissolved under section 41 of the Elementary Education Act, 1876525
V. School Board Schools (Religious Teaching), List of Parliamentary Returns525
VI. List of cases where annual grant was allowed -
    (1) Where School Board did not consider it to be required.
    (2) Where School Board did not dissent although school was unnecessary.
    (3) Dealt with before the Minute of 21st June 1878.
    (4) Where unnecessary so far as supply was concerned.
    (5) List of cases in non-Board districts treated as unnecessary under 21st June 1878, Code 1879, Art. 7c ; and Code 1882, Art. 91.
    (6) List of refusals of annual grant in School Board districts. Sec. 98.
525
VII. (Table A) showing the distribution of the population of England and Wales under School Boards and School Attendance Committees528
VIII. (Table B) showing the distribution of the population of England and Wales under Bye Law Standards529
IX. (Table C) showing duration of school life530
X. (Table D) Return, showing the cost per scholar, 1865-85 (under denominations)530
XI. Tables showing, for infant schools and classes -
(1) the average number of scholars in attendance (for payment); the percentage of schools and classes recommended for payment under Art. 106; and the average rate of claim per scholar (in average attendance; from returns of schools inspected for the year ending 31st August 1885.
(2) the same for "certain localities".
(3) Table showing -
    (i) for schools and classes for older scholars, the number of departments, the average number of scholars in attendance (for payment), the percentage of departments recommended for payments under Art. 109, and the average rate of claims for payments.
    (ii) the percentage of pupil-teachers recommended for payment under Art. 110; the number of small schools paid special grants under Art. 111, and the (total) rate of claim per scholar in average attendance (infants and older scholars); from return of schools inspected for the year ending 31st August 1885.
531
XII. Return showing, for Counties in England and Wales and in the Metropolitan District, the number of schools in which the accommodation is less than 60, the accommodation, and the average number of scholars in attendance in those schools, from Returns for year ending 31st August 1885534
XIII. Return showing, for Counties in England and Wales and in the Metropolitan District, the number of schools with accommodation for 60 or more in which the average attendance is less than 60, the average number of scholars in attendance, and the accommodation in those schools, from Returns for year ending 31st August 1885355
XIV. Table showing summary of merit grant in the Metropolitan Division, year ending 1885536
XV. Return moved for by Mr. Molloy, 1885 (Voluntary Schools)
"Return for the years 1869 to 1884, showing the following particulars for Voluntary Schools:
1. The average cost per child in average attendance.
2. The average grant per child in average attendance.
3. The average school fees per child in average attendance.
4. The voluntary contributions per child in average attendance."
537
XVI. Return moved for by Mr. Mundella, 1885 (Voluntary Schools)
"Return showing, during the period from 1870 to 1885, in each year:
1. The number of children attending voluntary Schools.
2. The total amount of expenditure.
3. The amount of school fees.
4. The amount of voluntary subscriptions.
5. The amount of Government Grant.
6. The amount received from other sources; and
7. The number of new Schools established."
537
XVII. Minute of the Committee of Council on Education approving of Time Tables538

Vol. II
XVIII. List of Local Authorities declared in default under the Elementary Education Acts, 1870, 18791004
XIX. List of public inquiries held pursuant to Sec. 73, Education Act, 18701005

Vol. III
XX. Return showing the number of School Boards dissolved under Sec. 41 of the Elementary Education Act, 1876. Handed in by Mr. Patrick Cumin, C.B.709
XXI. Return showing the number of pupil-teachers obtaining 60s and 40s respectively in Board Voluntary Schools. Handed in by Mr. Patrick Cumin, C.B.710
XXII. Return showing the inspectorial staff for the years 1871-86. Handed in by Mr. Patrick Cumin, C.B.710

Papers handed in by the Rev. J. R. Diggle, M.A., Chairman of the School Board for London

Vol. III
I. Table showing the accommodation, the number on the roll, and the average attendance, &c. at efficient schools in the school district of London1028
II. Table showing the number of children (in various standards) on the roll of the London School Board for the week ending 19th March 18861029
III. Return showing the ages of the children on the roll, by departments, in each division of the School Board for London on the 19th March 18861031


[page vii]

Vol. II
IV. Return showing the accommodation in efficient voluntary schools which were in existence in December 1874, but which have since been closed, and the reasons for closing. (Midsummer 1886)1031
V. Return of prosecutions, year ended 31st December 18861032
VI. Table showing the difference in the mode of assessment of the merit grant by various inspectors in the London School Board district1033
VII. Table showing the variation of the percentage of attendance with the fee of the school1035
VIII. Return of the School Board for London showing the number of pupil teachers and ex-pupil teachers, at present attending pupil teachers' schools, who have previously attended secondary schools1036
IX. Return showing the results of examination of pupil teachers, the reports on whom were received during the years 1881, 1884, and 18861036
X. Tables shewing the results of scholarship examination in 1885 and 1886 in the case of pupil teachers instructed at centres1036
XI. Tables showing the number of schools in poor and bad districts at which the "Excellent", "Good", and "Fair" merit grant has been earned1037
XII. Return showing the number of schools examined in drawing as a class subject during the year 18861038
XIII. Table showing the specific subjects in which children were examined by Her Majesty's Inspector, and the number who passed in each subject, during the year ended 25th September 18851039
XIV. Return of the number of cases of children whose fees are being remitted by the Board or paid by the guardians on the 25th of March 18871040
XV. A draft Bill to enable the School Board for London to grant superannuation pensions1040
XVI. Correspondence and report having reference to the building of a board school in Upper Kennington Lane, 18841041
XVII. Regulations of the School Board for London as to religious instruction1045
XVIII. Report of the School Board for London on the examination in Scripture knowledge for prizes offered by Mr. Francis Peek and the Religious Tract Society1051
XIX. School Board for London. Instruction in cookery: monthly accounts showing the amounts received for sale of food for the month ended 11th December 18861056
XX. Table showing the social condition of candidates for scholarships1057
XXI. Return showing the rating of board and voluntary schools in the school district of London1068
XXII. Return of all children above seven years of age admitted to schools under the School Board for London opened during the year ended September 30th, 18861090

Papers handed in by Witnesses to supplement their Evidence

Vol. I
I. Statement showing approximately the number of parishes in England and Wales which have populations not exceeding 500, according to the Census of 1881. Furnished by the Local Government Board539
II. Specimen Infants Time Table. Furnished by Mr. Sharpe540
III. Specimen Time Table Summaries. Furnished by the Rev. D. J. Stewart542
IV. Analysis of time table of the Fleet Road Board School. Furnished by Mr. W. B. Adams1016
V. Time table for boys in the Central Board School, Manchester. Furnished by Mr. Scotson1017

Vol. II
VI. Extracts from reports of H.M. Inspectors with reference to school gardens. Handed in by Mr. Wilkinson1020
VII. Draft of proposed Bill to make further provision for elementary education in day and evening schools. Put in by Dr. Crosskey1020
VIII. Extracts from Minutes of the School Board for London with reference to cases for prosecution. Handed in by Mr. Buxton1021
IX. Time table for central classes for pupil-teachers. Furnished by Rev. B. F. M. MacCarthy1022
X. Scheme of the Bradford School Board for religious observances and instruction. Put in by Mr. Hanson1023
XI. Notice of the Bradford School Board with reference to scholarships in the Higher Board Schools for the children of poor parents. Handed in by Mr. Hanson1025
XII. Scheme of salaries of the Bristol School Board. Put in by Mr. Wright1025
XIII. Statement of M. J. Barrington Ward, Esq., one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, in reply to the evidence of Mr. David Clark1092
XIV. Statement of R. M. Fowler, Esq., one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, in reply to the evidence of the Ven. Archdeacon Sir Lovelace Stamer, Bart.1092
XV. Statement of Mr. S. Baxendale, Eastbrook School, Bradford, in reply to the evidence of T. G. Rooper, Esq., one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools.

Returns, Tables, &c. handed in by Witnesses

Vol. III
XVI. Table showing the number of cases of children whose fees were under remission by the School Board for London on the 18th March 1887, together with the periods for which the fees were remitted702
XVII. Return as to Church Schools in the borough of Bradford for the year ending 16th May 1887. Handed in by Mr. Leigh703
XVIII. List of members of the Stockport School Board, showing their occupations, for the years 1876-9. Handed in by Mr. Leigh704
XIX. List of members of the Stockport Borough School Attendance Committee, showing their occupations, 1887. Handed in by Mr. Leigh704
XX. Return of the Stockport Borough School Attendance Committee, showing the average attendance for the year 1886-7. Handed in by Mr. Leigh704
XXI. Official statement of the course of each school under the Birmingham School Board. Handed in by the Rev. B. Burges705
XXII. Comparative Return showing to what extent specific subjects are taught in Board and Denominational Schools, Huddersfield. Handed in by the Rev. Dr. Bruce706
XXIII. Comparison between Board Schools with other schools in Huddersfield with regard to the merit grant and grant per head. Handed in by Rev. Dr. Bruce706
XXIV. Return of the Huddersfield and District Pupil-Teachers' Examination Association. Handed in by Rev. Dr. Bruce706
XXV. Return showing the number of children sent to Industrial Schools from Huddersfield. Handed in by Rev. Dr. Bruce707
XXVI. Table showing comparison between the accommodation in Denominational and Board Schools in Huddersfield. Handed in by Rev. Dr. Bruce707
XXVII. List of schools in Bradford transferred to the Board with dates of transfer. Handed in by the Rev. Dr. Aston706
XXVIII. Table showing the rating of voluntary schools and of Board schools in Bradford. Handed in by the Rev. Dr. Aston708
XXIX. Return showing the number in each standard in the Bradford Higher Board Schools. Handed in by the Rev. Dr. Aston708
XXX. Return showing the average attendance in evening schools in England and Wales for the year ending August 1878. Handed in by the Rev. Dr. Paton708


[page viii]

Vol. III
XXXI. Statement showing the arrangements for the education of pauper children at various periods from the 25th March 1883 to 1st March 1887. Handed in by Mr. W. Holgate709
XXXII. Statistical statement illustrating certain facts mentioned in the evidence of Mr. W. Martin, H.M. sub-Inspector709
XXXIII. Three time tables for evening schools showing how recreative and practical classes can be inwoven with Code classes. Handed in by the Rev. Dr. Paton711
XXXIV. Table giving an estimate of expenditure and of income in a recreative evening school. Handed in by the Rev. Dr. Paton713
XXXV. Table showing actual receipts and expenditure in a recreative evening school at Gateshead. Handed in by the Rev. Dr. Paton713
XXXVI. Table showing the number of migrations, scheduling 1887. School Board of London, East Lambeth Division716
XXXVII. Education (Scotland) Act, 1878, sections 6 and 6. Handed in by Mrs. Henry Pawcett716
XXXVIII. Summary of the law, Elementary Education Acts, 1876 and 1880, as to the employment of children within the London School Board district. Handed in by Mr. Mitchell716
XXXIX. Extract from the Law of State of New York, 1876, as to the employment of children. Handed in by Mr. Mitchell717
XL. Memorandum upon the education of the working classes in Paris. Handed in by Mr. Cunynghame717
XLI. Copy of a set of rules drawn up by the Taunton School Attendance Committee. Handed in by Mr. A. P. Graves733
XLII. Specimen examination papers for candidates for the Irish inspectorate. Handed in by Sir Patrick Keenan, K.C.M.G.734
XLIII. A paper showing some comparative statistics of illiteracy in England, 1870 and 1887. Collected by the Rev. J. H. Eigg, D.D.735
XLIV. Table showing the population in each county, the population under School Boards the number of scholars on the registers, and in average attendance in the year 1885740
XLV. Table showing, for each county, changes in percentage of population on the registers and in average attendance between 1882 and 1885741
XLVI. Table showing the number of School Boards in each county, in parishes with a population of 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500, respectively742
XLVII and XLVIII. Tables showing names of parishes in each county with a population under 200 and 300 respectively, and the rate levied in each in 1885743
XLIX. Return showing the number of School Boards in parishes with populations under 400 or 500 respectively, in which the rates in 1885 were above 6d.744
L. Return showing the names of School Boards in parishes with populations ranging from 300 to 500, for which a rate of more than Is. in the pound was levied in 1885744
LI. Return showing the percentage of population between certain ages according to the census of 1861-71 and 1881744





[page ix]

SYLLABUS OF POINTS FOR INQUIRY

1. The existing law - how it grew up:

A. The law previous to 1870.

(a) The grants from Government, from 1832 to 1858.
(b) The recommendations of the Duke of Newcastle's Commission of 1858.
(c) The Codes, 1862-1870, following the Report (1861) of that Commission.

B. The Acts from 1870 to 1880.

(a) Principal provisions of the Act of 1870.
(b) Principal provisions of the Act of 1873.
(c) Principal provisions of the Act of 1876.
(d) Principal provisions of the Act of 1880.

C. The Codes and Instructions after 1870.

(a) The Code, 1871, adapting former Codes to the Act of 1870.
(b) The Codes, 1872 to 1881.
(c) The Code, 1882.
(d) Subsequent Codes.
(e) Instructions to Inspectors.

2. The existing state of facts, as to

(a) Buildings:
(b) Number of scholars:
(c) Income and expenditure:
(d) Staff and salaries:
(e) Comparison of voluntary and board schools:
(f) Merit grants:
(g) Small schools:
(h) Training colleges:
(k) Average duration of school life.

3. The working of the law:

The provision made -

(a) For the supply of schools:

(i) Sufficiency:
(a) How far is it attained?
(b) On what basis is it calculated?
(c) To what extent should provision be made for children
    Between 3 and 5,
    Between 11 and 13:
(d) To what extent should "babies' rooms" be supplied?

(ii) Suitability:
(a) By whom, in practice, is it determined?
(b) On what principles?
(c) What account should be taken of religious differences?

(b) For the management of schools:

(c) For inspection:

(i) Is familiarity with school-work management sufficiently considered in the appointment of Inspectors?
(ii) How far should they be drawn from the ranks of elementary teachers?
(iii) Is a uniform standard of examination fairly arrived at by Inspectors?
(iv) Welsh schools.
(d) For supply of teachers:
(i) Certificated teachers:
    (a) Is the supply sufficient?
    (b) In what way should it be kept up?

(ii) Pupil-teachers:
(a) Is the supply adequate for -
    Immediate service:
    Recruiting the ranks of certificated teachers?
(b) By shortening the period of their apprenticeship, might their ranks be recruited from young persons who have passed the Senior Local University Examinations?
(c) Is the teaching received by pupil-teachers satisfactory?
(d) Is the system of instruction at centres an improvement upon the old plan?
(f) Is the instruction imparted by pupil-teachers satisfactory?
(g) Is sufficient care taken to supervise the health of the pupil-teachers and eliminate those who are physically unfit?

(iii) School staff:
(a) On what scale should it be calculated?
(b) Should the principal teacher be reckoned in calculating the staff of large schools?

(iv) Is it desirable that a general system of superannuation pensions should be established; and if so, on what principle?

(e) Training colleges:
(i) Their efficiency:
(ii) Their cost:
(iii) Day training colleges (as in Scotland).
(f) For regular attendance of children:
(i) Compulsion:
(a) How is it carried out by -
    School boards?
    School attendance committees?
(b) To what extent has it increased -
    The numbers on the roll?
    Regularity of attendance?
(c) How far is the 22 weeks system as qualification for examination an improvement on the 250 attendances in inducing the teachers to interest themselves in regularity of attendance?
(d) What residuum of school population is left untouched?
(e) Would day industrial schools (as recommended by Royal Commission) be the best way of meeting the difficulty in such cases?
(f) Labour certificates?

(ii) Obstacles to school attendance:
How far are they due to -
(a) poverty or neglect on the part of parents?
(b) capricious migration from school to school?
(c) laxity of school authorities?
(d) working of Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879, as affecting the collection of the fines imposed on the parent?
(e) attitude of magistrates?

(iii) should half-time standards be abolished?
    The working of the half-time system,

(iv) Should the 5th Standard be universally made the standard for total exemption?

4. The efficiency of our present machinery both central and local:

A. For average children:

I. Religious and moral training:

(a) What was the former, and what is the present practice as regards moral training and inculcation of morality?
Is there any tendency in the present system, as compared with the system in use before 1870, to lower the importance of religion and morality in estimation of managers, teachers, and children?
(b) Former and present practice as to religious observances and religious teaching in -
    (1) voluntary schools:
    (2) board schools:

(i) Time given to prayer and singing of hymns.
(ii) To reading of Bible, with or without comment.
(iii) To other religious instruction.
(iv) Is it at the beginning or end of school day? or at the beginning or end of a meeting for different standards?
(v) How far is religious knowledge tested by examination?
(vi) Are registers marked before or after religious teaching and observances?
(vii) Is religious teaching suspended or abridged for some time before the day of Government inspection?
(viii) How many children withdrawn from it?
(ix) Are time-tables generally adhered to on this subject?


[page x]

(x) Is conscience clause effective? any complaints from school authorities as to infringement? or from parents?
(xi) List of purely secular schools, with number of children. Returns as to religious teaching and observances.
(xii) Are religious teaching and religious observances neglected in schools on account of the pressure of secular teaching, rendered necessary to secure State aid under the provisions of the Code?
Effect of present system on religious and moral teaching of children.
What is general wish of teachers and parents?
Inexpediency of allowing religious teaching to be given by unbelievers.
How far does present system turn out the children well-principled and conscientious?
(c) The law as to religious teaching in English-speaking Colonies, and in America, and effect.

II. Secular instruction:

(a) The subjects of instruction:

(i) The three primary subjects:
Does reading receive sufficient attention? Linear drawing?

(ii) The standards:
(a) Are the present standards right in themselves?
(b) Are the present standards too exacting?
(c) Are any standards necessary?

(iii) The class subjects and the special subjects:
(a) Are they suitable? Are they in right relation to one another and to the primary? Are they reasonably to be called elementary?
(b) What substitutes for them are desirable in special cases?
(c) How far is the bilingual difficulty met in Wales?
(d) The Welsh language.
(e) How far are the class subjects within the reach of small schools?
(f) Should not the school authorities be allowed to determine for themselves in which and how many of the class subjects they would present children for examination?
(g) Should the special subjects be deferred till Standard V is passed?
(h) Should not some which are special in the Code be class subjects in special localities?

(iv) Elementary science:
To what extent can it be taught in elementary schools?

(v) Technical instruction:
"As grants are made in girls' schools for needlework, why not for mechanical drawing and handicraft in boys' schools." (See Report of Commission on Technical Education, Vol. I., p. 524.)

(vi) Effect of present grant for cookery: Is further enlargement desirable?

(b) The quantity of the knowledge demanded:
(i) Is it such as to cause over-pressure? Definition of over-pressure.

(ii) Does over-pressure still exist to any extent? If so, what does it arise from, in the case of -
    (a) teachers?
    (b) pupil-teachers?
    (c) scholars?

(iii) How is it to be remedied?

(iv) Is the amount of knowledge required more than average children can master thoroughly?

(v) Is due effect given by inspectors to the claims for exemption from examination allowed by the Code?

(vi) Is the amount required under any one head too much? or too little?

(c) The organisation of the school:
(i) Does the Code interfere with the freedom of the organisation? and, if so, how, and to what extent?

(ii) Is it desirable, and, if so, under what circumstances, to grade the schools in large places? and to have promotions from one to another?

(iii) In large centres of population, ought encouragement to be given to the establishment of higher elementary schools, and, if so, on what basis?

(d) The effect of -
(i) merit grants:

(ii) should a larger amount of the Parliamentary grant be made to depend on attendance, and less on individual examination?

(e) The effect of paying for education according to results tested by annual examinations -

(i) on teachers:
(ii) on scholars:
(iii) on schools aided on fixed standards under every variety of circumstances and requirements:
(iv) on inspection:
(v) on the quality of the education.
(f) Total educational result -

How far does the present system tend to turn out the children -

(i) Well-principled and conscientious?
(ii) Generally intelligent?
(iii) Capable of earning their living?
B. For exceptional children:

(a) The effect of the system on the dull and in any way deficient:

(i) Is there any tendency to neglect the dull for the clever?
(ii) Is any special provision for such children possible? or desirable?
(b) The effect on the clever and gifted:
(i) Is there any tendency to neglect the clever for the dull?
(ii) Could exhibitions be provided for enabling the clever to proceed to more advanced schools?

5. Board schools:

(i) Comparison between board schools and other public elementary schools in reference to -

(a) Buildings and playgrounds:
(b) Apparatus and general equipment:
(c) Attendance:
(d) Staff:
(e) Results: General: In selected districts.
(ii) Are there any, and, if any, what, characteristic differences between the working and results of board schools and of other inspected elementary schools, arising out of the different conditions under which the two classes of schools respectively are managed and maintained?

(iii) Are there educational and other reasons in favour of -

(a) The universal establishment of school boards?
(b) The transfer to school boards of the administrative power and financial responsibilities of denominational managers, leaving to denominational managers the provision of religious instruction in all denominational schools?
(c) The limitation of the education given by the boards in board schools to secular subjects, and the opening of the schools before and after the hours of secular teaching to the clergy and other representatives of the churches for purposes of religious instruction?
6. Special schools and their difficulties:
(a) Rural schools:
(b) Half-time schools:
(c) Welsh schools:
(d) Workhouse schools.
7. Relations of ordinary elementary schools to other schools - (a) How far does the present system prepare for, or encroach upon -
(i) Technical education?
(ii) Advanced general education?
(b) Evening schools:
(i) Should different standards of proficiency be recognised for town and country?
(ii) To what extent should the curriculum of work be a repetition, or extension, of that done in the elementary school?
(iii) Is the number of nights excessive that a school must be open to obtain a grant?
(iv) Ought some attendance at evening school up to 14 years of age to be made obligatory on those who have left the day school?

[page xi]

8. The burden of the cost:

(a) On the central Government:

(i) Is the system of protecting the national purse by inspection, &c. sufficient?
(ii) Might it be made less stringent, and larger authority given to local bodies, e.g., the proposed county boards?
(iii) Ought the 17s 6d limit to be removed? (Act of 1876, sect. 19 (1)).
(b) On the rates:
(i) Would it be possible to throw more on the rates? or less?
(ii) To what extent would the proper division of cost to be borne by the State and by rates depend on the amount of control exercised by a local authority (say the county board), and on the resources for taxation (personal property, licence duties) conferred on the latter?
(c) On voluntary subscribers:
(i) Could their burden be put directly or indirectly on the rates, without involving control by the general body of ratepayers?
(ii) If putting the burden on the rates involves control by the ratepayers, is this an objection or the reverse?
(iii) What is the financial condition of voluntary schools?
(iv) Are many in struggling circumstances?
(v) Is it chiefly the small schools which feel the pressure?
(vi) In view of the disadvantages under which small schools labour in earning grants, should there be an extension of the present grants (provided in the Act of 1876, s. 19 (2),) in all cases where the average attendance does not exceed 60?
(d) On the parents:
(i) Is the burden on parents unreasonable?
(ii) Does it damage the efficiency of the school by causing irregularity of attendance or the like?
(iii) Would it be possible to put this burden anywhere else, without involving further control by those who bore it?
(iv) If the burden be removed from the parents, and control by those who become the bearers of that burden follows, will this be an advantage to education or the reverse? Should parents have a voice in the selection of the persons having the control, and, if so, in what way, and within what limits?
(v) If the fee is to be retained, should the county court be made easily available for the recovery of fees in arrears?
(vi) To what extent are the fees of indigent scholars -
    (a) remitted by school boards?
    (b) paid by guardians?
    (c) left unpaid?
(vii) What better machinery could be provided for the payment of fees of indigent scholars than that now adopted?
(viii) What has been the effect on attendance of -
    (a) fees remitted?
    (b) fees paid by guardians?
9. School libraries and museums:

Should grants in aid be made to meet local contributions for these objects?

10. School boards:

(a) Should the present system of election be maintained?
(b) Should members be elected for a longer period than three years?
(c) How could the expense of these elections be curtailed?
(d) Do the conditions of transfer of voluntary schools need alteration?
(e) Enlargement or diminution of rating area of school boards:
(f) Should facilities for dissolution of school boards be increased?
(g) Position of managers under school boards:
    Should they be given further legal recognition with definite duties and powers?
    Should they be especially elected by the ratepayers or continue to be nominated by the board?
(h) School attendance committee contracting with neighbouring district.

11. Grievances:

Most of the grievances would come before the Commission under the foregoing heads; but there would be some which must be treated separately, more or less.

(a) The teachers complain -

(i) that they have nothing to look forward to; neither pensions nor career, nor means of laying by money.
(ii) that there is no adequate appeal against capricious dismissal; and also as to the present mode of dealing with their appeals.
(b) Employers complain that the education unfits the children for manual labour, and gives them a distaste for it.

(c) Parents complain that they lose the services of their children to an unreasonable degree; and that the compulsion is too rigid.

(d) Managers complain of -

(i) the difficulty of raising the necessary money;
(ii) the perpetually increased requirements of the Department, both in money and in standard of the children's attainment;
(iii) the rigidity of the system prescribed by the Code;
(iv) the rating of schools;
(v) the absence of adequate means of appeal against faults of inspection and imperfect reports of inspectors;
(vi) the capricious removal of teachers.
Are any of these complaints well founded? and remediable?

12. Committee of Council on Education:

Is the present constitution of the Education Department satisfactory?




[page xii]

SYNOPSIS

PART I

THE EXISTING LAW

CHAPTER I

The Administration of the Education Grant, 1832 to 1858

Education societies.
First Treasury Grants.
First meeting of Committee of Council.
Normal schools.
Minute of September 24th, 1839.
Minute of December 3rd, 1839.
Her Majesty's inspectors of schools.
Factories Regulation Bill.
Training colleges erected.
Maintenance grants.
Pupil teachers.
Management clauses.
Management clauses opposed.
Building grants to 1846.
Numbers then in school.
Condition of schools.
Pensions to teachers.
Grants withheld from secular schools.
Capitation grants.
Description of an educated lad of 12 years old.
Aided schools described by Mr. Norris.
Vice President created.
Prince Consort's Conference.
Bad attendance.
Principle of minutes, 1846.
Original Code.
Grants from 1839 to 1860.
Summary of minutes of regulations
Government expenditure from 1839 to 1860
Appointment of Royal Commission.

CHAPTER II

The Duke of Newcastle's Commission of 1858, Codes from 1862 to 1870

Duke of Newcastle's Commission.
Complaints against existing education.
Report on facts.
Quality of education.
Estimate of Commission questioned.
Recommendations of the Commission.
Two grants prepared.
From the State.
From the county rate.
Conditions for obtaining these grants.
Conditions for grant from the State.
School to be under certificated teacher.
Pupil-teachers.
County examination.
Grant from the county rate.
Dependent upon examination.
Scholars under seven.
County board.
Board in corporate and large towns.
Borough board of education.
Periods of election.
Inspector on each board.
Examiners.
Payment by individual results.
Support from local rates.
Mr. Lowe's Revised Code.
Revised Code.
Tendency of the Code.
Grants to normal schools reduced.
Objections.
Principles of revised Code.
The basis of present system.
Decline in grant.
Statements on both sides as to the effect of the revised Code on the grant.
Experience of working the revised Code.
Its tendencies.
Reduction of pupil-teachers.
Conscience clause.
Mr. Corry's Minute, February 20th, 1867.
Bills preceding Mr. Forster's Act.

CHAPTER III

The Education Act, 1870 to 1880

Legislation of 1870.
Principles of Mr. Forster's Bill.
The State powerless.
Objects of the Bill.
Changes made in passing through Parliament.
School districts.
School provision made obligatory.
Suitability as defined by Instructions to Inspectors.
School boards.
Provisions of the Act of 1870.
No preference to either class of school.
Sources of school board income.
School fund.
Proposed rate support to voluntary schools out of the rates.
Commuted for increase of grant.
Transfers.
Cowper-Temple clause.
Her Majesty's Inspectors.
Powers of school boards.
Restrictions on Parliamentary grant.
Unnecessary schools.
Grants made wholly for secular instruction.
Limits of grant.
Power to fulfil conditions of annual grants.
Diocesan and other inspection.
Compulsion.


[page xiii]

CHAPTER III - The Education Act, 1870 to 1880 - cont.

Minutes part of the law.
Summary of Mr. Forster's Act.
Act of 1873.
Lord Sandon's Act, 1876.
Compulsion.
Exemption.
Local authorities.
Exceptions.
Payment of fees by guardians.
Wastrel clause.
Day industrial school.
Provisions as to day industrial school.
Honour certificates.
Increased grants.
Limits of grant.
Power extended of making byelaws.
Administrative powers of Department.
School Attendance Committees in default.
Officers of local authority.
Attendance committee not a rating authority.
Local committee.
Urban sanitary authority.
Payment of fees.
Fraudulent declarations.
Two members to prosecute.
Agent answerable for offence.
Payment of fees for paupers.
Dissolution of school boards.
Administrative provisions of Act of 1870 extended.
Mr. Mundella's Act of 1880.

CHAPTER IV

Codes and Instructions to Inspectors, 1870 to 1885

Origin of Codes.
Codes laid on the table.
Codes acquire statutory force.
Code of 1871.
Conditions of grant.
Codes 1872, 1873 1874.
Code of 1875.
Code of 1876.
Grant for discipline.
Pensions to teachers.
Code of 1877.
The Child's School Book.
Code of 1878.
Code of 1879.
Recognition of "unnecessary schools".
Code of 1882.
Calculation of the grant.
Qualification for examination.
Changes introduced by the Code of 1882.
Merit grant.
Instructions to inspectors, 1882.
Classification.
Payment on results.
Instructions to inspectors.
Moral training.
Method of conducting examinations.
Excellent merit grant.
Home lessons.
Exemption from examination.
Instructions circulated.



PART II

The Existing State of Facts

CHAPTER I

The Existing State of Facts

Returns.
Earlier statistics exclude schools unconnected with Government. Building grants.
Training colleges.
Cost of maintenance.
Building grants.
Progress.
Numbers.
Proportion of scholars to population.
Average attendance.
Results.
Progressive cost of education.
Charge on Government grants.
Charge on local resources.
Aggregate expenditure.
Teachers.
Merit grant.
Average size of schools.
Small schools.
Comparison voluntary and board school work.
Population under boards and school attendance committees.
Age of leaving school.
Population under byelaws.
Duration of school life.
Growth of voluntary schools from 1870 to 1885.
Average attendance at voluntary schools from 1869 to 1884.


[page xiv]

PART III

Machinery for carrying on Public Elementary Education

CHAPTER I

Supply of Schools

School supply.
Supply generally sufficient.
Excess accounted for.
Further explanations.
Basis of calculation.
Command Paper No. 3,062 of 1883.
One-sixth of the population to be accommodated.
Children between three and five.
Is provision for infants excessive?
How are requirements ascertained?
School boards primary judges.
Non-school board districts.
Prior right to supply accommodation.
The view endorsed in Parliament.
Can boards give up their prior rights?
Exception.
Mr. Forster's intention.
Grievance stated.
Dan-y-craig case.
Ultimate decision should not rest with local bodies.
Opinion of counsel.
Conclusion.
Remedy for grievances.
Effects of abolition of all restrictions.
Suitability of schools.
Transfers.
Conclusion.
Supply of original deficiency.
Supply of future deficiency.
Summary.
Who may use the supply?

CHAPTER II

Structural Suitability of the Present School Supply

Sufficient accommodation in the gross.
Quality of school accommodation.
Minimum area of accommodation.
Seat room.
Rules of the Department.
Sudden demand for more ample accommodation undesirable.
Cubical measurement.
Conclusion.
School fittings and furniture.
Playgrounds.

CHAPTER III

School Management

End for which school exists.
Two branches of management.
Qualifications for each branch of management.
Management of voluntary schools.
Management by individual persons.
Departmental scrutiny of school accounts.
Personal supervision of schools.
Who should manage voluntary schools.
Local managers under school boards.
Local managers under Liverpool School Board.
Management of Birmingham board schools.
Local managers often dispensed with.
Local managers desirable.
Difference between board and voluntary management.
General comparison.
Liverpool conference of managers.
Liverpool Council of Education.
Co-operation of voluntary schools.
Conclusion.

CHAPTER IV

H.M. Inspectors of Schools

Staff of inspectors.
Examiners.
Inspector as assistant secretary.
By whom appointed.
Qualification of inspectors.
Rules for appointment of inspectors.
Rules for appointment of examiners.
Qualifications of inspectors' assistants.
Admission of teachers to Inspectorate.
Should inspectors have practical experience of teaching?
Wide and liberal training required for inspectors.
Inspectors' duties.
Conclusion.
Past instructions to inspectors.
Examinations by specialists.
Specialists sometimes required as examiners.
Conclusion.
Female inspectors.
Inspectors' assistants.
Increased area of inspectors' districts.
More frequent change of district.
Uniform standard of examination.
Are the same tests applied to all classes of schools?
Visits without notice.
Conclusion.
Publication of reports of inspection.
Complaints against inspectors.
Examination by inspectors non-competitive.
Complaints about dictation.
Complaints to the Department.
Particular books not to be prescribed.
Examinations not to be unduly protracted.
Conclusion.


[page xv]

CHAPTER V

Teachers and Staff

Steps taken to create efficient teaching staff.
Teaching staff of 1886 compared with 1869.
Is the present supply of teachers sufficient?
Quality of present supply of teachers.
Attempts to improve the efficiency of teachers.
Untrained teachers.
Provisional certificate.
Salaries of teachers.
Fixed and variable salaries.
Restrictions on teachers.
Endorsement of certificates.
Pensions.
Conclusion.
Is the Code minimum of staff sufficient?
Present staff in excess of Code minimum.
Should the head teacher count on staff?
Conclusion.
Proper size of classes.
Special value of female teachers.
Pupil-teachers.
What is said against the pupil-teacher system.
What is said in its favour.
The instruction of pupil-teachers.
Conclusion.
Difficulty of finding pupil-teachers.
Sources from which pupil-teachers should be drawn.
The centre system in London.
Centre system at Birmingham.
Centre system at Liverpool.
Effects of the centre system.
Suggested improvements in the pupil-teacher system.
Conclusion.
Grant in aid of special training for pupil-teachers.

CHAPTER VI

Training Colleges

Statistics of training colleges.
Vacant places.
Inspectors of training colleges examined.
Testimony to good results.
Criticisms by inspectors.
Practice of students in neighbouring schools.
Other criticisms.
Complaints of restrictions in training.
Conscience clause proposed.
Reasons against imposing a conscience clause.
Conclusion.
Maintenance grants.
Conclusion.
Extension of training to third year.
A third year spent at a university.
Conclusion.
Greater facilities for training required.
Day training colleges.
Mr. MacCarthy's scheme.
Mr. Cumin's scheme.
Proposed terms of grant.
Comparison of cost with existing training colleges.
Advantages claimed for Mr. Cumin's scheme.
Relative merits of day and residential training.
Training colleges affiliated to the universities and local colleges.
Professor Bodington's scheme for training.
Utilising local university colleges.
Wales.
Conclusion.
Conditions to be fulfilled.
Day training colleges and home training.
Government and support of day training colleges.
Day students in residential colleges.
Terms of admission.
Advantages of day students.
Conclusion.

CHAPTER VII

Attendance and Compulsion

Increase of scholars on the roll.
Actual number of scholars on the roll.
Regularity of attendance.
Causes of regularity of attendance.
Compulsion.
Day industrial schools.
Truant schools.
Expedients for improving regularity.
The Selmeston plan.
Answers to Circulars A and D.
Prosecutions for irregular attendance.
Attendance officers.
Local committees.
Local authorities.
Feeling of parents.
Age of leaving school.
Remedies.
Mr. Oakeley's suggestion.
Replies to Circulars A and D.
Half-time exemption in rural districts.
Partial exemption in urban districts.
Circular, 16th March 1883.
Employment of children at theatres.
Summary of obstacles to attendance.
Replies to Circulars A and D.
Conclusion.


[page xvi]

PART IV

Education and Instruction given in Public Elementary schools

CHAPTER I

Religious and Moral Training

Altered relations of the State to religious instruction.
Private schools extinguished: children compelled to spend all school life in State-controlled schools.
Recital of terms of reference.
Commission unanimous as to importance of religious and moral training.
Witnesses in favour of religious education.
Opinion of the country generally takes the same view.
Voluntary schools.
School boards.
Testimony of witnesses before the Commission and of replies to Circulars.
Opinion of the Commission as to the object and principles of education.
Opinion of Commission that Christianity is the basis of morals.
Proceed to state evidence and to give conclusions arrived at by Commission.
Results of statistical inquiry on these matters.
Return A, voluntary schools.
Return A, board schools.
Return D, from schools indiscriminately, both voluntary and board.
Conclusion as to time of marking registers. It should be before, not after, religious observations and teaching.
What is the nature and value of religious instruction in public elementary schools?
I. Voluntary schools.
Religious instruction in the schools visited by diocesan inspectors.
Present religious instruction in voluntary schools effective and intelligent.
Inspectors of religious teaching in Roman Catholic schools.
Religious teaching in Wesleyan schools.
Religious instruction in board schools.
Meagre provision for religious instruction in not a few board schools.
Effect upon children of religious instruction in board schools.
Varying evidences of witnesses.
Conclusion as to the value of religious teaching in board schools.
Hope that all board schools will rise to high standard of many.
Need of inspectors in religious teaching in board schools.
Annual examination in subjects of religious instruction already adopted in Liverpool and elsewhere.
Facilities for days for religious inspection should be provided for board schools as now for voluntary schools.
Conscience clause.
State cannot be held to endow religious education under its present arrangements respecting religion.
Misconception as to object and scope of conscience clause in Mr. Forster's Act of 1870.
Its provision for securing rights of conscience were not intended to abolish religious influence.
Statistics showing the operation of the conscience clause throughout the country.
Is the conscience clause of Mr. Forster's Act loyally carried out by managers and teachers?
Conclusion that the conscience clause is carefully observed by managers and teachers.
Case of injury to conscience of parents, having only a secular school available, is not at present met.
Provisions of Lord Sandon's Act of 1876) providing stringent securities against breach of conscience clause.
Instructions of Education Department in 1878 to Her Majesty's Inspectors as to strict observance of conscience clause.
Evidence of those in favour of secular schools.
Their proposal to prohibit religious instruction.
Positive effects of negative provisions on this subject.
The contention of those in favour of secular schools is that religious teaching is an undue tax on the strength of the teachers.
Their contention that religious instruction should only be given by religious persons.
Their fear is that the Bible, having been used as a school book should lose in the estimation of scholars.
Positive arguments on the other side in favour of religious teaching being given by the teachers.
Views of parents of the country in favour of religious teaching in day schools.
Could children receive religious teaching elsewhere?
Parents unable to supply the void.
Two alternative proposals made by advocates of purely secular education in day schools:
1. That the children shall receive religious teaching in the school out of school hours at the hand of
volunteer teachers.
2. That the religious teaching should be remitted to Sunday schools and other voluntary agencies.
Would the children attend voluntary instruction in religious matters?
Where could voluntary teachers be found?
Could ministers of religion undertake the daily religious teaching of day schools?
Religious Education Society of Birmingham tried this scheme and failed.
As to the alternative, that religious teaching should be entirely remitted to Sunday school and other voluntary agencies, would the great mass of children be provided for by Sunday schools?
Two typical cases of large classes of population quoted:
1. Children of poor parents where there is no Sunday school.
2. Children of dissolute or criminal parents.
Conclusion that the mass of such children would receive no religious teaching and training if not in day schools.
General condition of public elementary schools as to moral training.
Misconstruction of Act of 1870 as to moral teaching.
It was not meant to place English schools in the same position as to moral training as the Paris schools.
Replies from typical counties and districts as to whether they were satisfied with the encouragement given by the State to moral training.
Her Majesty's inspectors have few opportunities of considering moral training in schools.
Many of Her Majesty's inspectors use visits without notice to inquire into moral tone.
Conclusion that much greater support should be given by State to moral training.
Recommendations respecting the fixed instructions respecting moral teaching.
Inspectors have not given attention to it in recent years which it requires.
Conclusion that, as first duty, inspectors should inquire and report thereon.
Action of other countries as to religious and moral training in schools.
Conclusions.


[page xvii]

CHAPTER II

Curriculum of Instruction

Scope of the inquiry.
Imperfect hold of knowledge gained.
Should standards be retained.
Advantages and disadvantages of standards.
Grouping of the standards.
Sample examination, and full grant for 75 per cent of passes.
Conclusion.
Reading.
Conclusion.
Writing and spelling.
Arithmetic.
Useless and unpractical arithmetic.
Conclusion.
Code syllabus.
Provision for alternative class subjects.
Text books.
Class subjects.
Conclusion.
Geography and history.
Geography.
History.
Specific subjects.
Drawing.
Conclusion.
Elementary science.
Conclusion.
Object lessons.
Technical instruction.
Needlework.
Cookery.
Music.
The Welsh language and the bi-lingual difficulty.
Physical training.
Limits of elementary education yet to be defined.
Essential subjects of instruction.

CHAPTER III

Manual and Technical Instruction

Definition.
Drawing and elementary science are proper parts of technical instruction.
Drawing in elementary schools, its history.
Useful for girls, but essential for boys.
Teaching of elementary science.
Present state of instruction in elementary science.
The present system turns out clerks rather than artisans.
Conclusion.
Science teaching.
Circulating science teachers.
Results of employing circulating science teachers.
In Liverpool.
At Birmingham.
In London.
Results.
Examination should be oral.
Signs of progress.
When manual instruction should begin.
Desire for some manual employment.
Opposing views on giving technical instruction.
School teachers.
Inspectors.
Chairmen of school boards.
Difficulties to be met.
Children between 7 and 10.
Rural schools.
Elementary scholars not sufficiently taught to take advantage of higher technical education.
The money difficulty.
Conclusion.
Further recommendations.
Advanced technical instruction.
Seventh Standard school at Birmingham.
Higher elementary schools in Manchester, Stafford, &c.
A danger pointed out.
Present efforts fragmentary and partial.
Voluntary effort to be encouraged, not supplanted.
What authority is to have control.
Committee or board of management.
Parliamentary grant.

CHAPTER IV

Various Classes of Elementary Schools

Voluntary and board schools.
Their relative efficiency.
Universal school boards.
The case of voluntary school managers.
Conclusion.
Small rural schools.
Small schools in rural parishes in Somerset.
Average attendance in these schools.
Special difficulties of these schools.
Conclusion.
Half-time schools.
Workhouse schools.
District schools.
Pauper children in public elementary schools.
Evening schools.
Causes of failure.
Modification proposed in the Code.
Moral effect of evening schools.
Compulsion in evening schools.
Should girls attend evening schools?
The annual examination of evening schools.
Who are to be the teachers?
Conclusion.
Certified efficient schools.


[page xviii]

CHAPTER V

Elementary Schools and Higher Education

Varieties in local circumstances.
Grouping of small schools.
Grading of schools.
Grading on the continent.
What the opponents say.
What the advocates say.
Higher elementary schools.
Higher elementary schools in Huddersfield.
In Sheffield.
In Bradford.
In Birmingham.
In Manchester.
The curriculum in higher elementary schools.
Voluntary higher grade schools.
Secondary schools and higher elementary schools.
Conclusion.
Exhibitions and scholarships to secondary schools.
Candidates ignorant of Latin.
Difficulty of the maintenance of the exhibitioners.
Official list of scholarships to higher schools.
St. Olave's Grammar School.
Manchester.
Leeds.
Bradford.
Birmingham.
Conclusion.



PART V

CHAPTER I

Government Examination

Visit of Her Majesty's inspector.
Effects on classification and teaching.
Conclusion.
Attendance qualification.
Conclusion.
Comparison of former and present method of examination.
Schools to be separately examined and inspected.
Methods of examination.
Individual and class examination.
Conclusion.
Exception schedules.
Over-pressure.
The teachers' evidence.
The managers' evidence.
The inspectors' opinion.
Over-pressure on teachers.
Conclusion.

CHAPTER II

Parliamentary Grant

Former system of distributing the grant.
The Code of 1862.
Payment by results.
What the teachers say.
Memorial of the National Union of Elementary Teachers.
The managers' view.
What the inspectors think.
Knowledge imparted soon lost.
Conclusion.
Present distribution of grant.
Proportion between fixed and variable grants.
Items of variable grant.
'I'he merit grant.
Conclusion.
The 17s 6d limit.
Complaints against it.
Proposed abolition of the 17s 6d limit.
Evidence on limits to grant.
Conclusion.
Special grants to small schools,
Economical limits.
Increased expenditure.
Limit of expenditure inexpedient.
Conclusion.
Infant schools.
Removal of teachers.
Grants towards circulating teachers.
Grants in aid of improvements.
Summary of recommendations.

CHAPTER III

Income and Expenditure of Schools

Growing costliness of elementary education.
The alleged causes of the increase in school expenditure.
The burden of the cost on the central government.
The burden of the cost on the rates.
The burden of the cost on voluntary subscribers.
Lord Lingen's plan.
Conclusion.
Voluntary schools to be assisted out of the rates.
Conclusion.
Prospective legislation.
The rating of schools.
Conclusion.
Burden of the cost on the parents.
Remission of school fees.
Payment of fees by the guardians.
Conclusion.
Should the Education Department fix the fees in particular cases?
Conclusion.
Total abolition of school fees.
What the advocates for the retention of fees say.
Mr. Cumin's opinion.
Conclusion.


[page xix]

PART VI

Local Educational Authorities

Two local educational authorities.
Election of school boards by cumulative vote.
Anomalies of cumulative vote.
Single transferable vote.
Conclusion.
Expense of candidature.
Interference in elections.
Time for which boards should be elected.
Conclusion.
Universal school boards.
School attendance committees.
Local committees.
Conclusion.
New areas for educational authorities.



PART VII

Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations








[page xx]

FIRST COMMISSION

VICTORIA, R.

Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith: To Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Sir Richard Assheton Cross, Knight Grand Cross of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath, one of Our Principal Secretaries of State; Our trusty and well-beloved the Most Reverend Cardinal Archbishop Henry Edward Manning, Doctor in Divinity; Our right trusty and right well-beloved Cousin and Councillor Dudley Francis Stuart, Earl of Harrowby, Keeper of Our Privy Seal; Our right trusty and right well-beloved Cousin and Councillor Frederick, Earl Beauchamp; the Right Reverend Father in God, Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Frederick, Bishop of London; Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Charles Bowyer, Baron Norton, Knight Commander of Our Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George; Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Anthony John Mundella; Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Sir Francis Richard Sandford, Knight Commander of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Under Secretary to Our Secretary for Scotland; Our trusty and well-beloved Sir John Lubbock, Baronet; Our trusty and well-beloved Sir Bernhard Samuelson, Baronet; Our trusty and well-beloved James Harrison Rigg, Doctor in Divinity; Our trusty and well-beloved Robert William Dale, Esquire, Doctor of Laws; Our trusty and well-beloved Robert Gregory, Clerk, Master of Arts, Canon of Our Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, in the city of London; Our trusty and well-beloved Benjamin Frederick Smith, Clerk, Master of Arts, Honorary Canon of Our Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Canterbury; Our trusty and well-beloved Thomas Daniel Cox Morse, Clerk; Our trusty and well-beloved Charles Henry Alderson, Esquire, Second Charity Commissioner for England and Wales; Our trusty and well-beloved John Gilbert Talbot, Esquire, Master of Arts, and Honorary Doctor of Civil Law of the University of Oxford; Our trusty and well-beloved Sydney Charles Buxton, Esquire; Our trusty and well-beloved Thomas Edmund Heller, Esquire; Our trusty and well-beloved Bernard Charles Molloy, Esquire; Our trusty and well-beloved Samuel Rathbone, Esquire; Our trusty and well-beloved Henry Richard, Esquire; and Our trusty and well-beloved George Shipton, Esquire, Greeting!

Whereas We have deemed it expedient that a Commission should forthwith issue to inquire into the working of the Elementary Education Acts, England and Wales:

Now know ye, that We, reposing great trust and confidence in your knowledge and ability, have authorized and appointed, and do by these presents authorize and appoint you the said Sir Richard Assheton Cross; Henry Edward Manning, Cardinal Archbishop; Dudley Francis Stuart, Earl of Harrowby; Frederick, Earl Beauchamp; Frederick, Bishop of London; Charles Bowyer, Baron Norton; Anthony John Mundella; Sir Francis Richard Sandford; Sir John Lubbock; Sir Bernhard Samuelson; James Harrison Rigg; Robert William Dale; Robert Gregory; Benjamin Frederick Smith; Thomas Daniel Cox Morse; Charles Henry Alderson; John Gilbert Talbot; Sydney Charles Buxton; Thomas Edmund Heller; Bernard Charles Molloy; Samuel Rathbone; Henry Richard; and George Shipton, to be Our Commissioners for the purpose aforesaid.


[page xxi]

And for the better effecting the purpose of this Our Commission, We do, by these presents, give and grant unto you, or any six or more of you, full power to call before you such persons as you shall judge likely to afford you any information upon the subject of this Our Commission; and also to call for, have access to, and examine all such books, documents, registers, and records as may afford you the fullest information on the subject; and to inquire of and concerning the premises by all other lawful ways and means whatsoever.

And We do further, by these presents, authorize and empower you, or any six or more of you, to visit and personally inspect such places in Our United Kingdom as you may deem expedient for the more effectual carrying out of the purpose foresaid.

And We do by these presents will and ordain that this Our Commission shall continue in full force and virtue, and that you. Our said Commissioners, or any six or more of you, may from time to time proceed in the execution thereof, and of every matter and thing therein contained, although the same be not continued from time to time by adjournment.

And We do further ordain that you, or any six or more of you, have liberty to report your proceedings under this Our Commission from time to time if you shall judge it expedient so to do.

And Our further will and pleasure is, that you do, with as little delay as possible, report to Us, under your hands and seals, or under the hands and seals of any six or more of you, your opinion upon the several matters herein submitted for your consideration.

Given at Our Court at Saint James's, the fifteenth day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six, in the forty-ninth year of Our Reign.

By Her Majesty's command,
RICHD. ASSHETON CROSS.




[page xxii]

SECOND COMMISSION

VICTORIA, R.

Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith:

To Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Sir Richard Assheton Cross, Knight Grand Cross of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath; Our trusty and well-beloved the Most Reverend Cardinal Archbishop, Henry Edward Manning, Doctor in Divinity; Our right trusty and right well-beloved Cousin and Councillor Dudley Francis Stuart, Earl of Harrowby; Our right trusty and right well-beloved Cousin and Councillor Frederick, Earl Beauchamp; the Right Reverend Father in God, Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Frederick, Bishop of London; Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Charles Bowyer, Baron Norton, Knight Commander of Our Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George; Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Sir Francis Richard Sandford, Knight Commander of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Under Secretary to Our Secretary for Scotland; Our trusty and well-beloved Edward Lyulph Stanley, Esquire, commonly called the Honourable Edward Lyulph Stanley; Our trusty and well-beloved Sir John Lubbock, Baronet; Our trusty and well-beloved Sir Bernhard Samuelson, Baronet; Our trusty and well-beloved James Harrison Rigg, Doctor in Divinity; Our trusty and well-beloved Robert William Dale, Doctor of Laws; Our trusty and well-beloved Robert Gregory, Clerk, Master of Arts, Canon of Our Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, in the city of London; Our trusty and well-beloved Benjamin Frederick Smith, Clerk, Master of Arts, Honorary Canon of Our Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Canterbury; Our trusty and well-beloved Thomas Daniel Cox Morse, Clerk; Our trusty and well- beloved Charles Henry Alderson, Esq., Second Charity Commissioner for England and "Wales; Our trusty and well-beloved John Gilbert Talbot, Esq., Master of Arts and Honorary Doctor of Civil Law of the University of Oxford; Our trusty and well-beloved Sydney Charles Buxton, Esq.; Our trusty and well-beloved Thomas Edmund Heller, Esq.; Our trusty and well-beloved Bernard Charles Molloy, Esq.; Our trusty and well-beloved Samuel Rathbone, Esq.; Our trusty and well-beloved Henry Richard, Esq.; and Our trusty and well-beloved George Shipton, Esq., Greeting!

Whereas We did, by Warrant under Our Royal Sign Manual, bearing date the fifteenth day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six, authorize and appoint certain noblemen and gentlemen therein named, or any six or more of them, to be Our Commissioners to inquire into the working of the Elementary Education Acts, England and Wales:

Now know ye, that We have revoked and determined, and do by these presents revoke and determine, the said Warrant, and every matter and thing therein, contained:

And whereas We have deemed it expedient that a new Commission should issue for the purpose specified in such Warrant of the fifteenth day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six.

Further know ye, that We, reposing great trust and confidence in your ability and discretion, have appointed, and do by these presents nominate, constitute, and appoint


[page xxiii]

you, the said Sir Richard Assheton Cross; Henry Edward Manning, Cardinal Archbishop; Dudley Francis Stuart, Earl of Harrowby; Frederick, Earl Beauchamp; Frederick Bishop of London; Charles Bowyer, Baron Norton; Sir Francis Richard Sandford Edward Lyulph Stanley, commonly called the Honourable Edward Lyulph Stanley; Sir John Lubbock; Sir Bernhard Samuelson; James Harrison Rigg; Robert William Dale; Robert Gregory; Benjamin Frederick Smith; Thomas Daniel Cox Morse: Charles Henry Alderson; John Gilbert Talbot; Sydney Charles Buxton; Thomas Edmund Heller; Bernard Charles Molloy; Samuel Rathbone; Henry Richard; and George Shipton, to be Our Commissioners to inquire into the working of the Elementary Education Acts, England and Wales.

And, for the better effecting the purpose of this Our Commission, We do by these presents give and grant unto you, or any six or more of you, full power to call before you such persons as you shall judge likely to afford you any information upon the subject of this Our Commission; and also to call for, have access to, and examine all such books, documents, registers, and records as may afford you the fullest information on the subject; and to inquire of and concerning the premises by all other lawful ways and means whatsoever.

And We do further by these presents authorize and empower you, or any six or more of you, to visit and personally inspect such places in Our United Kingdom as you may deem expedient for the more effectual carrying out of the purpose aforesaid.

And We do by these presents will and ordain that this Our Commission shall continue in full force and virtue, and that you. Our said Commissioners, or any six or more of you, may from time to time proceed in the execution thereof, and of every matter and thing therein contained, although the same be not continued from time to time by adjournment.

And We do further ordain that you, or any six or more of you, have liberty to report your proceedings under this Our Commission, from time to time, if you shall judge it expedient so to do.

And Our further will and pleasure is that you do, with as little delay as possible, report to Us, under your hands and seals, or under the hands and seals of any six or more of you, your opinion upon the matter herein submitted for your consideration.

Given at Our Court at Saint James's, the tenth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six, in the forty-ninth year of Our Reign.

By Her Majesty's command,
HUGH C. E. CHILDERS.




[page xxiv]

THIRD COMMISSION

VICTORIA, R.

Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith: To Our right trusty and right entirely beloved Cousin Henry, Duke of Norfolk, Knight of Our Most Noble Order of the Garter, Greeting!

Whereas We did by Warrant under Our Royal Sign Manual, bearing date the tenth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six, appoint Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Sir Richard Assheton Cross, Knight Grand Cross of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath, together with the several Noblemen and Gentlemen therein mentioned, or any six or more of them, to be Our Commissioners to inquire into the working of the Elementary Education Acts, England and Wales:

And Whereas one of Our Commissioners so appointed, namely, Our trusty and well-beloved Bernard Charles Molloy, Esquire, has humbly tendered unto Us his resignation of his appointment as one of Our said Commissioners:

Now know ye, that We, reposing great confidence in you, do by these presents appoint you, the said Henry, Duke of Norfolk, to be one of Our Commissioners for the purpose aforesaid in the room of the said Bernard Charles Molloy, resigned, in addition to and together with the other Commissioners whom We have already appointed.

Given at Our Court at Saint James's, the fifteenth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, m the fiftieth year of Our Reign.

By Her Majesty's command,
HENRY MATTHEWS.




[page 1]

ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE ELEMENTARY EDUCATION ACTS,
ENGLAND AND WALES

FINAL REPORT

INTRODUCTION


TO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY.

We the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the working of the Elementary Education Acts, England and Wales, humbly lay before Your Majesty the following Report.

On the 15th January 1886 we received Your Majesty's Commission, and on 20th January 1886 we held our first meeting. Since that date we have sat on 146 days, 95 of which have been devoted to hearing the oral evidence of 151 witnesses, and 51 to the consideration of the Report.

Shortly after the commencement of our sittings, the Right Hon. A. J. Mundella, finding that the official duties he had at that time to perform would not admit of his remaining upon the Commission, resigned his seat; as his substitute, Your Majesty appointed the Hon. E. Lyulph Stanley on 10th March 1886. At a later period Mr. Bernard C. Molloy, for reasons wholly unconnected with this Inquiry, withdrew from the Commission. His place was filled by the Duke of Norfolk, who was appointed a Commissioner on the 15th of June 1887.

At an early stage of our proceedings an exhaustive syllabus was prepared for our guidance, which included almost every branch of the subject into which we were to inquire, and has helped us materially to deal separately and in detail with many important matters.

The existing law and the existing state of facts being the first points to which we directed our attention, it was thought desirable to obtain from Your Majesty's Education Department a number of documents and returns which, in addition to the oral testimony we have received, have enabled us to place before Your Majesty a short account of the state of Elementary Education in England and Wales before and since the passing of those Acts.

Whilst we were receiving oral and documentary evidence certain of our number consented to serve on a sub-committee to superintend the statistical part of our Inquiry. The Sub-Committee was appointed on 14th April 1886, and consisted of the following members: The Earl of Harrowby (Chairman), Cardinal Manning, Sir Francis Sandford, Hon. E. Lyulph Stanley, Dr. Rigg, Canon Gregory, Dr. Morse, and Mr. Heller.

After considering the numerous applications received from persons desiring to give evidence before us, we determined to summon representatives of all public bodies who were in any way concerned with the administration and working of the Elementary Education Acts, and of all classes of persons whom these Acts most immediately affect, in addition to such other witnesses as, either from their special knowledge or from their experience, we thought likely to furnish valuable information. So far as was possible throughout a long and protracted inquiry, we endeavoured to group together the representatives of each class of witnesses; and without absolutely


[page 2]

declining to hear evidence on any subject connected with elementally education from those who have appeared before us, it has been our endeavour, generally, to confine each one of them to those points with which he is specially conversant. No representative witness, so far as we know, has been precluded from giving evidence before us.

Mr. Patrick Cumin, Secretary to Your Majesty's Education Department, was the first witness called, whom we heard at great length on the earlier heads of the syllabus, reserving the remainder of his examination for a later period of our Inquiry. We next examined several of Your Majesty's Chief Inspectors of schools; and these witnesses were followed by representatives of the leading educational societies. After hearing the evidence of the principals of Training Colleges we adjourned for the summer vacation in August 1886.

In the following November, when we resumed our Inquiry, 13 consecutive meetings were exclusively devoted to the evidence of Elementary Teachers. During this group of sittings, and subsequently, we have examined in all 20 head masters, nine head mistresses, as well as assistant teachers, and ex-teachers of public elementary schools. The remarkable solidarity which characterised the testimony offered by these teachers did not fail to strike us. In many instances, doubtless, they expressed the views of a large and influential organisation of their professional brethren, whose carefully formulated opinions had been at an early stage of our Inquiry placed in our hands.

The Management of Public Elementary Schools was the subject which next occupied our attention; nine managers of different kinds of schools appeared before us, and gave us the benefit of their long and varied experience.

After these, the representatives of School Boards were called. On behalf of the School Board for London, among others, the Chairman and the late Chairman of the School Board appeared. Witnesses were heard from the school boards of Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds, Hull, Bristol, and Erith.

Our next group of witnesses consisted of representatives of voluntary schools. These gentlemen were followed by an equal number of members of School Attendance Committees, who gave us information with regard to the enforcement of the compulsory clauses of the Act by those bodies.

The Welsh bi-lingual difficulty has received our attention; we have examined witnesses on this question.

Full evidence has also been tendered to us on the subject of the Religious Instruction given in public elementary schools, and Diocesan Inspectors have detailed, at length, the results of their experience. Six of the leading advocates of the policy of separating religious from secular instruction in day elementary schools, five of whom belong to different Nonconformist bodies, also appeared before us. The subjects of technical instruction, of science, of teaching cookery, of physical training, and of school banks have received our careful attention; and we have had evidence from persons specially acquainted with the carrying on of half-time schools, day industrial schools, workhouse schools, and evening schools. We have also examined witnesses with regard to the employment of children in theatres; we have received evidence as to the transfer of voluntary schools to school boards; and several schemes have been submitted to us for the better training of elementary teachers and for improving the instruction given to pupil teachers. Sir Patrick Keenan, resident Commissioner in Ireland, has given us an account of the administration of the educational system in that country; and information with respect to those in force in France and Australia has been furnished to us by independent witnesses. We have also had the advantage of hearing Lord Lingen, whose long connection with Your Majesty's Education Department, as Secretary previous to 1870, has rendered him a most important witness. Lord Lingen's evidence was followed by evidence from another group of Inspectors of schools; and the further examination of Mr. Cumin brought the oral testimony to a conclusion, enabling us to adjourn for the Summer vacation on 26th July 1887.

During the period in which we were engaged in hearing evidence, we conducted an important statistical inquiry on an extensive scale. Having come to the conclusion that the opinion of the Country, as a whole, on the working of the Education Acts ought to be ascertained, and that valuable documentary information might be obtained from managers and head teachers of public elementary schools, both voluntary and board, as well as from school boards, we obtained permission to employ a


[page 3]

staff for this purpose under the superintendence of a statistical officer. We accordingly issued Circulars in certain typical localities containing series of questions addressed to managers of voluntary schools, school boards, and teachers. A Circular was also addressed to the principals of all the existing training colleges.

The replies to these Circulars have been tabulated, and are published in a separate volume; many of these Tables, we trust, will prove of permanent interest. Valuable information regarding the systems of education in Foreign countries and in the Colonies, obtained through Your Majesty's diplomatic agents, and the Agents General for the Colonies respectively, is published in a further volume.

This our Final Report is divided into seven parts.

Part I consists of four chapters, which deal with the Existing Law.

Part II relates to the Existing State of Facts.

Part III, which is divided into seven chapters, treats of the Machinery for carrying on Elementary Education.

Part IV, containing five chapters, is confined to the Education and Instruction given in Public Elementary Schools.

Part V, which is divided into three chapters, deals with Government Examination, the Parliamentary Grant, and Income and Expenditure of Schools.

Part VI treats of Local Educational Authorities.

Part VII consists of a summary of our Leading Conclusions and Recommendations.

PART I

The Existing Law
Chapter I - The Administration of the Education Grant, 1832 to 1858.
Chapter II - The Duke of Newcastle's Commission of 1858. Codes from 1862 to 1870.
Chapter III - The Education Acts 1870 to 1880.
Chapter IV - The Codes and Instructions to Inspectors, 1870 to 1885.

CHAPTER I

THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE EDUCATION GRANT, 1832 to 1858

It is now above a quarter of a century since the first Education Commission appointed by Your Majesty concluded its inquiry, and presented its exhaustive Report. This Report was prefaced by an historical survey of the rise and progress of elementary education in England, sufficiently comprehensive to render it superfluous for us to traverse the same ground in detail. We deem it sufficient, therefore, before proceeding to a detailed account of the changes that have taken place since that period, to recall the leading facts in the history of public elementary education previous to 1858. The history of public elementary education in England is no exception to the law which seems to characterise the growth of many of our national institutions, in that it originated in the convictions and efforts of individuals or private bodies, and only


[page 4]

when it appeared to have outgrown the means or the powers of the original promoters did the State step in to gather up their work and to place it on the basis of a national institution.

Thus, at the beginning of the present century, an impulse was given to popular education by the formation of two great educational societies - the British and Foreign School Society in 1808, and the National Society in 1811, both supported entirely by voluntary contributions, the work of furthering elementary education in connexion with the Church of England having been undertaken previously to 1811 by a Sub-Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Public attention began henceforth to be more and more directed to the subject. In 1816 a Committee of the House of Commons, of which Mr. Brougham was Chairman, reported that "they had found reason to conclude that a very large number of poor children were wholly without the means of instruction". It was in one of the reports of this Committee for the first time publicly asserted that the education of the people was a matter in which the State had a vital concern.

Down to 1833, the new schools for the people which had been springing up throughout the country were established and supported entirely by voluntary contributions and school fees. In that year, being the year after the passing of the Reform Act, the Government undertook for the first time a share in the work, and made a grant towards it of £20,000, which was continued yearly down to 1839. This grant was applied by the Lords of the Treasury to the erection of school-houses. It was distributed on the recommendation of the two great educational societies, and given in aid of the voluntary contributions of the locality. The conditions are fully set forth in the Treasury Minute of 30th August 1833.*

In 1835 the subject of national education was brought by Lord Brougham before the House of Lords, and the defects of the existing provision having been already shown before various Commissions of Inquiry, the Government resolved to intervene directly in the matter. In 1839 the annual grant was increased from £20,000 to £30,000, and on the 10th April 1839 an Order in Council was issued appointing a Committee of Council to "superintend the application of any sums voted by Parliament for the purpose of promoting public education". In his letter to Lord Lansdowne, then Lord President of the Council, announcing Her Majesty's intention to form such a Committee, Lord John Russell stated that "while of late years the zeal for popular education had increased, yet much remained to be done". Among the chief existing defects were reckoned the insufficient number of qualified school-masters, the imperfect methods of teaching, the absence of any sufficient inspection and examination of schools, and the want of a model school. Lord John Russell further stated that among the first objects to which any grant might be applied would be the establishment of a Normal School for the training of Elementary Schoolmasters. These proposals of the Government were very fully and severely criticised in the House of Commons, and were carried only by a majority of two votes in an important division.

*Copy of Treasury Minute, dated 30th August 1833

My Lords read the Act of the last session by which a sum of £20,000 is granted to His Majesty, to be issued in aid of private subscriptions for the erection of schools for the education of the children of the poorer classes in Great Britain.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, feeling it absolutely necessary that certain fixed rules should be laid down by the Treasury for their guidance in this matter, so as to render this sum most generally useful for the purposes contemplated by the grant, submits the following arrangements for the consideration of the Board:-

1st. That no portion of this sum be applied to any purpose whatever except for the erection of new school-houses, and that in the definition of a schoolhouse the residence for masters or attendants be not included.

2nd. That no application be entertained unless a sum be raised by private contribution equal at least to one-half of the total estimated expenditure.

3rd. That the amount of private subscription be received, expended, and accounted for before any issue of public money for such school be directed.

4th. That no application be complied with unless upon the consideration of such a report either from the National School Society, or the British and Foreign School Society, as shall satisfy this Board that the case is one deserving of attention, and there is a reasonable expectation that the school may be permanently supported.

5th. That the applicants whose cases are favourably entertained be required to bind themselves to submit to any audit of their accounts which this Board may direct, as well as to such periodical reports respecting the state of their schools, and the number of scholars educated, as may be called for.

6th. That in considering all applications made to the Board a preference be given to such applications as come from large cities and towns in which the necessity of assisting in the erection of schools is most pressing, and that due inquiries should also be made before any such application be acceded to, whether there may not be charitable funds or public and private endowments, that might render any further grants inexpedient or unnecessary.

In these suggestions My Lords concur.


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The Committee of Council on Education met for the first time on the 3rd June 1839, and made, inter alia, the following report:

"The Committee are of opinion that the most useful application of any sums voted by Parliament would consist in the employment of those moneys in the establishment of a Normal School under the direction of the State, and not placed under the management of a voluntary society. The Committee, however, experience so much difficulty in reconciling conflicting views respecting the provisions which they are desirous to make in furtherance of your Majesty's wish that the children and teachers instructed in this school should be duly trained in the principles of the Christian religion, while the rights of conscience should be respected, that it is not in the power of the Committee to mature a plan for the accomplishment of this design without further consideration; and they therefore postpone taking any steps for this purpose until greater concurrence of opinion is found to prevail." They decided, however, to make no grants to Normal Schools or to any other schools unless the right of inspection were secured.

The history of the unsuccessful attempt to found a Normal School on a basis of religious comprehension is fully given by Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth, then Secretary of the Education Department, in his evidence before the Duke of Newcastle's Commission. The first controversies, he says, with respect to elementary education arose in connexion with the constitution of this proposed school. It was proposed that the religious instruction should be divided into general and special. The former was to consist of such general truths of Christianity as are common to all Christian communions in England; the latter was to include doctrinal teaching. In the words of Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, "A very great controversy arose as to the constitution of this Normal School, which was conceived to be an indication that the Government desired to establish common schools for the country, founded upon a basis of religious equality. The Church of England in particular entered a most emphatic protest against a general system of education founded upon such a basis. In consequence of these discussions, of the inadequacy of the majority in its favour in the House of Commons, and of the strong protest proceeding from a large section of the House of Peers, the Government withdrew the scheme of a Normal School."*

A Minute of the Committee of Council, dated 24th September 1839, lays down the leading principles on which they intended to act in carrying on their work. The following are specially deserving of notice: (1) The right of inspection was required in all cases; (2) Applications for grants were to be made through the inspectors, or though the National or the British and Foreign School Society; and, as a general rule, if the school were not in connexion with one of these societies, the Committee would not entertain the case. In the Instructions to Inspectors, issued in August 1840, the following important declarations are made: "In superintending the application of the Parliamentary grant for public education in Great Britain, their Lordships have in view the encouragement of local efforts for the improvement and extension of elementary education, whether made by voluntary associations or by private individuals. The employment of inspectors is intended to advance this object. ... It is of the utmost consequence you should bear in mind that this inspection is not intended as a means of exercising control, but of affording assistance. ... Their Lordships are strongly of opinion that no plan of education ought to be encouraged in which intellectual instruction is not subordinate to the regulation of the thoughts and habits of the children by the doctrines and precepts of revealed religion."† By a Minute of the 3rd December in the same year, grants in aid of the erection of school buildings were rendered accessible to schools not connected with the Established Church of England or with the British and Foreign School Society, in places where proof was given of a great deficiency of education in the locality.

From the first the schools in union with the two great educational societies were placed under a separate body of Inspectors, and each Inspector was appointed with the concurrence of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, or of the authorities of that Society whose schools he was appointed to visit. It was considered desirable that Inspectors should enjoy the confidence of the religious body with which the schools under their inspection were connected, so long as the State took cognizance of the religious as well as the secular instruction, an arrangement which was only terminated by the Education Act of 1870.

*Duke of Newcastle's Commission, Vol. 6, p. 301, Q. 2310.

†Minutes of the Committee of Council, 1839-40, pp. 22-4.


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Between 1839 and 1842, no new steps of importance were taken by the Committee of Council with the exception of some slight increase in the grant, and in the number of Inspectors. In 1842, an attempt was made by Sir James Graham, then Home Secretary, to add certain educational clauses to the Factories Regulation Bill. This was opposed by the Nonconformists, and the scheme was withdrawn in consequence of that opposition. Objection was taken to support being given out of the rates to schools in which the management was to be largely in the hands of the established church, and in which the teacher was required to give special instruction in its formularies, both in the day school and on Sunday. The experience gained by the events of 1839 and 1842 as to the attitude of the various denominations led the Committee of Council to rely henceforward for the growth and extension of national education chiefly upon the voluntary efforts of individuals, and the religious zeal of the country, assisted by contributions from the Government. In November 1843, the Committee announced that they were prepared to make grants towards the providing or enlarging of houses for school teachers, towards school furniture and apparatus, grants in aid of the cost of the erection of Normal Schools, and grants larger than elsewhere were made towards the provision of schools in poor and populous places.* For the next few years the work of the Committee mainly consisted in "steadily encouraging all voluntary effort, in making itself a central influence in order to guide and develop that effort, and in completing its own method of administration as its experience increased."‡

Between 1839 and 1847 many attempts were made in various parts of England and Wales to improve the methods of teaching and the general condition of elementary schools. Among efforts of this kind were the training institutions in connexion with the National Society, for masters at Westminster, and for mistresses in Smith's Square; the foundation of Battersea Training College, and subsequently of St. Mark's College, of the Cheltenham Church of England Training College, of the Chester Diocesan Training College, of Colleges for the training of schoolmistresses at Whitelands, Salisbury, and Warrington, and of Normal Schools in the Dioceses of York, Ripon, and Durham. This period witnessed the enlargement and improvement of the British and Foreign School Society's Normal School in the Borough Road; the erection of buildings for Normal Schools connected with the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh and Glasgow; and the establishment of similar institutions for the Free Church in both these cities; the introduction of a considerable number of Glasgow-trained Wesleyan schoolmasters to take charge of the day schools of the Wesleyan body; the foundation of the Training College at Homerton by the Congregational Board of Education,† of a Nonconformist training school for mistresses at Rotherhithe, and of another for Welsh teachers at Brecon, which was afterwards removed to Swansea. Somewhat later, a training college was established at Walworth by the Voluntary School Association. These training colleges were all founded either by societies or by individuals. The scheme of the Committee of Council for establishing a Normal School on the basis of religious comprehension having failed, Parliament soon afterwards began to make grants towards the cost of building training colleges of a denominational character. Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth stated in evidence before the Duke of Newcastle's Commission, that the constitution of the Battersea Training College was one of the fruits of experience, the result of which he defined to be a deeper appreciation of the exceeding strength of the religious principle of this country, which devoted so large a portion of charity to the school regarded as a part of the religious social organization and as a nursery for the church or the congregation. In answer to the question of Mr. Lake - whether he meant that the reason for changing from the form of religious comprehension, which he had originally suggested, to one of a denominational character, was that he found that a denominational character, so to speak, was more in accordance with the feeling of the religious people in England - Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth replied, "Certainly."§

The year 1846 marked an important epoch in the progress of the work of the Committee of Council. In that year, Lord Lansdowne being the Lord President, a portion of the annual Parliamentary grant in aid of elementary schools was for the first time applied directly to their maintenance. "The decision then

*Report of Committee of Council, 1842-3, pp. ii and iii.

†Homerton Training College dates from 1845.

‡See Four Periods of Public Education, page 507.

§Report of Duke of Newcastle's Commission, Vol. VI., page 306.


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arrived at", said Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth, "amounted to the abandonment of the idea of a common school, and to the adoption as, in the main, the only practicable mode of procedure, of the denominational system."* At the same time the Government while determining to co-operate with the advocates of this system, took an important step towards popularizing and laicizing the management of these schools by the enforcement, as a condition of assistance, of the new management clauses - a determination which led to a protracted controversy. By the Minutes of August and December 1846, grants were to be made in direct augmentation of the salaries of elementary teachers, the amount of which was regulated by their place in the certificate examination, and by the salaries they received from their managers; while the payment of these grants was made conditional on the annual report of the Inspectors as to the zeal and success of the teacher. Further allowances were also made to those teachers by whom apprentices were being trained. Power was taken to grant pensions to facilitate the retirement of superannuated certificated teachers, a system which was discontinued in 1862 (when these augmentation grants also ceased), and subsequently revived in the year 1875 to meet the cases of those teachers who were attracted into the profession by the promises formerly held out. These Minutes also laid the foundation of grants in aid of the maintenance of Normal Schools, and gave a new and powerful impulse to the work of establishing training colleges. The Wesleyan Training College, Westminster, where for many years both male and female students were trained, was opened in 1851. Hammersmith Roman Catholic Training College was opened in 1854, and the Liverpool Training College in 1856. A very large number of Diocesan Training Colleges of the Church of England were within a few years established.

At this time the system of apprenticing pupil-teachers was now first introduced, the idea having been borrowed from Holland. Its object was at once to reinforce at moderate cost the teaching staff of the school, and to provide for the future a continual supply of suitable candidates for training in Normal Schools. The pupil-teachers were apprenticed to the principal teachers, who were to receive special allowances for their instruction; their salary was to be paid by Government during the five years of their apprenticeship, while at the end of that time those who could successfully pass an entrance examination were to receive, under the title of a Queen's scholarship, the right to partake at the public cost of the benefits of training at any college willing to receive them. In addition, these Minutes offered certain subsidiary grants in aid of the cost of hiring field gardens, of erecting workshops in which handicrafts might be taught, and in providing school wash-houses or kitchens for the instruction of girls in domestic economy. A year later grants were offered in aid of the purchase of suitable school books, maps, and diagrams. Throughout these Minutes one principle seems to have been consistently maintained, viz., in distributing public money "to pay for the means of education rather than to attempt any method of payment which should be determined by results".†

In a Minute dated June 28th, 1847, the Committee of Council introduced certain "management clauses" for insertion in the trust deeds of Church of England schools. These clauses evoked an angry controversy extending over a period of three or more years. From 1833 to 1839 the whole responsibility of determining the constitution of Church schools had rested with the founders. In their Minutes for 1839-40 the Committee had published four specimens of trust deeds (with varying clauses) adapted to four different cases. These were at first merely suggested for adoption: in 1847, however, one or other of these clauses was required to be inserted in the trust deeds of all schools which received building grants. Their chief object was to secure for the lay subscribers to schools a due share in their management. The points to which exception was taken related mainly to the constitution of the Committee of Management, and to the appeal provided in case of disagreement among the school managers. At a later period, the constitution of Wesleyan, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and undenominational schools was similarly provided for by model trust deeds, and the insertion of one of these management clauses was made a condition obligatory on the receipt of building grants.

The course pursued by the Committee of Council met at first with much opposition. It was a new thing for the State directly to intervene in the extension of education. The controversies of this period turned ultimately upon the respective rights of the State and of the various religious bodies promoting education. The State desired to introduce new machinery of its own for the promotion of the instruc-

*Report of Duke of Newcastle's Commission, Evidence, Vol. VI., page 307.

†Evidence of Sir J. Kay-Shuttleworth, Vol. VI., page 308, Report of Duke of Newcastle's Commission.


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tion of the people, whereas certain religious denominations maintained their exclusive right to be recognised as instruments for this purpose. Education, it was said, was beyond the sphere of Government. Its claim to freedom from all interference on the part of the State was at this period strongly and extensively asserted. For several years after 1846, efforts of various kinds were made to dispense with assistance which involved the interference of the State. A large section of Nonconformists contended, as earnestly as the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, for the principle that education must be kept strictly under voluntary direction, and be free from State control. Some Non-conformists, as well as Churchmen, who resisted the control of the State, also declined its aid, and attempted to carry on their respective schools entirely on the voluntary system.

The total amount granted by Government in aid of the building of schools between 1833 and 1846, was £955,365. The average grants extending over the whole of the period were about £120 for each school. The number of school buildings erected in this period with aid from the Parliamentary grant was about 3,200, and it is estimated that probably 1,300 more were built without such aid.

In 1846 the number of scholars in schools in connexion with the National Society was estimated at 911,834.* At the same period in schools connected with the British and Foreign School Society, there were probably upwards of 200,000 scholars. In the following year the Roman Catholic Church was admitted for the first time into co-operation with the Committee of Council, and the "Catholic Poor School Committee" was then established to represent the Roman Catholics of Great Britain. In 1850, the Wesleyan body had 397 schools and 88,623 scholars.

Some schools, a few years after the Minutes of 1846 were adopted, reached a high standard of efficiency, having availed themselves to the fullest extent of the assistance offered by the Committee of Council. Generally, however, the condition of the schools, both in town and country, was much less satisfactory, and these schools formed by far the larger number. The total number of schools under inspection in 1858 was only 6,897, while there were 15,952 schools not under inspection. The failure to place schools under Government inspection was generally due to poverty of resources, to indifference, or to an aversion to accept State assistance. While some of the uninspected schools before 1850 were undoubtedly good, yet, from the reports of H.M. Inspectors, we gain a fair idea of the deplorable condition of many of them. At one time we read that "the school was held in a miserable room over the stable"; at another, "in a dark miserable den under the town hall"; at another, "in a ruinous hovel of the most squalid and miserable character". Many instances might be quoted of schools of a similar description in all parts of England and Wales. The quality of the instruction was what might be expected in such surroundings. In the village schools it frequently consisted of nothing more than a little practice in reading, writing, arithmetic, and some instruction in Holy Scripture and the rudiments of religious knowledge. Many of the teachers were themselves unable to read and write correctly. A large number of schools in villages and towns were kept, as a means of livelihood, by dames who were unable to impart any real instruction. On the other hand, examples are occasionally afforded of the education given in the better class of elementary schools then existing, which show that even at this early period a liberal curriculum existed in some cases where individual promoters of schools entered heartily into the work and gave personal superintendence to it.† But however great and successful were the sacrifices made in the course of these voluntary efforts in the cause of education, it became more and more evident that such efforts alone were unequal to the task of supplying the wants of the whole country. It was increasingly felt that to provide a complete system of education it was necessary that some force more steady, more enduring, and more universally present than that which already existed should be brought into play.

In August 1851, a new Minute was issued relating to grants for retiring pensions to teachers. Referring to the former Minute published on this subject in December 1846, the Committee resolved to define the extent of the charge on the Parliamentary grant thus created. It was determined to limit the amount to £6,500 in any one year. They called attention to the fact that the Minute of 1846 gave them power, but did not pledge them to grant such pensions.

Among the correspondence of the year 1853, an important letter is printed in the Report of the Committee of Council in which their Lordships, in answer to a

*Report of Committee of Council, 1846-7.

†C. C. Greville's Journal of the reign of Queen Victoria, 1837-52, Vol. II., page 86.


[page 9]

memorial addressed to them for aid to a secular school, replied "that education grants had not hitherto been applicable to schools exclusively secular, and that they believed that such a decision was in accordance with the views of the great majority of the promoters of education. Under these circumstances, they had no intention of rescinding the rule on which they had hitherto acted."*

Up to 1853, although money had been given in order to provide or augment the stipends of the teaching staff or to supply apparatus, no direct payments had been made out of the Parliamentary grant to the annual income of the schools. But in this year, when Earl Granville was Lord President, it was provided by a Minute of the Council, dated 2nd April 1853, that on condition of a fixed number of attendances being made by a child in a school in an agricultural district or unincorporated town (not containing more than 5,000 inhabitants), a capitation grant should be paid to the school funds on its behalf. This grant was intended to be in lieu of aid which a Bill entitled the Borough Bill, introduced during the same year by Lord John Russell but not accepted by Parliament, had proposed to grant to schools in corporate towns out of the local rates. Shortly afterwards the limitation of the capitation grant to schools in agricultural districts and in unincorporated towns was removed, and that form of grant became universally an integral part of the Government system, incidentally serving as a premium on regularity of attendance.

The Rev. F. C. Cook, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors, describing in 1854 what boys of twelve learn in a good school, reports that:

"A boy, of fair average attainments, at the age of twelve years, in a good school, has learned -

1. To read fluently, and with intelligence, not merely the school-books, but any work of general information likely to come in his way.

2. To write very neatly and correctly from dictation and from memory, and to express himself in tolerably correct language. The latter attainment, however, is comparatively rare, and has been one which I have specially and repeatedly urged upon the attention of school-managers.

3. To work all elementary rules of arithmetic with accuracy and rapidity. The arithmetical instruction in good schools includes decimal and vulgar fractions, duo-decimals, interest, &c. Much time and attention are given to this subject, but not more than are absolutely required. Indeed, when I have been consulted upon alterations of the time-tables. I have invariably recommended a larger proportion of time for this subject.

4. To parse sentences, and to explain their construction. But the progress in English grammar is not satisfactory, and, though much time is given to the subject, it is not taught with sufficient energy and skill in a large proportion of schools which in other respects are efficiently conducted.

5. To know the elements of English history. A good elementary work on this subject is still a desideratum; but the boys are generally acquainted with the most important facts, and show much interest in the subject.

6. In geography the progress is generally satisfactory. In fact, most persons who attend the examinations of good schools are surprised at the amount and the accuracy of the knowledge of physical and political geography, of manners, customs, &c., displayed by intelligent children of both sexes. Well-drawn maps, often executed at leisure hours by the pupils, are commonly exhibited on these occasions.

7. The elements of physical science, the laws of natural philosophy, and the most striking phenomena of natural history, form subjects of useful and very attractive lectures in many good schools. These subjects have been introduced within the last few years with great advantage to the pupils.

8. The principles of political economy, with especial reference to questions which touch on the employment and remuneration of labour, principles of taxation, uses of capital, &c., effects of strikes on wages, &c. are taught with great clearness and admirable adaptation to the wants and capacities of the children of artizans, in the reading-books generally used in the metropolitan schools. I have found the boys well acquainted with these lessons in most schools which I have inspected in the course of this year.

9. Drawing is taught with great care and skill in several schools by professors employed under the Department of Science and Art.

That any addition can be advantageously made to this list I do not believe, considering the age of the children; nor am I of opinion that any of these subjects could

*Report of Duke of Newcastle's Commission, page 206.


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be omitted without practical detriment to the schools."* This amount of instruction however must have been rare, to judge from the reports of the Committee of Council and of the Duke of Newcastle's Commission.

The following description drawn from the Report in the year 1850 of the Rev. J. P. Norris, Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, now Archdeacon of Bristol, who appeared before us as a witness, more nearly represents the condition of the ordinary school at that time.

"If I were asked to describe generally what the annual grant schools of Cheshire and Staffordshire were accomplishing in the way of education, I should say that schools of this sort were now within reach of about one-half of the population, and that they were giving a very fair elementary education to one-fourth part of the children who passed through them, or, more briefly, that we had reached one-half, and were successfully educating one in eight of the class of children for which the schools were intended."‡

No new principle was introduced by the Committee of Council into the distribution of the grant during the next few years, nor, indeed, were any important changes made in its administration until the passing of the Revised Code in 1862.

In 1856 the office of Vice-President of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education was established, whereby was created an office filled by a Minister responsible to the House of Commons for the expenditure of the grant, which was increasing rapidly from year to year.

An important influence was exercised on the progress of elementary education in England by a conference which was held in London in 1857, presided over by His Royal Highness the late Prince Consort, to consider the question of imperfect attendance of children at school, and the early age at which they were removed. In his opening address the Prince stated that, although great results had been achieved, they were only an instalment of what remained to be done. It appeared that out of the two millions of children in attendance at school -

42 per cent attended less than one year.
22 per cent attended one year and less than two.
15 per cent attended two years and less than three.
9 per cent attended three years and less than four.
5 per cent attended four years and less than five.
4 per cent attended five years and less than six.
A few years before this Conference took place, Mr. Horace Mann, in his report on the Educational Census of 1851, had come to the following conclusion: "that work and wages are not the chief causes of absence from school. The condition of many of the free schools, where no payment is demanded of the scholars, seems to show that poverty is not an adequate explanation of the children's absence. In many free schools, though located in the midst of populous neighbourhoods, the attendance of scholars is less numerous and much less constant than in schools which require a fee." The Committee of the Conference of 1857 recorded their opinion that the main defect in the existing state of popular education in this country was not so much the lack of schools as the bad attendance of the children of the working classes, many never coming at all and others being removed when nine or ten years old.

From the foregoing sketch of the work of the Committee of Council from 1839 to 1858 it will be seen that the Government system of aid to education grew up piecemeal; that it was tentative and provisional, and mainly of a denominational character. According to the opinion of Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth, "the intention of the minutes of 1846 was to give an impulse to the growth and improvement of the system founded by the religious communions"; and the grants made under the conditions set forth in them, "drew every religious communion, except the Congregational dissenters and bodies allied with them, into co-operation with the Government, and created a vast denominational system which firmly established popular education on a religious basis."§ The management clauses of 1846, by the infusion of a lay element into the direction of elementary schools, also helped to strengthen the denominational system.

The rules which regulated the proceedings of the Committee of Council on Education had been embodied in Minutes passed in successive years during the period referred

*Report of Committee of Council, 1853-54, page 45.

†Minutes, 1854-55, p. 393; Report of Committee of Council, 1854-55, page 237. [The reference to this footnote is missing from the text.]

