Newcastle Report (1861)

Background notes

The complete report (Volume I) is shown in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go to the various chapters.

Contents (page iii)
Introduction (1)

Part I Education of the Independent Poor
Chapter I (15)
Institutions for the education of the independent poor
Chapter II (89)
Teachers of schools for the independent poor
Chapter III (170)
Attendance of children
Chapter IV (227)
Schools inspected and assisted
Chapter V (277)
Public schools unassisted
Chapter VI (293)
Measures recommended

Part II Education of Pauper Children
Chapter I (352)
Pauper children in workhouses
Chapter II (366)
Pauper children in district separate schools
Chapter III (380)
Children of outdoor paupers
Chapter IV (384)
Conclusions and recommendations

Part III Education of Vagrants and Criminals
Chapter I (386)
Non-industrial ragged schools
Chapter II (396)
Industrial schools
Chapter III (404)
Chapter IV (413)

Part IV State Schools
Chapter I (415)
Military schools
Chapter II (428)
Naval schools

Part V Charitable Endowments
Chapter I (456)
Educational charities
Chapter II (515)
Charities not at present applicable to education

Summary of recommendations (542)

Part VI and Index (image-only pdf)
Statistics (553)
Correspondence (680)
Index (683)

The text of the 1861 Newcastle Report was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 22 October 2018.

Newcastle Report (1861)
The State of Popular Education in England
Volume I

London: HM Stationery Office

[title page]







Vol. I

Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty



[page iii]




Division of the Subject; Materials of Report; Proceedings of Commissioners, and appointment of Assistant Commissioners; Statistical Inquiry7

Part I
Education of the Independent Poor



National British and Foreign and other Societies; Diocesan Boards and Inspectors; Grants for Education in 1832; Establishment of Committee of Council for Education in 1839; Account of its Proceedings and Expenditure; Organization of the Office. (For Statistical Tables in illustration, see Statistical Report, page 574 to 579)16


I. SCHOOLS CLASSIFIED IN REFERENCE TO THEIR OBJECTS. 1. Infant Schools - Private and Public; Importance of Infant Schools; their difficulties. 2. Day Schools - Their Religious Character; Views of Managers and Parents; Evidence;

[page iv]

Management. 3. Evening Schools - Proposal by Bishop Hinds in 1839; supply Deficiencies in early Education; Difficulties as to Establishment of Evening Schools, and Mode of obtaining Teachers; Grouping Schools. 4. Sunday Schools - Give Religious Instruction; Welsh and Northern Sunday Schools; Denominations with which they are connected. (For Statistical Tables in illustration, see Statistical Report, page 580, 581)27


Foundation Deeds modelled by Committee of Council; Provisions of Management Clauses55


i. EXPENDITURE - Classification of Expenditure; Salaries to various Classes of Teachers; Expense in relation to Number. Scholars; Government Assistance per Scholar. ii. INCOME - Sources of Income; Subscriptions inadequate. 1. Government Grants Effect of Government Grants on Subscriptions towards Establishment and Maintenance of Schools. 2. School Fees Proportion of Income raised by School Fees; full Price of Education; Ability and Inclination of Parents to pay Fees. 3. Subscriptions. Amount of Subscriptions; what Classes of Persons subscribe. (For Statistical Tables in illustration, see Statistical Report, page 581 to 591)62


Number of Scholars on the Books of Schools; Classification of Schools; Proportion of Children aided by the Grant; Number of Children of all Classes and of poorer Classes in School; Number of Children who receive no Education at all. (For Statistical Tables in illustration, see Statistical Report, page 591 to 637)78



Character of Teachers of Private Schools; Private School Teachers injured by Competition of Schools aided by Government Grants; Recommendations90


Monitorial System; Minutes of 1846; Description of Pupil-Teacher System, and Evidence as to its Merits and Defects; how far they follow their Profession97


Origin of Training College System; Establishment of Battersea and Borough Road Training Colleges; Statistics of present

[page v]

System; uniform Course of Study in Training Colleges produced by the Syllabus of the Committee of Council; Account of the Syllabus, and Observations on it; Course of Study in the Colleges; Art of Teaching; Evidence and Observations; Finance of Training Colleges; Recommendations; Certificates108


Superiority of Trained over Untrained Teachers; how far Rank of Certificate tests Value of Teacher; Shortcomings of Trained Teachers; general Character of Trained Teachers; their Views, Position, and Prospects149


Supply of Trained Teachers probably sufficient164


(For Statistical Tables in illustration of this Chapter, see Statistical Report, page 637 to 647.)166



Regularity and length of Attendance, and Time during which the Schools are open. (For Statistical Tables in illustration, see Statistical Report, page 648.)170


Feelings of Parents as to Education of their Children; Non-attendance from Poverty and Neglect; Removal of Children for sake of Wages174


I. The State of Juvenile Labour - Employment of Children in Agriculture; Manufactures; Mines; miscellaneous Occupations in Towns; what sacrifices Parents may be expected to make for Education of Children; shortening School hours180
II. PROPOSALS FOR A GENERAL COMPULSORY SYSTEM OF EDUCATION. Prussian System, and Laws of Switzerland and America; Feelings in this Country on the Subject; Reasons for not recommending general compulsory System192
III. COMPULSORY EDUCATION IN FACTORIES, PRINT WORKS AND MINES. 1. Factories. Provisions of Factory Acts; Evidence as to their effects; Recommendations; 2. Print Works. Provisions of Print Works' Acts, and their effects; 3. Mines. Provisions of 23 & 24 Vict. c. 151; Character of mining Populations201

[page vi]

IV. PRIVATE COMPULSION EXERCISED BY EMPLOYERS OF LABOUR. Account of London Lead Company's Scheme; Conditions under which such Schemes are possible217
V. PRIZE SCHEMES. Staffordshire Prize Schemes; Opinions as to Value of Prize Schemes221
VII. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS For Statistical Tables in illustration of this Chapter, see Statistical Report, page 648 to 660225



Duties of Inspectors; Benefits of Inspection227


Meaning of the words "Excellent," "Good," and "Fair," used by Inspectors in reporting on Schools; Inspection does not measure the Attainments of individual Children; the general Character of the Schools234


Standard attainable by Children of 10 Years of Age; this Standard not attained by Majority of Children; Evidence of Inspectors and Assistant Commissioners; Causes of this. (For Statistical Tables in illustration, see Statistical Report, page 660 to 670)242


Great moral Influence of Schools; Illustrations from particular Places266




Assisted Schools superior to Unassisted; Number of assisted Schools and Districts in which they occur; average Expense of Schools; Difficulties of obtaining Subscriptions from non-resident Proprietors; Suggestions for specifically aiding unassisted Schools considered. (For Statistical Tables in illustration, see Statistical Report, page 671 to 672.)277

[page vii]


Observations on present System293


1. Education to be provided by Voluntary Contributions - No Grounds to expect such a State of Things; 2. Compulsory Education provided by the State - Not required or desirable in this country; 3. Education provided by a System of Parochial Rating. - Grounds on which it is advocated and objections to it297


Arguments in favour of it. ITS DEFECTS: 1. Expense, and its tendency to increase; 2. Difficulty of admitting Poorer Schools; 3. Necessity of Localizing Part of the Expenditure; 4. Defective Teaching; 5. Complication of Business in the Office. Summary308


1. General Principles; 2. Distribution of Grant from the Central Fund; 3. Grant from the County Rate; 4. County Board of Education; 5. Payment. Explanation of the Objects of these Recommendations328


1. Simplification and Limitation of present Grants. - Grants to be paid directly to Managers; Conditions to be fulfilled; Simplicity of this Mode of Payment; Payment to be made through County or Borough Treasurer; 2. Objects to be attained by additional Grant from County Rate. - Payment for Results; Impossibility of giving Assistance on any other than proposed Plan; Constitution of County Boards; Independence of Religious Teaching, and of Management333


Estimate of Public Expenditure on Education of 1,500,000 Children344


Its Utility; its denominational Character; Views of Commission with regard to Subjects to be inquired into; no Recommendation made347


Special Grant on this account superseded348

[page viii]

Education of Pauper Children


Bad State of Education of Children in Workhouses; bad moral Influence of Workhouses; Difficulty of getting good Teachers for Schools in Workhouses; Grant towards Salaries of Workhouse Teachers; its Administration; Difficulties connected with it352


Origin of District Schools; Laws on the Subject; Evidence as to Success of District Schools; Obstacles to the Establishment of such Schools; Separate Schools and their Success; Recommendations366


State of Outdoor Pauper Children; 18 and 19 Vict. c. 34; Proposals for Amendments380



Education of Vagrants and Criminals

Description of Class of Children, and Account of Legislation on the Subject386


Evidence as to Ragged Schools at Bristol; Classes which resort to them; Policy of Committee of Council in respect of them; Observations and Recommendations388


Uncertified and Certified Industrial Schools; Conditions of Aid to such Schools; Industrial Schools Act; its practical Effect; Mr. Dunlop's Act; Recommendations that Vagrant Children should be committed to district and separate Union Schools (For Statistical Tables in illustration, see Statistical Report, pages 678, 679)396


Reformatory Acts; present Number of Reformatories; their Condition and Results. (For Statistical Tables in illustration, see Statistical Report, pages 678, 679)404



[page ix]

State Schools

State Schools, either Military or Naval415


1. GARRISON AND REGIMENTAL SCHOOLS; Origin of Education in the Army. 2. SCHOOLS FOR ADULTS; State of Attendance in these Schools; 3. SCHOOLS FOR CHILDREN; Efficiency of Army Education; 4. NORMAL SCHOOL AT CHELSEA; Studies, and Number of Students; Royal Military Asylum School416


1. SEAMEN'S SCHOOLMASTERS; Ship Schools defective; Inefficiency of Seamen's Schoolmasters; 2. SCHOOLS ON BOARD SHIPS IN HARBOUR; 3. ROYAL MARINE SCHOOLS; 4. THE DOCKYARD SCHOOLS; 5. GREENWICH HOSPITAL SCHOOLS; Report on Greenwich Hospital; State of the School; 6. RECOMMENDATIONS428

Charitable Endowments


Condition of Educational Charities; Powers of Trustees and of Charity Commissioners: Educational Charities not turned to the best account; Evidence; Endowed Schools might be made efficient; Appointment of Teachers; Proposed Inspection and Supervision by Committee of Council; Modification of Provisions in Deeds and Statutes by Court of Chancery; Powers of Charity Commissioners to lay Schemes before Parliament; Recommendation to vest Power of Improvement in the Privy Council; Objects with which such Powers might be exercised; Adaptation of Character of Instruction to present State of Things; Improvement of Character of Teachers; better Application of Income of Charities; Case of Christ's Hospital; Abolition of useless or obsolete Restrictions; Consolidation and Annexation of small Endowments; Changes as to Site, Boards of Trustees, and Exhibitions; further Facilities for Educational Foundations456

[page x]


Amount and Classification of Charities; Evils of Endowments for Distribution of Alms; Cases in Illustration; Obsolete Charities; Charities which have become excessive for their Purpose; Inadequate Authority of Charity Commissioners; Recommendations515



The Statistics are arranged so as to illustrate the Report, Chapter by Chapter


Forms issued through the Medium of Societies connected with Education553
Forms issued in the Specimen Districts, through the Medium of the Assistant Commissioners559





Tables showing -

Operations of Societies connected with Education; Dates of Establishment;
Income and Expenditure574
Operations of Diocesan Boards, and Dates of Foundation575
System of Diocesan Inspection578
Amount of Grants voted annually by Parliament for Education from 1839 to 1860578
Expenditure from Government Grants during the period between 1839 and 1859579

[page xi]

Section II


Tables showing -

Proportion of Schools for Boys only, Girls only, Infants only, and for mixed Sexes580
Proportion of Scholars between 3 and 7 years of age in separate Infants' Schools580
Centesimal proportions of Scholars educated by Religious Denominations in Day and Sunday Schools581
Centesimal proportion of Scholars in Evening Schools who have previously attended Day Schools581


This branch of the subject is not capable of statistical illustration.