‡Minutes, 1859-60, p. 111.

§Memorandum on Public Education. 1866, by Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth, page 8.


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to. In April 1855, however, an abstract of all former Minutes of Council was moved for by Mr. Adderley, now Lord Norton, and published as a Parliamentary Paper. Subsequently, in 1860, Mr. Lowe, now Lord Sherbrook, put forth the same matter arranged in chapters according to subjects, which acquired the title of "The Original Code", and which has served as a framework on which all succeeding codes have been constructed. The first of these, in 1862, was the well-known "Revised Code".

The following table, a summary and analysis of which will be found below, shows the amount of money annually voted by Parliament from 1839 to 1860, 1839 to 1860, inclusive:

YearGrant
£
YearGrant
£
183930,0001850125,000
184030,0001851150,000
184140,0001852160,000
184240,0001853260,000
184350,0001854263,000
184440,0001855396,921
184575,0001856451,213
1846100,0001857541,233
1847100,0001858663,435
1848125,0001859836,920
1849125,0001860798,167

It may be convenient to present a summary of the system of State-aided education at the point which it had reached in 1858. The minutes and regulations of the Committee of Council may be classed under two general heads: first, those which prescribe the conditions on which grants would be made, and secondly, those which define and regulate the various objects which would be assisted.

It was provided, as it has been already stated, first, that the right of inspection should in all cases be secured to the Committee, and that in Church of England schools the names of inspectors should be approved by the Archbishops of Canterbury or York, similar arrangements being made with other religious bodies; and secondly, that the site of every school to which a building grant was made should be conveyed by a sufficient deed for the purposes of education.

The various objects which were to be assisted by grants are included in the following enumeration; they were to be made:

For building, enlarging, improving, and furnishing elementary schools.
For providing books, maps, and diagrams.
For providing scientific apparatus.
For paying the stipends of pupil teachers, and gratuities for their special instruction.
For augmenting the salaries of certificated schoolmasters and schoolmistresses.
For paying the stipends of assistant teachers.
For capitation grants.
For grants for industrial departments, and for evening classes forming part of, or being under the same management as common day schools; also for instruction in drawing.
For building and maintaining normal or training colleges for persons intending to become masters or mistresses in schools for the poor.
For pensions for teachers incapacitated by age or infirmity.
For grants for certified industrial and ragged schools.
For school libraries.
Nothing more clearly conveys to the mind the extent of the operations of the Committee of Council in the distribution of the Education Grant during the period now under review, and the great cost to the State at which the system had been built up, than the following table showing the total amount of the grants for various purposes which had been made from 1839 to 1860. as they are set forth in the report of the Duke of Newcastle's Commission.


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The grants made in aid of the educational objects specified in the foregoing table had been more or less proportioned to the amount of local effort, in other words, help was given to those who could help themselves. Accordingly, assistance was obtained by the most prosperous schools, but the dense ignorance in the lowest parts of large cities and in the outlying country districts was left almost untouched. Sir John Pakington, in moving the appointment of a Commission to inquire into the actual state of popular education in the country, stated on February 11, 1858, that, after the evidence which he quoted, he had a right to assume, first, that there were large masses of our population in a deplorable state of ignorance, and secondly, that there were considerable portions of this country, both in the rural districts and in the towns, where there were either no schools at all, or where the schools were so inefficient as not to be adequate to the purpose for which they were intended; and he proposed that an inquiry should be made whether the system then in force was or was not sufficient for its object. The Vice-President of the Committee of Council, Mr. Cowper, in opposing the motion in this form, said, "the present system might have many defects, but it had sprung out of the habits of the English people. In some respects it might be inferior to the continental systems, but he believed that it was as fitted to the English people as the German system to Germans. The demand for children's labour was so enduring and so urgent that he despaired of seeing any measure adopted by which the children of the working classes might be induced to remain at school as long as was necessary for their education. ... Schools must be adapted to the circumstances of those for whom they were intended." But the motion was carried, and the Royal Commission, over which the Duke of Newcastle presided, was appointed on June 30th 1858 "to inquire into the state of popular education in England, and to consider and report what measures, if any, were required for the extension of sound and cheap elementary instruction to all classes of the people."*

*Report of the Duke of Newcastle's Commission, Vol. 1, p. 570.


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CHAPTER II

THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE'S COMMISSION OF 1858

CODES FROM 1862 TO 1870

The Commission on Education, which has since been popularly connected with the name of its chairman, the Duke of Newcastle, consisted of the following members: Sir John T. Coleridge, formerly Justice of the Queen's Bench; the Rev. W. C. Lake, at present Dean of Durham; Rev. W. Rogers; Mr. Goldwin Smith, at that time tutor of University College, Oxford, and Secretary to the Oxford University Commission; Mr. Nassau Senior; and Mr. Edward Miall.

Their first duty was to inquire into the complaints made against the existing system. The most prominent of these were - that the cost of education was excessive and still increasing, that it failed to penetrate the rural districts, and that the instruction given even at the best schools was of an imperfect character. The system had confessedly accomplished great and beneficial results. Was it to be regarded simply as tentative and provisional, or did it admit of being developed into one which should be definite and final, and which should become the basis of a permanent and national system?

After three years of assiduous labour, the Duke of Newcastle's Commissioners presented their report in March 1861.

They reported that -

1. One in every eight of the population was at some time in some school or other.
2. Of the estimated number of 2½ millions who ought to be at school, only 1,675,000 were in public schools of any sort.
3. Of the pupils in public schools only one half were in schools receiving any grant, or under any sort of inspection.
4. The attendance in inspected schools was estimated at only 74.35 per cent of the scholars on the books.
5. The number of assisted schools amounted to 6,897, containing 917,255 scholars; while 15,750 denominational schools, and about 317 others, containing together 691,393 scholars, were outside the range of the operations of the Department.
6. Of the pupils in inspected schools not more than one fourth of the children were receiving a good education; the instruction given being too much adapted to the elder scholars, to the neglect of the younger ones.
Such, however, being in the view of the Commission of 1858 the facts of the case regarding the number receiving elementary education, they proceeded further to form an estimate of its quality and efficiency. They reported -
1. That they had strong testimony to the marked superiority of inspected over uninspected schools, and to the stimulus which inspection supplies, subject to the remark that inspections often lead the teachers to dwell on matters of memory rather than of reasoning, and rather on details than on general principles, or on general results; and also subject to a further remark as to the inconvenience of differences in the standards adopted by different inspectors; and also that while inspection quickens the intellectual activity, and raises the condition of the whole school, the inspectors are tempted to attend to the state of the upper more than of the junior classes, and to estimate the whole school accordingly.

2. That, even in the best schools, only about one-fourth of the scholars attained the highest class, and were considered by the inspector to be "successfully educated".

3. That there was a tendency in teachers to neglect both the more elementary subjects and the younger scholars, and that these last appeared to be capable of receiving a far better teaching in reading, writing, and arithmetic than had hitherto been given to them.

4. That the religious and moral influence of the public schools appeared to be very great - to be even greater than their intellectual influence; that in the opinion of the Commission a set of good schools civilizes the whole neighbourhood, and that this - the most important function of the school - was that which they best performed.


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5. That in point of literary instruction it would be a mistake to suppose that the existing system had failed because it had hitherto successfully educated too small a proportion of the scholars. It had succeeded in establishing a good type of education. In good schools the senior classes had turned out scholars really well taught. What was still required was to extend this type of education to a larger body of inferior schools and inferior scholars.*
It is by no means universally admitted that the proportion of scholars brought under the influence of effective education was rightly estimated by the Commission of 1858. Mr. Cumin stated in evidence before us that he thought the Commission had overstated the numbers under education. Mr. Stewart, Mr. Sharpe, and Mr. Matthew Arnold, all of whom were actively employed at the time as Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, concurred, on the other hand, in stating that they could not accept the conclusion of the Commission, that even in good schools not more than one-fourth of the scholars were successfully educated. "This assertion", Mr. Matthew Arnold said, "was made without sufficient proof, and in many cases it would turn out not to be true."

After stating the conclusions at which they had arrived as to the extent and quality of existing elementary education in England and Wales, the Commissioners proceeded to give in detail the "plan" which they recommended for extensive alterations and additions to the then existing system, and in their concluding remarks on this head they stated, that in proposing to enable the Council Office to extend its operations over the whole country, they wished to preserve the leading features of the existing system, and that they especially adhered to the principles to which it was, in their opinion, indebted for no small part of its success, viz.:

(a) Non-interference in the religious training which is given by different denominations of Christians:
(b) Absence of all central control over the direct management of schools; adding, that it might become the duty of the Council to make provision for insuring to the children of the poor the benefit of education, "without exposing their parents to a violation of their religious convictions".
They recommended that all grants from the Parliamentary Fund should be paid directly to the managers, and not as before, in part to the teachers and pupil teachers, and that these should look henceforth exclusively to the managers for their remuneration; and they further presented a general plan for modifying and extending the existing system of grants in aid of elementary schools. Its general principles were described as follows:
1. That all assistance given to the annual maintenance of schools shall be simplified and reduced to grants of two kinds.

The first of these grants shall be paid out of the general taxation of the country, in consideration of the fulfilment of certain conditions by the managers of the schools. Compliance with these conditions is to be ascertained by the Inspectors.

The second shall be paid out of the county rates, in consideration of the attainment of a certain degree of knowledge by the children in the school during the year preceding the payment. The existence of this degree of knowledge shall be ascertained by examiners appointed by county and borough boards of education herein-after described.

2. That no school shall be entitled to these grants which shall not fulfil the following general conditions.

The school shall have been registered at the office of the Privy Council, on the report of the Inspector, as an elementary school for the education of the poor.

The school shall be certified by the Inspector to be healthy and properly drained and ventilated, and supplied with offices; and the principal school-room shall contain at least 8 square feet of superficial area for each child in average daily attendance.

3. That there shall be paid upon the average daily attendance of the children during the year preceding the inspector's visit as the Committee of Council shall fix from time to time, the sum specified in Part I, Chapter 6, for each child, according to the opinion formed by the inspectors of the discipline, efficiency, and general character of the school.

*Duke of Newcastle's Commission Report, p. 273.


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4. That there shall also be paid an additional grant of 2s 6d a child on so many of the average number of children in attendance throughout the year as have been under the instruction of properly qualified pupil teachers, or assistant teachers, allowing 30 children for each pupil teacher, or 60 for each assistant teacher.

5. That every school which applies for aid out of the county rate shall be examined by a county examiner within 12 months after the application, in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and that any one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools under whose inspection the school will fall, shall be entitled to be present at the examination.

6. That, subject to recommendation 7, the managers of all schools fulfilling the conditions specified in Rule 3, shall be entitled to be paid out of the county rate a sum varying from 22s 6d to 21s for every child who has attended the school during 140 days in the year preceding the day of examination, and who passes an examination before the examiner in reading, writing, arithmetic, and who, if a girl, also passes an examination in plain work. That scholars under seven years of age shall not be examined, but the amount of the grant shall be determined by the average number of children in daily attendance, 20s being paid on account of each child.

7. That the combined grants from the central fund and the county board shall never exceed the fees and subscriptions, or 15s per child on the average attendance.

8. That in every county or division of a county having a separate county rate there shall be a county board of education appointed in the following manner: The court of quarter sessions shall elect any number of members not exceeding six, being in the commission of the peace, or being chairmen or vice-chairmen of boards of guardians; and the members so elected shall elect any other persons not exceeding six. The number of ministers of religion on any county board of education shall not exceed one-third of the whole number.

9. That in corporate towns, which at the census last preceding contained more than 40,000 inhabitants, the town council may appoint a borough board of education, to consist of any number of persons not exceeding six, of which not more than two shall be ministers of religion. This board shall within the limits of the borough have the powers of a county board of education.

10. That where there is a borough board of education the grant which would have been paid out of the county rate shall be paid out of the borough rate, or other municipal funds.

11. That the election of county and borough boards of education shall be for three years, but at the end of each year one-third of the board shall retire, but be capable of re-election. At the end of the first and second years, the members to retire shall be determined by lot. The court of quarter sessions, at the next succeeding quarter sessions after the vacancies made in the county board, shall fill up the places, but so as always to preserve as near as may be the proportion between the number chosen from the commission of the peace, and from the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the boards of guardians and the other members. The vacancy in the borough boards of education shall be filled up by the town council, at a meeting to be held one calendar month from the day of the vacancies made.

12. That an inspector of schools to be appointed by the committee of council, shall be a member of each county and borough board.

13. That the boards of education shall appoint examiners, being certificated masters of at least seven years standing, and receive communications and decide upon complaints as to their proceedings.

With a view to make the teaching in schools more effective and more evenly distributed among the scholars, the Commission recommended what has since been known as "payment by results". "There is only one way", the Commission reports, "of securing this result, which is to institute a searching examination by competent authority of every child in every school to which grants are to be paid, with a view to ascertaining whether these indispensable elements of knowledge are thoroughly acquired, and to make the prospects and position of the teacher dependent, to a considerable extent, on the results of this examination."*

Of these recommendations, that one which proposed that education should be supported partly by means of a local rate bore no immediate fruit. The other main suggestions,

*Duke of Newcastle Commissioners' Report, page 157.


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viz., that the Parliamentary grant should be paid directly to the managers, who should arrange all questions of stipend with their teachers, and that this grant should be made to depend largely on the record of individual examination of the scholars, formed the backbone of Mr. Lowe's Revised Code.

In moving the annual Education Gi-ant on the 10th July 1861, Mr. Lowe, the Vice-President of the Committee of Council, referred to the Report of the Commissioners, and said that they had brought charges against the existing system. In the first place, they had denounced it on the score of expense; the second charge they had made was that the instruction given was of too ambitious and superficial a character; thirdly, they had contended that it was too complicated. They had recommended that grants should be given to all schools in which the pupils had attained a certain standard in examination, and that it should not be restricted to those schools which employed certificated teachers. The Government, he said, would do their best to provide a remedy for the evils before complained of, both as regarded greater economy and more efficient administration. In less than three weeks afterwards a minute was issued, dated 29th July 1861, abolishing unconditionally all the former minutes and regulations of the Committee of Council, adopting some of the recommendations of the Commissioners, and putting forth the new Code which some of its details from the Code of the previous year. This code underwent protracted discussion, and its provisions were in the end considerably modified. When it first appeared in the summer of 1861, a vigorous opposition was raised throughout the country against many of its conditions. This agitation was not without some effect. An extension of time was granted before the Revised Code was brought into operation, and in this interval it was submitted to and discussed by Parliament.

The Revised Code (as submitted to Parliament by Mr. Lowe in 1861) was an attempt to deal with the following representations made by the Duke of Newcastle's Commission, viz.:

1. That the appropriation of the Grant to individual members of the school staff involved ever-increasing administrative difficulties, which threatened to break down the whole system.
2. That the educational results were incommensurate with the expenditure of the Government.
3. That the distribution of the Grant had hitherto been limited in its range, reaching comparatively but few schools.
To remedy these defects the Revised Code proposed -
1. To abolish all Government payments to individual teachers; to mass all payments to a school into a single Capitation Grant, leaving the managers to make their own bargain with the members of their staff.
2. To base the amount of the Grant on the number of passes in rudimentary subjects made by children under 12 years of age as the result of individual examination.
3. To open the Grants to schools taught by teachers of a lower order of attainments.
Accordingly the Revised Code enacted that -
(a) Payments to teachers holding certificates of competency should cease.
(b) That managers should engage and pay their own pupil teachers, a fine of £10 being levied for each one short of the regulation number, which was to be less in proportion to scholars than before.
Payment for results was to be calculated on the following scale, viz.:
(a) A penny for every attendance after the first 100 attendances, with
(b) A deduction of one-third for every failure to pass in each of the three subjects of a standard, regulated according to the age of a child.*
(c) A deduction ranging from one-tenth to one-half for imperfect teaching, discipline, and school appointments.
With a view to extend the operations of the Grant to a wider field -
(a) The Revised Code instituted a lower class of certificates than those previously existing.
(b) It allowed, as before, the examination for certificates of untrained acting teachers well reported of by the inspector.
(c) It licensed ex-pupil teachers for seven years service in charge of schools of less than 100 in average attendance, abolishing the bonus of £10 which had been offered by the Minute of July 26, 1858, to certificated teachers to take charge of this class of schools on leaving the training college.
*The action of this age requirement was, however, from time to time suspended, and was ultimately abolished in 1882.


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(d) It enabled certificated teachers to have their certificates raised every five years according to reports made on their schools.
(e) It permitted day school teachers to teach in evening schools and to give the stipulated instruction to their pupil teachers during those hours.
The tendency of these provisions, it was contended at the time, was to lower the qualification of the teacher, to diminish the size of the staff, to reduce the importance of teaching any subjects beyond the mere rudiments, to restrict the total amount of the Grant, and to take away the inducement to keep children at school after 11 years of age. On the other side, it was contended that under this Code every child would receive the educational attention to which it was entitled, that public money would be paid for educational results alone, that the managers and not the State would in future be responsible for the teachers, and that a door was opened for a humbler class of schools to connect themselves with the Government system, and to receive public grants.

At the same time Normal schools under the new regulations suffered considerable loss. No grants were in future to be made for building and improving the premises of training colleges. Annual grants were to be made to them only under the following heads -

(a) Certificated Assistant Teachers.
(b) Lecturers.
(c) Queen's scholarships.
(d) Allowances to students at the end of each two years of residence.
(e) The same grants to the departments of their practising schools as to any other elementary school fulfilling the conditions of the Parliamentary grant.
It could hardly be expected that such sweeping changes could be effected without encountering strong opposition. Teachers maintained that there was a moral obligation on the Government to continue the money payment conditionally due on their certificates. Managers urged that by paying grants only for reading, writing, and arithmetic, the Code could not but be directly or indirectly injurious to religious instruction and to the progress of popular education; that "payment by results" was a delusive test when applied to moral and intellectual labour; that the most valuable results of this kind were, from their very nature, incapable of being thus tested, while the examination by age was still more strongly objected to. There were others, however, who expressed themselves in favour of the measure. Among these was the Rev. James Fraser, one of the sub-commissioners and Lord subsequently Bishop of Manchester, who said "that he had convinced himself that the Code was a good Code, which, in its essential features and subject to modifications in detail, he hoped would be maintained. The system was growing too ambitious and too costly." The two provisions which he singled out as specially worthy of approval were payment by results, and simplification of administration.

On the 13th February 1862 Mr. Lowe laid on the table of the House a revised Minute of the Committee of Council, with some further proposed amendments. These amendments, he said, were the result of six months' controversy. After replying to some of the objections that had been made to his scheme, he pointed out what he conceived to be some of its advantages. "The religious element", he said, underlies the whole system of Privy Council education. The Inspectors of the Church of England schools, which are four-fifths of the whole number of schools under the administration of the Privy Council, will therefore continue to inspect the state of religious instruction in those schools. They had no power and no wish to alter this in the slightest degree. The Revised Code", he said, "dealt with individuals, not with classes. It gave the managers almost entire freedom, made the interest of the school identical with the interest of the public, tested thoroughly the work done, and gave Parliament a complete control over the education grant. It proposed to give capitation grants on each attendance above a certain number - say 100, to be subject to reduction upon failure in reading, writing, or arithmetic. It was said that by this plan we were degrading education. The truth is, what we fix is a minimum of education, not a maximum. The object of the Privy Council is to promote education among the children of the labouring poor. Those for whom this system is designed are the children of persons who are not able to pay for the teaching. We do not profess to give these children an education that will raise them above their station and business in life - that is not our object - but to give them an education that may fit them for that business."

The Government having modified some of the provisions of the Code, and having agreed to give up grouping by age, and to propose a new scheme for the payment of


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pupil teachers, with a few minor alterations tending to introduce more certainty into the income of the school, the Revised Code, as amended, came into operation in every school inspected after the 30th June 1862. Since then many of its provisions have been altered or withdrawn, but one important principle, though greatly modified and relaxed in its application - payment by results - has been for four and twenty years the principle to which the Education Department have adhered as the groundwork for the distribution of the Parliamentary grant in aid of education.

The immediate result of the application of the Revised Code proved to be a substantial and progressive reduction in the total amount of the Grant. From £842,119 in 1861 it declined in the first year to £774,743, partly owing indeed to a discontinuance of the grant for books and apparatus, but more largely owing to the alterations made in the building grants. "We attribute", says the Report of the Committee of Council for 1862, "the reduction of expenditure under the head of building to reduction of rate, exclusion of normal schools, satisfaction of demand, and (in some degree) to stricter administration." But in the next year, when no such special causes of decline were operating, the grant again fell to £721,386, and this was explained to be more directly the consequence of the new system of "payment by results". In 1864 the grant had further fallen to £655,036, and in 1865 a still further reduction occurred of £20,000. Thus the promise of Mr. Lowe to the House of Commons, that education, under his system of administering the grant, should, if not efficient, at least be cheap, bade fair to be realised, so far at least as the second of these alternatives was concerned, since the cost to the country of the annual grants steadily diminished. This will be seen more clearly from the following table:

Average
Attendance
Parliamentary
Grants
£
1860803,708724,403
1861855,077813,441
1862888,923774,743
1863928,310721,386
1864937,678655,036
18651,016,558636,806
18661,048,493649,307

Various causes were assigned for this decline in the amount of the Government grant. It was contended by the supporters of the Revised Code that this did not necessarily indicate any falling off in the quality of education. They pointed out that formerly there had been no alternative between paying the grant in full and refusing it altogether, a course from which inspectors naturally shrunk except in extreme cases, but that the Revised Code worked automatically in reducing the grants in proportion as the results of examination showed a falling off. According to this view, the application of a more searching test by individual examination was simply unmasking a pre-existing unsoundness in the children's knowledge of the simple rudiments, and was an inevitable condition of laying a more solid foundation for the future. It was further alleged that when the elementary attainments of the scholars were compared with their age by individual examination, the results fell lamentably short of what might reasonably be expected; for in 1863-4, when the Revised Code was in force, 41 per cent of the number of scholars in average attendance were individually examined; and 86 per cent of those over 10 years of age were examined in standards too low for their age.* To bring this state of things to light, it was argued, was of itself a great step on the road to a better system, though it inflicted for the moment pecuniary loss on the schools.

On the other hand it was contended, that the operation of the Revised Code tended to contract instruction within the limits of the pure rudiments, and thus favoured the abandonment of those higher subjects, on a due infusion of which depended the training of the intellectual faculties. The Rev. D. J. Stewart, then one of Her Majesty's Inspectors, in his general report for the year 1866, expressed a very unfavourable opinion of its operation. He reported a general decline throughout his district, not only in the extent of the subjects of instruction, but in the success with which the purely elementary ones were taught. "When I speak of a decline in the

*Report of Committee of Council, 1882-83, page xv.


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general standard of instruction throughout the district - the counties of Cambridge, Bedford, and Huntingdon - I do not mean that the number of subjects of instruction is reduced so much as that the purely elementary ones are not taught as thoroughly as they used to be three years ago. ... The failures in the examination prescribed by the Revised Code have been consequently greater in 1866 than in 1865, and there are very few schools in which the old rate has been maintained." The falling off in the standard of work done in these schools might, he said, be traced without much difficulty to the following causes:

1. The employment of inferior teachers;
2. The reduction of the teaching staff;
3. The employment of monitors instead of pupil teachers.*
In the opinion of Mr. Stewart, therefore, the Revised Code, so far as it had produced these effects, had not only discouraged attention to grammar, history, and geography, but had failed to improve the instruction in elementary subjects. It was also alleged that the scale of payments under the Revised Code necessarily resulted in a lower grant per head than was earned under the previous system.

The Education Department, no doubt, strove from the first to obviate these drawbacks. They instructed their inspectors to judge of a school, as before, by a standard embracing its "religious, moral, and intellectual merits". But, as so large a part of the grant depended on rudimentary knowledge, there was a danger lest, in spite of the influence of inspectors in the opposite direction, the subjects which paid the school best should receive more than a due share of the attention of teachers.

Another immediate effect of the Revised Code was the reduction of the staff of pupil teachers. Previously, when they had been in the direct pay of the Government, there was every inducement held out to a school to multiply their number. But when, by the Revised Code, all payments for the staff came directly out of the school purse, it was but natural that economies should be practised in that direction. And the further apprehension was not unreasonable, that not only would the weakening of the staff impair the instruction, but that it would tend to cut off the supply of teachers at the fountain head, by seriously reducing the number of future candidates for training.

While experience was being gained as to the general results of this change of system, a question was brought into prominence which presented a new phase of an old controversy. Considerable difficulty having often been found in providing schools in very small parishes not large enough to maintain more than one school, the Committee of Council were desirous that a conscience clause should be introduced into such schools, so as to relieve the children of Nonconformists from the obligation of learning the Church Catechism and the distinctive doctrines of the Church of England. In a letter dated the 16th April 1862, and again on November 27th, 1863, the Committee of Council proposed to the National Society a new management clause, providing that in a parish where one school only could or ought to be maintained, the children of parents not in communion with the church or denomination with which the school was connected might be admitted to participate in its benefits. It was nowhere formally stated what proportion the Nonconformists were to bear to the Churchmen in any particular parish, but it seems that if the minority was equal to one-seventh of the population this rule was to take effect. The new clause was then to be inserted in every trust deed which the Committee of Council had to approve for a school about to be built by aid of the Parliamentary Grant in districts where there was no room for a second school. The following are the terms of the clause in question, as communicated by Mr. Lingen, now Lord Lingen, then the Secretary of the Education Department, to the National Society on February 8th, 1864: "The said Committee (that is, of schools accepting the clause) shall be bound to make such orders as shall provide for admitting to the benefits of the schools the children of parents not in communion with the Church of England, as by law established; but such orders shall be confined to the exemption of such children, if their parents desire it, from attendance at the public worship, and from instruction in the doctrines and formularies of the said Church, and shall not otherwise interfere with the religious teaching of the said scholars ... and shall not authorise any other religious instruction to be given in the school." The Committee of the National Society replied that they felt unable to accede to the request made to them, as they were not prepared to alter the terms of union with the Society, as proposed in that letter.

The earliest operations of the Committee of Council having been carried on in large towns and populous parishes large enough to maintain more than one school, the need of

*Report of Committee of Council, 1866-67, page 210.


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a conscience clause had not at first been much felt, but, when the smaller parishes began to apply for grants in aid, it became inevitable that differences of opinion would arise upon the constitution of a common school. The clause in the form in which it was proposed was, indeed, new, but the principle which it embodied appeared very early in the relations between the Church of England and the Committee of Council. From the very earliest times that Committee held itself free to make grants to Church schools other than those in connexion with the National Society. In the Minute dated 24th September 1839, and in that of 3rd December in that year, it is stated that while, as a general rule, the schools aided must be in connexion with the National Society or the British and Foreign School Society, yet, whenever a case was treated as a special one, preference would be given to those schools in which, while the religious instruction was of the same character as that given in the schools of those two societies, the school committee and trustees did not enforce any rule compelling children to learn a catechism or to attend a place of divine worship to which their parents on religious grounds objected. The conscience clause, therefore, was logically the result of an attempt to act upon the conditions set forth in those early Minutes. The controversy in regard to management clauses, which went on from 1847 to 1850, had turned upon the question what was to be the proper form of trust deed for a National School erected with the aid of a building grant. The controversy on the conscience clause raised the question whether a school in union with the National Society, being the sole school of the district, was or was not a fitting school for a grant.

By 1867 sufficient experience of the working of the Revised Code had been gained to warrant its modification in several important particulars. On the 20th of February 1867, under Lord Derby's Government, a Minute was issued and afterwards laid on the table of the Houses of Parliament by the Vice-President of the Council, Mr. Corry, having the following objects:

1. To relieve the proportionately larger expenses of small schools.
2. To encourage the presentation of a greater number of scholars for examination in elementary subjects and in standards better corresponding to their respective ages.
3. To encourage instruction beyond the elementary subjects.
4. To increase the existing proportion of teachers to scholars, by requiring a greater number of apprentices, and this not only for the purpose of directly promoting the objects previously specified, but also for the purpose of providing a more adequate supply of candidates for training as teachers.*
As a means of effecting these objects, an increased grant was offered beyond the ordinary existing rate, which, when it came to be fully earned, would amount to £8, on the following conditions, viz., that the staff exceeded the minimum in a fixed ratio; that two out of three passes in the rudiments were secured; that one-fifth of the passes were obtained in a standard higher than the fourth; and that one specific subject at least was taught in addition to the subjects required by the Revised Code. In addition, each Queen's Scholarship obtained by a pupil teacher was to bring to the school a pecuniary reward, and, on the attainment of a certificate by such pupil teacher after residence in a training college, a further bonus was to be paid to the school in which the pupil teacher had been apprenticed. An upward movement in the grant soon resulted from the combined effects of the searching processes of examination enforced by the Revised Code, and of the liberal encouragements to go forward, offered by Mr. Corry's Minute. The courage and enterprise of the promoters of education began to revive. And while the plans of those who desired a general system of State education were being matured, the existing system was steadily spreading and strengthening itself.

Among the measures brought forward, which, during the period we have now passed under review (1862-1870), had been familiarising the public mind with ideas that were to find a leading place in the legislation of 1870 was the "Education of the Poor Bill", which was brought into the House of Commons in 1867 by Mr. Bruce, Mr. W. E. Forster, and Mr. Algernon Egerton, and which, indeed, must be regarded as the parent of Mr. Forster's Bill. There can be as little doubt that the real, though not so modern, or so well remembered, original of this Bill of 1867, was the "Manchester and Salford Boroughs Education Bill", which was brought into the House of Commons in the Session of 1851-2, by Mr. Entwistle, M.P. Mr. Egerton, whose name stood on the back of the later Bill, was the personal repre-

*Report of Committee of Council, 1866-69, page ci.


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sentative of the earnest and influential union of the friends of education in Manchester which brought forward this earlier Bill. Fourteen or fifteen years, indeed, had not passed without removing some who had taken an active part in preparing the Bill of 1851. But several still remained at their post ready to lend their best help to any honest endeavour to solve the educational problem of the nation. These, joined by other earnest friends of education, put the machinery into motion which in 1867 brought forward the Bill of Messrs Bruce, Forster, and Egerton. It is not possible, indeed, to read the projected Bill of 1851 without recognising that it contains the substance of the Bill of 1867. The chief points of coincidence between the two may be noted. Both were devised in Manchester; both had reference to individual boroughs (or districts); in both the local authority was to be the District Committee elected by the Town Council (or by the ratepayers in other than municipal districts); both gave such Committees authority to levy local rates; both adopted existing schools as the basis of operation, and only contemplated the establishment of new schools in order to supplement the others where there might be need; both provided for the transference on fair terms of existing schools to the District Committee; both assumed that in all schools under the District Committee the reading of the Holy Scriptures should be part of the daily instruction of the scholars; both enforced a conscience clause substantially equivalent to that which was required by the Act of 1870; both made provision for a system of local and subordinate inspection; both recognised the supreme authority of the Committee of Privy Council over the local schools and the local inspection. Adding to the Bill of 1867 the strong outline of administrative interference which, about the same period, Mr. Lowe sketched out as necessary in order to carry out the work of national education; adding, further, the compulsory clauses which Mr. (afterwards Sir Thomas) Bazley desired to introduce into the Bill of Messrs. Bruce, Forster, and Egerton, we have, in fact, all the characteristic principles of the Bill of 1870, as originally prepared by Mr. Forster. In his address, delivered at Edinburgh in November 1867, on Classical and Primary Education, Mr. Lowe expressed himself as follows:

I would say, commence a survey and report upon Great Britain parish by parish; report to the Privy Council in London the educational wants in each parish, the number of schools, the number of children, and what is wanted to be done in order to place within the reach of the people of that parish a sufficient amount of education. When that has been done, I think it should be the duty of the Privy Council to give notice to that parish that they should found a school, or whatever may be wanted for the purposes of that parish. If the parish found a school, then it would be the duty of the Privy Council to assist it, and that in the same way as it assists the schools already in existence. If the parish does not agree to do what needs to be done, then, I think, there ought to be power vested in the Privy Council, or the Secretary of State, or some other great responsible public officer, to make a compulsory rate on them to found that school. I think the schools they found should be entitled to the same inspection and examination as the schools already in existence, and receive the same grants for results.
Here we have in precise and full outline the provisions actually contained in the Act of 1870 with regard to the powers of initiation and interference possessed by the Privy Council for ascertaining the need and compelling the supply of education throughout the country. The super-addition of these provisions to the machinery for erecting and administering District School Committees (or Boards in the language of the Act of 1870) provided by the Bills of 1857 and 1867, would have converted the local and permissive Manchester proposals into a national measure, identical in all main points with that of Mr. Forster. It must be noted also that in 1868 the Duke of Marlborough, as a member of Mr. Disraeli's Government, introduced an educational measure into Parliament. This measure went almost wholly upon the old foundation of the then existing educational system of the country. The Government, however, was in no position to carry it through, and was succeeded very soon after by Mr. Gladstone's administration, as a member of which Mr. Forster introduced the measure of 1870.


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CHAPTER III

THE EDUCATION ACTS, 1870 to 1880

The year 1870 will ever be marked in the constitutional history of England as that in which a general provision for elementary education was first made by statute. Already, indeed, as we have seen, a vast network of elementary schools provided by the various religious bodies and aided in many cases by the State, had spread itself over England, though it had not adequately covered the land. The Committee of Council on Education had been constituted to aid and direct the instruction therein given. But the pivot on which the whole system of Government aid turned was that of voluntary enterprise, and the Education Department could not extend the range of popular education any further than the voluntary zeal of the country was minded to carry it. Previous to 1870 there existed in England no public authority charged with the duty of calling into being elementary schools in localities where voluntary zeal was unequal to the task, or armed with the authority to require that those already established should continue to be carried on, and carried on efficiently.

The Education Act of 1870, which will always continue to be honourably associated with the name of Mr. Forster, at that time the Vice-President of the Council, was directed to remedy these defects, and to found a national and comprehensive system of elementary education. The principles on which that measure was based and the objects it had in view were lucidly expounded in the speech delivered by its author on its introduction into the House of Commons. In moving the first reading of his Bill Mr. Forster contended that the question affected not only the intellectual, but also the moral training of the people, and from its importance he called on Parliament to divest itself of all party considerations. His primary axiom was that in the creation of any new system the lessons of the past should be considered, as well as the wants of the present. In setting forth the urgent necessity for such a measure, Mr. Forster estimated that the existing provision for effective elementary education in England included some million and a half of scholars, on the books of about 11,000 aided schools, of whom about a million were in average attendance. These numbers, however, represented not more than two-fifths of those children between 6 and 10 years old, and one-third of those between 10 and 12, who ought to have been at school. Thus, there were left outside the range of any educational institution of guaranteed efficiency not less than one million children between the former ages, and half a million between the latter. In confirmation of his estimate, Mr. Forster produced further figures drawn from the return to an inquiry ordered by the House of Commons in the previous year into the educational condition of four great towns, viz., Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham. "It is calculated", he said, "that in Liverpool the number of children between 5 and 13 who ought to receive an elementary education is 80,000; but, as far as we can ascertain, 20,000 of them attend no school whatever, while at least another 20,000 attend schools where they get an education not worth having. In Manchester - that is, in the borough of Manchester, not including Salford - there are about 65,000 children who might be at school, and of this number about 16,000 go to no school at all.* I must, however, add that Manchester appears to be better than Liverpool in one respect, that there are fewer schools where the education is not worth having. As a Yorkshireman, I am sorry to say that from what I hear, Leeds appears to be as bad as Liverpool, and so also, I fear, is Birmingham."

In making this statement regarding the educational needs of the country, Mr. Forster paid a high tribute to the great zeal and disinterested motives of those voluntary bodies by whose exertions, aided by the State, the existing provision for education had been made. Full justice also was done by him to the willingness that had been shown by parents to send their children to school. But, he contended that it was the inevitable result of having left the initiative in providing education wholly to volunteers, that just where help was most needed there had been least opportunity of procuring it. And whatever the readiness shown by parents generally to avail themselves of the opportunities of instruction for their children, where these existed, there remained a large number who either would not or could not send their children to school.


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The Bill, therefore, had a double object before it, namely, first, to cover the country with good schools, and, secondly, to get the parents to send their children into them. With a view to the accomplishment of the former object, Mr. Forster said:

There are certain conditions which I think honourable members on both sides of the House will acknowledge we must abide by. First of all, we must not forget the duty of the parents. Then we must not forget our duty to our constituencies, our duty to the taxpayers. Though our constituencies almost, I believe, to a man would spend money, and large sums of money, rather than not do the work, still we must remember that it is upon them that the burden will fall. And, thirdly, we must take care not to destroy in building up - not to destroy the existing system in introducing a new one. In solving this problem there must be, consistently with the attainment of our object, the least possible expenditure of public money, the utmost endeavour not to injure existing and efficient schools, and the most careful absence of all encouragement to parents to neglect their children.*
Many changes were made in Mr. Forster's Bill during its passage through Parliament, as was to be expected in a measure of such importance. Three editions of it were printed in each House; and we proceed to enumerate the principal points of difference between the Bill introduced on the 17th of February 1870, and the Act which received the Royal Assent on the 9th of August of the same year.

The number prefixed to each of the following paragraphs indicates the section of the Act in which the changes to which we have referred will be found.

7. This section defines a public elementary school, introduces a time table conscience clause, and provides that it shall be conspicuously put up in every aided school; omits the requirement that parents objecting to their children receiving religious instruction should state their objections in writing; and states that it shall be no part of the duties of Her Majesty's inspectors to inquire into the religious instruction given in a school or to examine any scholar in religious subjects (the Bill having permitted such inquiry and examination, at the request of the managers and with the consent of the Department).

S. 8. Requires that schools in course of being supplied shall, in the first inquiry into school supply, be taken into account in estimating the school provision of a district.

S. 9. Requires the Department to publish a notice of the school provision in districts in which there is a sufficiency of accommodation; the Bill having directed such publication to be made only in cases of deficiency.

S. 10. Reduces the time allowed for the supply of a deficiency in any district before a school board is compulsorily formed, from 12 to 6 months; and makes the election of a school board, when a deficiency is not supplied, imperative.

S. 12. Allows the Department to order the election of a school board, after due inquiry, but without waiting for returns under the Act -

(1) On the application of the council of a borough or the ratepayers of a parish;
(2) On the closing of a school which creates a deficiency in the supply of the district.
S. 14. Provides that no distinctive catechism or religious formulary shall be taught in any board school.

S. 16. Gives to the Department the final decision of any question whether a school board has or has not observed the regulations under which board schools are required by the Act to be conducted.

S. 20. Sets out in detail the procedure to be followed in the case of the compulsory purchase of sites by school boards.

S. 21. Contains regulations as to the purchase of land by managers of voluntary schools.

S. 23. Prescribes in detail the conditions under which a school may be transferred by the managers to a school board.

S. 24. Sanctions the retransfer of schools from school boards to managers acting under the old trusts.

S. 29. Provides that school boards shall be elected by burgesses (in boroughs) and ratepayers (in parishes) instead of by town councils and vestries, as originally proposed.

Introduces the cumulative vote.

S. 31. Fixes 5 to 15 as the number of members of a school board, in place of 3 to 12.

S. 37. Provides that there shall be one school board for London; that the chairman

*Mr. Forster's speech in the House of Commons, First Reading of the Elementary Education Bill, February 17th, 1870.


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may be paid; and that the number of members (to be fixed by the Department in the first instance) may be altered from time to time.

S. 57. Extends from 30 to 50 years the term in which school boards may repay loans.

Requires the recommendation of the Department for loans to be made to boards by the Public Works Loan Commissioners, and fixes the interest on such loans at 3½ per cent, per annum.

S. 58. Gives power to the London School Board to borrow from the Metropolitan Board of Works.

S. 60. Provides that the accounts of school boards shall be audited by the Poor Law Auditors, acting under the orders of the Poor Law Board and not (as at first proposed,) by special auditors appointed by and under the control of the Department.

S. 66. Gives power to the Department to dissolve a school board in default, and to order a new election.

S. 74. Fixes the age of compulsory school attendance at 5 to 13 (instead of 12); exempts religious instruction and holy days from the operation of byelaws; sanctions partial exemption from school attendance between 10 and 13; substitutes a distance not exceeding three miles (as each board directs) for a one mile limit, in which attendance may be enforced; provides for the publication of proposed byelaws in each district; and does away with the necessity of submitting byelaws to Parliament before they come into operation.

S. 76. Allows the examination of voluntary schools in religious knowledge, on one or two days, after notice.

S. 96. Prescribes (1) that no grants shall be made to schools which are not public elementary schools after 31st March 1871 (not 1872 as in the Bill); (2) That no building grants shall be allowed in any case, unless application has been made before the 31st December 1870.

S. 97. Provides that no annual grants shall be made -

(1) In respect of religious instruction.
(2) In excess of the income of a school from voluntary contributions, school fees, and other non-parliamentary sources.
(3) On conditions that give preference or advantage to any school because it is or is not a board school.
Reduces the special grant to be made to the school boards of districts in which a rate of 3d in the pound has been raised, from 10s to 7s 6d on the average attendance in the board schools.

Requires parliamentary sanction for new minutes of the Department.

S. 98. Subjects board schools to the same rule as voluntary schools, in respect to the refusal of aid if they are unnecessary.

Schedule II. Prescribes vote by ballot for the election of the members of the school board for London (except in the City Division).

Abandons proposed annual retirement of one-third of the members of each school board.

The most important provision originally found in the Bill, but omitted from the Act, is that by which (clause 22) school boards were to be empowered (1) to grant assistance to voluntary schools in their district, provided all such schools received assistance on equal terms; and (2) to withhold such assistance after 12 months' notice.

Among other differences between the Bill and the Act we may mention the following:

The Act (section 3) omits the provision that schools should be disqualified for receiving annual grants if the scholars are boarded and lodged; it requires (5) the school provision for every district to be efficient as well as suitable; it provides (15) that school boards may delegate any of their powers, save that of raising money, to managers appointed by them; it substitutes (22) the Department for the Charity Commissioners as the authority for controlling the sale, lease, or exchange of land by school boards; it provides (28) that boards may maintain as well as establish industrial schools; it assigns (31) to the Department the settlement of disputes as to the election of the members of a school board; it sanctions (36) the appointment of attendance officers; it prescribes (55) the dates up to which the accounts of school boards are to be made up; it orders (67) that the return of the school supply for London shall be made up within four months from the election of the chairman of the board; it gives power to the Department (70) to appoint officers to make returns as to the school supply of any district, where the local authority neglects its duty in respect of such returns; it directs (71) that the inspectors of returns shall inquire into the suitability as well as the efficiency of the schools in each district; and it prescribes


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penalties (88,92) for incorrect returns, personation of voters, forging or falsifying voting papers and corrupt practices at elections.

Mr. Forster's Act, as a first step towards providing efficient schools, mapped out the country into school districts, each separately chargeable with the duty of providing elementary education within its own borders, which were to be boroughs and parishes, or groups of parishes, the Metropolis being constituted a district by itself.

The most important provision of the Act of 1870 is to be found in its fifth section, which enacts that "There shall be provided for every school district a sufficient amount of accommodation in public elementary schools (as herein-after defined) available for all the children resident in such district, for whose elementary education efficient and suitable provision is not otherwise made." The clause, indeed, bristles with terms, which, as they have given rise to much controversy, require to be accurately defined. If we ask what is an "elementary school", the following is the definition supplied by the Act itself. "The term 'elementary school' means a school or department of a school at which elementary education is the principal part of the education there given, and does not include any school or department of a school at which the ordinary payments in respect of the instruction, from each scholar, exceed ninepence per week."* But a "public elementary school", as defined by this Act, has a still more technical meaning: A public elementary school is described in section VII, the first sub-section of which is as follows: "It shall not be required, as a condition of any child being admitted into or continuing in the school, that he shall attend or abstain from attending any Sunday school, or any place of religious worship, or that he shall attend any religious observance, or any instruction in religious subjects in the school or elsewhere, from which observance or instruction he may be withdrawn by his parent, or that he shall, if withdrawn by his parent, attend the school on any day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his parent belongs." It is required, also in such a school that a time-table should be put up in the school setting forth the time devoted to religious observances or instruction, which time-table must be approved by the Department through the inspectors. The school must be open at all times for the inspection of Her Majesty's inspector; and at the end of the third sub-section it is further provided: "That it shall be no part of the duties of such inspector to inquire into any instruction in religious subjects given at such school, or to examine any scholar therein in religious knowledge, or in any religious subject or book." The last sub-section provides "that the school shall be conducted in accordance with the conditions required to be fulfilled by an elementary school, in order to obtain an annual Parliamentary grant." In such "public elementary schools" the Act requires that accommodation shall be provided for all those children "for whose elementary education efficient and suitable provision is not otherwise made." By efficient schools, Mr. Forster said, in introducing his Bill, he meant "those that had good buildings and good teaching". Suitable schools, he defined to mean "such as parents could not reasonably object to on religious grounds".‡

The following extract taken from the Instructions to H.M. Inspectors of Schools, issued in May 1871, relative to the inquiries into the school supply of their respective Districts, serves to show the interpretation put upon the word "suitable", as applied to school accommodation, by the Minister responsible for the administration of the Act, when first put into force:

'Efficient and suitable provision will be held to be made for a district when there is efficient elementary school accommodation (1) within a reasonable distance of the home of every child who requires elementary instruction, (2) of which he can avail himself on payment of a fee within the means of his parent, (3) without being required to attend any religious instruction to which his parent objects.'

There appears to be some misapprehension with respect to the last clause in this sentence. It does not imply that every school in a district must admit all comers under the protection of a conscience clause. That will be required only in the case of the schools which seek annual aid. Nor does it imply that there must be such a school in every district. But, in every district, the minority, whether churchmen or dissenters, must be able, if they wish it, to obtain secular instruction for their children with such protection, either in the district itself or in an adjoining district.

*Section III.

‡Mr. Forster's Speech, February 17th, 1870.


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Under the Act, a district may have henceforth two classes of efficient schools:
(a) Public elementary schools, in receipt of annual aid, and worked under a time-table conscience clause by certificated teachers.

(b) Efficient schools (within the meaning of the Act), not receiving annual aid, either as being without certificated teachers, or as refusing to accept the prescribed conscience clause.

The school provision of a district will be suitable if there be some school or other under a conscience clause, within reach of every child whose parent wishes him to have this protection. A parent cannot present his child to the teacher of any particular school, and demand his admission to the secular instruction alone given in the school, unless the school is in receipt of annual aid, or held under a trust deed which secures the rights of conscience. The individual school may be recognised as efficient without a conscience clause. But every district must contain an efficient school with a conscience clause, if there is none near enough in other districts, which the children of any minority who require such protection can attend; and this school (or these schools if one is not large enough) must provide efficient accommodation for all the children of the minority.

So far, therefore, as the suitability of individual schools is concerned, the returns will show you with what denomination (if any) each school is connected, and which of them are worked under a conscience clause; while the managers will inform you if their schools are to be henceforth conducted as public elementary schools. So far as the whole provision of the district is concerned, the question whether it is "suitable" will not arise in any case where there is sufficient "public school" accommodation avail- able either for the whole district or for the minority who desire protection. Such accommodation is primâ facie "suitable" for every child. You will use your discretion as to the best means of ascertaining the numbers of the minority; and, in case of doubt on the subject, which is not removed by the information you may obtain from the school managers and others whom you meet in the district, reference may be usefully made to the overseers of the parish, or the clerk of the union, who will be able to give you some idea of the number of places of worship in the district, and the attendance at each. This will be a guide to you in judging of the number of the minority, or in considering any representations they may make to you on the subject of the school accommodation which they require.

With school districts in which the above conditions were fulfilled by schools already existing the Act of 1870 did not interfere. Wherever this was not the case, a new machinery was provided by the Act for supplying the deficiency, viz., the school board. Mr. Forster's reasons for calling into existence this organisation for compulsorily providing school accommodation where it was proved to be wanted are best given in his own words: "I have said that there will be compulsory provision where it is wanted - if and where proved to be wanted, but not otherwise. We come now to the machinery for its application where it is proved to be wanted. How do we propose to apply it? By school boards elected by the district. We have already got the district; we have found out the educational want existing in it - we see that the district must be supplied - we have waited in the hope that some persons would supply it; they have not done so. We, therefore, say that it must be supplied; but by whom? It would be possible for the Government to attempt to supply it by defraying the expenses from the taxes; and I believe that, one or two hon. gentlemen think that would be the best way. No doubt it would be possible for the Government to try to do this; but I believe it would be impossible for them to effect it. I believe it is not in the power of any central department to undertake such a duty throughout the kingdom. Consider also the enormous power it would give the central administration. Well, then, if Government cannot do it itself by central action, we must still rely upon local agency. Voluntary local agency has failed, therefore our hope is to invoke the help of municipal organisation. Therefore, where we have proved the educational need, we supply it by local administration - that is, by means of rates aided by money voted by Parliament, expended under local management, with central inspection and control."*

Accordingly, the Act of 1870 provided for the establishment of a school board in every school district which requires further suitable accommodation; making it a corporate body, having a perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to acquire and hold land for the purposes of this Act.† The number of members is to be not less than five or more than fifteen, as may be determined in the first instance by the

*Mr. Forster's Speech, February 17th, 1870.

†Section XXX.


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Education Department.* It rests with the Education Department to determine whether a deficiency exists in any school district in the public school accommodation.† Having published their decision on the wants of the district, the right of appeal is given within a month to a certain number of ratepayers or to the managers of any elementary school in the district,‡ and, if necessary, a public inquiry is to be held, and a final notice issued. After waiting not more than six months to see if the deficiency is in course of being supplied, a school board is to be provided for the district,§ which, if it fails to comply with the requisition within 12 months, will be deemed to be in default.|| A school board may, however, be created by the Education Department, without the existence of any school deficiency, on the application of those who would have to elect one, or where the Department is satisfied that a deficiency in school accommodation is imminent.¶ Provision is made for forming united districts, and for dissolving the same; the united school board being composed of members elected by the ratepayers of the constituent parts of the united district.** A parish judged by the Education Department too small to have a school board of its own may be added to another parish, to the school board of which it is entitled to send representatives.†† Lastly, school boards are to be elected by the ratepayers for a period of three years under the method known as cumulative voting.‡‡ To bodies thus constituted the Act entrusts the duty of completing and maintaining adequate school provision within each district.†† School boards are empowered, for the purpose of providing schools, to borrow on the security of the school fund and local rate with the consent of the Department, and to spread the repayment over not more than 50 years.‡‡ Their accounts must be yearly audited by the Local Government Board, and published.§§ School boards declared in default may be superseded by the Department, who may appoint other members in their place, to be remunerated out of the local rates.

In constituting this new provision for supplying the educational wants of the country by school boards, side by side with the existing system of voluntary schools, the Act provides that the two systems should stand on a footing of perfect equality in the provisions of the Code, and before the Education Department. It enacts "that the conditions required to be fulfilled by an elementary school in order to obtain an annual Parliamentary grant shall be those contained in the minutes of the Education Department in force for the time being ... but such conditions ... shall not give any preference or advantage to any school, on the ground that it is or is not provided by a school board."||||

The proposal to throw on the rates the whole cost of education was strongly pressed on Mr. Forster, as it has continually been urged since that time; but in introducing his measure he assigned the following reasons for rejecting it:

The school boards are to provide the education. Who are to pay for it? In the first place, shall we give up the school fees? I know that some earnest friends of education would do that. I at once say that the Government are not prepared to do it. If we did so the sacrifice would be enormous. The parents paid in school fees last year about £420,000. If this scheme works, as I have said we hope it will work, it will very soon cover the country, and that £420,000 per annum would have to be doubled, or even trebled. Nor would it stop there. This would apply to the elementary education chiefly of the working classes. The middle classes would step in - the best portion of the working classes would step in - and say, 'There must be free education also for us, and that free education must not be confined to elementary schools.' The cost would be such as really might well alarm my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I hope the country would be ready to incur that cost if necessary; but I think it would be not only unnecessary, but mischievous. Why should we relieve the parent from all payments for the education of his child? We come in and help the parents in all possible ways; but, generally speaking, the enormous majority of them are able, and will continue to be able, to pay these fees.¶¶
In accordance with these conclusions, Mr. Forster's Act directs the formation of a school fund, including school fees, along with grants and money raised by rate, as the source of the income of a school board. Any sum required to meet the deficiency of the school fund, is to be paid by the rating authority out of the local rate.*** It leaves,

*Section XXXI (1).

†Section VIII.

‡Section IX.

§Section X.

||Section XI.

¶Section XII.

**Section XL, XLII.

††Section XLVIII.

‡‡Section XXIX.

§§Section LIX.

||||Section XCVII.

¶¶Mr. Forster's speech, February 17th, 1870.

***Section LIII.


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however, to school boards the power, not merely to remit the fees of poor children attending board schools, but, with the assent of the Education Department, to establish free schools wherever, from the poverty of any district, they may deem it necessary; a power which appears, from Mr. Cumin's evidence, not as yet to have been exercised in a single instance. Evidence, however, has since been given to us that a school exists in Birmingham attended only by children who have orders for free education granted them by the school board.

Special mention must be made of an option proposed to be given to school boards by Mr. Forster's Bill, as originally framed, although it was subsequently withdrawn, seeing that its revival in a somewhat altered form has since been advocated, Mr. Forster's Bill originally provided that in supplying deficiencies, school boards should have the option of providing all needful schools themselves, or of making grants out of the local rates towards the maintenance of existing schools, but the exercise of this discretion was fettered by the condition that they must either assist all voluntary schools in their district or none.

This proposal, however, was not pressed, and Mr. Gladstone in his speech of June 16, 1870, on moving to go into Committee on the Bill, enumerated the objections in deference to which the Government withdrew the clause. On the one side it had been objected to that proposal that the funds raised by rates would thus be made applicable to purposes of denominational religious teaching, and that the free choice proposed to be given to school boards to give or withhold grants would inevitably create discord in those bodies. On the other side it was contended that justice might not be done to voluntary schools, "through religious prejudice on the part of school boards against particular and possibly obnoxious communions"; and that at best any assistance given by a vote of a local board out of the rates to a voluntary school must be fluctuating and unstable in its character. But in withdrawing this provision for support to voluntary schools out of the rates which the Bill had originally contemplated, Mr. Gladstone promised that an equivalent should be provided in the Code, by means of such an increase of the parliamentary grant as would enable the voluntary schools to stand in competition with the board schools for which rates were to be levied by the new school boards to be constituted by the Bill.

Besides erecting new schools, school boards are empowered by this Act to accept the transfer of voluntary schools from their managers, and the latter are empowered on a resolution of two-thirds of their number, with the consent of two-thirds of their subscribers, to offer the transfer of schools under their management, notwithstanding any provision in their trust deeds to the contrary, due notice being given by the Department to the trustees, and to persons who have any interest in the property. And the property thus transferred, the school board are empowered, with the consent of the Department, and on the repayment of all moneys raised by loan and expended by the Board on the premises, to re-transfer to managers, similarly qualified as the original managers had been, if the school board resolve by a majority of two-thirds to do so.

In passing Mr. Forster's Act there remained, however, a religious difficulty about which rival contentions were found most difficult to reconcile. The principle of a conscience clause, indeed, as a condition of a school being recognised as a public elementary one, raised little opposition from the promoters of voluntary schools, so generally had some such provision been tacitly accepted in their practical working. But the sufficiency of a simple conscience clause to give practical effect to the principle involved in it having been called in question, a time-table conscience clause was proposed and carried by the Government in Committee, defining the hours to which religious instruction and observances should be limited, and restricting them to the beginning or end, or the beginning and end of each school meeting. "We propose a " time-table conscience clause", Mr. Gladstone said, on announcing this modification of the original proposals of Government, "founded upon the double principle of an entire freedom, as far as the interposition of the clause goes, in the matter of religious instruction, although the time for that instruction must necessarily be circumscribed, and an entire freedom on the part of the patient, corresponding with the freedom of the teacher to teach."‡ The battle raged more hotly around another question, whether school boards should be left, as Mr. Forster originally proposed, perfectly free to organise religious instruction in their schools in whatever way they pleased. Eventually the Government adopted, and Parliament accepted the clause - commonly called after the name of its proposer, the Cowper-Temple clause - which enacted that

‡Mr. Gladstone's Speech in the House of Commons on going into Committee, June 16, 1870.


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the discretion of school boards in this matter should be fettered by the single condition that "no religious catechism or religious formulary which is distinctive of any particular denomination, shall be taught in the school."

Inspection, which had hitherto been organised on denominational lines, and carried out by inspectors approved by the religious body whose schools they visited, was henceforth to be disconnected from all religious considerations. It was no longer part of the duty of Her Majesty's inspectors to examine the religious instruction, as they had previously done in schools connected with the Church of England, both elementary and normal. At the same time those concordats were abolished which had been established with various religious bodies by the advice of Sir J. Kay-Shuttleworth, as the only means at the time of introducing Government inspection into the country, "to whose exertions", Mr. Forster declared, in introducing this measure, "in the history of national education in England, it would always be admitted that its origin was mainly due."

Among the minor provisions of the Act of 1870 the following powers conferred on school boards ought not to be left unnoticed. Authority was given them to delegate to local managers any of their powers, except that of raising money; to contribute to or to establish industrial boarding schools; and last, but not least, to remit in their own schools and to pay in voluntary schools the fees of children of indigent parents. None of the provisions of this Act after its passing met with such serious opposition as the power thus given to school boards to pay the fees of indigent children in voluntary schools. The famous 25th clause was regarded by a large party in the State with the greatest hostility, as being a quasi-endowment of denominational religious teaching. In 1876, this section was repealed by Lord Sandon's Act, which imposed upon boards of guardians the duty of paying the fees of children, if satisfied of their parents' inability to do so, leaving to school boards the power of remitting fees in their own schools.

After March 31, 1871, the parliamentary grant was to be restricted to public elementary schools. No further building grants were to be made except such as were applied for before December 31, 1870.‡ These proved to be very large in number. Voluntary zeal, thus challenged by the Act to supply as far as it could with the help of Government existing deficiencies, rose to the occasion beyond all expectation. No fewer than 3,342 applications for building grants were made between the date of the passing of the Act, the 9th of August, and the 31st of December of that year. Of these, 376 were rejected, and 1,333 withdrawn. In 1,633 cases, grants were made to the amount of £268,724 16s 2d, by the aid of which 216,000 school seats were supplied at a cost to voluntary subscribers of some £1,000,000. It took some years before the Department ceased to pay the building grants which had been made under these conditions. But in 1882, after appearing in one form or other for 50 years, that item of expenditure finally vanished from the parliamentary grant.

An important restriction, which has since given rise to much controversy, was imposed by the Act of 1870 on the admission of schools situate in school board districts to participate in the annual grant, if they had not been in receipt of such aid before the passing of the Act, and if they should be deemed by the Education Department to be unnecessary.§ The discretion exercised by the Education Department in this matter has been vehemently called in question by witnesses who have appeared before us, and it will be our duty hereafter to refer more at length to that evidence, and to offer comments thereon.

A new character was impressed on the whole annual grant by section 97 of the Act, which provided that no grant was to be made in respect of any instruction religious subjects. The restriction, moreover, was at the same time removed which had hitherto excluded all purely secular schools from participation in the annual grant, and it was enacted that no requirement should be made that religious instruction should be given in a school as a condition of sharing in the annual grant.||

In the same section there was introduced from the Revised Code a limit to the amount of the annual grant (which was subsequently enlarged by the Act of 1876), so that no grant should exceed the amount locally contributed in the form of subscriptions, school fees, and income derived from sources other than the parliamentary grant, including rates and endowments.

In another section an important power was given to the managers of elementary schools enabling them, by the adoption of the conscience clause, to fulfil the con-

*Section XIV. [The reference to this footnote is missing from the text.]

‡Section XCVI.

§Section XCVIII.

||Section XCVII.


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ditions imposed for obtaining annual grants, any provisions contained in their trust deeds notwithstanding.*

A special provision was made in the Act authorising the managers of schools not provided by a school board, to set apart not more than two days in a year for the inspection of a school by an inspector other than Her Majesty's inspector.† This power has been taken advantage of very largely by voluntary schools to institute an annual examination of the schools in religious knowledge. The statistics of diocesan inspection which have been laid before us show that the system has been almost universally adopted by Church of England schools in every diocese of England and Wales, and we have it in evidence that in Roman Catholic schools a system of diocesan inspection has also been established by that communion.

The power granted by Mr. Forster's Act to school boards to compel attendance at school was (with the exception of the provision of half-time attendance under the Factory Acts) a new departure in English legislation; though the principle of compulsory school attendance had already been admitted in the Half-time Acts. The Education Act of 1870, in conferring on school boards the power of making byelaws, compelling the attendance at school of children between 5 and 13 years of age, limited that power by certain conditions. Such byelaws must not contain any infringement of the conscience clause, nor require of children attendance at school on days set apart for religious observance by their parents, nor must they be at variance with existing labour laws. They may provide, too, for remission of fees in cases of ascertained poverty. And they are to set forth certain standards to be passed for total and for partial exemption from school. But the following are declared to be reasonable excuses for absence - efficient instruction received in some other way, hindrance through sickness or other unavoidable cause, and the absence of any public elementary school within three miles. Such byelaws, after having received the approval of the Education Department, and after having been sanctioned by an Order in Council, have the force of law in the school district for which they are made, and they must be set forth in the next Annual Report of the Committee of Council.‡ But although, in putting forward his proposals for compelling children to attend schools provided out of the public purse, Mr. Forster argued that it would be unfair to force the taxpayers and ratepayers to pay for useless schools, he was not prepared to recommend universal compulsion. His proposal, the principle of which was eventually embodied in the Act, was thus expressed: "We give power to the school boards to frame byelaws for compulsory attendance of all children within their district from 5 to 12. They must see that no parent is under a penalty - which is restricted to 5s - for not sending his child to school if he can show reasonable excuse; reasonable excuse being either education elsewhere, or sickness, or some unavoidable cause, or there not being a public elementary school within a mile. These byelaws are not to come into operation unless they are approved by the Government, and unless they have been laid on the table of this and the other House of Parliament 40 days, and have not been dissented from."§ Compulsory powers, accordingly, were given under this Act to school boards, but it was within the option of the school board whether it should seek to be invested with such powers or not. During the passage of the Act through Parliament the age up to which compulsion might be enforced was raised to 13 years.

The Act of 1870 gave an authority to the minutes of Council on Education, which they had not possessed before. Previously they had been simply regulations for the distribution of the Education Grant assented to by Parliament from year to year. By Section XCVII of the Act, such minutes, after having been laid on the table of both Houses of Parliament, acquired for the time being statutory validity until they were superseded by succeeding minutes.

Briefly to summarise the main provisions of the Act of 1870, it abolished the building grant, but increased the grant for maintenance. Its object was, by means of school boards, to supplement, where necessary, the existing voluntary provision for efficient education. It removed the obligation of giving religious instruction as a condition of the receipt of annual grants, leaving such instruction unfettered by any restrictions, except those imposed by the Cowper-Temple clause, which affected board schools only. It separated religious from secular teaching, so that the latter might be accessible to those who could not on conscientious grounds take part in the former, and so that the parliamentary grant might be made wholly in respect of the secular instruction. It enabled school boards to remit fees, and, with the consent of the Department, to establish free schools in special cases. And it armed school boards with compulsory powers.

*Section XCIX.

†Section LXXVI.

‡Section LXXXIV.

§Mr. Forster's speech in the House of Commons, February 17th, 1870.


[page 31]

A short amending Act in 1873, amongst other provisions, made obligatory the attendance at school of children whose parents were in receipt of out-door relief, and it required the board guardians to pay their fees. It also repealed the section in the Act of 1870, relating to school-board elections, in regard to the taxation of costs charged by the returning officer. It had been found that school board elections were conducted too expensively, and there had previously been no effective power to limit the expense incurred. This Act accordingly gave to the Education Department a final decision on appeals regarding the taxation of the returning officer's costs.

The Act passed in 1876 by Lord Sandon, now the Earl of Harrowby, (39 & 40 Vict. chap. 79.), though in other respects of great importance, will, perhaps, in days to come, be chiefly memorable for the declaration which it placed on the English statute book, of the duty of every parent to educate his child. It enacts that "it shall be the duty of the parent of every child to cause such child to receive efficient elementary instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic; and if such parent fail to perform such duty, he shall be liable to such orders and penalties as are provided by this Act."* Thus, for the first time, a legal obligation was created, binding on every parent, to give his child an education sufficient to ground it in the rudiments of learning, and at least to equip it with the means of extending its knowledge in future years. A child under this Act, it may be remarked, is so called between the ages of five and fourteen years.†

With a view to enforce the obligation of attendance in an indirect manner, the Act of 1876 proceeds first to place restrictions on the employment of children until they have complied with certain educational conditions, and in the view of the Act the parent of a child who employs it for the purpose of gain is deemed its employer.‡ The fifth section makes it a statutory offence, with a penalty on conviction not exceeding forty shillings, on the part of any employer to take into his employment (a) any child who is under 10 years of age, and (b) any child over 10 and under 14, who shall not have attained such proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic as is afterwards specified in the schedules to the Act. Since 1881 the degree of proficiency required is that prescribed in the Fourth Standard defined by the Code of 1876. But, failing this educational qualification for employment, the Act further provides a loop-hole for invincible dullness, by which a child over 10 years old who cannot pass the required standard, and who might therefore be kept from labour till the age of 14 without any educational advantage, may still be qualified for work if it can produce a certificate of its regular attendance at a certified efficient school for a certain number of years previous. This qualification for employment, which is known by the name given to it by Lord Sandon of "the dunce's pass", is now fulfilled by 250 attendances after five years of age, in not more than two schools in each year, during five years, whether consecutive or not.§ No evidence has been brought before us tending to show that parents have availed themselves to any extent of this door of entrance to employment for their children, and it may well be doubted whether its existence is very generally known. At present, however, and since the passing of the Act of 1880, it affects those children only who at the age of 13 have failed to pass the standard for total exemption from school attendance, fixed by the byelaws of the district in which they reside.

From the restriction thus put on a child's employment there are special exemptions provided for all children allowed to go to work under those Factory Acts which demand half-time attendance at school, as well as for all who are attending school half-time under any byelaws of a local authority. At the same time the education of children employed in workshops is withdrawn from the operation of the Workshops Regulation Act, and transferred to that of the Factory Acts. These two Acts have since been consolidated.

The enforcement of these measures of indirect compulsion is committed by Lord Sandon's Act to local authorities, viz., to a school board in the district within its jurisdiction, and in other districts to a school attendance committee, appointed annually, if it be a borough, by the council of the borough, and if it be a parish, by the guardians of the union in which such parish is situate. The school attendance committee may consist of not less than six nor more than twelve members, one third, however, in the case of a committee appointed by the board guardians, is to consist of ex-officio guardians. Another duty of the local authority under this Act is to report any infraction of Section VII. of the Act of 1870, which regulates the times and conditions of giving religious instruction, commonly called the conscience clause. Power is also given to school attendance committees to appoint small local committees outside their own bodies in every school district, to aid them in their work; this power, however.

*Section IV.

†Section XLVIII.

‡Section XLVII.

§Section V.


[page 32]

appears to have been somewhat overlooked, and, at any rate, not to have been brought extensively into use.

Exceptions are made to these restrictions on the employment of children (a) in the case of those children who reside more than two miles from a public elementary school; (b) where the employment is at such times as not to interfere with the efficient elementary education of the child; (c) during a period exempted by special notice of the school authority for the necessary operations of husbandry and in-gathering, an exemption which may be extended over not more than six weeks in a year.*

The 25th section of the Act of 1870, which empowered school boards to pay fees in voluntary schools, as has been already observed, is repealed by the Act of 1876, and provision is made for imposing the duty on the guardians to pay, in whole or in part, the fees of children of indigent parents at any public elementary school chosen by the latter, but such payments do not carry with them any of those disqualifications attached to the receipt of parochial relief.†

The uneducated child having thus been prohibited from employment, the Act of 1876 next proceeds to bring him into school by means of what is known as the "Wastrel Clause".‡ The two classes of persons affected by it are, first, parents who habitually, and without reasonable excuse, neglect to provide efficient elementary instruction for their children, being over five years of age, and prohibited from full-time employment; and, secondly, children found habitually wandering, or not under proper control, or being in the company of rogues, vagabonds, disorderly persons, or reputed criminals. In these cases it is the duty of the local authority to complain to a court of summary jurisdiction, which may issue an attendance order, requiring the child to attend regularly at some certified efficient school willing to receive it, and named in the order. The following reasonable excuses, however, if they can be pleaded, are allowed, viz., that the nearest public elementary school is over two miles from the child's residence; or that the absence of the child from school has been caused by sickness or any unavoidable cause. In the event of the breach of such an attendance order, for the first offence the court may impose a penalty not exceeding 5s, or order the child to be sent to an Industrial School, according as the parent fails to satisfy, or succeeds in satisfying, the court that he has used all reasonable efforts to secure compliance with the order. On the second or any subsequent breach of the order, the court may either order the child to be sent to an Industrial School or impose a fine on the parents, or do both, at its discretion. A fine may be imposed for each breach of the order, provided that complaint be not renewed at any less interval than two weeks. Children so sent to an Industrial School shall be deemed to be sent under the Industrial Schools Act of 1866, and the parent shall be liable to contribute as under that statute.§ The local authority is bound to investigate any alleged case of neglect of children's education under the preceding section, and to proceed to enforce the prescribed penalties, unless it be deemed inexpedient to do so.|| A child thus sent to an Industrial School may, after one month's residence therein, receive a license to live out of the school (under Section XXVII, Industrial Schools Act, 1866) on condition of its attending regularly some certified efficient school willing to receive it.¶ Powers are also given to a school board to erect and maintain a certified industrial or day industrial school, and to borrow money for the purpose under the Public Works Loan Act of 1875.**

Day industrial schools which are established for the first time under this Act, as a result of the experiments made by Miss Carpenter in Bristol, are defined to be such as give industrial training, efficient education, and one or more meals a day.†† They may be established by order of a Secretary of State, if he deems it necessary for the proper training and control of the children of any class of the population, in the same manner as under the Industrial Schools Act of 1866. And a court of summary jurisdiction may commit children to such certified day Industrial School in the same manner as to an Industrial School under the last-named Act; and the child so committed may be detained during the hours named in any order (not being an attendance order), which order may be issued by a court, requiring a child's attendance at such a day industrial school, the school being for these purposes constituted a certified efficient school.

In the case of a certified day industrial school established under this section, the Act of 1876 provides that the prison authority shall have the same power over it as if it were a certified industrial school; and that a sum not exceeding Is. a week may be con-

*Section IX.

†Section X.

‡Section XI.

§Section XII.

||Section XIII.

¶Section XIV.

**Section XV.

††Section XVI.


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tributed out of the Parliamentary vote towards the cost of each child committed to it under this Act. Parents of children, or the guardians of the poor on their behalf (if the parent be unable to pay) shall be liable to contribute towards the cost a sum not exceeding 2s a week for children committed by order to a certified industrial day school, and children may be received without an order at the request of the school authority and the parent, on the latter undertaking to pay not less than 1s a week, to meet which the Secretary of State may order a contribution of not more than 6d a week out of the Parliamentary vote. The Queen in Council is further empowered to apply to a certified day industrial school the provisions of the Industrial Schools Act, or such modifications of the same as are found to be necessary or proper for the purposes of this Act, and may modify or mitigate the penalties of the former Act. A Secretary of State may make and alter the forms of orders for sending children to a day industrial school. He may also withdraw the certificate from such a school, if it becomes unnecessary, on laying his reasons before Parliament within a month. The contribution out of the Parliamentary vote to a certified day industrial school is made conditional on an examination being annually made of the children, according to the standards recognised by the Education Department in public elementary schools. The purpose of this enactment is best stated in the words of Lord Sandon, in the debate on the third reading of his Act: "The important clause having reference to day industrial schools comes in as a supplement to the action of the Government respecting wastrel children in our towns. I entreat the House to give their cordial support to that which is after all avowedly only an experiment. It is forced upon us by the existence of an enormous evil never yet dealt with, that is to say, the particular class of children who haunt our big towns, the wretched children who throng the worst parts of our cities. These are the children who, if they are girls, grow up to be the miserable women whom we pass with loathing in our back streets, and who are the despair of our workhouses; and, if they are boys, they become that peculiar stunted degraded class which prowls about our worst alleys, which emerges into light only at moments of popular disturbance, and which makes a constant home of our gaols. These poor children grow up to prey upon society, and to become the disgrace of our Christianity and our civilization. Ask the school boards in the big cities. They will tell you they elude their grasp, and, unfortunately, the ragged schools, which alone effectively dealt with them, have been much diminished, unintentionally, by the Act of 1870, and these are the very children for whose education the intervention of law is most needed. I earnestly hope, therefore, that Parliament will help the Government in the attempt - I confess it a difficult one - to cope with one of the most terrible evils of our civilization."*

The system of granting honour certificates instituted by Lord Sandon's Act, which carried with them free schooling for the past year, in the case of those older children whose attendance and proficiency reached a standard prescribed by the Education Department, was not destined to survive the five years for which it was first enacted. Lord Sandon said, in introducing this proposal: "There is another provision which may be considered a tentative one, and is proposed to be only enacted for five years. We have lately in our provisions respecting education acted solely, I may really say, on the system of forcing parents to send their children to school, and we are now proposing to interfere with the child's labour and earnings unless he is instructed. The scheme which the Government now offers to the House will endeavour to awaken a higher feeling in the breasts of children and parents, namely, that of honour and emulation. I feel strongly that it is most desirable, when we are putting such great pressure upon the people as to their children's instruction, to try as much as possible to lighten that pressure, to endeavour to excite a higher feeling as to education, and not to be satisfied with merely laying down hard rules, good though they may be, but to appeal to the higher and more elevating motives to which I have just alluded. The plan, therefore, which we shall propose to bring before the House is the following: Where a child takes a double certificate, that is, where a child at 10 years has passed Standard IV and also has a certificate of attendance for five years. we propose to give it an honour pass. This will be a great encouragement to the more intelligent and orderly child, and this honour pass will give the child a free education for the next three years. This is, I know, a new plan, but it is surely worth a trial. It is like a prize in the school for the children most remarkable for attainments and character, however poor they may be, and is, in fact, an exhibition

*Lord Sandon's Speech, House of Commons, August 6th, 1876.


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founded by the State; but the trifling money advantage is its least important part. So far our legislation by compulsion, &c. has been all confined to driving the children to school; on this alone, I am strongly of opinion, we ought not to base our legislation. I have a good confidence that the honour certificate will not only do much more than mere compulsion to secure regular attendance at school, but that it will do a still more valuable work; it will awaken a keen sense of honour and ambition, and the invigorating feeling of distinction in many an out-of-the-way place in the country, as well as in many a back court in our towns, and will lay the foundation for the honourable success of many a child in after life."*

It has been stated in evidence before us by Mr. Cumin that, whatever the advantages of the honour certificate as a premium on regularity and an inducement to prolong attendance at school, as well as in its higher moral effect upon the children, the expense and the administrative difficulties connected with its award induced the Education Department to discontinue that part of the Government system of annual grants.† Some leading witnesses, on the other hand, have spoken of its useful results when it was in operation.‡

Considerable financial assistance was given to schools by the Act of 1876, and that in two directions. The annual grant which had hitherto been limited by the amount of local contributions, made up out of subscriptions, school pence, and any other sources of local income, was not any longer to be reduced by its excess over that limit, unless it also exceeded 17s 6d a head on the average attendance,§ which was estimated to represent half the average cost of a child's schooling at that time. Provision, also, was made to augment by a bonus of £10 (or £15) the annual grant to schools in districts where the school is the only recognised provision for public elementary education within a circuit of two miles, or where the population is under 300 (or 200); this bonus being not taken into account in any reduction of the grant worked by the two limitations of it already mentioned. A somewhat similar provision had already been made in the Code of 1875. The enactment of what is known as the 17s 6d limit was at the time regarded as a welcome relaxation of the existing restriction on earning annual grants; but abundant evidence has been brought before us to show that the object of fixing this limit seems now to have been forgotten, and that its operation is regarded as a grievance and a discouragement to efficiency, rather than as a boon.

By the Act of 1870 the power of making byelaws for directly compelling attendance at school was limited to districts under school boards. In 1876, Lord Sandon's Act required school attendance committees, on the application of the parishes concerned, to make byelaws compelling attendance within their limits, thus extending the option of adopting direct compulsion to every school district in England, though it stopped short of an universal system of direct compulsion.||

Power was at the same time given to the Education Department to issue regulations with respect to the form of certificates of proficiency and previous attendance at school, subject to the condition which attaches to the minutes of the Education Department, viz., that they should be previously laid before Parliament.¶ Registrars were required to supply needful information concerning the births and deaths of children on the requisition of the local authority, at a fee not exceeding two pence for each entry.**

The Act of 1870 had taken security for its provisions being duly carried out by school boards, through the power granted to the Education Department to declare a school board in default. This power is, by the Act of 1876, extended so as to apply to any failure in a school board to carry out this latter Act. And further, a school attendance committee which fails to carry out the Act of 1876 may by that Act be declared in default, and a person may be appointed by the Department, and if necessary paid, to supersede the committee for a period not exceeding two years; after which time a fresh school attendance committee is to be appointed by the town council or the guardians, as the case may be, to resume the same duties; any expenses incurred in remunerating the substitute being charged to the town council or board of guardians which elected the defaulting committee. But all such proceedings must be reported to Parliament.|| The Committee of Council on Education have thus the fullest power to secure that the school attendance committees fulfil their duties.

The Act authorises payment by the local authority of officers charged with the execution of the Act,¶ and power is also given to such officers, if authorised by a

*Lord Sandon's Speeches in the House of Commons, May 18th and August 5th, 1876.

† [This footnote is missing.]

‡ [This footnote is missing.]

§ Section XIX.

||Sections XXI,, XXII, XXIII.

¶Section XXVIII.

**Section XXV.


[page 35]

justice's order, to enter any place of employment in which there may be reason to think that the Act is being violated, and a penalty not exceeding 20s is enacted for impeding the officers.*

School attendance committees are debarred from creating a charge on the poor rate or the borough rate, as the case may be, in the execution of their work. This can only be done by the body appointing them, whether the Town Council or the board of guardians.†

To assist them in the execution of the Act, school attendance committees may appoint local attendance committees, but cannot extend to them the power of making byelaws or taking proceedings; such local attendance committees are to consist of not less than three persons, one or more of whom are to be members of the local authority.‡

Power is given to the Education Department to authorise the appointment of a separate school attendance committee by an urban sanitary authority; but it must not comprise any borough, and it must be coextensive with one or more parishes not within the jurisdiction of a school board, the population being not less than 5,000. The expenses are to be paid proportionally out of the poor rate of the parishes comprised within the urban sanitary authority. When the urban sanitary authority is not, and does not comprise, a borough, and is not wholly within the jurisdiction of a school board, and does not come within the foregoing provisions, it may elect members to represent it on the school attendance committee of its union.§ But the erection of a new school board within a district where a school attendance committee is appointed under these provisions, takes that district at once out of the jurisdiction of the committee.||

The clerk of the guardians is to be clerk of the school attendance committee Its expenses are to be regarded as relief of the poor, the school fees paid by the guardians being charged to the parish on behalf of which they are discharged.¶

Fraudulent declarations made to school attendance committees may be punished by legal proceedings, identical with those provided by the Act of 1870, and the obtaining the payment of fees by false representations is made a distinct offence, punishable by imprisonment.**

No legal proceedings for absence from school can be taken except by the direction of not less than two members of the school authority.

Where an offence against the Act, by the illegal employment of a child is proved to have been committed by an agent of an employer or by the parent of the child, the legal responsibility is transferred to the actual offender, and the employer is so far relieved of legal responsibility.††

The provisions for the payment of fees of pauper children, and for their attendance at school, as a condition of the parents receiving relief, made by the Act of 1873, are repealed by the Act of 1876, and clauses enacted effecting the same objects in connexion with the new educational machinery established by this latter Act.

Power to dissolve a school board is given to the Education Department, if they think it to be no longer required, on receipt of an application made by a two-thirds majority of the same persons as were entitled to make the original application for the formation of the school board. This can only be done if the Department is satisfied that the school board has acquired no property, that there is no deficiency of accommodation in the district, and that no order has been made on the board to supply additional accommodation. Such an application must be made within the last six months previous to the natural dissolution of a board, which is in any case to be allowed to run out its time. The order of dissolution will have the effect of an Act of Parliament, but the school board can hereafter be revived, if additional school accommodation be required. The reasons of the assent to such a dissolution given by the Department must be laid before both Houses of Parliament.‡‡ School boards were enabled under this Act to provide suitable offices for their meetings and work, and school boards were also enabled to fill up casual vacancies in their bodies by election, so as to do away with the expense of bye elections.§§

Generally, it may be said that the administrative machinery constituted by the Act of 1870 for working out the provisions of that Act in school board districts is extended by the Act of 1876 to all school districts.||||

In 1880 Mr. Mundella's Act was passed, which established universal direct compulsion by the school authority, in contradistinction to the optional compulsion of Mr. Forster's Act, and the indirect compulsion of Lord Sandon's Act. Mr. Forster's Act had made the adoption of byelaws, regulating the attendance of children at school, optional in school board districts. Lord Sandon's Act had extended this option to all other school districts

*Section XXIX.

†Section XXXI.

‡Section XXXII.

§Section XXXIII.

||Section XXXVI.

¶Section XXXIV.

**Section XXXVII.

††Section XXXIX.

‡‡Section XLI.

§§Section XLII.

||||Sections XLIII, XLV, XLVIII, XLIX, L.


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in England, and had aimed at securing education by enabling the school authority to forbid the employment of uninstructed children, and by stringent provisions against wastrel and idle children up to the age of 14. Mr. Mundella, carrying out in the Act of 1880 the intention announced by Lord George Hamilton, his predecessor in office, converted this option into an obligation on the part of every school authority. It did not, however, repeal the indirect methods of getting children to school which had been enacted in 1876. These remain side by side with the local byelaws as a collateral security for attendance, in the form of the prohibition of the employment of children who have not the legal qualification, and of penal clauses dealing with those, who being thus debarred from work, are habitually absent from school. These clauses of the Act of 1876 are still available to deal with absence from school where it is flagrant, binding over, in the first instance, the culprit to attend regularly in future. The byelaws, which have since the Act of 1880 been universally adopted, though varying in their provisions in different localities, take cognizance of the smallest deviations from regular attendance, and provide for summary punishment on the parent of the defaulter.

CHAPTER IV

CODES AND INSTRUCTIONS TO INSPECTORS 1870 to 1885

Before proceeding to state in detail the changes which the Code has undergone since the passing of the Act of 1870, it may be desirable to describe shortly the mode in which successive editions of the Code have originated and have come into operation. Mr. Cumin informs us that a record is kept in the Education Department of difficulties which may have arisen in the working of the Code and of complaints that may have been made to the office. These have in times past been considered by the Lord President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary, who have determined in what respects the Code may be improved. Changes in the Code, therefore, have been invariably the result of most careful preparation by the political as well as the permanent heads of the Department, after conference with persons practically interested in education, and after consideration of the ample annual reports of Her Majesty's inspectors. Latterly, however, there has been what is called a Code Committee, consisting of a certain number of the chief officers of the Department and of inspectors; all suggestions are brought before them; and after discussions, at which the President or Vice-President has filled the chair, any changes decided on are introduced. The Code of 1882 in this way underwent elaborate discussion before it was introduced by the Vice- President into the House of Commons in a speech in which he set forth its provisions, and showed how they fulfilled the pledges regarding alterations which had been previously given in the House.

Each successive Code must, in accordance with the Education Act of 1870 be laid on the table of both Houses of Parliament for a month before it comes into operation. But it does not appear that any modification in it has been made of late years as the result of objections taken in Parliament. Indeed it is in evidence before us that the difficulties are great in the way of any member of the House of Commons, who may desire to raise an objection, finding any opportunity for its discussion within the 30 days laid down by the law. It was stated by Mr. Cumin that members of Parliament do not always get the Code into their hands as soon as it has been laid on the table. And, as a matter of practice, it has happened, owing, in some cases, to the printing arrangements of the House of Commons and to the pressure on the printing department, that very few days elapse between the delivery of the Code to members and its becoming law; in addition to which, the attention of the House of Commons is so fully absorbed, that in this short interval there is actually no time available for debate upon any matter of controversy. It cannot be said, therefore, that the check provided by the Act of 1870, in respect to alterations in the law by the issue of a Code, has proved in practice an effective one.

Successive Codes previous to 1870 were, as has been already remarked, nothing more than the codified minutes of a department, setting forth for the time being the terms on which the Parliamentary Grant was to be dispensed. A new character, however, was imparted to the Annual Code by the Act of 1870. That Act provided that a public elementary school must fulfil the conditions laid down in the annual Code of Minutes last presented to Parliament.§ Thenceforward the Code, if no successful opposition

§Education Act of 1870, section 97.


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were raised to it in Parliament, became in effect an addition to the education law, until a new Code took its place. At the same time all Codes since 1870 have embodied regulations, framed by the Education Department, for carrying into effect the provisions of successive Education Acts.

The important changes which appeared in the Revised Code of 1871 were chiefly adaptations of the preceding Code to the new condition of things which had arisen under Mr. Forster's Act of 1870. By that Code the restriction was abolished which previously confined the grant to the promotion "of the education of children belonging to the classes who support themselves by manual labour."* Yet the omission indicated little real change in the destination of the grant, since a new condition nearly equivalent, though not quite so stringent, prescribed in the definition of a public elementary school by the Act of 1870, was embodied in this Code, viz., that no grant should be made to a school in which the ordinary fee exceeded ninepence a week.† Whereas, also, all previous Codes had required that every school aided from the grant must be "a school either in connexion with some recognised religious denomination, or a school in which, besides secular instruction, the Scriptures were read daily from the Authorised Version,"‡ in the Code of 1871 this condition was omitted, and it was provided in accordance with the Act of 1870, that no grant should be made in respect of any instruction on religious subjects.§ And, further, by the provision of this Code, no grants were to be made henceforth to schools which were not public elementary ones within the meaning of the Act of 1870, and the inspectors to whom such schools were to be always open were by the Code, as well as by the Act, relieved from the duty of inquiring into any instruction in religious subjects.|| Lastly, whereas, by the Act of 1870, byelaws might be enacted by any school board, compelling the attendance of children at school, the Code of 1871 further provided that no child should be refused admittance to any school receiving an annual grant, except on reasonable grounds. Besides these provisions which brought the administration of the grant into conformity with the education law, other important regulations occur, in the Code in 1871, many of which were of old standing, and have also substantially reappeared in all subsequent Codes. Among these may be mentioned the following, viz., that a school receiving a grant must not be conducted with a view to private emolument;¶ that school premises must be healthy and suitable to the purposes of education;** that girls must be taught needlework as part of their ordinary instruction;¶¶ that registers must be duly kept in accordance with the regulations of the Department;*** that there must be a sufficient staff, having regard to the number of children under instruction;††† and lastly that the principal teacher of the school must be certificated.‡‡‡ With a view to meet this last requirement permission was given to inspectors in the Code of 1871 for a period of three years to recommend for certificates, without personal examination, acting teachers of 35 years of age, who had been employed 10 years, and who had given satisfactory proof of their practical skill by the results of their teaching.¶¶¶

The Codes of 1872, 1873, and 1874 contained few changes of importance, except that by the first of these a further limit was placed on the amount of the grant, in addition to the two limits already existing, which were, first, its excess over the amount of fees and subscriptions, and, secondly, its excess over 15s a head on the average attendance. The grant became by the Code of 1872 liable to the further limitation that it should not exceed half the expenditure. But the Code of 1874 is, perhaps, chiefly remarkable for an omission which proclaimed the failure, after a hopeless struggle, of the effort to engraft on school arithmetic a knowledge and appreciation of the metric system. The footnote which had hitherto prescribed this, as one of the requirements of standard work, ceased to appear in 1874.

The Code of 1875 was more fruitful in changes. It introduced what are technically known as "class" subjects, for which a grant of 4s or 2s a head might be paid according as the instruction proved to be good or fair.‡‡ In this provision originated that tripartite division of "standard", "class", and "specific subjects", which still obtains in the curriculum of elementary education, and which it may be convenient here further to define. By "standard subjects" the Code understands the rudiments - reading, writing, and arithmetic - instruction in which is obligatory throughout the school, and in which the scholars are examined individually. By "class subjects" are

*New Code (1870), Art 4.

†Education Act, 1870, §3, Code 1871, Art. 4.

‡Code of 1870. Art. 8.

§Code of 1871, Art. 7.

||Education Act, 1870, §7(3), Code of 1871, Art. 6.

¶New Code (1883), Art. 92.

**New Code (1871).

¶¶Code of 1871, Art.

‡‡New Code (1875), Art. 19, c. 1. New Code (1875), 19 D.

***Code of 1871, Art.

†††Code of 1871, Art.

‡‡‡Code of 1871, Art.

¶¶¶New Code (1871), Art. 15.


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understood higher subjects of instruction, such as grammar, geography, and elementary science, the teaching of which is optional, but which, if taught at all, must be taught throughout the school, and which are judged and paid for, not according to the proficiency of each individual scholar, but according to the proficiency of classes as a whole. "Specific subjects" are those more advanced subjects which may be taught to individual scholars, and in which they are to be individually examined, including mathematics, various branches of science, and languages.* At the same time that class subjects were introduced by the Code of 1875, the schedule of standard subjects was entirely recast. Another new feature of this Code, was the encouragement given to small schools in thinly-peopled districts, by the offer of additional grants of £10 (or £15) to a school favourably reported on, when it was the only elementary one within reach of a population of 300 (or 200) souls. Grants of 40s (or 60s) were then offered for the first time in respect of pupil teachers who passed their annual examination fairly (or well). At the same time the limit to the grant of 15s a head on the average attendance was abolished by the Code of 1875.†

For the first time, by the Code of 1875, a separate portion of the grant had been made to depend on the inspector's report on the discipline and organisation of the school.‡ This Article derives additional importance from the further endeavour made in the Code of the succeeding year, under the head of discipline, to secure increased attention to the moral training of the scholars. The Code of 1876, while continuing to offer the grant of 1s a head for good organisation and discipline, required the managers and teachers "to satisfy the inspector that all reasonable care is taken, in the ordinary management of the school, to bring up the children in habits of punctuality, of good manners and language, of cleanliness and neatness, and also to impress on tho children the importance of cheerful obedience to duty, of consideration and respect for others, and of honour and truthfulness in word and act."§ This important summary of the moral aspects of discipline has since undergone vicissitudes which may serve to illustrate the changes to which any particular Article of the Code is liable. It continued to appear in the body of successive Codes down to 1882, when it was removed from the Code and placed as a foot note in the Instructions to Inspectors. Subsequently it reappeared in the Code of 1883, but only as a foot-note; and in 1884 it was once more incorporated into the text of the Code, in which it has since maintained its place, as an exposition of the moral considerations to be kept in view by inspectors in awarding the grant for discipline.

Apart from the interpretation of "discipline", the Code of 1876 is chiefly noteworthy as having dealt with the subject of pensions to such teachers as had been employed in that capacity when the Minutes of 25th August and 21st December 1846 and 6th August 1851 were cancelled. An annual sum, not exceeding £6,500, was again, as in 1851, set apart to meet, as far as it would go, the claims that had arisen under the Minutes referred to.||

In the meanwhile the Education Act of 1876 had passed, and the Code of 1877 had to be adapted to its provisions. Administrative effect was given by the Code to the 19th section of that Act, which allowed the grant to rise to 17s 6d a head on the average attendance before it became liable to be reduced by its excess above the local income arising from subscriptions and fees. The special grant, likewise, offered to schools in small populations was exempted from being reckoned in any reduction caused by these two limits.

To carry out the requirements of the Act of 1876 regarding attendance at school, "The Child's Book" was instituted by the Code of 1877 for the purpose of officially recording the age, attendance, and proficiency of each scholar; a book which each scholar was bound, in passing from school to school, to deposit with the teacher.¶ Great practical difficulty, however, was encountered in keeping up the entries and preserving the books, and, with very general acquiescence, the Code of 1882 omitted this requirement. The Code of 1877, again, introduced two important alterations in the composition of the school staff. It limited the number of pupil teachers who could be recognised by the Department in any school to three for each certificated teacher,** a provision which was further modified in 1882 to the extent that only one additional pupil teacher was allowed for each certificated assistant.†† The second alteration introduced in 1877 consisted in the introduction of a new class of teachers under the name of Stipendiary Monitors, who should teach during one-half of the day and be taught during the other;

*New Code (1875). Art. 21.

†New Code (1875), Art. 32.

‡New Code (1875), Art. 19 (A).

§New Code (1876), Art. 19 (B).

||New Code (1876), Art, 118.

¶Elementary Education Act (1876), §24. New Code (1877), Art. 119. B. 6.

**New Code (1867), Art. 70 (9), foot-note.

††New Code (1882), Art. 42.


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but this arrangement failed to commend itself to managers, and, as it had never been largely taken advantage of, the Article was withdrawn in 1882.*

The Code of 1878, with the exception of an article on grants to unnecessary schools, which will be referred to presently, was substantially a reproduction of its predecessor. The only other new feature of any importance was contained in an Article which gave to teachers through their managers, a right of appeal to the Department, before a certificate could be recalled, suspended, or reduced.†

An important modification of the article on grants to unnecessary schools, which had been first introduced in 1878, appeared in the Code of 1879. Whereas it had been provided in the former Code that no grant is to be made to any school which is not previously in receipt of an annual grant, if the Department deem that the school is unnecessary, in the Code of 1879, this provision is repealed in respect of schools in districts not under school boards, which, in fact, is its present form. An account of the origin of this enactment is given in evidence by Mr. Cumin. It appears that in districts not under a school board, and therefore entirely supplied by voluntary schools, after sufficient accommodation had already been provided, a fresh school was not unfrequently set up, which became a successful rival to those previously existing in the district. At first the Department was inclined to protect the previously existing schools against such competition, by refusing an annual grant to the intruder. But cases occurring in which the unnecessary school became the popular one, the opinion gained ground with the Department that it would be useless, under such circumstances, to continue to refuse the grant, when once the school had given evidence of its being likely to be permanent. Accordingly, in the Code of 1879, it was conceded, that, if such an unnecessary school could establish its position by obtaining recognition from the Department as a certified efficient school for 12 months, and if it had during that time an average attendance of not less than 30 scholars, it should no longer be refused a share in the annual grant. This important provision survives to the present day, and bears on the wider question of the recognition of unnecessary schools generally. It will be remarked that this provision of the Code of 1879 is limited to districts not under school boards. In school board districts it is held by the Department that the duty of supplying any deficiency in the school accommodation is imposed by the Education Act of 1870 on the school board, which cannot give up a school once established, as volunteers can, without the consent of the Department. On that principle a school board is held to be protected from competition with new rivals within the district which it has fully supplied, if it decides to object to their being admitted to receive the annual grant. On the equity of this regulation, and the controversies which have arisen through its operation, we have received much conflicting evidence, on which this is not the place to offer any comment.

No further alterations of importance in the Code took place until 1882, when it was entirely remodelled. In one respect the Code of 1882 indicated a new departure, in that it was laid before Parliament before it was finally settled, and opinions on it were invited by the Department from all those who were actively engaged in the work of education. From the summary already given of the growth of successive Codes, it will have been made apparent how intricate and cumbrous a document the Code must in the course of time have become, after the continual modifications and additions which its several articles had undergone. To recast, and, as far as possible, to simplify its form was, therefore, the first object in view in framing the Code of 1882. A new principle of payment was likewise introduced in order to meet a difficulty which had arisen in calculating that part of the grant which had hitherto been paid in respect of individual scholars. It had not unfrequently occurred, as Mr. Cumin has informed us, that, some years after the grant had been made, the conditions on which it was earned in regard to some individual scholar turned out not to have been fulfilled, and not being considered by the Public Accounts Committee a legal payment, it had to be refunded by the managers. This naturally became a source of much irritation, and to remove a cause of serious complaint, arising from the system of audit applied to the public accounts, the Code of 1882 ceased to take cognisance of individuals in apportioning that part of the grant: in other words, the grant was to be assessed on the basis of the average attendance, and no longer in respect to the individual scholar examined.

By this alteration another grievance was abated, if not entirely removed. Under the former system of grants in respect to individual scholars, we have been informed by Mr. Cumin that complaints were frequent of the loss entailed by the absence

*New Code (1877), Art. 70 (9).

†New Code (1878), Art. 69.


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on the day of inspection of scholars qualified to earn money, who were kept away through sickness or some other unavoidable cause. The substitution of the average attendance for the year as the basis of payment went far to eliminate this source of uncertainty. The other factor in the grant, viz., the rate at which payment was to be made on the average attendance, the Code prescribed should be determined by the percentage which the actual number of passes bore to the whole number which could possibly be obtained by all scholars liable to examination. By fixing the full grant for the three elementary subjects at a hundred pence, an amount which approximated closely to the former rate of payment, the percentage of passes expressed in pence the rate of grant.

In defining what scholars should be liable to examination. in place of the previous requirement of 250 attendances in the year, the Code of 1882 substituted that of the retention of a scholar's name on the registers for 22 weeks previous to the examination. It was contended at the time - and the contention has been frequently repeated in evidence before us - that this new condition gave no security for any adequate attendance of the scholar, for whose examination the teacher was nevertheless held responsible. On the other hand, since "the grant was now to be based on the average attendance of all the scholars, and would be adversely affected by failure in examination of backward scholars", it was thought necessary by the Department to take fresh security that none of those who could "fairly be taken to be the products of the school" should be withheld from examination. An additional reason for this change is best explained by the following extract from Mr. Cumin's evidence:

"It was a great temptation, of course, to a teacher when he got the attendances up to 245 just to put a few more strokes down; and the result was that he got 12s 6d, or whatever the sum was, in respect of that child. To get rid of the temptation to fraud arising from the fact that the right to be examined and the right to earn a grant. for a school depended upon the individual child having made a certain number of attendances, in short, it was thought expedient, and so it was proposed, to pay upon the average attendance. Unless a child has made 250 attendances he cannot be examined, and cannot earn any grant for the school. If, therefore, the attendances of any child approach 250 it is the master's interest to risk the falsification of the registers by adding a few marks; whereas if the payment were made upon the average attendance, the falsification must be of a wholesale character. Thus a school meets generally 440 times, and the whole number of attendances divided by 440 gives the number in average attendance. Hence, although by means of a slight falsification the number in average attendance might be increased by one, no further addition could be made unless the teacher made at least 440 false entries; and this implies a settled determination to commit fraud, which is by no means common among teachers."

Mr. Cumin states, also, that in the interests of the scholar there was much to be said in favour of this alteration. It had been found that when once a scholar's attendance had reached the prescribed limit of 250 attendances, he was apt to become less regular, whereas by the qualification of 22 weeks' enrolment, there was no such standard of sufficient attendance suggested. On the actual working of this provision we have received a large body of evidence, the consideration of which must be reserved for a later chapter of this report.

In addition to the foregoing fundamental alterations the following changes were made in the scheme of instruction by the Code of 1882. A Seventh Standard was added to the six already existing, which themselves underwent certain modifications. English, or literature, and physical geography, the latter of which had proved to be among the most popular of the specific subjects, disappeared from the list, and a portion of their matter was incorporated in the class subjects of English and geography. Meanwhile the schedule of specific subjects was enlarged and arranged under 12 heads, but instead of being accessible as before to a scholar in the Fourth Standard, specific subjects were henceforth limited to scholars who had passed the Fourth Standard. While the curriculum was graduated up to the Seventh Standard, scholars were permitted to devote a portion of the school time to class and specific subjects, an arrangement which gave scope for higher studies in the case of individual scholars, and still enabled the definition of an elementary school laid down in the Act of 1870 to be fulfilled, that the principal part of the education therein given should be elementary. Meanwhile the doctrine of examination according to a standard of age was abandoned in this Code.

Besides these changes in the method of assessing the grant, and in the subject-matter of examination, the Code of 1882 introduced a new form of grant, called the Merit


[page 41]

Grant, on the effects of which we have taken much evidence. No better description can be given of the objects with which the Merit Grant was instituted, and of the intended method of its application, than that which is to be found in section 29 of the Instructions to Her Majesty's Inspectors accompanying the Code of 1882, §29.*

"There is no graver or more difficult task imposed upon Her Majesty's Inspectors by the amended Code than that of assessing the merit grant. Your own experience must often have led you to conclude that the full value of a school's work is not accurately measured by the results of individual examination, as tabulated in a schedule; and that two schools, in which the ratio of "passes" attained is the same, often differ materially in the quality of those passes, and in general efficiency as places of education. It is in order that these differences may be duly recognised in calculating the grant that my Lords have caused the award of a substantial part of that sum to be dependent on the estimate you form of the merit of a school as a whole. Article 109b, specifies three particulars: (1) the organisation and discipline; (2) the intelligence employed in instruction; and (3) the general quality of the work, especially in the elementary subjects. Thus the award of the merit grant will be the result of several factors of judgment. The quality as well as the number of passes will necessarily rank as the most important of these factors; but inferences derived from them alone may be modified by taking into account the skill and spirit of the teaching, the neatness of the schoolroom and its appliances, the accuracy and trustworthiness of the registers, the fitness of the classification in regard to age and capacity, the behaviour of the children, especially in their honesty under examination, and the interest they evince in their work. The Code also instructs you to make reasonable allowance for "special circumstances". A shifting, scattered, very poor or ignorant population; any circumstance which makes regular attendance exceptionally difficult; failure of health, or unforeseen changes among the teaching staff, will necessarily and rightly affect your judgment. It is needful, however, in all such cases, to have regard not only to the existence of special difficulties, but also to the degree of success with which those difficulties have been overcome." From bad or unsatisfactory schools it is manifest that the merit grant should be withheld altogether. The cases which you dealt with under Article 32b of the former Code, and in which a deduction of one or more tenths was made for "faults of instruction or discipline", or in which you have not recommended the grant for "discipline and organisation", would of course fall under this head. Other cases will occur which are not serious enough to justify actual deduction, but in which you observe that there is a preponderance of indifferent passes, preventible disorder, dulness, or irregularity, or that the teacher is satisfied with a low standard of duty. To schools of this class no merit grant should be awarded. But a school of humble aims, which passes only a moderately successful examination, may properly be designated "Fair", if its work is conscientiously done, and is sound as far as it goes, and if the school is free from any conspicuous fault."

Succeeding codes have introduced few modifications into the Code of 1882, which is still substantially in possession of the field. One addition only may be noticed in the Code of 1884, because it bears directly on the subject of over-pressure, on which we have taken so much evidence. It occurs as an addition to the clause directing the attention of the inspector to the moral training of the school in awarding the grant for organisation and discipline, of which clause we have already traced the history, and it is intended to throw on the teacher the whole responsibility for the classification of the school, and for the presentation of the scholars for examination.† The following are the words of the new clause which is still in force: "The inspector will also satisfy himself that the teacher has neither withheld scholars improperly from examination nor unduly pressed those that are dull or delicate in preparation for it, at any time in the year; and that in classifying them for instruction, regard has been paid to their health, their age, and their mental capacity, as well as to their due progress in learning."‡ As a guide to the discharge of one branch of the responsibility thus laid on the teacher - that of properly selecting those who should be withdrawn from examination - a definition is subjoined of what will be accepted as a reasonable excuse, which, as it bears so closely on the important subjects already referred to, we also quote in full. "The following, among others, will be considered reasonable excuses for either withholding a scholar or not presenting him in a higher standard; delicate health or prolonged illness, obvious dullness or defective intellect, temporary deprivation, by accident or otherwise, of the use of the eye or hand. If a scholar has failed in two subjects, or twice in the same subject, he may generally be presented again in the same standard."‡

*See Appendix to this volume.

†New Code (1884), Art. 109 (b.)

‡New Code (1884), Art. 199 e (vi.)


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From this review of the history of the Codes it will be manifest that the two elements of which the grant from the first consisted have been throughout maintained - payment for attendance and payment on the results of examination. The proportions in which these two elements have entered into the calculation of the grant have varied but slightly, until the Code of 1882 gave an additional prominence to average attendance. Under that Code not only was a fixed grant made payable on the average attendance, but the latter became also a factor by which the amount of that part of the grant was determined, which depended on the results of individual examination. In 1882 a third element was introduced, by allotting a grant to the general excellence of the schools. The principle of payment by results, which has since 1862 so largely affected the distribution of the grant, appears now again to be called in question, and it will be our duty at a later stage of the Report to weigh the evidence which has been given before us on this subject.

Mention has already been made of the Instructions to Inspectors which are issued from time to time by the Department. They form practical commentaries on the application of the Code, and contain, aĞ their name implies, directions to the inspectors, as to the way in which their duties are to be discharged under the existing regulations. The following extract from the Instructions to Inspectors, issued in 1878,* will show how from time to time their attention has been directed to the higher aspects of education, and to the moral and social needs of the children in elementary schools.

"My Lords are anxious that you should lose no suitable opportunity of impressing upon both managers and teachers the great responsibility which rests upon them, over and above the intellectual teaching, in regard to the moral training of the children committed to their charge. You will express your special approbation of all schools where, from knowledge which you have gained by repeated visits, you observe that a high moral tone is maintained.

You will probably have observed that their Lordships' object throughout has been, over and above the acquisition by every child of the bare ordinary rudiments of education, to promote the development of the general intelligence of the scholars rather than to seek to burden their memories with subjects which, considering the early age at which the majority of children leave school, would not be likely to be of use to them; and also to encourage such training in school, in matters affecting their daily life, as may help to improve and raise the character of their homes. With respect to the ordinary rudiments, you will urge the teachers, as far as they are concerned, not to be satisfied with just enabling the children to pass the standard examinations which set them free from compulsory attendance, but to endeavour to provide that all children before they leave school shall at least have acquired the power of writing with facility, of using the simple rules of arithmetic without difficulty, and of reading without exertion and with pleasure to themselves. As regards history and geography, you will encourage, as far as you can, such teaching as is likely to awaken the sympathies of the children. Their attention should be specially directed to the interesting stories of history, to the lives of noble characters, and to incidents which tend to create a patriotic feeling of regard for their country and its position in the world; and while they should be made acquainted with the leading historical incidents that have taken place in their own neighbourhood, and with its special geographical features, an interest should be excited in the colonial and foreign possessions of the British Crown.

You will bear in mind, and will urge upon managers and teachers, that though certain subjects only are paid for under the Code, and certain subjects only are obligatory, it is in their power to give instruction to children in any other useful and suitable branches of knowledge for which the parents show a liking, or which the character and habits of the population seem specially to require. It cannot be too strongly impressed upon you that uniformity in the school course, as far as the non-essential subjects are concerned, is not the object their Lordships have in view in their administration, but that, on the contrary, they consider it advantageous to the country generally that there should be a variety in the teaching of the schools, so as to meet the varying and very different requirements of different localities and condition of life. It is with this view that a great variety of optional subjects, both in elementary science and literature, has recently been added by their Lordships to the Code. From no good school, however, or conscientious teacher, will you ever hear the plea urged that only "paying" subjects can be attended to. The schools which pass best in such subjects are not those which confine themselves solely to the work of the standards, which are necessarily fixed with an eye to the capacities of ordinary children, or even to the others enumerated in the Code."

*See Appendix to this volume.


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It would be wearisome to enter on a detailed account of the form which the Instructions to Inspectors have taken in successive editions. It may suffice to make a few extracts from the Revised Instructions adapted to the Code of 1886, for the purpose of illustrating the spirit in which Her Majesty's Inspectors are desired by the Department to discharge their arduous and delicate functions:

"My Lords would especially call your attention to the general principle, that all hurry or undue haste on the day of examination is incompatible with the proper discharge of your main duty - that of ascertaining, verifying, and reporting the facts on which the parliamentary grant is administered. An early attendance at the school is absolutely indispensable, not only on account of the greater length of time available for work, but in the interests of the children, who are far more capable of sustained exertion in the early part of the day. A hurried inspection probably necessitates some evils, which are much to be deprecated, - the attempt to do two things at once, e.g., to give out dictation or sums while hearing the reading of another class; keeping classes unemployed instead of dismissing them to play; retaining children in school in the dinner hour, and thereby not allowing sufficient time for the meal; prolonging the examination to a late hour in the afternoon; and embarrassing young scholars by want of clearness in dictation or in asking questions. As a rule, infants should not be detained beyond the ordinary hour for dismissal; and other children whom it is proposed to examine later, should be relieved by a short interval for recreation before that time."*

We have already quoted from the Instructions of 1882† the official statement of the principles which were to be kept in view by the inspectors in awarding the merit grant. The instructions now in force contain a description of schools deserving the mark "Excellent", to which we shall hereafter have occasion to refer.

"It is the intention of their Lordships that the mark 'Excellent' should be reserved for cases of distinguished merit. A thoroughly good school in favourable conditions is characterised by cheerful and yet exact discipline, maintained without harshness and without noisy demonstration of authority. Its premises are cleanly and well ordered; its time table provides a proper variety of mental employment and of physical exercise; its organisation is such as to distribute the teaching power judiciously, and to secure for every scholar, whether he is likely to bring credit to the school by examination or not, a fair share of instruction and of attention. The teaching is animated and interesting, and yet thorough and accurate. The reading is fluent, careful, and expressive, and the children are helped by questioning and explanation to follow the meaning of what they read. Arithmetic is so taught as to enable the scholars not only to obtain correct answers to sums, but also to understand the reason of the processes employed. If higher subjects are attempted, the lessons are not confined to memory work and to the learning of technical terms, but are designed to give a clear knowledge of facts and to train the learner in the practice of thinking and observing. Besides fulfilling these conditions, which are all expressed or implied in the Code, such a school seeks by other means to be of service to the children who attend it. It provides for the upper classes a regular system of home exercises, and arrangements for correcting them expeditiously and thoroughly. Where circumstances permit, it has also its lending library, its savings' bank, and an orderly collection of simple objects and apparatus adapted to illustrate the school lessons, and formed in part by the co-operation of the scholars themselves. Above all, its teaching and discipline are such as to exert a right influence on the manners, the conduct, and the character of the children, to awaken in them a love of reading and such an interest in their own mental improvement as may reasonably be expected to last beyond the period of school life."‡

The teachers called before us have been very generally questioned as to their practice in the matter of setting home lessons. It is instructive to learn from the following extract what advice Her Majesty's Inspectors are bidden to tender on this subject:

"Your advice will be occasionally asked respecting home lessons, although the subject is mainly one of internal discipline, and not necessarily within your purview. For delicate, or very young children, such lessons are plainly unsuitable, and the special circumstances of some schools render it inexpedient to require home tasks in any form. Of such circumstances the local managers are the best judges. But in the upper classes of good schools, in which the teachers exert a right influence and take an interest in their work, the practice of giving short exercises to be performed at home is attended with no difficulty, and is open to no practical objection. The best teachers

*Revised Instructions (1886), page 13.

†See Appendix to this volume.

‡Instructions (1886), §51.


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use such exercises rather to illustrate, and to fix in the memory, lessons which have already been explained in school, than to break new ground or to call for new mental effort. This purpose is served by lessons of a very simple and definite character - a sum, a verse of poetry, a list of names or dates, a letter, an outline map, a short parsing exercise, which may readily be prepared in half an hour, and which admits of very easy testing and correction on the following day. When these conditions are fulfilled the home task is found to have a very valuable effect, not only in helping the progress of the scholar, and in encouraging the habits of application, but also in awakening, on the part of the parents, an interest in the school work."*

Once more, since complaints have been laid before us that the exemptions from examination claimed by the managers have sometimes been disallowed by the inspector, it is well to set side by side with these complaints, which will hereafter be dealt with, the principles on which Her Majesty's Inspectors are instructed to act in this matter:

"Much care will be needed in dealing with cases in which the scholars, though present, are withheld from examination. Some recent experience seems to show that many of the school managers are hardly yet aware of the responsibility which lies upon them in connexion with the exception list, and that they sometimes sign the schedule before examining its details with sufficient care. Managers should be recommended to consider the cases of deficient or delicate children as they occur throughout the year, and to place on record in the log-book or minute book the names of scholars whom for any reason they intend to withhold. You will not in any case examine, for the purpose of recording the marks on the schedule, a child whose name is placed upon the exception list; but it will be your duty to inquire whether there is an adequate reason for withholding him. The Code enumerates the principal of such reasons. A mere general allegation of backwardness or incapacity should not be accepted unless, on seeing the child, you are satisfied that he ought not to be examined. Nor should any fixed proportion of exceptions be allowed as a matter of course in any case; since in a school in ordinary conditions such exceptions should be very few, and, in circumstances which are specially unfavourable, the number of legitimate excuses may sometimes be large. You will judge of each case on its own merits before entering the mark 'excused' (E) or 'not excused' (NE) on the examination schedule. And in determining cases of difficulty it is well to bear in mind that if the claim is made in the interests of the scholar, and because for any reason it is not good for him that he should be examined, it should be freely allowed. But in any cases in which it is clear that the exception is asked in the supposed interests of the managers, or because it is feared that the repute of the school or the amount of the grant might slightly suffer if the scholar failed to passed, the excuse must be regarded as insufficient."†

It might at first sight appear that under the form of Instructions to Inspectors, the Education Department could in fact modify the statutory regulations which govern the administration of the grant. But since the Code requires managers to furnish themselves with a copy of the Revised Instructions for each year, which are, moreover, presented to Parliament, the Department practically challenges the most jealous inquiry into the good faith with which it adheres to the letter and spirit of the Code in the directions it gives to its Inspectors.‡

*Instructions (1886) §57.

†Instructions (1886), §64.

‡New Code (1886), Art. 8.



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PART II

The existing State of Facts

We have been furnished by Mr. Cumin with returns, prepared by him from official records in the possession of the Education Department, containing full statistics of the progressive growth of elementary education in England and Wales, embracing up to 1885 a period of 25 years. These returns will be found printed in Appendix C of the first volume of our Report, together with a summary of their contents.* We have also had the advantage of examining Mr. Cumin on the most important points arising out of these figures. Before entering on the consideration of the details of these tables, which show the gradual advance made under the several heads of educational statistics, it may be convenient to present a summary of the most recent facts of the case, as they are represented in the returns of the Elementary Schools visited by Her Majesty's Inspectors in the year ending August 31, 1886.

From these we learn that -

1. The number of Her Majesty's Inspectors and Assistants was 302.
2. The estimated population of England and Wales was 27,870,586.
The estimated population of those belonging to the class frequenting elementary schools between 3 and 5, 1,432,739; 5 to 13, 5,216,788; 13 to 14, 587,819; total, 7,237,346.
3. The number of Day Schools visited by Her Majesty's Inspectors was 19,022 Institutions, containing 28,645 separate Departments.
4. There were 5,145,292 places in the schools inspected in that year, affording accommodation for 18.46 per cent of the estimated population.
5. There were on the registers of the schools inspected 4,505,825 scholars, and 4,553,751 on the registers of annual grant schools, being 16.34 per cent of the estimated population.
6. There were in average attendance 3,438,425 scholars, being 76.31 per cent of the number of the registers.
7. There were, acting as teachers in these schools, 42,212 certificated teachers, 17,439 assistant teachers, 27,804 pupil teachers, and 4,659 female assistants.
8. These schools were maintained at a total cost of £6,839,870, which was met by income derived from the following sources, viz., from school fees, £1,812,917; from Government grant, £2,866,700; from voluntary subscriptions, £742,597; from local rates in the case of Board Schools, £1,169,150; from endowment, £156,123; from miscellaneous receipts, £79,702.
In reviewing the progress of national education by the light of the tables prepared for the Commission by Mr. Cumin, it must be premised that the figures supplied by the Department refer only to schools in receipt of annual grants, and consequently leave out of account, at least in the earlier periods, a considerable amount of educational effort unconnected with Government. This, however, has been a quantity year by year diminishing, and more rapidly since the passing of the Education Act of 1870; the facilities given for granting certificates to acting teachers having, by this time, brought almost all efficient schools within the reach of annual grants. The figures, therefore, supplied by the Department in respect to the present time may, without serious error, be taken to represent the whole available resources of elementary education. But in estimating the progress which these statistics disclose, especially in the earlier periods, it must be borne in mind that it is not entirely attributable to a newly created provision for education, but that it includes also many schools which had previously been in existence, although not before connected with the Education Department.

In taking account of the buildings which have been erected with the aid of grants from the Department, the return of the money spent on the erection of training colleges up to the date (1863) at which building grants ceased,† is approximately exhaustive, and comprehends all that had been done up to that date in England and Wales in that direction. The total sum that had been expended on these fabrics is reported to have been £638,900, towards which the Department has contributed £118,627, leaving rather more than half a million, which was provided by voluntary contributions.

*Report, vol. I., page 517.

†Table I., Appendix, Report, vol. 1.


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We gather from the last report of the Committee of Council on Education the following additional facts. There are 30 training colleges connected with the Church of England, 6 are conducted on the British and Foreign school system, 1 is Congregational, 2 are Wesleyan, 3 Roman Catholic, and 4 other undenominational; making a total of 43 in England and Wales.* Of these, 17 are for masters, 25 for mistresses, and one for masters and mistresses combined. These colleges accommodate between them 1,369 male students, 1,822 females, together with 66 students resident in the same institution for masters and mistresses.

The total annual cost of maintenance for the year 1886 was, for the male colleges £82,719, for the female £78,024, for the mixed college £2,999. The average annual cost per head is about £60 for males and £43 for female students. Out of £167,643, the total annual cost of their maintenance, £121,822 is supplied by grants from the Education Department; the students contribute £27,441, while £15,971 consists of voluntary contributions. These institutions are nearly all full, and indeed there is great competition for admission into them.

Between the years 1839 and 1882 building grants have been made by the State towards the erection and improvement of 6,335 elementary schools, amounting in all to £1,767,035, to meet a sum of £4,866,273, voluntarily contributed by the promoters. The number of scholars thus provided for was 1,233,050, at a total cost of £6,633,308. It should be borne in mind that this represents only that part of voluntary school building towards which the Department has made a building grant. No fewer than 2,239,531 school seats have been provided in schools erected by unaided voluntary effort, the cost of which represents an outlay of more than £11,000,000. This does not include the value of those sites which have been given gratuitously.

The progress made in the quarter of a century between 1860 and 1885 in the number of schools, school places, and scholars brought annually under the view of the Department through the visits of H.M. Inspectors, is set forth in Table 2 of Mr. Cumin's Returns. The number of schools annually inspected rose from 5,141 to 19,063; and the school-places from 1,094,006 to 5,061,503. That progress has been continuous, but the great leap in the provision of school accommodation naturally took place after the Education Act of 1870 had made it incumbent on every school district to supply itself with sufficient and efficient education. In the five years following on 1870 the accommodation in inspected schools increased by 1,267,840 places, and in the succeeding five years by 1,094,329 more. Of the whole increase in accommodation from 1870 to 1886, amounting to 3,182,919 places, 1,542,032 were due to voluntary effort, whilst 1,640,887 were provided by school boards. The existing school accommodation, reckoned as 5,200,685 in 1886, is made up of 3,472,581 places in voluntary schools and 1,728,104 in board schools, the former being to the latter somewhat in excess of two to one.

Corresponding to the 5,200,685 school places in the 19,173 schools on the annual grant list, there were in 1886, 4,553,751 registered scholars. Since in 1860 there were only 957,936 on the registers of grant aided schools, and only 1,693,059 in 1870, this represents an increase in the last 16 years of 2,860,692 - 1,189,230 voluntary, and 1,671,412 board - and in the last 26 years an increase of 3,595,815 scholars on the school registers. In the meanwhile the population increased from 19,902,713 in 1860 to 22,090,163 in 1870, and to 27,870,586 in 1886.

A further test of the progress of education is given by the proportion which the number on the registers of efficient schools bears to the population. Taking account only of State-aided schools, this proportion in England and Wales was 4.81 in 1860, 7.66 in 1870, 11.46, in 1875, and in 1886 it stood at 16.34. If all other certified efficient schools were included, we learn from a note to these tables that the registered scholars would certainly not be less than 1 in 6 of the population. Again, taking the number of scholars of the ages of from 7 to 11 "on the registers of our annual grant schools, we find that they (2,093,910) are upwards of 95 per cent of the estimated population (2,202,291) of that age, and of the class usually to be found at elementary schools."† Such are the statistical proofs which Mr. Cumin is able to afford of the opinion which he expressed in evidence, that we have got nearly all the children of the country who ought to be there on the registers of our elementary schools, a result which, we venture to think, both the Duke of Newcastle's Commission, and the author of the first Education Act of 1870, would have regarded as no mean one, could they have foreseen its being realised in the intervals that have elapsed since their respective labours.

*Report of Committee of Council (1887), page 388.

†See Table Report, Vol. I., page 620.


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Passing from the registered scholars to those in average attendance, we find that the proportion of the latter to the former has been singularly fluctuating during the periods referred to. The percentage of registered scholars in attendance stood in 1860 as high as 74.35 in grant-aided schools, which were then, in the nature of the case, somewhat picked ones. But by 1870 that proportion had fallen heavily, standing then at 68.07, though the continually varying Regulations of the Department during that period render it difficult to institute a very valid comparison. By 1875 it had still further fallen to 66.95. But in the intermediate time the Education Act of 1870 had passed, which brought into account a large accession of feeble schools and of unwilling scholars throughout the country, while at the same time a considerable number of board schools newly established had not as yet got into working order. By 1880 a rebound of regularity of attendance had taken place, the average attendance having then risen to 70.61 per cent of the scholars on the register - 70.5 in voluntary schools and 70.8 in board schools. This improvement in the regularity of attendance took place during a period which included the important changes in the Code of 1875 to which we have already called attention. During the same period the Act of 1876 had come into operation, creating indirect, and at the same time extending direct, compulsion. Finally, in the interval between 1880 and 1886, the proportion of attendance to scholars on the registers rose to the figure at which it now stands, 76.31 - 76.27 in voluntary schools, 76.38 in board schools. During this period Mr. Mundella's Act came into force, requiring compulsory byelaws to be universally adopted, while later on the Code of 1882 was enacted, making the grant depend more largely upon the attendance. Board and voluntary schools seem to stand more nearly on an equality in this respect than in any other, the figure representing regularity of attendance showing in 1884 an advantage in favour of voluntary school attendance of 4 in a 1,000, whilst in 1886 the advantage was with board school attendance, but only of 1 in a 1,000.

The educational results, as tested by examination, have likewise shown evidence of continued advance, though with fluctuations in certain particulars. The year 1872, in which the effects first appear of the new Code of 1871 and of the creation of board schools, is the first in which the present tables give the percentage of scholars presented in Standards IV to VI, and of those above 10 years of age presented in Standards I to III. The first percentage, indicating the degree of advance in learning, shows every year evidence of increasingly good results. The percentage of these upper standard scholars, which was in 1872 only 17.96, and fell in 1873 to 17.43 of the whole, rose, with one or two trifling exceptions, progressively, till in 1886 it reached 34.68, or more than a third of the whole. In like manner the index of backwardness, supplied by the proportion of elder children presented for examination in the lower standards, had fallen from 63.71 per cent in 1872 to 36.33 per cent in 1886. The percentage of passes in reading, writing, and arithmetic has not made like progress. Beginning with a record of 83.57 per cent in 1864 - the first year in which Mr. Lowe's Revised Code took full effect - it rose progressively until 1870, when it reached the maximum of 85.87, after which it gradually fell off, beginning, however, to recover itself in 1878, and standing, in 1886, at 85.99. It must, however, be borne in mind that within these earlier periods elementary subjects more generally engrossed the attention of scholars to the exclusion of class subjects. In many cases specific subjects have been added to the programme of school studies, and more also is now demanded under the head of these rudiments. Compulsion, too, has in the meantime driven into school a residuum whose attendance and attainments are not likely to have been on a par with those of scholars previously attending school of their own free will.

The financial position of schools at selected periods beginning with 1860 is one of the most important facts of the case which is disclosed by Mr. Cumin's tables. The annual charges of education have from the first been divided between the Government and the local promoters. But previous to 1862, part of the Government grant was paid direct to members of the school staff, and so does not appear in the school accounts. Since Mr. Lowe's code, however, all payments from the Department have been made direct to the managers as part of the school funds, and to that extent have increased the apparent cost of each child's education. In 1860 the cost is set down as 18s 11½d, and in 1862 at 19s 11d; but in 1870, when the whole grant is included in the reckoning, it stands at 25s 5d, and each successive quinquennial return shows a further increment. Thus, it had risen in 1875 to 32s 5¼d, in 1880 to 36s 8¼d - 34s 7¾d in voluntary schools, and 41s 11¾d in board schools - and it stood in 1886 at 39s 5d - 36s 4¼d in voluntary schools, and 44s 11¾d in board schools. Meanwhile, the average grant earned by each scholar which stood in 1860 and in 1862 at


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10s 6d was temporarily reduced in 1870. But at each quinquennial period since the passing of the Education Act of 1870, the rate of Government grant per scholar shows continuous increase, being 12s 7¼d in 1875, 15s 5¾d in 1880, and 17s 2½d in 1886 for each scholar in average attendance.

Much less variation is apparent in the charge of each child's education on the local resources. Standing at 18s 11½d in 1860, it had risen to 20s 10d by 1875, and only reached 22s 1¼d in 1886. Out of this sum the parent has contributed in the form of school fees nearly one-half, leaving the remainder to be provided by subscriptions and endowments in voluntary schools, and by rates in board schools. In the case of Church of England schools, which are far the most numerous of the former class of schools, the demand made on voluntary contributions for each scholar's education was 7s 1¼d in 1885, being a smaller sum than at any previous period recorded in these tables.

The aggregate cost of education to the country, being the product of two increasing factors, viz., the cost of schooling per head, and the number of children under education. - has risen with great rapidity. In 1870 the aggregate expenditure on elementary schools was about 1½ millions, in 1875 it exceeded 3 millions, in 1880 it had risen to 5 millions, and in 1886 to more than 6¾ millions (£6,839,870.)

The Government grant rose from £562,611 in 1870, to £2,958,766 in 1886. Voluntary subscriptions which stood in 1870 at £418,839, rose to £742,597 in 1886, a point at which they have for some years been almost stationary, but with a tendency every now and then to decline.

The annual charge of board schools on the local rates had risen in 1885 to £1,169,150.

The number of certificated teachers in England and Wales rose from 6,393 in 1860, and 12,676 in 1870, to 42,212 in 1886. Of these, however, only 28,645 could be in charge of as many schools, leaving over 14,000 to act as assistants. The head teachers, if masters, enjoyed an average salary of £132, if mistresses of £80. No account, however, is here taken of the numerous residences provided in voluntary schools for the principal teacher, which must add from £10 to £20 to the value of the post. Certificated masters acting as assistants had in 1886 an average salary of £90, and assistant certificated mistresses of £63. Of uncertificated assistants (ex-pupil teachers) there were 17,439 at work in 1886, whereas in 1880 there were only 7,652. On the other hand the pupil teachers, who amounted in 1880 to 33,733, had fallen in 1886 to 27,804.

The evidence we have received shows the great importance attached both by managers and teachers to the mark of merit awarded to their schools by Her Majesty's inspector, whether excellent, good, fair, or nil. The Excellent merit grant, we learn from Table 5, was in 1884 awarded to 12.45 per cent of the infant schools examined, and to 14.49 per cent of the schools for older scholars. These latter only slightly improved their record in 1885, rising to 15.90 per cent rated as excellent, but in 1886 they again advanced to 16.10 per cent. The infant schools made much more progress, rising to 16.88 per cent rated as excellent in 1885, and to 18.71 in 1886. But a singular law is disclosed by these tables as governing the award of the merit grant, viz., that its grades vary on the average with the size of schools. The following table, extracted from Mr. Cumin's Returns, referring to 1885, will best illustrate this law of proportion between the numbers in school and the rate of merit grant when the calculation is extended over the whole area of annual grants.

AVERAGE NUMBER OF SCHOLARS IN EACH DEPARTMENT OR (INFANT) CLASS

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It will be observed that equally in infant and upper schools, and as well in voluntary as in board schools, each descending grade of merit corresponds with a reduction in the average size of the school obtaining it. And one reason is not far to seek, for not only are small schools relatively more expensive than large ones, and therefore apt to be less well equipped, but as numbers increase that division of labour which economizes force becomes more and more perfect.

PERCENTAGE OF DEPARTMENTS AND (INFANT) CLASSES

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This disparity in average size, followed by a corresponding disparity in merit grant, may be further illustrated from a return made by the Local Government Board, and printed in Appendix D. of Vol. I. of our Report. From this it will be seen that of the 14,916 parishes in England and Wales, corresponding approximately to a similar number of school districts, those which have a population under 500, and therefore presumably an average school attendance not much over 60, number 8,951. Of these small parishes the very large majority are supplied by voluntary schools; how large may be inferred from Table 13 in Mr. Cumin's returns. There it will be seen that out of 3,928 schools in England and Wales with less than 60 in average attendance, 3,286 are voluntary, and only 642 are supplied by boards. A similar conclusion may be drawn from Table 12, which shows that in a still smaller class of schools, 1,252 in number, where the accommodation is under 60, only 179 are board schools. It will help to throw light upon the educational problem if it be remembered that in England and Wales, as Mr. Cumin has told us in evidence, 30 per cent of all schools have an average attendance of leas than 60, and 52 per cent an average of less than 100. And it may further be inferred from the figures already quoted that nearly four-fifths of all the smaller schools are voluntary ones.

Mr. Cumin's returns include an elaborate comparison carried on for 10 years between the summaries of voluntary and board-school work, as shown in Table 6. Looking only to the figures of 1885, the number of voluntary schools inspected was 14,600, as compared with 4,295 board ones; their relative accommodation was 3,398,000 and 1,600,718 school places, their average attendance 2,183,870 and 1,187,455 respectively. In point of regularity of attendance they were practically on the same footing, as has been already remarked. Their percentage of scholars presented in higher standards was also almost identical, but the advantage was on the side of board schools in the percentage of passes, board schools having 87.07 per cent, as against 84.14 per cent in voluntary schools. Board schools also were receiving a larger average grant per head, earning 17s 7d as against 16s 8¼d in voluntary schools. On each child's schooling board schools spent 9s. 6½d in excess of the sum paid by voluntary ones: the amounts being 45s 4d and 35s 9½d respectively. Finally, each separate institution inspected had on an average 195 scholars on the register in voluntary schools as against 362 in board schools.

The following facts regarding the distribution in 1881 of the population of England and Wales between school boards and school attendance committees may be gathered from Table VII furnished by Mr. Cumin. In England alone the population under the former is 15,261,159; under the latter 9,352,767. Of the school board population 3,834,354 is in London, 6,824,540 in municipal boroughs, and 4,602,265 in parishes. The districts under school attendance committees comprise a population of 1,545,008 in municipal boroughs, 821,593 in urban sanitary districts, and 6,986,166 in unions.


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If we omit London, the boroughs, and the urban sanitary districts, only 2,478 parishes in England are within the school board area, whilst 9,684 parishes are outside of the school board area, a proportion of about one to four. In Wales the population under school boards is 995,766, whilst that under school attendance committees is 364,747; 449 parishes, excluding boroughs, being within, and 555 outside of the school board area. Taking England and Wales together, a population of 16,256,925 is under school boards, and of 9,717,514 under school attendance committees, the former being 63 and the latter 37 per cent of the whole population. The number of parishes, however, in England and Wales (excluding borough and urban sanitary districts) which are in school board and in non-school board districts respectively is 2,927 and 10,239, being 22 and 78 per cent of the whole number of these parishes.

We have received a considerable body of evidence, given principally by teachers in charge of schools, as to whether children now leave school at an earlier age than formerly, but such evidence has been founded largely on general impressions, and at the best covers a very limited area. One of the tables furnished by Mr. Cumin supplies materials from which an answer may be drawn at once more comprehensive and more exact. The table below is extracted from the fuller Table II, printed at page 522 of Vol. I of our Report, regarding the ages of scholars on the register. This abridged table is confined to the returns made for each period of five years, beginning with the year 1865 and terminating with that of 1885. It shows that in the course of that period of 20 years the centesimal proportion of scholars of 12 years old and over has increased by nearly 2 per cent, while the proportion of those of 11 years and over has increased by 4.23 per cent. On the other hand, taking account of the five epochs selected in this abridged table, the proportion of registered scholars who had turned 13 years of age will be seen to have fallen gradually from 1865 (4.41) till it reached a minimum (3.36) in 1875, to have attained a maximum in 1880 (5.00), and to stand now at 4.10, almost exactly where it did in 1870.

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The distribution of the population of England and Wales under standards of exemption determined by byelaws is given in Table VIII (B) of Mr. Cumin's returns. It appears that the fourth, fifth, and sixth Standards for total exemption are those in force among the following proportions of the population: viz., the Fourth Standard for 31.68 per cent, the Fifth for 48.12, and the Sixth for 19.95. But of school districts 9,372 have the Fourth Standard for total exemption, 3,967 have the Fifth, and 79 have the Sixth. For partial exemption the mass of the population may be grouped as having Standards II, III, or IV, and in the following proportions: 9.79 per cent have the Second; 58.80 per cent have the Third; and 24.13 per cent have the Fourth Standard for partial exemption. For this purpose the Second is the Standard in force in 1,546 school districts, the Third in 8,912, the Fourth in 2,001.

The duration of school life can only be approximately arrived at from these tables, and appears to be an inference drawn from insufficient data. No trustworthy figures illustrating this point have been collected by the Department, as Mr. Cumin tells us in a note to Table IX (C) . The limits of school life being taken to lie between the ages


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of 3 and 13, the average attendance, taken as about 70 per cent, is presumed to suggest that on an average each child's school life extends over a period of seven years. The age at which children enter school and leave is shown from the following Table:

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In Table XV we have reprinted a Parliamentary Paper furnished by the Education Department to the House of Commons on August 13th, 1885, on the motion of Mr. Molloy, showing the growth of voluntary schools from 1870 to 1885, under the several heads of (1) number of children in attendance; (2) expenditure; (3) school fees; (4) voluntary subscriptions; (5) Government grant; (6) income from other sources; and, (7) the number of new schools established. On reference to that Table it will be seen that during the period of 14 years included in the return, the number of children on the register of voluntary schools has increased from 1,693,059 in 1870 to 2,853,604 in 1884, whilst those in average attendance have steadily increased from 1,152,389 to 2,157,292. The total expenditure has risen continuously from £1,527,023 in 1870 to £3,812,149 in 1884. School fees which amounted in the former year to £502,023 amounted in the latter year to £1,205,440. Voluntary subscriptions rose, though with a certain amount of fluctuation, from £418,839 to £732,524. The Government Grant which was £562,611 in 1870 had risen to £1,768,140 in 1884; while additions to the income from other sources, which in 1870 stood at £76,509, had gradually increased to £192,975 in 1884. Meanwhile the number of new voluntary schools established had amounted in all to 6,735, the largest addition being made in 1872, when 1,056 new schools were built, from which number the annual additions gradually declined as the school supply became more adequate, the smallest number of new voluntary schools established in any one year being 51 in 1882; the number for the two succeeding years being 70, and 89 respectively.

In the same year Mr. Mundella moved for a Return for the years 1869 to 1884, showing for each child in average attendance at voluntary schools; (1) the average cost; (2) the average grant; (3) the average school fees; (4) the voluntary contributions. This return, which will be found printed in Table XVI, shows that for that period of 15 years, the average cost per child gradually rose from £1 5s 5d to £1 15s 2d; the average grant from 9s 7d to 16s 4d¾; the average school fees from 8s 4d to 11s 2d; while the voluntary contribution per child in average attendance fluctuated a good deal, beginning with 7s 3¼d in 1869, rising to a maximum of 8s 8¾d in 1877, and thenceforward declining regularly with the increasing numbers till it fell in 1884 to 6s 8½d.



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PART III

Machinery for Carrying on Public Elementary Education
Chapter I - Supply of Schools.
Chapter II - Structural suitability of the present School Supply.
Chapter III - School Management.
Chapter IV - Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools.
Chapter V - Teachers and Staff.
Chapter VI - Training Colleges.
Chapter VII - Attendance and Compulsion.

CHAPTER I

SUPPLY OF SCHOOLS

We now proceed to inquire how far a sufficient amount of school accommodation has been already provided, and to what extent the existing machinery of the Education Acts is effective for supplying such deficiencies as may from time to time arise. Section V of the Act of 1870 thus lays down the obligation which lies on each school district to provide sufficient school accommodation:

"There shall be provided for every school district a sufficient amount of accommodation in public elementary schools (as herein-after defined) available for all the children resident in such district for whose elementary education efficient and suitable provision is not otherwise made."

In the opinion of Mr. Cumin, the Secretary of the Education Department, the present supply of schools throughout the country is quite sufficient, except in places where the population is continually on the increase. He admits further that "in every county in England, excepting the London district, the accommodation is considerably, and in some cases very largely, in excess of one-sixth of the population ... the ideal number of those who might reasonably be expected to be at school every day." In Lancashire, for instance, one-sixth of the population in the year 1881, amounted to 575,000: the school accommodation in 1885-6 was 780,134, so that (putting aside any increase of population that may have taken place in the interval) according to this calculation there were in this county 205,000 places in excess. For this apparent excess Mr. Cumin suggested one explanation. It was, he believed, partly attributable to the number of large buildings which had been erected primarily for Sunday school purposes, and in which day schools were held without occupying to the full the space provided.|| "Thus", he said, "in the county of Lancaster, in the Church of England schools the average number of seats in each department is 149, the average attendance (on week days) is 98, and the percentage of seats occupied daily 65. In the Wesleyan schools the average number of seats in each department is 244, the average attendance is 154, and the percentage of seats occupied daily 63. In British schools there are 200 seats in each department on an average, the average attendance is 128, and the percentage of seats occupied daily is 64. In Roman Catholic schools there are 201 seats on an average in each department, the average attendance is 118, and the percentage of seats occupied daily is 58." On the other hand, in board schools, erected solely with a view to day school accommodation, "there are 206 seats on an average in each department, the average attendance is 151, and the percentage of seats occupied daily is 73." In addition to the reason thus given for any apparent superfluity of accommodation, the decrease in the rural population of many counties during the last few years must have thrown a certain number of school seats out of use. In some places, including several mining districts, this decrease of the population has been considerable.

Two further explanations of the apparent excess of accommodation were suggested to Mr. Cumin during his examination, and accepted by him. "In the first place", he


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says, "more attention has been paid to the organisation of infants' schools, and even of babies' departments"; and in the second place, there has been an increased provision of class rooms for the separate instruction of the different classes. It must, of course, always be borne in mind, that a superfluity of accommodation in one locality is not set off against a deficiency occurring in another; and, consequently, that an excess in the aggregate, over so large an area as a county, is not incompatible with the existence of a deficiency of accommodation in particular places.

The oral evidence given to us as to the basis on which the accommodation required in any district is calculated by the Education Department was not very explicit. But on this point we are able to refer to the instructions issued to the Inspectors of Returns in May 1871, for their guidance in conducting the first inquiry held, under section 71 of the Education Act of 1870, into the school supply of the country at large.

These instructions ran as follows:

Sufficiency

"For what proportion of the population of a district ought school accommodation to be provided?"

"To this question no answer can be given which will be universally applicable. Local circumstances vary so widely that what would be an ample supply of schools for one district would be insufficient for another of the similar population. A parish may be wholly, mainly, or only very partially occupied by the classes requiring public school accommodation for their children. The requirements of Bethnal Green cannot be measured, in this respect, by the same standard as those of Hastings or Leamington. Accordingly, in the official returns sent to the local authorities, they are asked to state what proportion of the population in their respective districts they estimate to be 'of the class whose children will attend public elementary schools'."

"The requirements of each district must be judged by the answer to this inquiry; but, in ordinary cases‡ (i.e., where the labouring classes are about six-sevenths of the population), it may be assumed that accommodation in elementary schools will be required for one sixth of the entire population. This has been the rule hitherto followed by the Committee of Council in making building grants, and it is probably sufficient for all practical purposes. But where the families who are able to make independent provision for the education of their children either exceed or fall short of their usual proportion (one seventh) to the whole of the community, it may be calculated that accommodation will be required in elementary schools for about one-fifth of the rest of the population."

"For example: in a parish of 1,400 souls, building grants have hitherto been made for as many as 233 children. If six sevenths of the population belong to the class for whom elementary schools are required, school room may have been provided with public aid, for 233 children out of 1,200 souls. Of these 1,200, about 216 will be between 5 and 13 (the compulsory age under the Act) and 277 between 3 and 13. Room for 233 scholars will, consequently, be somewhat in excess of the number of children from 5 to 13; but as many infants go to school before 5, a school of this size will be large enough to enable every child in the parish, who is likely to attend it, to have 8 4/10 years of schooling, out of its 10 years of school life (3-13)."

"This provision appears to be sufficient, but is not in excess of what will be required, especially having regard to the compulsory powers of the Act. You may fairly take it as a standard in judging how far, in respect of quantity of accommodation, the requirements of each district are met by the schools included in its returns."

The Report of the Department for 1886-7, (p. xiii), also lays it down that "to meet the wants of the children for whom our schools are provided, and who constitute one-fifth of the total population, the number of school places to be provided ought to to be equal to one-sixth of the population."

The first part of this formula, adopted in 1871, appears to have been based upon the Census Returns of 1861, (the last published at that date), which showed that 23.12 per cent of the whole population were between 3 and 13 years of age. Deducting 1/7th for the class of children not usually found in State-aided schools, the remainder, being mainly of the class contemplated by the Act of 1870, would amount to 19.82, or, for working purposes, 20 per cent of the total population. We may point out that owing to improved sanitary conditions, the proportion of children between 3 and 13 to the whole population, rose from 23.12 in 1861, to 24.04 in 1881.§

See Report of Committee of Council for 1869-70, p. xiv.

§Census Return, 1881.


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Under the present conditions of elementary education, we are, on the whole, disposed to agree with the Department, that, (in the case of populations containing the ordinary proportion of the upper classes), "after making due allowance for absence on account of sickness, weather, distance from school, and other reasonable excuses for irregular attendance, school seats should be provided for one-sixth of the total population, and these seats ought to be daily occupied."* A table which we give in our Third Report,† proves how nearly these requirements have been realised in several counties. It appears that while in 11 English counties and in Wales generally, more than 90 per cent of one-fifth of the population are found on the school registers, no less than 99 per cent of one-fifth are on the school registers in the county of Leicester, and 92 per cent of one-sixth are in average attendance. It must also be borne in mind that since the Circular of 1871 was issued, an increasing number of scholars of a wealthier class have been drawn into Public Elementary Schools; that increased outlay upon the staff and buildings, and notably the enlarged curriculum of education, have held out greater attractions to scholars; and that the Act of 1876 has imposed upon backward children the obligation to attend school up to the age of 14. Owing to these and other circumstances, a larger proportion of accommodation than suffices for one-sixth of the population has in fact been provided in certain localities, and especially in some of the manufacturing districts.

The question has arisen as to the amount of accommodation that ought to be provided for children between 3 and 5 years of age, the latter being the earliest age at which they can be compelled to attend school. The Rev. Prebendary Roe, a Diocesan Inspector, who is well known to have given great attention to elementary education, speaking of the rural schools in Somerset, is of opinion that all children, in the country districts at least, should be in school by four years of age; and as far as these districts are concerned, he would have provision made for all children over three years of age. Mr. Cumin informs us, in the following words, that the Education Department have no uniform rule in regard to the accommodation for these young children: "What we say is, generally, that you are to consider the children between the ages of three and five as capable of going to school, and capable of bringing a grant; but it does not at all imply that the accommodation in every case is to be supplied for every child between the ages of three and five." Mr. Sharpe, one of Her Majesty's chief inspectors, and other witnesses,|| have given it as their opinion that small baby rooms are absolutely necessary in very poor neighbourhoods where the mothers are obliged to work for their living; that the "babies" if they are suitably dealt with, reap great advantage from being in school; while the elder children are often thereby set free to attend school more regularly.

It has been contended that in some districts, notably in parts of London, the provision for infants is largely in excess of the requirements, in consequence of full accommodation having been provided for the children between 3 and 5 years of age, who do not attend as regularly as the older children. Mr. Cumin, however, gave it as his opinion that the supply of school accommodation in London is not more than is required, whatever may be said about its distribution. On this point we think it right to observe that the proportion of children of school age in London to the total population is considerably less than throughout the country at large. The Census Returns for 1881, being given for quinquennial periods, cannot be quoted in respect of children between 3, or 5, and 13. But they show with respect to children between 5 and 15, that while the proportion of the population of that age in 1881 was 22.90 per cent in England and Wales - 22.31 in the towns, and 23.15 in the rural districts - it was only 20.60 in London. Taking 2 1/3 per cent as the difference between the children of school age in the Metropolis and the country generally, it follows that London with its 3,816,413 inhabitants must, in 1881, have had nearly 89,000 fewer children than would have been found in a population of the same size elsewhere. The child population of London, between 3 and 13, was estimated by the Registrar-General, at the Census of 1881, to be 831,595, or 21.79 per cent of the whole population. Deducting one-seventh from this for children not using the elementary schools, and an eighth besides for all causes of absence, according to the rule of the Education Department set out above, the result gives 12,372 fewer school places than by the application of the previous estimate of one-sixth of the population. It must be borne in mind that the erection of school buildings in London in three storeys will often compel the provision of a definite amount of accommodation for infants, irrespective of what might otherwise be considered the best proportion.

*Report of the Committee of Council, 1886-7, p. xii.

†Report, Vol. III., p. 741.


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The ultimate responsibility of ascertaining the sufficiency or deficiency of accommodation in any given district rests with the Education Department, and they depend for their information on the inspector of the district. "The inspectors", Mr. Cumin says, "are continually bound to see that there is no deficiency of school accommodation in their districts"; and they would inform the Department of any such deficiency, either through their annual reports or by special representations.

But within their own districts the school boards appear to be the primary judges of the accommodation to be provided. The law officers of the Crown, Mr. Cumin states, have given it as their opinion that the 18th section of the Elementary Education Act of 1870 gives absolute discretion to school boards to supply such additional accommodation, as in their opinion, is necessary. In London the initiative is always taken by the school board. There, however, a provisional order being almost always required to obtain a site, the proposal to build is necessarily brought before the Education Department, and, on their behalf, a special local inquiry into the question is held by Her Majesty's inspector. If, as is customary, in London and elsewhere, the building is to be erected by means of a loan, the Department can refuse their consent to its issue, and, indeed, under the Act of 1873 (sec. 10) they are bound to do so if the proposed school is in excess of the requirements of the district. Again, the Department may refuse an annual grant to a board school, not provided by means of a loan, if they deem it unnecessary. Thus the Department can exercise a very practical control over the provision of additional school accommodation proposed to be provided by school boards.

In districts where there is no school board, and in which, therefore, no authority exists charged with the duty of providing school accommodation, the school attendance committee, frequently make representations to the Department respecting the school supply within their district. These representations receive full consideration, and are sent down to the inspector, who is directed to inquire into the facts, and if he reports a deficiency, the parish or district is called upon to supply it by voluntary effort, or, failing that, to elect a school board for the purpose.|| But in all cases in which the need of further supply is called in question, the Department is not wholly dependent on the information of its inspector. Local remonstrances are sure to be sent in; all sides are fully represented, and the Department are able to decide judicially with a full knowledge of the facts relied on by all parties to the dispute.

The question of whether a school board has a prior right to supply a deficiency of accommodation in its district has been keenly debated. As a consequence of the assertion of such a right, (founded upon the 18th section of the Act o6 1870 already referred to,) offers on the part of voluntary bodies to supply an existing deficiency have been in many cases refused by the Department, with the result that, if the schools had been built, they would have been excluded from the annual grant. Some of these schools were, however, ultimately recognised. A detailed list of these cases is to be found in the Appendix to our First Report. It is admitted that the school board is bound to reckon as a part of the available supply from time to time all voluntary efficient schools then existing. But Mr. Cumin's interpretation of the Act, on which, he states, the Education Department have always proceeded, is, that as the school board are bound by the 10th section of the Act of 1870 to supply the original deficiency, so under the 18th section they are afterwards entitled, if they insist on doing so, to supply whatever deficiency may from time to time arise. The Department, he says, do not, in estimating a deficiency subsequently arising, recognise as part of the school supply, schools which are only in contemplation, nor even those which are in course of erection, unless the boards acquiesce in divesting themselves of their right to supply the deficient accommodation.** Only with the consent of the Department can these be reckoned as public elementary schools, and such consent can, under the terms of the 98th section of the Act of 1870, be given only to the managers of a school already in existence.

Mr. Cumin stated that this interpretation of the 18th section of the Act†† has been endorsed by both political parties in Parliament. He was asked: "Supposing that there were a large influx of Roman Catholics into a population, and that there

††Act of 1870, sec. 18. The School board shall maintain and keep efficient every school provided by such board, and shall from time to time provide such additional school accommodation as is, in their opinion, necessary in order to supply a sufficient amount of public school accommodation for their district.

A school board may discontinue any school provided by them, or change the site of any such school, if they satisfy the Education Department that the school to be discontinued is unnecessary, or that such change of site is expedient.


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were an offer at the same time of a Roman Catholic inspected school to meet that need, would the board have an unconditional right to refuse the Roman Catholic school"? - "Last evening", he replied, "in the House of Commons, that very case was put; and the Ministers of more than one Government came to the conclusion that the board were entitled to supply this accommodation against an actual offer by Roman Catholic volunteers to supply the deficiency."

On the other hand, Mr. Cumin appears to assume the existence of a power in the school board to divest itself of this prior right and enabling it to accept the offer from a voluntary source to supply the deficiency. For in answer to (Q. 1886), "Then am I to understand that offered and projected voluntary schools are absolutely not to be taken into account by the boards?" - he replied, "They are absolutely not to be taken into account by the boards, unless the boards acquiesce in divesting themselves of the right to supply the deficient accommodation."

In practice, however, there have been important exceptions to the recognition by the Department of the power of a school board to waive its prior right. In the Willesden case, for example, the Department threatened to declare the Board in default if it allowed a clergyman to supply a deficiency which had been officially notified to exist. Mr. Cumin's account and justification of the action of the Department will be gathered from the evidence given by him in reference to this case. "The school board", said he, "was set up to supply a particular deficiency, and that supply the school board wished to put upon the clergyman, who was a volunteer. We said, 'You cannot do that, because it is your duty, as a school board under the statute, to supply the deficiency, which deficiency caused the election of a school board.' The board and various other persons disputed that, and we said, 'Well, inasmuch as this is a question of difficult legal interpretation, we are quite willing to abide by the law officers' opinion.' The law officers were consulted, and they supported the action of the Department."

Objection has been taken to the interpretation thus given of the powers conferred on school boards by the Act of 1870, on the ground that it is at variance with the language used by Mr. Forster, when he had charge of the Bill in the House of Commons. It is stated that he gave countenance to the idea that a door was in the future always to be left open to all comers to supply a deficiency, even when a school board had taken the matter in hand. But this point is now one of secondary importance, since the law officers of the Crown have not upheld such a construction of the words of the Act.

The present official interpretation of the law as to the right of supply, complicated as it is in practice with the administrative question of the power of the Department to refuse annual grants to unnecessary schools, has given rise to much controversy. It is alleged that in some cases, and especially in the case of Roman Catholic schools, it constitutes a serious grievance. And dissatisfaction is not unnaturally felt by several religious denominations at a construction of the Act which seems to bar their right to establish schools of their own religious faith, wherever the school board chooses to interpose and to refuse its assent to their admittance to a share in the annual grant. The first complaint is that the Department, instead of itself deciding whether the proposed voluntary school is unnecessary or not, hands the question over to the School Board for decision. The next complaint is that, in those instances in which the Department pronounces the school to be unnecessary, the Department refuses to exercise the discretion of giving or refusing grants to unnecessary schools, which the 98th section of the Act of 1870, in order to meet the equity of exceptional cases, puts into its hands. Further, it is contended that the interpretation thus given to the Act conflicts with the whole idea of religious liberty, which allows parents the right of deciding in what faith their children should be educated.

The practice of the Department on this point is well illustrated in the now famous Dan-y-craig case, which has been several times brought before Parliament, and of which the official correspondence has been printed as a parliamentary paper. The case originated in a resolution of the school board of Swansea to exercise their prior right of supplying the existing deficiency without recognizing a Roman Catholic school, which was in course of erection for the children of that body in Dan-y-craig, a suburb within their district. In the view of the Department, the proposed Roman Catholic school fell at once into the class of unnecessary schools, and as such was excluded from the annual grant. From that disability, however, it appears that the Department was ready to set it free, if the consent of the school board could have been obtained. The


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assent of the Board was persistently refused in answer to the repeated inquiries of the Department; and till quite recently (1888) the Dan-y-craig school continued to be excluded from the grant, solely in consequence of the objection raised by the Swansea School Board. It may be remarked, in passing, that the London School Board have never refused their consent to new voluntary schools being put upon the annual grant list, however well supplied with schools the district might already be.

It will be generally agreed, we think, that some check ought to be placed on the multiplication of schools claiming to be supported out of the education grant, and that check can hardly be placed in other hands than the Education Department, to which it has been committed by statute: but the promoters of voluntary schools seeking Government aid look upon it as an intolerable grievance that the decision should be placed in the hands of a local body who are likely to be prejudiced against them. The opinion of Sir Henry James and Mr. Stokes taken on behalf of the promoters of the Dan-y-craig school, was referred to in a question put to Mr. Cumin in his examination as follows:

"I will only read the last sentence of Sir Henry James. 'We think that in the case of a denominational school, the religion professed by its managers, and whether that religion is such as to cause the schools to be suitable or unsuitable for the children of the district, would be matters properly to be taken into consideration by the Department before arriving at a decision.' Here is a case in which there were 120 or more Roman Catholic children in that place, of whom 55 had been attending the board school under the compulsion of the byelaws; is that a case in which there should be no consideration?" Mr. Cumin replied, "I have only again to say that I have read Sir Henry James' opinion, and I agree with it; but I do not interpret it in the same way as your Eminence. I agree with the opinion of Sir Henry James and Mr. Stokes, and I see nothing contradictory in their opinion to anything that the Department has done. With respect to the word 'suitable', all that I would venture to add is this: that by section 74 of the Act of 1870, which refers to the byelaws, it is provided that 'every school board may from time to time, with the approval of the Education Department, make byelaws for all or any of the following purposes: Requiring the parents of children of such age, not less than 5 years nor more than 13 years, as may be fixed by the byelaws, to cause such children (unless there is some reasonable excuse) to attend school.' Now, one of the reasonable excuses is, that there is no public elementary school open which the children can attend within a distance not exceeding three miles. Therefore, under the Act of 1870, a child is bound to go to school unless he can show that there is no public elementary school within three miles, in which case he is excused; but if there is a public elementary school, whether it is a board school, or a denominational school, to that school the child must go if there is no other school; and therefore, that school must be considered suitable. That is the view taken by the Department, and this is re-affirmed in the Code of 1881, which provided that no grant is to be made for or in respect of any school which is not previously in receipt of an annual grant, if the Department think that the school is unnecessary. The principle laid down in this Minute was first inserted in the Code in 1878 Art. 7 (b); 'No grant is made for or in respect of any school which is not previously in receipt of an annual grant, if the Department think that the school is unnecessary'; and this article was repeated in successive Codes till 1882."

The following portion of Mr. Cumin's evidence will tend to elucidate the action of the Department in this important case.

"Q. 1919. In practice, when a school is offered to the Department and applies for annual grants, which seem to be in excess of the one-sixth limit, do you consult the school board before you answer the application? - Yes, always.

1920. And it rests with them to determine in the first instance, and to submit to the Department the considerations upon which they think that the school is necessary or not? - Yes.

1921. In some cases they admit different classes of schools, and do not insist upon making the supply.

1922. That I suppose is partly from the fear of increasing the rates? - Partly from that, and also from the difficulty of compelling the children to go to a school that they do not like.

1923. On the other hand, do not some school boards say, 'We decline to allow any addition to the school supply, because we will insist upon the children of every class going into board schools'? - That is so.


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1924. You are guided, therefore, in the first instance, largely by the opinion of the school board of the district? - What we say is, 'If you, the school board, are willing to perform your duty by supplying this accommodation, if you do supply the accommodation, and if the children are actually brought into these schools, any provision beyond that must be an unnecessary school, and therefore we are bound to refuse it under Article 98.' But, as I have stated before, we allow it to be a certified efficient school."

Assuming that by "Article 98", quoted in the foregoing answer, we are to understand the 98th section of the Act of 1870, the interpretation here put upon it by Mr. Cumin, seems to us somewhat strained. The clause runs thus: "The Education Department may refuse a grant, if they think the school unnecessary." The Act, if we rightly understand these words, throws upon the Department a double responsibility. They are to decide whether the school seeking a grant is unnecessary; and in the event of their so determining, they have then to decide whether they shall put in force the power entrusted to them of refusing a grant to such a school on the ground that it is unnecessary. But, the Department appear to us to escape their first duty, that of determining whether the school is unnecessary by resolving beforehand to accept the decision of the school board on that point; and the second duty devolving on them, that of deciding whether or not they will make an annual grant to unnecessary schools, so as to meet the equity of hard cases, seems to us to be wholly in abeyance. By the following Minute of August 1876 the Department practically relieved themselves of this latter duty.

"Resolved, that with a view to remove any doubt as to the discretion of the Education Department in administering the Parliamentary grant, so as to prevent the multiplication of unnecessary schools, and to secure uniformity, economy, and efficiency in the distribution of the grant, it is expedient to provide by the New Code that no annual grant shall be made for or in respect of any school to 'which such grants have not previously been made if the Education Department think that the school is unnecessary." The duty of deciding whether a school is unnecessary or not was, however, distinctly recognised by the Act as attaching the Department itself. The Code of 1882 dropped the reference to the decision of the Department, and stated that "the school must not be unnecessary", leaving it an open question who is to be the judge.

The remedy for the grievances complained of seems to us to lie in a more liberal interpretation of the word "suitability", and in a close adherence to the spirit of the provisions of the Act of 1870. The following contention of Mr. Allies, the Secretary of the Catholic Poor School Committee, seems to us worthy of serious consideration. Regarding the decision as to what schools are unnecessary, he said, "We should not rest with anything short of its being left still, as the Act leaves it, to the decision of the Education Department, and that the Education Department should not take the decision of the school board as if it were its own, or consider itself bound by the decision of the school board not to give a grant if it thinks proper. I wish to reserve to the Education Department the entire decision. We fully admit that if the Education Department, considering all the circumstances, determines that the school is unnecessary, it may, according to the Act, give its decision accordingly."

The far more serious proposal that has been made, to abolish all restrictions on grants to unnecessary schools, would prove, as Mr. Cumin clearly shows, injurious to the interests of the very schools which it is meant to uphold. "Unless this minute is maintained", he says, "there is no reason why a board should not build any number of schools it pleases, and in this way set up rival schools to all the voluntary schools in the kingdom. It is the only protection that exists for voluntary schools."

The question whether the religious denomination of a school ought not to be taken into account by the Department in the question of "suitability" under Section V of the Act of 1870, has been raised in connexion with the subject of "unnecessary" schools. Mr. Cumin interprets the word "suitable" in the Act as referring only to schools which are not public elementary schools: "There is a view", he said, "taken of Section V which I think requires a little elucidation. The Act says, 'that there shall be provided for every school district a sufficient amount of accommodation in public elementary schools available for all the children resident in such district for whose elementary education efficient and suitable provision is not otherwise made.' Now it is sometimes supposed that 'suitable' applies to a public elementary school. This is a mistake, as I understand it. Suitable provision means that the


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provision must be suitable where it is not a public elementary school. But supposing that there is a case of a parish with a school managed by a particular denomination, and that that school is a public elementary school, that is to say, that it is efficient, having a certified teacher, having a conscience clause, having a time table put up being open at all times to inspection, and being conducted in accordance with the Code; that school is ipso facto suitable, and it is ipso facto efficient, because it is a public elementary school." According to this interpretation, the Act of 1870 provides, that in any school district, if there be not already efficient and sufficient accommodation which is also "suitable" or "such as the parents could not reasonably object to on religious grounds", then the Law shall step in and see that a public elementary school is established, in which the question of suitability will not arise, because the school is ipso facto suitable. Mr. Cumin contended that, so far as the religious question is concerned, every public elementary school, whether established by a school board or by a particular religious denomination, is regarded by the Department as "suitable" to the children of parents of all religious opinions. For on being asked whether a public elementary school connected with any religious denomination is "suitable" for the children of every other denomination, he answered, "That is the view of the Legislature." This contention is borne out by the Official Circular defining "suitability", which we have already quoted at length.‡

Reference has been made in the course of the evidence given before us to the injury which is alleged to have been inflicted on denominational schools under the working of the 23rd section of the Education Act of 1870. Under that section power is given to the managers of denominational schools to transfer their school buildings to school boards even when the property is held on definite trusts on the following conditions:

1. That the resolutions to transfer must be adopted by a majority of two thirds of the managers present at a meeting specially summoned.
2. That the resolutions of the managers must be confirmed by a majority of two thirds of the annual subscribers present at a meeting specially summoned.
3. That the proposed transfer agreement must be sanctioned by the Education Department, which "shall consider and have due regard to any objections and representations respecting the proposed transfer which may be made by any person who has contributed to the establishment of such school."
The effect of these provisions, it has been stated in evidence, is to set aside almost entirely the influence of the trustees and founders of the school, and to place its fate at any given moment in the hands of the managers for the time being, who are an uncertain and changing body, and may never have contributed to the erection of the school. Managers, it is alleged, have even obtained election for the express purpose of securing the transfer of the school in whose maintenance they had previously taken no active interest. It has likewise been stated in evidence, that in many cases in which the transfer itself would not be opposed by those who founded and who have to a great extent maintained the school, an agreement with the school board has been sanctioned by the Education Department, containing provisions which have not been necessary for the purposes of the Education Act, and which have been unduly at variance with the original trusts. It has to be noted that under the present law neither the trustees nor the founders of the school have any power in relation to these transfers beyond the right of making a representation to the Education Department. In view of the friction caused by the working of the 23rd section and the grievances which it appears to have created, we recommend that, in any fresh educational legislation, it be enacted that no transfer of a school held under trust shall take place without the consent of a majority of the trustees, and that the Education Department be instructed to sanction only such terms of transfer, beyond what is required for the purposes of the Education Acts, as do not interfere with the original trust, in the event of a voluntary school being leased to a school board. Provision should also be made that no structural expenses involving a loan should be incurred without the consent of the trustees who lease the building.

The following considerations seem to us to point out the lines upon which any questions which may arise in the future as to the supply of deficient accommodation ought to be dealt with. The Act of 1870 was called for to keep pace with the growing requirements of the country in the supply of schools. Its leading provisions were based upon the necessity of filling up, without delay, the great deficiency existing at the time. The term originally proposed by the Bill for the extension of voluntary effort was reduced by the House of Commons, which also limited to four months the period

‡Report, Part I, Chapter 3, page 25.


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allowed for making application for building grants, and put a stop to all such grants for the future; a step which was not contemplated by the Bill. As soon as, working under these restrictions, volunteers had prepared for, or made such additions to the previous school supply as were within their powers, it became the duty of school boards to fill up any remaining deficiency. This duty, the duty, that is, of completing tho school supply of the country, so as to satisfy the wants of the population, we consider to have been imposed upon the school boards. We agree with Mr. Cumin in thinking that this duty could not, so far as the original deficiency was concerned, be delegated to others, as he held in explaining the action of the Department in the Willesden case already referred to.

Assuming, however, that the pressing deficiency of 1870 has been filled up by local effort, whether free or compulsory, the difficulty remains as to the future relations of these two agencies of school supply if the population of a district increases. No question has been raised as to the allowance of voluntary effort to keep pace with the growing requirements of a district in which no school board had to be set up, after the first general inquiry into the school supply of the country. On the contrary, the 13th section of the Act provides for a periodical "stock taking" of the schools of every district, and for the publication of notices of any discovered deficiency, with power to the district to supply that deficiency voluntarily before a school board is forced upon it. This, however, applies also to school board districts; and we think it to be a matter of regret that so long an interval has been allowed to elapse since the passing of the Act of 1870, without a renewal of the general inquiry which was held in 1871-2. These inquiries were meant to be periodical, and one of the objects which they were intended to serve, was evidently the discovery and recognition of any efficient elementary schools which might have come into existence since the board was created and ordered to fill up the void disclosed by the first inquiry. For, under the 18th section of the Act, which assumes that void to be filled up, it is no longer, as in section 10, the duty of the school board to supply deficiency. The duty is now only a right, and that right the board may plainly allow others to discharge, or they may forfeit it, if anticipated by the action of the friends of the voluntary system. In fact, it appears to us that, after the supply of the original deficiency, the two systems are regarded by the Act itself as starting again on equal terms; so that if volunteers (as in the Dan-y-craig case) take the field first, and provide a school which satisfies the requirements of the Department, we consider that such school has, under the Act, a claim to recognition as part of the school supply of the district, before such recognition is extended to a rival board school subsequently started. We may point out that the Scotch Education Act of 1872 contains a provision (section 67) under which voluntary effort is allowed to come into action after the supply of a district has been completed by the school board, and that grants may be made to an "unnecessary" voluntary school if it is called for by "the religious belief of the parents, or is otherwise specially required in the locality". It is somewhat significant that, while the Scotch Education Department is required to justify the recognition of every such school, the English Department has to justify its refusal of grants. A liberal interpretation, as we have recommended, of the term "suitable" may, perhaps, make the working of the Act of 1870 as little open to objection as that of the Scotch Act.

To sum up, we see no reason why voluntary effort should not be entitled to work pari passu with a school board in providing accommodation to meet any increase of population, subsequent to the determination of the necessary school supply arrived at by the Department after the first inquiry of 1871. If a similar inquiry were held periodically, say every five years, voluntary effort might be recognised, in the interval between two inquiries, as entitled to meet any deficiency not ordered to be filled up by the school board on the requisition of the Department. We do not think that the letter, much less the spirit, of the Act of 1870 would be violated by such an arrangement, or by its being distinctly understood that an efficient school, whether provided to meet a numerical deficiency or specially required by any part of the population, would be admitted by the Department as part of the supply of the district, and be entitled to claim a grant as soon as it was opened.

There remains but one further inquiry regarding the school accommodation provided under the Education Act of 1870; namely, who is entitled to use it? To this question the answer of Mr. Cumin is that the school places are open to all children, unless there is a reasonable excuse for refusing admission, of the grounds of which refusal the Department is the ultimate judge. If a boy, he says, starts from Richmond with twopence in his pocket, and presents himself at a twopenny school in London, the master would be bound to take him in, if there were room in the school, on pain of


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losing the grant. A voluntary school, indeed, he adds, can charge any fees it likes in order to discourage the attendance of children from another district. But the fees in a board school must be sanctioned by the Department, and without that sanction no such differential fees can be charged. If it be asked, who are the "children" thus entitled to make use of the school accommodation? the answer given, on behalf of the Department, is that there is no definition given in the Act, but that the word is held to include "all children, of whatever age, who can avail themselves of the seven standards in an elementary school." Even the children of wealthy parents cannot be refused admission into a public elementary school; such a refusal, Mr. Cumin declares, would entail forfeiture of the Government grant. This definition was acted upon by the Duke of Richmond, when Lord President, in the case of an appeal made to the Department by the managers of a voluntary school, which was so highly appreciated by a neighbouring mill-owner, that he insisted on sending in his carriage daily two of his children to attend it. It is alleged that this particular case is by no means an isolated one; and if the practice should become general, it is evident that the one-sixth rule as to accommodation will have to be reconsidered, since this rule relates, not to the exact accommodation, but to the proportion of children to be deducted from the total number of children of school age, as representing the class of children not likely to need the public elementary school provision. It is obvious, however, that an administrative decision of a department is not of equal authority with the language of an Act of Parliament or with the decision of a superior court of law. The legal right of any one to send his children to a State-aided or rate-supported school may be a necessary consequence of the legislation of 1870, but such a result does not seem to have been fully considered during the passing of Mr. Forster's Act. All difficulties arising from the interpretation of the Act would be practically removed if the country possessed a well-organized system of secondary education, to which children from elementary schools might have access by way of exhibitions.

CHAPTER II

STRUCTURAL SUITABILITY OF THE PRESENT SCHOOL SUPPLY

In our previous chapter we have shown that, roughly speaking, school provision is needed throughout England and Wales, for one-sixth of the population, though in certain districts, such as Lancashire or the West Riding, the requirements amount to nearly a fifth, and if we take the total school accommodation of the whole country, as it appears in the returns of the Education Department, this proportion of the population is adequately provided for. But in estimating the sufficiency of school accommodation, we have, as yet, taken no account of its quality or of the difference which exists in different classes of schools in the scale of allowance of space for each child in average attendance. The suitability, also, of the actual space provided for the purposes of elementary education must obviously affect the conclusion we have drawn that, on the whole, the demand for school accommodation has been fairly met. Since the provision of school buildings has been going on without intermission for half a century, great differences exist in the suitability of school premises for the purposes for which they have been erected. The standard of what is required in the way of buildings and appliances has during that period been very properly raised, though uniformity has of necessity not been insisted upon. And many groups of schools, which at the time they were built conformed to the requirements of the Education Department, or to the most advanced public opinion of the time, would now be deemed unsuited for educational purposes, were it not that from time to time they have been improved to meet the demands made by Her Majesty's Inspectors. These improvements have very frequently taken the form of the addition of class-rooms, which would seem to be going forward in many directions, and would, we are informed, be still more largely carried out but for the badness of the times, a limitation which specially affects agricultural districts. Some schools have been built primarily for purposes other than day school instruction, and have been subsequently adapted for the latter purpose. These, as will be seen in the answers to our Circular B, are in many cases over large, far too wide as regards the main room, while the class rooms are insufficient in number, and unsuitable owing to the want of proper height and width.


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One broad line of demarcation, however, exists between the accommodation provided by voluntary effort and that which has been created by school boards out of loans sanctioned by the Education Department. Whereas a minimum of 8 square feet is insisted on by the Department as a provision for each child in average attendance in the former class of schools, in the latter 10 square feet has been the established minimum for some years. There can be no doubt that the latter calculation more nearly represents the indispensable requirements that have to be met, and many of the Inspectors urge that there should be a review of the accommodation, so as to bring it up to the higher standard of capacity. In the earlier years after the passing of the Act of 1870, the deficiency to be supplied in the matter of school accommodation was so great that it was not expedient for the Education Department to examine too closely into the quality of the school provision then available. A very great strain was thrown on the resources of the populous and growing districts where school provision was mostly needed. But the time has now come when the chief stress of school provision is past, and when the State may well be more exacting in requiring for all children a proper amount of air and space, suitable premises, airiness and lightness of site, and reasonable extent of playground. We may note that in the Scotch Code it is stated that 10 square feet of area for each child in average attendance is to be considered as the normal scale in an efficient school. In his general report for the year 1886, Mr. Blakiston, Chief Inspector of the Northern Division, who has reported more fully on school buildings and equipment than any of his colleagues in the last Report of the Committee of Council (1886-7), while recognising the general improvement in regard to the state of school buildings and premises, and the greater attention paid to cleanliness, repairs, and the supply of apparatus, recommends, with the unanimous concurrence of his colleagues in the district, that the minimum of accommodation in all schools should be raised to 10 square feet for each child in average attendance.*

It must be borne in mind, however, that superficial area is but a rough approximation to the actual accommodation of a school, and that the truer criterion, especially in schools for older children, is to be found in the amount of seat-room provided. Measured by this standard, it may often be found that overcrowding may exist under the more liberal scale of measurement, equally as under the more restricted measurement of 8 square feet for each child. In all schools, indeed, there must be some elbow-room, some surplus accommodation, which is not vacant or unused in any reasonable sense of the term. The more elbow-room there is the better, so long as the children are not withdrawn thereby out of the reach of the eye and voice of their teacher. But we think that the demand for increased accommodation for each child in those buildings in which it has been hitherto calculated at 8 square feet per child should be measured rather by the need of more seat room than by the simple calculation of superficial area. The proper measure of a school's accommodation should be the seat supply, and that measure might well be acted on by the Department, in accordance with the ground plans of the school submitted to them in any review of the sufficiency of the accommodation.

It will not be inappropriate here to quote certain of the rules of the Education Department (11th January 1887) on planning and fitting up public elementary schools which show what are the arrangements for health and for education, on which they insist, when schools are erected by those on whom the duty of supplying school accommodation is cast.

"1. The accommodation of each room depends not merely on its area, but also on its shape (especially in relation to the kind of desk proposed), the position of the doors and fireplaces, and its proper lighting.

2. The proper width of a schoolroom is 18 to 20 ft. or 22 feet. Accommodation is calculated by the number of children seated at desks and benches. Wasted space cannot be considered.

4.(a) The walls of every schoolroom and classroom if ceiled at the level of the wall plate must be at least 12 ft. high from the level of the floor to the ceiling, and if the area contain more than 360 superficial square feet, 13 feet; if more than 600 ft., then 14 ft.

(b) The walls of every schoolroom and classroom if ceiled to the rafters and collar beam, must be at least 11 ft. high from the floor to the wall-plate, and at least 14 ft. to the ceiling across the collar beam

5. The principal entrance to a school should never be through the cloak room. The latter should be screened off or separated. Gangways should be at least 4 feet wide

*Report of Committee of Council (1886-7), p. 264.


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and amply lighted from the end. Hat pegs should be 12 inches apart and of two tiers. There should be a separate peg numbered for each child.

6. Class rooms are calculated at 10 ft. square if not providing accommodation for more than 60 children. The minimum size of class room is 18 ft. by 15 ft.

The class rooms should never be passage rooms from one part of the building to another, nor from the schoolrooms to the playground or yard, and should be on the same level as the schoolroom. Each should be easily cleared without disturbance to any other room.

Windows

8.(a) The light should, as far as possible, be admitted from the left side of the scholars. All other windows should be regarded as supplementary or for summer ventilation. In cases where left light is impossible, right light is next best. Where neither is possible, the light should be admitted from a high point.

(c) The sills of the main lighting windows should be placed about four feet above the floor, and the tops of some should always reach nearly to the ceiling.

9. Staircases. No triangular steps or "winders" should be used in staircases; each step should be about 13 inches broad, and not more than 6 inches high. The flights should be short, and the landings unbroken by stops.

12. Number of closets and privies required:

for girlsfor boys
Under 50 children32
Under 100 children53
Under 150 children63
Under 200 children74
Under 300 children85

13. Desks. Benches and desks graduated according to the ages of the children should be provided for all the scholars in actual attendance.

14.(a.) Every school should have a playground.

(b) In the case of a mixed school, playground must be separate for boys and girls.

15. Infant schools. Infants should not, except in very small schools, be taught in the same room with older children, as the noise and the training of the infants disturb and injuriously affect the discipline and instruction of the other children.

19. The width of an infant school should be in proportion to its size, and may be 24 feet.

20. The accommodation of an infant school room is calculated at 8 square feet for each child, after deducting wasted and useless space."