Tables showing -

Proportions of every £1 of income (exclusive of Grants for Pupil-teachers) expended as Teachers' Salaries, and upon other Objects582
Amount of Income (exclusive of Government Grants) of three Classes of Public Week-day Schools582
Amount of Income of the Subdivisions of the same three Classes583
Amount of Income (exclusive of Government Grants) of Public Week-day Schools connected with Religious Bodies stated in the order of Counties584
Summary, under Counties, of Expenditure in Grants to Schools from Parliamentary Votes, between the Years 1833 and 1859, inclusive585
Proportions of Income per Scholar in average Attendance, derived from various Sources, in certain Classes of Public Week-day Schools, inspected and uninspected586
Proportions of every £1 of Income (exclusive of Government Grants for Pupil-Teachers), derived from various Sources587
Fees paid by Scholars in various Classes of Public Week-day Schools, inspected and uninspected587
Fees paid in Church of England and other Schools receiving Annual Grants from Government588
Fees in Private Week-day Schools590
Highest Incomes of Teachers of Private Schools591

[page xii]


Tables showing -

Total Number of Schools and Scholars in England and Wales591
Number of Public Week-day Schools and Scholars in Four Classes592
Number of Schools and Scholars in Subdivisions of Classes592
Number of public Evening Schools and Scholars in Denominational Subdivisions593
Number of Sunday Schools and Scholars in Denominational Subdivisions594
Proportion of Public Week-day Scholars to the Total Estimated Population of each County594
Number of Public Week-day Schools and Scholars, arranged Denominationally and in Counties594
Number of Sunday Schools and Scholars, arranged Denominationally and in Counties617
Number of Evening Schools and Scholars, arranged Denominationally and in Counties628
Proportion of Scholars in Week-day Schools of all Kinds in the Specimen Districts to the Estimated Population of those Districts in 1851 and 1858635
Centesimal Proportion of Scholars in Private Week-day Schools to Scholars in Week-day Schools of all kinds in the Specimen Districts in 1851 and 1858636
Centesimal Proportions of Public Week-day Schools, established during certain Periods636
Centesimal Proportions of School Buildings connected with Public Week-day Schools erected during certain Periods637



Table showing -

Proportion of Teachers in the Specimen Districts holding Certificates of Competency637


Tables showing -

Number of Certificated Teachers, Assistant Teachers, and Pupil-Teachers, employed in Great Britain in each year between 1849 and 1859638
Proportions of Certificated, Registered and Pupil Teachers, to the Total Number of Teachers in the Specimen Districts639
Centesimal Proportion of Masters and Mistresses in the Specimen Districts, who have been Teachers for more or less than Three Years640

[page xiii]

Centesimal Proportion of Masters and Mistresses in the Specimen Districts, trained and untrained640
Emoluments of Masters and Mistresses in inspected Schools in Great Britain, in Denominational and District Divisions641
Number of Training Colleges, Dates of Establishment, of earliest Government Grants, and Denominational Connexion643
Training Colleges under Government Inspection; Average Number of Students and Tutors644
Training Colleges, Amount received from Government; Cost of Buildings, how defrayed, and Income in 1858645
Proportion of Incomes of Colleges in 1859, contributed by Government646
Classification of Attainments of Candidates in Church of England Training Colleges for Males in 1859647


Tables showing

Proportion of Scholars in average Daily Attendance in Public Week-day Schools in the Specimen Districts648
Proportion of Scholars in average Daily Attendance in Private Week-day Schools in the Specimen Districts649
Proportion of Scholars in average Daily Attendance in Sunday Schools in the Specimen Districts649
Proportion of Scholars in average Daily Attendance in Evening Schools in the Specimen Districts650
Results of the Four preceding Tables compared650
School Accommodation in the Specimen Districts651
Amount of Attendance during the Year of Scholars in Public Week-day Schools in Specimen Districts651
Estimated Attendance during the Year in Denominational Schools in England and Wales652
Proportion of Scholars who have attended Public Week-day Schools 176 Days in the Year, from 1853 to 1857, in the Specimen Districts652
Ages of Scholars in public Week-day Schools in the Specimen Districts653
Percentage of Population at various Ages between 3 and 15, to whole Population between those Ages, and Percentage in Attendance at School at each Age, in Great Britain654
Comparison of the Results of the Two preceding Tables654
Ages of Scholars in Private Week-day Schools in the Specimen Districts655
Comparative Attendance of Scholars at various Ages in Public and Private Week-day Schools656

[page xiv]

Estimated Length of the School Life of Children in Public Week-day Schools656
Ages of Scholars in Sunday Schools in the Specimen Districts657
Ages of Scholars in Evening Schools in England and Wales658
Statistics as to the Attendance at certain Periods of Age, in Public, Private, Sunday, and Evening Schools, compared658
Proportion of Scholars who have been in the same Public Week-day Schools in the Specimen Districts for certain Periods659
Proportion of Scholars who have been in the same Public Week-day Schools in England and Wales for certain Periods660


Tables showing -

Centesimal Proportions of Scholars in Public Week-day Schools learning various Subjects660
Quality of the Instruction given in Schools which are aided and unaided by Annual Grants from the Committee of Council on Education661
Centesimal Proportions, in detail, of Scholars in Public Week-day Schools, in the Specimen Districts, learning various Subjects662
Centesimal Proportions of Scholars in Private Week-day Schools learning various Subjects665
Centesimal Proportions, in detail, of Scholars in Private Week-day Schools, in the Specimen Districts, learning various Subjects666
Proportion of Scholars learning various Subjects in Private and in Public Week-day Schools compared669
Centesimal Proportion of Scholars in Evening Schools learning various Subjects669
Centesimal Proportions, in detail, of Scholars in Evening Schools in the Specimen Districts learning various Subjects670


Tables showing -

Number of Schools annually aided and not aided open to the Inspection of the Committee of Council on Education in 1860671
Number of Scholars in the foregoing Schools open to the Inspection of the Committee of Council on Education in 1860672
Number of paid Teachers in the foregoing Schools open to the Inspection of the Committee of Council on Education in 1860672

[page xv]

Number of Schools, and of Scholars between the Ages of 5 and 15, under Government Inspection in 1858673
Proportion of Scholars for whom Accommodation was provided in 1858673
Number of Scholars on the Books and in average daily Attendance in 1858673
Proportion of Scholars for whom Accommodation is provided to total Number of Scholars673
Proportion of Scholars in average Attendance in 1858 to Number in Attendance in 1851673
Proportion of Scholars in average Attendance, to total Population between the Ages of 5 and 15, in 1858673
Income and Expenditure of Inspected Public Week-day Schools in 1858673
Sources whence Deficiencies in the Incomes of Public Week-day Schools were supplied in 1858673
Character of Public Week-day Schools under Government Inspection in 1858673
Proportion of Parliamentary Grants for Education awarded for building and enlarging School-rooms and Normal Colleges, from 1848 to 1858675
Proportion of Parliamentary Grants for Education awarded for Capitation Grants, and Number of Schools aided by the same from 1854 to 1858675
Proportion of Parliamentary Grants for Education awarded as Grants for Books, Maps, and Diagrams, and Number of Schools aided by the same, from 1850 to 1858675
Number of Teachers Certificated in each Year between 1847 and 1859, and Number in charge of Schools in each Year676
Number of Teachers Registered in each Year between 1854 and 1859676
Expenditure from Government Grants in 1859677
Certified Industrial Schools in England and Wales in 1860678
Uncertified Industrial Schools in England and Wales in 1860679



[page 1]




Victoria, by the Grace of God, &c.

To Our right trusty and right entirely beloved Cousin and Councillor Henry Pelham Duke of Newcastle:

Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Sir John Taylor Coleridge, Knight:

Our trusty and well-beloved William Charles Lake, Clerk, Master of Arts; William Rogers, Clerk, Master of Arts; Goldwin Smith, Esquire, Master of Arts, Regius Professor of Modem History in the University of Oxford; Nassau William Senior, Esquire, Master of Arts; and Edward Miall, Esquire, greeting:

Whereas an humble address has been presented to Us by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, and Commissioners of Shires and Burghs in Parliament assembled, humbly beseeching Us that We would be graciously pleased to issue a Commission to inquire into the present State of Popular Education in England, and to consider and report what Measures, if any, are required for the Extension of sound and cheap elementary Instruction to all Classes of the People.

Know ye, that We, reposing great Trust and Confidence in your Intelligence, Discretion, and Diligence, have authorized and appointed, and by these Presents do authorize and appoint you, the said Henry Pelham Duke of Newcastle, Sir John Taylor Coleridge, William Charles Lake, William Rogers, Goldwin Smith, Nassau William Senior, and Edward Miall, to inquire into the present State of Popular Education in England, and to consider and report what Measures, if any, are required for the

[page 2]

Extension of sound and cheap elementary Instruction to all Classes of the People.

And for the better Discovery of the Truth in the Premises, We do by these Presents give and grant to you, or any One or more of you, full Power and Authority to call before you, or any One or more of you, such Persons as you shall judge necessary, by whom you may be the better informed of the Truth in the Premises.

And We do further by these Presents give and grant to you, or any One or more of you, full Power and Authority to inquire of the Premises, and every Part thereof, by all lawful Ways and Means whatsoever, within all Parts of England.

And We do further by these Presents give and grant unto you, or any One or more of you, full Power and Authority, when the same shall appear to be requisite, to administer an Oath to any person whatsoever to be examined before you, or any One or more of you, touching or concerning the Premises.

And we do further by these Presents give and grant to you, or any One or more of you, full Power and Authority to cause all Persons to bring and produce before you, or any One or more of you, all and singular Records, Books, Papers, and other Writings touching the Premises, and which shall be in the Custody of them, or any of them.

And our further Will and Pleasure is that you, or any Four or more of you, upon due inquiry into the Premises, do propose and reduce into Writing and submit to Us such Regulations as you may think fit to be established respecting the Matters afore- said, and do certify to Us, from Time to Time, under your Hands and Seals, your several Proceedings, as the same shall be completed, and do within the Space of Two Years after the Date of these Presents, or sooner if the same can reasonably be, certify to Us, in like Manner, the whole of your Proceedings under and by virtue of these Presents, together with what you shall find touching or concerning the Premises upon such Inquiry as aforesaid.

And We further will and command, and by these Presents ordain that this Our Commission shall continue in full force and virtue, and that you Our said Commissioners, or any Four or

[page 3]

more of you, shall and 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 hereby command all and singular 0Ğr Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, Mayors, Bailiffs, Constables, Officers, Ministers, and all other our loving subjects whatsoever, as well within Liberties as without, that they be assistant to you and each of you in the Execution of these Presents.

And for your further Assistance in the Execution of these Presents, We do hereby authorize and empower you to appoint a Secretary to this Our Commission, and to attend you, whose Services and Assistance we require you to use from Time to Time as Occasion may require.

In witness whereof We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent. Witness Ourself at Westminster, the 30th Day of June, in the Twenty-second Year of Our Reign.

By Warrant under the Queen's Sign Manual.


[page 4]



COMMISSION TO INQUIRE INTO THE PRESENT STATE OF POPULAR EDUCATION IN ENGLAND to the Thirtieth day of June One thousand eight hundred and sixty-one.

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

To Our trusty and right entirely beloved Cousin and Councillor Henry Pelham Duke of Newcastle:

Our right trusty and -well-beloved Councillor Sir John Taylor Coleridge, Knight:

Our trusty and well-beloved William Charles Lake, Clerk, Master of Arts; William Rogers, Clerk, Master of Arts; Goldwin Smith, Esquire, Master of Arts, Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford; Nassau William Senior, Esquire, Master of Arts; and Edward Miall, Esquire, greeting:

Whereas We did, by Our Commission under the Great Seal of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing Date at Westminster, the 30th Day of June 1858, in the Twenty-second Year of Our Reign, authorize and appoint you the said Henry Pelham Duke of Newcastle, Sir John Taylor Coleridge, William Charles Lake, William Rogers, Goldwin Smith, Nassau William Senior, and Edward Miall, to inquire into the present State of Popular Education in England, and to consider and report what Measures, if any, are required for the Extension of sound and cheap elementary Instruction to all Classes of the People.

And for the better Discovery of the Truth in the Premises, We did thereby give and grant to you, or any One or more of you, full Power and Authority to call before you, or any One or more of you, such Persons as you should judge necessary, by

[page 5]

whom you might be the better informed of the Truth of the Premises.

And We did further give and grant to you, or any One or more of you, full Power and Authority to inquire of the Premises, and every Part thereof, by all lawful Ways and Means whatsoever, within all Parts of England.

And We did further give and grant unto you, or any One or more of you, full Power and Authority, when the same should appear to , be requisite, to administer an Oath to any Person whatsoever to be examined before you, or any One or more of you, touching or concerning the Premises.

And We did further give and grant to you, or any One or more of you, full Power and Authority to cause all Parsons to bring and produce before you, or any One or more of you, all and singular Records, Books, Papers, and other Writings touching the Premises, and which should be in the Custody of them, or any of them.

And Our further Will and Pleasure was that you, or any Four or more of you, upon due Inquiry into the Premises, should propose and reduce into Writing, and submit to Us, such Regulations as you might think fit to be established respecting the Matters aforesaid, and certify to Us from Time to Time, under your Hands and Seals, your several Proceedings, as the same should be completed, and should within the Space of Two Years after the Date of Our said Commission, or sooner, if the same could reasonably be certified to Us in like Manner, the whole of your Proceedings under and by virtue of Our said Commission, together with what you should find touching or concerning the Premises upon such Inquiry as aforesaid.

And We did further will and command that Our said Commission should continue in full force and virtue, and that you Our said Commissioners, or any Four or more of you, should and might from Time to Time proceed in the Execution thereof, and of every Matter and Thing therein contained from Time to Time by Adjournment.

And whereas it has been humbly represented unto Us that it would be expedient to extend the Period within which you Our said Commissioners were by Our said recited Letters Patent required to make your Report.

[page 6]

Now know ye, that We have extended, and by these Presents do extend, the Duration of Our said Commission to the 30th Day of June 1861, for the Purpose of enabling you Our said Commissioners to complete the Inquiries thereby required to be made, and to make your final Report thereon.

And Our Will and Pleasure is, that upon due Examination of the Premises therein mentioned, you Our said Commissioners, or any Four or more of you, do, on or before the 30th Day of June 1861, report to Us, under your Hands and Seals, your several Proceedings by virtue of Our said recited Letters Patent, together with what you shall find touching or concerning the Premises upon such Inquiry as aforesaid.