It would, indeed, be a hardship were any sudden demand for more space for each child to be made on the schools built by aid of a building grant from the Committee of Council, since they frequently owe their restricted area, not so much to the views of their promoters, as to the limits put by the Department on the dimensions of school buildings, especially in regard to breadth, in which direction it was strongly maintained for many years by the Department that any increase on a minimum, which would now be held to be insufficient, was money thrown away, and therefore was not to be encouraged by a grant. It is a matter of congratulation that a more liberal scale of estimating accommodation now prevails, and it is a most important rule of the Department that 10 square feet should be the minimum accommodation for each child in average attendance in all school buildings in future to be erected.

Some of the above observations as to area apply also to the cubical contents of school-rooms, which are required to be on a minimum scale of 80 cubic feet for each child in attendance, except in the case of board schools and of new voluntary schools, in which the present rules of the Department would exact a minimum of at least 100 cubic feet. Here, again, the amount of air secured by these regulations for each child in attendance is no criterion of the healthiness of such rooms, unless account be further taken of the means provided for changing the air as soon as it becomes vitiated, in other words, for good ventilation. Merely raising the scale of the cubical contents by no means of itself secures the sanitary ends in view; while a remedy for the closeness of those school buildings which have been constructed originally on a low scale of cubical contents may often be best applied by improving the system of ventilation rather than by any increase of space. Mr. Blakiston tells us that a gradual amelioration is going on in the sanitary condition of the schools in his district through the substitution of shafts and wall openings for roof ventilation,* which latter is found, in practice, to be attended with so much draught that it is rarely used by the teachers. The system of warming, we are told by the same authority, is now better under-

*Report of the Committee of Council (1886-7), pp. 264-5.


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stood, and fresh air is often admitted in the close neighbourhood of the stove, so as to secure that it shall be warmed before it circulates in the school.* We, draw attention, at the same time, to a practical suggestion of the same inspector, which is said largely to improve the attendance in bad weather, viz., the provision of arrangements for drying wet clothes, parents hesitating much less to send their children to school in doubtful weather, when they know that they will not have to sit all day in their wet things.*

We are of opinion that existing schools should gradually, but within reasonable limits of time, be brought up to the higher estimate of the space required for school accommodation. But we think that this would be more advantageously brought about, in cases where it is required, by pressure exerted on managers through Her Majesty's Inspectors at the time of their visits than by a hard and fast rule of the Department, which might have the effect of requiring a sudden increase of 25 per cent in the accommodation in a considerable number of schools throughout the country. The peremptory enforcement of such a requirement would, in our opinion, at the present moment press hardly upon many districts, whether it had to be met by voluntary contribution, or out of the rates, and would not, we believe, be consistent with the best interests of the public or the advancement of elementary education. Whilst recommending that 10 square feet should be provided for each child, it must be borne in mind that such accommodation is needed for the number of children in average attendance, and not for those whose names are on the school books. We find from the returns for 1886 that whilst there was room in the schools for 5,145,292 children, the average attendance was only 3,438,425, and the number present on the day of inspection was 4,064,463.* To require therefore, an addition to the accommodation to bring it up to a theoretical standard, would produce unnecessary hardship, and it should only be demanded when the average attendance shows that the existing schools are insufficient for the number of children that are being educated in them. In these cases a liberal allowance of time ought to be given to the managers to make the necessary alterations. If, therefore, 8 square feet were provided for all children on the rolls, it may be safely assumed that the cases would be comparatively few where the accommodation would not exceed 10 square feet for those actually present at any given moment.

The question of school furniture and materials falls partly under the head of school provision and partly under that of school management. The desks and benches, which are more permanent, and are part of the original equipment of the school, may more properly be touched upon here. We do not think it advisable that any absolute rule should be laid down as to the character of the desks to be used. But care should be taken that the school furniture should always be suited to children. It should always be the first consideration in the fittings of a school that they should be primarily adapted to the requirements of day school education, due regard being had to the age, size, and physical comfort of the scholars. In the last reports of the Committee of Council, several of Her Majesty's Inspectors complain of the unsatisfactory character of the school furniture in certain schools in their districts.†

It cannot be doubted that good playgrounds attached to schools have a perceptible influence on the inclination of children to go to school, especially in the case of boys. Those whose physical restlessness leads them to absent themselves from school, whenever they can do so, find their wants met by the games which take place in the playground in the intervals between lessons. Unfortunately the ease with which playgrounds are to be procured varies almost inversely with the need for them. They are, indeed, of great value even in the country, where most schools are provided with playgrounds, for they offer not only safety and exercise for the children when out of school, but also special opportunities for moral training, at a time when they are released from discipline But in towns playgrounds are even more important, where the alternative place of exercise is the street; and for town children, the exercise of games is much more needed than for those who, living at an appreciable distance from school, get daily exercise in walking. Where playgrounds can be had, there is no doubt that, as far as the Department have any voice in the planning of a new school, the provision of a playground should, as a rule, be recommended, and, if possible, separate ones for the two sexes. We may notice that the London School Board has in places where land is very costly provided playgrounds on the roof of the schools,

*Report of the Committee of Council (1886-7), pp. 264-5.

†Reports of the Committee of Council (1886-7), Vertue, quoted by Johnstone (1885-6), p. 2. Blackiston (1885-6), pp. 6, 11; lighting, pp. 11,12. Monro, quoted by Williams (1885-6), p. 3. Bancroft, quoted by Williams (1885-6), n. 3. Morgan Owen, quoted by Williams (1885-6), p. 4. Williams (1885-6), p. 26. Oakley, p. 19. Fitch, p. 62.


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and that this expedient has been found useful, and we think that it might with advantage be introduced elsewhere if a playground cannot otherwise be secured. Since each of the various improvements we have recommended may in many cases form a serious charge on the funds of the school, we would call attention to our recommendations on this matter, in the Chapter relating to the distribution of the Parliamentary grant.

CHAPTER III

SCHOOL MANAGEMENT

Before defining what we consider to be necessary for the successful management of a school, it is essential to have a clear idea of the end for which the school exists. If that were fulfilled when it has taught its scholars such rudiments of secular knowledge as will enable them to discharge the tasks which will probably fall to their lot in after life, little or nothing can be required from the managers beyond such oversight as will secure that the requisites for instruction are provided, and that the teachers do not neglect their duties. But if we regard the school as a place of education in which the character is to be formed, as well as the intelligence cultivated, and the success of which is to be estimated not so much by the scholars passing examinations or gaining prizes, or even by the amount of knowledge acquired, as by their conduct in after life, then much more than oversight is demanded, from the managers as well as the teachers, inasmuch as by their active sympathy with, and kindly influence over, individual scholars, they may do much to mould their character, and help to make them good and useful members of society.

School management, accordingly, divides itself into two branches, that which can be conducted at a distance, and that which implies personal intercourse with the school, the teachers, and the scholars. Much of the character of elementary education must obviously depend on the efficiency of these two branches of management, and especially of the latter. The first branch includes such duties as the appointment and removal of teachers, the proper equipment of the school, the regulation and remission of fees, and such other matters as are more or less capable of being settled in committee, and do not necessarily involve direct contact with the school itself; while the second involves the frequent visitation and personal superintendence of the schools to be managed, and demands special qualifications in the managers.

We gather from a considerable amount of evidence which has been laid before us, that in the case of voluntary schools and in school districts which contain only a few board schools, these two branches of management may easily be combined in the hands of one body of managers, whilst in some districts where a school board has many schools under its control, and notably in London, the school management committee is a distinct body, exercising functions distinct from those of the visiting managers of its schools. And as the duties to be discharged by each are distinct, so are the qualifications different which are demanded for their discharge. A general zeal for education being pre-supposed as a necessary condition for both branches of management, breadth of view, business habits, administrative ability, and the power of working harmoniously with others, are important qualifications for the work of the school management committee. For the personal oversight of schools, some amount of education, tact, interest in school work, a sympathy with the teachers and the scholars, to which may be added residence in reasonable proximity to the school, together with leisure time during school hours, are desirable qualifications; and it is hardly necessary to say that personal oversight of the religious and moral instruction implies religious character in those who are to exercise it.

For the management of those voluntary schools which have been built with aid from the Government Grant, the Education Department in very early days made definite provision, by inserting in the Trust Deeds of such schools Management Clauses differing in some respects according to the description of the school. These specified the qualifications and subsequent method of election of the managing body, the original body of managers having been nominated by the promoters of the school. To a body so constituted the whole direction of the school was committed by the clauses which were imposed by the Government as a condition of a building grant, and accepted by the founders of these schools; while in the case of Church of England schools the superintendence of the religious and moral instruction was assigned to the clergyman of the parish. A similar arrangement prevailed in the case of Roman Catholic schools.


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The returns made by the managers of voluntary schools throughout specimen districts of England, which we have received in answer to Circular A, and of which we publish a summary in our Statistical Report, show that such bodies of managers are almost universally in existence, whatever be their degree of vitality, and that they comprise persons in very various social positions. Nor do they exist merely on paper. The returns made annually to the Department from every school receiving a grant require the signature of three persons to authenticate the numerous particulars to be certified; though of these three persons only one need be a manager. Doubtless there are cases in which schools are virtually farmed by teachers, in disregard of the condition on which the grant is made, that the school shall not be carried on for private profit; and in these cases the management must, of course, be purely nominal. Any such system of management we emphatically condemn, and we are of opinion that effective measures ought to be taken to render its existence impossible. But there are a far larger number of schools, especially in thinly populated districts, in which the management practically falls into the hands of a single manager, most frequently the clergyman of the parish. We need not repeat the tribute paid by the Duke of Newcastle's Commission to the self-imposed sacrifices of the clergy in behalf of the education of their parishioners;† but we have no reason to think that these efforts have been diminished, or that the confidence reposed in their management in such cases has been lessened. However undesirable in theory the form of management just referred to may be, it has been practically inevitable in many instances; and Mr. Sharpe, one of Her Majesty's Chief Inspectors, gives it as his opinion that the payment of grants to schools which are in the hands of a single manager has for 30 years worked well. We would, however, insist upon the importance of voluntary schools being placed under a board of managers, wherever suitable persons can be obtained, and that the vitality of this board of managers, in all cases where it is practicable, should be ensured.

The financial management of all schools is the subject of careful scrutiny by the Department, as will be seen by the following description given by Mr. Sharpe of the checks exercised on the accounts of a voluntary school. Speaking for the inspectors, he says: "We claim no power of auditing, but we see that the accounts are audited and that they are in a state to be audited: that is to say, all bills are brought before us, all docketed in order; and we see that the auditor can verify each one." The items of expenditure which were not fairly chargeable to the school fund would be struck out in the Education Department. "The supervision", he adds, "is very strict". He thinks that in his experience he has "become acquainted with no abuses arising from the fact that the schools are under the management of individual persons, and without check". Several witnesses have contended for the necessity of a public audit of the accounts of voluntary schools. But it is doubtful whether the additional security against any mismanagement or misstatement would be worth the expense. Mr. Cumin relates a case in which an extravagant sum appeared in the expenditure of a board school as the salary of a monitor, who was the daughter of a member of the school board; and the auditor held that, however glaringly improper such an expenditure might be, he had no power to disallow the item in question. We think, however, that the accounts of all voluntary schools should be as open to public inspection as the accounts of board schools.

If for the technical duties which may be discharged by occasional attendance at a committee it is not always possible to secure the effective co-operation of the nominal managers, it is doubly difficult - increasingly difficult in towns, Mr. Sharpe thinks - to secure in all places the personal visitation of the schools by the managers. For this demands a fair amount of leisure in the busiest part of the day, in addition to the other personal qualifications already alluded to; and if we confine our attention to that branch of management which consists in the personal and sympathetic supervision of schools, much of the evidence before us is favourable to voluntary management. Mr. Sharpe, referring to the managers of board schools in London, says: "The managers of board schools have less power to manage, and, therefore, they have, as a rule, less interest in their school. Archdeacon Norris, many years one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools in various districts, is able to compare the present management of the board schools in Bristol with that of the voluntary schools that existed before 1870, and he thinks the comparison is much in favour of the latter. "I cannot help coming to the conclusion", he says, "that our board schools are indeed badly off as compared with those old voluntary schools or with the

†Report of the Duke of Newcastle's Commission, pp. 77-78.


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existing voluntary schools in respect of management." Speaking of the managers of the Bristol board schools, he thought that it was impossible for them to give the time and attention to their schools that managers give in voluntary schools: and that this might be largely due to the wider field which the former would have to super- intend in comparison with the latter. In the opinion of Mr. Stewart, another of Her Majesty's Chief Inspectors of Schools, "the interest of the managers diminishes as the area of their field of work increases". The latter witness, speaking principally of the small voluntary country schools, says that each school has at least one good friend, who is really "the backbone of the whole thing". Canon Warburton, formerly one of Her Majesty's Chief Inspectors of Schools, finds that in rural districts the interest in voluntary schools has diminished of late years; but this evil, he thinks, would only be aggravated by the extension of the school board system throughout the country. In like manner the chairman of the school attendance committee of the Leek Union, a populous district of North Staffordshire, was of opinion that more interest was taken by the managers in the voluntary schools in his union, than by the managers of the board schools in the schools under their management. The late chairman of the Great Yarmouth School Board considered that the permanence of the voluntary school managers, as compared with those of board schools, is the chief cause of the greater influence which, in his opinion, the former exercised over teachers and scholars.

Several witnesses before us have suggested that representatives of the ratepayers should be associated with the persons who now manage voluntary schools, and others have attached special importance to giving a voice in the management to representatives of the parents. No objection on principle has been raised to the latter of these proposals by the managers of voluntary schools who appeared before us as witnesses. The master of St. Saviour's Everton church schools informed us that two parents of the scholars were already members of his committee. Our statistical returns, moreover, show that the parents of scholars attending voluntary schools are more frequently found on the managing committees of these schools than is generally supposed. The manager of a Wesleyan school informed us that formerly there were parents on his school committee, though "there are none now, but that, when they were there, it was not qua parents. It has been suggested that the presence in a school of the children of managers might be found to interfere with the discipline of the school and with the authority of the teachers. So long, however, as the parents are not a preponderating element, we should be glad to see them represented on the committee of management. But, while voluntary schools do not receive aid from the rates, there seems to be no sufficient reason why the management clauses of their trust deeds should be set aside, in order to introduce representatives of the ratepayers. Passing on to the management of board schools, we find that an elaborate system of dual management is at work under the London School Board. The functions of management are there divided between the school management committee, elected out of the members of the school board, and bodies of local managers appointed for each group of schools, who are nominated by the divisional members of the board. It is the opinion of the present Chairman of the London School Board that, but for the aid of local managers, the work of the board could not be done, and he adds that if the schools of the board are to be maintained in efficiency, the powers given by Parliament to appoint local managers should be used in no grudging spirit, and that in order to gain the assistance and help of responsible persons, local managers must be intrusted with responsible powers. They are already intrusted with large, and latterly with increased, responsibilities. In addition to the personal visitation of the schools under their charge, they practically nominate the teaching staff; they suggest what fees should be charged, and in what cases they should be remitted; a veto, however, on the appointment of teachers, and the responsible direction of affairs, are reserved to the school management committee of the board. The efficiency of this local machinery varies of necessity in different localities. The Fleet Road Board School seems fortunate in having twelve active managers, including the vicar, and, amongst others, a medical man, whose professional advice on questions of sanitation and over-pressure is specially valued.|||| But it is more common in voluntary than in board schools, especially in rural districts, to find managers taking part in the instruction given in the school, and coming into personal contact with individual children. Mr.


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Stewart complains of some confusion in the management of schools under the London School Board in his district, by which we understand him to mean that a conflict of authority such as may weaken the hands of the teacher is liable to arise between the school management committee of the board, the board's inspectors, and the local managers. It was recommended that more power should be put into the hands of the local managers; amongst other advantages, it was thought that this would lead to the simplification of the returns now made by the teachers to the school board. It is fair to add that other evidence before us is as strongly opposed to the delegation of greater power to local managers.

Recognising the principle that the delegation of large powers will alone secure the interest and co-operation of the best men, the Liverpool School Board have remitted, subject to the general rules of the board, the entire management of each school to a local board of managers, carefully selected in the first instance by the school board, and afterwards co-opted by the local managers themselves. The board find that men of business, who have had the conduct of large enterprises, are found to be generally efficient members of local boards of managers, as their acquired knowledge of mankind guides them in the selection of teachers, and in the exercise of effectual supervision, without encroaching upon the legitimate sphere of the teachers' duties and responsibilities. As evidence of the extent to which it is possible to interest various classes of a community in elementary education, we may add that the chairmen of the local bodies of managers connected with the Liverpool School Board include eight merchants, six ministers of religion, two medical men, a county court judge, a journalist, and two extensive clothiers. But before entrusting the charge of a new school to a body of managers, the Liverpool School Board organise it, appoint the staff, and retain it in their own hands for some months, and, when the managing body are appointed, the board elect in the first instance its chairman and secretary. Thus a body of managers is not called upon to exercise their most responsible powers until they have had time to become familiar with the working of their school, nor to elect a chairman or secretary before they have had opportunity of estimating the relative fitness of their colleagues for these important posts. The action of these local bodies is harmonised with that of the school management committee of the board through the aid of the board's inspector, who attends, as technical adviser, all meetings of the local bodies of managers at which head or assistant teachers are appointed. He is consequently in frequent intercourse with these bodies, and is consulted on other questions, and as he also attends the meetings of the school management committee of the board, he contributes materially to keep the two authorities responsible for a school in touch with one another.

The method adopted at Birmingham will be best understood from the following questions and answers, which we quote in full from the evidence of Dr. Crosskey, Chairman of the School Management Committee of the Birmingham School Board:

31,238. I think I heard you say, in answer to Canon Gregory, that your schools have no managers, I believe that was your expression. How do you get on without managers, if I may say so? - By a system of inspectors and by hard work on the part of the committee.

31,239. What do you mean by inspectors? - We have board inspectors constantly at work amongst the schools.

31,240. Are they paid officers? - Yes. Hard work is done by the committee.

31,241. Do you mean by the committee of the school board? - Yes.

31,242. In what sense do they do hard work? - The school management committee have to make themselves acquainted with the state of their schools.

31,243. Then they act as managers, do they not? - No, the system is different. We have inspectors who examine the schools child by child precisely on the lines of Her Majesty's inspectors; we have another inspector who goes through and sees the general condition of the school. Reports from these inspectors come regularly before the committee with a very perfect and systematic analysis of the work of the teachers and of the condition of the schools. In that way the school management committee have in their possession in the course of the year accurate reports on their schools twice over from two authorities, apart from the Government inspector; they form their opinion of what is going on in the schools; they take measures to appoint teachers or to add to the staff, or what not, as may be necessary, based upon these reports and upon personal examination of the schools.

31,244. Then do these authorities (I do not know what name to give them), these


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inspectors, take a personal interest in the children; do they know anything about them? - No, there is nothing of that kind of management; but personal interest, I believe, is being developed in another and, as I think, a better direction. The schools are becoming the centres of a larger amount of interest in the parents themselves, and our great object is to make the teachers come into such relationship with the parents and children that the parents and children group themselves round the school as their school; the personal interest of the head teacher and the staff goes into the homes of the children, and in that direction we are very anxious to extend the influence of the school.

31,245. I do not quite see how you secure such interest in the homes of the scholars as you desire? - They frequently have entertainments; the teachers will go to the homes of the children very often; they visit them if they are irregular, and we want to link the staff of the school with the parents. We think that if the children and the parents feel it to be their school, and take a pride and an interest in it, if you can get a personal interest between the staff and the parents, that is the best thing; we think that no committee of managers dropping in, or any work in visiting that they can do, will equal that. That is our theory; we try to carry it out, and I believe it has been carried out successfully in many cases. Then with regard to the actual scholastic work, we watch it through the inspector. That constitutes the hard work of the school management committee.

31,246. Then you trust, in fact, as I understand, to this co-operation between the parents and teachers? - We try to cherish it largely.

Other school boards such as those of Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, and Hull, do not delegate the management of their schools to local managers. At Salford a committee of the board undertake the whole management, and, as the Chairman thinks, with great success. At Stoke-upon-Trent the elected members of the board superintend the schools in the township which they represent.

In our opinion it would be very advantageous if school boards, and especially the larger boards, were in the supervision of their schools, always to associate with themselves local managers. When it is found by school boards necessary to appoint a staff of local inspectors, these officers can, in our opinion, only very imperfectly discharge the functions of managers. At the same time it might be desirable, as Mr. Sharpe suggests, to relieve the managers of board schools of some of that routine work which now, in his opinion, leaves them little time to spare for making acquaintance with individual children, or for the general supervision of the schools.

Sir Lovelace Stamer, now Bishop of Shrewsbury, who is both chairman of the school board and manager of the church schools at Stoke-upon-Trent, has summed up the differences which he has observed in the management of voluntary schools and of those school boards which do not delegate their powers, in respect especially to the exercise of personal influence on the school. In answer to the following question:

"Do you find that the management of the board schools by the board is as effective as the management of your own voluntary schools?" He replied, "If I may answer that question, I believe that for inducing heartiness and earnestness in the work, there is nothing like the management of a good voluntary school, where the clergy and others who are interested in the schools are continually there, and take a direct and personal interest in the whole thing. The difference I can see between the voluntary schools and the board schools is just the difference between a private firm and a limited liability company."

If it were needful to strike a balance between the efficiency of the management in board and voluntary schools, the evidence before us would lead us to divide the honours. If it be asked, under which system of management that branch of administration which can be transacted outside the school is most vigorously conducted, it would be impossible to deny the superiority of the management of the school board dispensing the money of the ratepayers. If, however, we look for the closest supervision of the school and the most effective sympathy between managers and teachers, or between managers and scholars, we should feel, on the whole, bound to pronounce in favour of the efficiency of voluntary management. It is in the combination of the advantages of both systems that we look for progress in the future.

In conclusion, we have to record a successful effort in Liverpool among the managers of voluntary and board schools to combine for the general welfare of the schools under their charge, so as to arrive at a uniform system of management, in such matters as the time for holidays, the hours of attendance, the reception of new


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scholars, the checks to their capricious migration from school to school, and other similar details. The rules adopted to check capricious migration provide that no elementary school in the School Managers' Conference shall receive from any other school in it a child except at specified times, unless, either the parents have changed their abode, or unless, on any other reasonable grounds, the removal to another school is sanctioned by the standing committee of the Conference. These measures seem to have been very effectual in securing the continuous attendance of children at the same school; a most valuable result, for, as the school years of different schools begin and end at different times, frequent migration from school to school must inevitably not only preclude the regular and systematic education of the migratory children, but also interfere with the general progress and discipline of a school. It is necessary, however, that these rules should be considerately enforced, else they would involve serious hardships on parents and children; and if in any district complaints of such hardships are made they would demand very careful investigation on the part of Her Majesty's Inspector. But, even in districts where measures to stop capricious removal may not be necessary or expedient, such an association as the Liverpool Conference of School Managers might further many arrangements of general utility and convenience. Moreover, the two bodies of managers, voluntary and board, would have much to learn from one another, and the natural rivalry existing between the two systems, so far as it was unwholesome, would be mitigated by common counsel and action, and the united force of both systems would be brought to bear on the problems of education, free from all heat of traditionary controversies.

Another institution, the benefits of which are common to the voluntary and board schools of Liverpool - the Liverpool Council of Education, founded by the efforts of the late Mr. Christopher Bushell, chairman of the first school board in that town - has been of invaluable service. In the first place, by the foundation of scholarships (each of the annual value of £20 and tenable for three years) which provide for the maintenance as well as the tuition of the holders, the council affords to the ablest scholars of either sex in the elementary schools an opportunity of continuing their education in the secondary schools of the city; while the examinations for these scholarships test the results of the whole course of instruction in the elementary schools, and have an important influence in raising its general quality. Moreover, by a graduated system of rewards, extending over several years, the council assists the school board in promoting regularity of attendance; while by limiting these rewards to schools in which the doors are closed against late comers, not more than a quarter of an hour after the commencement of school, the equally important habit of punctuality is encouraged both in the scholars and in their parents. In many other ways also the council contributes to the efficiency of elementary education in the city, as, for instance, by pecuniary grants in aid of the introduction of penny banks, of instruction in practical cookery, and, where needed, of penny dinners.

Besides the work done by the managers of each school in the way of personal and vigilant superintendence, we have had evidence to show that much additional benefit may be conferred on isolated schools by managers combining to effect what cannot be done by each school for itself. Some instances of such combination may here be given. The Diocese of Rochester, for example, employs an organising master who visits such church schools as desire it, with the object of improving both the quality of their educational work and the way in which they are managed. The organising master informed us that he found in South London a certain number of schools in a poor condition, the great bulk of which, since he began to visit them, have been greatly improved. Looking back over five years work, he was able to say that one great object for which he was appointed had been realised in the case of all schools where he had been called in, inasmuch as none of them had collapsed in the struggle for existence. In the opinion of this witness, a system of visitation of voluntary schools by an expert might well be extended over the whole of England, and he contended that a grant from Parliament towards the salary of such organising masters or visitors would be a profitable expenditure of public money. A similar agency has been employed, and with like success, by the Huddersfield Church Day School Association. A sum of £250 had formerly been annually distributed amongst Church schools, but it failed to secure the desired degree of efficiency. After the formation of the Association, however, this plan was changed, and the money was voted towards paying the salary of an inspector to visit church schools in the district. The inspector is an ex-schoolmaster, and the schools which he visits pay an annual fee towards his stipend.


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The chairman of the Association, who appeared before us, stated that in the schools which had been visited by the inspector of the Association, the annual grant had been raised as much as from 2s to 3s a head; and that the system continued to be a very valuable auxiliary to the efficiency of these schools. For the visits of the inspector appointed by the Bradford Church of England School Society no fee is paid by the schools. His labours have resulted, as the Secretary of the Association told us, in a very material improvement in the efficiency of the teaching. In addition to the inspector's visits, the Society offers grants, when they are needed, in aid of the funds of struggling schools.

We strongly recommend this form of voluntary combination among isolated schools, by which they may not only strengthen their position financially, but also improve the quality of the education given in them. It is to some similar combination among the managers of voluntary schools that we look most hopefully for the means of enabling them to obtain that instruction by experts in useful subjects, such as cookery and the rudiments of elementary science, which the larger school boards are able to command for their schools. In the case of cookery, for example, by co-operation among themselves, it would not be difficult to secure for any considerable group of voluntary schools a weekly visit from a teacher of cookery. This we find to be already done in connexion with the Northern Union of Cookery, so that instruction in that subject is brought within the reach of the smaller and poorer schools in that part of the country. In like manner Dr. Crosskey is of opinion that the plan pursued by the Birmingham School Board of employing an itinerant teacher of elementary science is capable of being adopted by a combination of rural schools. This experiment we think well worthy of trial, while the principle of combination between schools which it involves is capable of application to other similar educational requirements, which single schools might be unable to meet.

CHAPTER IV

H.M. INSPECTORS OF SCHOOLS

The inspectors working under the Education Department were originally all on one footing, each inspector having the charge of an independent district. The staff now consists of three grades. Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, Sub-Inspectors, and Inspectors' Assistants. Of Her Majesty's Inspectors, 12 are Chief Inspectors, each of whom has a district of his own. Of these, 2 have charge of the Training Colleges, and 10 have the general supervision of as many school divisions of England and Wales, each division comprising some 10 or 12 districts. There are besides 120 inspectors, almost all of whom are in charge of independent districts, 30 sub-inspectors, and 152 inspectors' assistants. One inspector with one sub-inspector and two assistants would, in Mr. Cumin's opinion, be "a good ideal staff" for each district.

In addition, 21 Examiners, all high class University men, are occupied in the Education Department in examining the reports of the Inspectors, in assessing the grants to be paid on these reports, in the revision of papers, and in carrying on, under the supervision of the Secretaries, the enormous correspondence of the Department arising out of the administration of the Code and the Acts.

It has been suggested that it would be desirable to place in the Education Department one of Her Majesty's Inspectors as an Assistant Secretary, to advise the Department on questions arising out of the work of inspection. But the Secretary, wisely as we think, deprecated a measure which would practically tie the hands of the Office in dealing with the whole body of inspectors, and might easily stereotype the special views of a single expert, liable himself, by withdrawal from personal contact with schools, to lose touch with the varying conditions of education. Already according to present arrangements the political and permanent heads of the Department are free to seek the best advice they can command on educational matters from any member of their staff, whether in or out of the office. There is, possibly, however, no reason why a vacancy in the secretariat should not be filled by the appointment of an inspector.


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All the members of the inspecting staff, who at the date of their appointment must be between 25 and 35 years of age, are nominated by the Lord President of the Council. The inspectors are appointed direct to their office. Only one appointment, however, has been made for some years past. The sub-inspectors are recruited entirely out of the assistants, and the latter are selected out of the ranks of elementary teachers.

The only formal qualifications hitherto exacted for appointment as Inspector have been a University degree, and as a rule, a first or second class obtained in honours. It has been represented to us that by the latter requirement good men have often been lost to the work, but it may, on the other hand, have proved a useful check on unsuitable appointments. As a matter of fact, the staff comprises many men who have carried off the highest University distinctions.

Successive Lord Presidents seem to have very carefully observed the rules laid down by the Committee of Inquiry who in 1853 examined into the constitution of the Education Department, before it was formally separated from the Privy Council Office proper. The Committee, which consisted of Sir Charles Trevelyan (then Secretary of the Treasury), Lord Iddesleigh (then Sir Stafford Northcote), and Mr. Charles Greville, Clerk of the Privy Council, reported as follows:

"We think it desirable that future appointments to the office of inspector should be made from among young men, taken at their entrance into life; that they should at first receive moderate salaries; and that as they acquire experience and prove themselves useful, their remuneration should be gradually increased. The circumstances of these gentlemen differ from those of the Poor Law inspectors (to whom they bear a general analogy) in this respect, that the service they perform affords opportunities for training young men in their duties, which do not exist to an equal extent in the other case to which we have referred.

The same general rules should be observed in the selection of inspectors as in that of examiners. No one, however, unless a graduate high in honours at one of the universities, should be selected without passing an examination, which should be of a searching character."

With respect to the appointment of examiners, the Committee reported thus:

"More than ordinary care ought to be taken in the selection of examiners. One of their chief functions is that of superintending the examinations which are carried on throughout the country, and upon the result of which the application of two-thirds of the Parliamentary Grant depends. The whole of the papers connected with the examinations for pupil teacherships, Queen's scholarships, and certificates to masters and mistresses are sent to the examiners for their inspection. It is, of course, impossible for them to peruse them all; but it is necessary that they should revise them so far as to satisfy themselves that the examinations have been conducted on proper principles, and to some extent in harmony with one another. This task can only be satisfactorily performed by men who both are, and are known to be, of high attainments. We are happy to be able to record our opinions that this principle appears to have been fully maintained in the appointments hitherto made to the office of examiner; and we recommend that the standard which has been adopted should on no account be lowered."

We have inserted the foregoing extracts in reference to the rules regarding the appointment of inspectors and examiners, which have prevailed in the past. How far some modification should now be made in the rules governing the appointments in question will be a point herein-after to be considered.

The inspectors' assistants, out of whose ranks sub-inspectors are recruited, must be between the ages of 30 and 35 at the time of their appointment, must have taken a first class in the certificate examination, after a two years' course of training, and must have been head teachers of a public elementary school - a restriction objected to by many of the trained certificated masters now working as assistants - a preference being given to those who have taken a University degree. The post of sub-inspector has been instituted only within the last few years (1882), and there has hitherto been no instance of promotion from the rank of sub-inspector to that of inspector, so that the door of admission to the coveted post of inspector has as yet been virtually closed against elementary teachers.** Even the subordinate post of sub-inspector, it is complained, has been practically barred against the most able head teachers owing to the


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low salary at which Inspectors' assistants (from among whom the former are recruited) enter upon their office. Through this or some other avenue, it has been contended, the best of the masters ought to be able to find admission into the inspectorate. On this point, however, the teachers who have given evidence before us are not unanimous, a few expressing a strong preference for having their schools examined by those who have not themselves been members of the teaching body.

Among those witnesses who were not professionally interested in the question a similar diversity of opinion showed itself. Mr. Matthew Arnold declared himself to be favourable to the admission of elementary teachers to the office of Inspector, though this opinion was given subject to the condition that the present system of administration was retained, and he doubted whether in any case even the best teacher would be qualified to be Chief Inspector. In this latter opinion the Chairman of the London School Board concurred. The two inspectors of training colleges, Mr. Fitch and Mr. Oakeley, who have had considerable opportunities for forming a judgment on the propriety of admitting teachers to the inspectorate, took opposite views. Mr. Oakeley declared himself averse to the proposal to recruit the body of inspectors from the ranks of elementary teachers, founding his opinion on his experience as the head of a staff which included inspectors, sub-inspectors, and assistants. He said that, in dealing with difficulties that arose in his district, he always found that the inspector, "the man of higher culture and University training", possessed great advantage. And he added that University training was still more desirable for exercising influence over the district, and particularly in cases where the inspector was brought into contact with secondary education. This branch of an inspector's duties must not be lost sight of in deciding the question whether it is wise to forego the above condition of appointment to the inspectorate, the actual examination of schools being, as we are told on authority, only one part of an inspector's duties. On this disputed question Mr. Sharpe sides with Mr. Oakeley, and he would not be willing to waive the condition of residence at a University, followed by a degree, as a necessary qualification for admitting teachers to the Inspectorate.

The further question has been raised in evidence before us, whether, if inspectors continue to be drawn chiefly from University men, any greater security ought to be taken than at present exists, for their familiarity with school work. As a rule, they have not been put in charge of a district till they have acquired some knowledge of their duties, by being associated for some time with colleagues of older standing in their work.|| Several Inspectors expressed themselves in favour of a more extended preparation, before the full duties of their office were entered upon. Mr. Synge, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector for the Eastern Division, thinks that inspectors should undergo a still longer period of probation, and that it should more distinctly take the form of a course of training for their office.** On the other hand, Mr. Harrison, Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools for the Liverpool District, would prolong to three years the time of probation to be passed in the rank of assistant inspector. It is admitted that the public service requires inspectors to be men of wide and liberal training. Even if at the outset they have not the familiarity with the work of the elementary school which is possessed by an elementary schoolmaster, such men might acquire it in a sufficient degree. Their definitive appointment should be made to depend on proof of their having acquired competent knowledge of the details of school work. No doubt there are to be found in the ranks of elementary teachers men, who with this familiarity combine the other and higher qualifications required in a competent inspector, and against such men the highest grades of the inspectorate should not be closed. On the other hand it has been represented to us even as a disqualification for inspectors, who have to pass an impartial judgment on the various methods employed in schools, that they should have been long engaged as teachers, following some particular method of their own.

The duties of the inspectors are numerous and varied. Under the Code they are not merely charged with the examination of the scholars in the various subjects for which grants are made, but they have to examine pupil-teachers and candidates for certificates; to assist the inspectors of training colleges in testing the teaching power of the students; to report upon the practical skill of acting teachers who wish to be examined for certificates, and of those pupil-teachers who seek to be employed as assistants or in sole charge of small schools. They have each year to report upon the


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general efficiency of every school and teacher in their districts, and to pay visits without notice, for the purpose of observing and conferring with the managers and teachers on the general work and organisation of the schools, on the time tables, and on the methods of instruction. There are, besides, many delicate questions in regard to the work and life of a school, on which managers and teachers are glad to have the advice of an inspector, but which they would not be likely to discuss with him freely, unless they met as friends and equals. Under the Act, the inspectors are the eyes and ears of the Department. They have to keep a constant watch over the school supply of their districts, and to make careful inquiries respecting it; they have to advise the managers of schools, school boards, and school attendance committees, not merely on the accommodation required, but on particulars of procedure, of law, and of the working of the Education Acts, as well as on the numerous non-educational difficulties which necessarily arise in the management of schools. They have also, from time to time, to report to the Department on questions of policy and administration, and as to the general feeling of their districts in regard to these questions. Conclusion. We are, however, of opinion that it is neither fair nor wise to debar elementary teachers from rising to the rank of inspectors, and it may be expected that the opening to elementary teachers of the highest offices in connexion with elementary education would tend to elevate the tone and character of their important profession.

The importance attached by the heads of the Department to the general influence of the inspectors on the work of their districts, and the appreciation shown by these authorities of the many ways and channels through which that influence might be exerted, especially on the moral character of schools, are manifested by the long series of instructions which have appeared, from year to year, in the Reports of the Committee of Council. It is to be regretted that the attention of the inspectors seems no longer to be directed to these valuable papers, and that the instructions on the administration of the Code, for the year in which he is appointed, are now considered all that is necessary to place in the hands of a new inspector. Many of the instructions issued in early years, or in the period shortly preceding the revision of the Code, in 1882, may, in some respects, be no longer matters of more than historical interest; but they were of a somewhat different character from those now published, and contain many very important suggestions as to the duties of inspectors, and the spirit in which they should carry out these duties. If the volumes of reports which contain these circulars of instruction are no longer available for the guidance of the inspector on his first appointment, the circulars themselves might with advantage be collected and published, along with some of the earlier minutes of the Committee of Council on school organisation, the pupil-teacher system, and other points of practical interest. They contain much that would be of value to the general public, as well as to the inspectors.

We have received a considerable amount of evidence on the subject of the employment of specialists in the examination of schools, where subjects of which they have special knowledge are taught. While it is admitted that the inspectors generally possess the broad culture and the tact essential to the efficient discharge of their duties, it is manifestly as important that an inspector called on to examine in special subjects should himself possess a thorough knowledge of them, in order that he may be able to do full justice to the most intelligent teaching. It is obvious that examinations, if superficial or inappropriate, must tend to exercise an injurious influence upon the instruction in a school, inasmuch as teachers will prepare their scholars with more or less reference to the anticipated character of the examinations which their scholars have to undergo. We have received much evidence to show that in certain subjects the instruction is often mechanical and superficial, and though these evils may be attributable to various distinct causes, we believe that one of the most effectual remedies for them will be found in thorough and intelligent examination. Several witnesses have especially urged upon us the necessity of thorough knowledge of science in those who are to examine in science subjects. They hold that to test fairly the acquirements of the scholars the examinations must be partially, and in the earlier stages entirely, oral, and conducted with the apparatus used for the purposes of demonstration in the lessons; and it appears from the evidence that examinations under these conditions can only be conducted by qualified experts. Among these witnesses are Dr. Crosskey, Chairman of the School Management Committee of the Birmingham School Board, Mr. Hance, Clerk to the Liverpool School Board, and Mr. H. E. B. Harrison, Her Majesty's Inspector, who has for many years examined the


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Liverpool schools. Their evidence deserves the more careful consideration, since both the Birmingham and Liverpool School Boards employ a central staff, consisting of a trained science demonstrator and several assistant experts, to give instruction in their schools. Professor Forbes, late of the Glasgow University, who, on the advice of Professor Huxley, was employed by the Liverpool School Board to test the value of the science teaching in their schools, gives significant testimony in his report to the importance of oral examinations. He says, "I believe that one of the principal objects of the board in asking me to hold this examination was to test how far the present system is successful in developing the observing faculties and general intelligence of the scholars. This, I felt sure, could best be attained by means of oral examinations. In comparing the results of these with the written ones, I found great differences, thus showing conclusively that those who answered best on paper were by no means invariably the most intelligent or best informed."

We may here refer to the evidence of Mr. Cumin, who also holds that for the examination in certain subjects it may be needful to obtain the aid of special experts. He says, "Generally, taking the specific subjects, for instance, physiology, domestic economy, and even chemistry, it does not appear to me that you can expect that every one of the ordinary inspectors should be able to examine in those subjects thoroughly: and I have no doubt that in consequence there is a great deal more money spent in them than ought to be spent." It is obvious that in regard to science a knowledge of the subjects of the examination on the part of the examiners is indispensable, and that such a knowledge is not reasonably to be demanded of all the ordinary inspectors. We were informed that the inspectors of districts have in some instances made arrangements, by which certain of their colleagues possessing such knowledge might be specially deputed to conduct these examinations; but, where inspectors so qualified do not exist, other assistance should be obtained, such as that of the inspectors of the Science and Art Department.

In making future appointments to the inspectorate, it would be desirable that, in regard to a larger proportion of them, special weight should be given to the possession of an adequate knowledge of natural science. The greater attention which has been given in our universities of late years to natural science will make it easier to act on this recommendation. On the other hand, care should be taken when any special examiner is called to assist the permanent staff, that such examiner should possess some knowledge or experience of the conditions of elementary school education.

It has been suggested that female instead of male inspectors should be employed to visit infant schools, and generally to examine the lower standards, and, indeed, to inspect the whole work of those schools in which girls form the preponderating or the exclusive element. The experience of the London School Board throws light on such a suggestion, so far as it relates to towns, since female inspectors have been employed under the London School Board in the examination of needlework. One witness alleged that there had always been in this form of inspection a good deal of friction. And mistresses themselves are said to prefer to have their schools inspected by a man rather than by one of their own sex. We would observe, however, that the multiplication of inspectors for special subjects, such as needlework, cookery, domestic economy, drill, music, and the like, however desirable in the interests of these studies, is open to many objections, and is obviously possible only within very narrow limits. There are, moreover, serious practical difficulties in the employment of women on the staff of inspectors, where much travelling is required. We think, however, that the experiment might be tried in large towns of appointing a sub-inspectress to assist the head inspectors in the examination of infant schools and of the earlier standards in other schools. They should themselves have been teachers in elementary schools, or should have had experience as governesses in one or other of the training colleges. We have been much struck by the ability, earnestness, and good sense of several of the mistresses who have come before us to give evidence.

We have received complaints of the insufficient salary (£150) offered to Inspectors' Assistants on their first entry upon office, and the suggestion has been made to us that it should be raised to £200, the superior limit of age of admission being raised at the same time from 35 up to 40. We think that these assistants should be chosen from the pick of the elementary schoolmasters who have acquired adequate experience. We are, therefore, of opinion that the initial salary should be such as not to deter the best head masters generally from applying for the post, and we should be glad to see it raised to £200 a year.


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To meet objections to the power now lodged in the hands of the single inspector of a district, a scheme has been laid before us for considerably enlarging the area of each district, and for appointing over it a board of inspectors to be jointly responsible for the examination and reports of schools. Such a scheme, however, failed to commend itself as feasible to the official witnesses under whose notice it was brought, and we do not regard it as practicable. It has further been suggested that a more frequent change of district would mitigate what has been called the autocracy of the inspector in his own district. But the evidence of experts tends to show that long connexion with the same district is one of the most powerful agents in bringing about a good understanding between an inspector and the managers of schools under his supervision, while it greatly increases the influence he can exercise for the general advance of education. It is obvious also that an inspector who has been long in charge of a district has a great advantage over a new comer in watching the ever varying conditions which affect the regulation of school supply. Moreover, a frequent change of inspectors has been complained of by more than one witness as introducing an element of uncertainty into the annual examination, most harassing both to teachers and to managers. Such a system of interchange, moreover, would prove very costly either to the country or to the inspectors themselves.

With the increased number of schools to be annually inspected, and the payment of grants according to the results of a great variety of subjects, one of the most difficult of the questions that have arisen has been, how to attain any uniformity of standard amongst so large a body of inspectors. Official witnesses have informed us that no effort is spared to establish a common standard of judgment among the district inspectors, by conference among themselves and by comparison of results within each division; while by associating himself in turn with each inspector of his division the chief inspector is able in some degree personally to co-ordinate the several standards of examination adopted by his colleagues. The tabulated results of the inspection of each district are carefully examined in the office of the Department, and any considerable inequalities between these results are brought to the notice of the chief inspectors with a view to equalize the standard as far as possible between one district and another. It has been pointed out, indeed, that all which can be secured by these methods is uniformity of results rather than uniformity of tests. And complaints have been laid before us tending to show that in special localities reports of schools have been sent in to the Department indicating an appreciable variety of standard between one inspector and another, and producing an uncertainty full of anxiety to teachers and managers. But, on the whole, it is impossible not to be struck with the narrow limits within which such complaints are confined. And the direct evidence on the part of teachers who have come under several inspectors, as to the uniformity of the standards by which they have been judged, convinces us that a considerable approximation to a uniform standard of examination has already been attained, and that further progress is likely to be made in the same direction. We think that it would tend still further to secure uniformity of standard if the chief inspectors ceased to have charge of districts of their own in addition to the larger areas which they have to supervise, so that their whole time and attention might be given to the business of supervision. This would allow them ample time to review the work of the inspectors in their division whenever complaints were made to the Education Department; whilst it would enable them to undertake the occasional inspection of schools in the districts in their division, and so, by personal investigation, to test the work, and to compare the results of examinations, in the various districts, a branch of their duty which otherwise can only be very imperfectly accomplished. An impression appears to prevail in some quarters that a more lenient test is applied by inspectors to the examination of voluntary schools than is in use in board schools. But one and all of the inspectors examined on this point disclaimed any conscious variation in the test they applied to the various classes of schools which they visited, and we do not believe that there is any ground whatever for thus imputing to inspectors partiality in the discharge of their onerous duties.

A good deal of evidence has been given by Her Majesty's Inspectors as to the frequency and advantage of "surprise" visits, or as they are more appropriately desig-


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nated "visits without notice". They concur in thinking that, whatever other advantages these may possess, they cannot be utilized for determining the amount of the annual grant, which can only, they contend, be fairly assessed at a visit announced beforehand on a set day. The advantage of seeing a school in its ordinary working dress was, we were told, much diminished by the uncertainty whether on such an occasion the school would be found in its normal condition. But Mr. Sharpe tells us that observations made at a visit without notice might properly affect the inspector's apportionment of the merit grant, and that it is a part of his duty to pay such visits whenever he has time disposable for that purpose. Mr. Fitch gave it as his opinion that to the managers alone in the long run could the Department look for that effective supervision of the ordinary working of a school which is assumed to be promoted by the frequent visits of inspectors without notice. While the utility of such professional visits was not denied, some inspectors thought that their value might probably be exaggerated, and one inspector gave it as his opinion that such visits might easily be overdone. On this point Mr. Oakeley made a suggestion, that, without any announcement beforehand, the examination of schools that have earned the highest merit grant might sometimes be allowed to drop for a year, and the grant be paid on the scale of the previous year, provided that a visit without notice had been paid to the school, and that the staff had not been changed. "We think that some re-arrangement of work ought to be made, or the strength of the inspecting staff increased, so as to admit of more frequent "visits without notice" to schools than are now possible, and of more time being given to the annual examinations both of schools and of pupil-teachers. More frequent occasional visits are not suggested as a means of detecting abuses, but rather to enable the inspector, by the observation of a school under its normal conditions, to acquaint himself with the general tone of the school and with the method of instruction, and to offer friendly advice to the teachers on any points on which they may stand in need.

The publication of the reports of Inspectors of individual schools was the subject of numerous questions put to the official witnesses. In the earlier years of the Education Department they were published in full in the Blue Books; but, in addition to other reasons, the very great expense that would now be involved in printing the detailed reports on some 25,000 individual schools would of itself prevent the Department from resuming such a practice. The London School Board, we are informed, publish all the reports of H.M. Inspectors on their schools, and Mr. Fitch tells us that such publicity does not in the least limit the freedom with which he expresses himself in regard to the schools he examines. We had no evidence, however, as to how far the volumes containing these reports are known to, or ever pass into the hands of the ratepayers. At present the inspectors' reports on schools are communicated by the Department only to the managers in the case of voluntary schools, and only to the school boards concerned in the case of board schools. It has been contended, and we are of opinion rightly contended, that in the case of voluntary schools the same amount of publicity might with advantage be given to the annual reports as is now given in the case of board schools.

Numerous complaints have been made to us as to the manner in which inspection is practically carried out. Some of the replies to the questions which were addressed to the managers and teachers of schools in the nine typical counties, to which our Circulars A and D were sent out, are to the effect that the inspectors fail to show as much consideration for and sympathy with the managers, teachers, and children as might be expected from them. Many of these complaints, however, resolve themselves into a disagreement with the requirements of the Code, to which the methods of examination must necessarily conform. We would suggest that an inspector should always bear in mind the great difference between a competitive and a non-competitive examination, and we have had evidence to show that inspectors sometimes make the mistake of putting questions that are much too hard for the latter. In a competitive examination it is of use to set some difficult questions in order to eliminate those candidates who have no real chance, and to confine the examination to those who are really capable of competing; but in a non-competitive examination it is not an object to eliminate any, and the aim of the examiner should always be to find out what the scholars know, and how they know it, and not to find out what they do not know. We think further that there is justice in the complaints made by several


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teachers with respect to giving out sentences for dictation. They say that the children are unaccustomed to the inspector's voice, mistake his words, and are in consequence confused; whereas if the inspector selected the passage to be written down by the children, and then entrusted it to the teacher of the class to read out, these difficulties would not exist, whilst there could be no real difference in the examination.

Where injustice is alleged to have been done in the inspection of any school, on a representation to the Department, the matter is inquired into, and, if it is thought to be called for, a second inspection is ordered. One district of considerable size appears to have been re-inspected recently by two chief inspectors, in consequence of a certain number of persons representing that their schools had not been fairly dealt with. It is alleged that many complaints that would otherwise be made to the Department are not made, for fear lest, by offending the inspector, future grants might suffer. The Department, we think, should make it clear that they are willing and anxious to examine into any complaint that may be made to them, and, that, as far as lies in their power, the school shall not suffer in consequence of a complaint against an inspector having been made. But cases of this kind are not very frequent, the reason alleged by the teachers who appeared before us being, that they fear to challenge the action of the Department. The official witnesses, however, lead us to conclude that instances of injustice are comparatively rare.

It is alleged, further, though no direct evidence is forthcoming on the subject, that inspectors sometimes favour the use of particular books in the preparation of scholars for examination, and even books of which they are themselves the authors. The Instructions to inspectors, however, lay down distinctly that "it is no part of the duty of the officers of the Department to prescribe or to recommend particular books for use in schools", and no case has ever been established to the satisfaction of the Department of the systematic infringement of such a rule. Official intimation is also given that inspectors ought not to write school books, though it is difficult to prevent this being done, so long as the names of the authors do not appear.

In like manner, if the allegation be true that the examinations are often protracted without regard to the exhausted powers of the children, it is at least in disregard of instructions framed expressly to prevent such an abuse, and if brought to the attention of the authorities we cannot believe that such infringement of instructions would be upheld. It seems, however, that in some districts, the staff of inspectors is occasionally insufficient, and it is inevitable that in such cases not only the inspector, but the children also, must suffer through the consequent over-pressure.

Our opinion is that in the matter of inspection, though the present system may be susceptible of improvement in the directions we have indicated, the country has been on the whole well served, especially since the establishment of the present system of grading inspectors. A witness who was adverse to the present plan of selecting inspectors, and who objected to their being appointed without previous experience of elementary education, yet bore emphatic testimony, in which we concur, to the excellent manner in which the present inspectors discharge their duties. "All the inspectors", he said, "that I have come in contact with during the last five or six years are admirable men.

CHAPTER V

TEACHERS AND STAFF

From the earliest days of the administration of the parliamentary grant, the necessity of securing an adequate supply of good teachers has been recognised as of the first importance. Accordingly, not only did training colleges receive building and maintenance grants to assist them in their work of fitting men and women for the office of school-teachers, but existing teachers were encouraged to improve their own education and their school methods by the offer of certificates upon examination, carrying with them a money value in augmentation of their salaries, and varying in


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amount according to the grade of their certificates. Moreover, pupil-teachers were provided for the better schools, and were paid for by the Government grant, on condition of their being trained by the head teachers, and prepared for admission into the training colleges at the end of their apprenticeship. And although a large part of the system to which we have just referred, which was brought into existence by the Minutes of the Committee of Council on Education of August and December 1846, was swept away by the Code of 1862, enough was preserved to show that not only at the beginning, but also throughout the whole period of the last 40 years, the paramount necessity of keeping up an ample supply of duly qualified teachers has never been lost sight of.

From the Report of the Committee of Council on Education (1886-7), we learn* that in 1886 there were in actual employ in elementary schools in England and Wales, 16,766 certificated masters, and 25,152 certificated mistresses, besides 294 provisionally certificated teachers, 17,439 assistant teachers, and 4,659 female assistant teachers, (under Article 84 of the Code†) a total of 22,141 adult male teachers, and 42,169 adult female teachers. And from the same source we gather‡ that at Christmas 1886, there was an addition made to the staff of certificated teachers to the extent of 1,144 masters, and 2,005 mistresses; the total number of certificated teachers (including provisionally certificated teachers) at the end of 1886 being 45,361, as against 12,027 on 31st December 1869. To this large body of adult teachers must be further added 27,804 pupil-teachers who were serving in schools at the date of the Report referred to above; the corresponding number of pupil-teachers on 31st December 1869 being 12,842. It is needless to point to the rapidity of the growth of this army of teachers since the passing of the Education Act of 1870, the only question we have to determine being, the adequacy of the present supply both in number and in quality.

The evidence taken upon the point of the sufficiency of the present supply seems to prove, that whilst there is still a growing demand for fully qualified female teachers, the supply of trained male teachers is somewhat in excess of the present demand for them. "At present we have too many male teachers", says one teacher; there is undoubtedly a superabundance of male certificated teachers", says another, statements which appear to be borne out by the testimony of Canon Cromwell, late Principal of St. Mark's Training College for Masters, who says, "For the last two years we have found great difficulty in providing situations for the number of teachers whom we have trained, not in our own college only, but I know that it has been the case in many other colleges also." An independent proof of the same statements is afforded in the evidence of several witnesses who speak of the very small salaries which many young men, now leaving the training colleges, are willing to accept, as compared with those which they could command a few years ago; some, it is said, taking appointments as assistants at £50 or £60 a year, whereas, formerly such students might, as principal teachers, have obtained salaries of £110 or £120 a year. Two of the chief inspectors who appeared before us, while saying nothing about over supply, admit that there is a sufficient supply of male teachers, and other witnesses say that they have no difficulty in obtaining as many male teachers as they need. On the other hand, very many witnesses bore testimony to the inadequacy of the supply of female teachers, although there was some difference of opinion as to the extent of the deficiency. One witness, whilst allowing that there was some deficiency of well qualified teachers, stated that there was not "an absolute deficiency"; whilst another as emphatically declared, "I have not the least doubt myself that the supply of trained female teachers is quite inadequate. The general statement as to this inadequacy is confirmed by other witnesses, and one reason assigned for the much greater "waste" in the ranks of female teachers than in those of male teachers was that a good many of them leave the teaching profession to be married, especially in the first four or five years after becoming certificated.

In reference to the quality of the existing supply of teachers, we are glad to state our opinion, that, as a whole, the present body of teachers are a very honourable class,

*Report of the Committee of Council (1886-7), pages 226 and 227.

†New Code, 1887, Article 84: "In mixed, girls', and infant schools, a woman over 18 years of age, and approved by the Inspector, who is employed during the whole of the school hours in the general instruction of the scholars and in teaching needlework, is accepted as equivalent to a pupil teacher."

‡Page xxiv.


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and have a great sense of their duties to the children in regard to the formation of their character, and their moral guidance. It is, however, said that there is now less educational enthusiasm in the profession than formerly. It is also said that the teachers' associations are at the present time devoting less time and thought to professional improvement. It is further alleged that a number of young women take up teaching who are in no degree fitted for the work; and that, generally, whilst the supply now is sufficient in quantity, it is "scarcely so yet in quality". The last quoted witness goes on to state that the "sudden demand that was caused by the Act of 1870 necessitated, no doubt, some relaxation in the standard of qualifications required for a certificate, and without these untrained teachers the supply would still be altogether inadequate. But the necessity for this relaxation has now to a large extent passed away, the training colleges being able now to supply most of the annual waste; and I think," the witness goes on to say, " that the time has come in which improvements may be safely required, both in the quality of the students who enter the training colleges, and also more particularly by compelling acting teachers to pass exactly the same certificate examination as students who have gone through the training colleges." It should, however, be stated, in justice to the teachers, that the alleged decay of professional enthusiasm, and the fact that less time is now devoted by teachers' associations to educational questions, are attributed by the teachers themselves to the unfavourable conditions under which elementary education is stated by them to be at present carried on. We are told that nine-tenths of the supply of elementary teachers is made up of those who have formerly served as pupil-teachers, and who, therefore, have had the advantage of a long preliminary training.

It is admitted, and proved very conclusively by the remarkable results of the labours of members of religious communities in Roman Catholic schools, that the employment as teachers of women of superior social position and general culture has a refining and excellent effect upon the schools in which they teach, and an attempt is made at the Bishop Otter College, Chichester, to introduce this element into the body of trained and certificated teachers. Up to the present time, however, difficulties appear to have intervened to limit the success of the experiment, and the fact that, as a rule, the students in that college have not been pupil-teachers is said to prejudice them when they apply for posts as assistants in the larger schools. Another attempt was made in the Code of 1882 to encourage graduates of any university in the United Kingdom, and women over 18, who have passed university examinations recognised by the Department, to enter the profession of elementary teachers; such persons being made eligible by the Code to become assistant teachers in inspected schools, and in a year afterwards (if not under 20 years of age) to be examined for ordinary certificates. By the same regulation of the Code such persons on passing the admission examination to a training college are forthwith recognised by the Department as assistant teachers. Mr. Cumin's comment upon the importance of the change made in 1882 is worthy of consideration. "There are a great many persons', he says, "who have a liking for education, and a disposition towards being schoolmasters, and the better the class they come from, the better the teaching is likely to be, and the better the influence over the children; and therefore facilities were given for persons having a better education to go and teach in the elementary schools. In Scotland, where you have that connexion between the elementary schools and the Universities, you get a better class of teachers; and the intention was to elevate the condition of the teachers, and to improve education generally." But we find, on inquiry at the Department, that though this provision of the Code has existed for nearly six years, there has not been a single application for admission to the office of a teacher under it.

The case of the untrained teachers, who are now in such large numbers obtaining certificates without going through the discipline and the course of study of the training college, has come before us in many aspects. The following table taken from the Report of the Committee of Council (1886-7), shows the number of trained and untrained teachers respectively who held the Government certificate.


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The teachers themselves seem to be almost unanimous in condemning the present facilities for entering the teaching profession without previous training. They say that although there is not a sufficient supply of trained teachers, the general supply of teachers is excessive, owing to the large numbers of untrained teachers who are allowed to become certificated. They assert, although this is not admitted by the Department, that the standard of examination which these acting teachers have to reach has been so much lower than that adopted for the trained teachers, that many of the former class of teachers prove to be unsatisfactory. The result, according to these witnesses, is, that the less efficient teachers are preventing the more efficient ones from finding employment. The demand they make is that acting teachers' certificates should be abolished, and that for the future the supply of teachers should be limited to persons who have been through the training colleges, or who are university graduates. Other witnesses, to a great extent, agree in this view of the question. Canon Cromwell thinks that the number of untrained teachers who receive certificates should be diminished, and he would bring about this result by raising the age at which candidates are eligible to compete in the certificate examination, and by increasing the number of years they are required to serve in school before being examined. Others are of opinion that the standard of examination should be raised so as to reduce the number of this class of teachers. Mr. Oakeley, Her Majesty's inspector of training colleges, makes the definite proposal that no acting teacher should be admitted to the examination on second year's papers, till two years after passing in the first year's papers, and that the grade of certificate for a candidate who is placed in the third division on the second year's papers should be of the third class, and therefore not such as to qualify him to undertake the charge of pupil teachers. It may be noted that by the Code of 1882 teachers passing on the first year's papers were made ineligible for taking charge of pupil-teachers, and since that change, the great majority of acting teachers have obtained their certificate on the second year's papers. It may be well to state on the other side, that some of the ablest teachers who gave evidence before us had not been through a course of college training. We cannot, therefore, lose sight of the fact that there are some persons with a natural aptitude for teaching who have not entered training colleges, but who could not be excluded from the profession without a real loss to our schools, and in any regulations for fixing the qualifications required of teachers, it is desirable that this should be borne in mind.

In some small schools, where the average attendance is under 60 children, the teacher is not only, strictly speaking, untrained but also uncertificated, the only qualification possessed being that of a provisional certificate granted at the close of apprenticeship as a pupil teacher, on a favourable report from an inspector as to intellectual power and efficiency as a teacher. A provisional certificate, however, is revoked on the holder of it attaining the age of 25 years. We are informed by the Education Department that in 1885-86, out of 27,804 pupil teachers on their list, as many as 425 assistant teachers who had been passed by Her Majesty's inspectors at the end of their apprenticeship - 63 as provisionally certificated teachers, and the remainder as assistant teachers - nevertheless failed at the scholarship examination. Some witnesses would have these provisional certificates abolished. It may be pointed out, however, that this class of provisionally certificated teachers is diminishing year by year, having


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fallen off in the four years between 1882 and 1886, from 498 to 294.* It would seem, therefore, as if the system had served its purpose, and is now dying a natural death.

There has been a great rise in the salaries of school teachers in the past 20 or 30 years. In 1847, the salaries of 8,691 teachers in church schools averaged only £29 12s 10d. They were for masters £35 11s 4d, and for mistresses £23 14s 3d, independent of augmentations from Government.† The average salaries at the time of the Duke of Newcastle's Commission, including these augmentations, are reported in evidence to have been £95 for masters, and £65 for mistresses, whereas at present the salaries are, on an average, £119 for men, and £72 for women, and much higher still in board schools such as those in London. We are informed that English trained male teachers on leaving college usually ask from £85 to £90 a year, females about £10 less; that an ex-pupil-teacher as an assistant mistress is worth from £35 to £50 a year, and an assistant master from £60 to £70 a year. It is stated that the scale of payment to Roman Catholic schoolmasters is below the average, and much below the board school scale, and that there is a feeling of dissatisfaction aroused among those teachers in consequence of this fact. It is also stated that salaries generally are no longer on the increase, a statement which receives confirmation from the reports of the Committee of Council for the past five years; for from those reports, it appears that, whilst the average salary of a certificated master rose from £94 2s 1d in 1870 to £119 15s 6d in 1882, its amount in 1885 was only £120 19s 2d, and it had fallen in 1886 to £120 17s 6d. Certificated mistresses, on the other hand, whose average salary in 1870 is reported to have been £57 11s 1d, are commanding somewhat higher salaries every year, the amount having risen from £72 0s 11d in 1882, to £74 4s 11d in 1886.

At one time the practice prevailed on the part of school managers of making a large part of their teachers' salary depend upon the grant. It is asserted that the result was to make the teacher "look upon the school as a money-producing machine", and very much to increase the teacher's anxiety in view of the annual examination. It is also said that where this practice obtains there is a tendency on the part of the teachers to get rid of unsatisfactory scholars before the day of inspection, and evidence to this effect was given by Mr. B. N. Buxton, for many years Chairman of the London School Board. Mr. Diggle, the present Chairman, informs us that all the salaries in the London board schools are now fixed, and that, whilst before the change was brought about, unsatisfactory results followed, since that time "there has not been the least departure from the old spirit which was in old teachers to do their best." Testimony of the importance of paying fixed salaries is also borne in the case of the Birmingham School Board. Out of the 3,496 replies we have received to the Circular D, addressed to head teachers in selected districts, 1,455, or 41.0 per cent, state that their salaries are fixed, 1,944, or 56.0 per cent, state that their salaries are dependent on fees and grants, and 97, or 3 per cent, do not answer the question as to whether their salaries are fixed or dependent on fees and grants. We are glad to learn that the system of variable salaries is giving way before that of fixed salaries in voluntary, as well as in board schools, and we are decidedly of opinion that teachers' salaries should be fixed, and should not fluctuate with the grant.

Some teachers complain of the restrictions under which they work as being a source of worry and anxiety to them, and they affirm that these restrictions serve to deter others from coming forward to join the ranks of school teachers. One teacher, claiming to speak for the body to which he belongs, asserted that the teachers feel the system under which they work almost intolerable; and he further testified that teachers' meetings, in which formerly the main subject of discussion was how best to advance the education of the children under their care, are now devoted to the consideration of their grievances in relation to the inspectors, the Department and the Code. Mr. Cumin, on the contrary, denies that teachers are unduly hampered by the Code, and Mr. Fitch maintains that under no foreign Government "is there so little authoritative restraint on the discretion and educational plans of teachers as in England under our present Code." It has been suggested by some witnesses that more frequent conferences between teachers, managers, and inspectors

*Reports of Committee of Council (1882-3), page 195; and (1886-7) page 226.

†Public Education by the late Sir James Kay Shuttleworth (1883), p. 125.


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would be productive of much good, and that they might, to some extent, supply the place of the periodical conferences which form a part of the educational system of some Continental States.

Ou the question of the endorsement by the inspector of the teachers' certificates on the occasion of his visit to their schools we need do no more than cite the opinion expressed by some of Her Majesty's inspectors. It is thought by Mr. Harrison that these endorsements are rather below the dignity of the teaching profession. In the case of assistant teachers, Mr. Fitch would continue the endorsements of certificates by inspectors, because they are of a personal kind, and are based on the qualifications of the individual, rather than on the character of the school in which he is employed. But in the case of head teachers he would prefer that these endorsements should to be discontinued, and that teachers should, as now, be entitled to claim from the managers a certified copy of the report of their schools. Mr. Synge takes the opposite view, and gives it as his opinion that the endorsement should go on as at present. Mr. Brodie, too, considers endorsements of value as being real testimonials, but, at the same time, he thinks that they should be most carefully divested of all personality.

The question of pensions we found to be somewhat complicated by the past treatment it has received from the Education Department. Lord Lingen, who was Secretary to the Education Department up to 1869, and afterwards for several years Secretary to the Treasury, in giving some account of the history of the offer of pensions under the Minutes of 1846, says, "The original Minute in 1846 was very general in its terms, and I believe I am correct in saying that the authors of that Minute did not contemplate a general system of pensions for teachers, but the system of annual grants for schools being then introduced, and a large number of teachers under the old system being employed in those schools, they thought to provide certain means of enabling these teachers to be retired on reasonably equitable and charitable terms. Very soon after that date (I forget the exact date of the next Minute), I think it was 1851, it was felt that this was a very dangerous offer to put out, being largely understood as the offer of a pension scheme for all time coming, rather than as one of the forms of aiding schools. The pension was meant to aid schools in the removal of inefficient teachers just as the augmentation grant was meant to aid them in obtaining better teachers. Then the Committee of that day, I think, limited the amount of pensions to £6,500 in any one year, and the conditions laid down at that time were exceedingly stringent. There were very few teachers who in 1861 had been pensioned under that scheme, and, rightly or wrongly, it was considered at that time one of the things that might be withdrawn from the Code. Probably if everything had to be done again, and the consequences had been foreseen, that Minute would not have been withdrawn." The subsequent history of the pension regulations is to be found in the Codes of 1876 and 1885, in the former of which the persons entitled to apply for a pension are specified to be teachers who were employed in that capacity on 9th May 1862, when the original Minute was cancelled; and in the latter it is stated that the limit of £6,500 is not to affect the claims of teachers who were employed before August 1851. But it is contended that many persons were induced to become pupil-teachers, and many others were in training at the training colleges on 9th May 1862, on the strength of the old Pension Minute, and that they are therefore entitled to share with others in this particular grant. Lord Lingen, whilst deprecating any reopening of the question, admitted that he did not know of the exclusion of these two classes of teachers from the benefit of the restored regulations. Mr. Fitch, whilst denying that these particular persons have any legal claim to participate in the old pension scheme, admits that probably some of them were induced by the prospect of a pension to come into the work, and adds that he would be glad if Parliament would consent to extend the present pension regulations so as to include their case. Other inspectors are strongly of opinion, either that the pension system originated in 1846 should be fully restored, or that some new system should be devised under Government supervision for the purpose of securing to all teachers who should come into the scheme a retiring allowance at the age when they are too old to continue to be efficient in their work. It is pointed out, too, that such a system of pensions is everywhere in existence on the Continent, and that if once established in England, teachers


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might be induced to contribute to the fund. Mr. Oakeley, on the other hand, suggested that 2 per cent deducted from all school grants would form a sufficient and easily collected fund for the purpose. Mr. Sharpe, whilst pleading that he had not fully considered the question, stated that he had known many hard cases of teachers of small rural schools reduced to indigence in old age, whom it would have been desirable to pension when unfit for further work; and he pointed out that the condition in the Code, requiring that the teachers at the time of applying for a pension should be actually engaged in teaching, pressed hardly on some who have broken down under their work and so have become disqualified. Most of the teachers who gave evidence, advocated the establishment of a system of pensions; one, however, stated that a feeling against a superannuation scheme exists amongst many young teachers. Out of the 3,496 answers to Circular D sent to head teachers, 2,937, or 84 per cent, were in favour of a superannuation scheme. They express great difference of opinion as to the sources whence it should be provided. Their answers may be summarised as follows: in 395 cases it is suggested that the funds should be contributed by teachers only; in 521 cases by teachers and Government; in 297 cases by teachers, Government, and managers; in 111 cases by teachers and managers; in 470 cases by Government only; in 270 cases by managers only; in 470 cases by Government and managers; in 403 cases no method is suggested.

On the whole, we should be glad to see a superannuation scheme established, and we have arrived at the conclusion that the compulsion upon existing teachers to contribute to such a scheme should be indirect rather than direct; and should be enforced by the action of the managers, rather than as a legal obligation upon the teachers themselves. The facilities afforded by the Post Office for the purchase of deferred annuities are great, and we think that this system affords the best method of placing teachers in such a position that when, after the attainment of a certain age, in the judgment of their managers they become less competent for teaching, they may be relieved of their duties without any sense of injury or injustice. We think that managers would act wisely in requiring that the teachers whom they employ should be possessed of a deferred annuity of not less than £30 a year for men, and £20 for women (which henceforth should be purchased from the Post Office), the annuity to come into operation at the age of 55. Existing teachers who have already assured themselves in other offices should have (equally with Post Office annuitants) the advantage of what we further recommend. On attaining the age of 55 the teacher would receive the annuity he had purchased; and we think that the Education Department should, at the time of his retiring from the profession, supplement this annuity (also through the medium of the Post Office), upon a scale regulated by the length of his service as a teacher, the maximum augmentation not to exceed £15 per annum. We are of opinion that this scheme of superannuation should be made compulsory upon all teachers certificated after a date to be decided upon by Parliament. We think that cases not capable of being covered by these simple provisions would not be large in number, and might be met by grants from the Department in augmentation of benevolent funds until the effect of the above scheme was fully developed. We recommend that the Department should provide for these grants, as well as for the augmentation of pensions, by a deduction of 1 per cent from the annual grant paid to every elementary school.

The first question that demands our attention in entering upon the consideration of what should be the amount of staff for the proper working of a school, is whether the minimum staff specified in the Code is sufficient. In the case of small schools the evidence before us seems to be unanimous in condemning the Code requirements as quite insufficient. The minimum staff is "not sufficient for a small school", says one witness, and "barely sufficient for an average school". Instances also have been brought before us of a single teacher without assistance teaching six standards and an infant class; of another teacher with two monitors, managing a school with six standards and 20 infants; and of still another with only one monitor, conducting the teaching of seven standards and of two infant classes in one room. These examples seem conclusively to show the impossibility of properly working such schools with the limited provision of staff specified in the Code. Mr. Harrison, is of opinion that the minimum staff of the Code ought to be raised; and a suggestion was made by another


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witness that where there are more than 40 scholars in average attendance, the employment of a pupil-teacher or of an assistant-teacher should be compulsory. The authors of the Minutes of 1846 evidently contemplated this. Thus Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth, in his work on Public Education gives one master and one pupil-teacher as the proper staff for any number of scholars between 30 and 60, an additional pupil-teacher being required for schools of about 80 scholars.* The Minutes of 1846 allowed one pupil-teacher for every 25 scholars. In his evidence before the Duke of Newcastle's Commission,† Sir James Kay Shuttleworth said as follows: "What will occur, I hope, with respect to the pupil-teacher grant will be that there will be a gradual substitution of assistant-teachers for pupil-teachers, and the assistant-teacher will cost the Government somewhat less than two pupil-teachers. He will stand in the place of two pupil-teachers." And at a somewhat later date Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, in a letter to the "Times" of January 2, 1871, on the supply of teachers for the new schools to be called into existence, said, "The proportion of the teaching staff ought not to be less than 1 for every 25 scholars, and that of the assistant-teachers ought to be much greater than it is. In a school of 150 scholars there ought to be one principal teacher, two assistant, and three pupil-teachers; for 100 scholars, one principal, one assistant, and two pupil-teachers." And even as early as 1853, in his book "Public Education as affected by the Minutes of the Privy Council from 1846 to 1852," page 130, he says, "Elementary schools cannot be deemed to have received a satisfactory development until every 60 scholars are in charge of a teacher or assistant of 18 years of age, who has passed through five years' apprenticeship, and is aided by a pupil-teacher." The teachers are practically unanimous on this point. One teacher discourages children remaining after the fourth standard, because of the excessive labour thrown upon him owing to the insufficient staff allowance of the Code. Another states that a half-time school cannot be properly worked with the Code minimum of staff. A third puts in a special plea for a stronger staff in a poor school, || and several affirm that the minimum staff is quite inadequate to secure the results required by the Code. This opinion is held, too, by some of the inspectors and by some school managers, one of the latter throwing out the suggestion that the relative size of the staff should be determined partly by the size of the standards, and not simply by the total number of children in the school. One inspector thinks the minimum should be reckoned as at present, on the average attendance; another points out that if this rule is rigidly followed, there may be staff enough in winter when the attendance of infants is small, while there is an insufficiency of teaching power in the summer, when many infants are present.

The Report of the Education Department for 1886-7 shows that 28,645 departments, with an average attendance of 3,438,425, had 28.645 head-teachers, 13,567 certificated assistant-teachers, 17,439 assistant (ex-pupil) teachers, 27,804 pupil-teachers, and 4,659 assistants under Article 84 of the Code, giving a total staff, according to the calculations of the Code, sufficient for 5,118,660 average, or a staff in excess of the present Code requirements by 49 per cent. If we take the various denominations of schools, we find that, on the basis of computation of the Code, the Church of England schools were overstaffed 45 per cent, the Roman Catholic 45 per cent, the Wesleyan 37 per cent, the British 44 per cent, the board schools 57 per cent. This shows that managers generally find the Code allowance totally insufficient; and it shows further that if the Code minimum, which is only used in self defence by managers who wish to justify their own insufficient staff, were materially raised, it would not practically affect the great mass of schools throughout the country. We think, therefore, that the staff required by the Code should be considerably increased, since we have already shown that the great mass of the schools would find their staff undisturbed, and that the change would only affect such schools as are understaffed, and so need the application of pressure to make good their short-comings.

In the case of large schools the question has been asked whether the head-teacher should be counted as part of the staff prescribed by the Code. We have been told by one of the London School Board Inspectors that, in his belief, the head masters very often do not take any part in actual teaching. "If I go", he says, "to a school, time after time, and find the head master sitting in his own room, doing it may be clerical work, or if I never find him with a class, my impression is that he does little or nothing in the way of teaching; but it would be difficult to prove a specific

*Public education by Sir J. K. Shuttleworth, p. 132.

†Evidence given before Duke of Newcastle's Commission, vol. 6, p. 323, Q. 2437.


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case perhaps." Mr. Airy, Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools in the Birmingham district, also expresses a similar opinion. In his Report to the Committee of Council, (1885-6, p. 324) he writes as follows: "The second point on which I find myself at issue with the practice of the teachers, of the board schools especially, and with the policy of the board that tacitly permits it, is that, as a rule, the head teachers do not teach. An assistant teacher makes his reputation by the success with which he teaches his class, usually the first class. Upon that success he is promoted to a vacant head mastership; and in many cases, from that moment, his genuine teaching days are over. It is supposed that he will 'supervise'; that he will ' impress his system ' upon his subordinates. One teacher said to me that he ' did not know he was supposed to give actual lessons after he had a school '; another, who has left the profession, has admitted that he never gave a lesson from the moment of his appointment; while another considered it 'beneath his dignity' to take a part in the regular teaching." Dr. Crosskey, the Chairman of the School Management Committee of the Birmingham School Board, in reference to the opinion of Mr. Airy stated: "We had a little discussion with Mr. Airy upon that point; it is a difference of theory. I am Chairman of the School Management Committee, and I am more or less acquainted with the work of that Committee and the opinions of that Committee. Of course, we believe that the head teachers should teach according to the rules of the board; the whole question is, whether they are to take a distinct and definite part of the work, and be responsible for it, or whether they may, as directing large schools, teach where they think weak places exist. The Inspector, I believe, has a very strong opinion in favour of their taking a definite and distinct part of the school work. If a head teacher teaches all through and gives his time where he thinks the school is weakest, I think he does his work as well as if he took a distinct and definite part. I do not think that our teachers fail in industry or in teaching; of course, in so large a body of teachers, you will find some who are more or less remiss, but, on the whole, I believe they do work. I have often inquired into it." Mr. Stewart thinks the principal teachers should be reckoned on the staff, and give an equal number of lessons to each of the classes of his school, besides superintending the work of the other teachers; but his experience is that the head teacher is generally occupied in supervising, not in teaching. Some of the teachers gave it as their opinion that in a large school the head teacher ought not to be held responsible for any particular class, nor to count on the staff. School managers appear to be divided in opinion upon this point, and Canon Daniel, Principal of St. John's Training College, Battersea, thinks that, in a large school of 300, the head teacher ought always to be free to go about the school supervising the work of others. The Rev. J. Gilmore, the Chairman of the Sheffield School Board, being asked whether he considered that the principal teacher should be reckoned in calculating the staff of large schools, said, "That depends upon the kind of school. We have large mixed schools under the Sheffield School Board, where we have 700 or 800 children; in such cases we do not count the head teacher, and we do not think that he should be counted; but in an ordinary boys' and girls' school of, say 300, I think he should be counted." The Rev. J. Diggle, Chairman of the London School Board, thought that the principal teacher should be reckoned in calculating the staff of a large school.

We are of opinion that, while it would be undesirable that a head-master should not be able to give general superintendence to the whole work of his school, it would be matter of regret if he were dissociated from the work of actual instruction. We think that if the general requirements of the Code as to staff be raised, it may well be left to the managers and head teacher to organise their school as they please, subject to the inspector being satisfied with the results of the teaching.

The proper size of a class is a matter of considerable consequence to be taken into account in estimating the true minimum of staff required. As a matter of fact classes are found sometimes to contain as many as 60 or 80 children, and an assistant, we are told, has been seen endeavouring single handed to teach a class of 100. But it is generally allowed that these numbers are much beyond what should be permitted; and the average maximum number assigned by the several witnesses may be set down as 40 for an ordinary class in a school, and 25 for the highest class.ft It is most important that the classes, especially in girls' schools, should be


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kept within a reasonable size: for when the classes are too large, we are told that the health of the teachers begins to suffer, as "they find the work very fagging".

The special value of female teachers is dwelt upon by several witnesses. Canon Warburton has a great belief in schoolmistresses, and thinks they do quite as well as schoolmasters for small or even middle-sized schools; and he is often astonished at their success in the maintenance of discipline by moral power, even among elder boys. By another witness the employment of female teachers is recommended for the lower standards of boys' schools, and although Mr. Sharpe thinks that the employment of young married female teachers is a thing to be discouraged, he admits that, cæteris paribus [other things being equal], women are the better teachers.

In regard to pupil-teachers a suggestion has been made that in their earlier years pupil- they should not count on the staff at all, and that the seniors should only be reckoned teachers, as sufficient for 30 scholars. Another reckoning regards an adult teacher as equal in value to two senior pupil-teachers, but it is also pointed out that a preponderance of assistant teachers, in lieu of pupil-teachers, would not improve efficiency or results, the ground that young people of 18 do not receive the instruction and advice of a young head teacher so readily as they would do at the age of 13 or 14. The instruction given by pupil-teachers at the present time, it is said, does not secure the confidence of the parents, nor is it as valuable as it was some years ago. Mr. Matthew Arnold who, when reporting on French education in 1859, gave it as his opinion that "pupil-teachers are the sinews of English primary instruction, whose institution is the grand merit of our English State system, and its chief title to public respect," said, when examined before us, that he looked forward to the pupil-teacher system being shortly superseded, believing that there would be a sufficient supply of adult teachers to meet the demand that then would arise. The following questions and answers show Mr. Sharpe's opinion on this point: "Supposing you were organising a school and had the money to spend, in what way would you spend it? If you had money just enough to support an assistant teacher, would you expend it upon an assistant teacher or upon a corresponding number of pupil-teachers? - I would spend it upon one assistant teacher. And you would organise a large school in the same way? - Yes, in preference to a large number of pupil-teachers."

There are those who represent the employment of pupil-teachers as the weakest part of our educational system, and as a positive injury to the work of teaching. The pupil-teacher's training, it is alleged by these witnesses, is certainly not the best preparation for a teacher's work; the time occupied in teaching destroys, it is said, his intellectual freshness and energy, so that both teaching and learning suffer. "It is at once", says Dr. Crosskey, "the cheapest, and the very worst possible system of supply", and "it should be abolished root and branch." Several teachers express a similar opinion in their evidence. On the other hand, many teachers not only cordially approve of the pupil-teacher system, but they also look upon it as having justified its institution by its results, and as being the best way of securing a supply of trained teachers. "This country", says Mr. Hance, clerk to the Liverpool School Board, "must always look to the pupil-teachers as being on the whole the best as well as the main source of the supply of certificated teachers"; and this opinion is endorsed by the principals of several training colleges. Thus Canon Daniel, Principal of Battersea Training College, who has had much practical experience, says that he attaches very great importance to the previous training received by teachers as pupil-teachers, for the "power which is acquired between the ages of 14 and 18 can scarcely ever be acquired to perfection afterwards. We notice the greatest difference between students who have been pupil-teachers and those who have not, in their ability to handle a class, in their power of discipline, and in their capacity to deal with all the little difficulties of school work." Canon Cromwell, Principal of St. Mark's, says, "I have a very strong opinion of the great advantage of the pupil-teacher course in preparing young people to be teachers." Mr. Mansford, Vice-Principal of the Wesleyan Training College, thinks that the candidates for admission who have been pupil teachers are better trained than those who have not been, though he


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fears that their training is deteriorating rather than improving. The inspectors, too, bear strong testimony to the value of the system. "It furnishes a very valuable portion of the supply", says Mr. Fitch; "it needs improvement", says Mr. Oakeley, but "the system affords the best means of keeping up the supply"; "it is the only possible arrangement at present", says Mr. Sharpe; and Canon Warburton looks upon the relations between the pupil-teachers and the head teachers as most valuable, and he considers that those who become teachers, without passing through the apprenticeship of pupil-teachers, lose great practical advantages.

There is apparently almost absolute unanimity as to the imperfection of a large portion of the instruction given to pupil-teachers. Canon Warburton notes a tendency on the part of head teachers to neglect the work of instructing their apprentices. At the same time the instruction is described by several as being unsatisfactory and insufficient in itself, and as showing signs of defective training and crude cramming. Almost the same opinions are expressed by teachers who appeared before us, who complained both of the methods used, and of the results produced, and Sir L. T. Stamer doubts if the instruction of pupil-teachers is at present in a satisfactory condition, except where it is in the hands of very conscientious teachers.

On the whole, we concur in the opinion of the inspectors, whose words we have just quoted, that, having regard to moral qualifications, there is no other available, or, as we prefer to say, equally trustworthy source from which an adequate supply of teachers is likely to be forthcoming; and with modifications, tending to the improvement of their education, the apprenticeship of pupil-teachers, we think, ought to be upheld.

It appears that in some parts considerable difficulty is experienced in finding suitable candidates, more particularly boys, to be trained as pupil-teachers. They cannot in some cases, it is said, be induced to remain at school till they have arrived at the age for apprenticeship, and it is thought to be becoming increasingly difficult to get the best boys for this purpose. Both in town and country the difficulty is reported to be about the same, and we are informed that in London it is less easy now than it was to obtain girls for the work. Other witnesses state that they find no difficulty except in the very poorest districts, and that the supply of female pupil-teachers exceeds the demand. So far as there is a falling off, it is said to arise from a popular idea that salaries are decreasing and that the teacher's position is not improving, and not from any efforts on the part of teachers to keep down the supply. Bearing in mind these difficulties, it appears to us that it would be advisable to recur to the system of allowing pupil-teachers, when the managers wish it, to be engaged for five years at the age of thirteen. This would meet the difficulty of retaining clever children in school from 13 to 14, and would in no way interfere with the practice of those who should still prefer a shorter term of apprenticeship commencing at a later age.

In regard to the sources from which pupil-teachers should be drawn, Mr. MacCarthy, Vice-Chairman of the Birmingham School Board, says: "Some think that the children from public elementary schools are preferable as pupil-teachers, because the knowledge that they possess of the routine of an elementary school renders their services more immediately available; and that, having the same kinds of homes as the children that they will have to teach, they have greater knowledge of such children's needs, and they are consequently more able to sympathise with them than teachers from superior homes. Other head teachers, however, hold that those advantages are more than counter-balanced in the long run by the superior qualifications already mentioned." In answer to another question, he further said, "I think that the mistresses, not being quite so highly educated as the masters, rather prefer to have a less educated set of pupil teachers than otherwise, and therefore there is, on their part, a bias towards those who have been educated in their own schools."

To meet the difficulty of the imperfect education of pupil-teachers, an attempt has been made in some large towns to introduce a collective system of instruction. Instead of each principal teacher taking charge of his own pupil-teachers and instructing them himself, the pupil-teachers, in many instances, are collected at some convenient centre.


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and there instructed by a special staff of teachers in the various subjects required for their annual examinations, and for the admission examination at the training college. In the year 1874 the attention of the School Board for London was for the first time specially directed to the conditions under which their pupil teachers were appointed and taught. In the following year the Board adopted a scheme which they hoped would remedy what, in their opinion, were the two main defects of the then existing system; namely, the instruction of children by pupil teachers who had not sufficient knowledge or experience, and the imperfection of the instruction and training of the pupil teachers themselves. A new scheme was started in January 1882, and remained in force for three years, which after some experience was held by the Board to be an improvement upon the old practice, but to be still unsatisfactory in one chief respect, inasmuch as the instruction of the pupil teachers had to be given out of school hours, in addition to the work upon which they were employed during school hours; and, in consequence, complaints of over-pressure were frequent. Accordingly, in 1884, the Board adopted the scheme which is at present in force, the details of which are as follows:

(vi) The pupil teachers and probationers are divided into two sections: (a.) junior, viz., first year probationers, second year probationers, and second year pupil teachers: (6.) the seniors, viz., third and fourth years pupil teachers. The juniors are not counted on the staff. The seniors are considered as responsible teachers, counting for 40 scholars.

(vii) (a) The juniors must attend the school in which they are apprenticed for one part of each day; and must further attend the pupil teachers' school, for their instruction, the other part of the day and on Saturday mornings.

(b) Head teachers must on no account detain their pupil teachers so as to prevent them from attending the pupil teachers' schools, owing to the absence of another teacher, or other cause, except on the days when Her Majesty's Inspector is actually examining the department in which they are engaged, unless they previously obtain the consent of the Board Inspector.

(viii) (a) While they are at school they must (subject to clause (ix)), in accordance with the terms of the pupil teachers' journal, be employed in learning school management, theoretical and practical, under the head teacher, in examining home lessons, and in preparing lessons on simple subjects, which they may occasionally give to a class under the superintendence of the head teacher, or one of the assistants.

(b) The head teacher of the school in which the pupil teacher is engaged will be held responsible for the examination of the entries made by pupil teachers in their report books at least once in each week, also for the production of the book at each managers' meeting for inspection by the Board Inspector at his visit to the school, and for making the necessary remarks on object and other practice lessons in school in the spaces provided for that purpose on the right-hand opening of the book.

(c) Managers are requested to examine the pupil teachers' report books, and see that the entries made show that the pupil teacher is giving the proper attention to his (or her) studies.

(ix) The seniors must attend classes for instruction on two half-days and on Saturday morning in each week, and must be engaged in teaching at the school during the remainder of the week. If necessary, junior pupil-teachers may take charge of classes in the school during the absence of the senior pupil-teachers at the classes.

In order to carry out this plan, the Board, according to the last return of the School Management Committee (Lady-day 1887), had, at that time, 11 centres for the instruction of pupil-teachers. There were then 1,108 departments, and the average number of pupil-teachers under instruction during the year ended at Lady-day 1887 may be taken to be 1,636. To each centre there was a responsible teacher, and there were in addition 41 permanent assistants (of whom 9 divided their time amongst more schools than one), and 36 occasional assistants, who were employed only on Saturday mornings. These teachers were, in most instances, certificated by the Education Department, but, in some few cases, "other qualified teachers" (Art. V of the memorandum of agreement) had been appointed, either women who had passed the recognised university examinations (New Code, Article V) or teachers of science or drawing, holding certificates of the Science and Art Department, or teachers of the special subjects of French and needlework.

Some estimate may be formed of the improvement of the instruction under the centre system in London by an examination of the subjoined table.


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Table showing results of Examination for Queen's Scholarships of Pupil-Teachers and Ex-Pupil-Teachers from London Board Schools, and from all England and Wales excluding London Board Schools

[click on the image for a larger version]

As regards the years 1885 and 1886, it is stated that a number of pupil-teachers had the option whether they would git at the scholarship examination in the former or the latter year. Many of the best pupil-teachers elected to sit at the former, and consequently some allowance must be made for this fact in comparing the figures for 1886 with those for 1885. A table in the Second Volume of our Report, page 1036, shows in detail the passes in the second and third classes.

In Birmingham every pupil-teacher is relieved of one half day's schoolwork in each week in order to attend the day classes. These day classes meet, each for a session of 2½ hours, at the school board offices. The females (candidates and pupil-teachers) of successive years come on successive mornings, and the males on successive afternoons. On Saturday mornings, also, all the males are under instruction for 3 hours at one board school, and all the females at another. In addition to these day classes, all the candidates and pupil-teachers are in attendance for 2¼ hours on each of two evenings in the week; the males and females being taught at different board school centres. Thus the total amount of instruction under the centre system is nearly 10 hours a week for each candidate and pupil-teacher. The staff of instructors at each centre consists of (1) an organising director and one assistant, who devote their whole time to the instruction of pupil-teachers and the superintendence of the classes; (2) a science demonstrator and assistants, who give one lesson a week to each class; (3) an art master for drawing; (4) head teachers and assistants under the board, selected by the board as having special aptitude for teaching special subjects, who take part, under the director, in the evening and Saturday morning classes. In the case of the pupil-teachers under the Birmingham School Board no statistics can be given to show their comparative success at the Queen's Scholarship Examination, before and after the adoption of the centre system. The scheme has been in operation since 1884, but attendance at the examinations was optional before 1887, at which time the board made it compulsory. Under the Birmingham School Board the pupil-teachers are required to sit for their scholarship in the July preceding the completion of their apprenticeship. It must be noted, that the half-time system for pupil-teachers has not been adopted by the Birmingham Board.

The centre system was introduced by the Liverpool School Board in 1876, only a few years after their first schools were opened. They were induced to adopt this


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course by the fact that the pupil-teachers from the Roman Catholic schools of Liverpool, who had the advantage of central class instruction, took very much higher positions in the Scholarship Examination than those from the Liverpool board schools; the latter being in no way distinguished from the average of the kingdom at large. In 1878, when stipendiary monitors were allowed by the Code to be substituted for the old first year pupil-teachers, the monitors engaged by the board were formed into half-time classes, and a special teacher was appointed for their instruction. This system has been continued up to the present time in respect of candidates for apprenticeship. In 1883, all the pupil-teachers in the board schools were allowed one half day in the week during school hours for private study, and in 1884 first year pupil-teachers were made half-timers, and a special class established for their instruction. The effect of these arrangements is shown by the following table, which compares the results attained in the Scholarship Examination by the pupil-teachers from the board schools of Liverpool; with the average of those secured by pupil-teachers from the kingdom at large.

[click on the image for a larger version]

Mr. Hance, the clerk to the Liverpool School Board, maintains that in the schools of this board the introduction of the central system has in no respect impaired the influence of the head teachers over their pupil-teachers. But the Liverpool School Board Lave always impressed upon their head teachers, that the central class system is intended to supplement, and not to supersede, either their instruction or their responsibility for the progress of their pupil-teachers, and this responsibility is accentuated by small special payments to them, conditional upon their pupil-teachers passing satisfactorily the annual examinations of Her Majesty's Inspector.

Mr. Sharpe thinks that the centre system of instruction is a good one for clever and industrious pupil-teachers, although not acting so well for the more backward and idle, but he points out that it is only practicable in large centres of population. Mr. Fitch pronounces the experiment to be a success, and other inspectors approve and recommend the system. Some of the teachers regard the new system as a great improvement, and they say they do not see that it interferes with the head teacher's influence. Mr. Diggle speaks highly of the results produced by the centre system in London, maintaining that it has turned out a much larger proportion of teachers qualified in respect of teaching as well as in respect of their attainments than the old system. Other managers testify to similar good results, both in Birmingham and in London. Other witnesses speak very strongly in disapproval of the centre system. One says that it weakens the link between teachers and apprentices; another considers it far inferior to the old system in dealing with pupil-teachers who require "whipping-up". A third says that there may be a danger of its becoming an apparatus for the higher instruction of youths who have no intention of ever becoming teachers at all. Mr. Sharpe reports that it is the opinion of some head teachers that the centre system creates greater independence in the pupil-teachers, so that they are not so amenable as before to discipline; but, he adds, that he does not attach much importance to this opinion. Some teachers, whilst acknowledging that the system has brought them great relief, point out the danger of the pupil-teachers becoming students rather than teachers, and they consider that the system of personal supervision on the part of the head teacher is superior to the centre system. Mr. Gilmore,


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the chairman of the Sheffield School Board, expressed his dissatisfaction with the centre system, as it exists in Sheffield. At Leeds the board being dissatisfied with the results of the individual teaching of the pupil-teachers, introduced a new system by which they farmed out the teaching of the pupil-teachers in numerous groups throughout the borough to some adult teachers, but they have not diminished the school work of the pupil-teachers. They are not satisfied with the results of their new method (which, however, cannot properly be called a centre system), and we are informed that probably the old system will have to be reverted to. Notwithstanding the evils which have been pointed out to us - among other things, the loss likely to be incurred by removing that element of the old system of apprenticeship which created very real bonds of affection, as well as responsibility and duty, between the head teachers and their young apprentices - we fully acknowledge that the intellectual advantages obtained are a very strong recommendation of the centre system, although it will require careful vigilance, and is not applicable to country districts.

We have received many suggestions, made with the view of improving the pupil-teacher system generally. Mr. Sharpe complains that the instruction given by pupil- teachers for the first two years is not satisfactory, and Canon Warburton says that it would be an excellent plan, if it could be carried out, not to allow pupil-teachers to be responsible for classes until the end of the second year. It is even suggested by some witnesses that pupil-teachers should be entirely released from teaching in their first year, and partially so during the rest of their apprenticeship, managers being compensated for the loss of their pupil-teachers' services by an increased Government grant. These suggestions seem to have arisen from complaints that are said to have been made that head teachers use the pupil-teachers rather as reliefs to their own school work, than as apprentices to be instructed in the art of teaching, and that the pupil-teachers ought, therefore, to be allowed more leisure for study. We must add that some school managers already allow their pupil-teacher's leisure during school hours for their own studies, under arrangements which ensure that the time given is profitably utilised. Another complaint is made that the opportunity of weeding out the unsatisfactory pupil-teachers during their apprenticeship is but little resorted to, with the consequence that many thoroughly unsuitable candidates are kept in the teaching profession, who ought to have turned their attention to some other occupation. The suggestions made with the view of removing this ground of complaint are many and various. One suggestion is that the annual examinations of pupil-teachers should be more strict, and that inspectors should have greater power to exclude from the list of pupil-teachers those who display little aptitude for self-improvement or teaching. Another suggestion is to delay the age of apprenticeship to 16, up to which age the young people should attend some higher grade elementary or secondary school, a plan said to have succeeded well in a school at Manchester. A suggestion, which we deem valuable, proposes that the apprenticeship shall be made to consist of two parts, and that all unsatisfactory pupil-teachers shall be got rid of at the end of the first period, when they are not too old to take up with some other occupation. One proposal in this direction would give the junior pupil-teacher a term of three years, and the senior pupil-teacher a further term of three years, the whole apprenticeship to end not later than at the apprentice's coming of age, and only approved juniors being allowed to become senior pupil-teachers. One advantage of this scheme is thus described: "It would reduce the number of teachers coming into the market, and, better still, it would help much towards putting an end to a plan which too often saddles a school with a useless pupil-teacher, the college with an unprofitable student, and the country with an unskilful teacher, who may go about from school to school always experimenting upon children, but never succeeding." Some witnesses complain of the annual examination of pupil-teachers as too lenient, and confined within too narrow limits of time,|||| and Mr. Synge is of opinion that the results of that examination should be announced earlier than they are.

As bearing on this part of our inquiry, we would call attention to the reports of the inspectors of training colleges, the general tenor of which is to the effect that the progress of the students in training (consisting, as they do, mainly of ex-pupil-teachers) is greatly retarded in their first year by imperfect preparation previous to

||||The Secretary, whilst admitting that many complaints have been made as to this delay, expresses it as his opinion that there is no practicable way in which the matter can be remedied; 59,623 (Cumin).


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their entrance into college. This is a strong confirmation of the opinion of those witnesses who consider that justice is not done to many of the pupil-teachers during their apprenticeship, and we think that more attention should be given by the inspectors to their annual examination. It would be well so to re-arrange the conditions of the apprenticeship, as to give every pupil-teacher at the age of 16 greater facilities for withdrawing from a work for which he may have but little liking, and to give also to the school managers an opportunity of ceasing to employ any pupil-teacher, who at that age is found to be unsuited for the office and for the work of teaching.

Inasmuch as the efficiency of the training received by pupil-teachers is a matter of importance, not only to the respective localities in which the pupil-teachers may be serving, but to the nation at large, the expense of exceptional local efforts to raise the standard of pupil-teachers' education should not, we think, fall exclusively upon the local managers or school board, but should be borne in part by the parliamentary grant.

In conclusion, we recommend -

(1) That pupil-teachers be allowed, especially in their first year of service, more time during school hours than is now given them for their own studies.

(2) That, without in any way superseding the responsibility of head teachers, the instruction should, wherever possible, be supplemented by central class teaching in respect of some of the compulsory, and of the additional subjects.

(3) That to encourage managers of voluntary schools as well as school boards to extend the advantages of central class teaching to their pupil-teachers, extra grants should be offered to those managers or boards who successfully adopt that course.

(4) That, in districts where central class instruction is obviously impossible, extra grants should be made to managers who successfully employ other special means to secure the thorough instruction of their pupil-teachers.


CHAPTER VI

TRAINING COLLEGES

The promotion of colleges for the training of teachers was undoubtedly the most important step taken by the Department to raise the quality of elementary education. St. John's College, Battersea, which was established in 1840, was the first institution of its kind. It has been already stated in the introductory chapters of this Report, that the training colleges now number 43, of which 17 are for males, 25 for females, and one in which the sexes are mixed. Of these, 30 belong to the Church of England, all with the exception of St. Katherine's College, Tottenham, in connexion with, or receiving grants from, the National Society, and 8 are undenominational, of which 6 are in connexion with the British and Foreign School Society. There are two Wesleyan colleges, and three Roman Catholic.

From a table published in the Report of the Committee of Council (1886-87) we learn that the original cost of those colleges towards which building Grants were made was £397,470. Of this sum, while £118,627 was granted by the Committee of Council, £278,842 was originally subscribed by the promoters, whose total outlay on sites and buildings up to 1881 amounted to £520,272. The aggregate annual expenditure of all the colleges for the year 1886 was £167,647, of which £115,275 consisted of grants from the Committee of Council, and £51,172 was provided from other sources.§ Of the latter sum, £6,546 came from the Department of Science and Art, £15,970 from subscriptions and donations, and £22,228 was contributed by the students themselves in the form of fees, and £5,212 for books. The number of students in training was 3,272, of whom 1,391 were males and 1,881 females.

In the 43 colleges there were only 96 vacant places altogether, so nearly was their whole capacity utilised: but had all candidates who passed the entrance examination obtained admission, the colleges would have been filled twice over.||

§Besides the amount of expenditure returned to the Government, and accounted for in the Annual Government Reports, considerable amounts have been paid in some of the colleges from time to time for improvements and enlargements, towards which the Department made no contribution.

||For the 1,682 vacancies there were in July 1886, 5,111 candidates, of whom 3,379 passed high enough to be eligible for admission. Of these many did not desire to enter college, but we have no means of ascertaining the exact number.


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We have had the advantage of examining both the past and present inspectors, who have been specially charged with the duty of examining and reporting on these institutions; Mr. Sharpe, who was formerly the inspector of the male training colleges, being now succeeded by Mr. Oakeley; and Canon Warburton, who formerly filled the same office for female training colleges, having given place to Mr. Fitch. Mr. Sharpe thinks, that the present system of training colleges is a very cheap bargain for the State. Canon Warburton, says, "I think that the present arrangement is an admirable bargain for the country. It is not only that the country saves 25 per cent of the cost of training, but it is also saved a very much larger total outlay which would be involved if the management was not private management, and looked after by people on the spot." To the religious, moral, and intellectual influence of these institutions the inspectors bear emphatic testimony. All the training colleges, Mr. Sharpe believes, are doing efficient work with a sufficient staff of teachers and with a carefully drawn syllabus of study. Their fittings and apparatus are brought up to the best modern level. All the London colleges have now chemical laboratories, and several of the provincial colleges also, but most of the laboratories in the country are small, and scarcely efficient for teaching chemistry beyond the rudiments. The moral tone of the colleges, he says, is excellent; and they thoroughly prepare a student for his future career as a teacher of the ordinary subjects of instruction in elementary schools. Canon Warburton considers that girls come into training colleges raw, self-conscious, and awkward, and that they go out capable and self-possessed women. Residence in a college, Mr. Oakeley says, has a very refining and elevating effect upon students. Mr. Fitch believes that the religious influence of the training college over the aims and character of the student is very valuable. The training college, he thinks, supplies the moral influences which may not always be found in the student's home life and surroundings.

Each of these witnesses has his own criticism to make, qualifying the general satisfaction expressed with the work of the training colleges. Mr. Sharpe after describing the improvements which have already removed the chief causes of complaint, admits that there is still room for further improvements, of which he specifies one - some curtailment in the number of hours devoted to study. The improvements to which he refers appear to have been made chiefly in the male colleges. Canon Warburton, summing up his impressions of the female training colleges, in his Report for 1885 (p. 442), says: "On taking a parting review of the whole subject of our voluntary State-aided system of training elementary schoolmistresses, my prominent feeling is one of admiration for the zeal and energy with which the work is being carried on, mingled with a certain sense of disappointment with the intellectual acquirements and technical skill obtained as the result of so much forethought, self-denial, watchfulness, and ungrudging labour on the part of all concerned in the work of the colleges." The main drawback, Canon Warburton thinks, to the success of the female training colleges is the inferior quality of the raw material sent to them. He also says that the students are not turned out so good at teaching as one would hope. He attributes this to the artificial conditions under which the students learn to teach in practising schools, but admits that the students improve rapidly when they come to be responsible for a school. And while he has found the lectures in general to be remarkably good, the pupils, he thinks, get too much help, and do not work out things sufficiently for themselves. He thinks it a great mistake to limit them to one practising school, and that they ought to teach in any school within a given area to which they may be able to gain admission, so that they may see schools of various types of excellence. Mr. Fitch signifies some dissatisfaction with the practising schools in several colleges. And though, as a rule, Mr. Oakeley finds that the premises of colleges and practising schools are very good, and the latter, as a whole, well equipped, there are not, he thinks, proper appliances in all colleges for teaching science. These, however, Mr. Sharpe tells us, are, under the pressure of the Department of Science and Art, in course of improvement. In the Edge Hill Training College near Liverpool, we find from Mr. Hance's evidence that an experiment has been tried of giving the students


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practice in teaching under new and more natural conditions. He tells us that, in the first place, the authorities of the college have made arrangements with the school board by which one of the largest of the neighbouring board schools has been constituted the practising school of the college, the head teachers of the school receiving from the college remuneration for their increased responsibilities. In the next place, the second year students are detailed to various neighbouring board and voluntary schools for two afternoons in each week throughout the greater portion of the year. In each school the students take some one or two definite subjects, which they continuously teach under the supervision of the head teacher, and for the results in these subjects at the Government examination they consequently feel some personal responsibility. We are informed that the head teachers not only welcome the aid of the students, but do much to assist them by advice and criticism.

Mr. Matthew Arnold compared the English trained elementary teachers with those of Germany, France, and Switzerland, much to the disadvantage of our own country, though he favoured us with but few details of the points of foreign superiority. Dr. Crosskey much prefers the German and the Scotch system of training to our own. Mr. MacCarthy criticises unfavourably the existing system of training colleges. Mrs. Fielden, of Todmorden, expressed a strong objection to teachers trained in the existing training colleges. On the other hand, Archdeacon Norris, who unites in his own person the traditions of an inspector in the earlier time with his later experience in the management of the Fishponds Training College for women, thinks that the colleges do wonders in two years with the raw material they have to handle, which is of a very poor quality. To us it appears that until the candidates for admission are better prepared it is vain to look for much substantial improvement in the rank and file of the students who leave our colleges after two years' training. The marvel is, not how far short of perfection are the teachers when they leave college, but, rather, with how few exceptions good results are produced from materials that are often very unpromising. It is a noticeable fact that out of 1,500 students in training in 1885, only two failed to pass the certificate examination. And the Principal of the Home and Colonial Training College makes bold to affirm that there is no body of young women in England so thoroughly educated as the 2,000 girls in Government training colleges; an opinion which derives some confirmation from their success at the examinations for certificates in papers which presume a high standard of attainments on the part of those for whom they are prepared.

Much criticism has been directed against the existing training colleges, not so much for their alleged inefficiency, as because of their inaccessibility to those students who do not belong to the religious denominations by which they have been severally established. Canon Warburton is of opinion that there is room for more colleges for females, and that there is a special need for undenominational accommodation. The number of undenominational colleges, counting those connected with the British and Foreign School Society, is quite insufficient, it is maintained, to meet the demand for training on the part of those nonconformist pupil teachers who have been apprenticed in board schools, and who may find the door of entrance to the training colleges of other denominations closed against them. One representative witness has strongly urged that it is wrong in principle that the State should contribute towards denominational training colleges - a contention which is obviously inadmissible so long as 69 per cent of our elementary schools, containing 56.37 per cent of our scholars, are themselves denominational. The contention, moreover, we think, comes too late in the day after the State has entered into binding engagements with these institutions; and it ought not, in our opinion, to have much practical weight given to it, so long as the State is as well served as it now is by the supply of trained teachers which the colleges send forth.

But others who do not go so far as the witness alluded to above have claimed that a conscience clause should be introduced into training colleges, or, if that be deemed unfair, at least that nonconformist students should be admitted into church training colleges, after the requirements of church candidates have been met. As to the claim for the compulsory introduction of a conscience clause into training colleges, it may be doubted whether many who have made, or echoed, such a demand have formed a distinct conception of what would be the actual effect of a conscience clause as applied to students residing in training colleges - a question, it will


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be observed, wholly distinct from that of the conscience clause as applied to day scholars. It would mean, in the first place, that no student resident in the college who, on the ground of conscience, made objection so to do, should be required to attend any lectures or pursue any course of study of a directly religious character, included in the college course, and that every student would have a right to object to any specifically religious instruction, which might be incidentally given in connexion with the teaching received from the college staff. But it would also mean that no student, who claimed exemption on the ground of conscience, should be required to be present at any common act of worship, public or collegiate, as, for example, at family prayers in the college, morning and evening. Such liberty of exemption, it is evident, would destroy all unity of Christian family life, whether in a denominational or an undenominational college, and would interfere fatally with the framework of ordinary domestic and moral discipline, which, more, perhaps, than anything else, by its gentle and continual influence, secures the easy maintenance of good order and Christian propriety in the college. Even more far-reaching would be the operation of a conscience clause, such as would satisfy the demand of the few representatives of extreme secularist principles, by securing, without respect of creed or religious opinion, free access for all candidates who seek training as teachers to the advantages of residence in all residential training colleges. A conscience clause, to meet this demand, would preclude, in the maintenance of college discipline, all appeal to Divine Revelation or to the law of God.

Inspectors who have devoted many years to visiting these colleges, and who speak with an authority such as belongs to no other witnesses, tell us that the proposal of a conscience clause in residential training colleges is inadmissible. They strongly hold that it would be a breach of faith to insist upon a conscience clause being applied to residential training colleges, which were founded originally with the concurrence of the State for the special religious purpose to which they are now applied. Canon Warburton believes that an obligatory conscience clause would close some colleges. One of the greatest authorities on the practical working of such institutions gives it as his opinion, that it is very undesirable to have persons of different religious faiths in the same college. And though the religious difficulty seems to be partially overcome in the case of the undenominational colleges, yet it is at the sacrifice of that denominational instruction which Mr. Sharpe regards as most valuable in producing a race of religious and moral teachers. Moreover, he thinks the introduction of a conscience clause would interfere materially with the discipline of a college. And Mr. Fitch, who commenced his career as the Principal of an undenominational college, declares himself to be entirely opposed to obliging denominational training colleges to receive persons irrespective of their religious belief. Mr. Bourne who represented the Borough Road Training College admitted that the religious instruction given, even in his own undenominational college, is not so free from anything like doctrinal colour or character as to satisfy the views of the secularist school of educational opinion. Miss Manley, too, of the Stockwell Training College, also an undenominational college, belonging to the British and Foreign School Society, made statements to a similar effect. The question, we think, is eminently one on which the opinion of those whose practical experience is widest and most profound, ought very carefully to be weighed, and we cannot doubt that the preponderance of testimony is decidedly adverse to any such fundamental change as that which the imposition of a conscience clause on residential training colleges would involve. The recommendations we shall presently make for giving enlarged facilities for training will be based on the supposition that the relations of the State and the denominational training collages will not be seriously disturbed. We see, however, no reason why grants should not be made to any residential training college which may hereafter be established by private liberality on an undenominational basis, and with a conscience clause in the trust deed.

Suggestions have been made to us from opposite quarters that, supposing the existing training colleges to remain, the grant made to them by the State should be reduced. Canon Warburton has always been in favour of increasing the entrance fees, as he thinks there is no trouble in getting the money, and the colleges would thereby be rendered more independent. But the State is said by more than one witness to get full value for its large contributions to the annual expenditure of the colleges. And


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since they are very cheaply managed, the present system, as has been already remarked, is a very good bargain for the State. Moreover, the advantages arising from the supply of trained teachers are by no means confined to the schools belonging to the denomination which educates them. In view, therefore, of the primary importance of a supply of well-trained teachers, and with the view of enabling young persons of humble origin to enter college, who cannot afford to pay high entrance fees, and who have in past years furnished so large a proportion of the most efficient of our teachers, we think it would be in every respect a doubtful economy for the State to attempt largely to reduce its maintenance grants to the present colleges.

It has been urged upon us that training should be extended to a third year, or even longer. This was originally provided for by the rules of the Education Department, but so few students were found able or willing to prolong their college life, for whom, nevertheless, an extra teaching staff had to be provided, that training was limited to two years. Canon Cromwell, the late Principal of Saint Mark's, Miss Manley, of the Stockwell Training College, and Miss Trevor, of Chichester, think that a third year of study would be of advantage to the more promising students; and Canon Daniel says that it would be the means of providing for the further education of students with special aptitudes, who might afterwards become lecturers in the colleges. But the last witness evidently is looking forward to students coming up better prepared than they are at present; and consequently to a more advanced course of study for students during their two years' residence, when the necessity for giving them so much elementary teaching ceases. Mr. Sharpe, however, sees no advantage in prolonging the course of training beyond the existing period of two years. It would certainly involve, he says, a serious additional cost, to require that students should be trained for three years instead of two. On the other hand, we think that there is much to be said for a more extended course of training. As is the master, such is the school, and our elementary teachers would be very different if their training were more thorough, and extended over a longer period, for it is not more knowledge that they need, but more penetration of their minds by that knowledge. In all good education, time is an essential element, and the same knowledge if learnt slowly is generally worth far more than if learnt quickly. Moreover, it would kindle a new spirit in the teacher if the history of education were more studied than it is; the teachers of the present day do not know enough of what has been done by the great teachers of past times, and they would learn much of the science of their profession by a study of its history.

It has been suggested that if students were allowed a third year of training, to be spent at Oxford or Cambridge, the benefit would be considerable in completing their equipment for the best class of service in their profession. To any such suggestion the objections seem to us, under existing circumstances, to be very great. To begin with, the additional expense involved would be large; but there are other objections oven more serious. The two years' work at the training college does not fit in with any of the ordinary courses of university studies. There would have to be provided at the university in such a case a separate and special course for one year, with a distinct examination and diploma. Such students would be unsettled and unfitted, rather than prepared for their work as public elementary teachers, and this proposal therefore seems to us to be inapplicable to those who are to become teachers in elementary schools. We are, on the whole, of opinion that an additional year of training would be a great advantage for some students, and only hesitate to recommend it from the doubt whether it is as yet feasible. But, at any rate, we think that picked students from training colleges might even now with advantage be grouped at convenient centres, for a third year's course of instruction.

Whilst the present training colleges well fulfil, as we have shown, the objects for which they were founded, viz., the provision of well qualified teachers for our elementary schools, it is contended, and, we think, established by evidence, that a large need exists for further facilities for training, either by development of the existing colleges or by the establishment of institutions of a new type. It is asserted by some witnesses that the undenominational colleges are too few, and Canon Warburton admits this to be the case with colleges for female students. Mr. Sharpe does not indeed think there would be any use in materially increasing the supply of trained teachers, so far as taking charge of schools is concerned, the wants of the country being already suffi-


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ciently met, since the small country schools, in their present straitened circumstances cannot afford a trained teacher. If certificates were granted only to those teachers who had gone through a course of training, the provision for training would require at least to be doubled, and the erection and maintenance of new residential colleges would involve an expenditure which the country would be reluctant to incur, so long as there were feasible schemes for accomplishing that object by any cheaper mode.

Several important schemes have been laid before us in considerable detail for supplying additional facilities for training. The first to be mentioned is one for day training colleges similar to the Normal School now in operation at Worcester, in the State of Massachusetts. The scheme was originally laid before the Education Department by the Birmingham School Board, and was fully explained to us in evidence by the Rev. E. M. MacCarthy, one of the members of that body, and head master of one of the schools on King Edward's foundation. The advocates of this plan propose to establish 10 or 12 colleges in as many large towns, accommodating 250 students each, and by preference in those towns in which colleges for higher education are to be found. To these would be admitted persons of both sexes, at the age of 16, to remain for five years' training, during the first two of which they would be full-time students at college, attending practising or model schools as required. The third year would be spent by them as half-time teachers (receiving half-pay) in some school approved by the training college authorities, within a two or three mile radius of the college. The half-time might be alternate months or quarters. The last two years would be spent in selected schools within the inspector's district, in which they would be probationary teachers on full pay, but still under some supervision from the college. There would be no religious test or instruction. It is further proposed to bridge over the period between 14, when school age ceases, and 10, the age of admission to such colleges, by payment to males of what they would otherwise earn from ordinary employments; a very small payment being supposed to be required in the case of females. During this period they would be under instruction in secondary schools, if satisfactory schools of that kind existed in the district; if not, special instruction would be provided for them by the school board or by the day training college authorities. The whole cost of this plan to the State is estimated at £60,200 for 10 colleges for the first three years of training, with an annual output of 1,200 probationary teachers. The expense is to be borne by the Consolidated Fund. Mr. MacCarthy contemplates the foundation of scholarships by which poor scholars may be maintained from 14 to 16 years of age in secondary schools, a plan which, if carried out, would entail a further cost upon the rates for preliminary education. On these proposals we remark, that, if carried out, they would at once lead to a claim from the existing colleges for largely increased grants; and they would also involve the superseding pro tanto of the pupil-teacher system. On these and on other grounds we think this plan is open to objections.

Another scheme for establishing day training colleges was laid before us by Mr. Cumin, which does not contemplate any interference with the present colleges, or with the pupil-teacher system. It proposes to utilise as day training colleges existing educational institutions, in which lectures may be delivered, covering to a considerable extent the ground of the present syllabus in force in training colleges, and to which practising schools may be hereafter attached. The training branches of these colleges would be under the management of a local committee. The financial arrangements suggested by Mr. Cumin for carrying out this proposal are as follows:

(1) A Queen's scholar who elects to be trained at a day training college will be awarded a scholarship of £25 for each year of his training. It is assumed that the course is for two years, but it would be better if it were for three years.

(2) The scholarship will be payable half-yearly to the Queen's scholar, through the local committee, upon the production of a certificate from the local committee that he has attended the prescribed classes and lectures during the preceding months.

(3) The Department will pay to the local committee in respect of each day Queen's scholar in training an additional sum of £10 in aid of the class and other expenses incurred by the committee. This grant will be paid at the end of the year upon the production of a statement, approved by the Department, and certified in such manner as the Department may require, showing the expenses incurred by the committee during the year.


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(4) Where the expenses incurred by the committee in any year do not equal or exceed £10 per day Queen's scholar, the grant offered by (3) will be proportionately reduced.

(5) The grants (that is to say, the £25 and the £10) may be withdrawn for such time as the Department determine, if in any year the local committee fail to satisfy the Department that a due proportion of the Queen's scholars trained under their direction are following the profession of a teacher in an elementary school.

"Thus, assuming", says Mr. Cumin, "that a student can board and lodge himself during the 40 weeks of training for £28, or 14s per week, he will have to pay £3 towards the cost of his maintenance. In English training colleges the fees now paid by men vary from £10 to £20 for the two years' training, and the average fee in 1886 was £8 2s. It may, therefore, be assumed that a day Queen's scholar would be able to pay about £8 a year towards his maintenance and education. Deducting the £3 required for his maintenance, he could pay the local committee £5 a year towards their expenses. This would enable the committee to spend £15 a year; that is to say, the £10 and the £5. I should suppose that, where a fair number of day Queen's scholars are trained, the above sums would meet the class fees and the other lecturer's salaries, for which the local committee would be responsible."

"I might just supplement that", Mr. Cumin goes on to say, "by a comparison with what is the actual state of things. In the training colleges for men the average annual cost is £61. This includes maintenance of buildings, taxes, and so on, which amount to £9; the cost of the Science and Art Department is £3; that makes £12. But the £9, of course, will not be incurred in the day colleges, and the £3 is repaid by the Science and Art Department. Therefore you may deduct those two amounts, and that brings the £61 down to £49, which is the net cost. This might be met by a grant of £25 for board and £10 for fees from the State; that is to say, £35, and then that would leave, even if the expenses could not be reduced, a sum to be paid by the student or by his friends of £14. That is taking a very liberal estimate, but I am only putting it in order to show that even at that liberal estimate it would not be outside the class of people who, I think, would be induced to become teachers by the superior education which they would get and the superior lectures they would attend."

This plan is recommended to us by Mr. Cumin as likely to introduce persons of superior education into the profession of elementary teachers, and at the same time to "improve very greatly the position of the teachers, and also their real merit and teaching power". He suggests that a committee, consisting of the professors whose lectures the students were attending, should become responsible to the Department for their moral supervision. No interference is contemplated with their religious views, but it is observable that in this scheme no provision for religious instruction is contemplated. This plan, if carried out, would, in his opinion, redress any grievance now alleged to arise from the great preponderance of denominational colleges. Mr. Cumin does not think that these day training colleges would come into any direct competition with residential colleges, since the close supervision which can alone be exercised in the former would naturally give their students a preference in the eyes of managers over those trained in the latter. The students of day colleges would, it is contemplated by Mr. Cumin, be the successors of the present acting, i.e., untrained teachers, rather than of those now trained in residential colleges. As these acting teachers, however, are largely employed in small schools with small salaries, it does not seem to us probable that the persons whom it is hoped to attract to such training institutions would be likely to refrain from seeking the highly-paid situations now offered in board and other large schools.

There is, indeed, a considerable concurrence of opinion among those who are engaged in the working of the present system that day training colleges can never be as effective as residential ones. Mr. Bourne, Secretary of the British and Foreign School Society, whilst wishing to see day training colleges established, thinks that their effect upon the moral character of the pupils would not be equal to that of the residential colleges. Canon Daniel, Principal of the Battersea Training College, thinks that day training colleges would be inferior both morally and intellectually. He says, "When I say they would be morally inferior, I mean that there would be no close personal relations between the teacher and the taught; there would be very little knowledge of the inner life of the students, nor would there be an opportunity


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for that friendly criticism which a master in a training college can give a student when he sees that things are going wrong. Intellectually, of course, there would be great disadvantages from much the same causes." Mr. Mansford, Vice-Principal of the Wesleyan Training College, Westminster, compares the day training colleges in Scotland with the residential colleges in England, and prefers the latter on account of the superior boarding and feeding of the students; and then, he adds, "there is another circumstance, the conditions under which a young man takes his daily meals, his conduct and associates at table, the arrangements of his bedroom, &c., have a very direct and important bearing upon his education and character. All that would be lost by attendance at day training colleges, where the students, through lack of funds, would be compelled to live under conditions which would go far to neutralise the benefits of their intellectual training." And the approval of Mr. Fitch to any system of non-residential training, to meet the requirements of another class of persons, would be conditional on its not diminishing the attractiveness and usefulness of the existing colleges and on its making provision for a strict moral control over its students. But, subject to these conditions, he is in favour of maintenance grants being made to non-resident students, who, owing to circumstances, could not use the existing training colleges, whether they are to be trained at day training colleges, or at colleges such as University College, Liverpool, Owens College, Manchester, or any other similar institution. Mr. Oakeley, who is of opinion that all teachers ought to be trained, sees no other way of effecting this except by day colleges, though he, too, prefers the existing boarding institutions, and would protect them from any injury that might arise from competition with day colleges. He believes also, that local university colleges are anxious to co-operate in some such scheme, and that a sphere of usefulness is open before it.

The witnesses who have expressed themselves favourable to this extension of training by means of day colleges do not generally look as high as the universities of Oxford and Cambridge for the educational institutions to which day training colleges may be affiliated. Canon Warburton, indeed, who speaks with the authority of an ex-inspector of female training colleges, thinks that female students would be much benefited if they could go up to Oxford and attend high-class lectures; and he believes that persons on the spot there might be induced to start arrangements to accommodate them in boarding houses, if assured of support from the Government. But Mr. Sharpe looks rather to such institutions as Owens College, The Yorkshire College, and Masons College, as likely to lend themselves most readily to the day training of elementary teachers. And in like manner Mr. Fitch does not look forward to any advantage from association with Oxford or Cambridge, but rather with colleges of the Scotch type. Canon Daniel does not approve of the suggestion to connect the training colleges with the old universities. It is rather to what are now called local university colleges that these schemes point as the nucleus of the day training college.

We have had the advantage of examining Professor Bodington on the details of a scheme for the formation of a department for training elementary teachers in connexion with the Yorkshire College at Leeds, which is not a residential college, but one only for teaching and examining. We do not, however, feel ourselves called upon to express an opinion here as to what places of higher education may ultimately co-operate with this particular scheme of day training colleges. At the Yorkshire College those general subjects which are required of candidates for certificates are already taught to ex-pupil teachers and acting teachers, and arrangements might easily, Mr. Bodington believes, be made for adding the professional subjects. He thinks that schools in the neighbourhood could be utilised, under a master of method, for practising the students in the art of teaching, and for this the school managers are willing to give facilities. Already 100 acting teachers attend the classes at the college in the evening, and on Saturdays. Arrangements could be made for from 30 to 40 pupils, who would be easily assimilated into the general body of students. The annual cost of tuition and maintenance Mr. Bodington reckons at about £55. The results for college subjects would be tested by the University, and for professional subjects by a Government examination. Though the college would give no religious teaching, Mr. Bodington has reason to believe that the various denominations in Leeds would gladly organise voluntary religious instruction for day students in training belonging to their


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own bodies. It is expected, however, that the majority of students would reside with friends or relatives. The certificate here obtained would count, and lead up to a degree in that university to which the local college was affiliated. It is estimated that the number of students to be thus instructed would not be large in proportion to the whole number in the college. But the value of an experiment of this kind, which may be undertaken at once, if the Government can encourage it with a promise of grants payable to the student for board, and to the college for teaching, he holds to be very great. The system resembles in some respects those in use in Ireland and in Scotland, and the success of the latter, Mr. Bodington thinks, promises well for the success of a similar undertaking in England. The scheme in connexion with the Yorkshire College has been favourably commended to us in memorials supported by the managers of voluntary schools in Leeds, and by the Church Day Schools Association as well as by the school board of that town. Mr. Fitch also expressed himself strongly in favour of utilising local university colleges, such as Owens College, Manchester, and University College, Liverpool, in the training of teachers, and proposed that certificates should be given to graduates of such colleges who, after attending for at least six months a course of instruction in the art and theory of teaching, and having practised for a similar period under supervision in a practising school, should pass the Education Department's examination in school management. He was likewise in favour of maintenance grants being made by the Department to non-resident students at such colleges, and also, under certain conditions, to non-resident students at day training colleges.

We have also strong evidence from Wales, where there is at present a serious deficiency in the means of training elementary teachers, in favour of utilizing for this purpose the colleges recently established at Aberystwyth, Cardiff, and Bangor. Mr. Lewis Williams, who is chairman of the School Board at Cardiff, and also a member of the Council of University College in that town, laid before us resolutions, on the one hand, from the Council of the College urging the importance of founding Queen's scholarships for elementary teachers at the Welsh university colleges, and, on the other hand, from the Cardiff School Board, pledging itself, in case such scholarships were founded, to give opportunity, in the schools of the town, for the acquisition of practical experience in teaching and in school management. The Council of the College is further prepared to supply all that would be necessary in the way of professional teaching.

Considering the demand that already exists for more ample or more generally available opportunities of training, and the importance of giving every facility for training to those who now obtain certificates without it; considering, further, that such schemes as those submitted to us would, in their nature, be tentative, that they would not involve a large outlay of capital, and would only be adopted when local circumstances seemed to invite the adaptation of some existing educational machinery to this purpose, we think it might be well that some such experiment should be made, subject to the condition, that only a limited number of students should receive Government assistance towards their training. It would be obviously impossible to limit the number of those who were desirous of being trained in such colleges at their own expense. But such a number only of students should be paid for by the Department as are found practically necessary to complete the supply of trained teachers, who, it has been already intimated, should be largely substituted for the present mass of untrained and uncertificated teachers.

In these proposals for day training the following important points, no doubt, will require the serious attention of Parliament.

1. The question of security for religious and moral instruction for those who are to be teachers.

2. The constitution of a governing body at each centre, corresponding to the managing committee of a training college, which, at some pecuniary risk, will be responsible for the professional, as distinguished from the general education of the students, and will provide model and practising schools under its own direct control and supervision.

3. The adjustment of the financial relations of the governing body with the Department, more especially in regard to the security to be given to the State that the students after being trained at the public cost will devote themselves to the work of elementary teachers.

4. The means of securing that the supply of trained day students shall not exceed the probable demands of the country.


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In reference to the question between boarding and day training colleges, we are of opinion that so long as many of the pupil-teachers are drawn from uneducated homes, and come to college imperfectly prepared, the undivided influence of a good residential college will be of advantage to them, and in any case, arrangements will be necessary for boarding some of the day students who attend colleges at a distance from their homes. But in proportion as the colleges are brought within reach of the homes of the students, and these are drawn from families of wider education, we consider that the preservation and extension of the home influence, side by side with that of the training college, may in many cases be a great advantage.

As to the government of the new day training colleges, we think, without defining too minutely how they should be administered, that their government should be both educational and of a local representative character. But whilst recommending that facilities should be afforded in one or other of the ways suggested for the establishment of such colleges, we are of opinion that no portion of the cost of establishing or maintaining them should fall upon the rates. If the great need for them exists which is asserted by some witnesses, we cannot doubt that the liberality of those who are anxious to see them provided, will furnish whatever funds may be needed.

A suggestion for the extension of the benefits of the existing residential training colleges was laid before us by Mr. Cumin; who proposed that the colleges should be permitted, though not compelled, to take day students. Such a suggestion appears to us to have very great recommendations. The children of parents of a different denomination from that of the college, if residing at home or with some family approved by their parents and the college authorities, might be received on terms similar to those of the Endowed Schools Act of 1869 (section 16), which provides for the education of day scholars at boarding schools, without their being required to join in the family worship of the school, or to receive any religions instruction to which the parents object. The increase of the number of students might enable the smaller colleges to strengthen their teaching staff. Such a plan would also supply to the day students that superintendence which we hold to be so important an element of training, the authorities of the college being bound to exercise a close supervision over those who mixed daily with their resident students; while the day students would have the great advantage of joining a body with well established traditions, and pervaded by a strong esprit de corps. The adoption of the plan of admitting day students, thus being left optional with the authorities of the college, this option would naturally be exercised only where there was room to spare, and where therefore no outlay on buildings would necessarily be called for. In the great centres of population those students of higher cultivation whom it is hoped to attract into the profession, might be led to take advantage of the facilities for training by this, and by the other plans which have been before described.

In conclusion, while unanimously recommending that the experiment of a system of day training for teachers and of day training colleges should be tried on a limited scale, we would strongly express our opinion that the existing system of residential colleges is the best both for the teachers and scholars of the elementary schools of the country, and the above recommendations are made chiefly with the view of meeting the cases of those teachers, to whom for various reasons a residence at a training college cannot at present be offered.

CHAPTER VII

ATTENDANCE AND COMPULSION

The tables furnished by the Education Department, to which we have referred in an earlier part of this report, strikingly exhibit the increase that has taken place in the number of children brought into school since the passing of the Education Act of 1870. Whereas in that year the numbers on the roll in elementary schools receiving annual grants amounted to 1,693,059, or 7.66 per cent of the estimated population of the year, this number had risen in 1886 to 4,465,000, amounting to 16.24 per cent of the estimated population for the latter year. A portion of this increase is, indeed, due to elementary schools of a quasi-public character already in existence


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which during that period came under the purview of the Department for the first time, through their admission to the annual grant. A further portion of the increase may be ascribed to the substitution of public elementary schools for private adventure schools of varying types and quality. But the larger proportion of this very remarkable increase is a genuine addition to the number of children under efficient instruction.

Mr. Cumin has given it as his opinion that at present almost every child goes to an efficient school for a certain time in its life. In like manner the belief is shared by the present and the former chairman of the London School Board that, speaking generally, the whole school population of London is now on the roll, though Mr. Diggle admits that there must always be a residuum, belonging to the neglected classes, which the machinery of the school board is unable to reach. Even these, he thinks, have at some time or other mostly attended a school. But the proportion of those not attending any school, Mr. Cumin believes, is being gradually reduced in England, and the migration of parents is, he thinks, accountable for a good many of these cases. Throughout England and Wales the Report of the Department for 1886-87 (page 242) shows that the number of scholars between 7 and 11 years of age on the registers of aided schools is equal to 95 per cent of the number of children of that age belonging to the class usually found in elementary schools. In some agricultural parishes every child of school age is known to be at school. That such a result should have been brought about in so short a time, and with so little friction, affords no small ground for satisfaction.

In like manner the regularity of attendance, as shown by the percentage of the number on the roll who are in actual average attendance, steadily, though much more slowly, increases. Almost everywhere, however, there is still room for improvement, and in some instances to a considerable extent. Throughout England and Wales the average attendance of the registered scholars has risen from 68.09 per cent, in 1870 to 76.27 in 1886. In London this figure rises to 78.9; in the counties of Bedford, Oxford, and Westmoreland to 80; and in Berks to 81 per cent. In Huddersfield, where special pains are taken to improve the attendance, it is as high as 84 per cent in the board schools, and 81 per cent in the voluntary schools; while in a large voluntary school at Liverpool it rises to 94 per cent, probably approaching the highest point to which regularity can be forced without a careful sifting of scholars, the ordinary absence from sickness and infection alone being supposed to approach 5 per cent, but it must be added that in Liverpool the names are removed from the registers more rapidly than in other districts. Any good school in a town which from its popularity is able to pick its scholars finds little trouble in getting regular attendance; and the same may be said in many a country school in which the clergyman, the teacher, and the leading residents, exert all their influence to get the children to attend. One condition, however, of a high percentage of attendance is that the school shall be thoroughly good, and another that the children shall like it. This is most likely to be the case where the buildings are warm and cheerful, and where the school is in charge of a teacher who does not think that his duties to his scholars begin and end with the school hours, and who lives in the midst of them.

Among the causes which have largely tended to promote regularity of attendance, we should do wrong to omit the value which parents who have themselves reaped the advantage of elementary education attach to a school for their children. A person wholly illiterate is probably sceptical as to the benefits of education; one who has been himself educated, even though imperfectly, is better able to comprehend the value to his children of the discipline and instruction to be gained by punctual attendance at school. The former will not exercise his personal influence to carry out school regulations, while the latter, being alive to the need of education and of intelligent training, will be more ready to co-operate with the school authorities. From the educational progress recorded since the date of the Duke of Newcastle's Commission, it is manifest that this class of motives must have been for some years largely increasing in operation. Neither ought we to omit from consideration the improved homes and greater comfort at the present time enjoyed by the working classes, which tend lo increase their sense of the ill consequences attending upon ignorance.

It is, however, to compulsion, first partially introduced in 1870, widely extended in 1876, and fully and universally established in 1880, that the increase of the numbers on the roll is largely attributable. Among the witnesses before us, Mr. Stewart appears


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to stand alone in his opinion that, provided the required accommodation had been furnished, the result would have been much the same if attendance had not been obligatory. But to estimate fairly the influence which compulsion has had upon the great increase in the number of children attending school, to which we have already called attention, we must speak of it under the three heads into which its operation may be divided. There is, first the direct influence of compulsion. This is exerted over parents who are indifferent to the moral and intellectual welfare of their children, who are very eager to obtain what advantage they can from those children's earnings, but who never look beyond. The fear of punishment has, no doubt, affected this section of the population who send their children because they feel obliged; although in large towns, by frequent removals from one neighbourhood to another, they often elude the vigilance of the attendance officers. But, secondly, compulsion exercises an indirect influence. Many parents are apathetic, yield weakly to their children's wish not to go to school, or find it convenient to use their services at home, and so, if left to themselves, would make but little effort to insist upon their children's attendance at school. But they are keenly alive to the disgrace of being brought before a magistrate, the fear of which supplies a stimulus sufficient to make them do their duty in this respect. In addition, the existence of a compulsory law has considerably affected public opinion, and has done much to secure a larger school attendance by making people recognise that the State regards them as neglecting their duty if their children remain uneducated. It is probable that the law of compulsion has exercised greater influence on school attendance from these causes than any other. Lastly, the introduction of labour certificates by the Act of 1876, has exerted considerable power over the minds of many thrifty parents, who have been anxious for their children to obtain exemption from school attendance at as early an age as possible, that they may begin to earn money for the benefit of the family. But however adequate an instrument compulsion has proved for getting children on to the school register, it is confessedly much less effectual in increasing the regularity of attendance. The children who have been enrolled by its means come chiefly from the more ignorant and careless families, and are naturally the least likely to attend regularly. And, in addition, the latitude allowed in carrying out the law of compulsion is too great, to secure a satisfactory amount of regularity, seven attendances out of every ten most frequently satisfying the authorities.

As a means of enforcing compulsion on certain classes of children, the day industrial schools established in several large cities under the Act of 1876, have been found efficacious. Irregular children, and children of negligent parents, are detained in these schools, in which they are fed as well as taught; and orders are made by the magistrates on the parents for contributions towards the cost. A large number of the scholars who have been sent to these schools merely on the grounds of irregularity are discharged after only a few months' detention, on condition that they attend an ordinary elementary school with regularity; and their attendance while thus "on licence" is supervised by a special officer, attached to the staff of the day industrial school, instead of by the ordinary attendance officer. The results in many cases have been most satisfactory, the attendances of these children in Liverpool after leaving the day industrial school having reached 87 per cent of all possible attendances. Detention in these schools further provides a suitable substitute in many cases for commitments to ordinary boarding industrial schools, in which the public expenditure involved is very heavy. The average detention in a boarding industrial school is 5¾ years, and the average cost rather more than £20 a year. Each child, therefore, detained in such a school costs on an average about £115, of which about £85 falls upon the local authorities and Her Majesty's Treasury. A successful experiment made by the Rochester School Board, which has established a day industrial school of a special type, shows that it is possible for the smaller boards to deal at a very reasonable cost with the case of children now usually sent to boarding, industrial or truant schools. We have not taken special evidence upon the subject of industrial schools, as a Royal Commission has recently reported to Your Majesty respecting them.

Another aid to the enforcement of compulsion which has been found useful in some districts, has been the establishment of truant schools, in which children are detained for short periods under a discipline which, in its earlier stages at least, is of a punitive character.


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But beyond the point at which the efficacy of compulsion becomes exhausted, the influence and resources of managers and teachers often secure good results in the matter of regularity and of voluntary attendance beyond the obligatory standard; and we think a good deal more might be accomplished by the same means. It is generally admitted that, although compulsion may be necessary in certain cases, it is most desirable to minimize the resort to it as far as possible, by appealing to other and higher motives, and especially by efforts to interest parents in their children's progress. Among many other means by which this end might be secured, it has been suggested to us that, as has already been done with very good results in some schools, a report should, at the close of each school year, be sent home to the parent of each child, conveying information as to the child's punctuality, general conduct, and educational progress. Another means of attaining the desired end would be to encourage scholars to take home some of their most interesting reading books, and to read them to their parents, most of whom would be able to appreciate their progress in reading, and might also often be interested in the subject of the book. If manual training, moreover, be introduced into elementary schools, the parents' appreciation of its value will, it may be hoped, stimulate them to make increased efforts, not only to secure regular attendance, but also to prolong their children's stay at school beyond the period legally enforced. Prizes for regular attendance have been tried with good effect by the Liverpool Council of Education, a voluntary body under whose auspices a most efficient system of co-operation between board and voluntary schools has been established. In Manchester the school board gives rewards for good attendance, and is satisfied with the results.

The Selmeston plan, introduced by Rev. W. D. Parish, which has found many imitators among the managers of voluntary schools, deserves separate mention. In this small village in Sussex, where formerly, Mr. Parish states, the attendance was shocking, the school fee was raised in 1871 from 1d to 3d a week with the promise of a return of 2d a week at the end of the year to each child who had attended 240 times, together with a prize of 1s for each pass at the inspector's examination. The result is said to have been that the regularity of attendance is far in advance of any school in the neighbourhood, nor has any case of non-attendance ever been referred to the magistrates. This plan, however, involves so large an immediate expenditure per head out of voluntary sources that it is not likely to be generally adopted, unless the circumstances of a district are exceptional. But where no special expedient is resorted to, many witnesses concur in representing that a great deal of power may still be exerted by the personal influence both of managers and teachers to improve the attendance, even where compulsion has exhausted its powers.

Many questions have been put to the witnesses before us as to the efficacy of the law of compulsion, and its administration by the local authorities, the attendance officers, and the magistrates. Of the action, or rather the inaction, of the magistrates complaints are very general. In the replies we have received to Circular A, both the managers of voluntary schools and school boards complain that compulsion is not carried out efficiently. We are told that there is no uniform system; that the magistrates are lenient, and will not enforce the penalties; that the expense of prosecution is too great; and that the procedure is extremely dilatory and inefficient. It is also suggested that the costs should fall upon the parents; that the fines should be increased and a payment enforced: and that a mode of legal compulsion should be adopted which does not treat parents as criminals. In some cases managers complain that the local authorities are indifferent, and do not enforce attendance; and that when members of those bodies are interested in juvenile labour, the law is evaded, and employers are never summoned. Complaints are also made that the attendance officers are inefficient; that their districts are much too large; that many of them have other occupations, for instance, that some are relieving officers; and that the magistrates will not support them when they are energetic. A few witnesses suggest that the Department should undertake compulsion, and that the police should be employed as attendance officers. In the replies of the head teachers to Circular D, the same complaints are made, and with greater frequency. It is said that the compulsory clauses are inoperative; and that neither magistrates, local authorities, nor attendance officers are efficient. Complaints are made that the fines imposed are so trivial that the children when employed can earn many times the amount during their absence from school. Some suggest that school cases should be dealt with in a special court, or on separate days; others recommend that convic-


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tion should be prompt, fines heavy, and that employers of children under the legal age should be severely punished.

It is but fair to notice Mr. Cumin's remark, that the blame may sometimes lie with the local school authorities, who have not always been judicious in the selection of cases for prosecution. Canon Warburton, who thinks the bench does not now deal strictly enough with offenders, considers it fortunate that in the earlier stages of compulsion they took a lenient view of their duty. The London police magistrates have for some reasons so limited the number of summonses to be heard in any one day that the carrying out of the compulsory law is said to be seriously impeded in the case of school board prosecutions. But, apart from this, the ordinary police court has been represented to us as a specially unsuitable place for assembling the parents of irregular scholars, and it has been proposed to appoint special magistrates and special places for hearing school board cases. Mr. Buxton, the late chairman of the London School Board, complains that the attitude of the Metropolitan police magistrates has even tended to prejudice the public against the law, and to throw the burden of the costs on the school board instead of on the offenders. We invite attention to the list of cases referred to by Mr. Buxton in support of his complaint, which will be found in the Appendix (page 1021) of our Second Report. It has been contended that it would be of advantage to appoint a special magistrate for London to adjudicate on school attendances cases, who should hold sittings in the various districts of the metropolis at an hour and place when other police cases were not being heard; but we think such a plan objectionable on principle. We have also had some evidence to show that the dilatory process of recovering fines under the Summary Jurisdiction Act of 1879 has, in some cases, encouraged parents to defy the law, and that it has added greatly to the labour involved in carrying out compulsion.

The chief complaint with respect to attendance officers is that they are too few in number for the work to be done, that they have other duties to attend to, which engross too much of their time, and that they are too easily satisfied with an imperfect attendance. We are told of schools which are only visited two or three times a year by the attendance officer, who is satisfied with one out of every two attendances. Under these circumstances it is plain that such an agency is powerless to grapple effectively with the evil of irregularity. In country districts, however, the influence of the managers, and a little personal trouble on the part of the teachers out of school hours, are as effective for securing regularity as the action of the attendance officer. Meanwhile the managers can always appeal to the local authority in cases where that officer is unable or unwilling to discharge his duties efficiently. We are of opinion that periodical returns of absentees from each school should always be called for by the local authority, with whom, and not with their attendance officer, it rests to decide upon the number of attendances that will justify them in not enforcing compliance with the letter of their byelaws.

We think also that it is of great importance that local committees should be more generally appointed in each district by school attendance committees, under section 32 of the Act of 1876. The members of such a committee would themselves be likely to know the circumstances of each family, and, as they could deal with cases of irregularity on the spot, the parents would not be compelled to attend the meetings of the school attendance committee, often held at long distances from their homes. It is much to be desired that school attendance committees should hold meetings from time to time in various parts of their district accessible to the population.

Many complaints have been made against school attendance committees; but one of the witnesses who complained, when reminded of the fact that the average attendance in five at least of the rural counties, which are chiefly under school attendance committees, rose to nearly 82 per cent, whereas the average of England was only 76 per cent, admitted that, judged by results, these local authorities could not be so negligent of their duty as was sometimes assumed. This admission is confirmed by a table printed in the Appendix to our third Report (pages 740-1), which fully bears out the assertion of those who maintain that as far as regularity of attendance is concerned the efficacy of school attendance committees is at least as great as that of school boards. The conditions, however, of regular school attendance are so complex, and so essentially different for urban and rural districts, that we cannot make any certain comparison between the relative efficiency of compulsion, as enforced by school attendance


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committees and school boards, based simply on school attendance. In the country the element of distance and bad roads tells against attendance; on the other hand, the accommodation is generally sufficient in quantity, and the schools, having a settled constituency, do not suffer from the evil of migration. In the towns there is sometimes a deficiency of school supply; the poorest parents are less under the control of public opinion, and the low parts of large towns attract a population more difficult to deal with than any in the rural districts. It is admitted, that school attendance committees, which rest on the area of the union, are likely to be more effective in enforcing attendance than boards elected by parishes with a small population. In small areas, such as many of the rural parishes, many school boards appear to be peculiarly ineffective in carrying out compulsion, and some have occasionally to be declared in default. On the other hand, many of the larger school boards leave little to be desired in the vigour with which they look after the attendance. Huddersfield appears to be a good example of what may be done in a large population, where the board acts vigorously, employs sufficient officers, and is backed by a sympathising bench. The table inserted below, which appeared in the Report of the Committee of Council (1881-2) (p. xxxi), throws light upon the comparative activity at that date of the various classes of educational authorities:

[click on the image for a larger version]

The evidence before us generally tends to the conclusion that parents are becoming more and more reconciled to compulsion. But from Welwyn in Herts, Menai Bridge in Wales, and Dibden in Hampshire, we have been informed that it is very distasteful to parents in those places. These, however, are just the localities where it is said by the same witnesses that compulsion is not effectively carried out.

Unfortunately the desire to get the standard of exemption passed has not strengthened, but has rather superseded, that desire of parents for the improvement of their children, which was the only motive to be appealed to before attendance at school became compulsory. From every quarter we have been told that a very great majority of children now leave school as soon as they are legally exempted from attendance, and that the education of the majority of scholars is thus prematurely closed. We find it difficult, however, to reconcile some of the statements made to us, as to the withdrawal of children from school at an earlier age than formerly, with the figures in one of the returns furnished to us by the Education Department to be found in Appendix D of our First Report (page 522). These figures, for purposes of comparison, may be conveniently given for three years of special interest in our educational history, 1870, 1875, and 1880, and for 1886. They show the following percentage of scholars on the registers of schools inspected in each of these years:

[click on the image for a larger version]

The gross number of scholars, represented by these percentages, show a very considerable increase. The number of children above 12 on the registers was -

In 1870161,703
     1875264,700
     1880498,199
     1886536,616


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The remarkable increase between 1875 and 1880 may probably be attributed to the universal application of direct compulsion in 1880, although the improvements in the Code of 1875 do not appear to have been followed by a corresponding improvement in the attendance of the scholars. In parishes where there is much demand for children's labour, and where the standard of exemption is as low as the fourth, several witnesses have assured us that few children remain at school after 10 years of age. But the consequences of premature removal from school, on passing the standard prescribed as a condition of labour, are even more serious where the demand for juvenile labour is slack. An interval then occurs between the completion of school life and the entry on employment which, in the case of boys especially, is most injurious to character, and leads to the loss of what little of intellectual acquirements they had gained at school. At Stoke-upon-Trent, for instance, Sir Lovelace Stamer points out that while a total exemption from school can, under the byelaws, be easily reached at 11, under the Factory Acts full time work is not attainable till the age of 13, and we gather from his evidence that the interval between 11 and 13 is too often wasted in idleness with the worst effects on those who are condemned to it. In this respect, therefore, the forward child is left in a worse position than the wastrel, who must either go to work or continue at school till he is 14 years old.

Two classes of remedies have been proposed to us for the premature removal of children from school, immediately on their passing the minimum legal standard of exemption. The most obvious one is that of raising the standard, so as to make compulsory education cover a larger part of a child's life. We have heard much evidence tending to show that the fifth standard might be made the universal minimum standard of exemption, as is the case in Scotland, without inflicting any serious injury on parents or employers. Such is the opinion, for example, of Mr. Synge, H.M. Inspector in the eastern counties, with this proviso, however, that he would accept a pass in two subjects as a qualification for labour, if in the previous standard the pass had been a complete one; and he would give an additional qualification for labour, to be obtained by attendance only, so that dull children, whose school life is now prolonged to no good purpose after brighter children of their own age have been discharged, might be set free to go to work on an attendance qualification in default of one gained by attainments. Several other experts advocated the universal adoption of the fifth standard for exemption from school attendance.

Mr. Oakeley, whose experience as an inspector is long and varied, has a still bolder proposal to make, viz., that educational standards of exemption should be entirely abolished, and that an age standard should be substituted under the provisions he suggests. Half-time employment would, according to his proposal, not be accessible to a child till it was 10, or better still 11, and all children would be forced to remain at school till they were 13. It is obvious to remark that such a proposal would withdraw from the whole of school life the stimulus to attendance now afforded by the desire to obtain the prescribed educational qualification for employment. Nevertheless, Mr. Harrison, Her Majesty's Inspector for the Liverpool district, concurs in this recommendation. And it is a proof how grave must be the mischief for which so drastic a remedy is thought by experienced inspectors to be the only cure. We are bound, however, to record that we have received evidence from teachers and clergymen in the agricultural districts, to the effect that the compulsory retention of children at school to a greater age than at present is not feasible in those districts, chiefly owing to the poverty of their parents, but in some degree also to the requirements of agriculture, and these witnesses could not be brought to concur in the adoption of the fifth standard as a uniform one of exemption.

In the replies which have been made to Circulars A and D, Managers, School Boards, and Teachers allude frequently to the want of a uniform standard of exemption, and many request that the standard of age should be raised. They say that there is great want of uniformity in the byelaws of neighbouring school districts, and that the byelaws are often not in accord with the Factory Acts. Some say that a child may leave school after passing the exemption standards, or attend very irregularly for a year or more, before he can go to work under the Factory Acts. Parents, we are told, are prone to accept the minimum of school work fixed by the exemption


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laws as a maximum. Half-time is generally disliked by those teachers and managers from whom replies have been received; it is said to disorganise the school, and to be impossible except in purely half-time schools. The suggestions as to compelling attendance at school vary greatly in different districts; some would adopt a standard exemption, and others an age exemption only. The expression of opinion is very strongly in favour of a longer school life. Some think that managers and local authorities should have the right of exempting children in harvest and busy seasons, a power which the latter already possess, and also dull children; and many desire that the Education Department should fix a uniform age standard of exemption for the whole country. But it must be remembered that not only agricultural but many other employments require to be begun at an early age; and that industrial education is not always to be postponed for longer instruction at school. While we do not desire to see either the standard or range of elementary education unduly restricted, we must bear in mind that, in the case of children preparing for many employments, including agriculture, a prolonged school life is incompatible with the practical instruction of the field or workshop, which must necessarily commence at an early age.

We have received further evidence on the effects on the education of a child of the system of half time exemption, as it is provided for by the Education Acts. The principle of day half-time has not yet been widely or successfully adopted in rural districts, and the general opinion seems to be that it is not suited to the existing requirements of agriculture in this country. Its advantages as a means of increasing the slender incomes of large families in rural districts have to be considered, but, in our opinion, these would be sufficiently met by the arrangement already sanctioned by the 9th section of the Act of 1876, which provides that the children actually needed for farming operations may be absent from school during those times when there is a pressure of work suitable to them, requiring them to attend school regularly during the remainder of the year, and also during the busy months, unless they can show that they are bonâ fide employed in farm work. Subject to the recommendation which we have just made as to the rural districts, we are of opinion that the minimum age for half-time exemption from school attendance should be 11, and the minimum age of full-time exemption 13. We think that the case of those young persons who have failed to make due progress in the day school may be best considered when we deal with the question of evening and continuation schools. A further point in connexion with half-time attendance at school deserves attention. The Act of 1870 (sec. 74) provides for partial exemption in the case of any child, between 10 and 13, who passes a standard prescribed by the byelaws of its district. This privilege is limited by the byelaws generally, and also by the model byelaws of the Department, to children who are "shown to the satisfaction of the local authority to be beneficially and necessarily employed" when not at school. There is, moreover, a provision in the Code (Article 15) for securing to schools certain pecuniary advantages in respect of the attendance of half-time scholars, in compensation for the extra trouble and expense which they necessarily entail upon the managers and teachers. In the Instructions issued to the inspectors after the adoption of this Article (1882), the reasons for it were given in a circular dated 16th March 1883, in the following words:

"This article must be read in connexion with Article 11, in which a half-time scholar is defined as 'A scholar certified by the local authority to be employed in conformity with the byelaws'. The rule laid down in Article 15 was adopted with the view of encouraging a systematic alternative of work and instruction for children who are obliged to go to labour before par.sing the standard of proficiency fixed by the byelaws of the district for total exemption from the obligation to attend school. It was not meant to apply to cases of desultory school attendance, or to give any benefit to schools in respect of merely irregular scholars who have passed what is called the half-time standard, and are not habitually and necessarily at work when not at school." The system of half-time is firmly planted in the manufacturing districts under the Factory Acts, which, however, are not within the terms of our inquiry. The education of the children employed in workshops and factories is regulated by the Factory Act of 1878, and the beneficial result of that measure is shown by the fact that in the districts to which it mainly applies, a very large proportion of the scholars in the highest standards now consists of factory scholars. It is hoped that the article in question will secure to the children employed in other labour, not regulated by any Act, the benefit of similar educational advantages. In like manner in 1886 (Report of Committee of Council, 1885-6, page 166) the inspectors are told, "you should explain to the members of school boards that a child is bound to attend school full time whenever it is not beneficially and necessarily employed, and


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that a bonâ fide half-timer meant, a child who is legally at work when not at school." All this we are surprised to find is now omitted from the inspectors' annual instructions, with the result that the bearing of the article in question upon school attendance likely to be forgotten, and that half-timers, other than those working under the factory laws, may probably be taken as meaning nothing more than irregular scholars. The last Report of the Department (1886-7, page 223) shows that while no fewer than 1,437,113 children from 10 to 13 were in 1886 borne on the registers of aided schools, only 168,453 were returned as half-timers under the Code. This latter number probably represents but few scholars other than factory scholars. Unless the object of the article, as originally explained by the Department, is better understood, and the half-time requirements of the byelaws are more stringently enforced, we fear that the children will lose the discipline of school, without having the benefit of the discipline of work.

In connexion with school attendance some important evidence was given before us with respect to the employment in theatres of young children, usually selected for their brightness and intelligence, employment which naturally interferes with their education, and is said to be generally demoralizing, both at the time, and by unfitting them for ordinary work when they become too old to appear on the boards. Mrs. Fawcett, who has given great attention to this matter, states that children are apprenticed to the stage when under five years of age, sometimes at three, for a term of seven to nine years; that they are employed for a considerable period during the day, and till a late hour at night, having often to return home long distances alone. We agree with Mrs. Fawcett in thinking that it is the duty of the State to step in between these children and the employers, whether parents or others, whose cupidity seeks to make a profit out of their work, especially as we are told that it is not the poorest parents who send their children on the stage. Certain provisions in the Act of 1876 bear upon these cases, but they do not stop all employment between 5 and 14, and they do not apply to children under five years of age. We are informed that the London School Board has been most anxious to deal with this evil, but has found that its legal powers were insufficient. The law on this subject is stated to be defective, and we recommend that it be strengthened. We are of opinion, from considerations of health as well as of morality and education, that one remedy for a state of things which affects a large number of young children (about 1,000 in London alone) would be to bring theatrical employment under the Factory Acts.

We have thought it well here, in conclusion, to summarise the obstacles to school attendance, which are alleged to exist by those who are actively engaged in education, although many of these obstacles have already been incidentally mentioned. First in importance is the desire of parents to profit by their children's labour; a motive, however, which acts at the same time up to a certain point as the chief incentive to keep children steadily at school, in order that they may be free to work at the earliest moment. And so far as premature employment is an obstacle, the poverty of many of the parents, both in towns and in country districts, makes it one exceedingly difficult to remove, and demanding very considerate treatment. The indifference of parents to education for its own sake, must, we fear, be reckoned as an obstacle, which has perhaps been aggravated by compulsion, and has, possibly, not yet reached its worst; though we believe that it will tend to decrease in proportion to the improvement of schools. Again, truancy contrary to the wish of parents is answerable for a certain amount of absence from school. Home needs, such as sickness in the family, the absence of the mother at work and nursing babies, keep many girls away, sometimes for long periods. In towns the migration of families, in the country bad roads and bad weather, are said to be fruitful sources of irregularity. We feel bound to draw attention to the tabulated replies from the managers of voluntary schools, school boards, and teachers, to whom our printed inquiries were addressed, which bear witness to widely spread dissatisfaction with the administration of the compulsory clauses of the Education Acts, accompanied by a demand for a still more stringent system of compulsion. This expression of opinion, on the part of many of those conversant with the daily working of our educational system, respecting one of the most recent and most important provisions of the Education Acts, requires from us a special notice. On consideration, it will hardly be a matter of surprise that this opinion should so largely prevail amongst managers and teachers. The former are often making great personal


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sacrifices to provide the education offered by their schools; both are daily witnesses of the vast benefits of it; and they have painful evidence of the difficulty of securing satisfactory results without regular attendance: while their schools, under the present system of Government grants, have a considerable pecuniary interest in the regular attendance of all the children in their district. Hence they are impatient for the time when every child should be in its place whenever the school is open, and they are naturally intolerant of any delay or hesitation in the use of the powers of the law to attain at once this desirable end.

We are of opinion that, though there are undoubtedly very considerable local shortcomings calling for amendment, the vast increase in the school population receiving regular instruction, a result obtained in the short period of 17 years, may be considered most satisfactory, and that the absence of any serious opposition to compulsion on the part of the wage-earning classes, notwithstanding its grave interference with their homes, is largely owing to the gradual steps by which it has been introduced. We cannot therefore endorse any general condemnation of the manner in which "compulsion" has hitherto been administered. At the same time, we recommend that a constant vigilance should be exercised by the Department with regard to the efficient action of local authorities in securing the attendance of children at school, in conformity with section 27 of the Act, 1876, both through their inspectors and by means of periodical returns; and that the Department should report to Parliament at stated intervals upon the whole subject. There is a very general agreement among the managers, and still more among the teachers, that the age and standard for partial and for total exemption might be considerably raised. We have not recommended as great an increase in these requirements as is generally asked for, but we think that the consensus of opinion expressed will make it easier to carry out the alterations in the age of exemption which we have suggested.





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PART IV

Education and Instruction given in Public Elementary Schools
Chapter I - Religious and Moral Training.
Chapter II - Curriculum of Instruction.
Chapter III - Manual and Technical Instruction.
Chapter IV - Various Classes of Elementary Schools.
Chapter V - Elementary Schools and Higher Education.

CHAPTER I

RELIGIOUS AND MORAL TRAINING

Among the vital changes introduced by the Education Act of 1870, none was preceded by a more protracted controversy, or occasioned more anxiety to those who were solicitous for Religious Education than the altered attitude which the State then took up towards it. Religious education ceased henceforth to be a necessary condition of a grant. It was no longer examined into by H.M. inspectors. Moreover, the Act expressly affirmed the principle that the Government grant was in future to be paid solely in respect of secular instruction.* By this legislation, also, it should always be remembered, Private Adventure Schools, which necessarily adapted themselves to the various views and wishes of parents, have been almost destroyed, and the children of all the wage-earning classes, to speak generally, are compelled by law to spend all the week-day time available for their education, in the years before they begin to earn their own living, in schools for the teaching and training in which the State is largely responsible.

Having been commissioned by Your Majesty to inquire into the working of the Elementary Education Acts, we should fail in our duty did we not review the Religious and Moral effect of the present system, and of the provisions made by law for enabling and controlling religious as well as secular instruction. While the whole Commission is animated by one and the same desire to secure for the children in the Public Elementary Schools the best and most thorough instruction in Secular subjects, suitable to their years and in harmony with the requirements of their future life, it is also unanimously of opinion that their Religious and Moral Training is a matter of still higher importance alike to the children, the parents, and the nation, though the views of its members differ as to the method whereby this object of supreme moment should be attained.

Upon the importance of giving Religious as well as Moral Instruction, as part of the teaching in day public elementary schools, much evidence was brought before us.

*It was made necessary by the provisions of the Act of 1870, that a notice should be conspicuously put up in every school, Voluntary and Board alike, that it shall be no condition of the child's admission to the school -

that he attends or abstains from attending any Sunday school or place of worship; or
that he attends any Religious Observance or Instruction;
It was also provided -
that the times of Religious Instruction or Observance should be only either at the beginning or end of the school meetings;
that it shall be no part of the duty of Her Majesty's Inspectors to inquire into any Instruction given in Religious Subjects, or to examine any scholar in Religious Knowledge, or in any Religious Subject or Book;
that any scholar may be withdrawn from any Religious Teaching or Observances;
that in Board Schools no religious formulary, which is distinctive of any particular Religious Denomination, shall be taught;
that the Parliamentary Grant shall not be made in respect of any instruction in Religious Subjects, and that the condition of the grant shall not require that the school shall be in connexion with a Religious Denomination, or that Religious Instruction shall be given in the school.

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Amongst many other witnesses we select a few representative names of large experience. The Rev. J. Duncan, secretary of the National Society, thought it impossible to draw a distinction between religious and moral teaching, as moral teaching is of necessity the result of the religious teaching; in his view, moral teaching could not be given effectually without teaching the religious doctrines on which it is based. Mr. Matthew Arnold, H.M. Inspector, had seen no successful teaching yet in which the teaching of morals was separated from the usual religious sanctions; but such a way, he stated, might be invented. Canon Warburton, another of the most experienced of H.M. Inspectors, regarded moral instruction as a very wretched substitute for religion, but at the same time he thought that such teaching did good. The Rev. Dr. Richards, Roman Catholic Diocesan Inspector of Schools, regards religion as the only real basis for moral training, and he stated that he is always afraid, when it is not made so, that there will be sooner or later an outbreak of immorality. Many other witnesses have offered us much evidence as to the importance attached to giving religious and moral teaching in our Day Schools.

With respect to the opinion of the country generally upon the subject of Religious and Moral training in the day schools, there can be no doubt. If we refer to the Voluntary Schools, in most of which the whole basis of education is religious, we find that there has been a vast increase since 1870 of such schools, erected and maintained at great pecuniary sacrifice on the part of their supporters, and held in much favour by large masses of the population. And if we ask what is the testimony of School Boards, we find that out of 2,225 School Boards representing the judgment of more than 16 millions of our population, only seven in England and 50 in Wales, according to the Parliamentary Returns of 1879, 1884, and 1886, have dispensed entirely with Religious Teaching or Observances. Most of the School Boards of large towns, following the example of London, have adopted careful schemes for Religious Instruction. Of the large School Boards, one alone dispenses with reading the Bible, and one other alone dispenses with prayers and hymns, while those small boards which shut out direct religious teaching from their day schools are, in the most part, in Wales, where the Sunday school system powerfully affects the whole population. Thus both Voluntary Schools and School Boards bear unmistakeable testimony to the determination of the people that their children's education should be Religious and Moral. If further evidence is needed, we have only to refer to the admissions of every witness we have examined on this subject, whether favourable or hostile to teaching religion in the day schools, which we shall set forth in greater detail later in this chapter, as well as to the replies furnished to the printed questions we addressed to all the teachers, the managers, and school boards in certain Typical Counties and Districts which are enumerated below.* Thus all the evidence is practically unanimous as to the desire of the parents for the religious and moral training of their children.

Before reviewing the effects of the religious and moral teaching and training given under the present system, and before proposing such improvements as may seem to us desirable, we deem it to be our duty to state briefly the object at which we think we ought to aim, and the principles which should govern the action of the nation with respect to it. The object clearly should be the elevation of those classes of the community for whom the education is designed. The character of Englishmen has stood high for integrity, honour, perseverance, and industry, and has not lagged behind that of other people for patriotism and the social virtues. Our object is to preserve what has been good in the past from being tarnished in the future, and to improve and elevate our fellow countrymen so far as possible. Whilst differing widely in our views concerning religious truth, we are persuaded that the only safe foundation on which to construct a theory of morals, or to secure high moral conduct, is the religion which our Lord Jesus Christ has taught the world. As we look to the Bible for instruction concerning morals, and take its words for the declaration of what is morality, so we look to the same inspired source for the sanctions by which men may

*Circular A was addressed to the managers of all Voluntary Schools and to all School Boards in the following counties:

Berkshire. Durham. Lancashire. Lincolnshire. Devonshire. Gloucestershire. Leicestershire. Staffordshire. Dorsetshire. Kent.
Circular D was addressed to the head teachers in the following districts:
West Riding of York. Bedfordshire. Sussex. Birkenhead. Chelsea. Two Mining Unions in Glamorganshire. Wiltshire. West Ham, Essex. Greenwich. Merionethshire. Warwickshire. Southwark.

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be led to practise what is there taught, and for instruction concerning the help by which they may be enabled to do what they have learned to be right.

Such then being the views of the Commission and of the Country as to the Religious and Moral Training in the Education of all children, we think it right to begin this part of our Report with stating the evidence we have received, and the conclusions we have arrived at, on this all-important subject. We therefore proceed to state the facts as to Religious teaching and Observances which are given in the replies to our circulars above-mentioned as forming a valuable portion of the evidence upon which our Report is based. They came from so large a percentage of the schools in important Typical and varied Counties and Districts, of which the names were given in the former page, that we may consider them to represent approximately the general practice of the whole Country. In the return A from managers of Voluntary Schools* and from School Boards in 10 counties,† the Managers of the Voluntary Schools state respecting these Voluntary Schools that:

1. In 102 schools no religious instruction is given.‡
2. In 1,261 schools (35 per cent of all the answers) religious teaching is encroached upon before the Government inspection, in most cases slightly.
3. In 3,618 schools the religious teaching is given by the teacher, in only 2,079 of which (55 per cent of all the answers) it is also given by other persons (clergy or ladies).
4. In 286 schools (8 per cent) the registers of attendance are marked before religious teaching and observances.
In 2,925 schools the registers of attendance are marked after religious teaching and observances.
In 443 schools the registers of attendance are marked both before and after.
The returns from the School Boards in the same counties show that:
1. Thirty-three boards give no religious teaching in their schools.§
2. In the schools of 103 boards (or 30 per cent of boards which make returns) religious teaching is encroached upon before the Government inspection, in most cases slightly.
3. In the schools of 358 boards the teachers give the religious teaching, and in the schools of 43 of the above boards some other persons also give it.
4. In the schools of 11 boards the registers are marked before the Religious Teaching and Observances.
In the schools of 318 boards, after.
In the schools of 37 boards, both before and after.
In the Return D from the Head Teachers of all schools, both Voluntary and Board, in 12 counties or populous urban districts it is stated that:
1. In 320 departments (under a head teacher), or 9 per cent of all that sent in replies, no religious teaching is given.
2. In 1,013, or 32 per cent, religious teaching is encroached upon to a slight extent (except in York West Riding, where it is reported that "one-half the time is encroached upon in many cases") before the Government inspection.
3. In 3,220 departments the teachers give the religious teaching, and in 1,062 of these other persons (chiefly clergy or ladies) also give it.
4. In 281 departments the registers are marked before the Religious Teaching or Observances.
In 2,344 after; and in 741 both before and after.
We would call attention to two serious dangers arising from the system largely prevailing (as will have been seen from the above Returns) both in Voluntary and Board Schools, of marking the Attendance Registers of the children only after the morning religious teaching, prayers, &c. One danger is that children, parents, and teachers may be thereby encouraged to consider religious matters as of less importance than

*It must be remembered that Voluntary Schools include those belonging to the Church of England, Wesleyan Methodists, Roman Catholics, British and Foreign School Society, and some secularists.

†See list already given.

‡Principally British schools.

§See last Return to Parliament, ordered May 1888, which will enumerate the school boards giving no religious teaching, and will contain the plans adopted by all the other school boards respecting religious teaching, reading of the Bible, and religious observances under the provisions of the Act of 1870. The figures given elsewhere in this Report are taken from the Parliamentary Returns from 1879-1885. The Return ordered by the House of Lords in May 1888, has not yet been presented to Parliament, but will form Vol. [number missing] of Report.


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the secular teaching, the other that the most idle, ill-disposed children, and those of negligent or dissolute parents, for whom such instruction is of special value, will naturally only attend after the religious teaching is over. We recommend, therefore, in order to avoid those dangers, and for the purpose of securing punctuality of attendance, that the rule should be laid down that all registers should be marked before the Religious Teaching and Observances, the most scrupulous care being taken in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Education Acts to provide for the case of children whose parents object to such teaching. We believe that there can be no difficulty in working such a rule as this, since it has been practically adopted and practised for some time by the Liverpool School Board, in combination with the managers of the Voluntary Schools, for purposes of discipline.

We now proceed to consider what is the nature and value of the Religious Instruction actually given in all Public Elementary Schools. First, as regards Voluntary Schools, a comprehensive answer, drawn from official records, can be given only in the case of those Church of England schools which are visited annually by the diocesan inspectors. From the volume issued by the National Society, in which their reports are collected, a very favourable opinion would be gathered on the whole of the quality of that instruction in the majority of Church of England schools reported on. Several witnesses of wide experience have likewise been examined by us as to the nature of the religious teaching given in these schools. They entirely repudiate the idea which has been sometimes put forward that it consisted commonly of committing to memory church formularies without explanation. It is usual, it appears, for the diocesan inspector at his visit to suggest a syllabus of instruction for the ensuing year, on which the next examination of the next year will be held, the parts of Scripture selected for study or committal to memory being such as seem best to lend themselves to the instruction of children in their faith and duty. In a large proportion of schools, too. Prebendary Roe (a diocesan inspector with wide educational experience) tells us that religious teaching is something much better and beyond mere head knowledge. Archdeacon Barber, who has had long experience of the same kind in the diocese of Oxford, gave it as his opinion that religious and moral training in church schools is as good as it was before 1870, in spite of the tendency to crowd it out. Out of the 3,759 voluntary schools, the managers of which sent replies to our Circular A3, 3,622 gave religious instruction daily, and 2,976 were examined in religious teaching, in most cases by a diocesan inspector. The general inference we draw from the various sources of information open to us is that in the class of schools in which religious instruction is obligatory under their trust deeds, the religious instruction is quite as good now as it was before the passing of the Education Act of 1870, if not a good deal better; and that it is effective, intelligent, and practical. The systems of diocesan inspection which have been instituted, both for Church of England and Roman Catholic schools since the passing of Mr. Forster's Act, appear to have resulted in more attention being given to religious teaching than before. From the first, the Wesleyan Conference, through its Connexional Education Committee, and its locally responsible Circuit Quarterly Meetings and Day School Committees, has made religious instruction and training the indispensable basis of education in its day schools. We have warnings from the teachers in our evidence that there is some danger lest the system of special and separate religious inspection may lead to a mechanical treatment of sacred subjects, while the religious training which influences and elevates life and character may become subordinate to formal and technical instruction. But in the face of much evidence given both by managers and teachers to the value and acceptability of these annual examinations, we do not attach much weight to this theoretical. objection. We note that in one or more dioceses a central system of instruction of the pupil-teachers in religious knowledge has been introduced.

Secondly, as to Board Schools, the returns made to the Parliamentary inquiry form the only authoritative record of the nature of the Religious Instruction given throughout the country in Board Schools. Mr. Sharpe stated that he knew of no school in his district where the teaching was wholly secular, and among the many witnesses we examined one only spoke of a voluntary school (British) in which, though opened with prayer, there was not even Bible reading without comment. Even in this school, however, it was claimed that great pains was taken with the moral and religious training. Under the Huddersfield Board we were also informed that there is no religious instruction, though the religious observances on opening and closing school are said to be of a solemn character. There are neither Religious Observances or Religious


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instruction in the Board Schools of Birmingham, but we are informed that the Bible is read daily without note or comment for 15 minutes. In the large school boards of Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Hull, and Sheffield, witnesses have testified that oral religious and moral instruction of a systematic kind is given in addition, to and in direct, connexion with Bible readings.† Under the London School Board a very full syllabus of Bible instruction,* which is given for from half-an-hour to three-quarters

†See Appendix

*See Syllabus of School Board for London:

REGULATIONS AS TO RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION

Bible Instruction and Religious Observances

81. In the schools provided by the Board, the Bible shall be read, and there shall be given such explanations and such instruction therefrom in the principles of morality and religion as are suited to the capacities of children, in accordance with the terms of the resolution of the Board passed 8th March 1871: provided always -

(i) That in such explanations and instruction the provisions of the Act in sections VII and XIV be strictly observed, both in letter and spirit, and that no attempt be made in any such schools to attach children to any particular denomination.

(ii) That, in regard of any particular school, the Board shall consider and determine upon any application by managers, parents, or ratepayers of the district who may show special cause for exception of the school from the operation of this resolution, in whole or in part.

Such explanations and instruction as are recognised by the foregoing regulation shall be given by the responsible teachers of the school. In this article the term "responsible teachers" does not include pupil teachers.

In all schools provision may be made for giving effect to the following resolutions of the Board, passed on July 26, 1871:

(i) That, in accordance with the general practice of existing elementary schools, provision may be made for offering prayer and using hymns in schools provided by the Board at the "time or times" when according to section VII, subsection 2, of the Elementary Education Act, "religious observances" may be "practised":

(ii) That the arrangements for such "religious observances" be left to the discretion of the teacher and managers of each school, with the right of appeal to the Board by teacher, managers, parents, or ratepayers of the district:

Provided always -

That in the offering of any prayers, and in the use of any hymns, the provisions of the Act in sections VII and XIV be strictly observed, both in letter and spirit, and that no attempt be made to attach children to any particular denomination.

During the time of religious teaching or religious observance, any children withdrawn from such teaching or observance shall receive separate instruction in secular subjects.

Sections VII and XIV of Education Act (1870) - Conscience Clause

82. A copy of sections VII and XIV* of the Elementary Education Act (1870), and also of the preceding regulations, must be hung up in a conspicuous part of the schoolroom.

Syllabus of Bible Instruction

83. The Bible instruction must be given in accordance with the syllabus adopted by the Board. (See Appendix III.)

Managers to see that Regulations respecting Bible Instruction are carried out

84. It is the duty of managers to see that the regulations of the Board for Bible instruction are carried out and it will be well for them to visit the schools during the time set apart for such instruction.

Bible Instruction of Pupil Teachers and Candidates

85. The Bible instruction of pupil teachers is given at the pupil teachers' schools, where also the same regulations are in force as to religious observances at the opening of the classes that are laid down for the ordinary day schools. It is the duty of managers of the pupil teachers' schools to see that the regulations of the Board on this point are complied with. [For Syllabus, see Appendix III.]

C. SYLLABUS OF BIBLE INSTRUCTION FOR SCHOLARS FOR THE YEAR TO BE COMMENCED ON THE 1ST JANUARY 1887

In the schools provided by the Board the Bible shall be read, and there shall be given such explanations and such instructions therefrom in the principles of morality and Religion as are suited to the capacities of the children. - Article 81 of this Code.

GENERAL INSTRUCTION. - The teachers are desired to make the lessons as practicable as possible, and not to give attention to unnecessary details.

Head teachers of infant schools must draw up a syllabus of lessons for children below Standard I, and submit it to the Board Inspector when he visits the school.