In witness whereof We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent. Witness Ourself at Westminster, the 8th Day of June, in the Twenty-third Year of Our Reign.

By Warrant under the Queen's Sign Manual.


[page 7]






We, the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of Popular Education in England, humbly lay before Your Majesty the following Report:

On the 30th June 1858 we received Your Majesty's commands "to inquire into the state of popular education in England, and to consider and report what measures, if any, are required for the extension of sound and cheap elementary instruction to all classes of the people."

When we entered upon our inquiry, we found that, though various departments of Government were in possession of much information respecting detached portions of the subject, none could furnish a complete account of the state of education of any class of the population, or of any district in the country.

The Committee of Council for Education possessed and had published a mass of information highly valuable, but incomplete. It is contained in 27 octavo volumes, one and sometimes two of which have been published annually since the year 1839. They are composed principally of the general reports of Your Majesty's Inspectors of schools. Such a publication might at first sight be expected to exhaust the subject. This, however, is not the case. The Inspectors are Inspectors of Schools, not of education. They have no experience of uninspected or private schools, nor have they any means of ascertaining what proportion of the population grow up in ignorance. Upon some points, their authority is so high as to be almost conclusive. No other persons can know so well what is taught in the better kind of elementary schools, how it is taught, and how much the children retain of the teach- ing. They have also great opportunities of learning all that relates to the financial condition, to the establishment, and the

[page 8]

management of schools, for it is part of their duty to confer with school managers upon such subjects. They have the best means of forming an opinion on the whole subject of school masters and mistresses. They watch pupil-teachers through every stage of their apprenticeship; they see trained and untrained teachers in charge of schools, and they have constant occasion to compare the results and the value of different modes of training and of different qualifications for the office of a teacher.

We have accordingly examined the whole series of the inspectors' reports from the year 1839 to the present time, and have referred to them continually in the following Report; but feeling that, however valuable the information contained in them might be, it was imperfect in several essential particulars, we appointed, with the sanction of Your Majesty's Government, ten Assistant Commissioners, to each of whom a specimen district was assigned, into the condition of which in respect of education he was directed to examine minutely.

The instructions which we prepared for the guidance of their inquiry are reprinted in the volume which contains their reports.

In the selection of the districts to be taken as specimens of the country at large, we took into account the principal circumstances which seemed likely to influence the general social condition of the population, and especially its condition in respect of education. The districts of the Assistant Commissioners were chosen so as to comprise two agricultural, two manufacturing, two mining, two maritime, and two metropolitan groups of population. The districts were as follows:

1. The Agricultural Districts. The principal feature by which the agricultural districts are distinguished from each other is the size of the farms, which is connected with the capital of the farmers, and frequently with the wages of the labourers. A subordinate distinction arises out of the presence or absence of domestic manufactures, - such as gloves, lace, nets, &c. Some test as to their comparative prosperity is afforded by the proportion of poor rate levied upon the population; and lastly the general character and intelligence of the population differs to some extent in different parts of the country from difference of habits, race, and other causes, too numerous to be specified.

In order to obtain as wide a contrast as possible in these particulars, we selected one district in the East and another in the West of England. Poor Law Unions were taken as the constituent parts of the districts because all the statistics in the late census were based upon that division. The Eastern district assigned

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to the Rev. T. Hedley comprised the Poor Law Unions of Lincoln, Gainsborough, Thorne, Doncaster, Newark, Thetford, Downham, Thingoe, Bury, Mildenhall, and Ely. This district thus comprised parts of the counties of Lincoln, York, Notting- ham, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridge. The ground of this selection was that in Lincolnshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire the holdings of the farmers are generally large, the wages of the labourers high, and the poor-rates low. In Cambridgeshire and Suffolk the wages are lower and the poor-rates very high, and agricultural operations are carried on on a smaller scale. The Western district (assigned to the Rev. J. Eraser) was composed of the unions of Sherborne, Dorchester, Cerne, Beaminster, Axminster, Chard, and Yeovil, in the counties of Dorset, Devon, and Somerset; and of those of Hereford, Dore, Ross, Leominster, Bromyard, Ledbury, and Upton-on-Severn, in Hereford and Worcester. The characteristics of these unions are, a low rate of wages, small farms, high poor-rates, and a great prevalence of cottage manufactures, such as the making of gloves, lace, nets, and twine. In Herefordshire and Worcestershire the holdings are extremely small, and so are the parishes and villages. The population is much scattered, and the operations of agriculture are extremely varied. The two districts taken together thus throw light upon agricultural populations in different circumstances. Part of the district assigned to another gentleman (Mr. Foster) was also agricultural. It included the unions of Penrith, East Ward, and West Ward in the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland, which were chosen because the land is there held to a great extent by small freeholders, and because an unusually large number of endowed schools have been established there.

2. The Manufacturing Districts. There are in England two great manufacturing districts. The first comprises the greater part of Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire, lying between the four great towns of Sheffield, Leeds, Preston, and Liverpool. The second includes a large part of Warwickshire and Staffordshire, comprising Wolverhampton, Dudley, Birmingham, Stoke, &c. As specimens of the first the towns of Bradford and Rochdale (assigned to Mr. Winder) were chosen. The manufactures in them are carried on almost exclusively in large establishments, giving employment to a great number of persons. In the counties of Stafford and Warwick the number of men employed by individual masters is not so large as in the northern manufactures. In many instances the employer

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differs little in social rank from the employed. In this district the unions of Dudley, Wolstanton, Newcastle-under-Lyne, and Stoke-upon-Trent were assigned to Mr. Coode.

3. The Mining Districts. The principal mines in England are found in Durham, Cumberland, Staffordshire, South Wales, and Cornwall. As specimens of these districts, the unions of Durham, Auckland, Teesdale, and Weardale were assigned to Mr. Foster, and those of Neath and Merthyr to Mr. Jenkins. Wales appeared to present so many local peculiarities that the county of Merioneth was added to the district of Mr. Jenkins, whose knowledge of the Welsh language and of the habits of the people, peculiarly fitted him for its examination.

4. The Maritime Districts. As specimens of the great seaport towns Bristol and Devonport were assigned to Mr. Cumin, the one on account of its commercial and the other on account of its naval and military importance; and Hull, Yarmouth, and Ipswich to Mr. Hare. In addition to these a voluntary report on the state of education in Liverpool, drawn up by Mr. Howson, has been presented to us by a Committee of the Association for the Promotion of Social Science.

5. The Metropolitan Districts. The following unions were selected: St. Pancras, St. George-in-the-East, and Chelsea (assigned to Mr. Wilkinson); and East London, St. George's Southwark, Newington, Wandsworth, St. Olave Southwark, and St. Saviour Southwark (assigned to Dr. Hodgson).

The Assistant Commissioners commenced their inquiries in October 1858, completed them in the end of April 1859, and sent in their Reports in the course of the following summer.

Information was afforded to the Assistant Commissioners upon all the subjects of their inquiry, by almost everyone to whom they applied for that purpose, though they had no compulsory powers. The only exception of importance was in the case of the Roman Catholic schools, admission to which was uniformly refused. The correspondence upon this subject between the Commissioners and the Catholic Poor Schools Committee is printed at the end of this Report.*

The result is that, as to ten districts selected so as to comprehend populations employed in every variety of occupation, distributed over every part of the country, and placed in very different circumstances as to prosperity or the reverse, we

* Note A., p. 680.

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have collected complete information, not only as to the instruction given in schools, but as to the general condition of the population as to education, and as to its effect on their habits and conduct. Our thanks are due to the Assistant Commissioners for the zeal and efficiency with which they discharged their duties.

Whilst the inquiry conducted by the Assistant Commissioners was proceeding, we circulated a paper of questions, bearing on the different branches of the subject, amongst persons of both sexes interested in popular education in different parts of the country. The circular was framed, not in the expectation that anyone would be able to answer all the questions which it contained, but in the hope that everyone might answer some. It was issued rather to persons of all shades of opinion practically conversant with popular education in particular districts, than to those who had taken a prominent part in the public discussions on the subject; both because the views of the latter class were already matter of general notoriety, and because we thought that the evidence of the former would be in itself extremely important. We desire to express our obligations to those who have favoured us with replies, and to record our high opinion of the value of the information which those replies contain. During the winter of 1859 and the spring of 1860 we took the evidence of many witnesses viva voce, especially in reference to the working of the system of annual grants administered by the Committee of Council on Education, From the officers of the different departments connected with Government, especially those of the Committee of Council on Education, and those of the Charity Commission, we have received the most zealous and effective assistance.

Side by side with the general inquiry we carried on a statistical one, the results of which are arranged in such a manner as to illustrate, step by step, the results of the general inquiry. The statistical inquiry consists of two main branches. One of these is composed of returns, furnished by the different religious societies connected with education, and by certain public departments, of various particulars relating to schools of the denominations and classes with which they are respectively connected. The societies which furnished us with such returns were: The National Society, the British and Foreign School Society, the Catholic Poor School Committee, the Wesleyan Committee of Education, the Congregational Board of Education, with which was connected, for the purpose of our inquiry, the Voluntary School Association. Returns of

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Unitarian Schools were obtained by an application made to every Unitarian Minister in England and Wales; of Jewish Schools through the medium of the Chief Rabbi; of the Sunday Schools belonging to the Primitive Methodists, the Methodist New Connexion, and the United Methodist Free Churches by circulars issued through the secretaries of the Book Rooms connected with those bodies; of Ragged Schools from the London Ragged School Union, and by a direct application from the office of the Commissioners to the Secretaries or Superintendents of the various Ragged Schools in the provincial towns. Returns of Orphan and Philanthropic Schools were obtained by circulars sent to the directors of each institution. Returns of Naval, Military, Reformatory, and Workhouse Schools were obtained from the public departments with which such schools are connected by a return which was moved for in the House of Lords by the Duke of Newcastle, the Chairman of the Commission. Returns of a few week-day schools belonging to such religious bodies as had no central societies connected with them, such for example as the Society of Friends, the Calvinistic Methodists, the Presbyterian Church in England, and others, were supplied from the Census Returns of Education of 185 L We cordially acknowledge the assistance which was afforded us at great expense of time and labour by the officers of the several societies connected with education in this important and extensive portion of our inquiry.

These returns include very nearly all the public elementary schools in England and Wales, but they give no account of private schools or of endowed schools not connected with central societies. In order to supply this deficiency the Assistant Commissioners were directed to obtain minute statistical information respecting every school, public or private, endowed or unendowed, in their districts, and this duty they discharged with great labour, by personal inquiry and investigation. The result has been that we have collected statistical information respecting the public schools throughout the whole of the country, which may be taken as approximately correct and complete; whilst, as to the ten specimen districts, we are in possession of statistics relating to all schools whatever, minute and complete enough to give averages and proportions which may be relied upon with confidence for the rest of the country in relation to the subjects on which the statistics furnished by the religious societies and the public departments give no information. Thus, for example, the statistics furnished by

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the societies and public departments give the total number of scholars in all the public schools in the Kingdom. The statistics collected by the Assistant Commissioners show that in the ten selected districts somewhat more than one-third of the pupils in average attendance are in private schools. In estimating the total number of scholars in average attendance throughout the country, we have assumed that this proportion holds good, and we have framed our estimate of the whole number of scholars in public and private schools accordingly. The statistics thus procured are printed with our Report.

The two branches of the inquiry not only complete but check each other. Thus, in the ten districts, it was found that more than one-eighth of the population was in the elementary schools. If this is correct, about one-twelfth ought to be comprised in the returns from the societies and public departments; and this is found in fact to be the case.

We thought that much light might be thrown on the subject by accurate inquiries into the system and state of education in foreign countries. We accordingly obtained the permission of Your Majesty's Government to appoint two Assistant Commissioners, - the Rev. Mark Pattison and Mr. Matthew Arnold, - to inquire into the state of education in Germany and France respectively. Mr. Arnold extended his inquiries into Switzerland and Holland. Each of these gentlemen has presented us with a very instructive Report. We have received a full account of the school system of Upper Canada, through the kindness of the Rev. Egerton Ryerson, D.D., Chief Superintendent of Education.

Information respecting the school system of the United States has also been before us.

We thought it a part of our duty to inquire into the state of the charities which are applicable or may be made applicable to the purposes of education; and we employed Mr. Cumin, who had been our Assistant Commissioner for the district of Bristol and Plymouth, to collect the necessary information for us on this subject.

The time consumed in making this inquiry, and in arranging and considering its results, has necessarily been considerable; and the extent and complexity of the subject compel us to make a long Report.

The Report is divided into six parts.

Part I., which is divided into six chapters, embraces the various subjects connected with the education of the independent poor. Its concluding chapter contains a review of the existing

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system of State assistance to education, and our general conclusions and recommendations on that subject.

Part II. treats of the education of paupers.

Part III. treats of the education of vagrants and criminals.

Part IV. treats of the naval and military schools connected with the State.

Part V. treats of the educational charities and the charities which may be made applicable to education.

Part VI. contains the statistical returns, arranged so as to illustrate the course of the Report.