*"VII. Every elementary school which is conducted in accordance with the following regulations shall be a public elementary school within the meaning of this Act; and every public elementary school shall be conducted in accordance with the following regulations (a copy of which regulations shall be conspicuously put up in every such school), namely:

(1) It shall not be required, as a condition of any child being admitted into or continuing in the school, that he shall attend or abstain from attending any Sunday school, or any place of religious worship, or that he shall attend any religious observance or any instruction in religious subjects in the school or elsewhere, from which observance or instruction he may be withdrawn by his parent, or that he shall, if withdrawn by his parent, attend the school on any day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his parent belongs:

(2) The time or times during which any religious observance is practised, or instruction in religious subjects is given, at any meeting of the school shall be either at the beginning or at the end of such meeting, and shall be inserted in a time table to be approved by the Education Department, and to be kept permanently and conspicuously affixed in every schoolroom; and any scholar may be withdrawn by his parent from such observance or instruction without forfeiting any of the other benefits of the school:

(3) The school shall be open at all times to the inspection of any of Her Majesty's Inspectors, so, however, that it shall be no part of the duties of such inspector to inquire into any instruction in religious subjects given at such school, or to examine any scholar therein in religious knowledge or in any religious subject or book:


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of an hour daily is followed in all schools, and the Chairman of the Board (Mr. Diggle) tells us that both teachers and parents desire that it should be made effective.

The answers we have received to Circular A3 testify that out of 385 school boards, 348 give daily Religious Instruction, and 123 have Religious Examinations; and out of 3,496 teachers of departments, who have sent in replies to Circular D, 3,161 say that they give daily religious instruction, and 2,372 say that examinations in religious knowledge are held annually. We are bound, however, to state that the Parliamentary returns show that in not a few board schools, which are returned as giving Religious Instruction, or as having Religious Observances, the religious teaching is confined to reading the Bible for a few minutes at the opening of the school, without note or comment, to reciting the Lord's Prayer, or to other very meagre provisions for the board religious influence over, or training of, the children.

We proceed to summarise the oral evidence given to us as to the effect of the religious and moral instruction imparted in Board Schools under the Cowper-Temple clause. The Rev. J. Gilmore, Chairman of the Sheffield School Board, says: "I think that the present system has a tendency to lower the importance of religion and morality in the estimation of the children, because, in many cases, religion and morality are entirely neglected." But he goes on to describe the system of religious instruction adopted in Sheffield, and adds that the parents of the children in Sheffield value the religious instruction given in the board schools very highly. The Rev. Dr. Aston, member of the Bradford School Board, thinks there is a tendency, in the present system, to lower the importance of religion and morality in the estimation of managers, teachers, and scholars. The late Rev. R. B. Burges, a member of the Birmingham School Board, said: "I consider that in the board schools the whole religious and moral teaching is worthless. There is no foundation for morals or religion." On the other hand, it should be stated that the teachers in some board schools strongly defend the religious and moral training they give. Thus, Mr. A. C. Rogers, an assistant master of a London board school, says: "I should not wish the public to infer that the religious teaching and the moral training in board schools is inferior to that in the voluntary schools. I do not think it is inferior; I think I do the work of religious teaching under the London School Board as well as I should have done in a voluntary school." Mr. Adams, headmaster of another board school, thinks that the moral tone has distinctly improved. Mr. Birley, Chairman of the Salford School Board, and late Chairman of the Manchester School Board, speaking of the effect of the present system upon the religious and moral teaching of the child, says as follows: "We have no direct evidence, but I have a letter here from the rector of one of the parishes in Manchester, who has recently had a board school placed in his parish, about a year and a half ago. He says: 'Probably nowhere could the influence of the religious and moral teaching upon the character of children be so readily tested as in a parish like ours, because the school here is the only civilising influence. Their parents are very poor, and generally very ignorant. There are no well-to-do residents to set good examples, and children are often left to follow their own sweet will, so that any change in their habits must be due in a great measure to the influence of the school. Since the opening of our schools in 1885, I have noticed a remarkable change; children whom I had noticed previously as dirty and disobedient we now find, as a rule, clean, obedient, and respectful. Our Sunday school is far more orderly, and does its work with a great deal less friction than formerly. The change is most remarkable, and I have no doubt extends in other moral directions. My opinion is that the influence of a well-conducted day school is very great. Notwithstanding the large increase of population, there is a diminution of almost all classes of offences.'" Mr. Stewart, Her Majesty's inspector, thinks that the schools are to some extent lower in moral tone than they were before 1870. Mr. Sharpe, Her Majesty's inspector, on the other hand, thinks the moral tone as good as under the old system. Canon Warburton has attended lessons given during the hours set apart for religious instruction in board schools, and is much struck by their usefulness. Sir Lovelace Stamer, rector of Stoke-upon-Trent, and Chairman of the School Board, states that the examination in religious instruction in the board schools of Stoke works very satisfactorily. Mr. Palgrave, Chairman of the Great Yarmouth School Board, considers that in the board schools of Yarmouth the religious instruction is carried on as reverentially and as efficiently as in the voluntary schools with which he is acquainted. Mr. J. Powell, an elementary teacher, has "not the slightest notion how the inspector finds out the moral tone of


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the school, but he has sometimes thought that it was what in algebra we call inspection; it is so in the Code, but he has never been able to ascertain how he found out the thing at all." Canon McNeile, Chairman of the Liverpool School Managers' Conference, would be inclined to attribute the considerable development of socialism to the teaching in the board schools. Mr. J . Nickal, inspector under the London School Board, thinks that the present effect of our public system of education on the religious and moral training of the children is to consecrate the idea of success. "That it is not altogether bad; if it leads to industry and conscientious effort, I think it is good; but if the element of unscrupulousness enters into it, of course it is bad." Mr. R. Balchin, another elementary board school teacher, is not very anxious to say anything upon the religious teaching in the schools, but he would say this, that so far as the present system is concerned, it seems to have nothing whatever to do with turning out children well principled or conscientious; it simply has to do with getting them to pass a particular examination. "Still", he adds, "boys are turned out well principled and conscientious." Archdeacon Norris, formerly Her Majesty's inspector for Staffordshire and Cheshire, doubts whether distinctly religious men and distinctly religious women are so desirous to become teachers as they were under the old system. Such as the teacher is, such is the school; and the religious influences brought to bear upon the children depend, in his judgment, infinitely more upon the character of the teacher than upon what he teaches. But he adds that the schools under the Manchester School Board are trustworthy places for training the character of children, and that the board schools with which he is most acquainted are distinctly religious, both in Manchester and Bristol.

On the whole, we are of opinion that greatly as the estimate of the value of the Religious Instruction given in Board Schools varies with the standpoint from which it is regarded by various witnesses, there is good ground for concluding that where care is bestowed on its organisation, and sufficient time is allowed for imparting it, it is of a nature to affect the conscience and influence the conduct of the children of whose daily training it forms a part. In many of the board schools the teachers accompany systematic Bible-reading with appropriate comments and explanations; in others, the scriptural instruction is restricted by limitations not imposed by the Act itself, such as that the Bible be read without note or comment, which we think must greatly lessen its value. We must add that though we highly value the influence of Sunday schools, it is admitted that many scholars in elementary schools do not either attend them or any place of worship, and that their parents are often either too ignorant or too indifferent to give their children any religious instruction. Such children, therefore, are entirely dependent upon instruction in the day schools for any knowledge of the scriptural truths which ought to be the common heritage of all the people in a Christian country. We hope that the religious and moral training in all Board Schools may be raised to the high standard which has been attained already in many of them, and that it will be made clear that the State, while scrupulously maintaining its provisions for safeguarding the rights of conscience, does not wish to discourage any of the managers, teachers, and members of school boards, connected with any of the public elementary schools of the country who are endeavouring to bring up the children in love and obedience to God.

The need for Annual Inspection of Religious Instruction in Board Schools corresponding to that made by the Diocesan Inspectors in Church Schools, in presence especially of the strong competition to which religious instruction is exposed by the restriction of the Government examination to secular subjects, has been recognised in evidence before us by the representatives of many important school boards; and we gather that a movement is extending itself for securing that an annual examination should be held with a view to test the efficiency of the scriptural instruction. In the case of such important school boards as those of Leeds, Liverpool, Salford, and Bristol, the witnesses who spoke for them informed us that an annual examination was already held in their schools in the subject of religious instruction prescribed by their respective boards, and was generally conducted by the board's inspectors. In London we learn from the chairman (Mr. Diggle) that the school board, not satisfied with the examination of representative scholars for the Peek prizes, have recently instructed their inspectors to examine throughout all the schools they visit in Scripture Knowledge; and we were informed that the report to the board on the state of Scripture Knowledge in any school would affect the future prospects of a teacher. It does not appear that the terms of section 76 of the Education Act of 1870, which limits the


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right to set apart two days in each year for a religious inspection to those schools which are not supported by rates, is found to prevent a similar inspection in board schools. We think that the same facilities for Inspection should be given by law to School Boards as are allowed under the Act of 1870 to the managers of Voluntary voluntary Schools.

The chief Regulations as to Religious Teaching contained in the Education Acts are to be found in the provisions which allow a parent to withdraw his child from instruction in religious subjects of which he disapproves, in voluntary and board schools alike, and in what is known as the Cowper-Temple clause, which prohibits the use of distinctive religious formularies in a rate-supported school.

It does not appear by what other means short of prohibiting all religious instruction in public elementary schools, - a proposal which will be dealt with presently - Parliament could have carried out its undoubted intention to ^dissociate the State from all connexion with distinctive religious teaching. We cannot, therefore, concur in the view that the State may be constructively regarded as endowing religious education when, under these conditions, it pay annual grants for secular instruction in aid of voluntary local effort to schools in which religious instruction forms part of the programme. The contention of those who regard the State and the Act of 1870 as constructively endowing religious education would exclude from the schools of England the religion of nature. But the 14th section of the Act, which forbids any denominational catechism or formulary to be taught in board schools, merely provides for perfect neutrality among Christian denominations. It does not exclude from public elementary schools instruction in the religion of nature, that is the existence of God, and of natural morality, which, apart from belief in the existence of God, cannot be intelligibly taught.

Before entering upon the examination of the effect of the conscience clause as embodied in section 7 of the Act of 1870 we wish to call attention to, and to correct, what seems to be a very prevalent misconception of its meaning. This misconception was, we believe, first shown to exist when objections were taken to the singing of the National Anthem during secular hours. It was more rationally and explicitly brought before us by the master of a Wesleyan school in the north, who said, "I sometimes feel sorry that my mouth is shut, except at certain hours, from giving the highest sanction I can think of to morality." He added, that if he met with a case during the secular hours which required attention, a case of lying, or any offence of that kind, he would be "precluded from bringing the sanctions of religion to bear", meaning "Christian, and not denominational sanctions". He said, "Of course I could tell the child that it was a crime against society and against social law, and I could show him the social mischief of lying, but I should not feel justified in appealing to Scripture." Another witness would apparently, during the hours of compulsory attendance at school (i.e., during the secular hours), forbid the name of God to be mentioned, because the children, even of wicked and immoral parents, would very often "believe religion to be too sacred a thing to be mixed up with ordinary task work". Now, without referring to the family education and training which such children are likely to receive, we agree with this witness, that " constantly to bring in "the name of the Deity would be a mistake in teaching in school". But we cannot for a moment admit that he either correctly understands the intentions of the framers of the Act of 1870, or puts a legitimate construction upon the wording of the Act. Mr. Forster advocated for our children "a good Christian training, a training, that is, of a Christian type" - he asserted it to be the opinion of the "enormous majority of the Country" that the "standard of right and wrong is based on religion"; and, when challenged to say whether "any child might rebel against his teacher whenever religious instruction was imparted during the ordinary course of teaching", he replied, "that he had carefully worded the conscience clause to prevent its having such an effect", declining to allow any alteration in that clause which would prevent the "possibility of any allusion to religious subjects during the ordinary hours of instruction". To have done so would, moreover, as stated by the secular teachers quoted by Mr. Mundella in the House of Commons, have excluded from our schools the works of the greatest English writers, and would have called for the invention of a new language and a new literature. We desire to point out that, under the seventh section of the Act of 1870, what a parent may claim for his child is exemption from "instruction in religious subjects". So under the Endowed Schools Act of 1869 (also passed by Mr. Forster) he may claim (section 15) exemption from "any lesson, or series of lessons, on a religious subject"; and the teacher is further forbidden "in the course of other lessons" to teach "systematically arid persistently any particular religious doctrine from the teaching of which exemption has been claimed."


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We proceed to consider the Working of the Conscience Clause. Our Returns may be held to show its operation throughout the whole Country, as the counties and districts to which our questions were sent are sufficiently numerous and Typical to enable us to argue fairly from them as to the country at large. The managers of Voluntary Schools in the under-mentioned counties report as follows:

And the teachers of all schools to which our circulars were addressed report as follows:

These figures apply, first, to the number of schools in which children are daily withdrawn by their parents from Religious Teaching, and secondly, to the same or other schools in which there being an annual Examination into the results of Religious Teaching the children are withdrawn from such examination by their parents; and they clearly prove that the Conscience Clause is practically operative all over the country in the most different classes and districts of the population.

We now come to consider how far the principle of the Conscience Clause has been loyally carried out by managers and teachers, a matter which has been referred to in our evidence. It is agreed that the number of children withdrawn by their parents from religious instruction is comparatively small. To what cause this is to be attributed has been the question in dispute before us. One class of witnesses tells us that parents, so long as education is religious, are not too nice as to the complexion which it assumes in the hands of the teacher; and that the absence of withdrawals from religious instruction indicates that the parents generally are fairly satisfied with the spirit in which religious instruction is given, even in schools carried on by denominations to which they do not belong. A different interpretation is put upon the same facts by witnesses representing some Nonconformist views. They believe that the fear of unpleasant consequences to children often induces parents to acquiesce in their receiving religious instruction to which they themselves conscientiously object. For the existence of any just grounds for this fear, however, we have failed to find proof. Cases have been cited before us by witnesses who had heard of them from others, and who were evidently convinced themselves, that undue pressure had been put upon certain children to induce them to conform to the religious teaching of the


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school. But no persons were produced before us, in answer to our challenge, willing to depose to any act of tyranny or intimidation exercised towards themselves or their children, to induce them to forego the right of withdrawal from the religious instruction of a school. Of this reluctance to give evidence the same explanation was offered to us as had been given for the absence of withdrawals from religious instruction, viz., that the persons aggrieved were afraid to make their complaints known. A single exception, indeed, occurred in the case of a working man, who complained that whereas he would have preferred that his children attending a London board school should have had no religious instruction at all, he had been induced to let them take part in it with the rest, rather than make martyrs of them. He contended that a child attending a voluntary school in Pimlico, and claiming the conscience clause, would be made a martyr of. The grievance, however, on which he founded his contention occurred in a board school in Chelsea, and not in a Pimlico voluntary school. It is possible indeed that among teachers the love of uniformity may perhaps now and then get the better of that tender consideration for the wishes of parents which we should desire to see cultivated to the uttermost. We welcome, therefore, the evidence laid before us which shows that, even where the children of Nonconformists are not withdrawn under the conscience clause, many teachers, when they have any means of distinguishing such children, are studiously careful, in giving the religious instruction of their own denomination, not to put to them questions which would require answers at variance with the fact or with the religious persuasion of their parents. But the absence of any substantiated case of complaint, and the general drift of the evidence, convinces us that the conscience clause is carefully observed both by teachers and managers. This is at least the view taken by those of Her Majesty's Inspectors who have appeared before us, to whom any complaint of its infringement would be known. We recognise, however, the importance of removing, if possible, such impressions from the minds of those who entertain any suspicion of unfair play or undue influence in the administration of the conscience clause. And any further precautions which might tend in that direction without compromising still higher interests are deserving of the most careful consideration. The suggestion was made to us with this view, that compulsory attendance at school should not extend to the hours of religious instruction. But Mr. Fitch, Her Majesty's Inspector, thinks this is inadmissible, since it would inflict an injury on school discipline out of all proportion to the object sought to be secured. "It would be used as a pretext", he said, "by a great many indifferent and careless parents for sending their children to school at 10 instead of 9 o'clock, and I should be sorry to see that interference with the ordinary discipline of school. It would be a very strong remedy, a large remedy for what I hope is comparatively a very small evil." It is not, in our judgment, to any alteration in the law, which after all must be carried out by the same persona whose faithful adherence to the spirit of the conscience clause has sometimes been called in question, that we must look for the redress of such grievances as may be suffered under the present system. It is rather to the spread of that spirit of tender consideration for the rights and consciences of others, of the prevalence of which we have happily received so much evidence.

But while we are most anxious that the Conscientious Objections of Parents to Religious Teaching and Observances in the case of their children should be most strictly respected, and that no child should, under any circumstances, receive any such training contrary to a parent's wishes, we feel bound to state that a parent's conscientious feeling may be equally injured, and should equally be respected and provided for, in the case where he is compelled by law to send his child for all his school time to a school where he can receive no religious teaching.

This grave injury to conscience may easily now arise in the case where a single Board or Voluntary school suffices for the whole school supply of a district, or where only one school is within a reasonable distance of a man's home. In that school, as we have seen is at this moment the case with a certain number of voluntary and board schools, the Bible may not be read or taught, and there may be no religious teaching. While careful and, we believe, ample securities are taken by law to provide for the case of a parent who objects to religious teaching for his child, no parent is able to claim for his child that instruction in the Bible, which is the basis of the Christianity of the nation. This grievance, we are of opinion, must be met.


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We think it right to call attention to the great care which has been taken both by Parliament and by the Education Department to prevent any breach in letter or spirit of the conscience clause. Under the Act of 1876 (sec. 7) special additional provisions were made to secure the efficacy of the conscience clause of Mr. Forster's Act of 1870, "It shall be the duty of such local authority (being a school board or school attendance committee) to report to the Education Department any infraction of the provisions of section 7 (conscience clause) of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, in any public elementary school within their district which may come to their knowledge, and also to forward to the Education Department any complaint which they may receive of the infraction of those provisions"; and we find that in the instructions issued to Her Majesty's inspectors in 1878,* which we have printed in our Appendix, special care was taken by the Department to secure that the conscience clause should be strictly observed. The directions given were as follows, and they remain in force:

"If any cases are brought before you, or come to your knowledge of an infraction of the 7th section of the Act of 1870, i.e., the time table conscience clause, you will not fail, acting in the spirit of the Act of 1876 (section 7), forthwith to communicate with their Lordships on the subject, and you will take special care to point out to school managers and teachers the importance of the strictest adherence, in letter and spirit, to the provisions of that conscience clause, and to remind them, where necessary, of the total forfeiture of grant which their Lordships would at once inflict should those provisions be persistently evaded or neglected. It should never be forgotten that a child withdrawn from the whole or part of the religious teaching or observances of a school, should in no way be subjected to disparaging treatment on account of his parent having thought fit to avail himself of his statutory right in this matter."

The views of those who would Remove from day elementary schools all Religious Teaching and Observance have received our attentive consideration. The Rev. C. Williams, Chairman of the Baptist Union, is personally in favour of the establishment of secular schools, and thinks that they are perfectly consistent with the religious education of the children of the Country, if the churches would do their duty, but he thinks that the majority in almost every district would be found opposed to a purely secular system. Mr. Snape, Governor of the Ministerial Training College of the United Methodist Free Churches, desires that in all State-aided schools the State should be responsible for secular instruction, and the Church should be responsible for the religious teaching. Rev. Dr. Bruce, a Congregationalist minister and Chairman of the School Management Committee of the Huddersfield School Board, said, "Our principle is this: that if you have a State system according to our Nonconformist views, it must in the main be either secular or unsectarian." The Rev. J. Atkinson, President of the Free Churches of the Primitive Methodist Society, would have no distinctive religious teaching, that is to say, no distinctive sectarian teaching; if religious teaching could be given without this, he would not object; but as he does not think this possible, he does not suppose that he would object perhaps to reading the Scriptures, but he sees difficulties in the way even of admitting that. Dr. Crosskey, of the Birmingham School Board, thinks it very undesirable, for the sake of religion, that religion should be taught in public elementary schools.

Those who hold this view in favour of purely Secular Schools did not shrink from urging before us, through the witnesses who represented them, that the State should take the extreme step of prohibiting religious instruction in public elementary schools. These witnesses, however, while affirming as a matter of principle the purely secular character of national public education, stated that they were willing to acquiesce in the compromise of 1870, by which, in board schools, unsectarian biblical teaching was left to the discretion of local representative authorities. Even those witnesses, however, who strenuously advocated the secularisation of public elementary education, most emphatically declared that they regarded religion as the true basis of education, and only contended for its exclusion from the day school in the belief that it could be provided in some other and better way.

In questions of this character, it is impossible to have negative provisions which have not also a positive side. Thus, for children to attend day schools in which no

*See Parliamentary Return, January 16, 1878, "Instructions issued by Lord Sandon (Lord Harrowby), Vice-President of Education Department," in Appendix.


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religious teaching was given, would, in the opinion of those who think that the daily lessons should be accompanied with religious teaching, be practically leading them to undervalue the importance of religion. They would hold that the impression left upon the children's minds would be that religion was a matter of inferior moment, at all events to that secular teaching which they were acquiring day by day.

In support of the contention that religious instruction should be excluded from the day school, it was further urged by Dr. Crosskey that it makes an undesirable tax on the teachers' energies. But, on the other hand, we have had brought before us trustworthy testimony, some of it from teachers themselves, that, as a body, they would consider it a great loss if they were debarred from giving Bible lessons to their scholars. Nor can that be matter of surprise if it be remembered that they would thereby be precluded from exercising their trained powers of oral teaching on a subject which they regard as one of the most interesting and profitable to their scholars. Moreover, the religious instruction given by teachers, we have been told by the Rev. J. Duncan, greatly increases the moral influence of the teacher. The moral character of teachers themselves. Archdeacon Norris, formerly Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools in various populous counties, thinks would suffer if they were forbidden to impart religious instruction. And, finally, against the attempt, on this or any other ground, to prohibit teachers from giving moral and religious instruction in their schools, Mr. Cumin, Secretary of the Committee of Council on Education, emphatically protests. He believes that many excellent teachers would absolutely refuse to be restricted in their teaching to secular subjects.

Dr. Crosskey advanced as an additional ground in favour of this restriction that religious instruction ought only to be given by religious people. But without denying that religious teaching is liable sometimes to fall into unfit hands, all such instruction is more or less liable to the same objection, and we see no ground for admitting the inference which seems to underlie this objection that elementary teachers as a class have no special fitness for the task for which, nevertheless, a very large proportion of them have been specially trained. Objection was also raised by the same witness to the Bible being used as a school book, lest it should thereby suffer in the estimation of the scholars, and it was urged that religion was dishonoured by being included in a programme consisting chiefly of secular subjects. But we have no evidence tending to show that these results actually occur, and it can hardly be supposed that if such were found to be practically the result, religious bodies and school boards would still continue to make such great efforts as we find they now do in order to maintain an efficient system of religious instruction in the schools for which they are responsible. On the other hand, we have positive evidence that children who have received religious teaching in the day school are better prepared to profit by Sunday school teaching, and to become themselves teachers in Sunday schools.

But were there more weight due than we have been able to attach to these and other like reasons for prohibiting elementary teachers from giving religious instruction in the day school, there are positive arguments of great value in favour of the principle of religious instruction being given by the teachers. We have spoken of the evidence tending to show that teachers, as a body, would strongly oppose its removal out of their hands. Even more to be considered, in our judgment, are the wishes of the Parents. A large body of witnesses, consisting among others of Her Majesty's Inspectors, teachers, and managers, speaking both for Board and Voluntary schools, deposed before us to the great value which the parents generally set on the Religious Instruction given to their children in the day school. Similar evidence is supplied by the answers to Question 8 in the Circulars A3 and D2. Out of 3,759 replies from voluntary managers, 3,438 state that parents desire religious training. Of 385 boards, 299 make the same statement, and out of 3,496 head teachers, 2,959 say parents desire religious training. To the question do the parents desire moral training? 3,486 managers, 303 school boards, 3,084 head teachers answer, Yes. If it be asked why, with this alleged preponderance of feeling in favour of a religious education among the most numerous section of the constituency, school boards are at times elected


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which do not give effect to these views, the reasons given by two members of the Birmingham School Board and by a member of the Bradford School Board seem sufficient to account for it, viz., that School Board Elections are frequently fought through Political Organisations. We are convinced that if the State were to secularise elementary education it would be in violation of the wishes of the parents, whose views in such a matter are, we think, entitled to the first consideration.

Many children would have no other opportunity of being taught the elementary doctrines of Christianity, as they do not attend Sunday schools, and their parents, in the opinion of a number of witnesses, are quite unable to teach them. The Rev. R. B. Surges, a clergyman of Birmingham, stated that a recent census of children attending Sunday schools in that town showed that there were 26,000 whose names were on the roll of some day school who attended no Sunday school. It is possible that some of these children may be taught religion elsewhere; it is probable that many of them would not be, in which case they would grow up without knowledge of God and His law.

But those who contemplate this change and advocate the exclusion of religious teaching from all Public Elementary Schools state that they look to supply the void thus created by other and, as they think, by better means. It is not asserted by them with much confidence that the duty of educating children religiously can be wholly left to their parents. Abundant evidence from all classes of witnesses is before us, tending to show that many parents are unable to undertake this branch of their children's education, even if they were willing, and that if it were left to them it would be omitted. Dr. Crosskey, of Birmingham, admits that in the case of the worst kind of parents (presumably those whose children stand most in need of such teaching), it would be hopeless to expect them to undertake the duty. But he relies on parents, if they know that it will not be given in the day school, being sufficiently anxious for the welfare of their children to secure their attendance on voluntary religious instruction if given at other times by religious bodies, a confidence, however, in which we do not share. At the same time he is ready to trust to the religious bodies to organise everywhere adequate machinery to give such instruction.

Two alternative plans have been laid before us by the limited number of witnesses who have proposed to remove religious instruction from the recognised programme of school teaching. The plan of religious teaching which they appear to favour most is simply to leave the matter to the zeal of the various denominations acting through Sunday schools and other voluntary agencies. The other proposal is to organise a system of religious instruction on the school premises, to be given daily by volunteers, either before or after school hours. Both proposals, it will be seen, rest on the assumption that the children now compelled by law to attend the school for a certain number of hours daily would be induced by persuasion voluntarily to attend at other times for the sake of this supplementary instruction. Dr. Crosskey, the chief advocate of these views, was closely pressed as to the probability of this assumption being realised, but he failed to satisfy us that there was reasonable ground for believing that out of school hours the voluntary attendance of children could be counted on to receive the religious teaching which is on all hands admitted to be necessary for them. This scheme is beset by a further difficulty, that of providing a staff of volunteers able and willing to maintain discipline and give efficient instruction during these week-day hours proposed to be set apart for religious teaching. Here again the evidence adduced failed in our opinion to show from what sources such a body of teachers was to be drawn and kept continuously at work. We concur with those witnesses who gave it as their opinion that without the ordinary school staff it would be impossible to give efficient religious instruction on any large scale to large bodies of children. The clerk of the school board of Liverpool expressed his conviction that the ministers of all denominations would be quite inadequate to deal with the instruction of that vast and growing population, and that to forbid religious instruction during the regular hours of school would be most disastrous.

It must be borne in mind that a somewhat similar experiment on a larger scale was tried at Birmingham by the Religious Education Society, at a time when a wholly secular system prevailed in the schools under that board, and that it failed, though


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the causes of that failure are still in dispute. But, after hearing all that could be said for it, we cannot recommend the plan thus suggested of religious instruction to be given by voluntary teachers on the school premises out of school hours, for the success of which even those most anxious to try the experiment will not be answerable. It would, in our opinion, be no efficient substitute for the existing system of utilising the school staff and the hours of school attendance for this purpose, a system which has taken deep root in the country, and appears to give general satisfaction to the parents.

But failing the acceptance of the above plan, the advocates for secularising elementary schools fall back on the alternative of Sunday school instruction and of such other efforts which religious bodies, they believe, will be roused to make to meet the demand, if it be created by excluding religious instruction from the day school. Evidence, however, has been laid before us showing that, at least in large towns, many day scholars are not in regular attendance at any Sunday school, and among the absentees a large proportion will naturally belong to the neglected classes. On these it is especially desirable that religious influences should be brought to bear, and yet, if no other provision be made for their religious instruction during the week, they will practically go without it. In support of this branch of his scheme. Dr. Crosskey could only express his belief that 75 per cent of the children in Birmingham board schools attended some Sunday school, leaving one quarter of the whole unprovided with religious instruction from this source.^ According to the evidence of another member of that board, four years ago there were as many as 25,000 day scholars in Birmingham alone not attending Sunday school, though many of these may have been infants too young to attend. It is less necessary to enter on any comparison between the efficiency of the instruction given at the day and Sunday school respectively, for in our judgment this proposal would fail equally with the other to secure that those children who now under compulsion attend the day school, and who, as the law stands, may daily receive religious instruction from their teachers in school hours, would attend in anything like the same numbers or with the same regularity at purely voluntary classes, whether held on Sunday or week day.

The vast importance of religious instruction and training for children being generally admitted in principle by our witnesses of all views, though they differ widely as to the means by which it should be given, we think it right to point out, in greater detail, what must be the results to certain classes of those who frequent our elementary schools of a purely secular system of education such as that which prevails at the present time in the comparatively few cases where either voluntary or board schools shut out all religious teaching, if it was to be adopted hereafter in the day schools as some of our witnesses desire. We give two typical cases of large classes of our population: the first case (and no unfrequent one) is where both parents, being poor, are engrossed from morning to night by daily work, and having had themselves but little instruction, and not possessing a very strong sense of religion, are neither physically nor morally able to give their children religious teaching out of school hours or on Sunday; they are anxious, as our evidence tells is often found to be the case with such parents, that their children should be religiously educated; the only day school near them is by the hypothesis Secular; there is no Sunday school, or it belongs to a Church they dislike, or it only supplies room for a small portion of the children of the district, so their children must grow up, against the parents' wishes, with no religious instruction. Worse still is the plight of the second case we will describe: that of the children of the dissolute, criminal, drunken, or grossly negligent parent; they have still less chance of hearing of religion at home. Even if there be room in the Sunday school, and their parents allow them to attend it, their very condition will make their admittance difficult. Our Education Law has closed to a great extent the Ragged Schools, which would have sought them out and given them the most suitable religious teaching. Their only opportunity, therefore, except in special cases, of having a knowledge of God and of Christianity would be in the day school, where the State obliges them to spend all their school life; but from this a Secular System, if adopted, or a Secular school board in the cases where it now exists amongst us, shuts out the Bible, Prayer, Hymns, and all Religious Training. Therefore these children also must in all probability grow up knowing nothing of religion. These two Typical cases represent vast numbers, especially in our large cities, and all oar evidence has gone to show that the present staff of ministers of all churches and denominations, as well as the many various existing religious associations and


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societies, are much too few in number, in proportion to the population, to supply the religious training for these children. For the mass, therefore, of the children above described, we must put on record our opinion that if they do not receive Religious Instruction and Training from the teachers in the Public Elementary Schools they will receive none, and that this is a matter of the gravest concern to the State.

Of the Moral Training at present given in Public Elementary Schools, we may here record that of those who have observed this training in action, one witness before us spoke of the moral influence exercised in schools as being enormous. Canon Warburton, though he thinks the tendency of the Act of 1870 was to diminish the attention given to Moral Training, yet expressed himself as much struck with the usefulness of the moral lessons given in board schools. Several of the inspectors attribute this influence almost more to the personal character and example of the teacher than to any direct moral teaching. And though Mr. Stewart spoke of the moral tone in large town schools as deteriorated, in smaller schools, and especially in those in the country, he saw no such falling off. As regards the returns we have received to question 8 in Circulars A3, D2, "Do parents desire moral training?" 93 per cent of voluntary managers, 79 per cent of school boards, 98 per cent of teachers answer, Yes.

We have already commented on a misconception of the seventh section of the Act of 1870 in its bearing on Religion. It is yet more difficult to understand the strange misconstruction which has been sometimes put upon it in respect of Moral Training, However unacceptable the conscience clause may be to many earnest friends of education, it cannot be held to have placed the moral instruction of our schools on a level with that of the primary municipal schools of Paris, in which, as Mr. Cunynghame, in his evidence, tells us, "not only is no word of religion taught, but the very name of God is in strictness forbidden to be uttered", with the result, as he was assured by all the schoolmistresses, that "by far the greater number of the poor children in Paris receive no religious instruction whatever", either at school or at home; while the master of one of the schools, himself a professed materialist, told him that "in ten years he believed that few of the boys in the school would even know the name of Christ otherwise than as a matter of history, and that he himself even viewed with apprehension the consequences of such a change, for, although a materialist, he felt by no means certain that materialism would be capable of supplying the wants of a nation." In the Circular D, which was sent to the head teachers of all Public Elementary Schools in West Riding of Yorkshire, Chelsea, Greenwich, Southwark, Bedfordshire, the Unions of Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydvil (Glamorganshire), Sussex, Wilts, Merionethshire, Birkenhead, West Ham, Warwickshire, in which the question was asked whether they were satisfied with the encouragement given by the State to moral training. This question was answered by 2,111 teachers, 60 per cent, in the affirmative, and by 1,139, 33 per cent, in the negative, some of them expressing the opinion that the State gave no encouragement to such training. A similar question addressed to the managers of voluntary schools in Berks, Devonshire, Dorset, Durham, Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and Staffordshire was answered by 1,611, 46 per cent, in the affirmative, and by 1,723, 48 per cent, in the negative, and by school boards in the same counties by 245, 64 per cent, in the affirmative, and by 86, 22 per cent, in the negative.

As to the Moral Training given in the schools, the opportunities permitted to Her Majesty's inspectors of inquiring into the efficiency of Moral Training have been under the existing arrangements necessarily limited. But under the head of discipline they are required, as we have explained more fully elsewhere, by a paragraph in the Code to ascertain that reasonable care is taken by the managers and teachers to bring up the children in habits of punctuality, of good manners and language, of cleanliness and neatness, and also to impress upon the children the importance of cheerful obedience to duty, of consideration and respect for others, of honour and truthfulness in word and act.|| The fortunes of this justly valued clause have been various as we have before explained; and we have made inquiry from many witnesses as to the steps taken by inspectors to carry out the duties thus laid upon them; and we do not find that they are in the habit of doing more than observe and record any indications of the moral tone of the school that may present themselves during their examina-

||Art, 109 (6), first introduced in 1876.


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tion, which must necessarily be but an imperfect test of the pains taken at other times with the moral training. We agree with Mr. Sharpe, that it would make a material difference in the working of schools if this clause were abolished, since it serves to remind those who conduct schools of the importance attached by the State to that Moral Instruction and Training which cannot be effectively gauged by examination, and might otherwise be neglected for branches of teaching which affects the grant. The opportunity given by visits without notice, is utilised by many inspectors, though less frequently than is desirable, for the purpose of assuring themselves that the Moral Tone of the schools so far as it is reflected in habits of personal cleanliness, propriety of language, and a decent use of the school premises, is satisfactory. The article, therefore, is not to be regarded as a dead letter.

We are strongly of opinion that much greater support should be given by the State to the Moral element of Training in our schools, almost the only reference to such matters, as far as the State is concerned, being that under the head of Discipline in the Code to which we have already alluded, and which, being only introduced in 1876, has already, as we have shown, been once withdrawn by the Department in 1882, and may be removed in any year. We recommend, therefore, that general fundamental and fixed instructions should be laid down as to moral training, making it an essential condition of the efficiency of a public elementary school, that it should be held to comprise such matters as instruction in duty and reverence to parents, honour and truthfulness in word and act, honesty, purity, temperance, consideration and respect for others, obedience, cleanliness, good maimers, duty to country, the discouragement of bad language, and the like.

And as we have found with regret that in recent years this branch of the inspector's duty has not received the attention it deserved, we therefore think it necessary to make it a distinct recommendation that it should be considered the first duty of Her Majesty's inspectors to inquire into and report upon the Moral Training and condition of the schools under the various heads set forth above, and to impress upon the managers, teachers, and children the primary importance of this essential element of all education.

We append to this chapter the replies (sent through the Foreign Office and the Colonial Office) to our circular of inquiries as to the systems of education now in force in the leading Countries of Europe, in our principal Colonies, and in the United States of America, as regards Religious and Moral training in elementary schools.

After hearing the arguments for a wholly secular education, we have come to the following conclusions: (1) That it is of the highest importance that all children should receive religious and moral training;

(2) That the evidence does not warrant the conclusion that such religious and moral training can be amply provided otherwise than through the medium of elementary schools;

(3) That in schools of a denominational character to which parents are compelled to send their children the parents have a right to require an operative conscience clause, so that care be taken that the children shall not suffer in any way in consequence of their taking advantage of the conscience clause.

(4) That inasmuch as parents are compelled to send their children to school, it is just and desirable that, as far as possible, they should be enabled to send them to a school suitable to their religious convictions or preferences.

(5) We are also of opinion that it is of the highest importance that the teachers who are charged with the moral training of the scholars should continue to take part in the religious instruction. We should regard any separation of the teacher from the religious teaching of the school as injurious to the morals and secular training of the scholars.


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EXTRACTS from the Foreign Returns made to the Commission, showing what is done in Elementary Schools in the matter of Religious Instruction and Moral Training in some of the leading Countries of Europe, and in certain British Colonies and States of America. Drawn up by the Rev. T. D. C. Morse, LL.D.

[Note In the original, the following section (to the end of page 132) was printed in small type, two columns to a page.]

QUESTION 16 - Do the schools of the State give religious as well as secular instruction? and, if so, of what nature? By whom is it given?

QUESTION 17. - If not, are the schoolhouses used out of school hours for religious instruction?

QUESTION 18. - Is any provision made for the moral training of the children in the schools by the ordinary teachers in the ordinary school hour? If so, state what means are taken to secure it?

QUESTION 19. - Is the religious instruction obligatory on all the scholars? If not, what provision is made for the religious instruction of the minority?

QUESTION 20. - Are the teachers in the schools exclusively lay?

AUSTRIA:

16. They do, and the religious instruction is under the supervision of the church authorities of the various confessions. In places where no clergyman is available to give regular religious instruction, the secular teacher can be charged (with the consent of the church authority) with the instruction in religion of the scholars of his own creed according to the directions of the school inspector. If any church or religious body fails to provide for the instruction of its members the provincial school authority takes whatever steps are necessary.

17. -

18. The primary schools provide ''moral and religious", as well as secular, instruction.

19. Yes. As to the religious instruction of the minority, its own church authorities must provide for it. The parents must also secure domestic religious instruction.

20. Any Austrian subject may become teacher, consequently non-laymen are not excluded.

BAVARIA:

16. Religious education forms part of the curriculum, and is given by the parish priest.

17. No.

18. Yes, the teachers are bound to look after the moral training as well as the education of pupils, and the teachers must support the parents in the bringing up of their children.

19. Yes.

20. As a general rule all are lay. Exception: Convent schools. Small parishes, where the parish priest is also teacher.

BELGIUM:

16. The communes can inscribe religious and moral instruction at the head of the curriculum of all, or of some, of their elementary schools. This instruction is given at the commencement or at the end of the school hours; children at the request of their parents are exempted from attending such instruction. In many schools the (Catholic) catechism is taught, and sacred history. Generally speaking the teachers give the instruction in religion under the control of the clergy.

17. No.

18. Generally speaking moral training is united to the religious teaching. At the same time in various subjects, such as reading, mother-tongue, history, the teacher does not lose sight of moral education, nor does he do so during the play hours.

19. Religious instruction is not obligatory; the following guarantees are provided by the law for the rights of the minority:

(a) In the case of a commune in which 20 heads of families having children of school age ask that their children should be exempted from assisting at religious instruction, the King can, at the request of the parents, oblige such commune to organise for the use of these children one or more special classes.
(b) If in spite of the request of 20 heads of families having children of school age, the commune refuse to inscribe the teaching of their religion in the school curriculum, or hinder such instruction being given by the ministers of their religion, or by persons approved of by these latter, the Government can, at the request of the parents, adopt one or more private schools, as may be requisite, provided they meet the conditions prescribed for adoption by the commune.
20. The law and the regulations make no difference between laymen and the members of religious orders. In the communal schools the vast majority of the male and female teachers are lay; in the adopted schools there are a great number of monks and nuns. FRANCE:

16. No religious instruction is given in the public schools; but Thursday must be a whole holiday in order to enable parents to have their children taught in the religion to which they belong, outside of the precincts of the school. During the week preceding their confirmation (1st communion) the teacher will allow children to be absent from school, even during regular school hours, in order to enable them to perform their religious duties and attend church, if necessary (decree of July 18, 1882, Art. 5).

17. No.

16. Yes. Art. 1 of the law of March 28, 1882, declares moral and civic instruction as a part of the regular curriculum of compulsory subjects to be taught by the ordinary teachers in the ordinary school hours. Special directions with regard to the way of teaching these subjects are included in the "Programmes de I'enseignement des écoles primaires". Annexe F. des Règlements organiques, p. 369.

19. See answer to question 16.

20. Yes, in principle. (Loi du 30 Octôbre, 1886. Arts. 17 and 18.) There are still some teachers in the public schools (of both sexes) belonging to religious corporations, but after five years from date of above-mentioned law none but lay teachers are to be employed in boys' schools; as to girls' schools, no limit has been fixed as yet.

MORAL DUTIES

The programme of instruction in moral duties prescribed for use in the French elementary schools is a very remarkable one. The following is a translation of its principal portions. (See Règlements Organiques, pages 362-3, 1887):

OBJECT OF THE INSTRUCTION

Masters and mistresses shall teach the children during the whole duration of their school life their duties towards their family, their country, their fellow creatures, towards themselves, and towards God. (Rapport par M. Paul Janet, page 293.)

METHOD OF THE INSTRUCTION

The method shall be simple and familiar. Morality shall be combined with every part of their instruction; with the games and recreations of children, and their whole conduct. The aim should be at one and the same time to form the mind, the heart, and the character.

DIVISION OF THE CLASSES

Infant Department, from 5 to 7 years

1. Very simple conversations interspersed in all the work of the class and during recreation.

2. Short pieces of poetry explained and learnt by heart. Moral tales related to the class, followed by questions adapted to bring out their meaning, and to ascertain whether they have been understood by the children. Short songs.


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3. Special attention by the mistress to children in whom she has observed any signs of vice or other faults.

Elementary Classes, from 7 to 9 years of age

1. Familiar conversations. Readings with explanations (narratives, examples, precepts, parables, and fables). Appeals to the heart.

2. Practical exorcises tending to set moral principles in action among the class -

1. By observation of individual character, noting the tendencies of the children in order gently to correct their failings, or bring out their good qualities.
2. By the intelligent application of school discipline as a means of education, distinguishing carefully the failure in duty from the simple infraction of a regulation, pointing out the relation between faults and punishment, &c., &c.
3. By an incessant appeal to the child's own moral sense, making children frequently judge of their own conduct, leaving them free to speak and to act with the certainty that they will soon find out for themselves the consequences of their own faults and errors.

4. By the correction of gross vulgar notions, popular superstitions, belief in wizards, ghosts, or in the influence of certain numbers.

6. By deducing from the facts observed by the children themselves the consequences of the vices of which at times they have the example before their eyes.

Intermediate Classes, from 9 to 11

1. The child in the family. - Duties towards parents and grandparents. Obedience, respect, love, gratitude. To help his parents in their labour, to comfort them in their sickness, to succour them in their old age.

2. Duties of brothers and sisters. - To love one another. Protection due from the elder to the younger - effect of example.

3. Duties towards servants. - To treat them with courtesy and kindness.

2. The child at school. - Diligence, docility, work, decorum. Duties towards his teacher and towards his schoolfellows.

3. Country. - France, its greatness and its misfortunes. Duties towards country and towards society.

Duties which the child owes to himself as to the body. Cleanliness, soberness, danger of drunkenness, gymnastics.

Outward goods. Economy, avoidance of debt, baneful effects of the passion of gambling, not to be overfond of money, prodigality, avarice.

Labour: obligatory on all men. Nobility of manual labour.

The mind. Truthfulness and sincerity, avoidance of falsehood, personal dignity, and self-respect. Modesty; not to be blind to one's own faults. Avoidance of pride, vanity, coquetry, frivolity; to be ashamed of ignorance and idleness. Courage in danger and in misfortune; patience, readiness, and promptitude. Dangers of anger.

Kindness to animals: not to cause them suffering for no purpose.

Duties which he owes to other men. Justice and charity; to do to others what you would wish them to do to you; to do no injury either to the life, the person, the goods, or the reputation of another. Kindness, fraternity. Tolerance. Respect for the belief of others. - Throughout this course of teaching the teacher shall take as a starting point the existence of conscience, of the moral law, and of the principle of obligation. He is to appeal to the sentiment and to the idea of duty, to the sentiment and to the idea of responsibility; he is to make no attempt to demonstrate their existence by speculative reasoning.

Duties towards God. - The teacher is not called upon to deliver a course of academical lectures upon the nature and attributes of God. The teaching he has to give to all, without distinction, is limited to two points:

First he teaches his scholars not to pronounce the name of God lightly. He is strictly to associate in their minds with the idea of the First Cause, and of the perfect Being, a sentiment of respect and veneration; and in the next place he shall aim at making the child understand that the chief homage which he owes to the Deity is obedience to His laws as they are revealed to him by conscience and by reason.

Higher Classes, from 11 to 13 years of age

Conversations, readings, practical exercises as in the foregoing classes. This higher course embraces, in addition, in a regular series of lessons, the number and order of which may vary, elementary instruction in morality generally, and more especially of social morality, in accordance with the following programme:

1. The family. - Duties of parents and children; reciprocal duties of masters and servants; family spirit.

2. Society.- Necessity and advantages of society; justice, a condition of every society; mutual dependence and relationships; fraternity amongst men.

Application and developments of the idea of justice; respect for human life and liberty; respect for property, for one's word, and one's own honour, and also for the reputation of others. Probity, equity, loyalty, delicacy; respect for the opinions and belief of others.

Application and developments of the idea of charity or fraternity; its different degrees. Duties of benevolence, of gratitude, of toleration, clemency, &c. Self-surrender, the highest form of charity; show that it may find some place in everyday life.

3. Country. - What we owe to our country - obedience to its laws, military service, discipline, self-surrender, military fidelity. Taxes - condemnation of every kind of fraud upon the State. Of the vote; it is a moral obligation; it ought to be free, conscientious, disinterested, enlightened. Rights which correspond with these duties - individual liberty, freedom of conscience, of labour, of association. Guarantee for the security of the life and property of all. Sovereignty of the nation. Explanation of the republican device - liberty, equality, fraternity.

In each of these chapters on social morality, the attention of the scholar shall be called, without entering into metaphysical discussions, to -

1. The difference between duty and interest, even when they seem to be blended together; that is to say, the imperative and disinterested character of duty.

2. The distinction between the written law and the moral law, the first fixes a maximum of requirements which society imposes upon all its members under fear of certain prescribed punishments; the second imposes upon every man in the secret of his own conscience, a duty which no outward authority constrains him to fulfil, but which he cannot omit without feeling himself culpable towards himself and towards God.

HOLLAND:

16. No. As regards this subject, see Arts. 22 and 33 of the law.

17. For that object, in the year 1885, in 298 communes, 620 school premises were used by teachers of religion.

18. The answer to this question is contained in Arts. 22 and 33 of the law.

19. No.

20. Yes, that is to say, they must not wear the distinctive garb of their order; but ecclesiastics are not excluded, as they are in France, for example.

HUNGARY:

16.Yes, according to the denomination, the members of the latter providing for it.

17. It forms part of the regular curriculum, combined with religious instruction; both being given during school hours, but separately, according to religious persuasion.

18. Yes.

19. Not those who instruct in religion.

20. Practically not.

ITALY:

16. Religious instruction is only given in cases where it is specially requested, and then out of school hours.

17. -

18. One of the courses of instruction is that of "rights and duties", and in this the teachers are chiefly taken up with moral education, although moral education is not forgotten


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in other branches, as especially those of language and history.

19. It is obligatory for no one beyond the limits of the Catechism and Holy Scripture (see answer to Question No. 16).

20. Of 40,000 teachers only 4,000 belong to the regular or secular clergy. The remainder are all laymen.

PRUSSIA:

16. In all elementary schools the religious instruction is compulsory as well as the other branches of instruction. The religious instruction is given according to the ss. 14-21 of the "General Disposition" (vide above) by the teacher, exceptionally by clergymen, and by special teachers of religion.

17. The schoolhouses are sometimes used out of school hours for religious instruction, but that is of no consequence at all, nor is it in an interior connexion with the elementary schools.

18. Here we can only point out that the Prussian elementary school, in principle, not only aims at instruction, but as much also at the moral training of the children. The plan and the practice of instruction are regulated from this point of view. The ordinary teachers take care of the moral training of the children at all hours.

19. Yes. Also for the religions instruction of the minority provisions are made, partially at the expense of the State; for this purpose means are regularly granted by the Government.

20. Yes.

SAXONY:

16. Religious is given. In Protestant schools by the master; in Catholic schools by priest.

17. -

18. Falls under "religious" instruction as "theory of morals and duty."

19. Yes. But a minority of Catholic scholars would be taught by a local Catholic priest if such is available.

20. Protestants. Yes.

BERNE:

16. Yes. The religious instruction is given by the teacher or by a minister of religion; but in the Catholic schools the Protestant children, and in the Protestant schools the Catholics, are exempted from attendance. There are also exceptions for the Jews.

17. By permission of the school board the buildings may be used out of school hours for religions instruction or other purposes.

18. By the School Law of 1870 the ordinary teachers are bound to provide for the moral training of the children by all ordinary means.

19. See No. 16. It is left to the parents.

20. No; but persons belonging to "religious orders" are excluded.

GENEVA:

16. No.

17. No.

18. They are brought up to believe in republicanism as the only true form of government; other moral training is left to the parents.

19. There is no religious instruction in the schools. The State gives a certain sum yearly to the corporation of "Pasteurs" called the "Consistoire", who give religious instruction to children sent them by their parents. The sum given by the State is 6,000f. (£240.)

20. Yes.

NEUCHÂTEL:

16. No.

17. Yes. Vide Art. 20, "Loi sur l'Instruction Publique Primaire".

18. There is no special moral training, but the teachers are supposed, in their lessons of history and civic instruction, to form the child's moral character (verbatim).

19. No. It is left entirely to the discretion of the parents.

20. Yes.

TESSIN:

16. Religious instruction is not compulsory. However, in all the schools of the canton the priest of the parish teaches the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church in the ordinary school hours.

17. -

18. There is no special moral training, it being comprised in the religious instruction.

19. (See 16.)

20. The majority, i.e., 486 out of 495 are lay; 9 are clerical, or sisters.

VAUD:

16. Yes. From a historical point of view. By the teacher who gives secular instruction.

17. -

18. Yes.

19. I cannot get satisfactory details.

20. No (Art. 20 of law).* Only if the parents are willing.

ZURICH:

16. Yes. State religion (Reformed Church). By the schoolmaster or clergyman of the parish (State Church).

17. -

18. Yes, by stimulating their moral feelings, the teachers reading and explaining moral tales to the children, more especially during the lessons of German and history.

19. No, but attendance nearly general. No provision; this is left to the discretion of parents or guardians.

20. Yes.

WURTEMBERG:

16. Yes; the third part of the whole school time is devoted to religious instruction, that consists in learning by heart religious matters, in reading the Bible with a view of requiring knowledge of the sacred history and of the foundation of the doctrines of the church. The greater part of the religious instruction is given by the teacher, the clergyman teaching the confessional doctrines chiefly.

17. No.

18. No special provision is made. All the branches of the curriculum, not only those dealing with religious instruction, must keep in view the moral training of the children. Twice a week the Protestant children must attend public divine service; once a week they are catechised by the clergyman. The Catholic children attend mass before going to school every morning.

19. No; the minority may take part in the religious instruction of the majority; but if the parents prefer that their children should not do so, they may be excused and seek their religious instruction elsewhere. For confessional schools, see No. 13.

20. In the Protestant schools there are only lay teachers, either male or female; in the catholic schools female teachers of certain religious orders may be admitted.

NORWAY:

16. They do. The evangelic Lutheran religion. With regard to the extent of the instruction, there is no statutory provision for the elementary schools; but, on the other hand, for the grammar schools there is (Law, 1869, section 14, No. 1). The instruction is given by the teachers of the schools.

17. Falls to the ground.

18. In that respect no special provision has been made, except what has been stated as the object of the school (Law, 1860, section 1; Law, 1848, section 1; and Law, 1869, section 2).

19. It is, except for the children of Dissenters.

(See No. 5, lit. d.)

20. They are.

*This reference is incorrect.


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SWEDEN:

16. They do; but the children of parents who confess a foreign faith may be exempted from religions instruction. They are instructed by the teachers of the schools, under the inspection of the clergy, in Bible history, and the shorter catechism by Luther, with short explanations.

17. -

18. According to the school law it is the duty of the teachers carefully to watch over the morals and conduct of their pupils, not only during the lessons, but also out of school hours.

19. It is, with the exception mentioned at question 16.

20. They are, with the exception only of about 30 in the whole kingdom.

BRITISH COLUMBIA:

16. No.

17. In some cases.

18. The highest morality shall be inculcated, but no religious dogma or creed shall be taught. The Lord's Prayer may be used in opening and closing school upon the permission of the board of trustees.

19. -

20. Yes.

NEW ZEALAND:

16. No.

17. They may be so used by permission of the school committee in each case.

18. The only provision and the only security lie in the care with which teachers are selected.

19. There is none.

20. Very few teachers are clergymen, but orders are not a bar to appointment.

NOVA SCOTIA:

16. Schools strictly confined to secular instruction.

17. Trustees may legally grant such use, but the power is practically never called into exercise.

18. Every teacher is by law required to instil in the pupils' minds the fundamental principles of morality. This, however, is done incidentally, and not by formal teaching.

19. Religious instruction is relegated to the family, the Sunday school, and the various churches.

20. Clergymen and members of religious orders can (and in very small number) teach in the public schools, but only as holders of valid provincial licenses.

QUEBEC:

16. Yes. In the Roman Catholic schools the catechism of that church is taught as a regular school subject. In Protestant schools scripture history and the Gospels are taught, and the schools are opened with Bible reading and prayer. The religious instruction is given by the regular teachers.

17. No.

18. Teachers are required to give lessons upon the subject of good morals as a regular part of the course of study.

19. The great majority of the schools of the Province are distinctly Roman Catholic or Protestant. In the case of mixed schools religious instruction is given in accordance with the views of the majority, and the minority are exempt from attendance at that hour.

20. No.

ONTARIO: 16. The law provides that pupils shall be allowed to receive such religious instructions as their parents or guardians desire, according to any general regulations provided for the organisation, government, and discipline of public schools.*

17. -

18. The following are the departmental regulations on this subject:

Moral and Religious Instruction. - No course of moral instruction is prescribed. The teacher is expected, however, by his personal example, as well as by the exercise of his authority and by instruction, to imbue every pupil with respect for those moral obligations which underlie a well-formed character. Respect for those in authority, and for the aged, courtesy, true manliness, reverence, truthfulness, honesty, &c. can best be inculcated as the occasion arises for referring to them. The religious exercises of the school should be conducted without haste and with the utmost reverence and decorum.

19. The law enacts that no person shall require any pupil in any public school to read or study in or from any religious book, or to join any exercise of devotion or religion objected to by his pr her parents or guardians.

20. Yes; but not necessarily so.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND:

16. Only secular.

17. No.

18. No special provision.

19. No provision is made for religious instruction.

20. Yes.

MANITOBA:

16. Schools under the management of the Protestant section of the Board of Education are required to have Bible reading daily, and are opened and closed with prayer; the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer are also taught, but there is no denominational religious teaching. Schools under the management of the Catholic section of the board have a full system of religious teaching by the teachers under direction of the church authorities.

17. No; except that in rural school districts school-houses are frequently used on Sunday for church and Sunday school purposes.

18. Moral teaching is prescribed as a subject of instruction by oral lessons in Protestant schools, and is included in the religious instruction given in Catholic schools. The means taken to secure it are (1) in strict requirements as to character from persons applying for a licence to teach, and (2) by efficient inspection.

19. All primary schools in the province being Protestant and Catholic, the requirements stated in Question 16 are found practicable and do not require the provision of special rules for a minority.

20. In the Protestant schools, yes; in the Catholic, no.

QUEENSLAND:

16. No.

17. "Applications from ministers of religion or other persons desirous of giving religious instruction to the children in the school buildings out of school hours must be made to the minister," and are favourably entertained by him. This permission is not very generally availed of.

18. No special provision is made for the moral training of children in the schools by the ordinary teachers in the ordinary school hours; but the moral training of the children is regarded as part of the ordinary duties of every teacher.

19. No religious instruction is obligatory on any scholar.

20. "Ministers of religion and persons acting as local preachers or Bible readers cannot hold appointments as teachers."

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

16. No.

17. Very seldom.

18. The relations require every teacher to "train his pupils in habits of cleanliness, industry, punctuality, obedience, truthfulness, honesty, and consideration for others."

*It appears that religious exercises are a part of the ordinary routine of the school.


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19. Special moral lessons are given weekly.

20. In the Government schools they are so; but not in private establishments.

TASMANIA:

16. Ministers of religion are allowed to instruct children of their several denominations during stated periods, half-an-hour in morning and half-an-hour in afternoon.

17. School houses may, with the permission of the board of advice, be used for Sunday school teaching.

18. Bible history is taught, and the readers in use inculcate morality.

19. Children are not obliged to attend while ministers of religion of other denominations than their own are engaged in teaching. The system in vogue does not provide for dogmatic teaching of any; it is secular.

20. Yes.

THE STATE OF COLORADO, U.S.A.:

16. No. No sectarian tenets or doctrines are allowed to be ever taught in public schools.

17. The use of school houses out of school hours for any other purpose rests with the Board of Directors and the voters.

18. No. All publications of an immoral or pernicious tendency are by law excluded. Instruction in hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic stimulants and narcotics upon the human body, is included by statute law of 1887 in the branches of study in all public schools.

19. No. None.

20. Yes.

CONNECTICUT, U.S.A.

16. No.

17. No.

18. No provision made by law.

19. No.

20. No. There is occasionally a clergyman; the hiring is in the hands of local committees.

STATE OF ILLINOIS, U.S.A.:

16. No. Any appropriation or grant of any school fund whatever in aid of any church or sectarian purpose is prohibited under penalty of double the amount and imprisonment of not less than one month or more than 12 months in county jail.

17. The board of directors have power to grant the use of school buildings, when not occupied by schools, for religious meetings and Sunday schools, for evening schools and for literary societies, or for such other purposes as they may deem proper.

18. None mentioned.

19. No.

20. Yes.

STATE OF IOWA, U.S.A.:

16. No.

17. They can be if so voted by the electors of the school district.

18. None stated. Teachers can report children of vicious or immoral habits for the purpose of their removal to institutions specially adopted for that purpose both for boys and girls.

19. No. None

20. Yes.

STATE OF KANSAS, U.S.A.:

16. No.

17. The district boards are authorised to open the school-houses for the use of religious, political, literary, scientific, mechanical, or agricultural societies of the district under such regulations as the school board may adopt.

18. None mentioned. Provision must be made by law for instruction in all public schools in the elements of hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic stimulants and narcotics upon the human system.

19. No sectarian or religious doctrine is allowed to be taught or inculcated in any public school; but nothing in the law is to be construed to prohibit the reading of the Holy Scriptures without note or comment.

20. Yes.

STATE OF MINNESOTA, U.S.A.:

16. No.

17. -

18. None specified. Except that instruction in hygiene with special reference to the effects of stimulants and alcohol upon the human system is compulsory.

19. No.

None.

20. Yes.

STATE OF MISSOURI, U.S.A.:

16. No religious instruction.

17. The care and keeping of the schoolhouse is left to the board of directors, but there is nothing to prevent the use of any schoolhouse for religious or other purpose when demanded by majority of voters.

18. Any student can be suspended or expelled by the faculty for contumacy, insubordination, or immoral conduct, and the decision of the board of directors is final.

19. Neither the general assembly of the State, nor any county, city, town, township, school district, or other municipal corporation can ever make an appropriation, or pay from any public fund whatever, anything in aid of any religious creed, church, or sectarian purpose.

20. Yes.

STATE OF NEBRASKA, U.S.A.:

16. No.

17. No information.

18. No.

19. No.

20. Yes.

TERRITORY OF MONTANA, U.S.A.:

16. No.

All sectarian publications are prohibited, and if any sectarian or denominational doctrine be taught, the school forfeits right to any portion of county school moneys.

17. -

18. Instruction is given during the entire school course in manners, morals, and the laws of health; and, according to territorial law, it is the duty of all teachers to impress on pupils the principles of morality, truth, justice, and patriotism.

19. No. None.

20. Yes.

TERRITORY OF WYOMING, U.S.A.

16. No.

17. Not specified.

18. No.

19. No. None.

20. Yes.

TERRITORY OF DAKOTA, U.S.A.:

16. No. The Bible may be read for 10 minutes without comment.

17. A majority of voters may permit the schoolhouse to be used for any proper purpose (but the seats must not be removed or furniture interfered with), giving equal rights to all religious or political parties, but the schoolhouse must be open at any time for literary or educational purposes.

18. No; by law. Except the effects of stimulants and narcotics upon the human system. Must by law be taught,

19. None.

20. Yes.


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CHAPTER II

CURRICULUM OF INSTRUCTION

In this large branch of our inquiry we have endeavoured to ascertain, not only what inquiry, are the results obtained under the established curriculum as set forth in the Education Code, but also, and more particularly, how far this curriculum is adapted to the several kinds of elementary schools upon which it is imposed, and to the varying ages and conditions of the scholars who have to be taught in accordance with its provisions. In carrying out this investigation, we have not failed to consider the possibility of the existing scheme of Standard Subjects, Class Subjects, and Specific Subjects being fundamentally imperfect. Accordingly, we have put questions to the witnesses with the view of learning whether the present standards are right in themselves or too exacting, or whether, indeed, any standards are absolutely necessary. We have inquired, too, whether the class subjects are suitable, reasonably to be called elementary, easily adapted to the needs of particular localities, and within the reach of the very numerous small schools in rural districts. We have further endeavoured to ascertain whether the specific subjects are the best that could be selected, and whether the refusal to make grants for them in any standard below the fifth is to be defended; also whether the encouragement given to the teaching of drawing, of elementary science, and of the subjects which, with better definition, might be understood to be embraced under the general head of "technical instruction", including cookery, is such as to secure that these branches of instruction shall receive the attention which their importance demands.

We are bound, however, before entering upon the consideration of the curriculum, to call attention to the fact that witnesses of all classes testify to the imperfect hold of knowledge gained in elementary schools. It is obvious that to teach a child to observe and think by proper training of the mind will more effectually develop its capacity and faculties than premature initiation into matters beyond its intellectual habits. We regard this as one of the most important matters which we have to investigate in connexion with elementary instruction, and we do not hesitate to affirm that a thorough grounding in the rudiments of knowledge is an essential condition of any national system, which is to secure permanent educational results. If these permanent results fail to be attained in the case of reading, writing, and arithmetic, which all children on leaving school must, to some extent, keep in practice, it may be feared that knowledge of other subjects, not engaging their attention after they quit school, will evaporate, and thus much time devoted to such subjects will be practically wasted.

Beginning with the standard subjects, and dealing first with the preliminary question as to the need and advisability of retaining any system of standards, we have it in evidence that formerly schools were examined without any prescribed standards, each inspector carrying a kind of mental standard with him to his work, which had been gradually formed by what he found children able to accomplish, and arriving at his judgment on the results by comparing them with that mental standard. We were also told that no system of standards strictly corresponding to ours is in use in continental elementary schools; but that a progressive system is adopted in them, under which children as a rule pass through a class each year, with the result that whilst more time is spent upon the course, the teaching is much sounder than under our system. Many continental plans of study for elementary schools are far more minute in apportioning the details of yearly work than the English Code. It is alleged that there are evils attending the use of standards which are neither few nor unimportant. It is said that the subjects in the standards must necessarily be arranged for an average school and for an average child, and so must be detrimental more or less to that which is above or below the average.^ It is said that a child of quick and superior abilities is hindered from rising through the classes as quickly as is desirable, and that oftentimes this operates more powerfully in inducing him to get away from school than would any amount of success in his passing rapidly through his standards, for in the one case he chafes under a sense of being unfairly treated, while in the other his very success acts as a spur to urge him on towards the highest point of


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excellence to be gained in his school. The duller child, on the other hand, it is said, has to be pressed in order to be made to keep up with the rest in his class, and this all the more, if through his own irregular attendance, or in consequence of an inefficient teaching staff, his subjects get much in arrear towards the end of the school year. The teachers in many instances complain of the bad classification produced under the standards. One computes the error in classification to be from 40 to 50 per cent, 20 per cent of the children in a given standard being too low for their abilities, and 20 to 30 per cent one or two standards too high. Another claims for teachers a free hand in the classification, even desiring to see all standards, except a "leaving" standard, abolished. A third affirmed that if he had the liberty he desired, he should transform his school from end to end. On the contrary. Mr. Matthew Arnold expressed considerable doubt about the advisability of entertaining any proposal to classify according to ability, and he much preferred the continental system of a class devoting a whole year to its prescribed curriculum. He would indeed have been willing to sweep away altogether the existing standards, and in lieu of the whole system he would have had the work for each class prescribed, the number of hours to be devoted to each subject carefully specified, the books to be used in the classes approved, and the teachers better trained; the one aim of the teaching being to secure that the principles of each subject of instruction are clearly set forth and thoroughly understood by the scholars.

It is also urged that the combination of labour passes with the results of inspection presents another difficulty in the present system, for an inspector is tempted to keep his examination down to the minimum, lest hardship should be inflicted upon the parents from their children failing to obtain exemption from attendance at school. It is maintained by Mr. Sharpe, on the other hand, that the system of standards is, on the whole, good for large schools, although wanting in elasticity in the case of smaller schools. The employment of the system in large schools, he says, has been helpful in retarding a scholar's too rapid progress from year to year; a scholar who has proved himself to be weak in any particular standard being allowed to go over the same ground for another year: and everywhere, from the lowest standard to the highest, the use of the system has done much to secure thoroughness of results. Without the standards, he thinks that our educational system would relapse into chaos, and that it would be impossible to compare school with school or district with district. He contends that, although the standard principle may tend to make teachers and managers aim only after average or even minimum results, it is difficult to see how any uniform minimum of attainments can be insisted on without the use of standards. It is alleged, indeed, that in the early days of the administration of the Parliamentary grant for education, the course of instruction pursued in a given school did, to a great extent, influence the character of its annual examination. But now, on the contrary, we are told, it is the knowledge of the kind of examination to be expected which practically rules and fixes the scheme of instruction. If, however, on the whole, as is alleged, greater thoroughness is the result of the change, the balance of advantage seems to us to rest on the side of retaining, instead of abolishing, the standards. Mr. Fitch tells us that the present system has been worked for so long a period of time that parents are thoroughly familiar with it, and in his opinion the knowledge that their child has or has not passed a particular standard awakens the parents' interest in his progress, and is very valuable.

In small schools, it is true, the difficulties of carrying on instruction in six or seven different standards, besides the infant class, when possibly the whole staff is represented by one teacher, are said to be very great; and for such schools some system of grouping appears to be almost a necessity. Mr. Sharpe would run two standards into one and allow two years for a child to pass through his group, and he would permit those in charge of the school to frame any scheme for the grouping of standards which he contemplates, subject to the two conditions that there are not less than three groups provided for in the school, and that the scheme is approved beforehand by the inspector. Mr. Fitch proposes a plan, with some parts of which other witnesses are substantially agreed, for getting over some of the inherent difficulties of the present system, and at the same time somewhat lightening the work of the inspector. He would have recourse to the regulations in the Scotch Code and


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abolish individual examination, with a record of each child's passes and failures, in Standards I and II. In Standards III, IV, V, or VI he would examine individually every child whose name has been half a year on the school registers, allowing no exceptions; but he would give the full grant where the percentage of passes in this part of the school is 75, and he would leave absolute liberty of classification to the teachers, insisting on no rule as to a child being examined again in the same standard, grant for and trusting to the loyalty of the teachers and to the watchfulness of the parents to guard so large a concession against abuse. In Standard VII. and possibly also in Standard VI he would dispense with the three elementary subjects and allow the scholars to be presented in not more than four subjects arranged under the heads of language, mathematics, and science, some form of payment for individual results being adopted in this part of the school.

On the whole, the evidence which we have received leads us to consider that the standards should be carefully revised with a view to some modifications in the method of examination, and in the grouping of standards, especially in small schools. Standards, in our opinion, have been shown to be of too much value for the purpose of examination to make it prudent to dispense with them. We are further of opinion that the system of standards should be so applied as to give perfect freedom to teachers to classify their scholars according to their attainments and abilities.

To come next to the Elementary Subjects, reading, writing, and arithmetic, we find in the first place much complaint as to the quality of the reading. Reading, we are told, does not receive sufficient attention in the matter of fluency and intonation; its chief fault is that it is too mechanical and unintelligent. Many of the reading books are said to be dry and too instructive. It is alleged that too few books are ordinarily in use, the children who read best being those who have read a large number of books, and that teachers introduce too much collateral matter, so abridging the time spent on reading. Where the teachers themselves are good readers and practise reading aloud to their scholars, improvement is said to be easily discernible. Mechanical repetition, it is said, does not produce good reading, it only leads the children to learn their books by heart instead of reading them; and it is alleged that the system at present in use fails to inspire the children with any real interest in reading. One of the chief difficulties connected with reading is said to be that the language of the reading books is not the language of the children's home and , out-of-door life, and is "an unknown tongue to the children of the illiterate, especially in remote situations." Many of the teachers complain that the three books are too much to be got up in the year. The evidence, however, shows that this complaint of the teachers arises from the fact that the spelling and grammatical tests may be taken from any part of the books prescribed, and not from any objection to the number and variety of books for the purposes of teaching reading. The statement that the children know their reading lessons by heart, which has been made before us, has also been denied. It is said that there is not time to teach them to read with intelligence the amount required by the Code, so that they get to hate their books. Children, we are told, are kept too long at mere mechanical unintelligent reading. Mr. Oakeley would like to see a list of approved books set forth by authority; and he would also limit the requirements for dictation. The reading lesson, it is said, is too much hampered with the spelling; if the examination in spelling was restricted to dictation, taken from one of the three books used, the other two would probably be read with more interest. Mr. Graves, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of schools, would separate spelling altogether from reading, and he would award a separate grant to the subject; he thinks three reading books too much to be done in the year. Mr. Fitch, on the contrary, is of opinion that the latter requirement is reasonable. He does not think that explanations are very skilfully managed in schools; teachers, he says, interrupt the reading too much for the discussion of particular words, instead of reading as a whole, and attending to expression.

Looked at from all sides, it is plain that there is room for much improvement in reading. We are of opinion that it would be of advantage to increase, rather than to


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diminish, the number of books to be read in each standard, but that the spelling requirements should be diminished, and we think that unless the scholars are taught to read with ease, and acquire a taste for reading, their school learning will not be followed up in after life. It must be remembered that a child who has thoroughly acquired the art of reading with ease has within its reach the key of all knowledge, and it will rest with itself alone to determine the limit of its progress. Good reading is, however, at the present time often sacrificed to instruction in spelling. In a reading lesson the whole of the teacher's attention should be concentrated on securing fluency and expression, and on interesting the scholars in the subject-matter of the book. The art of reading aloud is acquired largely by the ear, and would be better taught by the teachers reading to their scholars. It is manifest that if children only hear each other read they will retain their own bad habits. We think it would be well for the Department to consider whether the words in Schedule I of the Code, referring to the reading of Shakespeare's historical plays in Standard VI and those referring to the reading of Shakespeare and Milton in Standard VII, should not be omitted. We strongly recommend the establishment of school libraries as a material encouragement to the habit of reading at home, and as forming important aids to the school course of teaching in securing a taste for reading.

The subject of writing in the Code includes spelling also, and the two subjects are considered jointly. But little evidence was given on the matter of handwriting, although much was said about the spelling. The fact appears to be that whilst the teaching of handwriting is assumed to be a comparatively easy matter, the teaching of spelling is known to be most difficult. We are disposed to think that too much importance is attached to spelling as a separate subject in the course of an elementary school, and we believe that the art of spelling accurately is learnt most certainly, and often unconsciously, by the practice of reading. If drawing were universally taught, as we shall afterwards recommend, probably handwriting would receive more attention than it does, with the result of its becoming both belter in form and more legible. The teaching of drawing has a marked effect in improving the character of the writing in elementary schools.

In arithmetic, as well as in the other two elementary subjects, Mr. Stewart considers that the work in the higher standards is heavy as compared with that in Standards I and II; and whilst he is not prepared to admit that the transition from Standard III to Standard IV is in many cases too great a step in advance, he thinks that there are some cases in which the tables of weights and measures in the Fourth Standard prove to be a heavy tax upon the child, who is required to commit them to memory. In small schools the requirements of the Code in arithmetic are unnecessarily intricate. Canon Warburton thinks the standards of arithmetic are not satisfactorily arranged, and that fractions should be introduced at an earlier stage than the Code at present requires. Mr. Wild, an elementary teacher, complains that children in the First and Second Standards are required to deal with numbers too large for their comprehension, and urges that the first lessons in arithmetic should be confined to numbers within the actual purview of the children themselves, instead of numbers of which they can form no right conception; and the same witness specially points out, as an instance of the faulty graduation of arithmetic in the Code, that in the Fourth Standard a child may be required to reduce square inches to acres, which involves teaching division by a fraction, 30¼, whereas to divide a number by a fraction is not prescribed until a child has reached the Sixth Standard. The problems set in the examination cards are looked upon as too difficult, and the tests themselves as very unequal; and although girls may pass in the subject of arithmetic, yet they are often unable to apply their knowledge to the simplest practical use, such as making out little accounts for their parents, or calculating the interest on small sums in a Post Office Savings Bank book. Much time is said to be occupied with mechanical and practically useless arithmetic, and with unravelling arithmetical puzzles. The "central preparation of arithmetic cards" is not altogether liked by the teachers, and some say they would prefer the inspector to test the scholars in the principles of the processes they use. The tables of area and capacity are stated to be too hard for girls. "It is a big jump from Standard III to Standard IV", says one witness. Mr. Arnold strongly advocated the teaching of principles instead of adhering to the hard-and-fast requirement for a pass in arithmetic, though he thought


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that a certain proportion out of a given number of sums ought to show a correct result. In answer to part of these statements, taken from the evidence of the teachers, Mr. Oakeley thinks that arithmetical principles and intelligence in arithmetical knowledge are best tested by the present method; he affirms that the arithmetic taught is connected with matters of everyday life; and so far from the questions on the present examination cards being harder than formerly, he says they are actually easier, and deal with smaller numbers. He admits that the division by 30¼ is an unfair test for the Fourth Standard, and proposes to abolish the pole and adopt the chain instead, the chain being 22 yards long, and a square chain just a tenth of an acre; he would also strike out fractions from Standard V and compound proportion from Standard VII, substituting in the latter case mensuration of rectangles in place of the rule struck out.

We are of opinion that in this subject the standards of the Code require to be carefully reconsidered, bearing in mind the importance of arranging them on sound educational principles; of graduating them so as to be well within the compass of the scholars of both sexes; and, in the higher classes, of giving some choice of rules that may be taught, so as to meet the varying industrial requirements of different districts. The exercises should be thoroughly practical, and of a kind likely to be met with in everyday life. The Inspectors should be instructed at their annual visits to see that the children have been taught, as far as their years permit, the principles of the rules, as well as their working. This cannot well be done on paper, but evidently requires to be attended to carefully. The evidence we have listened to shows how many teachers fail to understand that, looking at the matter from the lowest point of view, the best results are likely to be attained, and in the shortest time, by the employment of intelligent methods. We recommend that it should be distinctly recognised that, as the time of girls is largely taken up by needlework, the time they can give to arithmetic is less than that which can be given by boys. We think that this recommendation will best be carried out, not by exceptional leniency in the annual examination, but by modifying the arithmetical requirements of the Code in the case of girls.

Before we refer to the subjects which are now known technically as "class" and "specific" subjects, we have some general suggestions to make as to the Code syllabus, on the supposition that the present scheme of syllabuses is to continue. In framing the syllabus, the Education Department has evidently been anxious to extend to teachers great freedom, and some of the Code definitions of the knowledge which may be imparted are very broad and comprehensive. For instance, we may refer to the prescribed course in geography for Standard VII, namely, "The ocean. Currents and tides. General arrangement of the planetary system. The phases of the moon." It is evident that the knowledge of several of these branches of geography imparted in the time available, however thorough as far as it goes, can be but elementary, and that these definitions may be interpreted very differently in determining the suitable limitations of this knowledge. The expediency of allowing great freedom to teachers we fully appreciate; but, on the other hand, if they are not assured as to the limitations of the knowledge which will be required from their scholars in the official examinations, they are tempted to ramble superficially over too wide a field, in order to prepare for any possible questions which they anticipate may be put by Her Majesty's Inspector.

As respects the class subjects, a provision in the present Code meets this difficulty, namely, that which permits the managers of a school, with the approval of the local inspector, to substitute, for the scheme of instruction in the Code syllabus, a different and clearly defined scheme of lessons, and thus to secure a perfect understanding between the teachers and the inspector. This provision is especially suitable when a large number of schools in the same district adopt a common scheme, and we are of opinion that many managers and teachers would do wisely to avail themselves of this provision, and that the Department and the Inspectors should encourage them to do so. Additional provisions are, we think, required to secure these desired ends, and we suggest that the arrangement now adopted in the Code for "Mechanics" might advantageously be adopted for other subjects, namely, the provision of alternative courses, precisely defined, of which the managers of a school may select the one preferred by the teachers, and most suitable to the capacities of their scholars.


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We should not be justified in omitting all reference to another suggestion we have received from some of Her Majesty's inspectors, namely, that suitable text books should be recommended in the Code, their use in schools, however, not to be obligatory; and that these books, if adopted, should define the knowledge required in the official examinations. But we are altogether opposed to the introduction of an officially recognized set of Government text books. We think, however, that with the view of indicating to managers and teachers the range of study intended to be covered by the requirements of the Code, a more or less extended programme should be published for each subject, similar to those adopted in the Science and Art Directory, with a view of showing within what limits the official examinations would be confined. Teachers as well as inspectors might often value this guidance. The Education Department can obtain the aid of the most competent advisers in each separate subject, an advantage not always within the reach of the local authorities; and as the subjects taught are varied in elementary schools to meet their respective circumstances, it is hardly to be expected that either teachers or inspectors can have thoroughly thought out for themselves the course of instruction most suitable to all the subjects in which they may be called upon to instruct or to examine scholars. Such a programme would also obviously be valuable in assisting teachers to decide whether a subject is adapted to the capacities and circumstances of their scholars, and whether justice can be done to it in the time available. If teachers knew precisely the extent of the instruction contemplated by the syllabus, we think a valuable safeguard would be provided against the danger of overloading the curriculum of a school. Lastly, we find that much of the knowledge acquired in the elementary schools is very soon forgotten. Increased efforts to make the instruction more interesting would doubtless tend to diminish this evil; but we also think that every syllabus should be so framed as to refresh in later standards the knowledge acquired in earlier standards, and thus to impress it on the mind. In several subjects this end could be attained without deviating from a continuous and progressive course of lessons, as the earlier and more advanced stages have a close relation to one another. We must add that in the syllabuses for pupil-teachers, definitions or programmes of studies, which leave no doubt as to their interpretation, are specially required; since in the examinations for Queen's scholarships no communication is possible between the teachers and examiners, and the latter have no guidance in framing appropriate questions, except that to be derived from the Code syllabus.

The Class Subjects come next in order in considering the school curriculum. And here, on the threshold, we are met with the fact that some schools, more especially small schools, consider themselves unable to take up any of these subjects - a state of things which seems to us to be very undesirable. As already pointed out, however, liberty is given under the Code for managers to frame a course of study in the Class Subjects suitable for children in these small schools, on the condition, however, that provision in such a scheme shall be made for at least three groups of scholars. We should desire that, as far as practicable, children should be grounded in all the four Class Subjects, English, Geography, History, and Elementary Science, and that, when some only of these are taken, the selection should be left to the school authorities. The requirement, that in all cases English should be the first Class Subject taken up, much limits the selection permitted to teachers and managers, and complaints of the amount of grammar required under the head of English are not infrequent, the analysis particularly being stated to be beyond the capacity of the average child. That portion of the subject which consists of recitation is looked upon by some as very valuable, but the objection to continuing English compulsorily as the first Class Subject is very general. It is against technical grammar, such as word-building, Latin prefixes, and the mere accidence, that the main force of the objection is directed; and, inasmuch as the present supremacy of the subject has ousted history and elementary science from the vast majority of schools, and has even made it generally impossible in some schools to take up geography at all, the time is alleged to have come when this supremacy of grammar should be relaxed, if not taken away altogether, and full liberty of choice in Class Subjects given to the managers. The general effect of the evidence of the witnesses before us is that while they value the literary side of the English Class Subject, they think the technical


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grammar too dry and too much in excess of the powers of the scholars to make it the best instrument of education. By some, however, the contrary opinion is held, that English grammar and analysis are most useful exercises for intellectual training, and that they are too important to be left out where two Class Subjects are taken. A suggestion too has been made that "advanced reading", by which we understand intelligent reading in some standard authors, might be allowed to take the place of grammar in the Class Subject of English.

We are of opinion that the provision of the Code which requires that, if only one Class Subject is taken, it must be English, should be repealed. We think that the Department might well consider whether it will not be wise in the regulations of the Code relating to Class Subjects, to leave out a reference to any special authors. We are also strongly in favour of providing that children should have the advantage of learning by heart suitable passages of English poetry, but that allowance should be made for the different capacities of children; and we recommend the retention, under the head of grammar, of parsing and analysis; but that exercises in word-building and Latin prefixes should be left entirely to the discretion of the teacher.

We remark that geography and history are not placed on the same footing in the present Code, and, as a consequence, the attention which they respectively receive as subjects of instruction is very unequal. While geography as a Class Subject is taught in the majority of our elementary schools with increased skill, and by methods which interest as well as inform the mind of the learners, history has dropped out of the time- table of all but a few schools. The restriction of the latter subject to the Fifth and higher standards has greatly discouraged its systematic teaching, and checks the diffusion of a branch of instruction which not only properly forms part of the curriculum of the elementary school, but in other countries is regarded as obligatory. If the Inspectors were authorised to ascertain whether the children retain the facts of history related in the historical reading books, as well as whether they understand their meaning, this would probably lead up to the study of history in the upper standards.

Geography is one of the subjects in which, as it seems to us, alternative syllabuses might advantageously be set forth in the Code, since some teachers can do justice to a more comprehensive course than others. The course prescribed for Standard VI is "Geography of the world generally, and especially of the British colonies and dependencies; interchange of productions, and circumstances which determine climate": and these terms, taken in connexion with the definitions in earlier standards, include a geographical compendium of all the principal countries of the world, which, in the short period of a child's school career, must of necessity be dry and bald; whereas a more thorough and interesting knowledge of fewer countries, and of the most marked geographical distinctions between different parts of the earth, would be of more permanent value. Moreover, it is generally admitted that after scholars have been grounded in the elementary stages of a comprehensive subject, the specialising of some particular branch of it is valuable as a means of mental training. We, therefore, suggest that in Standard VII the whole time allotted to geography might advantageously be devoted to specialising some particular branch of the subject, as, for instance, the causes which contribute to vary the distribution of animal and vegetable life in the world, or the influence of the physical features of a few countries on the density, habits, pursuits, and character of the population, and, in the case of our own land, on its past history.

The Code does not contain any syllabus of instruction in History for elementary schools, and, if taught, the managers or teachers have to frame a scheme of lessons which must be approved by Her Majesty's Inspector. While this latitude may be desirable for managers or teachers who have given special attention to the subject, it would be well that the Code should provide a syllabus for those who may wish to avail themselves of its guidance. In the earlier standards it may be expedient not to attempt more than the general outline of English history, and in fuller detail a few of its most interesting epochs, or the lives of its most eminent men; but in the higher standards the Code might provide that scholars acquainted with the outlines of English history should devote all the time allotted to that subject in Standard VI or VII to acquiring a knowledge of our constitution and of some of our national institutions, such, for instance, as parliamentary and municipal government, the poor law, trial by jury, and the constitution and powers of the principal courts by which the laws are adminis-


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tered; and further, that when an interest has thus been awakened in these institutions, their development from earlier times might be traced through a few of its most important stages. In such a course the patriotic efforts and sacrifices made by our forefathers to secure the rights we now enjoy would find their appropriate place.

As to the specific subjects of the Code, the Department is of opinion that the curriculum of an elementary school may be considered as complete without the addition of any specific subjects,* and it is abundantly proved that, whilst they are quite suitable for some schools, they are incapable of universal application. With regard to the subject of domestic economy, it may evidently be made a very practical one, and ought to receive considerable attention, but we have not received from witnesses so favourable a report of physiology as a subject of instruction. We are, however, of opinion, that though the prescribed course in physiology as a separate specific subject may be more comprehensive than is needed to prepare the girls for their subsequent household duties, simple instruction in its elementary principles might be given with advantage, which would enable girls to apply intelligently and to appreciate in after-life, the practical maxims which secure health in a household. More than one teacher, having introduced French, gave it up because it was seen that enough could not be learnt to make the subject useful in after-life. If, however, the subject can be carried on through all the three stages set forth in Schedule IV of the Code, that objection is said to lose its force, and we are told that, generally, the teaching of the specific subjects in a school has the double effect of stimulating the scholars' intelligence and inducing them to continue longer at school. It is confessed, however, that these subjects have often been taken up rather in order to add something to the grant earned, than with the view to secure the improvement of the children's minds. Accordingly there was formerly a tendency to select the easiest subject rather than that which would be most profitable to the scholars. The proper course, we consider, would be to let the children's aptitude for particular subjects, and the teacher's qualification for teaching them, determine what "specifics" shall be taken up. In Scotland there is an almost universal demand for the teaching of these higher subjects; in England the demand is apparently very limited. But in Scotland the old parochial schools were expected to prepare scholars to go direct to the universities; and the Scotch Education Act of 1872, requires every public or board school to maintain, as far as possible, as high a standard of education as formerly prevailed in the parish school. Children of all classes are found on the registers of these schools, so that a large proportion of older scholars attend them, more especially in the rural districts, where there is little or no special provision for secondary education. We propose to discuss the question of Technical Instruction in a separate chapter, but we cannot, in this chapter on the Curriculum of Instruction, wholly leave out all reference to some of the matters which we shall deal with at length hereafter.

*Instructions to Her Majesty's Inspectors, Report (1886-7).

SPECIFIC SUBJECTS

45. You will observe that specific subjects cannot be taken up before a scholar has passed the Fourth Standard; and that English, geography, including physical geography, history, and elementary science are recognised as class subjects. If these subjects are simply and thoroughly taught, the scholars will form those habits of observation, reasoning, and exact statement which are needed for the intelligent conduct of life. In ordinary circumstances the; scheme of elementary education as now laid down by the Code may be considered complete without the addition of specific subjects. It is not desirable, as a general rule, that specific subjects should be attempted where the staff of the school is small, or the scholars in Standard V-VII do not form a class large enough to justify the withdrawal of the principal teacher from the teaching of the rest of the school; in this latter case they would derive more benefit by being grouped with the fourth standard for class subjects. The pecuniary loss entailed by the exclusion of a few boys from the study of specific subjects will be abundantly compensated by the greater success in other subjects, and especially by the higher merit grant reserved for more thorough teaching generally.

46. In large schools, however, and those which are in favourable circumstances, the scholars of Standard V and upwards may be encouraged to attempt one or more specific subjects, which the managers may deem most appropriate to the industrial and other needs of the district. It is not the intention of my Lords to encourage a pretentious or unreal pursuit of higher studies, or to encroach in any way on the province of secondary education. The course suited to an elementary school is practically determined by the limit of 14 years of age; and may properly include whatever subjects can be effectively taught within that limit. It may be hoped that, year by year, a larger proportion of the children will remain in the elementary schools until the age of 14; and a scholar who has attended regularly and possesses fair ability may reasonably be expected to acquire in that time, not only a good knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic, of English, and of geography, but also enough of the rudiments of two higher subjects to furnish a stable foundation for further improvement either by his own exertion, or in a secondary school.