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Education of the Independent Poor

This Part of the Report will be divided into Six Chapters:

1. Institutions for the Education of the Independent Poor.
2. Teachers for Schools of the Independent Poor.
3. Attendance of Children.
4. Schools assisted and inspected
5. Schools unassisted.
6. Measures recommended.



It is only within comparatively modern times, that the importance of providing elementary instruction for all classes of the population has been recognized. In the early periods of our history, the only education which the poor, as a general rule, received was, instruction in the art - agricultural or mechanical - by which they were in after-life to earn their living. This rule, however, was modified by important exceptions. From the very earliest times schools were established for the purpose of giving instruction to poor children. In these foundations they were often provided with food and clothing, besides gratuitous instruction, and were occasionally supplied by exhibitions with the means of support at one of the Universities. Before the Reformation these schools were in many cases connected with monasteries. Such as were founded after the Reformation were, for the most part, independent bodies; but the general character of the objects which the founders proposed to themselves was the same; that of giving special advantages to poor children who were either distinguished for special aptitude, or were the natives of particular districts, or related to the founders. Many of these schools still exist in different parts of the country, and constitute one large class of institutions intended for the education of the children of the independent poor.

During the last century, the beneficial effects of education, even upon those who were destined to pass their lives in the humblest social positions, began to be more generally recognized; and various bodies made some efforts towards the establishment of schools for the poor; but these efforts were isolated and produced

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very slight results. Towards the end of the century, Mr. Raikes, of Gloucester, first established Sunday schools, in which poor children were taught to read, and these schools, which attained great popularity, were, for a considerable time, the principal means of affording general elementary instruction to the class for which they were intended.

At the beginning of the present century, the first efforts were made for establishing a general system of popular education. They resulted in the foundation of the British and Foreign School Society, and the National Society, by which a considerable number of elementary schools were established between 1808 and 1839.

In 1832 the Government began to take part in the promotion of education. In 1839, and afterwards in 1846, it extended its operations, and it has continued to do so upon an increasing scale to the present day.

We will first give an account of the Central Institutions for promoting the education of the poor, and then proceed to give an account of the elementary schools.


There are many voluntary institutions of this kind, the most important of which are those connected with the principal religious denominations. They are the National Society for the Education of the Poor in the principles of the Established Church (this Society is incorporated by Royal Charter); the British and Foreign School Society; the United Committees of Privileges and Education of the Wesleyan Conference; the Roman Catholic Poor School Committee; the Congregational Board, which is connected with the Independents, and the Voluntary School Association, constituted on a non-sectarian basis (these two are opposed on principle to State aid of or interference with education), and the London Committee of the British Jews.

The general object of these societies is the same, namely, the promotion of local efforts for the establishment and maintenance of schools, by grants of money, by training teachers, by providing school books and apparatus at a cheap rate, by inspecting and organizlng schools, and by forming centres of communication for those who are interested in these and similar undertakings. The following table shows the degree in which the undermentioned societies have contributed during the year 1859 by some or by all of these means to the object in view:

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[click on the image for a larger version]

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The total Amount which they raised for purposes connected with Education in the Year 1859, and the aggregate Amount which they have expended since their foundation, appears from the following Table:

Besides these societies there are, in connexion with the Church of England, Diocesan Boards of Education. These bodies are Committees for the promotion of education in the dioceses in which they are situated. They are for the most part presided over by the bishops. Many of them superintend training schools for the education of teachers, and they derive incomes from voluntary subscriptions, which are spent partly in grants for building and repairing schools, partly in providing exhibitions for students at training colleges, partly in grants for books and apparatus, and in some cases in defraying the cost of organizing schools, by means of the National Society's "organizing masters," of whose salaries, during the time they employ such masters, they pay one half. They are independent of each other, but are in union with the National Society. They have no authority, except in so far as they are the trustees or owners of training colleges. They are, however, numerous, and their number is on the increase.

In some districts there are Local Boards, connected with the

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Church of England, which contribute to the expenses of students at the training colleges.

Among our statistical tables will be found two giving the number and names of the Diocesan Boards, their income, and the principal objects on which it is expended.

Besides the Diocesan Boards of Education there is in many parts of England a system of diocesan inspection. The Diocesan Inspectors are clergymen, frequently rural deans, and are appointed Inspectors by the Bishops. Their office is almost always gratuitous and honorary, and their duty is to inspect such schools connected with the Church of England, as may be willing to receive their visits. Statistics relating to Diocesan Inspection are contained in the Statistical Report.

One of the main purposes of Cathedral Institutions, as appears from their charters and statutes, was to promote religious education,* which they did by means of schools for the choristers, grammar schools, with exhibitions in some instances for the scholars at the Universities, and by the consignment of the school in some cases to the special care of one of the canons residentiary, who was to be its guardian, in other cases to that of the sub- dean. The Cathedral Commission (1855) received memorials recommending provision for diocesan inspection of schools in connexion with cathedrals. The Commissioners recommend that, where it is practicable, one of the canons be assistant to the Bishop in the work of Diocesan Education. Their reason for so limited a compliance with the desire of the memorialists is, "that considering the reduced numbers of the canons residentiary, and the important duties which, in compliance with the injunctions of the charters and statutes of the capitular bodies and with the laws of the land, they are already, or may be, required to perform in connexion with the cathedral, the city, and the diocese, they could not, consistently with other duties, discharge efficiently the important and laborious functions of Diocesan Inspectors."†

Of the societies for the promotion of popular education, the First public two oldest and largest (the National Society, and the British f^SiSi"" in and Foreign School Society) were founded many years before 1832. any assistance was afforded out of the public revenue. Most of the others were established subsequently. It may thus

*Third and final Report of the Cathedral Commission (1855), pp. xvii, xviii.

†Third and final Report, p. xix.

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be said that the result of the unassisted efforts of private benevolence, up to the year 1832, towards the provision of a system of national education, was the establishment of the National Society and British and Foreign School Society, together with a considerable number of week-day and Sunday schools, of which the former were, for the most part, connected with one or the other of them. The subject however had, from many causes, attracted great attention, and the propriety of establishing some general system, to be supported for the benefit and at the expense of the nation at large, had been repeatedly discussed. The great practical obstacle in the way of such a proposal was the difficulty of settling the relations between the system to be established, and the various forms of religious belief prevailing in the country. This difficulty was found to be so great, that for many years no conclusion at all could be arrived at. In order, however, that something might be done, a sum of £20,000 was voted annually from 1832 to 183.9, which was administered by the Treasury, and was by them expended in grants to assist in the erection of school buildings. Applications for these grants were made through the National and British and Foreign School Societies, which were considered to represent the views of that part of the public which took an interest in Popular Education.

In 1839 the grant was increased from £20,000 to £30,000, and its administration was assigned to a special department of the Government; a Committee of the Privy Council being appointed for the purpose of discharging that function. From 1839 to the present time the system of annual grants has continued, and their amount has been increased from £30,000 to about £800,000* This arrangement has never been recognized as ultimate or permanent, but has grown up as a sort of compromise between the admitted necessity of promoting popular education and the difficulty of devising any general system for that purpose which would be accepted by the country. The merits and defects of the system are discussed in another part of this

*List of grants in -

183930,000 1847100,000 1854263,000
184030,000 1848125,000 1855396,921
184140,000 1849125,000 1856451,213
184240,000 1850125,000 1857541,233
184350,000 1851150,000 1858663,435
184440,000 1852160,000 1859836,920
184575,000 1853260,000 1860798,167

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Report. The system itself is described in full detail in the codified minutes annually published. We confine ourselves in this place to such a general outline of its growth and present extent as may make the part taken by the Government in national education intelligible.

The general nature of the administration of the Privy Council grants may be most easily understood by viewing the Committee of Council for Education in the light of a society, like the National, or British and Foreign School Society, assisting local efforts to promote education, without reference to the religious denominations by which they may be made, but supported by general taxation instead of voluntary contributions. The sphere of the operations of the Committee has been greatly enlarged since its first establishment, and the objects which it contemplates have been multiplied in number, but the principles of its administration have remained unchanged.

The earliest deliberations of the Committee resulted in the adoption of a resolution that the most efficient means of promoting popular education would be "the establishment of a normal school, under the direction of the State, and not placed under the management of a voluntary society;" but so much difficulty was experienced in providing for the religious constitution of the school, that this design was laid aside, and was never resumed. Indeed, for some years after the establishment of the Committee, they employed the sums voted by Parliament almost exclusively in making grants for the erection of school buildings, and in assisting the erection or the maintenance of normal schools by voluntary societies. During these early years, however, much information as to the state of popular education was collected, through the agency of inspectors, who reported not only as at present on the administration of the grant, but also on the general condition of particular districts in respect of education. The most important fact which the inquiries of these officers ascertained was the necessity of providing a properly instructed class of teachers. They reported that the teachers who were then in charge of the schools were almost entirely untrained, and utterly incompetent. With the trained teachers the case was but little better, as their training was for the most part short, slight, and unsystematic.

In the meantime the secretary of the Committee, Mr., now Sir J. K. Shuttleworth, had inquired into the plans

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adopted in foreign countries, and especially in Holland, France, and Switzerland, for securing a proper supply of teachers for elementary schools. The result of his investigations, and of the inspectors' reports, was the establishment in the year 1846 of what is known as the pupil-teacher system. This system was intended to serve the double purpose of improving the instruction given in the elementary schools, and of providing a succession of pupils for the training colleges. The principle of it was, that if private individuals would provide a school of a certain degree of efficiency, the Government would pay for five years the salary of a certain number of apprentices to the schoolmaster, and would ultimately provide them (upon the condition of passing an examination) with an amount of help which was nearly equivalent to a free admission to any Training College which they might select.

As the complement to this system, liberal grants were made towards the erection and maintenance of Training Colleges belonging to voluntary societies, and in many instances connected with diocesan boards of education. The amount of these grants, and the conditions upon which they were offered, underwent considerable modifications from time to time. Some years passed before the supply of pupil-teachers who had completed their apprenticeship, and the vacancies in the Training Colleges, were adjusted to one another; but the result has been that the Government supplies all deserving pupil-teachers who are desirous of becoming principal teachers, with free admissions (under the name of Queen's Scholarships) to such training colleges as they select; whilst it contributes about 75 per cent of the whole expense to the support of 35 of those institutions. The Committee of Council consider this number sufficient to supply the whole of England and Wales with trained teachers, and to fill up the vacancies which may be produced amongst them by death or retirement.

The Committee, however, do not confine themselves to providing a class of trained teachers for the elementary schools. They also contribute largely to their salaries, which are augmented by grants, the amount of which depends on efficiency tested by examinations. These grants vary from £10 to £30 a year in the case of masters, and from £6 13s 4d to £20 in the case of mistresses; salaries at least double the amount of the grant being in all cases required to be paid by the managers of the school.

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Such have been the measures of the Committee of Council in connexion with the training and the salaries of teachers and the establishment of Training Colleges. They form the largest and the most important branch of their operations, and embody in their present form the modifications required by the altered circumstances, or suggested by the experience of fourteen years.

Next in importance to the grants connected with teachers are the grants for the erection of schools. The whole of the Treasury grants made between 1832 and 1839 were devoted to this object, and it has continued ever since to form one of the most important departments of the administration of the grant. The amount granted has always been made to bear a certain proportion to the amount locally subscribed; but several changes have been made at different times in this proportion. The rate up to 1853 was 2s 6d per square foot if a teacher's house of proper dimensions was included in the building, and 1s 8d if not. This was afterwards raised to one half of the expense, so long as the grant did not exceed 6s a square foot, or 4s if the plans did not include a teacher's house. In 1859 the rate was reduced to 4s per square foot, and £100 for a teacher's house, but no more than 40s per child was to be granted; and at present, by a minute of January 21, 1860, the grant is not to exceed either the amount locally raised, or 2s 6d per square foot, or 25s per child, or £65 for a teacher's house.

Besides the grants for the training of teachers and for the erection of school buildings, a third set of grants, called capitation grants, have been made since 1853. The origin of these grants was as follows: The scheme of annual grants administered by the Committee of Council had never been regarded as permanent or final, and other schemes aiming at that character were brought from time to time before Parliament. In 1853 a scheme was prepared for effecting this object, by dividing the population of the country into two classes, one of which was to consist of the large towns, the other of the rural districts. The education of the towns was to be provided for by local rates assessed and distributed by the towns themselves. The rural districts were to be provided for by grants from the general revenue of the country, administered by the Committee of Council, and dependent as to amount upon the number of children in actual attendance in each school. That part of the scheme which related to the towns could be carried out by an Act of Parliament only,

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but that which related to the rural districts could he effected to some extent by a minute of the Committee of Council. Parliament rejected the bill for enabling the towns to rate themselves; but the Committee of Council adopted the minute for paying capitation money to the rural districts. The principle of this payment is, that a certain sum, to be applied to any of the purposes of the school at the discretion of the managers, is paid on account of every child who has attended that school 176 days in the course of the year preceding the grant. This payment was at first confined to schools under certificated teachers, in places of which the population was under 5,000, and which were not corporate towns. As the measure which was designed to complete this was rejected by Parliament, the restriction became unmeaning, and was shortly afterwards removed, the new payment being made to all schools under certificated and registered teachers, which fulfil certain other conditions, without reference to locality. About this time the great want of proper buildings and trained teachers which formerly existed being partially supplied, the attention of persons interested in education was directed to the shortness and irregularity of the attendance of the scholars, and as the capitation grant had a tendency to check this, the anomalous character of its origin came to be overlooked, and it became an established part of the system, serving as a premium on regularity of attendance.