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The change made in 1886, which brought Drawing into the Code, resulted, owing to the 17s 6d limit, which was then in force, in its ceasing to be taught in many schools. This step was retraced in the Code of 1887, and it is to be hoped that the teaching of this subject will spread and improve in all directions. But complaints are still to be heard of the drawing schedule being too difficult in the upper standards, and it is represented that as a result, there is no time to teach the subject in a village school, notwithstanding the benefit a knowledge of it would be to boys who are about to become carpenters and mechanics. Mr. Buxton describes the subject as "the best kind of technical education at present available", and "the foundation of all technical training for boys". And, if evening schools should revive, the introduction of drawing into their curriculum would supply the scholars attending them with instruction in a subject of great practical utility. It has been recommended to make the subject compulsory. Sir Henry Roscoe regards drawing as a link between science and art; he looks upon it as the foundation of all industrial pursuits, and suggests that it should be incorporated with writing. He deprecates spending too long a time in merely copying from the flat, urges devoting time to drawing from the round and drawing simple objects, and he specially pleads for the subject to be taught in childhood. He states also that in many foreign countries it is a workman's own fault if he cannot draw, and that in England it is almost exactly the other way.

We are of opinion that drawing is a most valuable part of elementary education, and that we are in England at present deficient, as compared with foreign countries, in respect to the teaching of the subject. At no time in a child's life can it be so easily taught as during the period of schooling. The command of the hand given by instruction in drawing would also improve the writing, and thus effect a saving in the time required for learning writing. We therefore recommend that, as far as practicable, drawing should be made compulsory for boys. It has been recommended to make it compulsory for girls, as well as for boys, but such a proposal is surrounded with difficulties, especially as regards some of the present teachers. Possibly, however, itinerant teachers, duly qualified, might be able to conduct the teaching in a group of schools, especially in rural districts, and so produce satisfactory results; and although we refrain from making the same definite recommendation in the case of girls, we think it right to point out that for many of the employments which girls of the class ordinarily attending our elementary schools may be expected to follow, an elementary knowledge of drawing would be of great practical utility. We recognise the difficulty which will attend the application of compulsion to this subject; but we are nevertheless of opinion that, if it is applied with due consideration for the existing state of things, the advantage to be gained outweighs the inconveniences which might be expected to arise in particular cases.

The teaching of elementary science in our elementary schools, whether as a class subject or as one of the specific subjects, is yet in its infancy. We propose to treat of it in detail in the ensuing chapter on Technical Instruction. One witness says that we have retrograded in this department of school work. Sir Henry Roscoe also thinks that the teaching of this subject is falling off. He would make the subject compulsory, since in his opinion the present system of elementary instruction tends to manufacture clerks and not artisans.

We believe that it would tend very much to facilitate the teaching of the upper standards if object lessons were continued in the lower standards, in succession to the teaching of a similar kind which has been given in the infant school. Geography, indeed, if properly taught, is a branch of Elementary Science, which should not be separated from the other branches, and which might well be taught along with other object lessons; and this the Royal Commission on Technical Instruction have recommended. The particular curriculum of elementary scientific subjects would probably vary according to the special requirements of each locality. In agricultural districts, for instance, arrangements might be made for giving practical and experimental instruction of the very simplest character in the principles of agriculture, the growth and food of plants, their diseases, and the most important conditions to which plant life is subject. The late Professor Henslow went far beyond this.


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Similar experimental instruction in dairy work of the very simplest character might in certain districts be given with great advantage to girls, instruction which would be of great importance to some of them in after life.

Much interesting and useful information on matters which are the proper subjects of science may no doubt be obtained from books alone, and the reading of such books ought not to be discouraged. But the true learning of science cannot be said to begin till the learners are taught to use their own senses in the study, and to rest their acceptance of scientific truth, even the most elementary, not on what they are told, but on the evidence supplied by their own observation of facts. Knowledge based on any other kind of evidence, though often very valuable, is not in strictness scientific knowledge, and the learners do not gain any touch of the scientific spirit from the acquisition of it. In all such matters it must be laid down as a rule that instruction in science, however elementary or however advanced, cannot be given through books, but must be imparted by means of experiments.

And here in fact this branch of our inquiry glides into the one which is better known under the head of technical instruction, with which we propose to deal more fully in the next chapter. We believe that technical instruction would exert a decided influence in the direction of preventing too large a proportion of boys becoming clerks and shopmen, and that those who were naturally fitted for work with their fingers would exert themselves and would feel that there was an outlet for their talent in this branch of instruction, and that thus we should promote the growth of really skilled artisans which our present system of public elementary education tends, it is commonly said, to discourage. The curriculum in the ordinary elementary schools might well include not only instruction in the elementary principles of science, but also elementary manual instruction in the use of tools; and in higher schools and in evening schools this work might be carried still further.

Needlework is in some sense a "technical" subject, and it is satisfactory to find how large a number of schools secure "good" as their report upon this part of their work. We trust that every endeavour will continue to be made to ensure that this essential branch of a girl's education shall be thoroughly practical and efficient.

Cookery, again, in some sense may be considered a "technical" subject, and its value in the estimation of parents is very high. In fact, mothers in some cases, it is said, are willing to pay an extra fee for instruction in this subject. The 17s 6d limit, however, has prevented managers of voluntary schools from forming cookery classes. One effect of the introduction of this subject is said to be to keep girls longer at school. We are informed that the recognised teachers of cookery are mainly educated persons, and are more efficient in consequence; and it must be remembered that every qualified teacher can obtain a certificate of competency for teaching the subject. Under the London School Board no less than 16,000 girls are now receiving instruction in cookery, and after two courses of lessons they are said to possess considerable practical ability in cooking. A system of lessons adapted to cottage cookery would be of the very greatest value to the girls in most elementary schools; and as the present system, which is quite new and tentative, is making real progress,ft we recommend that it be left to time and experience to suggest any changes that may have to be made. We wish to place on record our opinion that it should be the ultimate aim of the Department to secure that the girls who are educated in public elementary schools, and who will in most cases have hereafter to prepare the food of their families, should receive instruction in practical cooking, which they cannot for the most part obtain elsewhere. We hope that the difficulties of expense and organisation, which, especially in small and in poor schools, now prevent its general adoption, may be overcome within a reasonable period, by suitable encouragement being given by the Department to itinerant teachers, combinations for a cookery teacher, and the like. We believe it is difficult to over-estimate the far- reaching effect upon the homes of our labouring classes of a knowledge on the part of the mother of the family of good and economical cookery. Meanwhile we gladly note some of the results which have been already attained. It is said, among other things, that girls who attend the cookery lessons acquire a taste for domestic employments, and are both more useful at home and more intelligent in their general studies. The lessons are said to be a relief to over-pressure, and to tend to make the girls


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thrifty and careful housewives. Already, we are told, some of the children's homes have been benefited by the cookery instruction, the girls carrying their lessons into practice by cooking the family dinner.! In our judgment, the value of the cookery instruction lies not so much in any training it may give to girls who subsequently go out to service, as in the knowledge it imparts to those who will apply their information to that all-important matter, the benefit of their homes.

We have received no oral evidence on the subject of teaching music in elementary schools, and but little has been suggested to us on this subject in memorials or in other written communications. The reports of the late Dr. John Hullah, who was for many years H.M. inspector of music in elementary schools, and those of his successor. Dr. Stainer, indicate, however, that a very substantial progress has been made since 1870 in the extent and character of musical training in the public elementary schools of the country. The first attempt to secure general attention to the subject was made in 1871, and took the form of a reduction of grant in the event of its being neglected. In consequence of the objections raised to this arrangement, the Code of 1874 provided that the capitation grant on average attendance should be reduced from 6s to 5s, and 1s be added if singing were taught satisfactorily. It may therefore be said that the first encouragement of the teaching of singing by the payment of a direct grant took place in 1874. The conditions of the grant for singing appear to have remained constant from 1874 to 1882. During that period the attention given to musical training steadily increased, and included, not only the cultivation of the voice, but also that of taste in rendering with expression the sentiments of the songs and pieces which were practised in the schools. The development and extension of the tonic sol-fa system of teaching singing formed a distinguishing mark of the same period, and the encouragement given to this system by many of the larger school boards formed no inconsiderable factor in the improvement which then took place. The following extract from the report of Dr. Hullah for the year 1878 may be quoted as an indication of the progress which had been made in the training colleges up to that date:

"The year by year improvement in practical musical skill and theoretical knowledge of the students in training colleges has shown itself none the less clearly in the examinations of the past than of any preceding year. This improvement is attributable to a variety of causes. Fewer students now enter the colleges without any musical preparation; closer acquaintance with it has engendered increased love for it. To these must be added the all but universal substitution of good methods of teaching for bad; the changes, almost always for the better, among the teachers themselves; and the increased skill, naturally resulting from increased experience, even among the most skilful of these; and to these again the growing conviction among college authorities that music is an educational subject, one in which every student can, with fair opportunities, attain a fair amount of proficiency, and in the attainment of which proficiency it will be found that his judgment, his memory, his quickness of perception have been largely benefited."

In 1882 the grant of 1s per head on the average attendance was made conditional on "singing" being taught "by note", while a reduced grant of 6d per head was given if it were taught satisfactorily "by ear". The result of this change has been to secure greater attention to singing by note. In the year ending August 1882 there were 22,352 departments in which singing was taught by ear, while singing by note was taught in 4,329 only. In the year ending August 1886 the number were 17,020 departments in which singing was taught by ear, and 11,552 departments in which it was taught by note. These figures show a distinct progress, and we are of opinion that a few more years experience of the teaching of singing under the conditions now laid down by the Department will show a similar result. We note also with satisfaction the encouraging nature of Dr. Stainer's report on the training colleges for the year 1885, in which he says, "There can be no doubt that the examination in practical skill shows, year by year, better results"; and again, "It gives me great pleasure to report a vast improvement in the character and style of the songs sung by students to the inspector". Again in his report for 1886-7, he says, "I am glad to be able to report once more a steady progress in the musical work. ... Among the proofs of the good musical work being done, I may mention that in one college the whole of the students obtained full marks. In many others a very high average of marks is noticeable." And in reference to the teaching of music in elementary


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schools, the same inspector says, "It is highly gratifying to find that the rapid increase in the number of schools taking the shilling grant for singing by note is arousing the attention of English musicians generally."

The only suggestion made to the Commission for a change in the existing conditions was that the grant for the teaching of singing by ear should be withdrawn. We are, however, of opinion that the payment of the grant of 6d per head for singing by ear tends to secure attention to the cultivation of the voice and ear, and to the proper rendering of the pieces practised by the scholars, an advantage of no mean kind. We fear that, if this encouragement were withdrawn, the attempt to give any musical training would be abandoned in many schools. We are further of opinion that it would be impossible to enforce singing by note in every school in the country, since some teachers can never acquire the necessary qualifications for teaching it. Our opinion on this point is fortified by that of Dr. Stainer, as expressed in his last official report to the Education Department, from which we extract the following:*

"Some demand that the sixpenny grant for singing by ear should be at once stopped. I cannot recommend your Lordships to take such a step, for several reasons; two are most important. Ear-singing cultivates the musical taste, gives a love for the art, and constitutes one of the most pleasant of school lessons, almost a wholesome relaxation in the midst of other work. It is now chiefly confined to small schools where the want of ability in the children, or of skill in the (sometimes poorly paid) masters renders it impossible to attempt to reach the higher grade. Large flourishing schools take the shilling grant without difficulty, frequently reaching a point of musical excellence far above the requirements of the Code. To stop the grant for ear-singing would, therefore, be giving discouragement to small struggling schools without offering further encouragement to those more flourishing. It is then urged that the sixpenny grant, if taken away for ear-singing, might be added to the shilling as a merit grant for specially good singing by note. This would merely be adding 50 per cent to the grant obtained by the largest and best schools."

We have dealt with the question of Welsh schools and the bilingual difficulty. Many of these schools labour under this difficulty, which arises from the fact that although the native language of the children is Welsh, they are practically treated by the Code as if they always spoke English. It has been stated in evidence that fully two-thirds of the people in Wales habitually speak Welsh, and although a considerable proportion of the adults also speak English with ease, the bulk of the children, we are told, come to school wholly ignorant of that language, and yet English is the vehicle through which they have to learn everything, and in which they will have to be examined. The knowledge also of English which they acquire while at school is said to be so meagre and superficial that, according to the evidence, in Welsh-speaking districts, English is lost in a great measure soon after the child leaves school. The only provision in the Code which at all attempts to meet the difficulty, is one in which it is laid down that the intelligence of the children in the ordinary reading examination may be tested by Her Majesty's Inspector allowing them to explain the meaning of passages read. There has been no desire expressed before us that the use of the English language in the schools should be at all diminished. But it is felt that to enable these schools to overcome the special difficulties with which they have to contend, they should be allowed, at the discretion of the managers, to teach the reading and writing of the vernacular concurrently with that of English. As the Welsh language is almost purely phonetic in character, and does not present the difficulties which are experienced in mastering English, the permission to use bi-lingual reading books would meet the objection of the teachers, who complain that the amount of reading matter to be got up in Welsh schools is too great.** But it is felt that they should be allowed to take up Welsh as a specific subject recognised in the Code; to adopt an optional scheme for English, as a class subject suitable to the special needs of Welsh districts, such scheme being founded on the principle of substituting a graduated system of translation from Welsh to English for the present requirements in English grammar; to teach Welsh along with English as a class subject; and to include Welsh among the languages in which candidates for Queen's scholarships and for certificates of merit may be examined. All these points are advanced in the answers we have received to Circular D. from the head teachers in the counties of Glamorgan and Merioneth. Since concessions somewhat similar to those now demanded in Wales have already been granted

*Report of Committee of the Council (1886-7), page 482.

**Memorial of Society for Utilising the Welsh Language, pp. 6, 7, Appendix.


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in the Scotch Code to the Gaelic-speaking population of Scotland, there appears good reason why they should be conceded in the English Code for the relief of our Welsh-speaking population.

Evidence has been brought before us on the subject of physical training both from those engaged in its application to elementary schools, and from the military authorities charged with the selection of recruits and with their subsequent military drill. The statistics of rejection of candidates for the army, furnished to us by the War Office, point to so alarming an inferiority in the physical development of youths from urban, as compared with rural districts, as to call for the most serious consideration whether any remedy for it can be found in the practice of physical exercises in elementary schools, especially in towns where playgrounds are few and of limited area. The Inspector of Gymnasia, in his report to the War Office on this subject, recommends the general introduction into elementary schools of a system of exercises, similar to those practised at Aldershot with officers' children, consisting chiefly of extension motions, musical drill with wooden dumb-bells and wands, marching, running, hopping, and jumping, a large part of which could be carried on in schoolrooms and in all weathers. We do not recommend, with the evidence before us, the introduction into playgrounds of elaborate gymnastic apparatus, much of which is declared to be unsafe for children, except under the most careful supervision, and even then to be often detrimental. And in rural districts, where open spaces give the opportunity for spontaneous exercise in children's games, the necessity for systematic physical instruction of the kind referred to is not so great. But in towns, where playgrounds are scarce and their area limited, we should expect the best results, both physical and moral, from the introduction of some such system of instruction as that recommended from the War Office, something similar to which is already in operation at Birmingham with the best results, where physical exercises of the kind alluded to are daily practised under the superintendence of a professional instructor, who is responsible for familiarising elementary teachers with the system, by giving model lessons in their schools. Care, however, must always be taken in applying such training to delicate or underfed children, since such children have been known to suffer from compulsory participation in exercises, which are highly beneficial to their more robust schoolfellows. We refer to Mrs. Bergmann Osterberg's evidence for an interesting account of the Swedish system of exercises for girls, based on the study of physiology, which has been introduced by the School Board for London into its schools. One at least of the training colleges, and probably more, already qualify their students by a special course of training to superintend this kind of physical instruction. To these training institutions we look principally in the future for the gradual introduction into elementary schools of a safe and scientific system of physical training; and we recommend that provision be made for conferring, through experts appointed by the Department, special certificates on teachers duly qualified to conduct it, and possessing the requisite elementary knowledge of physiology.

In dealing with the subject of the elementary curriculum, we cannot fail to point out that the evidence laid before the Commission proves that the meaning and limits of the word elementary have not been defined in the Acts of 1870, 1873, 1876, nor by any judicial or authoritative interpretations, but that the meaning and limits of the word depend only upon the discretion of the Committees of Council, of successive Ministries, and upon the various Codes published by them, since the year 1870 the practice of the Department has continually raised and extended the meaning and limits of elementary education, so as to include gradually a range of subjects proper to schools of higher education. It was given in evidence that languages, classical and modern, and advanced science, might be taught in elementary schools, and that parents of all classes, from the lowest to the highest, had the right, and were at liberty, to send their children to them. Not a few children of the wealthier class are already attending board schools. It does not anywhere appear that in the year 1870 this result was contemplated, and it has become a matter of serious complaint, especially to those of the poorer classes who are compelled to pay the school board rates. The Act of 1870 enables the Department to frame and impose Codes which, after lying for a month on the table of the Houses of Parliament, become law. Hitherto no limit has been imposed upon the power of framing such Codes. It would appear, therefore, of absolute necessity that the instruction to be paid for out of the rates and taxes should be fixed


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by the Legislature. Until this is done the limits of primary and secondary education cannot be defined. We shall deal with the question of higher elementary schools in a future chapter.

We have examined the present provisions of the Code which distinguish between Standard, Class, and Specific Subjects, and we have suggested some amendments which might be made, on the supposition that this distribution of the subjects of instruction will still be maintained. But we believe that the quality of the education given in elementary schools would be greatly improved, if the Code contained several schemes of instruction, so as to provide for various classes of schools a curriculum varying in breadth and completeness with the number of scholars in attendance, and with the character and requirements of the population. Each scheme, however, should encourage the extension of the teaching of the necessary subjects beyond the prescribed limits. We recognise that in sparsely peopled rural districts the number of subjects taught must often be fewer than in schools situated in towns; but we are of opinion that even in small rural schools a larger measure of instruction might well be secured than that which includes only the three elementary subjects now required by the law; and we are of opinion that facilities should be given to managers to introduce other than the necessary subjects, in accordance with the varying circumstances of the localities. In making these recommendations we are well aware that it is possible to purchase an extension of the subjects of instruction at the cost of sacrificing that thorough grounding of the scholars in the rudiments of knowledge, without which all teaching is superficial in character and transitory in result. And we desire to emphasise in the strongest manner our sense of the necessity of looking to the quality of elementary instruction, at least as much as to its extent. The following are the subjects of elementary instruction which we regard as essential, subject to the various qualifications which we have already made:

Reading.
Writing.
Arithmetic.
Needlework for girls.
Linear drawing for boys.
Singing.
English, so as to give the children an adequate knowledge of their mother tongue.
English history, taught by means of reading books.
Geography, especially of the British Empire.
Lessons on common objects in the lower standards, leading up to a knowledge of Elementary Science in the higher standards.

CHAPTER III

MANUAL AND TECHNICAL INSTRUCTION

In considering the question of technical instruction, it is desirable to begin by defining clearly what is understood by that term. By technical instruction we understand instruction in those scientific or artistic principles which underlie the industrial occupations of the people (including especially handicrafts, manufactures, mining and agricultural labour), as well as instruction in the manual practice involved in the application of these principles. And our object in dealing with the subject will be, to discover and to specify, what parts of such technical instruction can be properly and efficiently given in our elementary schools, as well as to detail the special preparations that are required for this purpose.

Instruction in drawing and in elementary science is frequently and very properly regarded as part of technical education; and on this account, although we have alluded to both subjects before, we think it desirable further to consider them in this chapter.

For many years drawing was taught in elementary schools in connexion with the Science and Art Department, South Kensington; and no inconsiderable proportion of the teachers in these schools have become qualified to teach it by gaining the necessary certificate of efficiency. Up to 1886 the number of schools in which drawing was


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taught was not only large, but was at the same time steadily increasing. A change, however, was then made,* and the control of the instruction in drawing was, as we have already observed, transferred from South Kensington to Whitehall, with the result that the grant for drawing became subject to the 17s 6d limit, from which hitherto it had been exempt. The immediate effect of this change was seriously to diminish the number of schools in which drawing, was taught, more especially in the poorer districts. The Code of 1887, however, restored the former state of things†; and since we entertain strongly the opinion that it is most desirable that instruction in drawing should be extended as widely as possible, especially in boys' schools, both in town and country, we trust that, under the regulations thus recently adopted, a new impetus may be given to the teaching of drawing in elementary schools in general.

We have before observed that difficulties have to be met and overcome in teaching drawing to girls, which do not exist in the case of boys. We are, moreover, of opinion that it is of more use to girls to be able to sew well, and to possess such a knowledge of plain cooking as will enable them to turn to profitable' account the food they may have to prepare, than to know how to draw. Whilst, therefore, we think it is desirable that girls should be taught drawing, and whilst, too, we should be glad that under suitable conditions such instruction should be encouraged, we could not propose that the teaching of drawing to girls should be compulsory. With boys the case is different. Drawing, as a training, both of the eye and the hand, is useful to them in a variety of ways. The village carpenter and blacksmith, no less than the artisan in the town, would be benefited by being able to draw; whilst children who in the occupations of their after life may have no occasion to use drawing, would gain from its practice such a facility in the use of their fingers, and such a training for the eye, as they could not otherwise possess. We would therefore recommend (as we have already stated in the previous chapter on the curriculum of instruction) that drawing should, so far as practicable, be made a compulsory subject of instruction in all boys' schools.

The teaching of elementary science, which we regard as another part of technical instruction, is yet in its infancy. The Code provides for it in two ways, by making it both a class and a specific subject. But as a specific subject it cannot be taken up by any child below Standard V, and as a class subject its progress is hindered in a way which requires to be carefully explained. It is pointed out in the Report of the Royal Commission, on Technical Instruction, that the importance of "science" teaching has already been so far acknowledged that in all infant schools simple object lessons, and lessons upon the more commonly occurring phenomena of nature, have been made obligatory.§ But, when the child is promoted from the infant school to the school for older scholars, it finds its new school broken up into two divisions, the upper division consisting of the higher standards, and the lower division of the standards below the Fifth or the Fourth, as the case may be. It finds, also, that its instruction in "science" practically at an end until it reaches the upper division. For science is not generally included in the two class subjects taught, of which "English" must be one, and of the permissive subjects geography is almost always preferred to elementary science. The relative value of the two subjects, elementary science and "English", is very pointedly set forth by one witness - himself a practical teacher. "At present", he says, "English is a compulsory subject, and English includes grammar and recitation of poetry. I do not think that English is the most useful subject among the class subjects for our boys. I think that if any subject is to be made compulsory it certainly should be elementary science, and not English. I would keep the grammar in the English subject, because I think that is most useful to boys, but the poetry might be dispensed with, and the choice of subjects should be left entirely with the master." This witness further produced before us the syllabus he uses, drawn up for the various standards, on the principle of "eyes and no eyes". It will be found to be well worthy of perusal.¶ The evidence of another teacher also is very much in favour of science teaching. We quote it here in its entirety: "Q. 19,699. Have you found the elementary science a valuable means of awakening the interest and intelligence of your children? - Certainly. Q. 19,700. You think that, among the various subjects that you choose, that is the one that most enlivens the teaching of the school, and most awakens the intelligence of the children? - Yes, if the teacher will take an interest in it, and do it. Q. 19,701. I suppose you would agree that no subject would be interestingly taught unless the teacher took an interest in it? - Yes. I have parents who will put off their washing day so that their children shall not lose

*Education Code 1886, articles 16 and 109 f. xii. to xvii.

†See Appendix to the Education Code, 1887.

§Report of the Royal Commission on Technical Education.

¶See Appendix to Vol. III of the Report.


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their elementary science. Q. 19,702. If the teacher is willing and able, you see no reason why elementary science should not be largely used in schools for developing the intelligence of the younger children? - I think it should be."

The unsatisfactory character of the present condition of "science" instruction in our elementary schools is commented upon by several witnesses. One witness goes so far as to say that we have retrograded in this department of school work, maintaining that elementary science was far better taught 40 years ago than it is now; and fixing the date 1845-7 (when Professor Moseley was an inspector under the Education Department) as that during which the best results were produced. Sir Henry Roscoe agrees in the statement that the teaching of this subject is falling off. He would make the subject compulsory, being of opinion that we have no right, as a nation, to expect to retain supremacy in the manufacturing industries, unless our present system of primary instruction, which, he says, tends to manufacture clerks and not artisans, is exchanged for one of such a character as to lead up to that higher technical training which is necessary, both for the workmen engaged in our industries, and for the superior workman and foreman. Further evidence given by Sir Henry Roscoe, still more unsparingly condemns the existing educational system of this country. He says: "It seems to me that the English system of education, from top to bottom, has been hitherto almost entirely of a literary character, and that science has been practically ignored. Our school system seems to me to have been handed down from the middle ages, and to be founded on authority and on books rather than on a direct appeal to nature and to experiment. On the Continent, on the other hand, the scientific spirit seems to pervade life to a much greater extent than is the case with us, and therefore more attention is given to science teaching." "There is no doubt", he goes on to say " that the scientific instruction which is given on the Continent has very considerably influenced the great progress which has been made in the manufacturing industries of the continent." To much the same effect is the evidence of Mr. Balchin, head master of the Nunhead Passage School. "As a matter " of fact", he says, "the vast majority of our London Board School boys will become artisans or journeymen, mechanics or labourers. This being so, let the friends of elementary education ask themselves this question: Do the instruction and training of the boys in our elementary schools, during the last year or two of their school life, aim in the direction of the workshops and factory, or in that of the office and counter? From a most careful consideration of this question, I have not the least hesitation in saying, that so far as the work of Standards V, VI, VII, indicate any aim at all, it is in the direction of the office rather than in that of the shop; and, I maintain, that that is a wrong direction for the vast majority of boys in our schools ... I have not the least intention of recommending that boys, while at school, should he taught the trade of carpenter, builder, cabinet-maker, stonemason, or engineer. I am perfectly certain that nothing which we can attempt at school will take the place of an apprenticeship of four or five years in a shop or factory. All I want is to incline the boys' minds and energies in that direction."

If it be true, as we believe it is, that the object of elementary education is to give such instruction to the scholars in general as will best fit them to fulfil the ordinary duties of the life to which they are most likely to be called, and to enable those who may be endowed with special gifts to rise to still higher callings, then elementary instruction in science - and we lay special stress upon the word "elementary" - is only second in importance to elementary instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic. But the fact has impressed itself upon our minds that technical training does not exist for boys, even to the extent that instruction in needlework and cookery supplies it for girls. We have had, however, a great deal of evidence showing the educative effect of science teaching in our elementary schools for both boys and girls; and we think that science, especially mathematical, mechanical, and physical science, is not only the foundation, but an essential part, of thorough technical instruction.

There are, however, certain broad principles to be laid down as necessary conditions of introducing science teaching into elementary schools. In the first place care must be taken that it be not introduced too early in school life, lest it should interfere with the scholars' general instruction. In the second place we are of opinion that, as a rule, the ordinary elementary master cannot be expected to be a good science teacher. Even


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in the case of an elementary teacher who, whilst at the training college, has made good progress in science studies, we consider that he has so much else to do in the usual school routine, and that his attention is so much distracted from science, that he cannot be relied on, either for clear, vivid, and simple lectures, or for neatness and certainty in the performance of experiments. But to possess the power successfully to achieve these results is an essential qualification in a science teacher, and especially so in one who has to expound experimental science to boys of the class who attend our elementary schools. To meet this difficulty, the practice has sprung up under some of the larger school boards, especially in London, Liverpool, and Birmingham, of engaging the services of a skilled lecturer or science demonstrator to undertake the science instruction in each of a specified group of schools. The plan pursued by this visiting or circulating teacher, is to go round from school to school, conveying with him the necessary materials for his experiments. He teaches his subject in the presence of the class master, who, having heard the lesson, is able to recapitulate it, and so to secure that the boys thoroughly understand what they have been taught.

A good deal of evidence has been laid before us tending to show how the plan of employing these circulating science teachers actually works. In the board schools in Liverpool, where, as long ago as in 1876, the system was adopted under the advice of General Donnelly of the Science and Art Department, as well as of Professor Huxley, the results, as tested by the inspectors, are found to be less satisfactory in the lower than in the higher standards. The following are the percentages of passes in elementary science in Liverpool for the last two years:

Mr. Hance, the clerk to the board, accounts for the comparative want of success among the junior scholars by the circumstance of the examination being conducted upon paper instead of orally; the younger children having but imperfectly acquired the power of expressing their thoughts in writing. The subject of mechanics is taught in the board schools at Liverpool, even in Standard IV, in which, under the Education Code, no grants can be earned for specific subjects; and Mr. Hance supported his claim to have Standard IV admitted to a share in the grants for these subjects, by quoting the opinion of the board he represents, to the effect that if the examinations were conducted orally, science instruction could with advantage be introduced into that standard. He further testified that after an examination in science conducted by Professor George Forbes, of Glasgow, the examiner reported, "as to the good progress that had been made by such comparatively young children". Some of the scholars from these schools have been examined by Dr. Oliver Lodge, Professor of Physics in the Liverpool University College, as candidates for the science scholarships granted by the Liverpool Council of Education; and one paragraph of the examiner's report, quoted by Mr. Hance, was as follows: "On the examination as a whole, I do not feel called upon to make any general remark, except to say that the standard of attainment reached, is, for boys of 12 and 13, a remarkably high one, and reflects great credit on the system of instruction."

The same system of teaching science by means of an itinerating lecturer has been at work since 1880 under the school board of Birmingham, and Mr. Poynting, Professor of Physics in Mason College, reports very favourably of the efficiency of this description of teaching in that town. The plan on which the system is carried out in Birmingham is very fully described by Dr. Crosskey. The demonstrator, he says, or one of his assistants, visits each boy's and girl's department once a fortnight. He takes four departments a day, two in the morning, and two in the afternoon. The


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class teacher is present, and in the interval between the demonstrator's visits he repeats and enforces, with further illustration, the subjects taught, requires written answers to the examination questions, and submits the papers to the demonstrator. Two and a half hours a fortnight are given in the school to science, the demonstrator's lesson taking three quarters of an hour. The boys are taught mechanics or elementary natural philosophy, and the girls, domestic economy, considered as the application of chemistry and physiology to the explanation of matters of home life. In a few departments a second specific subject is taken; with the boys, electricity and magnetism, and with the girls, animal physiology; but in all the board schools of Birmingham, science instruction is given to all the scholars, both boys and girls, who are above the Fourth Standard; the total cost of the staff of demonstrators and assistants, including travelling expenses, being £1,030 per annum. The number of children receiving this teaching is stated to be 2,700 boys learning mechanics, and 550 learning magnetism and electricity; 2,200 girls learning domestic economy, and 100 animal physiology. The results are said to be eminently satisfactory, for not only is the percentage of passes as high as 88.5, but the school attendance is said to be very considerably improved on the "science" days, and the effect of the science teaching is seen in the very great degree to which it has aided to develop the general intelligence of the scholars. Professor Poynting, after mentioning that he has examined for four years, and after giving detailed comments on the kind of work done, ends his report in these words, "My experience, I think, fully justifies the opinion that the science teaching is most valuable, the training of the boys giving results which I should never have supposed possible before I began to examine." Dr. Crosskey further gives it as his opinion that the science teaching in the elementary schools prepares the way for the advanced work done at the Midland Institute.

The School Board for London has more recently adopted a similar plan of circulating demonstrators of science; although, having regard to the number of children in their schools, the scale of operation is not so large as in Liverpool or Birmingham. A demonstrator was appointed about three years ago to work in the East End of London. He had upwards of 2,000 boys under instruction in mechanics, and the work has proved so successful, that the board has appointed three additional demonstrators. The Chairman of the London School Board gave evidence before us strongly in favour of the plan; and Mr. Wilks, for several years Chairman of the School Management Committee of the Board, emphatically supported this opinion, making, however, the one reservation, that he considers this scientific instruction to be incomplete, so long as it is given only in the upper standards, as lacking continuousness, and not growing sufficiently out of what has gone before.

The question remains, what is the permanent value of this science teaching in elementary schools. It might easily happen that those who simply saw the scholars when they were at work, and those who examined the children in the subjects they had learnt, might be satisfied with the results, whilst those who had the opportunity of observing the effect upon the children's minds a few years later, might be convinced that the results were less satisfactory than was at first supposed. So far, however, as the evidence before us helps to decide this question, it is strongly in favour of continuing and extending instruction in science in elementary schools.

Among the witnesses from Liverpool, Birmingham, and London, there is a general consensus of opinion that it is desirable that examinations in science should be conducted orally, and not on paper. We have already referred to the evidence on this point given by Mr. Hance, clerk to the Liverpool School Board. Dr. Crosskey, speaking for the Birmingham School Board, maintains that in science subjects a written examination is an inadequate test of the general intelligence of children; and, although he has no objection to make, either to the fairness of the examiner, or to the suitability of his questions, he contends that questions which are set on paper in no way bring out the actual knowledge of the scholars. Other witnesses insisted on the need of thorough competence on the part of the examiner. Mr. Grieve, science demonstrator to the School Board for London, takes a similar view as to the need of making the examination oral. In his last report, published in the Annual Report of the School Management Committee for the year ending March 1887 (page 31), he draws attention to the


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following questions, set on paper in the Fifth Standard; to boys ranging, as a rule, between 11 and 12:

Question 1. Impenetrability and elasticity do not apply to atoms. Explain this, and give illustrations.
Question 2. In what bodies may you say that molecular attraction is balanced by the repulsive force of heat?
Question 3. There is a force which keeps solid bodies from falling to powder, and another force which is the cause of their breaking into particles. What are these forces?
Question 4. A nail driven into a piece of wood is not a case of penetrability. Explain this.
Question 5. Compressibility is due to the approach of the molecules. It is a proof of porosity. Explain the words in italics.
Question 6. What do you understand by (1) molecular attraction; (2) chemical affinity?
Question 7. There are two kinds of forces to be found. Explain this, and give examples.
Mr. Grieve, after commenting on the disappointment which such a style of examination on paper causes to boys of the ages mentioned, makes the suggestion that Standard V should be examined orally. In support of his suggestion, he quotes these words from the Code: "That instruction in the science subjects shall be given mainly by experiment and illustration. If these subjects are taught to children by definition and verbal description, instead of making them exercise their own powers of observation, they will be worthless as means of education." To secure that the teaching is conducted upon the right method, an oral examination with experiments is, he thinks, essential: the introduction of experimental teaching being the direct antidote to cram. His words are as follows: "I have, therefore, felt it my duty to call attention to this matter, lest, after all, the teaching of the subject might, in the end, develop into a cram."

Mr. Grieve mentions one or two encouraging features of his own immediate work. He states that in March 1887, there were 2,201 boys under instruction in 20 schools in which he was demonstrator; 1,168 from the Tower Hamlets division, and 1,033 from the Hackney division. Pieces of apparatus, similar to that used in the experiments, are made by the boys attending the classes. At Teesdale Street, Hackney, one of the managers has shown great interest in the subject, by offering money prizes to the boys who should make the best model of portions of the apparatus used in the demonstrations; and a great desire has been expressed in several other schools for the establishment of workshops where boys showing an aptitude for the use of tools might have an opportunity of constructing apparatus for themselves. One suggestion made by Dr. Crosskey is deserving of mention. He would stimulate the teaching of science by payments, not so much for results, as towards the salary of the special demonstrator.

The question, whether it is desirable to give manual instruction in elementary schools, is one of the gravest importance. Whether our existing school system, including the ordinary curriculum of the Code, is the wisest that could be devised, is a separate consideration; on one point, however, we are fully agreed, that whatever ought to be the ordinary course of instruction in elementary schools, it should be carried far enough to secure the thorough grounding of the scholar in the essential rudiments of learning, before he is encouraged to take up a more special course, which might otherwise encroach upon the time needed for his general education. It is, however, urged by many persons that, without giving anything like technical instruction, as the term is generally understood, to the classes of a school, we might early in life accustom boys to the use of their hands, and introduce some description of manual work for them, corresponding to the needlework and cookery provided for girls. Much has been done in infant schools by means of the Kindergarten occupations, to educate the hand and the eye, and to develop the physical nature of the child; and it is the subject of very general regret that boys from seven years old should lose all the benefit of this training, and be limited to the end of their school life to a merely literary education. But to this subject we shall have occasion to refer again hereafter.

There is, undoubtedly, a wish among many that, in addition to drawing and elementary science, some practical instruction in industries and in the use of tools should enter into the school curriculum. In the case of the ten counties to which our Circular


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A was sent, out of 3,759 voluntary school managers who returned answers, 770 expressed a desire that there should be some training in industry, or the use of tools; and of 385 school boards in the same counties, 122 were of the same opinion. But it would not, of course, be fair to conclude that those school authorities who failed to express themselves as favourable, were necessarily hostile to such a training, more especially as many school managers might be unwilling to commit themselves on a subject which they had not fully considered. In like manner, in answer to the circulars sent to the head teachers of elementary schools, out of 2,529 replies, 711, or 28 per cent, approved of teaching industries or the use of tools. From these returns it appears to be evident that, if it were thought desirable to recognise or encourage this kind of teaching, many among those actively engaged in managing and teaching our elementary schools would be favourable to it.

But whilst the great majority of the witnesses we examined appeared to be strongly in favour of introducing into elementary schools for boys some manual and technical instruction, so far at least as to include drawing and elementary science, we have had, no doubt, some evidence of an opposite kind. One head teacher indeed, thought that it would be most desirable to teach, where it was possible, the elder children the use of some kind of tools; but another in his evidence, said, "I think that the place for the teaching of handicrafts is in a technical or apprenticeship school to which boys might go after having passed, say, the sixth standard. We should allow them to devote the short time which they can remain at an ordinary day school to general culture, and not try to force them into the routine of their future work." On the other hand, Canon Warburton, gave it as his opinion, that in certain localities it would be very useful to introduce technical instruction. "I think", he added, "that something of navigation, for instance, ought to be learnt in seaport towns. There ought to be permission to teach it, and it should be paid for as a class subject under certain local conditions." Another inspector, the Rev T. W. Sharpe, on the contrary, gave this evidence, "The children in our schools, as a rule, are too young to profit much by manual work. In the carpenter's trade they cannot handle a plane; in the shoemaker's trade they could not pull the wax-ends through. I have ascertained by visiting industrial schools, how difficult it is for children of 11 or 12 years of age to acquire the use of tools, without very great waste of material. If they were 13 or 14, I could understand the manual labour being very useful." The Rev. J. R. Diggle, Chairman of the London School Board, made the following statements: "We are very anxious to be able to give some sort of manual training in the schools ... An effort has been made to establish a class for carpentering in a school in Chelsea; but the auditor of the Local Government Board has surcharged us with the cost of the wood ... We want more power." The Rev. J. Gilmore, Chairman of the Sheffield School Board, expressed himself as emphatically on the opposite side: "As regards technical instruction in the ordinary elementary schools, I do not think it could be taught. We could not afford to teach it. Our teachers are not properly qualified for teaching it, and we should have to get special teachers; and with the subjects as at present in the Code, I do not think that there would be time to teach it. We have in Sheffield what is called a higher central school, where we have technical education to a certain extent. This is a school where we have a competitive examination for entrance from all the voluntary and board schools of the town, in fact, from all the elementary schools of the town. We admit those who acquit, themselves best in this examination, after they have passed the fifth standard. Then they stop in the central school for the sixth and seventh standards; and, after that, we have established, in connexion with the Science and Art Department, a school for the ex-standards, which is doing, I think, very good work; and in that we teach chemistry, machine drawing and construction, mechanics, magnetism, electricity, light and heat, and drawing."

The consideration of the whole of the evidence laid before us has led us to the conclusion that there are several difficulties in the way of the introduction of manual and technical instruction into our elementary schools. The question first arises as to the person who is to give this instruction. Is this person to be a school teacher, or a mechanic? In most cases, we are afraid, the teachers are not competent to undertake this duty, as they are altogether ignorant, as a practical matter, how to handle the tools. On the other hand, a mechanic would probably fail of success from not knowing how to manage^children. In Sweden, the system of "Slöjd", which is being largely


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introduced into schools, and aims at developing handiness and accuracy through the use of tools, is taught by the school-teachers outside of the regular school hours as a voluntary subject. For this work they are paid extra money; and they acquire their knowledge at a special training college. In France the manual instruction is given by a mechanic

A second difficulty which has already been glanced at has to do with the age at which manual instruction should begin. Whatever instruction of this kind is to be given in our schools, it would not be applicable to boys under 10 years of age. From the age of seven, therefore, when they leave the infant school, with its Kindergarten and other various employments, to the age of 10, there would be three years during which any manual employment resorted to by way of varying their instruction, and of relaxing the mental strain, would have to be sought in some direction other than the use of tools. The evidence, however, to which we have listened has convinced us that this difficulty may be met by judicious systematised science teaching, in which the children should bear their part by collecting and preparing specimens, helping to make models in the geography lessons, and other similar acts calculated to exercise the hand and eye. On this point we refer with pleasure to the testimony of two of our witnesses. Mr. Balchin's evidence, and the specimens of flowers neatly fastened on paper by boys working in Standard III, produced to the Commission, show how easily the subjects of the Code can be adapted to such instruction in handiness and dexterity. And the value of awakening the interest, and of enlisting the activity, of boys in association with the work of their teacher is illustrated by the instance, quoted by Mr. Mark Wilks, of a master who, having to deal with some of the roughest and most neglected boys in London, successfully taught them modelling, and showed them in clay and plaster how rivers carved out valleys.

The case of small mixed schools in rural districts presents another difficulty. The teaching power in such schools is at once so limited in amount, and often so humble in quality, that we must obviously be contented with a more restricted range of studies. The complete realisation of our aims with respect to manual and technical instruction must, in these places especially, be a work of time, for it must be the result of improved qualifications in teachers and of improved methods of instruction. In this connexion we would remark that, without again discussing the question of teaching girls needlework and cookery, it seems to us that both these subjects are of the highest value, and deserve the greatest encouragement.

We shall have occasion, in treating of elementary evening or continuation classes and schools, to recur to the subject of elementary technical instruction after leaving school. In the meantime, it is proper that we should call attention to the evidence of numerous witnesses who appeared before us, as well as to that given before the Technical Commission, as to the much greater benefit which would accrue to our national industries from the widespread organisation of Science, Art, and other technical classes in connexion with the "Science and Art Department", and the "City and Guilds of London Technical Institute", if a greater number of the young people who leave our elementary schools were better prepared to take advantage of them. This, therefore, is another difficulty which must be met; for, as things are at present, these young people are, in too many cases, absolutely unfitted to profit by the opportunities for technical instruction which would otherwise be abundantly at their disposal. We may remark, in passing, that we have here an additional argument, if indeed any such were required, for the more general introduction into our elementary schools of drawing, and of a sound, thorough, and practical instruction in elementary science, as recognised essentials of the usual school curriculum.

It is obviously impossible satisfactorily to consider the subject of technical instruction in elementary schools apart from the question as to how the extra cost necessarily involved in it is to be defrayed, more especially in the case of voluntary schools, which still supply the greater part of the national provision for elementary education. When Mr. Forster's Act was passed in 1870, and voluntary effort was encouraged to co-operate further in providing the necessary machinery for the elementary instruction of the nation, the adoption of a system of technical education was in no way contemplated. The managers of voluntary schools, therefore, may fairly expect to receive liberal public aid in order that they may be enabled to supply this form of instruction on a footing of equality with board schools. We do not, however, lose sight of the danger which might arise in case the assistance thus rendered should be provided solely from Imperial sources; the temptation under such circumstances being almost


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overwhelming to take up particular branches of the subject, not with any special reference to the wants of the locality, but merely as a means of obtaining additional grants. To safeguard the State against such a danger it is our opinion that some proportion of the cost of supplying suitable technical instruction in elementary schools should be thrown upon the local rates. Imperial grants should be awarded to all public elementary schools for efficient instruction in any subject which can fairly be classed under the head of elementary technical instruction; but these grants in the case of voluntary public elementary schools should be supplemented by contributions from the rates of the district in which the schools are situated. We are further of opinion that it should be the duty of the Education Department to define the subjects permissible in each standard, and the maximum number of subjects that may be taught to the scholars in each; and that grants to voluntary schools from the local rates of any district shall in no case be made, except for subjects which the school board of the district has introduced into one or more of the board schools, or which the rating authority of the district has declared to be needed to meet the educational requirements of its inhabitants. In submitting these proposals we draw special attention to the circumstance that the contributions to voluntary schools from the rates, which we contemplate, would only be given for definite branches of elementary technical instruction; the question, therefore, of concurrent endowment of special forms of religious teaching would not arise. We are well aware that in introducing manual or technical instruction into our elementary schools there is a danger lest the new subject should interfere with the general curriculum of the schools, or in any way hinder the scholars from acquiring a complete mastery of the necessary subjects of a sound primary education. But, bearing this in mind, the following evidence of Sir Philip Magnus seems to us fairly to indicate what should be our aim in the matter. "I have suggested that drawing should be taught generally in our public elementary schools; that more attention should be devoted to the teaching of science than at present is given to it; that handicraft instruction should be introduced after a certain standard. ... Lastly, I think that further encouragement should be given to instruction in evening schools, in order that the children may not forget the knowledge and the skill which they have acquired in the elementary schools, and which they will need to apply when they come to take advantage of the excellent science, art, and technical classes which are now organised in different parts of the country."

If it should be thought that children ought to receive some instruction in manual employment, other than that which the elementary schools available for their use can give, we are of opinion that the best way of meeting the need would be through the establishment of a workshop in connexion with some higher institution, which might be willing to receive into the workshop boys of exceptional ability, or others to whom it was considered desirable to give this instruction. One such central institution could do its work better and cheaper than a number of scattered institutions, whilst nothing could be easier than to make arrangements for attendance at this central workshop being substituted on one or two afternoons in the week for attendance at the elementary school. In this way the boys would have a better chance of being efficiently instructed, and the result would be attained at a much more reasonable cost than in elementary schools. If a workshop of the kind just described, established in connexion with a higher institute, or in any other way, were thought desirable by the local authority for the purpose of affording practical instruction in manual employments to the children of its district, it might, in our opinion, be established, maintained, and supported in the same way as if it were a technical school.

Before proceeding, in the last place, to examine into the question of advanced technical instruction in its relation to elementary schools, it is desirable to call to mind what has already been done and is being done in this direction, lest by proposing some new scheme or system, out of harmony with existing efforts, we should be recommending what would prove injurious to the interests we are most anxious to assist. Hitherto our manufacturing superiority has been secured by the practical training of the workshop, by voluntary zeal, and by the energy of employers and employed. The Royal Commission on Technical Instruction in its Report says, "Great as has been the progress of foreign countries, and keen as is their rivalry with us in many important branches, we have no hesitation in stating our conviction, which we believe to be shared by continental manufacturers themselves, that, taking the state of the arts of construction and the staple manufactures as a whole, our people still


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maintain their position at the head of the industrial world."* Foreigners have been seeking to surpass us by the widespread establishment of technical schools, erected, and in some cases entirely supported, out of public funds, in which instruction is given in the theory as well as in the practice of the various industrial arts. To this cause mainly is to be attributed the growth of the opinion, which is now held by many friends of education and by some employers of labour, that, in addition to the training supplied in the workshops, there should be provided, with the aid of public funds, a general system of instruction in the scientific or artistic principles which lie at the foundation of industrial progress.

A good instance of what is already being done to supply the need which has just been alluded to is to be met with at "Birmingham in the institution which is called the Seventh Standard school. This is to a certain extent a technical school, and no scholar is admitted into it till he has passed the Sixth Standard. The teaching in it is laid out for a three years' course, one year in the Seventh Standard, and two years in connexion with South Kensington. The subjects taught are reading, writing, and arithmetic, according to the Code, and, in addition, mathematics, plane geometry and projection, machine construction and drawing, magnetism and electricity, theoretical and practical chemistry, freehand drawing, and the manipulation of wood-working tools. These subjects are not universally taught to all the scholars. The subjects are arranged in three divisions, machine construction, chemistry, and electricity; and the hours of work during the week, which are thirty in all, are distributed as follows:

In the machine construction division, mathematics twelve hours, projection five hours, machine construction four hours, electricity five hours, freehand drawing two hours, and workshop two hours;
In the chemistry division, mathematics twelve hours, projection four hours, theoretical chemistry six hours, practical chemistry four hours, freehand drawing two hours, and workshop two hours;
In the electricity division, mathematics twelve hours, projection four hours, theoretical chemistry five hours, electricity five hours, freehand drawing two hours, and workshop two hours.
In the second year, the scholars spend three hours in the workshop, one hour and a half during the school time, and one hour and a half in the evening. The object of the workshop instruction is, says Dr. Crosskey, "to teach the meaning, the nature, and the use of workshop tools, and to give manipulative skill in their employment together with information regarding the principles of tools, and the properties of the materials used. The schoolroom is connected with the workshop, and a practical mechanic is employed who is engaged to give workshop instruction, and who supplies the head master with specimens of work which are explained by the latter in the drawing room. The head master explains the connexion of the parts with one another, teaches the scholars to make a drawing to scale, and shows the required views of the model under examination. The scholar goes to the workshop and makes an article from the drawing to scale. This completed, he measures it, and makes a second drawing of it, still working to scale." It should be noted that the time-table given applies only to scholars who have passed the Seventh Standard. Boys working in that standard are required by the Education Department to give two hours each half-day, or twenty hours a week, to reading, writing, and arithmetic. This latter restriction is said to hamper somewhat the free and efficient working of the school.

There are elsewhere other elementary schools of a higher grade where more advanced science is taught, and in which a certain number of children stay on beyond the Seventh Standard. These may be regarded as continuation schools. The principal ones brought under our notice were the Deansgate school at Manchester, St. Thomas' Charterhouse Church of England school, and the Sheffield central school. An interesting account of the Deansgate school which is under the Manchester school board, is given in the evidence of the headmaster; and further particulars will be found with respect to the school in the evidence of Mr. Nunn, the present, and of Mr. Herbert Birley, the late Chairman of the Manchester school board. The headmaster of St. Thomas' school, Charterhouse, has given us a full description of his work

*Report of Royal Commission on Technical Instruction, page 516.


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in that school; and the Rev. J. Gilmore, Chairman of the Sheffield school board, refers to the Sheffield central school in his evidence. These and other similar schools keep their scholars after they have passed the Seventh Standard, and instruct them in science, receiving grants on their behalf from the Science and Art Department.

If, indeed, the system of which we have given examples were developed, we foresee that there would be a temptation to enlarge the curriculum of education, and so practically to convert primary schools into secondary schools, in which a portion of the cost of the education of the children of wealthier persons would be defrayed out of the rates. One instance of an attempt to provide technical (but not workshop) instruction, which is not open to the objection just stated, may here be referred to. Classes have been started in many places in which this instruction has to a large extent been given in certain subjects prescribed by the Science and Art Department; and their funds have been aided by grants from the same source. The munificence of the "City and Guilds of London Institute" for the advancement of technical education, of some of the Livery companies, as well as of individuals and public bodies in London and elsewhere, has already established some valuable and costly schools of the kind, which appear to be working successfully.

But while much good work in this direction has been done in London and in some manufacturing towns, it can only be considered as fragmentary and partial. For there are, no doubt, places in which those engaged in carrying on skilled industries have been unable to obtain the funds required to establish technical schools suited to the locality, which, as practical business men, they deem essential for the prosperity of their trade. The question has, therefore, arisen, whether the time has not arrived when some further help should be furnished from public sources, and whether some local public body should be empowered, under proper conditions, to provide for, or to contribute towards, the maintenance of technical schools adapted to the wants of the locality. We are strongly of opinion that nothing should be done which might discourage existing voluntary effort on the part of manufacturers and employers of labour, or which might lead an artizan population to trust more to the artificial teaching of a school than to the practical and diversified training of the workshop. Every precaution, therefore, should be taken that technical schools should only be established where the judgment and practical experience of a locality, as evidenced by its willingness to make adequate local contributions for the purpose, demonstrate their necessity.

We think that the general management of technical instruction should be entrusted to the Education Department, and not to the Science and Art Department. At the same time, the central authority in London should interfere as little as possible with the various methods of promoting technical instruction, which may be designed to meet the varying circumstances of different localities, provided that they appear to attain the object in view. Whore there are municipalities, we are of opinion that the local control of technical education should be lodged in their hands; in other places it should be exercised by the rating authorities. The national and imperial character of London, the conditions of its organisation and industry, and the absence at present of any central municipal authority, will require exceptional treatment.

It is obvious that if technical schools are to answer the end expected by those who are anxious to found them, they will require very skilful oversight on the part of the persons responsible for their management. It would, therefore, seem to us to be necessary that the immediate direction of these schools should, either by delegation or otherwise, be placed in the hands of a body which would be mainly composed of persons interested in the trades of the locality, and experienced in its industries Such a body, it may be hoped, would arouse real enthusiasm and munificence in establishing and supporting technical schools, whilst no danger would arise of institutions being set on foot which did not command the support of the practical men of the district.

We think that when sufficient local interest is proved to exist, either by voluntary subscription being forthcoming or by the levy of a rate, a contribution from the Parliamentary grant might properly be made to reinforce local resources. But though technical schools might be aided by scholarships, to be provided out of public funds to assist the cleverer children of the wage-earning classes, we recommend that they should, as far as possible, be made self-supporting by their fees.


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CHAPTER IV

VARIOUS CLASSES OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

In proceeding to discuss the character and condition of the various classes of elementary schools, it is well to recall the fact that, up to the passing of the Education Act of 1870, all our elementary schools were voluntary ones, the majority of them receiving aid out of the Parliamentary grant, but many of them supported wholly by fees and subscriptions. The Act of 1870 introduced schools under the management of a new body, the School Board; and since that time the number of board schools has grown to 4,402, of which, however, 792 Church schools, 15 Wesleyan, 223 British, and 94 schools of other denominations have been transferred by voluntary managers to school boards.*

The sources of income open to voluntary schools consist, mainly, of school fees, subscriptions. Government grant, and in some cases endowment. Board schools, in lieu of subscriptions, can draw upon the local rates to meet the balance of their expenditure. Some managers and supporters of voluntary schools complain that as these local rates are paid by many individuals who are making large sacrifices of money and time for the support of voluntary schools, in which their own distinct religious teaching is inculcated, they have also to contribute in the form of rates to the maintenance of board schools, whose religious teaching, of whatever description it may be, they may regard as imperfect. Several memorials to this effect have been addressed to us, one of which, said to be signed by 250,000 persons, we print in the appendix to our Report. Some witnesses have expressed a fear that in time the school board system may drive the voluntary system out of the field altogether. On the other hand, we have the fact stated in the Report of the Committee of Council for 1886-7 (p. xii), that voluntary schools transferred annually to school boards are at the present moment very few, 18 only having been so transferred in the year referred to. It has been stated to us that the managers of voluntary and board schools are working harmoniously in several large towns, such as Liverpool, Manchester, and Salford, and it is said that whatever competition exists between them proves to be of advantage to both.

Opinions are divided as to the relative efficiency of voluntary schools and board schools, some contending that voluntary schools are quite as efficient as board schools, and others maintaining precisely the opposite view. Probably in this matter the truth may be best expressed in the language of one of the witnesses, who says: "The results are higher, taking them all round, in board schools; but many of the best schools are not board schools." One important advantage is certainly possessed by board schools. They have a larger purse to draw from. Hence they generally have better buildings and furniture, more and larger playgrounds, and a more numerous staff. But still further, board schools for the most part are found in populous districts, and so far as this is the case the average board school has all that can be gained from an attendance much larger than the average of voluntary schools, many of which are carried on amongst a sparse population, the average attendance in Church of England schools being 92, and in board schools 159. The regularity of attendance in board schools is very slightly better than in voluntary schools: out of every 100 children whose names are on the school registers there is an average attendance of 76.38 in board schools and of 76.27 in voluntary schools. Voluntary schools, however, have an advantage in the personal interest taken by private individuals in their management and visitation.

It has, however, been contended before us that the time has come when this twofold system of schools should cease. One set of witnesses advocates the abolition of all voluntary schools, and the setting up of board schools universally throughout the country; and it is suggested that the proper method by which voluntary schools should be extinguished would be by withholding from them all share in the Parliamentary grant. It is contended by these witnesses, that insufficient support prevents

*Report, Committee of Council, 1886-7, pp. xii. and 222.


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voluntary schools from being thoroughly efficient, while board schools are free from this disadvantage. It is further urged that it is wrong in principle for any public elementary school to be managed by persons responsible to no one but to themselves and to the supporters of the school; that the working classes prefer the board schools, and that they are a necessity to protect the religious liberty of the people. On the other hand, it is replied that there are no advantages, educational or otherwise, to be gained by the universal establishment of board schools; but that there will rather be a loss, resulting from getting rid of the healthy rivalry between the two classes of schools. It is contended that education must necessarily become secularised thereby: that the local rates would have to be largely increased; and that any attempt to hand over the secular instruction of all the children to the management of school boards, leaving it to the various denominations to provide religious instruction, must result in failure.

Some advocates of voluntary schools in opposing the suggestion to establish universal school boards, maintain that they have a grievance in the existing order of things which would be greatly aggravated if the suggested change was brought about, for in their view it is a violation of religious liberty to compel people to pay school board rates for a system of which they do not approve. Some few accordingly claim for voluntary schools, if efficient, an equal share with board schools in the local rates devoted to education, the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba being pointed to in illustration of a method by which this result may be obtained. And the friends of voluntary schools affirm that any measure which would have the effect of abolishing voluntary schools would be a distinct breach of faith with the managers of those institutions. It should not be left out of sight that the establishment of universal board schools would entail upon the ratepayers the large burden, from which they are now freed by the personal liberality of those who maintain voluntary schools. Weighing all the evidence that has been put before us, we have come to the conclusion that the State should continue to recognise voluntary and board schools as together forming the national provision for elementary education; and that both ought to continue to participate on equal conditions in the Parliamentary Grant.

There is one class of schools into whose difficulties we have been at great pains to inquire; these are schools chiefly in small rural districts. We shall hereafter make recommendations in favour of schools of this class which are in small rural parishes or in the outlying districts of large ones. The case of these schools was specially dealt with in the Code of 1875, which empowered the Education Department to make a special grant of £10 or £15 to a school which was the only one available for a population not exceeding 300 or 200 souls respectively. The grant was intended not to encourage the needless multiplication of small schools, but to meet the necessary extra cost per head of such schools, and thereby to make more efficient the education given in thinly populated districts. A somewhat similar provision was embodied in the Act of 1876. We find that, in the year 1886, 946 schools claimed the £15 grant, and 1,569 the £10 grant, 355 of the whole number being board schools.§§ Canon Warburton is of opinion that this additional grant generally goes to the improvement of the staff, and not to the relief of the subscriber's pocket, and as it is paid only "on the recommendation of the inspector", the opportunity is given to the inspector to refuse the grant where the staff is not satisfactory, and so to protect the public purse. The difficulties of these small rural schools arise from their necessarily large relative expenditure, if compared with schools educating more children. The consequence of this is not infrequently that undue economy is exercised in their management, and an insufficient staff of teachers is employed. An instance was brought before us of a school with an average attendance just under 60 children, all to be taught by a single head mistress. Reckoning the various standards to be taught in arithmetic, and the separate groups formed for teaching reading, writing, needlework, and two class subjects, and the infant's class, it was shown that in order to go once through with the various subjects taken up in the school, one mistress had to teach no less than 31 separate classes or groups.

§§Report of Committee of Council. 1886-7, p. 237.


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In the case we quote we believe that the difficulties were overcome by the exceptional ability of the mistress, one of the witnesses who appeared before us; but there are many such schools throughout the country. While no fewer than 6,398 parishes in England and Wales contain a population not exceeding 300, a return given in the Appendix to our First Report (pp. 534-535) shows that, in the year 1885, there were 5,180 aided schools, with an average attendance of less than 60 scholars. The accommodation in 1,252 of these schools did not exceed 60; but, over the whole number, only 41 children were, on an average, present daily throughout the year. Nor is the evil confined to voluntary schools, for in the above total of 5,180 are included the schools of no less than 516 school boards in parishes with from 100 to 500 people in each.* Some of these, with a population below 300, have the advantage of the special grant of £10 or £15, and yet in three out of every seven parishes of the whole number tabulated as having a population under 300, amounts to or exceeds 6d in the pound, 15½d, at Barnardiston (Suffolk), being the highest. Again in populations between 300 and 500, where the special grant cannot be claimed, in 175 parishes out of a total of 337, the rates ranged from 6d to 20d in the pound, all except 33 being not less than 9d, and 13 exceeding 1s. These statistics suffice to show how heavy a burden board schools are upon the ratepayers in small rural parishes.

The Rev. Prebendary Roe, a diocesan inspector, who is well known to have given great attention to education, and specially to the financial questions connected therewith, has given us detailed and very carefully prepared evidence of the circumstances of schools in rural parishes in the county of Somerset, with populations ranging from 90 to 550, which we think it desirable here to summarise. The expenditure per head on average attendance for this whole group of schools last year was £1 19s 7d, whilst in all church schools throughout England, the corresponding sum was £1 16s 5½d. This shows the cost of education in these schools to be 3s 1½d per head above the average. But limiting ourselves to the parishes with populations below 200, we find that the expenditure in these schools amounts to £2 15s 3d a head; in some of them it rises as high as £3, £4, and in one case £5 a head. Towards meeting this expenditure, the school fees average 6s 1d a head against 10s 7½d a head in all Church schools, still leaving to be made up locally, a further sum of 4s 6½d a head in excess of the average. In confirmation of the accuracy of these calculations of Prebendary Roe, we may mention that the returns furnished to us from 30 poor law unions show that the cost per head in all the voluntary schools having less than 100 scholars in average attendance, amounted to £1 19s 11¾d, and in board schools of the same class to £1 19s. In the group of small schools in Somerset above referred to, the average Government grant, (neglecting at present the sums awarded as special grants), comes to 15s 10d a head, 16s 5½d being the corresponding sum for all Church schools in England and Wales. A further sum in excess of 7½d a head above the average would, therefore, have to be made up locally on account of this difference in the amount of the Government grant. Combining together all these items, and still omitting to take account of the special grants awarded to about half of the schools, we find that their local supporters would have to provide 8s 3½d a head in excess of what has to be provided by the supporters of Church schools generally throughout the country. But in the case of 79 of these small rural schools a special grant of £10 or £15 was awarded, the total sum so received (and, for statistical purposes only, supposed to be spread over the whole 151 schools) thus amounting to 2s 7½d a head. The final result shows that, even with the benefit of the special grant, each child in all the 151 schools reported on, requires from the local resources a sum of 5s 8d a year, in excess of the corresponding average cost in all Church of England schools. This special grant, however, is only awarded to schools in the parishes below 300 in population; and it appears that, after taking this grant into account, the subscribers in the parishes with less than 200 people have to provide an average of 16s a head as voluntary contributions in order to keep their schools afloat, the average in all Church schools being 7s 2d, and in all voluntary schools 4s 7d. A considerable number of the schools, 39 in all, although disqualified for the special grant, receive some little benefit from Article 108 of the Code, under which infants are credited with the same amount of grant as that which is awarded to older scholars; but even in these schools the average subscriptions amount to 14s 10d a head. The conclusion, therefore, is forced upon us that in all these small rural schools the local supporters are much

*3rd Report, p. 742. Appendix XI.


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overburdened by the circumstances under which they have to meet the requirements of the Education Code.

We find, moreover, that there is little hope of increasing the gross amount of the Government grant by any improvement in the average attendance, for the evidence before us shows that already throughout these 151 small schools the average attendance is equal to 1 in 6.52 of the whole population against one in 8 for all England, whilst for the group of parishes below 200 in population the average attendance is one in 5.57.

An analysis of the items of grant actually received reveals the reasons why, in this whole group of schools, the grant on results is below the average attained in Church of England schools throughout the country. It appears that in 34 of the schools, with an aggregate attendance of 1,424 scholars (being one in five of all those in attendance at the 151 schools) no class subject whatever is taken, the corresponding proportion for all England being one in twenty schools.§ Again, whilst in all England of every 100 schools 31 take the shilling grant for singing, in these Somersetshire small schools only 11 obtain it. Prebendary Rowe urges that it is for teaching such subjects as these that something more than the bare minimum of staff is required; and to the lack of this additional staff is to be attributed the comparative meagreness of the grant earned in these schools. There are no less than 25 of these schools with only a single head teacher, without a monitor; of the 207 adult teachers employed in all these schools, 117 are untrained, whilst the remainder of the staff amounts only to 27 pupil teachers, and 108 monitors. Prebendary Roe was of opinion that the special grant has encouraged managers to improve the staff of their schools, and he stated that all but 17 of the managers with whom he had corresponded had expressed their willingness and desire to improve the staff, if the conditions of the grant were eased a little by giving more on the average attendance, and he thought it would be only fair, if the conditions of the payment of the grant were eased, that additional conditions of stringency as to the staff should be imposed by the Code. We are strongly of opinion that a larger and, in many cases, a better staff ought to be provided for these small schools, and that in schools which, from the peculiarities of the neighbourhood, are necessarily exceptionally small, the difficulties of providing competent teachers should be met by grants as already proposed. By the increased grant which we shall hereafter propose should be given to these small schools, we not only desire to provide for the extra expense of a superior teaching staff, but also partially to meet the higher rate of expenditure which they necessarily incur.

Another class of schools about which we have made a full inquiry is that of half-time schools. The system of alternating lessons and work under the Factory Acts has been a long time in operation, and a corresponding system has been in use under the provisions of the Code in other employments. But the yearly statistics of the Reports of the Committee of Council show that half-time employment is not on the increase, and the number of purely half-time schools, as far as the evidence before us helps us to a conclusion, cannot be very large. The total number of half-timers on the school register in 1886 was 168,543, out of a total of 4,505,825,†† whereas in 1876 the number was 201,284, out of a total of 2,943,777. Some teachers are altogether opposed to the half-time system, and try to persuade the parents not to use it. They complain of the difficulty of making half-timers keep pace with whole-timers, and some witnesses say that half-timers usually pass 12 per cent worse than other children, and it is also alleged that the results are not satisfactory from a moral point of view. We are informed that there are very few half-timers and no half-time schools in London, Manchester, or Sheffield; and but few half-timers in Newcastle. On the other hand, there are 2,000 half-timers in Stockport, 700 in Huddersfield, and over 7,000 in Bradford, where also there are four schools specially set apart for their use. There was almost an unanimous opinion among the school managers who appeared before us that the requirements of the Code are excessive for half-timers. The Code regards half-timers as if they were at little or no disadvantage, although they spend half their time at work; and it not only requires them to make the same amount of progress in the

§Report of the Committee of Council, 1886-7, p. 235.

††Report of the Committee of Council, 1876-7, p. 361.


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standards, but to take up also the same class subjects as the whole-timers, where both classes of scholars are attending the same school. This, it is contended, is unfair; for, inasmuch as the percentage of passes for half-timers is sometimes 24 per cent, and on the average is 12 per cent below that of whole-timers, the effect of having many half-timers in a school must be seriously to depress its rate of grant. Where the number of half-timers is sufficient to warrant the opening of an exclusively half-time school, there, to a great extent the difficulty just pointed out vanishes; but in other cases it has been recommended to us that the half-timers should be treated as a subordinate department of a school, and dealt with separately from the rest of the scholars. Further evidence has been laid before us tending to show that there is not much ground for objecting to the half-time system on moral considerations, and that the half-timer's physical condition does not much unfit him for study. The system does not appear to work well in London, or to be suitable for rural parishes. We desire here to record a suggestion thrown out by Sir Lovelace Stamer, that it would be a great thing if half-timers could be somehow required to attend a night school. The answers to our Circulars A and D show that half-time is greatly disapproved of both by managers and teachers, especially in rural districts. The returns from Lancashire and Yorkshire endorse the complaints of our witnesses against the standard of examination being the same as that for full-timers. There are also many statements to the effect that the admixture of half-timers with the whole-time scholars injures the organisation and working of the school.

The education of children in our workhouses does not fall directly within the province of our inquiry, but it has been incidentally brought to our attention; and, although few witnesses gave evidence upon the subject, we have been enabled to form some opinion as to the good and bad points of the existing system. Formerly, there were schools within the walls of the workhouse in the majority of the 647 poor law unions; but at the present time such schools exist only in 231 instances, or in a little more than a third of those unions. In the case of the rest of them, district schools and schools entirely separate from the workhouses, provide for the children's education in 111 unions, and in no less than 284 of them the children are sent to neighbouring public elementary schools outside. The theory is that the workhouse school combines elementary industrial and physical, together with moral and religious training. In practice, however, this theory fails to be entirely realised. The salaries offered to the teachers are not high enough to attract the best of their class; although, comparing the present teachers with their predecessors of 30 or 40 years ago, the improvement in the staff is said to be very considerable. The results show weakness just where the confinement of the children within the four walls of the house and the somewhat lower qualifications of the teachers would have led us to look for it, viz., in the want of intelligence in the children's knowledge of their subjects. The industrial training, too, is hardly what it ought to be. The introduction of cookery, however, into some of these schools has been attempted, we are told, with good results. The district poor law schools are generally somewhat better staffed, although not so well as they would have to be if they were under the Education Department. The results obtained in these are better than in the ordinary workhouse schools, although even here intelligence is said to be deficient, and the curriculum is ordinarily restricted to the three elementary subjects. We hear that physical training is beginning to receive a good deal of attention in these district schools, and kindergarten is finding a place among the occupations of the infants; the chief difficulty, however, seems to be to get good infant teachers. We are glad to find that in the case of the pauper children attending public elementary schools, the results, so far at least as their intellectual education goes, appear to be very satisfactory. A difficulty, however, arises in the management of the children out of school hours, and with their industrial training. An officer called an industrial trainer has to be engaged to undertake this work, but the time available for the industrial training is said to be so limited that this part of the children's preparation for their future life is but partially carried out. Notwithstanding this drawback, Mr. Holgate, an Inspector of Schools under the Local Govern-


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ment Board, in his evidence before us expressed an opinion that in a very short time we shall "see the last workhouse school, pure and simple, abolished, unless it happens that there is no public elementary school within ordinary reach." We think that the recommendation of the Industrial Schools Commission† in respect of reformatory, industrial, day industrial, and truant schools, namely, that their educational inspection should be transferred to the Education Department, might well be applied to workhouse schools.

The subject of evening schools, and of the importance of fostering a great extension of their number and usefulness, has been pressed upon us by a very large number of witnesses. It has been represented to us that many children who pass satisfactorily through the standards in the day school very soon forget much of what they have learnt when they go out to work. The same general conclusion is strongly confirmed by the returns published by the Registrar-General, which show what proportion of the population, when married, are found unable to sign their names. The necessity, therefore, for having some form of evening school for the purpose of fixing and making permanent the day school instruction is almost self-evident; and we agree with a witness who says, that it would be worth the while of the State to spend more money on evening schools, in order "to keep up the cultivation of the intellectual faculty, and to carry it forward till it bears a fruitful result." We have a great array of witnesses testifying to the usefulness of these institutions, some of them ranking their importance as high as that of the day school. But again and again the evidence before us testifies to the decay, rather than to the advance, of the evening school system. We are told that they are a failure in Birmingham, as no scholars can be induced to attend them; that very few evening schools exist in Salford or Bradford, or in the Norwich division, and not one in Norwich itself. And the Report of the Committee of Council on Education for 1886-7 shows that, whilst in 1870 the average attendance of evening scholars was 73,375, in 1886 that number had fallen to 26,009, though in 1887 it had risen again to 30,584.‡‡ In London the evidence shows that in the winter of 1886-7 there were 10,000 names on the evening school registers, with an average attendance of 7,000. We have endeavoured to find out the causes of this comparative failure, and we learn that, in the opinion of many witnesses, a chief cause is to be found in the insufficient encouragement of evening schools by the Education Department, and one of Her Majesty's Inspectors agreed in the view that if Government encouraged such schools with more liberal grants they would increase in number. We are told in particular that evening schools need more freedom in respect both of classification and of subjects of instruction. The Code makes it obligatory on evening scholars earning a grant that they must be examined in the three elementary subjects. In like manner a girl cannot join the evening cookery class without making 24 attendances at the evening school, and without being presented for examination in the standard subjects. This requirement is said to deter many girls from attending the cookery classes. "We tried", said Mr. Burges, "very hard inside the Birmingham Board, when I was on it, to get the Education Department to give grants to night schools without obliging us to go into elementary subjects; and when they refused it (and through the action of the other Education Acts) our old night schools were knocked on the head. We had an average of 250 lads from 12 to 20 years of age, and 130 girls."

The weight of evidence is strongly in favour of a special curriculum for evening schools. Boys desire to learn what will be of use to them. Give them, it is said, drawing, modelling, shorthand, bookkeeping, and the like, and they will attend the evening school. It is made a ground of complaint against the provisions of the Code that an evening scholar is expected in the short evening school session to master the same standard in the three elementary subjects which is required of a day scholar attending school all the year. If, therefore, standards are to be used in these schools, it is contended that they should be special standards, adapted to the circumstances and

†Report of the Reformatories and Industrial Schools Commission, paras. 51, 19, and 20.

‡‡Report of the Committee of Council (1886-7, page ix).


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the possibilities of the case. In the country, it is said, evening schools are chiefly needed for the purpose of repeating the work of the day school, and with this object in view it is most desirable that scholars should be classed in the standard, however low it might be, in which they really need further or repeated instruction. Evening schools of this type, it is said, would also meet the wants of town children under 13 or 14 years of age who are exempt from the obligation to attend the day school. But in towns, evening schools of a higher class are also said to be required for young people over 14 years of age. These, we are told by a large number of witnesses, ought to be a kind of continuation schools, meant to take up the work where the day school left it, and to carry it on until the scholars are fitted to attend institute classes, science and art classes, or university extension lectures. In these schools the formal teaching of the three elementary subjects, it is contended, should be left out, as enough of those matters might be taught through the various class or specific subjects which the scholars may desire to learn.

Several of the witnesses have directed our attention to the good moral effects produced by night schools, when properly organised and taught. The Rev. Dr. Paton, the representative of the Recreative Evening Schools Association, places a very high value on their moral influence which he attributes to the discipline and bright tone of a good night school, and to the carrying on of the training begun in the day school to a period when it becomes effective in the character of the scholar. He was further of opinion that the night schools exercise "a most important social civilising influence", and that much of this influence had been lost since the year 1870. Another witness urged the importance of including suitable physical training as a recognised part of the night school curriculum, and thought this would not require "expensive apparatus". The same witness gave evidence as to the existence of certain vicious practices among youths of the age when they should be attending night schools, and gave his opinion that, according to the facts he had stated, the introduction of physical training would have an important moral result. We fully agree that the retention of some educative and controlling influence over the scholars after they leave the day school, and the removal of them from the contamination of the streets, would have an excellent moral effect. The mere fact that the leisure time of young people is usefully occupied under good influences and guidance during a dangerous period of life, would, in our opinion, be in itself an important educational result, worth some public expenditure to attain. We attach the highest importance to the development and training of the physical powers of the youth of both sexes, and we therefore, think that, in the re-organisation of evening and continuation schools, moral and physical training should have as prominent a place as ordinary instruction and intellectual training.

Opinions are much divided as to the advisability of making attendance at an evening school compulsory, some contending that it would be a very good thing; others maintaining exactly the opposite view.§§ We have endeavoured to gather opinions on another question, whether upon moral grounds, it is wise to open the evening school to girls. But very generally the suggestion was looked upon with more or less disfavour. This must, however, be a question of locality, for there are many places in which respectable girls habitually frequent the streets in the evening for the purposes of exercise and pleasure, or for going on errands. A minor difficulty was pointed out to us in connexion with the annual examination of a night school. An evening school cannot claim this examination at the end of its winter session, unless at least 20 candidates are presented to the Inspector. Where it is impossible, by grouping or otherwise, to make up this number, the evening scholars have to be examined with the day scholars on the day of their annual inspection; and this may take place several months after the evening school has been closed, and at a time when the evening scholars are too busy at their work to be able to attend in the day time. There ought, we think, to be but little difficulty in rectifying this manifest hindrance to the success of rural evening schools.


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We find it more difficult to indicate the source whence teachers for evening schools are to be obtained. .It would be hard to impose the additional work compulsorily upon the day school teacher, and we are strongly advised against such a course. We have also been informed that great success has attended voluntary teaching by ladies, in the case of lads who have proved very difficult of control by teachers of their own sex. We cannot lose sight of the diverse conditions affecting evening schools in town and in the country. It is not probable that any highly organised system can be generally applied in rural districts, and to a large extent, evening schools in such places must depend upon voluntary work. We desire to bear our grateful testimony to the voluntary services of those who have already effected so much for evening schools without pay or reward, and we trust that their labours may not be relaxed. In towns, however, we think that the trained experience of some of those teachers, who may have married and quitted the ranks of the teaching profession, might supply at moderate cost, what is much to be desired, an organised staff of trained teachers for evening schools.

Upon the whole we are decidedly of opinion that the evening school system should be thoroughly revised; that special schedules of standards and subjects should be allowed, suited to the needs of the locality; that the local managers should be encouraged to submit such schedules to the Department for approval; that any such provision as that embodied in the present Code, which requires all scholars to pass in the three elementary subjects, as a condition for taking up additional subjects, should cease to be enforced, and that no superior limit of age should be imposed on the scholars. While we believe that the success of evening schools will largely depend upon great freedom being given to the managers and teachers of such schools, the Department should take ample security for their educational efficiency. If this were done, a larger proportion of the grant might be fixed, and less made to depend on the results of individual examination. In our opinion, the evening schools of the future should be regarded and organised chiefly as schools for maintaining and continuing the education already received in the day school, but, for some years to come, it will be necessary in many places, to repeat in the evening school, in greater or less proportion, the course of instruction previously given in the day-school.

We must not omit all reference to some other classes of schools which, to a certain extent, provide elementary education. There are a certain number of certified efficient schools for which provision is made in the Act of 1876. These schools receive no Government aid, being supported entirely from voluntary sources. The standard of efficiency required in these schools will be found in the Circular of the Department of 1877. Private adventure schools have been largely destroyed by the Education Acts. Some, however, still remain both in town and country, and may be useful as meeting the cases of children unsuited, on account of health and other reasons, for large schools. Where they are inspected carefully, as is done by the Liverpool School Board, they may still be of considerable value.

CHAPTER V

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND HIGHER EDUCATION

The organisation of our elementary schools with a view to bring them into one complete system, and the relations that actually subsist between one description of school and another, are matters which have received our most attentive consideration. It is hardly possible, perhaps, to conceive a state of things in which all great differences arising from inequalities of population, area, and condition of the people, should cease to exist. Any one uniform description of educational machinery, therefore, cannot by itself be made to meet the varying needs of different localities which have to be provided for under any scheme of national education; variety of school being an absolute necessity in any successful attempt to cope with almost unlimited diversity of local circumstances.

Reference has already been made to the difficulties of small rural schools; but the question into which we have inquired, as to the possibility of reducing their number by some practicable system or grouping, must here be briefly dealt with. We have received no evidence to show us to what extent the grouping of two or more parishes


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together into a single school district has already been attempted, although there is reason to believe this practice has not, in the past, been uncommon. On one point, several witnesses agree, that there are rural parishes so small that it is difficult to find

the proper people in them to form an efficient school board. A system of grouping, with the object of securing improved school boards, has accordingly been strongly recommended to us. But, when it was asked whether it would be desirable to merge two or more small schools into one, the evidence we obtained was certainly not very favourable to such a suggestion. It was admitted, indeed, that in a small town with several parishes, the system might possibly be made to work well; but, even there, any sudden change of the existing state of things was deprecated by the witnesses; and doubt was thrown on the assumption that large schools are in themselves the best form of school organisation. A practice exists in some neighbourhoods of the elder boys from several small parishes attending a kind of central school, formed for a group of parishes in some adjoining parish. A further suggestion was thrown out that children might be conveyed, at the cost of the public funds, from their homes to some central school. In the case of 151 small schools in Somerset, the circumstances of which were detailed to us by the Rev. Prebendary Roe, and to which we have referred in a previous chapter, it is said that there was only one school whose managers reported that the school was unnecessary, and there were only seven instances where the managers expressed the opinion that, if their school were closed, there was sufficient school accommodation in adjacent parishes for the children that would thus be deprived of their own schools. That there would be some advantages attending a system of grouping is not denied; but Canon Warburton's opinion, on the whole, does not seem to be favourable to its extension. After allowing that the teaching under such a system might be more effectual, he adds, "But let me qualify that by saying that I think you would lose a great deal in the way of the personal interest and supervision, which are given in small schools. I do not think it would be all clear gain. The schools would be better as machines, but for the individual child, I doubt whether there would not be a balance of disadvantage." There is also the practical difficulty of little children, especially girls, under seven or eight years of age having to walk long distances, with the further drawbacks of wet days and bad roads. The proper solution of the question of grouping small schools is further complicated by the large area of some parishes containing few inhabitants. And in such instances the difficulties we have referred to are enhanced. Making full allowance for all these considerations, we cannot recommend any general system of grouping schools, though there are, no doubt, cases in which such grouping may be advisable.

We have much more evidence on the somewhat larger question of the grading of schools. In theory, every elementary school is looked upon by the Education Department as conforming more or less to one well-defined type. If it is not an infant school, then it is one in which, so far as the Department is concerned, the children may be presented for examination in the fullest possible curriculum of the Code. Each such school may theoretically have its complete set of seven standards, with, indeed, under certain circumstances, children who have passed the Seventh Standard as well; it may take up its two class subjects over and above needlework, singing, and drawing: and it may send in all its scholars above Standard IV to be examined in specific subjects. It is obvious, however, that local and other circumstances may interfere (as in most instances is found to be the case) materially to curtail the extent to which this full and complete programme is adopted. In a large number of schools, for example, the bulk of the scholars are to be found in the four lower standards, leaving but a few, if any, to represent the three higher standards, while in some other localities the number of children whose parents wish them to take advantage of the more advanced subjects in the Code may be abnormally large. A system of grading according to the size of a school, and the number of its classes is well known to exist on the Continent, and Canon Warburton would be well content to have the adoption of some such organisation tried as an experiment in England. But this does not meet the case now under consideration. The question is expressed in the following terms, in our Syllabus of points of Inquiry, "Is it desirable, and if so,


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under what circumstances, to grade the schools in large places, and to have pro motions from one to another?"

We observe, at the outset, that some of the witnesses object almost in toto to any such scheme. Mr. Matthew Arnold took this view, being desirous to see the establishment of a system of State-aided secondary education, as being more likely to serve the purpose required. Other witnesses also oppose grading our elementary schools on various grounds, such as the inconvenience of the younger children of the same family going to one school and the elder ones to another; the possible increase in expense of the plan;t the danger of the higher grade schools being monopolised by children from the higher grades of society; and the injury which would be done to both teachers and children of the lower school from which the best scholars would be drafted into the higher one. Some, whilst accepting the principle of a so-called high class elementary school so far as it applies to children in Standard VII, deprecate taking any other steps in the direction of grading. The Clerk to the Liverpool School Board states his objections to the proposal in the following words: "I am inclined to think that, theoretically, the practice would be likely to be injurious to education generally if largely adopted, because it would, I think, in many cases lead to the employment of inferior teachers in the ordinary schools, and deprive the ordinary teachers of the stimulus afforded by higher teaching. Also, if you require children for the purposes of their higher standards to go to a different school from that in which they have been hitherto educated, a good many children, I fear, will leave school earlier than otherwise they would." His opinion is summed up in the statement that, "In seeking to promote the higher education of the few, there is a great danger that the general education of the mass would be deteriorated."

The advocates for the adoption of some system of grading or classification of schools are, on the other hand, a very numerous body, including both teachers and school managers. Mr. MacCarthy would classify schools mainly on the basis of the machinery provided, and with reference chiefly to the rate of grant to be made. If the buildings were perfectly satisfactory, the staff large and highly qualified, and the apparatus and other appliances complete, such a school might be placed in the first class. If, however, in any given case more or less of this machinery was wanting, or a school, otherwise excellently provided for, failed to attain satisfactory results, then such school would have to fall into the second or the third class; a board of inspectors being entrusted with the duty of determining in which class each school in the first instance is to be placed, the rate of payment of the grant being made to vary with the grade of the school. Another witness proposes that a lower grade of schools should be recognised for very poor children in poor districts, in which the curriculum should be limited to the three elementary subjects, in addition to singing, drawing, and drill, a higher scale of grant being offered for doing good work under special difficulties - such schools being much of the same type as those known to the London School Board as "Schools of special difficulty". A school taking up the ordinary course of an average elementary school without the specific subjects would fall into the middle grade; whilst one exclusively for standards above the fourth would be placed in the highest grade. Under this scheme it is proposed that the Education Department, jointly with the local authorities, should fix the grade of each particular school, and that in some way or other the more promising scholars in the lower grade schools should be passed on to a higher grade school. Another scheme, as we are informed, is being gradually introduced at Salford. The plan is that there should be a lower school for Standards I, II and III; a middle school for Standards IV, V and VI, and a higher school for Standards V, VI and VII. Under this method it is contended that, as its tendency must be to bring together large numbers of children in the same standard, it would be easy to sub-divide the class, putting the duller children into a section by themselves, where they would be taught with direct reference to their capacities and attainments, and putting the rest into a higher section, where they would not be kept back by the presence of their duller companions. We have


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little doubt that, if due precautions are taken to secure that all who would be likely to profit by the teaching in the higher schools should have an opportunity of being promoted to them, some system of grading might be of real advantage to the progress of elementary education in the great centres of population.

But this opens up the question as to what should be the character and constitution of the most advanced grade of our primary schools, those generally known as "higher elementary schools". Some of the witnesses, whilst much desiring to see a sound system of secondary education established in this country, look coldly upon this class of schools. They think that the ground they assume to occupy would be better assigned to secondary schools, to which children might be promoted by exhibitions. Even among those who think well of "higher elementary schools", there are some who would not advocate their establishment, if thereby an increased charge would come on the rates; and they would seek to make up the needed amount of income by charging a higher fee, so as to make the schools independent of all sources of income except grant and fees. Another objection urged in evidence was, that the effect of withdrawing from the ordinary elementary schools all the children in the higher standards, would be to injure those schools educationally, by destroying a source of interest for the teachers, and of ambition for the children. It has been stated also that existing "higher elementary schools", by a process of under-selling, are starving secondary schools, and that they are thus making it difficult to find suitable candidates for scholarships which have been founded in grammar schools and are often specially limited to scholars in public elementary schools. On the other hand, it is urged that, in view of the difficulty of finding sufficient teaching power in the ordinary elementary school to deal effectually with the very few scholars attending in the higher standards, a system of collecting these higher standard children from all the schools in the same town into one department, and working them there in a full course of higher subjects will secure far better classification, and will prove to be a wise division of labour. It is contended that whatever harm is done to lower schools by depriving them of their more forward scholars is more than outweighed by the superior educational advantages enjoyed by children in the "higher elementary schools", in the form of laboratory, scientific apparatus, models for drawing, and of machinery not generally provided in the lower schools. It is also stated that these "higher elementary schools" are useful in providing well-prepared candidates to fill the office of pupil-teachers, in localities in which it would otherwise be difficult to procure them.

We find that there is great diversity in the actual constitution of these higher elementary schools. In Huddersfield, for instance, the parents are recommended, as soon as their children have passed the Sixth Standard, to send them to the higher school, removing them from the lower school they have hitherto attended. Standard VII in all the lower schools is abolished; and the fee charged in the Seventh Standard school is the same as in the lower schools, although it is observed as a fact that the children attending it are chiefly those of the better working class. In Sheffield admission to the higher elementary school is treated as a prize; admission to it being by competition among the children who have passed Standard V in any of the elementary schools of the town. The fee is 9d a week; but in the case of children whose parents, on account of poverty, are unable to pay so much, this payment is remitted. Children from private schools may compete for admission; but out of 273 admitted at the last examination, only six were from schools other than public elementary ones. In Bradford, where there are four higher elementary schools, two for boys and two for girls, the system adopted is very different. There, no attempt is made simply to gather together the clever boys and girls of the upper standards from the other schools, but the object is rather to supply in them for all standards a type of education higher than can be obtained in the ordinary elementary school, and to charge such a fee (9d) as can be paid by a somewhat higher grade of the wage-earning classes. As a matter of fact, very few children attend these schools in the lower standards; and, in order to meet the case of the deserving poor, certain exhibitions are offered to meet the amount of the fees and the cost of the books. In Birmingham, where at present there is only one higher elementary school, the scholars are


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exclusively of Standards VII and ex-VII; the fee is 3d a week; almost all the children are from the working class: and the condition of admission is that a child shall have passed the Sixth Standard and shall engage to remain in the higher school a whole year, and to present himself at the May examination of the Science and Art Department. At Manchester there appear to be four of these higher schools. One of them, the Central School, has admitted, since its opening, 1,450 children, of whom 250 came from schools higher than the ordinary elementary ones; and it is practically self-supporting, in the sense that its maintenance is not a burden on the rates, on account of the large grants from the Science and Art Department. The scholars are limited to Standard V and upwards, and the class of parents making use of the school for their children consists chiefly of skilled artisans, small shopkeepers, and persons in similar positions.

In most instances the curriculum of these "higher elementary schools" is controlled by the requirements of the Code up to Standard VII, and for all above that standard largely by the syllabus of the Science and Art Department: the dividing line being fixed by the fact that, as a rule, the Education Department will not make any grant for a child who has passed the Seventh Standard. This regulation of the Education Department, we may remark in passing, is complained of by one witness, who says that whilst in some cases a scholar passes Standard VII before he is 12 years old, the Code makes no provision for his further education. As long, however, as a child has not passed the highest standard of the Code he is treated in the higher elementary school in Manchester as an elementary scholar: he takes up the work of the standards, two class subjects, and two specific subjects, with one of the courses given in the Science and Art Directory; and in this way he may earn for his school, from the Education Department, as much as £1 2s 6d in grants. Children who have passed the Seventh Standard are usually formed into an organized science school under the Science and Art Department; and as that Department makes a grant of 10s a head for all pupils who, having made 250 attendances in the year, pass in one science subject; and since, further, all such pupils may compete in the various grant-earning subjects at the May examinations, the gross amount of grant a school may receive in this way is far more than could be obtained from the Education Department, and is estimated at the Manchester Central School to amount to £3 14s a head. The higher subjects usually taken up by the ex-VIIth children include mathematics, plane geometry and projections, freehand drawing, in addition to one of the following, namely, machine construction and drawing, theoretical and practical chemistry, or electricity. In Birmingham is added practice in the use of wood-working tools; and in Manchester French is taught to all; and the knowledge of commercial arithmetic and of English composition is carefully kept up. It will be seen that in many instances these schools are maintained at little or no cost to the ratepayers; but it has to be remembered that where the buildings have not been otherwise provided, the interest of the money spent in erecting them ought to be reckoned as a burden upon the rate; and in Birmingham, where the fee charged is very small, each scholar costs the rates about 19s per annum.

Similar schools promoted by voluntary managers were not unknown previous to the passing of the Education Act of 1870, and, as we have reason to believe, still exist. We have had before us as a witness the Master of St. Thomas' Charterhouse Church School, one of the best known of those voluntary schools which have supplemented the elementary course by higher branches of education. He tells us that the fees vary from 3d to 1s 9d a week: that the scholars belong chiefly to the lower middle class, but that 60 or 70 boys are sent in free by the Endowed Schools Commissioners. Many of them, he says, come from long distances. In the Seventh Standard, boys take up one or more of the following subjects: chemistry, mechanics, mathematics, botany, electricity, acoustics, and some other subjects, with the result that the boys acquire such a taste for science that they nearly always continue to study it after they go to work, and resort largely to evening classes where they may keep up their knowledge.


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Whilst the evidence before us is abundant for the purpose of showing how popular, and for the most part successful, these higher elementary schools are in the various places where they have been founded, still opinions are much divided as to the policy of extending, or even continuing, them. Several of the inspectors are opposed to the movement, avowedly because they think some system of secondary education ought to take up the work attempted by higher elementary schools. Mr. Matthew Arnold maintained that secondary schools should have their buildings, and also some portion of the teachers' salaries, provided by the State, and Canon Warburton recommends that the State should provide exhibitions to such secondary schools for the more promising scholars from elementary schools. Dr. Crosskey, however, takes the view that whilst the higher elementary school is intended for children from 12 years old up to 14 or 15, the secondary schools, which should be entered when a child is 10, or at most 11, years old, is designed to carry on the work much beyond 15, and is for picked scholars rather than for the average of the children found in higher elementary schools. Mr. Fitch is of opinion that, with the higher education now given in some elementary schools, the third grade schools, as laid down by the Schools Inquiry Commission, are practically no longer a necessity of an educational system. But higher elementary schools are said to be meeting the actual wants of more people than are secondary schools, more especially because the former schools are cheaper.

However desirable these higher elementary schools may be, the principle involved in their addition to our educational system should, if approved, be avowedly adopted. Their indirect inclusion is injurious to both primary and secondary instruction. If, therefore, the curriculum of higher elementary schools is restricted within due limits, avoiding all attempts to invade the ground properly belonging to secondary education, and if due precautions are taken to secure that promising children of poor parents are not excluded from the privileges to be enjoyed in them, then we are of opinion that such schools may prove to be a useful addition to our school machinery for primary education. In certain cases the object of such schools might be secured by attaching to an ordinary elementary school a class or section in which higher instruction was provided for scholars who had passed the Seventh Standard. In Scotland liberal grants are now made to the managers of elementary schools for advanced instruction to scholars who have passed the highest standard, and we see no reason why English children should not be afforded like assistance for continuing their education. This arrangement would facilitate the provision of such higher instruction in the smaller and less populous school districts, and, for reasons already suggested, might be preferred, by the authorities of some even of the larger districts, to the establishment of separate schools. We cannot therefore regard as completely satisfactory the present position of the class of schools to which we have referred. On the one hand they are obliged to adapt their curriculum in such a way as to bring them within the requirements of the Education Acts and of the Code in order that they may obtain Government grants; whilst, on the other hand, their object is to provide a much higher education than is ordinarily understood by the word "elementary". There is beside a tendency to provide schools for children whose parents are in a position to pay fees sufficiently high to cover the expense of their education, and so to benefit persons in comfortable circumstances at the cost of the ratepayers and taxpayers; thus relieving parents of their proper responsibility for the education of their own children. Under these circumstances we think it is desirable that the State should recognise the distinction between elementary and secondary education to an extent not yet attempted. It is to be regretted that no practicable suggestion was made for extending any such higher education to rural districts, or, indeed, to places with populations below 10,000 or 15,000. A knowledge, for instance, of the principles of agriculture, which might be taught in a higher elementary school, if such existed in country places, might be of very great value to those children, who were hereafter to be engaged in agricultural labour.

We find a very general feeling obtaining among the witnesses in favour of the adoption of some system of exhibitions or scholarships to secondary and higher schools. But it is maintained that boys or girls should be singled out for such promotion at a somewhat early age. It is a mistake, we are told, to assume that a child must first get to the top of the elementary school before he is allowed to enter the secondary


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school; but that he should be selected from about the fifth Standard, and thus spend the time from 11 to 13 years of age in the lower stages of the higher school rather than in the higher stages of the lower. A practical difficulty has arisen in consequence of the fact that in secondary schools Latin is usually an important part of the curriculum, and that elementary scholars rarely, if ever, learn anything of that subject whilst attending their own elementary school. We are told in evidence, however, that head teachers are ready to help promising boys over this difficulty, and especially that the London School Board has adopted a scheme under which successful candidates for scholarships at a secondary school are put through a six months' course of preparatory teaching in Latin before actually beginning attendance at the higher school. We were informed by Mr. Fitch, that there is a still greater difficulty in the way of many children taking advantage of such exhibitions to higher schools as they may happen to win. The exhibition usually is only enough to pay the tuition fees; and its winner has to be maintained during the time he holds it. Poor parents, therefore, are often obliged to decline the exhibition for their child, being unable to support him whilst he receives the higher education to which it entitles him. Out of five or six boys in one school in Lambeth who had succeeded in gaining scholarships at an endowed school, two only had parents who could afford to let them take advantage of these privileges.

An exhaustive list of about 1,000 schemes, made under the Charitable Trust and Endowed Schools Acts, now in operation, under which exhibitions are granted to scholars from elementary schools so as to enable them to enter higher schools, and under which payments are made for prolonging their stay in elementary schools, has recently been prepared by the Charity Commissioners, and transmitted to the Education Department, a copy of which has been furnished to us by Mr. Cumin. The object of this Return is to apprise the district inspector of all the cases within his district in which endowments are available for the benefit of scholars in or from the elementary schools which he periodically visits. "At present", says Mr. Fitch, "we have no such knowledge. As we move about among schools, and come in contact with clever and promising children, it would be a great advantage to us, if we were officially cognisant of the means of secondary instruction which exist in the district, and which we might advise the managers and parents to avail themselves of." It is proposed, by distributing to each inspector copies of the schemes affecting any of the schools within his district, to place him in possession of this much-needed information. By this means his attention would be directed to the provision available in the district for enabling children of promise to prolong their attendance in the elementary school, and to the opportunities within their I'each for advancing from the elementary to the secondary school.

In St. Olave's Grammar School in London, for instance, there is a competition held every Christmas; the candidates being boys from the public elementary schools in the neighbourhood. "The successful candidates", Mr. Sharpe says, "are moved through the school by intermediate exhibitions; and then at the end of their school life one or two survive to go to the Universities, and the intermediate ones generally rise to a higher grade of life, such as the Civil Service; and they attend the classes at King's College afterwards, and carry on their education that way." Mr. Sharpe is convinced of the wisdom of the system he advocates, and speaking of an elementary scholar who has won his way to the University, he says: "If he can hold his own with those he finds at the University, it is a decided advantage to him to enter into a higher battle of life." At Manchester scholarships are offered to elementary scholars, giving them admission to the central school, and several scholarships have been won by boys at the Central School, admitting them to the Normal School of Science at South Kensington. Thirty scholarships tenable at the Manchester Grammar School are offered to boys in the elementary schools: some of these, however, we are told, in the last year or two, have been awarded to boys from other schools, there not being a sufficient number of duly qualified elementary scholars to take them all. At Leeds, we are informed, the school board remits the fees of very promising scholars at the Higher Elementary School; and there are 16 scholarships at the Grammar School open to boys from the primary schools; the class of people whose sons take these scholarships being mostly working men, artisans, and the like. The Bradford School


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Board has founded 20 scholarships, of the annual value of 45s each, to be held by scholars from the ordinary elementary schools at the Higher Elementary School. There are also scholarships, some of them founded out of the rates, open to elementary scholars, entitling them to admission to the Grammar School; and in 1885 the Technical College at Bradford offered 42 scholarships to candidates throughout the whole county of Yorkshire, of which 27 were gained by boys from the Higher Elementary Schools. In Birmingham the experiment has been carried on longer, and on a larger scale than in the other instances before us. It appears that about a third of the scholars in the schools on King Edward's Foundation are exhibitioners, and that half of the exhibitions in the seven grammar schools are offered to boys and girls from the elementary schools. A few years ago 30 per cent of all the scholars in these schools had begun their education at an elementary school; that percentage is now almost 50. And although it is reported of the exhibitioners from the elementary schools that at first they show a want of mental alertness and an absence of intellectual acquisitiveness, in some cases they are said in the end to do brilliantly, and we are informed that a considerable proportion of the exhibitioners come from a very humble class in society.

A full consideration of the means now available for enabling promising scholars to proceed from the lower to the higher grades of schools convinces us that there are two wants not yet fully met. These are, first, that the supply of satisfactory secondary schools should be organised, and should be made adequate for the wants of all parts of the country; and, secondly, that increased funds should be provided out of which to create sufficient exhibitions for deserving elementary scholars needing further instruction at those schools. We have refrained from going into the details of this large question, as it is not within our order of reference, and we do not think that we should be justified in expressing any opinion as to the means by which these objects should be secured.





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PART V

Government Examination, the Parliamentary Grant, and the Cost of Public Elementary Education
Chapter I - Government Examination.
Chapter II - The Parliamentary Grant.
Chapter III - Income and Expenditure of Schools.

CHAPTER I

GOVERNMENT EXAMINATION

In approaching the subject of the annual Government examination of elementary schools we cannot fail to be struck with the influence which this examination exercises upon the whole work of the year. The inspection day is the day towards which the eyes of all connected with an elementary school are continually looking forward. The arrangements for the whole year are devised to meet the requirements of the inspector's visit. The course of teaching, the classification of the scholars, the daily progress of the subjects, the attendance of the children, the working staff, the time-table, even the season of the year, and the idiosyncrasy of the inspector, are one and all to be taken into account in their bearing upon this great event of the school year. Whilst we are fully sensible of the value of the annual examination as a spur to keep all parties well up to their work, we are by no means sure that the feeling which it creates and fosters is, under present conditions, a healthy one. For example, it is said to dominate unduly over the proper organisation of a school; and Mr. Sharpe calls attention to this danger, when he encourages teachers to be independent of inspectors, and to consider themselves solely responsible for the organisation of their schools. The effects of the Government examination, under the present system, on the classification and the teaching are evidently very great. A teacher, no doubt, has the power to classify his scholars as he thinks best; but the children must generally be examined in the standards according to the Code. Many teachers allege that the result is to discourage every other form of classification, and to destroy altogether their freedom of organisation. The rigidity of the existing system is illustrated by one witness in a forcible way. He instances a case of 40 boys who may be sent up at one time from the infants' school to the boys' school. According to his view these 40 boys are likely to be kept together year after year till they leave school. But, if freedom of classification were possible, instead of continuing throughout their school life in one compact body, they would soon begin to lengthen out in a line, some moving quickly, some moderately, and the rest slowly. The same witness being asked if there was anything in the present Code to prohibit the free classification which he advocated, described his own experience, under which, in the middle of the year, he promoted the brighter boys to a higher standard, intending, however, to present them for examination in the lower standard; but two months before the inspection his courage failed him and he gave up the experiment. Another witness describes the present system of enforced classification as an irrational one, which places children, not according to what they know or can learn, but according to what has been forced into their minds; and his experience, he says, proves that under it some children are forced on at a rate which nature never intended; while from 20 to 25 per cent of the rest, who could advance two standards in a year, are compelled simply to "mark time". For, he added, if a child passes his standards at the rate of two a year, he will presently arrive at an age when, although his school


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life is not ended, he can earn no more grants for his school. We have before us abundance of similar evidence in the replies to the statistical inquiries made in Circulars A and D. The answers may thus be summarised, that the hard and fast system of classification keeps back clever children in order that dull ones may be pushed on; that it is unfair to children and to teachers; that it involves waste of power and labour in every way; that the gain to the dull is no compensation for the loss to the bright; that the aim is uniform mediocrity; that there is no elasticity and no scope; that it assumes all children equal in capacity, and attention; and that it proceeds on an absurd mechanical basis. Mr. Sharpe reminds us that in theory the Department professes in no way to interfere with the organisation of a school, and that the organisation together with the discipline is one of the elements to be considered by the inspector when assessing the merit grant. Opinions are divided as to whether inspectors do or do not directly interfere in this matter; but indirectly this interference appears to be very real, for ordinarily the detention of a child for a second year in the standard which he has passed inflicts on the managers the same loss as if he had failed in the three elementary subjects, unless the inspector allows it to be placed on the list of exceptions. Mr. Sharpe makes a suggestion for dealing with this difficulty as it affects small schools, proposing that two of the standards as classified under the present Code, should be formed into one group to be passed through in two years. Another witness recommends that if this suggestion were adopted the lower part of the group should be examined more leniently than the upper. Mr. Fitch proposes a still more extensive change in the existing system, with the view of securing more elasticity in organisation and classification.

In our opinion the evidence supports the conclusion that the present practice of many of the teachers, which they doubtless consider to be forced upon them by the Code, leads to some children being unduly detained in the successive standards, and to others being unduly hurried through them, and that consequently the teachers in such cases feel themselves more or less fettered by the system. If Government grants continue to be paid on the same principle as at present, the remedy we propose to meet this complaint is to allow managers and teachers full liberty in the classification of their scholars, subject to a reduction of the grant if this liberty be abused; and in small schools to adopt a simpler classification both for instruction and for examination.

Up to the time when the Code of 1882 was brought into operation, the attendance qualification entitling a scholar to be presented for examination was 250 attendances in the school year, and 150 attendances for half-timers. For this the Code of 1882 substituted the regulation, that all scholars whose names have been on the school registers for the last 22 weeks of the school year must, as a rule, be presented for examination. The aim in making this change is stated to have been on the one hand to secure that the teacher should not be subject to so strong a temptation to falsify the register in order to give a probably successful scholar his attendance qualification, and on the other hand to prevent a school losing its grant for a child, otherwise qualified, through some mere misfortune, such as its accidental absence on the day of the examination. The evidence we have received on the working of this altered rule is by no means unanimous. Some of the inspectors consider that the new rule is no improvement upon that which it supersedes; that it does not ensure an improved attendance; and that it may work disadvantageously for the results of the examination. Mr. Sharpe approves of the change in spite of the objections which have been pointed out. Many of the teachers dislike it very much, for they are not allowed to plead irregularity as a reason for withdrawal, and they complain that irregularity is more prevalent under the present rule than under the old one. One witness admits that the change has removed from teachers a great temptation to make false entries in the registers, and to connive at a backward child not completing his attendance qualification; but another shows how it may encourage the practice, of' bringing about the removal of a child's name from the register in order to destroy


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its attendance qualification. Mr. Diggle describes a "weeding out" process due to the change, under which sometimes, just before the 22 weeks begin, a backward child is passed on from school to school, and so may escape ever being subjected to any educational test. As a partial remedy against this evil, the Code, which at first allowed a name to be removed after six weeks' continuous absence, is now altered in such a way as to prohibit the removal of any name from the register unless the child has died, or has been ascertained to have left the school or neighbourhood. The evidence of the replies to the statistical inquiries made by circulars A and D shows the 22 weeks' system to be very unpopular, with teachers, managers, and school boards. Mr. R. B. Williams, superintendent of visitors in East Lambeth, who approaches this question from a different point of view from the witnesses above referred to, is in favour of examining every child on the roll of the school at the time of the annual examination, if he has been on the roll of any efficient school during the 22 weeks. We are of opinion, however, that if the present system of assessing the Government grant be continued, as in the case of the class examination so in the case of the three standard subjects, every child in the school might well be examined, and that the inspector in making his report should be directed to bear in mind any circumstances affecting the children and the school.

The following evidence gives a striking description of the annual examination before individual examination was prescribed, as it was conducted by Dr. Morell, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools at that time:

"He always, when he came to the school, saw its ordinary working; then he would take a class. He went through every class, and asked the teacher to explain the principles of the rules in arithmetic. He would stand and watch him, and then he would ascertain how many could work an example in the same rule correctly, placing the children in such a position that they could not copy, and if 75 per cent worked the sum right, he considered that it was a very good result. He would always insist upon hearing every teacher give a lesson, after finding out what ground he had attempted to cover during the year. It used to be a really very pleasant time."

The following description of an examination, as formerly conducted, was also given to us by the Rev. J. Menet:

"No doubt it differed very much from the present inspection, but the inspection that I knew best was the system of letting the school go on its usual course, as far as possible, listening to the lessons of the teacher, making an accurate statement of all the results of the work in the several classes, giving a thoughtful attention to the various methods of working, and, in short, going into all the details of the school with a view of really giving a fair estimate of the whole work in all its details. That was the inspection with which I was most familiar, and it seemed to me, and I can speak from results that I know, to have been admirably fitted for its purpose, and to have produced excellent results."

Sir Lovelace Stamer thus contrasts the present mode of examination with that which preceded it:

"I do not think that there is sufficient time given, to begin with; and there is a general haste in all the proceedings which, of course, upsets the discipline of the school. My own belief is that the old days of inspection gave the inspectors a far better opportunity of getting at the character of the school than they can possibly have now when the ordinary work and discipline of the school is upset in order to facilitate their inspection."

We recommend that in future the inspection of public elementary schools should be distinctly of two kinds, to be held on different days. The sole object of one inspection would be to secure that all children in the schools are being thoroughly taught the elements of instruction; the first "inspection" would, therefore, be confined to a strict and thorough examination in reading, writing, and arithmetic of each individual child attending school. This examination, confined strictly to the three elementary subjects, would be held on a day of which notice had been given, and its results, designated in future "the report of the examination" would be in the hands of the inspector of the district before his visit. The objects of the second inspection, to be held within a fortnight after the examination, would be, on the one hand, to pass a judgment upon the whole character of the school, and, on the other hand, to give advice and encouragement to the managers and teachers. At this visit the inspector


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would consider the moral tone and discipline of the school, the methods of teaching the aptitude of the teachers, and the condition of the buildings and premises, while he would also thoroughly test the proficiency of the children in all the subjects taught, by hearing the teacher examine the children, by examining classes himself in the subjects included in the syllabus which had not been previously tested at the first examination, or by any other methods he might select. His report upon the school would be based both on the report of the first examination, and on his own inspection. The inspector might at this visit, if he thinks it desirable, test the report of the first examination, and there should rest an appeal from the final judgment of the inspector to the chief inspector of the district.

Under the present system, individual examination means the method by which that portion of the grant which depends on the percentage of passes in the three elementary subjects is ascertained by the individual examination in those subjects of every child presented to the inspector for examination. Class-examination, means the method of judging of the proficiency of a class in certain subjects, geography, history, natural science, needlework, and English, by the criterion of the proportion of children answering well, whether amounting to half, or to three-quarters of such class. If the inspector reports that half the class answered satisfactorily, the half grant amounting to 1s on the average attendance is paid. If he reports that three-quarters answered satisfactorily, the full grant amounting to 2s is paid. Sample or specimen examination means the selection by the inspector of certain children taken from a standard, or of certain standards out of the seven standards, as representative of the work of the whole school in the class subjects. Thus an inspector, if geography and English were taken, might examine half of Standard II in English and the other half in geography, not all in both. Or he might say, "I will take Standards II, IV, and VI in geography, and III, V, and VII in English", and might report on the geography and English of the whole school according to the proficiency of the scholars in the children or standards so selected.

The comparative merits of the two systems of examination known respectively as individual and class examination have engaged much of our attention, and a considerable amount of evidence has been received upon the question. Hitherto individual examination in the three elementary subjects has been the fixed rule in the English Code; and although some kind of sample examination was suggested previous to the issue of the Code of 1882, the suggestion was received with but little favour by the teachers and managers, and was dropped. Sample examination, instead of the present individual examination, is advocated by Mr. Cumin. In the Scotch Code a change has recently been introduced, to which we have already alluded, providing for class examination in the Standard subjects for Standards I and II. One special evil of the system of individual examination is dwelt upon by several witnesses, namely, its tendency to frighten the children; more especially where the teacher impresses upon their minds the fact that by their failure a certain sum of money will be lost to the school. Much of the time now occupied by examining children individually in standard subjects might, it is said, be more profitably employed by the inspector and his staff in making visits without notice, and in listening to lessons given by the teachers; while teachers in preparing for individual examination have to draw too largely on the time needed for training the intelligence of the children. On the other hand the fear is expressed by Mr. Diggle that if the record of individual examination were abolished, many children, and especially the dull ones, would pass through the school without knowing anything about their subjects. Another evil resulting from the enormous amount of work thrown upon the inspector and his assistants by individual examination is stated to be that they are induced to attempt the impossible task of doing two things at once, as, for instance, looking over the sums of one standard whilst hearing the reading of another. Lord Lingen doubts if it would be safe to dispense with individual examination, but Mr. Fitch, as we have already said, is in favour of so far adopting the system now obtaining in Scotland as will do away altogether with the record of individual passes in the first and second standards; and whilst desiring to continue the record of individual examination in Standard III and upwards, he would pay the grant on the lines of a class examination. A similar view we observe is held by other inspectors.


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On the assumption that the present system of assessing the Government grant is to continue, whilst in Standards I and II class examination might take the place of the present individual examination, as in the Scotch Code, we think that individual passes should be recorded from Standard III and upwards, as a guide to managers and teachers, as some security for the thoroughness of the examination, and also as a guarantee to the parents that justice is being done to their children. Whatever alterations are made in the method of examination, however, provision must be made for the individual examination of all children whose parents desire them to be furnished with labour certificates.

Two other subjects still remain to be dealt with under the head of Government examination. These are the "exception schedules", in which managers and teachers claim exemption from examination for certain children upon various grounds; and "Over-pressure", which is alleged by some to be a result of the existing system of elementary education, and more particularly of the annual individual examination. The two subjects are closely connected with each other, for the exception schedule has been adopted for the purpose of preventing, or at any rate mitigating over-pressure. Some form of exception schedule has been in use since the Code of 1882 came into force; but the particular grounds on which exemption from examination could be claimed were first defined with fulness in the Code of 1884.* Opinions vary very much as to whether the present regulations are effective for their purpose. The teachers who appeared before us almost unanimously complained of the working of the exception schedule. They allege that the inspectors discourage withdrawals by the reference they often make in their reports to the number of them, the fear of this disparaging reference operating to keep many cases, thoroughly proper in themselves, from appearing on the schedule of exceptions, lest the merit grant should thereby be affected. They point out that a disallowed exemption results in three ciphers on the examination schedule, for a child who is refused exemption cannot be examined, but is regarded as having failed in all the standard subjects. They claim that cases presented by the managers, especially if they have been entered in the log book, should be accepted without question by the inspectors. It is represented as a further grievance that irregularity of attendance is not admitted among the "reasonable excuses". But there is by no means the same unanimity of opinion among managers. Many managers affirm that the inspectors allow, and that very freely, the certified exceptions that have been placed before them. Some, whilst admitting that this is so, contend that the teachers, for fear of the merit grant being prejudiced, do not use their privilege of placing names on the schedule as freely as circumstances would justify them in doing. Other managers have asserted that the inspectors do not readily accept the entries on the exemption schedule as presented to them, and a doubt is expressed if, in the short time at their command, it is possible for them thoroughly to investigate all the cases brought before them - a view also accepted by one of the inspectors. The inspectors, on the other hand, as a rule, speak in defence of the present regulations. They maintain that they deal fairly with the exception schedule, and that they do not refuse to allow exceptions if proper reasons are given. Mr. Sharpe showed that during the previous quarter in London, 6,000 children out of 81,000, were absent or withdrawn from examination, and that less than 200 were refused by the inspectors on the ground that the reasons alleged were insufficient. The demand of the teachers to be allowed to withdraw 10 per cent of the scholars from examination does not find favour with the inspectors, for they contend that a fixed percentage is ill adapted to meet varying circumstances, but they suggest that further freedom of withdrawal should be allowed. The managers are supposed themselves to prepare the exception schedule, and at any rate they authenticate it with their signature. But whilst both they and the teachers are expressly stated as a rule not to have abused their privilege in entering backward scholars upon it, the position is strongly maintained that these two authorities must

*See Art. 109 (c.) (vi.). See also Summary of Statistical Return A under opinions on the Code.


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not be permitted to have the sole control of this matter, but that it is essential that the inspector should retain the power of vetoing any case which, in his opinion, is improperly placed upon the exception schedule. We must not omit to point out, however, that Mr. Fitch's proposals for lightening the individual examination, would do away altogether with the exception schedule; for in granting greater freedom of classification a full grant and for the standard subjects on the lines of the examination now applied to the class subjects, he would require all scholars not unavoidably absent from school to be examined - a proposal accepted in advance by several of the teachers. Inspectors, we are told, are beginning to be more lenient in the matter of exceptions, and, if they had somewhat larger powers given to them to deal with special cases, possibly in the course of time little further complaint would be heard on this subject.

We have made special inquiry as to the existence of "over-pressure" among the children and the teachers of elementary schools, and as to the causes of the alleged evil, and we have met with a considerable difference of opinion upon this question among the witnesses who came before us. A good many of the teachers affirm that there is still much over-pressure in schools. They define over-pressure as "compelling a child to do work, or to obtain results which the mental ability or physical condition of the child does not justify, and which would not be demanded if the child's best interests were the only thing desired", or as "forcing a child through a course of teaching beyond its power, or compelling a child to do within too short a time what it might perhaps be able to do, had more time been given." Over-pressure exists, a great number of witnesses including the teachers say, in all schools, and especially where the children are very poor, or, so far as over-pressure on teachers is concerned, where the staff is insufficient. One witness characterises it as a growing evil, inevitably resulting from individual examination connected with a money payment. We are told that it is chiefly discernible among under-fed, backward, poor and neglected children, the requirements of the Code being arranged for average children, and therefore being excessive for dull and backward ones. Teachers also, we are informed, especially women and pupil-teachers, often suffer much from the evil of over-pressure. Some say that it is also met with in the case of quick children. On the other hand, there are teachers who deny all personal knowledge of its existence, and they affirm that there is no fear of it under the existing "standards", with the safeguard of the exception schedule. The managers also are divided upon the question, the evidence showing that in London, Birmingham, or Salford now no complaints are heard. Others affirm that it is unknown in schools classed as "excellent", and is chiefly to be met with among ill-fed children, or where there is a deficiency in the number or the quality of the teaching staff. Lastly, among the inspectors we meet with a much nearer approach to unanimity. Canon Warburton notes that where it is the custom after the inspection to indulge in considerable relaxation of effort, trusting for the final results to a "spurt" in the last three months, there the excessive strain put upon the children tells upon the backward ones, and he lays the blame of this unequal distribution of the work over the whole year upon the managers as well as upon the teachers. Mr. Matthew Arnold had met with over-pressure, but more often in the case of precocious than of dull children. Mr. Sharpe doubts if even dull children who are regular in their attendance need be subjected to any over-pressure, and he is of opinion that, with the safeguards of the Code properly used, there is very little over-pressure found. Mr. Fitch disbelieves altogether in the existence of over-pressure, pointing, in proof of this assertion, to the healthy condition of children in school compared with those outside, arguing that the curriculum is much lighter and the number of school hours is far smaller in English than in continental schools, and especially recalling the fact that during the agitation upon the question in 1884 very few parents or school managers took any share in it. It was


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maintained by a large majority of the inspectors who appeared before us that the curriculum of the three standard subjects, together with the class subjects, is not too much for the year's work; and whilst Canon Warburton believes that long home lessons and injudicious "keeping-in" for extra instruction bring discredit upon the whole system, both Mr. Sharpe and Mr. Fitch agree in saying that these two practices are now resorted to but very sparingly. There is little doubt, however, that there is ground for thinking that a considerable number of children attending school are not as fit for study as they should be, that this is very largely due to the fact that they are insufficiently fed and come from very poor or thriftless homes. It must be remembered also that the schools are now necessarily attended by a considerable number of sickly children, and therefore it is almost inevitable that in some cases over-strain will occur. There can be no doubt, however, that the present system of payment on the results of individual examination tends to produce over-pressure in certain cases, although this evil has doubtless been much exaggerated.

It is impossible wholly to separate the question of over-pressure among scholars from that experienced by teachers, and several witnesses, and many of the answers to our statistical inquiries, speak of the worry and anxiety as leading to nervousness, headaches, and other disorders in the case of teachers. Mr. Sharpe points out that the length of time which the staff is engaged in teaching, the mid-day study of pupil-teachers, and the fact that girls are frequently kept standing for long hours whilst engaged in teaching, are sources of possible injury, but he also states that, though isolated cases of it may be found, over-pressure as a general thing does not exist. The answers to the Circulars A and D show that out of 3,759 replies from voluntary managers, only 1,109, or 30 per cent, that out of 385 from school boards, 104, or 27 per cent, and that out of 3,496 from head teachers, 1,133, or 32 per cent, complain of some kind of over-pressure, affecting either head teachers, assistants, or children. No doubt better feeding of the half-starved children, the employment of larger and more efficient teaching staffs, a better distribution of the year's work throughout the year, and improved attendance, would do much to get rid of the mischief. We would, however, express our opinion that the utmost care should be taken to secure that the pupil-teachers are constitutionally strong and healthy. And it is satisfactory to learn that the provisions, inserted first in the Code of 1884, for the prevention of over-pressure, have already produced relief. Nevertheless, we are of opinion, that so long as a money value is attached to each success in the individual examination of the children attending any elementary school, and so long as the teachers are dependent on the grant for part of their income, there is great risk that teachers, in considering their own reputation and emoluments, may endanger the health and welfare of the children. We give due weight to Mr. Fitch's explanation of the reason why the outcry against this evil broke out when it did - namely, that, whereas before the Code of 1882 it was to the interest of the teachers to present as many children as possible for examination, under that Code it became their interest to withdraw all who were unlikely to pass successfully. But we cannot forget that we have to deal with circumstances as they exist, and with human nature as we find it; we are unable, therefore, to look for a complete remedy for over-pressure without some modification of the regulations of the existing Code.




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CHAPTER II

PARLIAMENTARY GRANT

Under the regulations in force up to the introduction of the Code of 1862 the Parliamentary Grant was awarded rather for educational machinery than for any results which that machinery produced; and one of the objections most strongly urged against the system at that time was, that whilst a minority of the children received a satisfactory education, there was no guarantee that the rest were in any true sense of the term educated at all; that, in fact, the teachers directed their attention chiefly to the upper classes and to the bright children, who were likely to do them credit, while the duller ones were neglected, or at any rate given less than their share of individual instruction. The opinion expressed in the Report of the Duke of Newcastle's Commission on this point we have stated at length in the Second Chapter of the First Part of our Report. The Code of 1862, known as Mr. Lowe's Revised Code, to which we have already referred at length, aimed at preventing the possibility of such a state of things. It swept away all the personal payments which had hitherto been made to the teachers; it instituted an individual examination, as a means, not only of assessing the grant, but also of securing that every scholar should have his due amount of instruction from the teacher; and it turned the grant into a single payment to the managers, to whom it was left to distribute the grant as they might think best. The system thus begun, under which grants have been made to schools mainly according to the results as tested by the annual examination, has been popularly characterised as a system of "payment by results"; and we have endeavoured in this inquiry to ascertain what has been the effect of the working of the system upon both teachers and scholars, and generally, also, upon the quality of the education given in our elementary schools.

Taken all together, the evidence of the teachers amounts to a very heavy indictment against the system of "payment by results". Many teachers say that an intellectual teaching does not "pay", but that the teachers have to work up to the hard-and-fast line of the Code, and to study the individuality of the inspector, so as best to prepare their children for winning a high percentage of passes. The system, it is alleged, has the effect of limiting the curriculum of work taken up in a school: for, practically, a subject which has no money value attached to it in the Code is entirely passed by. They say that the method of "pricing subjects" induces all parties to look more to what can be earned than to what is good for the scholars, and that it provides a stimulus, not to good teaching, but to "cram" with the view of getting money. In this way. it is maintained, teachers have become demoralised; and instead of their efforts being directed mainly to the religious, moral, and intellectual education of the children under their care, they are led to consider first, and before all other things, what will pay best, and how they can make most money. In particular, this system, it is said, has led managers to form an exaggerated idea of the importance of the percentage of passes, so that to them the question of the "number and percentage of passes is of far greater interest than that of the children's intellectual welfare." It is said that in treating with a teacher for a vacant appointment the managers' question is, "What percentage have you passed, and what are the entries on your parchment?", and that under this state of things the teacher's professional reputation is at stake, and might suffer considerably. The system in existence before 1862 was said to have resulted in dull children being neglected; but to the present system is attributed, by the witnesses above referred to, the opposite evil of neglecting the brighter and more forward children; and although its abolition might result in lessening the interest now taken in dull and backward children, it would certainly, it is said, destroy at its source what proves to be "a fountain of over-pressure". As regards over-pressure, one teacher thus sums up the action of the Code, "The Code drives the teacher, and the teacher must then drive the child." And it is alleged that even the inspector does not escape from these injurious consequences of the system. "Inspections", says one teacher, "partake very much of the mechanical character of the daily work of the school. The teacher


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aims during the year to secure a certain number of passes, and the inspector tests whether he has succeeded. Beyond this, little, if anything, is done. I hold that the educational value of the inspector's visits, as it existed years ago, has ceased, and this is greatly to be deplored. Besides this, the examination is often conducted in a very confused manner and with so much hurry as to cause many failures." The effect of the system in its application to small schools was especially dwelt upon by those witnesses who were adverse to it; for such schools cannot possibly, they said, teach the whole of the subjects required, and so must fail to earn the full grant. Many teachers, however, deprecated doing away with the individual examination, desiring only that the grant should not be assessed upon the individual results, and some stated that one advantage of the existing system is that it secures to every child some measure of attention from the teacher. But of the teachers who appeared before us, scarcely more than two or three expressed an unqualified approval of the existing system. A very large number of those who replied to Circular D entertain the same objections to payment by results, this complaint being the most frequent of all against the administration of the Code. It must be said, however, that a much more favourable view of the method of conducting inspections under the Code was taken by many teachers. The Memorial presented to us by the National Union of Elementary Teachers, and printed in the Appendix, also strongly condemns the system of payment by results. That section of the body of elementary teachers which is represented by the Union say, that the most important results of school instruction and training cannot be measured; that mechanical results are elevated above those which are educational, and that, in consequence, a false gauge of efficiency has been set up; that the system has injured the classification of schools, and the methods of teaching; has debased educational ideals and demoralised all who have come under its influence; that it has created suspicion and mistrust between inspectors and teachers, and destroyed that harmony of work and purpose between them which is essential to educational progress. The Memorial further declares that the system of payment by results "condemns poor and weak schools to perpetual inefficiency by withholding from them the means by which alone they can be made efficient, and is especially unsuited to the conditions of rural and half-time schools", that "it is a constant and fruitful source of over-pressure upon scholars and teachers, has forced upon the schools a miserable system of 'cram' which secures but few lasting educational results, and gives the scholars little taste or desire to continue their education after leaving the day school"; and that "the more intelligent teaching and the higher intellectual results, which are, on the authority of Mr. Matthew Arnold and others, stated to be obtained in the Continental schools, are mainly attributable to the absence of such a system, which is in force in no other country, and in this country in no other class of schools than those under the Elementary Education Acts." In asking for the abrogation of the system, the teachers do not present an alternative plan, but ask "that some other method of distributing the Parliamentary Grant for Education should be devised which will -

(1) Prevent the subordination of educational to pecuniary considerations in the work of teachers and inspectors.
(2) Prevent 'cram', and encourage intelligent rather than mechanical methods of teaching.
(3) Render possible a rational programme of instruction, capable of being adapted to varying circumstances and localities.
(4) Restore to teachers the liberty of classifying their scholars with sole regard to their attainments and abilities.
(5) Establish an effective system of examination by 'classes' in lieu of that by 'standards'.
(6) Simplify the work of inspection, render unnecessary the exemption of children from examination, and remove the over-pressure upon poor, dull, delicate, and irregular children.
(7) Remove all hindrances to the progress of bright and intelligent scholars."
We turn to the various opinions on this subject which we have collected from the managers of elementary schools who have been called before us. Some seem to be


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distinctly in favour of the retention of the system of "payment by results", seeing in it the only true guarantee the State can have that the education given is efficient, and that every child gets its share of it. Mr. Diggle, Chairman of the School Board for London, who says that if Parliament desires to pay for educational efficiency, he does not know how that can be ascertained, except by individual examination, thinks that the system of payment by results has not an injurious effect upon the minds of the scholars, but he would see no primâ facie objection to a system of administering grants which did not base the payment upon individual passes of individual scholars, so long as the individual examination of the scholars was preserved. Mr. Birley, Chairman of the Salford School Board, maintains that payment for education by results is the most satisfactory way of working the educational system, but he recommends that teachers should have no pecuniary interest in the results, and that they should be relieved by the managers of pecuniary responsibility. On the other hand, many managers condemn this method of assessing the grant under its present conditions almost as strongly as do the teachers. They characterise it as neither desirable nor necessary, distasteful alike to teachers and children, and at best only a partial guarantee of a child's real learning. Some witnesses say that it has killed intelligence and interfered with the natural method of training and teaching in schools; that under it the clever children are sacrificed to the dull; that in its operation it entirely destroys the spirit of education, making the teacher think more how to get the children through the examination than how to fit them for the demands their future life may make upon them; and, worse still, that it may tempt teachers to the use of educational tricks or devices closely bordering upon dishonesty. Some of these "devices" are specified, such as the sending round from school to school the examination questions which have been used in the inspection of another school; keeping in dull and backward children at the dinner hour; devoting the time set apart for religious teaching to some final revision of the secular subjects; and even conniving at backward children being moved to another school just before the examination. Mr. Wilks, a member of the London School Board, from whose evidence we are here quoting, comments in these words upon such reprehensible practices: "I am not bringing this as an indictment against the teachers: The teachers have told me of these things themselves as their confidential friend, and they say, 'It is not in human nature to resist this thing, because we know that our character is at stake.' ... Their local managers judge them by the passes, the money they can earn; and future managers will judge their reputation by the entry which Her Majesty's inspector puts upon the parchment." The teacher's mind, it is further contended, is concentrated upon the pecuniary consequences of his work, and not upon what is in the abstract the best for his children; and the amount of money at stake is often so considerable as to cripple the school if it is withheld. Mr. MacCarthy, a member of the Birmingham School Board, and head master of King Edward's Grammar School, Fiveways, Birmingham, who has had a large experience of the attainments of picked children from the public elementary schools, summarises the result of his observations by saying that these pupils constantly disappoint the expectation formed of them. On being asked to what this is due, he replies, "To want of mental alertness and the absence of intellectual acquisitiveness. There is no desire to go behind the dictum of the teacher, or of the rule, to the reason, and it takes many years of uphill labour to create that healthy desire; some cases seem hopeless. This failing is certainly more marked in those that have had the drilling of the Code than in others, and is, in my opinion, a direct product of payment by results." It is not indeed the general opinion of the witnesses that it would be possible to do away with this system altogether; but it is very generally suggested that by way of reducing the dimensions of the evil caused by it, the proportion of grant depending upon results should be much lessened. This opinion has been very generally expressed in the returns we have obtained in answer to Circular A. By reference to the summaries of replies to Question 5, given for each county, it will be seen that the system of payment by results is a subject of complaint by managers. They condemn it as leading to over-pressure, cramming, superficial and mechanical teaching. Others say that it is not education, but a preparation for examination, that the end is to get grants, that it


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produces a dislike for books and study, and that children are crammed with details from which they receive no intellectual advantage.

On this subject the inspectors gave some very important evidence, but they were by no means unanimous in the opinions they expressed. The effects of the system on the teachers they admitted to be sometimes bad, especially in fostering the unhealthy competition among them for high percentages, and so leading teachers to work for a bare pass, an evil, however, which, some of these witnesses affirm, is being corrected by the merit grant. It is asserted by Canon Warburton that "payment by results" acts as a stimulant to over-pressure; that the "percentage of passes", which is so vital a part of the system, is but an imperfect test of results, since it takes no account of the intelligence of the children and the moral tone of the school. We were told by Mr. Synge that both managers and teachers must rather trim their sails to the examination arrangements than look wholly to the advancement in education of their children. Canon Warburton says that the system is more an expedient for examination than for teaching, being specially regarded by inspectors as a help to accuracy, and Mr. Sharpe describes it as a trap for inspectors with very scrupulous minds, since its excessive minuteness renders them incapable of taking a broad and general view of the work of a school. On the other hand, it is pointed out that the system was, perhaps, almost an absolute necessity when it was introduced; that it has produced good results; that the best teachers are not now influenced by the low money view of the matter; and that, when they are so influenced, the managers are to blame for allowing any large part of their income to depend upon results. It is also contended that the best teachers practically disregard the standards till the last two or three months before the examination; that the "trick" of sending away unpromising candidates just before the examination is easily detected by the inspectors; that the limits of the precariousness of the grant on results in good schools are usually only 10 per cent on the three elementary subjects, since the passes generally range from 85 to 95 per cent. It is said by Canon Warburton that teachers are much more likely to pay individual attention to children who are going to be individually examined, and that, so far as he can see, in order to secure thorough and efficient inspection, the system of payment by results is still necessary, and he questions whether inspectors could be allowed to assess the amount payable to the school on any basis other than the results of examination, at least, he can suggest no other. Mr. Fitch refused to admit that the inspector's report upon a school without the money pressure behind it, would be sufficient to secure improvement in neglected subjects the next year, but he desired to see the English and Scotch Code assimilated so far as to abolish "payment by results" on individual examination in Standards I and II. Mr. Graves would like to see the proportion of grant, which is now dependent upon results, reduced; and Mr. Synge would be very glad to see the system changed, restricting its use to those schools which fell below the level of "good", and largely substituting a kind of class examination, in place of the present examination with its individual record of passes. Whatever evil may have arisen, or may have been possible, under the present system, we desire to record our opinion that it has been largely mitigated by the uprightness and educational zeal of teachers, shown in the high-minded discharge of their duty, notwithstanding the temptations to which they have been exposed.

We have also felt bound to consider, as bearing upon our recommendations, the important evidence to which we have before alluded, which, coming from various quarters, testifies to the disappointing fact that, under our present system, though the results of inspection of schools and the examination of scholars may appear satisfactory, many of the children lose with extraordinary rapidity after leaving school the knowledge which has been so laboriously and expensively imparted to them. We are thus led to believe that a system of "cram" with a view to immediate results, which tends to check the great advance made of late years in all our education amongst all ranks, and threatens to destroy the love of knowledge for its own sake, is prevailing more and more, though under different conditions, in our public elementary schools, and that, unless a large change is now made, as the system must become in working more rigid, so its evils will increase rather than diminish.


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It must be borne in mind, that after all, what is called "payment by results " is a method devised for distributing the Parliamentary grant, not only in some proportion to the work done in each school, but also in such a manner as to satisfy Parliament that the results for which the money is voted, are actually attained. To secure adequate results is, of course, the object of all expenditure. Parliament in voting large payments of public money to school managers requires some security for the intended result. The result to be attained is the efficient conduct of elementary education according to the circumstances of every locality and the requirements and capacity of the scholars; and for a security that these results are attained Parliament looks to the reports of Her Majesty's Inspectors. Payments, however, should be so made as to avoid fixing the managers' or teachers' attention too exclusively on the details on which the grant is based. The details of the instruction which can be tested by examination may not, even in the aggregate, comprise the whole of the work of education, and any payments on these details should be so made as to avoid directing the managers' or teachers' attention into earning the necessary income of the school by the separate requirements and performances to which payment is attached. It has been urged on us, by several witnesses, that the evils arising from any system of payment by results are so deep rooted that there is no escape from them, except by entirely disconnecting the grant to a school from the results of its examination, and giving to each school, deemed worthy to survive, a grant adequate to its needs, or proportionate either to the number of children it educates, or to its staff and machinery. But after weighing carefully all the evidence laid before us, tending to show the evils which arise from the present method of payment by results, we are convinced that the distribution of the Parliamentary grant cannot be wholly freed from its present dependence on the results of examination without the risk of incurring graver evils than those which it is sought to cure. Nor can we believe that Parliament will long continue to make so large an annual grant as that which now appears in the Education Estimates, without in some way satisfying itself that the quality of the education given justifies the expenditure. Nevertheless, we are unanimously of opinion that the present system of "payment by results" is carried too far and is too rigidly applied, and that it ought to be modified and relaxed in the interests equally of the scholars, of the teachers, and of education itself.

The Present Distribution of the Annual Grant per scholar under the several heads of variable and fixed payments is set forth in the table below, and we proceed briefly to enumerate the chief proposals that have been made to us, with a view, while retaining the principle of the dependence of the grant on the results of the examination, to modify the methods of assessing it, so as to correct, as far as possible, the evils complained of.* In order to show the complex character of the existing system, it may be useful to set out clearly how the Government grant is at present distributed.

The following maximum grants are now obtainable in boys', girls', and infants' schools:

Boys' and Girls' Schools

Infants' Schools

*Report of Committee of Council on Education, 1886-7, page xxiii.


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It appears, therefore, from the foregoing list of grants, that the highest amount attainable, under the present system, without specific subjects and cookery is:

For girls, however, in Standards IV and upwards a further grant of 4s per head may be earned for practical cookery; and in Standards V and upwards an additional sum of 2s for each of not more than two specific subjects in the case of boys, and of one specific subject in the case of girls who take up cookery, making the maximum grant attainable for children in the higher standards to be -

The Average amount per head earned during the year 1886 (see Report of the Committee of Council for 1886-87, page xix) was as follows:

The foregoing figures show in what proportions the grant is distributed under its several heads of payment. Since more than two-thirds of the whole amount is variable and uncertain, the managers of schools are always kept in a certain amount of suspense as to the income that will be available for the support of their schools.

A considerable amount of evidence has been taken on the question whether the existing proportion of the fixed to the variable grant, should be increased, so as to leave less room for inflicting financial loss in the event of an unfavourable report. The evidence may be summed up by saying that teachers were practically unanimous in recommending an increase of that portion of the grant which depends on attendance, and a corresponding diminution of that which depends on results. School managers, with a few exceptions, were on the same side. Inspectors were divided in opinion on this point; Mr. McKenzie, Mr. Graves, Mr. Harrison, and Mr. Synge being in favour of an increase in the fixed grant, and Mr. Fitch being opposed to it, and regarding the freeing of a larger portion of the grant from dependence upon results as a retrograde step. Other witnesses, without advocating any increase in the proportion of the grant which is fixed, have restricted themselves to suggestions as to the re-adjustment of the constituent parts of that portion of the grant which is variable. These suggestions have been made, chiefly with a view to diminish the payments on the result of the examination of the individual child, and to increase correspondingly the payment for subjects reported on in classes. The variable portion of the grant now consists of three items, depending respectively on the inspector's report on the child, the class, and the school. These three elements, which go to make up the whole variable grant, constitute respectively 55, 23, and 22 per cent of that grant, or 42, 17, and 16 per cent of the whole grant, fixed and variable together, paid to schools for older children. Of the proposals for modifying the present method of assessing the grant one would wholly abolish the first two elements of the variable grant, viz., the examination of the individual child and of the class, and would pay the whole grant on the basis of the third item, viz., the inspector's opinion of the merit of the school as a whole. Another proposal tends towards abolishing the grant depending on the recorded passes of the individual child, converting it into a payment for the proficiency of the class, while still retaining the grant for general merit. A third proposal, which was advocated by many witnesses who appeared before us, is exactly the reverse of the first. It is to abolish the merit grant, now depending on the inspector's view of the school


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taken as a whole, and to retain the payments in respect to individual and to class examination.

In regard to that portion of the variable grant which now depends on the inspector's opinion of the school as a whole, commonly called the Merit Grant, it was first introduced in the Code of 1882. Its object was in some degree to remedy the ill effects of "the hard-and-fast line of a pass", and although in the "Instructions to the Inspectors" the number of the passes as well as their quality was at first admitted as one of the circumstances to be considered in assessing the grant, in the "Instructions" for 1887 now in force, the quality of the passes, and not their number, is specified as the most important of the factors for determining the degree of merit.‡ The introduction of this particular item of grant was originally accepted by the teachers, who knew well that a high percentage of passes is quite consistent with an unintelligent quality of work, and that some encouragement was needed to ensure the improvement of its quality and to bring out the intelligence of the children. But many teachers now complain that the merit grant, as actually applied, has intensified mechanical teaching, and increased over-pressure. They contend that it is a form of grant which it is almost impossible to assess otherwise than inequitably, and therefore unfairly, and that it fails to test order and discipline, and is apt to become the one regulation of the Code which most affects the teacher's reputation. Mr. Diggle draws attention to the remarkable difference in the award of the "excellent" merit grant in the several divisions of London, and does not think it explicable on the ground that there is a great difference in the schools. Dr. Crosskey objects to the terminology of the merit grant as misleading to parents, and to the use of the word "excellent" in reference to schools which may be overcrowded or imperfectly supplied with books and apparatus. Sir Lovelace Stamer, Chairman of the School Board of Stoke, considers that the progress of the brighter children through school is retarded by the stress laid on the quality of the "passes", as the main factor of the merit grant. Mr. Hanson, Vice-chairman of the Bradford School Board, while approving of the idea of the merit grant, expresses the opinion, that in practice it is found very difficult to work even by the most conscientious men. Some inspectors admit that it has not wholly fulfilled its objects, some deprecate the personal responsibility which falls upon them in arriving at a judgment upon such a variety of factors, one acknowledging that it has produced a great deal of rivalry, ambition, envy, bitterness, and emulation between teachers, and that it has given rise to the allegation (which is, however, emphatically denied by all official witnesses), that the proportion of "Excellents" to be given in a district is arranged beforehand without any view to the actual circumstances of the several cases. Another inspector admits that under the present system he has almost necessarily to call that "excellent" which is not so. Several inspectors propose to modify the existing system by inserting intermediate grades, as "very fair" between "fair" and "good", and "very good" between "good" and "excellent", especially in infant schools. Others would distribute the merit grant among subjects, making, for example, a grant of 3s for excellent reading, 2s 6d for good reading, and 2s for fair reading, and similarly for the other standard subjects. The "Instructions" to inspectors seem to have thrown upon this grant a burden much in excess of the letter of the Code, and much beyond what the small amount of the grant can properly bear. In assessing it, moreover, the "special circumstances" of individual schools do not seem to have been taken into account to the extent contemplated when the Code of 1882 was drawn up. One of the objects of the grant was, we understand, by payment for thorough work, to encourage small schools and schools in poor districts to take up a limited curriculum and to master it, instead of attempting, in the hope of a large grant, a wide range of subjects, in excess of the powers either of the staff or of the scholar.

‡See Revised Instructions, 1887, s. 48.


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Admitting to the full the difficulties involved in assessing the Merit Grant, and the drawbacks of that unhealthy competition between teacher and teacher which appears to have arisen out of it, we cannot forget that this form of grant was accepted by those who would be affected by it, on the ground that the general character of the school and the quality of its work would be thereby recognised; and that as yet it has had but a comparatively short trial. If the plan of the distribution of the grant which we shall hereafter recommend be adopted, there is no need to make any recommendations as to the merit grant itself. But, if not, we are of opinion that the weight of the evidence given to us is against the retention of the merit grant in its present form, in schools for older children. We suggest that the classification of schools as "Fair", "Good", or "Excellent", be discontinued. It seems to us that this classification, or any similar system of grading schools, must necessarily convey exaggerated ideas of the relative merits of different schools, since a school which attains the degree of merit required to place it in one of these categories, may barely surpass a school which only just falls short of it. We suggest that if the present system of payment by results be retained it would be better that the moneys now available for the merit grant should be devoted in such proportions as the inspector may deem expedient to reward superior intelligence displayed by scholars in particular subjects, and other merits also not now recognised by grants, the particular merits for which these grants are awarded by the inspector being stated in his report. Organisation and methods of instruction are best left free from the control of the inspector, who may certainly advise respecting them, but should not, in our opinion, have it in his power either to fine or to pay the school directly for them, as items in the grant. If he does so, there is danger lest an unwise passion for uniformity should lead either the inspector or the Education Department unduly to interfere with the various methods of school management and instruction which may be taught in the training colleges, or which may be tried by different school managers and teachers.

The next question to be dealt with under the head of the parliamentary grant, is that of the "17s 6d limit". The history of this limit may be shortly stated. The Code in force before 1870 limited the parliamentary grant to half the expenses, and was not to exceed 15s per head on the average attendance. In 1870 the average cost of aided schools was 25s 5d per head, and the average grant was 9s 9¼d. In the debates on Mr. Forster's Bill, however, the annual cost of an efficient school was estimated to be about 30s per head, of which the State, the managers, and the parents were each assumed to contribute about one-third. This sum (30s) was made the basis of all calculations of school expenditure during the discussion of the Bill, and was taken as the probable future cost of an efficient school. The addition of 50 per cent to the 10s grant, originally proposed by the Bill was avowedly intended, while encouraging improvement generally, to raise the State contribution from one-third to one-half of the annual cost, and at the same time to reduce the charge on the managers to one-half (5s) of their existing responsibility. Under the new Code, therefore, of 1871, the grant was not to exceed either the amount raised locally (including school pence), or 15s per head of the average attendance. This latter limit was removed by the Code of 1875, by which time the average cost per child had risen to 32s 5¼d, and the grant to 12s 7¼d. Some schools, however, were more expensively conducted, and in the board schools the average cost of maintenance had risen in 1876 to £2 1s 4d. School managers, moreover, had not found in the working of the Code the relief promised to them in 1870; the subscriptions to Church schools having risen from 7s 5¾d in that year to 8s 8¾d in 1875, and in Roman Catholic schools from 6s 3d to 8s 1½d. The Act of 1876, accordingly, in anticipation of a further general increase in the cost of schools per head, took 35s as the measure of the reasonable average outlay in elementary education, and, as before, fixed upon half that sum, or 17s 6d as the future limit of the grant, which was to be paid without reference to the amount locally raised. But it provided, at the same time, that if a school exceeded the normal rate of expenditure, it should not do so without a corresponding increase of local effort, whether voluntary or by rates; and it required that the grant, if in excess of 17s 6d, should be limited to that amount unless met penny for penny from local sources.

There is an almost universal feeling of objection to this limit in its present form, more especially among school managers: indeed amongst the various complaints made to us by those managers to whom Circular A was addressed, this objection was by far the


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most frequent. It is alleged by witnesses that it presses hardly upon small and poor schools where the fees are necessarily low, although the work done may be above average efficiency, whilst it is said that schools charging higher fees, or schools in wealthy neighbourhoods where liberal subscriptions can be obtained, run no risk of having their grant diminished; that it discourages teachers and managers in their efforts to improve their schools, the first result being a deduction under this rule; that it is a disability which especially affects voluntary schools, since school boards by means of the rates can escape its worst results. It is said even to offer a premium to extravagance in board schools, whilst appearing to offer a premium on inefficiency in voluntary schools; and that it is inconsistent with a professed principle of the Code, viz., "payment by results", since when the results are produced, the payment is not forthcoming. We are informed that it acts capriciously, for managers often find certain items of expenditure, which are not expressly specified in the Code, disallowed from their annual balance sheet, at a time when it is too late for them to procure the money to make good the deficiency of income. The Statistical Returns elicited by Circular A show that out of 3,759 schools 434 or 12 per cent sustained deductions under the 17s 6d limit, amounting altogether to 5 per cent of the grant to those schools. The answers to Circular D give 336 Departments which sustained deductions out of 3,496 who sent replies. The total deduction under this limit, in 1886, from a grant of nearly £3,000,000, did not exceed £24,000, being a little less than 2d in the £ of the whole grant made to voluntary schools generally, and 1½d. in the £ of the whole grant made to board schools. The discouragement inflicted on schools affected by the limit thus imposed is not, however, to be measured by the amount of this deduction.

Some ask that the 17s 6d limit should be abolished altogether, and that the amount of grant earned, whatever it may come to, should be paid; and they even go so far as to recommend that the abolition should be accompanied with no conditions as to the amount of fees and subscriptions to be raised; the ground of their contention being that the work having been done, managers should be able to demand payment for it as a right. Others, on the contrary, while admitting that a fair proportion of the cost of education should be required to be provided locally, and that it would, therefore, be an unwise and an unnecessary step to abolish all limits to the amount of grant to be received, nevertheless plead that the cost of education has greatly increased in the past few years; that more funds are an urgent necessity; and that the concession made in the Act of 1876, whereby the old 15s limit was replaced by the present 17s 6d limit, does not now go far enough. The request is made, that the limit should be raised; and it is contended that as the limit was put at 17s 6d in 1876, avowedly on the ground that the cost of education had gone up to 35s a head, of which 17s 6d is the half, the fact that the average cost per head now closely approaches 40s, is ground enough for asking that the limit be raised to 20s. It may, however, be replied, that schools which spend 40s a head, are not affected at all by the 17s 6d limit, nor to any great extent by the requirement that in order to claim the whole grant earned, the locally raised income must equal the grant to be received.

On the other hand, Lord Lingen, who was up to the year 1870 Secretary to the Education Department, and subsequently Secretary to the Treasury, very emphatically contends for the imposition of a double limit - a first limit, which should prevent the grant ever exceeding the locally raised income, and which, of course, would go far to repeal the concession in the Act of 1876; and a second limit, which should keep the whole grant below a fixed sum, to be determined by the population of the school district, and by a scale specially adjusted thereto. Some of Her Majesty's Inspectors endorse this view, arguing that one effect of retaining the existing limit is, that it induces supporters to contribute, when perhaps they would not otherwise do so. The fear is also expressed that, if the limit were wholly removed, many managers would throw their schools entirely into the teachers' hands, which would result in schools being farmed by the teachers who would thus be left at liberty to earn as much in the way of grants as they could. And the opinion is maintained that, with the dis-


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appearance of the limit, the additional income would often go to relieve subscriptions, rather than to improve education. Mr. Brodie, Her Majesty's Inspector, however, is equally emphatic in condemning the present system, which, he says, offers grants with one hand, and takes them away with the other. But, whilst advocating the removal of limits, he suggests that in all schools the excess of grant over 17s 6d a head should be spent in improving the necessary requisites of the school, in increasing the stipends of the pupil teachers, founding school libraries, and providing everything in the shape of books and apparatus which will tell on the school work - a condition, however, which practically might be somewhat difficult to enforce.

In weighing all the evidence for and against the 17s 6d limit, we are compelled to admit that it acts as a discouragement to improvement in certain cases, and we recommend that the provision in the Elementary Education Act of 1876, upon which this limitation is based, be accordingly repealed. We see, however, some danger in the proposal to abolish all limits, for we have little doubt that, in many instances, school managers now make efforts to keep up the amount of the local income of their school, in order not to lose any part of the grant earned, efforts which they would be tempted to relax if restrictions were wholly swept away. Nor do we believe that the amount of the Parliamentary grant per head will bear indefinite expansion. We think, therefore, that any modification of the present limits must be considered in relation to the general question of the total amount of the Parliamentary grant.

The Act of 1876 made provision for assistance to schools in small or sparsely populated districts, and special grants of £15 or £10 were made to schools in districts having a population less than 200 or 300, with no other available school nearer than two miles. Under these provisions, in the year 1886, grants of £10 were made to 1,330 voluntary, and 239 board, schools; and of £15 to 830 voluntary, and 116 board, schools. The amount of these grants was £29,580. We are of opinion that this form of aid to small rural schools might well be extended, and we think that, provided the arrangements made by section 19 of the Act of 1876 as to the school district be in all cases maintained, all schools having an average attendance of less than 100, and not being within two miles of any other available elementary school by the nearest road, or recommended by Her Majesty's Inspector, under exceptional circumstances, on the ground of difficulties of access, might be admitted to a special grant, increasing with the smallness of the school, but not to exceed £20 in all This grant might increase by 6s 8d for each child less than 100 in average attendance at the school, so that the maximum grant of £20 would be payable to schools having not more than 40 in average attendance. This special and increased grant to the smaller schools would enable us without hardship to insist on the application of the extended curriculum which we have recommended as the minimum for all schools, and would enable managers to strengthen their staff so as to teach that curriculum effectively. The enforcement of a curriculum of such a character as has been recommended must entail, both upon small rural schools, and upon those in poor districts of towns, a considerable increase in the cost of maintenance, by necessitating an addition to the staff, and in other ways. Considering, therefore, the much greater burden laid upon such localities than upon more wealthy districts by the cost of providing schools, we could not in justice make these recommendations unless a larger Government grant is afforded to such special localities. We would call attention to the fact that in the leading countries of Europe, as shown by our foreign returns in the Appendix, special aid is given by the State to schools in poor districts, whether urban or rural. The special grant to poor districts should only be given where the fees are, in the opinion of the Department, so low as to enable the inhabitants of this poor district to attend the school with ease. We are of opinion that the special grants we have suggested for thinly-peopled or for poor neighbourhoods should, as in the Act of 1876, not be affected by any general rules as to the reduction of grant.

Before passing from this subject, we think it necessary to make some observations on the gross expenditure upon elementary education. Mr. Forster, when bringing in the Bill of 1870, impressed upon his hearers the necessity of combining "efficiency with economy". Referring to the burden which the measure would entail upon the payers both of rates and taxes, he advocated "the least possible expenditure of public money", consistent with the attainment of his object, and pointed out that "it ought to be the aim of Parliament to measure what they give, not so much by the rate of expenditure, as by the efficiency of that expenditure". While recognising the fact that the ideal standard of elementary education has risen largely since 1870, we are


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somewhat surprised at the extent to which persons of reputed authority in such matters appear to make expense the chief test of efficiency; and we were not prepared for the apparent disregard of economical considerations, shown in the course of some of the evidence laid before us, in the plans advocated for carrying out the legitimate system of elementary education, and in the arrangements required to bring it within the reach of the great masses of the people.

We discuss elsewhere questions affecting the age of the scholars, and the standard and subjects of instruction that can properly be looked for in elementary schools. We wish here to say a few words as to the cost of such schools, the expenditure on which has rapidly increased, and is now, as we have shown, largely in excess of the sum contemplated as necessary by the Act of 1870. We think that, in the interest of education itself, the time has come when serious efforts should be made to limit the cost of the maintenance of aided schools to such a sum as will allow the managers to carry out their duties efficiently, but without any undue strain on local resources, whether provided voluntarily or by rates. It is to be borne in mind that these resources are likely, ere long, to be further, and perhaps largely, drawn upon to meet the rising demands for secondary education.

We have considered how far it might be expedient for the State to place a maximum limit upon the expenditure of public elementary schools. But we have come to the conclusion that it would be impossible to fix any one limit which would not either cripple small or medium-sized schools, or be excessive for large ones; and it should be remembered that any limit that might be fixed, though theoretically a maximum, would, in fact, be quoted as justifying expenditure up to that amount, and might thus, in the cases of large schools, act as an encouragement to extravagance. On the other hand, it would be extremely difficult to devise a scale of limitations which should be adapted to all the varying circumstances of elementary schools. Moreover, so far as board schools are concerned, while we are of opinion that there has undoubtedly been in some cases extravagant expenditure in the past, we think there are reasons to hope that this evil will be greatly diminished in the future For in most districts in which the system of board schools has been largely developed, the education rate has risen to a point which has thoroughly awakened the vigilance of the ratepayers.

While we recommend the retention in some form or other of each of the three constituent elements of the Variable Grant, we think that the following modifications of the present system, which are based on suggestions we have received from numerous witnesses, would offer the maximum of relief with the minimum of disturbance. We propose that the Fixed Grant be increased to 10s per child in average attendance, and that the conditions on which the fluctuating grants are made be so far modified as to secure that their amount shall depend on the good character of the school as a whole and on the quality of the acquirements of the great majority of the scholars rather than on the exact number of children who attain the minimum standard of required knowledge. In order to carry out these recommendations, it would be necessary to treat the individual examination which we have already recommended, not as a means of individually assessing grants, but merely as testing the general progress of all the scholars. In determining what amount of grant the Government should make in the future, we also think that schools should be assisted according to their deserts, so as to promote efficiency; whilst no undue pressure should be placed on dull children, and no unnecessary anxiety and worry caused to managers and teachers. Under present circumstances we are of opinion that the average amount of the variable grant should not be less than 10s for each scholar in average attendance.

Further, as the child's future improvement depends so greatly upon an intelligent knowledge of the three Rudimentary Subjects, we think that in distributing the variable grant special stress should be laid upon efficiency in the elementary subjects. In addition the Inspector should report separately on each of the following points: 1. Moral training; 2. Cleanliness, both of school and scholars; 3. Quietness; 4. Attention; 5. Obedience; 6. Accuracy of knowledge; 7. General intelligence; 8, Classification; 9. Instruction of pupil teachers. The Report should also record in detail the results of examination in each subject of instruction, and should state specifically the grounds on which any reduction of the full grant is recommended. When managers and teachers know exactly on what the judgment is grounded, we believe that appeals against the inspector's report will be much less frequent, and that in most cases it will be confirmed by those who know the school. Should the Inspector's judgment be challenged, the further advantage will be secured by the report being thus specific, that the particulars being precisely set forth, it can be submitted in detail to appeal.


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We do not suggest the foregoing proposals as applicable to the case of Infant Schools. In regard to these we do not deem it necessary to recommend any change in the existing system of payment.

We also think it would be well if the inspector reported annually upon the Physical Exercises, and whether the school possesses Lending Libraries or has established School Penny Banks.

We cannot recommend so substantial an addition to the fixed grant without, at the same time, laying stress on the necessity of increased facilities for the removal of incompetent teachers. Where such incompetence has been proved, and after due notice has been given, it should be in the power of the Department to declare a school in default, and thereupon to suspend the payment to it of any grant. We think further that, whatever be the ordinary basis of payment to schools, the Department must retain its present power of ordering deductions from the grant, or even its total forfeiture, for grave faults in instruction, discipline, or of morality in the scholars, or for dishonesty in conduct and management of the school.

Following the analogy of the grant for Cookery which is already given, not on examination, but on the condition that the children have been duly taught, it has been suggested to us that improved Science teaching in our elementary schools should be secured, rather by payments toward special science teachers, than by grants founded on the results of the examination of the children in science. In like manner the great improvement which has resulted in many schools, through the appointment of an organising master or local inspector, points to the expediency of encouraging school boards, and associated managers of voluntary schools, to appoint such persons, and we suggest that the Parliamentary grant might be partly employed in paying a portion (not more than half) of the salary of such persons, as well as of efficient teachers of drawing, who might circulate among a number of schools.

Before we close our recommendations as to the grants to be made henceforth to all public elementary schools, voluntary or board, we must record our opinion that if the managers of a public elementary school, which has once been passed by the Department as efficient and suitable, are ordered by that authority, under pain of "default", to make alterations or additions to the buildings or playground, a grant in aid of the local expenditure required to carry out these improvements should be made by the Education Department.

It has been our leading object to make such recommendations as would, in our opinion, secure, within a reasonable period, that none but good schools should be acknowledged by the Education Department as satisfying the requirements of the State. It will have been observed that, with this purpose in view, we have recommended that two separate days of examination and inspection should be established in all cases in place of the single day now in use; that duly trained teachers should gradually be substituted in all cases for those now untrained; that a system of pensions for teachers should be instituted so as to facilitate the removal of those no longer equal to their onerous duties, the power of the inspectors to insist on the removal of teachers being meanwhile increased; that the essential subjects of instruction of all schools should be brought more into conformity with the practical requirements of the people; and lastly, but as of the greatest importance, that a high standard of moral training should be insisted upon by the State as a necessary condition of an efficient school, a training which we have asserted can only be based upon responsibility to Almighty God. Having taken these securities for the efficiency of all schools, we do not think that there is any cause whatever to fear that the increase which we have above recommended of what is technically known as the fixed grant would tend to diminish the zeal of the managers and teachers, or to lower the standard of instruction of the children. On the contrary, we are confident that, by thus largely diminishing the uncertainty and anxiety heretofore caused by the dependence of the school upon the results of individual examination, and by weakening the inducements to pursue the delusive and irrational system of "cram", fuller scope will be allowed to the educational influence of the teachers, and a higher, more enduring, and more healthy tone will be given to the instruction. We must further put on record the conclusion to which we have come, after careful consideration of the information at our disposal, that the present large annual outlay, as it is now distributed, does not secure for the Nation commensurate results. We have therefore felt it our duty to make such recommendations as will, we hope, give to the country the inestimable advantage of thoroughly efficient and suitable primary schools in return for its present large outlay. If, notwithstanding the retrenchments we have proposed, some increase of expense should be thrown upon the public funds, we are convinced that the charge will not


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be grudged when the people are satisfied that the education provided does, by its thoroughness and depth, better equip the scholars for the duties and responsibilities of their after life. We desire here to state that our recommendations should be taken as a whole, and not as single suggestions to be detached from each other, and to be adopted separately.

Our recommendations as to grants in this chapter are made on the supposition of the continuance of the present system of administering the Parliamentary grant, and may be modified by proposals to assist all schools from the county rates. Whatever be the form which the Parliamentary grant, may assume, we are of opinion that managers may reasonably ask not to be placed, in respect of it, at the mercy of the Ministry of the day. Managers, whether of voluntary or board schools, undertake onerous and laborious duties, in addition to which managers of voluntary schools incur not infrequently serious personal pecuniary responsibility. It, therefore, appears to us to be proper that the share of the cost of education, which is provided out of Imperial taxation, should cease to be dependent upon a Minute of the Privy Council, a survival of the earlier and more tentative phases of the education question, and should be protected, at least to a substantial extent, by the terms upon which the grant is awarded being embodied in an Act of Parliament. We would further recommend that when any changes have to be made in the Code it should henceforth lie before Parliament for at least two months, in print, before it comes into force.

In completing our review we are compelled to declare our conviction that the time is come when, for the best interests of education, some more comprehensive system of administration shall be found, with a view, first, to remove, as far as possible, the grave and inequitable inequalities between the two systems of voluntary and board schools as now existing; and secondly, to eliminate, as far as possible, for the future, the friction and collision which has so often and so injuriously arisen between them. We do not venture now to draw the precise outline of such an administration in the form of a recommendation, because we feel that, in the present uncertainty as to what may be the form which county government may take, it would be premature to do so.

CHAPTER III

INCOME AND EXPENDITURE OF SCHOOLS

The financial side of the question of education, has, in the course of our inquiry, engaged a large share of our attention. The gross increase in the expenditure on public elementary schools between the year 1860 and 1886 is largely due to the additional number of scholars brought under efficient education, for whereas in the former period the proportion of the population under instruction in aided schools was only 5 per cent, it had increased in 1886 to between 16 and 17 per cent. But there has meanwhile also been a steady growth in the costliness of elementary education. In the year 1876, the average annual cost per scholar in average attendance, taking all descriptions of elementary schools together, was £1 14s 8d.† In 1886 the sum was £1 19s 5d,‡ a rise of 4s 9d a head, or of over 13 per cent, in ten years.

Between the years 1860 and 1886, the cost of school maintenance per head rose in Church of England schools from 19s 6¼d to 36s 5½d; in British, Wesleyan, and undenominational schools from 18s 3¾d to 38s, and in Roman Catholic schools from 13s 7½d to 33s. It is to be borne in mind, however, as has been already stated, that the cost per head before 1862 does not include the grants to members of the school staff, which were afterwards paid direct to the managers. The increase on one item of school expenditure, the amount paid in salaries, accounts for another part of this great difference in the cost of education at the two periods referred to, for the average stipends of schoolmasters have gone up from £94 to over £120, or to £132 in the case of principal and to £90 in the case of assistant teachers, whilst in the case of the mistresses there has been an average increase from £61 to £73, or to £80 in the case of principal teachers and to £63 in the case of assistant teachers.

Lord Lingen makes the following statement in regard to the increased costliness of education. After allowing that the educational requirements of the present time cause

†Report of Committee of Council, 1876-7, page 380.

‡Report of Committee of Council, 1886-7, page 255.


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the cost per scholar to be very considerably increased, he goes on to say: "My own opinion is, be it worth what it may, that the cost per scholar is larger than it need be at this time." He accounts for the increase of the cost in several ways. One is that, in his opinion, "the salaries of the teachers in many of the large towns are larger than they need be"; and another is that, since school boards having unlimited funds to deal with, "the golden rule of 'making things do', is very much overlooked in the board schools". He thinks, too, that the increase of the parliamentary grant has led to extravagance. Two other causes of the increased cost of education he specifies: the first is "that there has been a great impulse of public opinion in favour of education, and some impression that the more you spend upon it the more efficient it is; the other is that it is largely due to the rivalry between the board and voluntary schools." We express no opinion upon this evidence; having already fully dealt with the question of salaries in our previous chapter upon teachers and staff.

The fund for elementary education is derived from three sources, the parliamentary grant, local resources in the form either of rates, subscriptions, or endowments, and school fees. The portion of the whole cost of school maintenance borne by the State in 1860 is stated by the Department to have been 10s 6d per head in all classes of schools, to meet a local outlay per head, in Church of England schools of 19s 6¼d, in Roman Catholic schools of 13s 7½d, and in all other schools of 18s 3¾d; but, as we have stated above, this does not include the grant paid direct to teachers by the Education Department. In the year 1886, out of a total income of £6,827,189 contributed for the maintenance of all elementary schools, the amount set down under the head of Government grant is £2,866,700, or about 42 per cent.¶ It is to be remarked that not only has the gross amount of the education grant grown enormously since 1860, and more especially since the passing of the Education Acts of 1870 and 1876, but the amount of grant per head paid to the managers has also very largely increased, namely, from 10s 6d in 1860 to 13s 3¼d in 1876, and to 17s 2½d in 1886. The rapidity of this growth is, in Lord Lingen's view, to be regarded as the natural consequence of the educational legislation of 1876, when the obligation to provide half the income from local sources was removed, provided the grant did not exceed 17s 6d per head; and he advocated the view that the amount to be provided for the future from the central government ought to be no more than a third of the whole cost. In order to bring about this reduction, he would sweep away the present complicated system, for he considered that it exposes the State to "demands on a variety of points, on some of which, from time to time, demands for more money are made with success", and that it "has a tendency to increase the aid that is to be obtained from the State, as being the subscriber on whom, through a great variety of accesses, the greatest pressure can be exercised." In its stead he would bring in a system providing that the State should give a fixed subsidy, bearing a certain fair proportion to the whole cost of education, that that subsidy should be paid to and distributed by local bodies, hereafter to be created, with considerable areas of administration, and having ample powers to raise other money by local rates, and that these local bodies should be empowered to propose equitable and liberal terms to the denominational schools, so as to induce them to co-operate in the new scheme. Mr Cumin suggests that the subsidy proposed in Lord Lingen's scheme, to be paid out of the Parliamentary grant to the central local authority, should vary according to the reports given by the Chief Inspector upon sample schools visited by him in the district under that local authority; with the result that instead of the individual schools suffering for any inefficiency, the whole district would be fined on their account. We foresee great difficulties in the practical working out of this scheme.

The portion of the cost of education which is borne by the rates differs in amount very widely in different localities, and it must be remembered that the amount so raised for school maintenance very inadequately represents the whole of the charge which education now places upon the ratepayers. From the last Report of the Committee of Council (page xl) it appears that whilst £1,276,917 was raised from rates in England and Wales in the year 1886 for school maintenance, the other charges upon the education rate brought up the sum total to £2,526,495, the average rate in the £

¶Report of Committee of Council, 1886-7, page 252.


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having grown from 6.3 pence in 1883-4 to 7 pence in 1885-6 in England, exclusive of Wales. In this sum is included the interest and repayment of loans raised for building board schools, as well as the cost of administration of school boards. We have it, further, in evidence that this amount would be very largely increased were it not for the fact that voluntary schools supply so great a number of children with elementary education outside the walls of the board schools. In Liverpool, Tynemouth, and London it is said that the cost to the rate would be doubled, and in Sheffield still further increased if the voluntary schools were extinguished. We gladly record the debt of gratitude due to the promoters of voluntary schools, who, at much personal sacrifice, have established and still maintain a system, which provided in 1886 for the education of 2,882,339 scholars, leaving but 1,671,412 to be educated at the cost of the ratepayers out of a total for the whole country of 4,553,751. Assuming that the cost of maintaining elementary schools does not rise beyond the present scale of school board expenditure, the transfer to the rates of the education of the children now provided for by voluntary effort would involve a further charge of more than £2,000,000 a year for the maintenance of these schools, in addition to an immediate capital outlay of a very large sum for building schools, in place of those which were not transferred to school boards. In the year 1876 it was stated in the House of Commons by the Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education, that out of £15,250,000 spent on school buildings since Government aid had first been given to elementary education, £13,500,000 had been supplied by voluntary donors. As a rule, the value of the sites for the schools was not included in this calculation of capital expenditure. it must also be remembered that many schools have been built entirely at the cost of voluntary subscribers in the 12 years since 1876. It may be stated that the loans at present outstanding for the cost of the erection of board schools amount to £16,727,691.

Between 1870 and 1884, Mr. Cumin says the amount annually raised in voluntary subscriptions for voluntary inspected schools rose from £418,839 to £732,524, which is an increase of 74 per cent. But this source of income has been subject to fluctuation, as we have shown in an earlier part of our Report. The additional sums compulsorily exacted as school rates from supporters of voluntary schools, many of whom conscientiously disapprove of board schools for reasons which we have already described, cannot be inconsiderable, although the exact amount is necessarily a matter of conjecture. Many witnesses advert to the heavy pressure on those who not only support voluntary schools, but are called on to contribute to the rates by which board schools are maintained in the same district. Agricultural and commercial depression has fallen with severity upon those classes of the community to whom is chiefly due the support of voluntary schools, and it is, therefore, remarkable that their zeal for voluntary education, if tested by pecuniary results, should under adverse conditions receive such liberal expression. At the same time it is to be noted that the income derived from endowments has steadily increased; part of this addition arising from the appropriation to educational purposes of local charities previously applied to other purposes, and part arising from benefactions given for the permanent maintenance of schools. The root of the difficulty is put in very few words by one voluntary school manager: "Our friends will not pay school board rates and also provide voluntary contributions." This state of things, in the opinion of a large number of witnesses, constitutes a great hardship for the supporters of voluntary schools, some of whom are beginning to complain very bitterly. "We are now compelled", they say, "to pay large school-board rates, and it is too bad that we should be called upon to tax ourselves again for the support of one particular school, and they suggest that they ought in some way or other to be considered and relieved, more especially as the voluntary schools are to so great an extent saving the pockets of the ratepayers." But there are many who think that if a system was established whereby voluntary schools should be helped out of the rates, the ratepayers might claim to have control, not only over the appointment of the teachers and the secular instruction given in the school, but also over the religious instruction; and they doubt the practicability of entering upon such a course without endangering the independence


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of their schools. There are others, on the contrary, who think that voluntary schools should share in the rates.f In making this claim, they state their willingness to have their accounts publicly audited, and they would allow the local inspector and the guardians to visit their schools; but they would in no way suffer the ratepayers to interfere with the appointment of the teachers or with the religious teaching, nor would they agree that the ratepayers should exercise general control over the schools. Some witnesses contended that subscriptions paid to a voluntary school should, to that extent, be accepted in lieu of a payment toward the school rate; in support of this view we had presented to us a petition numerously and influentially signed. There are said to be 250,000 signatures attached to the petition. On the other hand, an opinion was expressed by several witnesses that such an arrangement would probably lead to endless confusion.

Lord Lord Lingen has put his view of the case of the voluntary school managers in very clear terms: "The voluntary schools do not share in the rate. The board schools are supported by the rate. In every other respect (grants from the State, and fees and endowments if there are any) the two classes of school stand on the same footing. But you have this broad difference between them, that the one has got a legally enforced sum to draw upon to any extent in the shape of the rates, the other has got a voluntary, and, therefore, quite uncertain fund as the correlative source of income. That, of course, makes the broadest possible distinction between the maintenance of the two sets of schools"; and "it is much more difficult for voluntary schools to keep themselves in existence than it is for board schools." Lord Lingen goes on to say: "Supposing you had the whole country mapped out under educational authorities, I should then like the State to deal only with those local authorities and to pay them a certain proportion which, I think, might be calculated on the population. I then would take away the bar which the 14th section" (the Cowper-Temple clause of the Act of 1870) "now imposes upon aiding those schools which adopt precise religious instruction. That bar I would take away. Inasmuch as the local bodies would have to tax themselves for the work done by the voluntary schools if they failed, my impression is, that if left to themselves they would come to terms with the voluntary schools. I have not thought out all the conditions that might have to be imposed in working that scheme out, but I think that the local bodies would much more easily solve such questions than the State would." He also stated that, in his view, the independence of the voluntary schools in the selection of their teachers, and in respect to the religious and moral discipline "would be absolutely uninterfered with". Under this plan the local authority, he says, "would have to work the detailed examination of the schools; and the central authority would have to work the general inspection of the schools."

The difficulties, political and otherwise, which would attend upon any attempt to repeal the Cowper-Temple clause, appear to us so great, as to prevent our recommending that Lord Lingen's plan, whether in other respects advisable or not, should be adopted, if the repeal of that clause were a condition of the scheme being accepted by Parliament. We doubt, however, whether it would be advisable to adopt Lord Lingen's proposals as a whole, for this reason, among others, that we should desire to see a greater degree of control in educational matters than he seems to think necessary retained in the hands of the Education Department. But we do not understand him to advocate, as has been supposed, the general abolition of the Cowper-Temple clause. That clause would not necessarily affect voluntary schools receiving annual aid from the rates, any more than it does at present, when they receive such aid from the guardians in the shape of fees for poor children. We do not see, therefore, why this principle should not be extended further, and rate aid, in respect of their secular efficiency, given to voluntary schools (as it is now given to industrial and reformatory schools) without the imposition of a clause which, under the Act of 1870, affects those schools only which are locally provided and supported entirely out of the rates. The cost of the maintenance of voluntary schools has been largely increased by the rivalry of rate-supported schools. If the power of the purse, upon which school boards have to draw has involved the managers of voluntary schools in a large, and it may be uncalled for, expenditure, there is good reason why that purse should be made to


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contribute to the thus increased cost of the voluntary system. The voluntary system is not merely a part, but the foundation of the whole of our national education. It was to be supplemented, not supplanted, by the rate system. The two systems, as the constituent and co-ordinate parts of the complete machinery of national elementary education, appear to have a common claim for support, not merely on the taxes of the country, but upon the general resources of the localities in which they carry on, side by side, identical work with equal efficiency; and that claim is all the stronger because local resources are saved from many heavy burdens by the supporters of voluntary schools. The time, indeed, seems to have come for a new departure. The country is now provided with a national system, in the sense in which Mr. Forster spoke of his Bill, as "the first attempt in providing national education", because it would "provide for the education of every child of the nation". The supply of schools is complete; a full staff of teachers has been provided, and 4½ millions of children are on the registers of inspected schools. The great majority of these schools, containing 64 per cent of the scholars on the rolls, have been erected, and are supported, by voluntary effort; the promoters of which are nevertheless rated for the maintenance of the school board system in school board districts. We think that if, in the impending reorganization of the local government of the country, education were recognised as one of the most important branches of that local government, and arrangements were made for gradually connecting it, more or less, with the civil administration of each locality, much of the unhealthy competition between the two school systems would disappear, and the expenditure caused by their rivalry would be reduced. Such an arrangement would also tend to decentralize the present system in a way of natural local development, relieving the Education Department of innumerable administrative details, and largely reducing the cost of its staff, while retaining for the Education Department powers of general control, which have been of the greatest value to education in the past. With this view, we desire to call attention to the recommendation made in 1861 by the Duke of Newcastle's Commission,* that grants should be made from the county rates to elementary schools, for the proficiency of the scholars in reading, writing, and arithmetic, to which might be added such subjects as singing and needlework. We think it reasonable and just that the supporters of voluntary schools, should retain the management of these schools on the condition of bearing some substantial share of the burden of the cost in subscriptions. But it does not seem either just or expedient to allow the voluntary system to be gradually destroyed by the competition of board schools possessing unlimited resources at their command. We therefore recommend that the local educational authority be empowered to supplement from local rates the voluntary subscriptions given to the support of every public State-aided elementary school in their district, to an amount eq