Besides these three large items of expenditure, the Committee of Council make grants for the purchase of books and apparatus, and afford a certain degree of aid to the education of the children of vagrants and to that of other children who cannot properly be allowed to associate with the families of respectable parents. In the education of paupers, the Committee of Council takes no part, except by supplying inspection and certifying teachers; nor is it concerned with education in prisons and reformatories.

The most comprehensive, and at the same time the shortest and simplest view of the operations of the Committee of Council is to be derived from the following table, showing the objects to which the sums voted by Parliament have been applied since the year 1839:

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Classified according to Object of Grant

The result of this examination of the central institutions for the promotion of popular education in England appears to be, that the principle which is the distinguishing characteristic of the system of administration carried on by the Committee of Council - that of assisting individual local efforts, and of making them a condition precedent to the contribution of money

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collected by taxation, was neither selected by the authors of that system nor invented by them. It is the principle which has been acted upon from the very earliest efforts made for the diffusion of popular education down to the present time. The Committee of Council could adopt no other in the face of the differences of opinion which prevailed in the community as to the subject-matter of education, and as to the persons to whom its management ought to be entrusted. Most of the existing public schools for elementary instruction in the country have come into existence under this system. They are all private property, and a large proportion of the best of them are provided by foundation deeds with constitutions which connect them closely with various religious denominations. These considerations have an important bearing, as will be pointed out hereafter, on the principles of the recommendations which we have felt it our duty to make.

The Committee of Council for Education is one of the standing Committees of the Privy Council. The Lord President of the Council is ex officio the president of all its committees, and of the Committee for Education amongst others. A Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education, who must be a member of the Privy Council, assists the Lord President, and acts for him in his absence. Several other members of the Privy Council taken from the principal ministers of the Crown are also members of the Committee, and, like the President and Vice-President, change with the Ministry.

The following table exhibits the state of the permanent establishment:

(a) The old foundation has reference to certain arrangements, made in the infancy of the present system, between that part of the Council office establishment which managed the business of the education grants and that which managed the ordinary business of the Privy Council.

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All appointments to clerkships are made to the third class. Promotion from class to class is by merit. There may not be more at one time in the first class than six, nor in the second than twelve. The number in the third class depends upon the amount of business, subject to approval by the Treasury, and in like manner the number of examiners.

The distribution of the duties of the office between these officers is as follows - The Vice-President (whose tenure of office depends on the ministry) is the Parliamentary head of the department. The Secretary, under the immediate direction of the Vice-President, superintends the whole course of the business, which, below the secretary, is divided between the two assistant secretaries, under whom work the examiners and clerks.

The Examiners are so called because they examine the Inspectors' reports, and recommend, in draft letters and minutes, the action proper to be taken upon them. They also act generally in preparing drafts of letters which are signed by the assistant secretaries or secretary if approved of.

The clerks of the office are numerous, and have to discharge a large amount of labour. The reports made by the Inspectors are referred to them, and they digest and arrange the materials of the numerous statistical tables published annually by the Committee. This operation is complicated, inasmuch as grants are made for at least fifteen objects to the separate schools of nine different denominations (including Scotch denominations), in every part of the country, and the tables exhibit the distribution of the grants according to their amount, objects, denominations, and the residence of the recipients.


The schools in which the children of the independent poor receive their education will be classified with reference to -

I. Their Objects.
II. Their Constitution.
III. Their Finances.
IV. Their Number and the Number of the Scholars.


Viewed in relation to their objects, the schools for the children of the independent poor may be classified as being either Infant

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Schools or Schools for children above infancy, Day Schools or Evening Schools, Week-day Schools, or Sunday Schools.

The general nature of the functions discharged by these different classes of schools is as follows:


Infant schools receive children from the very earliest age at which they are able to walk alone and to speak up to the age of seven. They discharge, in fact, the functions of public nurseries towards very young children; whilst to those who are a little advanced beyond the helplessness of the first stage of infancy they impart the sort of instruction which in the wealthier classes of society is conveyed almost imperceptibly by constant intercourse with educated persons. In the family of a mechanic or day labourer, to say nothing of the ignorance of the parents, the father is usually at work from six in the morning till six at night. The mother has to perform personally all household operations. Stationery and books are too valuable to be made into toys. The house is not furnished with objects which awaken intelligence, nor has any one leisure to form the manners and temper of the child.

An infant school of some kind or other is thus the only means of keeping the children of such families out of the streets in towns, or out of the roads and fields in the country. These schools are, therefore, of great utility as places of security as well as of education. They protect the children from injuries, bodily and mental, which might affect their whole future happiness, and they impart knowledge which, though apparently small in amount, is of high value, and habits of docility and submission to discipline, which are of still higher. We shall show hereafter that if two children enter an elementary school at the age of 7, - one coming from a good infant school, the other uneducated, - the child from the infant school will make as much progress by the age of 10 as the other will by the age of 12; a matter of great and increasing importance when the age of withdrawal from school is growing earlier.

Infant schools fall into two well-marked classes. The private or dames' schools, and the public infant schools, which frequently form a department of an ordinary day school. Dames' schools are very common both in the country and in towns. They are frequently little more than nurseries, in which the nurse collects the children of many families into her own house instead of attending upon the children of some one family. The general character of these schools is the same in every part of the

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country. Women are always the teachers. They are generally advanced in life, and their school is usually their kitchen, sitting and bed-room, and the scene of all their domestic occupations. In remote villages, where there are not children enough to support an infant school, or in towns where the distance of such schools from the residence of the parents makes it dangerous for the children to resort to them, such establishments are useful;* but there can be no doubt that, in many cases, the continued existence of such schools indicates great deficiency in the supply of a very important branch of popular education. The dames' schools are apt to be close, crowded, and dirty. "The usual scene of these schools," says Mr. Winder, in reference to Rochdale, "is a cottage kitchen, in which the mistress divides her time between her pupils and her domestic duties. The children sit round the room, often so thickly stowed as to occupy every available corner, and spend the greater part of their time in knitting and sewing. At intervals the mistress calls them up, one or two at a time, and teaches the alphabet and easy words, the highest proficiency attained being the power of reading a little in the New Testament."† In Plymouth and Devonport the account given of such schools is even less satisfactory. One of Mr. Cumin's informants says, "The dames most commonly have only one room for every purpose, and their scholars may often be seen sitting round the sides of a four-post bed on low forms, the sides of the bed forming a back to the seat; sometimes on the sides of the bed. When the children are present the atmosphere is always oppressive to me, and often, if I stay in it for ten minutes without opening the window, it makes me sick." "The room," adds Mr. Cumin, from his own observation, "is often so small that the children cannot stand in a semicircle round the teacher. Indeed, I have seen the children as closely packed as birds in a nest, and tumbling over each other like puppies in a kennel."‡ In one of these schools Mr. Foster saw at dinner, in the midst of the children, a collier (the mistress's husband) and two lodgers, fresh from the pit,§ who, after their meal would, in all probability, proceed to undress and wash themselves in the same place.

Public infant schools present a different appearance. Great attention has been bestowed upon their organization. They not only aim at, but in fact accomplish, a great deal more than

*Mr. Fraser's report, p. 35.

†Report, p. 182

‡Report, pp. 83-84.

§Report, p. 336.

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the simple object of keeping children out of mischief. In a Report on the British and Foreign Infant Schools, published by the Committee of Council in 1845,* the late Mr. Fletcher gave an elaborate account of the principles upon -which such schools are conducted, and these principles are substantially common to all public infant schools. The substance of Mr. Fletcher's account is that the children are divided into two classes, according to their age. Those in the younger class are taught by a series of contrivances to talk, and to look at pictures, with intelligence, and also to go through a variety of simple movements in marching and changing stations at brief intervals. They are also taught their letters, and exercised in forming elementary syllables. As they grow out of the very earliest stage of infancy they pass into the higher division, and there they receive, according to their capacity, somewhat more varied instruction. The teacher tells them stories about the animals and other objects represented in the pictures, and about persons and events mentioned in the Bible. They are also exercised in plaiting, tying knots, sewing, and other occupations which employ their hands, and they are instructed in the elementary rules of arithmetic principally by means of physical illustrations of them, such as are afforded by frames containing balls strung upon wires, or by throwing into one, or dividing into two or more parts, several groups of children.

It requires not only special taste for the occupation, but tact, patience, and ingenuity, to enlist the attention and sympathy of a large number of very young children. "The real education of the children," says Mr. Fletcher,† "is carried on, for the most part, in the direct intercourse with the teacher; the children seated on the gallery, and the teacher standing before them, and constantly 'performing,' as it were, in such manner, and with such varieties of position, attitude, tone, gesture, method, and bearing, as shall best warm their minds to the reception of the new truths that are to be conveyed to them." In the best infant schools much is done, and even much is taught. In a recent Report, Mr. Bowstead observes that, in his district‡ there are infant schools in which the upper classes, consisting of children under seven, read a simple book, such as the New Testament, fluently and intelligently, write on a slate in a fair round hand, know many of the simple properties and relations of numbers, set down

*Min. 1845.. I. p. 218, sqq.

†M. Sup. p. 220.

‡British and Wesleyan Schools in the Southern Counties of England and Wales. Min. 1853-4, II. 766.

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on a slate any number under 100,000 correctly from dictation, are acquainted with the main features of the earth's surface and of English geography, have definite notions of all ordinary forms, and possess an appreciable amount of information on natural history and objects of general utility. He adds, that they receive a training in obedience, attention, observation, and facility of comprehension, which distinguishes them at a glance from children who have not had the advantage of an infant school training. Mr. Cumin's* evidence as to the value of infant schools was of a similar character. "Several clergymen," he observes, "told me that, in coming into a new and neglected district, the first step to be taken should be the establishment of an infant school. Churches are good, and ordinary schools are good, but they only modify bad habits already contracted. Infant schools prevent bad habits being formed." He adds, from the experience of the police of Bristol and Plymouth, that since infant schools have become common, accidents to young children in the streets have greatly diminished in number. Mr. Winder† reports, that the schoolmasters almost universally say that the children from infant schools make much better scholars than those from dames' schools; and he adds, that it is by no means difficult to recognize them when mixed in a class with others, and that they exhibit a marked superiority, both in intelligence and in manner.

Mr. Shields, a schoolmaster of experience in London, who was examined before us, gave it as his opinion that the improvement and extension of infant schools was the way in which the extension of popular education must next be attempted, and he also thought that the quality of the schools depends principally on the care with which the teachers are trained. By careful management of the infant schools he thought that children might be so prepared for the day schools as to learn thoroughly well all the absolute essentials of education by 11 years of age, but he said "if you leave out the infant school you wreck my plan entirely."‡ In his judgment a child ought to be able to read, write, and cipher fairly, applying the four rules, and understanding their principles, on leaving a good infant school at the age of seven.

It appears to follow, from this evidence, that infant schools

*Report, p. 32.

†Report, p. 227.

‡Evidence 4170, 4265, &c.

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form a most important part of the machinery required for a national system of education, inasmuch as they lay the foundation, in some degree, of knowledge, and in a still greater degree, of habits which are essential to education, while without them a child may contract habits and sustain injuries which the best school will afterwards be unable to correct and remedy.

To keep at school a boy who might be earning wages, or a girl who might help her mother in household work, must always be a sacrifice; but children under seven can earn little or nothing, and the presence of several of them in a small room required for a variety of other purposes is a considerable inconvenience. Infant schools, therefore, are free from competition with the employers of labour and with the requirements of the family.

Infant schools are also comparatively cheap, as they are usually taught by mistresses.

Lastly, it may be observed that the difficulties produced by differences of religious belief can hardly arise in respect of such infant schools as form independent establishments. It is scarcely conceivable that the instruction of children under seven years of age should ever be dogmatic. The power of understanding the peculiarities of doctrine which separate churches and sects is not developed till a much later period.

On the other hand there are difficulties which impede the establishment of infant schools, especially in rural districts. A village can seldom support two schools, even if they are placed in the same building. The value of infant schools depends almost exclusively on the tact, patience, sympathy, and ingenuity of the teacher, and the employment is one which requires good and even spirits. It is difficult to obtain these qualifications, and, as we shall show hereafter, there are few institutions in which infant schoolmistresses are trained. Very young children cannot attend any school which is not near their own homes; and where the population is much scattered this circumstance alone may prevent the establishment of an infant school, as there may not be children enough for the purpose within the limits of attendance. Practically, therefore, it is difficult in rural districts to avoid either leaving infants, as at present, in the dames' schools, or placing them by themselves as the youngest class in the village school. The latter course will become more practicable if, as we shall suggest, every schoolmistress should undergo a course of training in the training college to adapt her to deal with infants.

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The great bulk of the education of the children of the independent poor is received at day schools.

These schools are either private or public. The private day schools are kept entirely for profit, and their character and arrangements depend entirely upon their respective proprietors. Their character will accordingly be considered in the next chapter, under the general head of teachers.

The public day schools are now the most important part of the provision made for the education of the children of the independent poor. They have been established by persons who derive no personal advantage from them, and who are actuated in their foundation by charitable and religious motives. They are almost universally religious in their character, and are to a great extent under the influence and care of ministers of religion of various denominations. The British and Foreign School Society was founded upon the principle of avoiding the teaching of the doctrines peculiar to any particular denomination, but it is a fundamental rule of that Society that instruction be given in the Scriptures, and* the Committee have expressly announced that the rule excluding the teaching of "catechisms and peculiar religious tenets" "was never intended to exclude, and never had practically impeded the teaching of any of the great leading fundamental doctrines of the everlasting Gospel, in the plain, simple, and intelligible language of Holy Scripture."

Though the public day schools have contributed more than any other cause to the diffusion of secular knowledge amongst the poor, this has seldom been the sole or even the leading object of those who were chiefly instrumental in founding and supporting them. Their leading object has been the improvement of the poorer classes in a moral, and, above all, in a religious point of view. The general principle upon which almost every one who for the last half century has endeavoured to promote popular education has proceeded, has been that a large portion of the poorer classes of the population were in a condition injurious to their own interests, and dangerous and discreditable to the rest of the community; that it was the duty and the interest of the nation at large to raise them to a higher level, and that religious

*Mr. Fletcher's Report, Min. 1846, II, p. 306.

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education was the most powerful instrument for the promotion of this object. The parents, on the other hand, cannot be expected to entertain the same view of the moral and social condition of their own class, or to have its general elevation in view. They act individually for the advantage of their respective children; and though they wish them to be imbued with religious principles, and taught to behave well, they perhaps attach a higher importance than the promoters and managers of schools to the specific knowledge which will be profitable to the child in life. It is of some importance in estimating the conduct of the parents to keep this difference of sentiment in view.

There is no doubt that the managers, whether members of the Church of England or Dissenters, attach great importance to the education of the children over whose parents they have influence, in the religious creed which they themselves profess; but this feeling does not appear to exist in such strength in the parents themselves. Their selection of schools, in so far as it is affected by the character of the instruction, seems rather to be determined more by the efficiency with which such things as tend to the advancement in life of their children are taught in it, and by its general tone and discipline.

The evidence upon this head is conclusive. Of the ten Assistant Commissioners whom we appointed, two were beneficed clergymen of the Church of England, five were lay members of the same denomination, two were Protestant Dissenters, and one a member of the Established Church of Scotland. Each of these gentlemen gave, with one exception, the same evidence upon this subject.

"I have heard of no single instance," says the Rev. T. Hedley,* "in which the religious teaching in a school formed the ground for withdrawing or withholding children from the school." And again,† "In schools connected with the Church of England, the Church catechism is universal, and is, of course, made the vehicle for distinctive religious teaching; but this seldom appears a matter of much weight with parents in the choice of a school. It is extremely rare to find a church school which does not contain several children of dissenters, and I have been constantly assured that no objection is known to be entertained to the religious instruction given in the school. When the rule of the school requires the attendance of all the children on Sunday, there often are objections made, but even then the objections do not originate so much with the parents as with the teachers and managers of the dissenting Sunday school; often, too, the children of dissenters attend the church Sunday school when there is no rule requiring such attendance."
*Report, p. 147.

†Report, p. 164.

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The Rev. J. Fraser says:*

"Conscientious scruples," or "the religious difficulty," in the matter of education, however formidably they may be dressed up in theory or for the purpose of agitation, become reduced to the most insignificant proportions, when actually brought to the test of facts. I do not say that they may not occasionally exist in some captious minds, but I do say that the religious instruction given in the public schools is not likely to evoke them, never being given, as far as I have seen, with any controversial animus; and in the whole course of my inquiry, though I made it a point of special investigation, I never met with a case constituting a real grievance.
He adds:
Indeed, though the fact cuts two ways, I am quite satisfied that the parents themselves are too ignorant of the distinctions of religious creeds to make it probable that, where they are satisfied with the general progress of their children, they will ever raise a special objection to the character of the religious instruction, and that in every case where a preference is shown of one school to another, it will be found to rest ultimately on some (to them) infinitely more intelligible ground, e.g., that their boys have grown too old for the control of a mistress, or that the school they go to is more conveniently situated, or that the fees are lower, or they like the teacher better, or they send their children for company's sake to where the neighbours send theirs.
Mr. Cumin's experience in Bristol and Plymouth is expressed as follows:†
I have been asked whether the poor show a preference for one system of education over another, whether they neglect the education of their children because of religious differences, and whether in short there is anything in the present schools which indisposes parents to send their children to school. I made the most diligent inquiry into these matters, and found no difference of opinion. Schoolmasters, clergymen, ministers, city missionaries, all told me that the poor, in selecting a school, looked entirely to whether the school supplied good reading, writing, and arithmetic.

In Plymouth, Bristol, and even in Stoke, I found that the schools were attended by the children of parents of every creed. In Bedminster Church school I found a little boy who had much distinguished himself, the son of a leading dissenter. I have seen the sons of Jews and Roman Catholics in Church schools; the sons of churchmen attending a Church Sunday school and a Unitarian week-day school. And in one of the best schools in Bristol I found the majority of the parents of the children dissenters. It should be observed that in almost every National school the Church catechism is taught to all the scholars, though there are two parish schools in Bristol where no boy or girl who objects need learn the catechism, but such objection is scarcely ever made. The truth is that the religious difficulty, as it is called, does not exist. So long as the children are allowed to go to the

*Report, pp, 60, 61.

†Report, p. 66.

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Sunday school connected with the religious denomination to which their parents belong, they make no objection either to the National or the British system. But the leaders of the various religious sects have sufficient power over their followers to rouse them against being compelled to attend any particular Sunday school. In towns, indeed, except in Stoke, this sort of ecclesiastical compulsion to attend particular Sunday schools is never applied, but in the country districts, where the only school is a National school, the children are often compelled to come to the Sunday school or to church with their parents. There can be no doubt that this sort of interference engenders the bitterest feeling of hostility to the Established Church.

So far as I could ascertain, the sort of education provided in the ordinary British and National school is that which is demanded by the people. The religious element, however, I found was considered essential, and that element consists in reading the Bible. The mass of the poor have no notion as to any distinction beyond that between Roman Catholics and Protestants. In various conversations with workmen I have often put the question whether they would object to send their children to a Church school though they were dissenters, or to a dissenting school though they were churchmen. The answer has invariably been in the negative. Upon pursuing the inquiry further I found that if there was none but a Roman Catholic school in the neighbourhood, they would send them to no school at all.

Speaking of Hull, Yarmouth, and Ipswich, Mr. Hare says:*
Everywhere I have found Jews in Christian, and Roman Catholics in Protestants schools; Nonconformists in National schools, and Church children in British or positively Dissenting schools. The only Jews' school which I have discovered (namely, in Hull), contained Jews alone; but I have evidence that the Roman Catholic schools in that town are not without some mixture of Protestant children. There can be no doubt, however, that, as with the Jews, so with the Roman Catholics, and as with these, so also with the members of the Church of England, Wesleyans, and Protestant Nonconformists generally, parents devotedly attached to particular religious communities, avail themselves, as far as possible, of schools closely connected with those communities respectively. But, with the mass of the people, it is not so. The question of religious belief rarely enters their heads in choosing or refusing a school. The Hull and Sculcoates witnesses make one exception. The Protestant feeling is strong in that town, yet neither so strong nor so unanimously represented as to prevent Roman Catholics from remaining in Protestant schools after the opening of schools of their own denomination, or Protestant children from finding their way into schools managed by Roman Catholic priests and sisters of mercy.
Mr. Winder remarks, on Bradford and Rochdale:†
If sectarian teaching were dreaded, one would have expected to find the British schools, whose first principle is to eschew it, more popular and crowded than others. They are in reality neither better nor worse
*Report, p. 243.

†Report, pp. 197, 198.

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attended than their neighbours. If the Church or Wesleyan catechism were disapproved, members of other communions would either refuse to send children to schools where it was taught, or make special stipulations respecting the suspected formulary. On the contrary, in all schools (Church, Wesleyan, and British) children of all denominations are mixed up together. Roman Catholics and Wesleyans, Churchmen and Independents, Baptists and Indifferents, sit at the same desks, and submit without remonstrance or disapproval to the prescribed religious routine.

In many of the Church schools in my districts the majority of the children are of dissenting parents, and attend dissenting places of worship and Sunday schools, and in the Wesleyan and British schools, Church Sunday scholars are always found in fair numbers.

Mr. Coode reports as follows of the Potteries:*
I have found religious distinctions strongly insisted on by the promoters and managers of schools. These are active in canvassing for supporters, for subscribers, for teachers, and for scholars, and undoubtedly produce a great influence on parents within their connexion, and as speakers, and preachers, and writers, a still greater one proportionally on the opinion of the public. But the genuine, unstimulated opinion of the poorer classes of parents who desire education for their children appears to me to be universally a simple desire for a good, useful, plain education, with little care about religious distinctions of doctrine or discipline, except only so far that Protestant parents of all classes avoid the Roman Catholic schools, and Roman Catholic parents nearly as generally avoid Protestant schools of all denominations. All the other professed desire to maintain in tuition religious distinctions appears to me not to be genuine and popular but factitious, and wholly stimulated by enthusiastic and professional promoters of education, seeking not to conciliate or represent the general opinion, but to propagate their own.
The following is Mr. Foster's evidence as to Durham and Cumberland:†
What is called the religious difficulty is unknown to this population, except in the case of the Roman Catholics, many of whom withhold their children from Protestant schools, but this avowedly in obedience to their priests and not of their own choice. Parents will send their children to whichever they deem the best school, quite irrespective of religious peculiarities. The fact is universally admitted, and not least by those who deplore it as evincing only the ignorance and apathy of the community. It would be fairer to say it shows the disposition of the lower classes to be guided more by facts than theories; for, notwithstanding the pertinacious zeal of the promoters of schools about having them conformed to this or that religious standard, I believe it is a thing unheard of among Protestant communities for children to depart from the religious profession of their parents through influences received at a day school. No single instance of it has ever come to my knowledge during my long acquaintance with schools and scholars, whether high or low. The only grievance wearing a religious aspect
*Report, pp. 280, 281.

†Report, p. 348.

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seems to be the power which the managers of National schools possess to compel Sunday attendance at school and church, as a condition of week-day tuition. This power, however, I was informed is not now generally exercised in this part of the country.
Of the two metropolitan Assistant Commissioners, Dr. Hodgson says:*
On the subject of religious instruction I do not find among teachers, parents, or pupils, that any practical difficulty exists. It is not that formulas are not imposed on children which their parents may not accept; but there seems to be a general indifference to formulas. Even those who themselves have very little religious thought of any kind, have a notion that religion is a good thing for their children. Of the different kinds of religion they have no very clear appreciation; at all events, they do not think of objecting to its being taught in any shape not peculiarly offensive in itself, or from the way in which it may be forced. The religion is accepted in the lump with the rest of the instruction. It is from a quite different class that the agitation proceeds, whichever side it takes, positive or negative.
Mr. Wilkinson† records his opinion that religious differences do not operate to prevent parents from sending their children to school, unless they are pushed to such extremities as to inflame popular passions.‡

We have thought it right to give the evidence of these gentlemen upon this point in full, on account of the striking similarity of their experience and the great importance of the subject. It should be added, that there is one exception to this unanimity. Mr. Jenkins found that in Wales, where almost all the labouring classes and nearly all the farmers are dissenters, whilst the landowners and gentry belong for the most part to the Established Church, considerable difficulty often arose, and subscriptions from the latter could be obtained only on terms, as to religious teaching, to which the parents would not submit.

The fact attested by this evidence is important as showing where the responsibility of a conscientious resistance to the introduction of a system of education without distinctive religious teaching lies. Yet it is easy to overrate its importance. It was to be expected that the distinctive tenets and separate interests of any religious community would be maintained by its teachers and guides, rather than by their followers, however attached to their leaders and guides the followers might be. Nor does the

*Report, p. 528.

†Report, p. 353.

‡This observation alludes to the disturbances at St. George's-in-the East, which were in progress in Mr. Wilkinson's district during his inquiry. Report, p. 352.

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comparatively passive attitude of the body of the people materially diminish the practical difficulty of introducing a comprehensive system, since it is not with the body of the people, but with the founders and supporters of schools, that those who might attempt to introduce it, under the present or any probable circumstances, would have to deal.

The system upon which the schools are conducted is, upon the whole, very much the same in all parts of the country and amongst all denominations. In all schools there are pupils and teachers, and in most of the more efficient schools the teachers are assisted by apprentices of from 13 to 18 years of age, who take part in the instruction of the children, and themselves receive instruction from the principal teachers. In schools built with the assistance of Privy Council grants, or upon the plan introduced and recommended by the Committee of Council, the school usually consists of a single large room, long and narrow, with three rows of parallel desks rising above each other on one side, and divided by passages through the desks and often by curtains into as many divisions as there are to be classes. The master's desk is on the opposite side, so that he faces the pupils. This mode of arranging the interior of the school has been extensively adopted even amongst schools not assisted by Government; and it is the only one which is sufficiently general to require distinct notice.

The school hours are from 9 to 12 and from 2 to 4 on five days of the week, Saturday being generally a holiday.


Bishop Hinds has the merit of having first publicly suggested evening schools in a pamphlet entitled "A Letter to Mr. Senior, on Supplemental Evening Schools," printed in 1839. At that time the demand for the labour of children was less than it is now. Still it took hold of them at 12 years of age, and sometimes earlier, and the bishop's object was to furnish to those who had left school, and were at work, or in service, the means of continuing their schooling for a few years longer.

His proposal was, "that £500 be appropriated out of the parliamentary grant to establish evening schools. That the grant be applied to the payment of a teacher's salary, to the hire of a room, and to defraying such part of the expense of

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fuel, lighting, stationery, and books as may not be supplied from local funds."

"That any persons may apply to the Privy Council on the behalf of any parish, district, or town in which such school may be wanted, the applicants undertaking the office of local trustees, managers, and superintendents.

"That the school hours be every evening, except Sunday, and, as nearly as possible, according to the following scheme:

"From 5 to 6 during February and October.
From 6 to 7 during March and September.
From 6 to 7½ during April, May, June, July, and August."

"That business be suspended during the months of November, December, and January; and that in the country districts there be another vacation during harvest.

That only boys under the age of 16 be admitted."

This proposal had the defects of a first attempt. Experience has proved that the winter months, during which Bishop Hinds proposed to close the schools, are those in which they are most frequented. It has shown, too, that it is not advisable to keep them open for six evenings a week.

But the point in which Bishop Hinds' proposal differs most from the existing practice, is the exclusion of females and adults.

In Dr. Hodgson's district, out of a total of 3,109 scholars attending evening schools, 1,267 were females; and more than a fourth of the whole were above 16 years of age; the female adults outnumbering the males. The bishop's plan was supplemental, not substitutional. He wished to give to those who had some knowledge, the means of increasing it, or at least of keeping it up. The existing evening schools are frequented chiefly by those who have never received elementary instruction, or have forgotten it.

Under the 163d Article of the Privy Council Code, no grants (except for the purchase of books and maps in poor rural districts) Can be made to evening schools unconnected with day schools. This exclusion appears to interfere materially with their extension. Even to the evening schools which are connected with day schools the aid afforded is not great. It consists of the capitation grant and of annual payments not exceeding £10 or less than £5, to the teachers if not otherwise remunerated from the grants; but a master who has the charge of pupil-

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teachers cannot be employed in the morning and afternoon in the day school and also in the evening school.*

The main purpose effected by the present evening schools is, as we have already said, the supplying the deficiency of early education. This appears from the reports of all our Assistant Commissioners. Mr. Fraser† found that all the night schools in his district (with a single exception) were confined to elementary subjects, writing being the favourite subject. Mr. Winder says, that "the plan of teaching is mostly individual, and its aim almost entirely confined to reading, writing, and arithmetic, - writing, on the whole, being the favourite subject."‡ In Mr. Hare's§ district about 11/17ths of the pupils in evening schools appeared to have come thither for the purpose of receiving elementary instruction. Mr. Cumin's|| experience was of the same kind. "At Wells," he says, "I found the Bishop himself teaching a class of navvies to read and cypher. I witnessed with admiration those brawny men come into the room with clean smock frocks and newly washed hands and faces, having walked a distance of more than two miles from their cottages, to pursue their studies. Every one had his reason for coming, and one of the most intelligent had the ambition of rising to be an engine driver. The fact is, as Mr. Wigham, the superintendent of locomotives at Bristol, said, these men know that some of the richest contractors have risen from being mere navvies, but that such a position is impossible to reach without a knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but especially the last, in order that they may be able to measure work." Mr. Norris in his report for 1857 says of the evening schools in Stafford, Cheshire, and Shropshire, that the "subjects of instruction are for the most part quite elementary."¶

Instances of the zeal with which these schools are attended are given by the Assistant Commissioners. "In Mr, Macready's school,"** says Mr. Fraser, "I saw a little fellow, 12 years old, who worked 12 hours a day at a coach -maker's, who literally shortened his dinner-hour by half an hour to get his work forward, and be able to leave the shop at half-past seven, in time for his evening school." At Lyme Regis he adds, "I went myself and taught in the school one night for

*Codified Min. 156-161.

†Rep. p. 53.

‡Rep. p. 193.

§Rep. p. 226.

|| Rep. p. 35.

¶Min. 1857-58, p. 433.

**Rep. p. 53.

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one hour and a half. It was very elementary in the character of the instruction, but the scholars were anxious to improve themselves. Among those who were there that night were two lads of 18 or 19, who were going to Exeter gaol the next day, having been committed by the magistrates for some 5th of November freak with squibs or tar-barrels. The prospect did not prevent their coming to school to the last moment." At a private evening school at Bristol, says Mr. Cumin,* "I had been conversing with the master for some time, which, of course, prevented his attending to his business. 'Presently I heard a restless humming, and even symptoms of whistling. The master said, 'Do you understand that?' I said, 'No.' He replied, 'You see these people come to work; they pay for coming here, and they don't mean to be curtailed of their rights.' He instantly went off to attend to them, and everything was silent. I myself found it difficult to get them to converse. They had come to study, and they meant to study." Mr. Winder's experience was very similar.† " I was particularly struck," he says, "in the schools which I visited with the anxiety to learn which was displayed. On one occasion I was examining a class of young men at Rochdale, when the hour for breaking up arrived. I was about to stop, when one of the scholars appealed to me as follows: 'Go thou on; we want as much as we can get for our money.' In, another school at Bradford I found a class most industriously learning reading and arithmetic at once. Each scholar had by his side a Bible and a slate; when his turn came, he read his verse, laid down his book the instant he had finished, and then went on with the sum till the circuit was again complete."

This evidence shows at once the desire of the labouring classes for instruction, and the frequent insufficiency of the knowledge acquired in the day school. Of the 12,482 scholars in 317 evening schools in the ten specimen districts, no less than 10,706 or 83.37 per cent, had attended day schools for various periods, yet almost all of them were learning to read, write, and cypher.

Mr. Baker, the Inspector of Factories in the counties of Buckingham, Chester, Lancaster, Warwick, Hertford, Gloucester, Worcester, Dorset, and Hereford, in his report of November

*Rep. pp. 35, 36.

†Rep p. 237.

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1860, describes some night schools remarkable from their nature and their importance.

He says:

There is in my district an increased number of night schools for the Mr. Baker's working classes of both sexes. It is upon these that I place most account of reliance for the elementary teaching of the adolescents and adults of the evening schools present generation, and for carrying on of that which is to succeed them. There is a vast amount of interest taken now in the manufacturing districts in female education, and especially in the giving of that kind of knowledge which is to make the workman's home more attractive than it has hitherto been. In the school which has been established at Coventry for this purpose, taught entirely by ladies, between the months of November 1859 and April 1860, upwards of 400 garments were made by scholars, unaccustomed aforetime so to employ their fingers or their leisure, all of which, with very few exceptions, were paid for out of the earnings of those who made them. In this school there were never less than 100 pupils present on the average; and when I speak of the disorderly conduct of the scholars when the school commenced, I mention it only to contrast it with the extreme order which pervades it now. At the present time there are 140 scholars in regular attendance, and reading and writing classes have been added. I cannot speak too highly of the perseverance, the earnestness, and the real love of doing good which has brought these ladies out in all weathers through the winter season, to discharge their self-imposed task. There are many other kinds of night schools in existence in my district; but I will only additionally refer to that at Stockport, which has been for some years now established. The boys' school is superintended by a certificated master and 17 assistants, and is divided into nine classes or sections, with two masters to each group. The attendance is from 7 to 9 o'clock, three nights a week. The number of males present when I was at the school averaged from 240 to 300. The average number of females present is seldom less than 672, who, in addition to the usual subjects of school instruction, are engaged during one night in the week in learning plain sewing, and the practical principles of domestic instruction. These pupils are all factory workers, engaged during the day in cotton mills; and there is to be observed amongst them, as at Coventry and Birmingham, besides a neat and cleanly appearance, an order and discipline which always becomes a marked feature in these establishments. Every year's experience, in fact, convinces me, from the clearest observation, and from opportunities of becoming acquainted with the habits of the working classes which have rarely been exceeded, that night schools will have to be increased, and that all kinds of labour will have to be shortened that they may be filled.* There is, indeed, a very large class in this country, both of males and females, totally without knowledge of any kind; many young men that cannot read; many females that also cannot read, and that never put in a stitch; and both these classes are too old for ordinary schools, and too ignorant for mixed schools; and unless they are to remain wholly ignorant, we shall have to introduce a new system of schools for them both.
*Report, p. 49.

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These schools are as yet in their infancy, but they are capable of being made to perform so important a part in national education that it is desirable to point out the peculiar difficulties with which their establishment is attended, and the manner in which they may be met.

Of these difficulties difference in religion is not one. We have already shown that religious differences affect rather the managers than the pupils, and in these schools the pupils themselves, as they contribute largely towards the funds, take, in a great degree, the place of the managers in regulating the subjects of instruction. Nor is there the same irregularity of attendance. Children are irregular, mainly because their attendance depends on their parents, and their parents do not estimate the importance of regularity sufficiently to enforce, or even to permit it. Grown up boys and men, if they attend at all, attend regularly, so far as is in their power.

But they are subject to difficulties of their own. One is the difference of the pupils in age and attainment. They vary as to age, from 12 to 40. They vary as to attainment from utter ignorance to knowledge less extensive but more precise than that of many of their superiors in rank. Mr. Wilkinson found the association of boys and adults "most prejudicial."* Mr. Howson, speaking in the name of a local committee, containing some of the most eminent men in Liverpool, says, "It seems to be clearly made out that the mixing men and boys together always leads to disappointment."†

Dr. Hodgson describes the intellectual objections to such a measure.

In the evening school, he says, -

There is greater inequality of age and attainment than even in the day school; the teaching power is not greater in quantity, and after the day's fatigues it is not likely to be better in quality, and the teacher's time is frittered away in the effort to divide attention among claimants rather various than numerous. In such schools, great difficulty is found in combining juveniles and adults, - juveniles who wish to carry onward the instruction already received, and adults who wish to make up for the want of instruction in early life. Separation of the two has been found almost necessary; yet it is not easy to provide separate masters and rooms for each, while to assign different evenings to each set causes a loss of time to both. The Rev. Bradley Abbott, of Clapham, who does not shrink from the labour of teaching
*Rep. p. 380.

†Rep. p. 385.

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three evenings a week during the winter season, has told me that men were sometimes annoyed by being pointed at in the street by younger pupils, as fellow disciples. The incumbent of Streatham, again, has told me that at the commencement of the season it is a question to which set the evening school should be adapted, the other being excluded.*
Another difficulty peculiar to evening schools is that of obtaining the services of proper masters. This is well explained by the Rev. J. Freeman, secretary to a local board of education, and diocesan inspector in the agricultural arch-deaconry of Lynn:
It is only, he says, in the winter months that attendance can be given. In the summer time, the influence of weather would prevent the mind giving the requisite attention to study of any kind; besides, farm work is carried on to a much later hour in this neighbourhood (until 7 p.m.) There is, moreover, or should be, evening employment in the cottage garden or allotment. The time for evening school being thus contracted, there arises a difficulty as to the master. To find a person qualified to conduct an evening school in the winter months, and turn his hand to some other employment nearly three parts of the year, is no easy matter. It now generally falls to the clergyman of the parish, occasionally to the schoolmaster, if there be one. The attendance of the former must necessarily be somewhat irregular, and though he may have the will, it not unfrequently happens that he is without the power of imparting instruction in this form. It is, I think, wrong to tax the strength of one who has been employed in teaching all day, by increasing his hours of work, and therefore I should never allow a schoolmaster to keep an evening as well as a day school."†
Mr. Snell, of Coker, East Yeovil, a schoolmaster of experience and ability, describes the state of the evening schools, in which these difficulties have not been overcome:
(d.) Evening schools appear to me to be the chief, if not the only, means of supplementing effectually the work of day schools. At present they are, for the most part, failures; indeed, nearly all the elements requisite to ensure success are wanting, viz., apparatus, good teachers, especially a competent superintendent, funds, interest, and support. They are often undertaken by inexperienced, untrained, and badly educated men. The order is that of Bedlam; little or no progress is made; and shortly the number, large at first, becomes reduced to a few, and the scheme is abandoned. Sometimes a journeyman carpenter or shoemaker, having acquired a moderate education by his own perseverance, desires to help his fellows; he sets up a night school in his house or workshop; retired ink-jars hold the candles, and fingers act as snuffers, and thus he pursues his propensity for teaching; but in all soberness such a man is not to be despised. He is the raw material at hand which should be used up under a good general superintendent and in a good school. If I expected a night
*Rep. p. 501.

†Answers, p. 195.

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school to be successful, I would secure a convenient room, - day or Sunday school might answer the purpose, - would furnish it with ample apparatus; would engage the services of an experienced schoolmaster little under 30 years of age; would hold him more responsible for the night school than for any other occupation he might get by way of increasing the salary, would place the entire concern under Government inspection; charge in fees as much as the earnings of the pupils would reasonably permit; and limit the age for admission to 14 years. Under the superintendent should be employed paid teachers and voluntary. I believe that if the Committee of Council on Education were to call into being such night schools as this just described, and give to them a liberal and earnest support, it would perform a work scarcely inferior to that it has already accomplished.*
The Hon. and Rev. S. Waldegrave, now Bishop of Carlisle, writing from Barford St. Mary, near Salisbury, after describing his own evening schools, adds, -
Another point to which the Committee of Council will, I hope, direct their attention, is night schools. They have extended to them the benefit of the capitation grant, and this is a great boon. But I think they must devise methods to do more. For at the present low rate of wages we cannot keep our boys in the day school for a moment after they can earn anything. And yet in a parish like this to get any competent teacher beside the minister and master is next to impossible; my "assistant" is my gardener, an excellent man and very steady in his teaching, but wholly untrained. Could not a boy pupil-teacher be allowed for such a night school? He could work in the day school in the afternoon, and set the master free to take his place in the night school, himself assisting there also.†
The difficulty of obtaining masters for evening schools does not arise from any peculiar irksomeness of their duties. On the contrary, the more advanced age, and the superiority of the scholars in diligence and in the appreciation of education, make the instruction of the evening school a more interesting task than that of the day school, and afford the master opportunities of cultivating and of employing a wider range of acquirements. The masters of the day schools would therefore, generally speaking, be glad to be able to undertake the superintendence of the evening schools if any arrangement could be made by which they could combine it with the management of the day schools.

There are two means by which this might be accomplished; either the hours of attendance in the day school might be shortened, so as to allow the day schoolmaster to give a couple

*Answers, p. 389.

†Answers, p. 425.

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of hours to the evening school for three or even four evenings in the week; or an assistant master might be engaged during the winter months, who might take the place of the principal teacher in the afternoon school, and thus give him leisure to teach in the evening school.

The first is the plan proposed by Mr. Fraser.*

The intellectual results, he says, of education are somewhat lame and impotent, because the supply fails just too soon. I shall despair of seeing any considerable improvement till the night school has assumed its proper position and due development. At present, the adults who frequent it come either to repair the deficiencies of early education, or to recover what has been lost by want of practice, or through lapse of time. Secondary education of the labouring man, except in the languid classes of one or two mutual improvement societies, is a phenomenon that I never observed. And even the primary education of the night school, in most cases, is not much above the level of what is being given to the third class of an ordinarily efficient day school. The great difficulty, as I said before, is not to find pupils, but teachers. The help offered by the Committee of Council is quite inapplicable to the circumstances of country parishes. In the whole of my district, out of 121 night schools, I only found one, at Lyme, organized in conformity with the Minutes, or availing itself of their Lordships' aid. In many cases, one has been started by the clergyman single-handed, or with such precarious volunteer assistance as he could enlist, and has been dropped again, because the aid fell off, and he found it too heavy a strain upon his own unassisted strength and time. I have a suggestion of my own to offer; at least, I have never seen it offered elsewhere. I start with the principle that the development of the night school, the placing it on a sound and permanent basis, the making it a place where the education, interrupted by the imperative claims of labour at ten, may be not only kept up, but pushed forward till the pupil is fifteen, is or ought to be the paramount object of those who desire to extend the elementary education of the people. I consider that it demands attention more urgently, and will repay attention more largely, even than the day school. I should be prepared to sacrifice, if it were necessary to sacrifice, something of the efficiency of this, if by so doing I could secure the efficiency of that. I think there is a way in which, if not entirely and in all places, yet to a far greater extent than we succeed in doing at present, we may secure this efficiency. The crucial difficulty is to get teachers. We must get them from the day school. There is simply no other source open to us. But how get them? Everybody must admit the reasonableness of the rule of the Committee of Council, that teachers of day schools, who in addition to five or six hours spent in school, have another hour and a half to spend with their pupil-teachers per day, shall not only not be required, but shall not even be allowed, to take part in the instruction of night schools. It would be too great a strain on their physical strength and intellectual vigour if they were. The work of neither school would be done well. I cannot therefore get teachers for my night school, if the day school remains just as it is. I propose that it
*Report, pp. 110-113.

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should not so remain. I would suspend the day school FOR THE AFTERNOONS of the four, if not the six, winter months; from the beginning of October to the end of March, or certainly from November to February. My whole staff of teachers, then, whatever its size, masters, mistresses, pupil-teachers, liberated from their two hours' work in the afternoon, having all that time for exercise, recreation, private affairs, would be ready and available for two hours' work from 6.30 to 8.30 in the evening.

The sacrifice in the real power and usefulness of the day school would be infinitesimal. You would still have your three hours of forenoon work clear. Those three hours, well employed, are enough for most purposes of ordinary instruction. In the majority of workhouse schools (of whose general efficiency I have already spoken), in industrial schools, the children get no more. Anyone who knows much about the inside of schools knows that the atmosphere, the intellectual atmosphere, of the afternoons, is heavy, oppressive, somniferous. I feel pretty sure, that the intellectual condition of schools would not retrograde if, for a third of the year at any rate, all the instruction were condensed into the three hours from nine to twelve (or, better still, perhaps, from ten to one), of the forenoon.

"But how would your scheme act in a parish where the day school was only under the charge of a mistress, which is the commonest case?" Not so satisfactorily, perhaps, as where a master is employed; but still, a mistress, with the clergyman to support her and compel respect to her authority, would be found in many instances to be a very competent conductor of a night school. It was a woman that I found conducting the night school at Nether Cerne. The young mistress at Mappowder had a private night school of her own. The mistress at Donyatt another, attended by 25 pupils. Both said they found no difficulty in carrying them on, though, in the latter case there were quite big lads, and even grown up married men (who were the steadiest of the party), among the scholars. An excellent neighbour of mine, long known in Wiltshire as a successful educationist, the Rev. Richard Webb, of Durrington, has had an admirable night school of 40 scholars at work during the two last winters, which he leaves entirely in the hands of his wife, who he declares keeps it in much better order than he could himself. The vicar of Axminster, a shrewd and judicious observer, sends me this reply to a question which I submitted to him about evening schools. "Evening schools," he says, "are the most valuable of all schools"; and I venture to think that they are the schools to which attention should be most largely directed. For boys of 15 and upwards, and for men (especially for the rougher sort of men, "navvies," &c.), I find the assistance of ladies very far more valuable than that of any men, even clergymen. It makes them gentlemen.

I am inclined to believe that teachers generally would like the plan. They would be thankful for the five or six hours which they could thus call their own in a winter's afternoon. They would find the burden of their work considerably lightened by being broken by this interval. They would be sustained by the always pleasurable consciousness of increased usefulness. They would be encouraged by witnessing more permanent fruit of their labours.

The night school, again, instead of being an additional expense, would be an actual source of income. As no greater demand than at present would be made on the teachers' strength or time, no increase

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of salary could reasonably be expected; while the fees of the night-scholars - for the school should not be free - would form no inconsiderable addition to the fees of the day scholars; more than sufficient to defray the cost of lighting.

The two schools, again, being thus amalgamated into one, as far as the staff of teachers is concerned, might without objection be held in the same room, and use the same class books and apparatus. Under the present system, an entirely new "plant," so to call it, is often required for the night school, to avoid the collision of two co-ordinate but independent, establishments.

Mr. Fraser's statement that on bis plan "the sacrifice in the real power and usefulness of the day school would be infinitesimal, that three hours, well employed, are enough for most purposes of ordinary instruction, and that the intellectual condition of schools would not retrograde, if, for a third of the year at any rate, all the instruction were condensed into the three hours from nine to twelve (or, better still, perhaps, from ten to one) of the forenoon," opens a question of great interest and importance, which has engaged our earnest attention, and which we shall consider in Chapter III.

The objection to the second plan, that which proposes to employ the principal master of the day school, supplying his place there by an assistant master, is, that it is difficult at present to get assistant masters for the six winter months; but this difficulty will probably diminish when the country is fully supplied with trained teachers, and when the demand for them is kept up only by the vacancies caused by death and retirement, and by the growth of the population. In such a state of things young men leaving the training schools would probably be glad to accept temporary engagements as assistant masters in the first instance, and it would be possible for the training schools to encourage this by arranging their course in such a manner that it should end just before the time of year at which the night schools open.

In some districts the evening schools have been combined in groups, which are visited by an organizing master, who spends one night of the week in each school, and trains the ordinary master to his duty. This plan is reported by the East Lancashire Union of Institutions having Evening Schools, to work very well. The pupils being older and more advanced than those in the day schools, a master of less skill in the special art of teaching is required than the ordinary master, and persons both willing and competent are to be found in most parts of the country. The teacher

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of an evening school may of course be employed in any other calling during the day.

A further means suggested for promoting the extension and improvement of evening schools, is to place them, as respects aid from the Privy Council, more on a par with day schools. We have seen that they are not recognized by the Privy Council unless connected with day schools. This excludes the numerous evening schools connected with mechanics' institutes, literary institutions, and other societies for mutual instruction which are spreading over our manufacturing districts, and are counteracting the sensualism and vice in which the high wages of the prosperous working classes are frequently spent.

We feel no doubt that evening schools, unconnected with day schools or with any other institutions, promoted, managed, and taught independently, are in many cases useful; and such is the opinion of Mr. Maurice, whose connexion with the Working Man's College makes him a good judge. "Evening schools," he says, "and what are called evening classes for the adult population, are at present, so far as I know, the only means of encountering the great difficulty of modern English education. I think the evidence is decisive that they have been successful attempts. It does not appear that the students, young or old, in town or country, give any signs of the exhaustion which it had been supposed that those who have been engaged all day in mechanical toils must exhibit. In general they come fresh enough to their change of occupation, if their teachers are fresh. A schoolmaster who has been exhausted all day in the same occupation cannot have this freshness, and must destroy it in those whom he tries to teach. For this reason the Mechanics' Institutes and general Lectures often appear to be of greater interest. Scientific men, men of letters, professional men, I recollect, find an interest in telling what they know to the assembly in some town hall or institute. Their names, and probably their acquaintance with the subject and their liveliness, offer a great contrast to the sleepiness of the hard-worked school teacher."*

We think that the great and growing importance of evening schools entitles them to aid from the public, and we recommend

*Answers, p. 298.

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that the payment allowed to the teachers under article 159 be continued as at present, and that whenever an organizing master approved by the Committee of Council, is employed for a group of such schools, he shall receive a sum to be fixed by the Committee of Council, in lieu of certificate money. But after much consideration, we are not prepared to recommend a relaxation of the rule which confines the assistance of Government to evening schools connected with day schools.


The general character and condition of Sunday schools vary to some extent, according to the denomination with which they are connected, and the different habits of different parts of the country; but wherever they exist, their primary object is religious instruction. Incidentally, reading is taught, or the habit of reading kept up, through their instrumentality, and in a few cases instruction is also given in writing.

In many parts of the country Sunday schools form the machinery by which different religious denominations maintain or extend their numbers, and through which, either as teachers or as scholars, the more zealous members of the denomination exert their zeal. Mr. Cumin says,* speaking of Bristol and Plymouth, "To whichever Sunday school a boy or girl goes, to the sect of that Sunday school he or she belongs." ... "It is astonishing to observe the exertions which are made by contending sects to fill the Sunday schools; and in Plymouth, where there is great want of education, there are two enormous Sunday schools, one belonging to the Wesleyans, and one to the Independents, and yet not a single denominational school for boys, only one for girls, and one for infants." "All sorts of persuasions are used to induce parents to send their children to particular Sunday schools. Almost all sects have their tea parties and benefit clubs, which require the attendance of the child at the Sunday school in order to derive any profit from it; whilst in some, especially the rural districts,† the clergy, who have the one school, lay down the rule, which is bitterly,

*Report, p. 33, 34.

†Mr. Cumin's district included the Union of Bedminster, most of which is agricultural.

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perhaps justly, criticized by the dissenters, that no child shall attend the week-day school unless it attends the Sunday school." In Rochdale and Bradford, "Sunday schools," says Mr. Winder, "are developed to an extraordinary degree. No other schools call out anything approaching to the zeal and general interest lavished upon them. With the dissenters, generally, they are far more popular than day schools."

In Wales the Sunday schools are an institution of a peculiar character. The position which they occupy is intermediate between that of an ordinary school and that of a place of worship. A full account of them is given both by Mr. Jenkins in his Report to this Commission, and by the three Commissioners* who undertook a special inquiry into the state of education in Wales, by the direction of the Committee of Council, in 1847. In their general features, these accounts agree. The origin of the Welsh Sunday schools is to be traced to the great religious movement which took place in Wales in the middle of the last century. They are composed of the congregations of the different places of worship, which meet on Sundays, not only for worship, but also for the instruction of the young, and for a systematic discussion of religious topics, which goes on concurrently with the instruction. The adult classes choose one of their number as a teacher, or rather as a sort of leader of the discussion. "The text book invariably is the Scriptures, each book being generally gone through chapter by chapter. The verses are read in succession by each member of the class, and as each reader concludes, questions, if the passage suggests any, on the meaning, are addressed either by the teacher to the reader, or as frequently put by some member of the class to the other members. When the views of the class have been given, the teacher sums up the various opinions, and gives his own con" elusions, with the reasons on which they are founded." The juvenile classes are principally occupied in learning to read, and in learning by heart passages of Scripture, hymns, and other compositions of a religious character.

So popular are the Welsh Sunday schools, and so universal is the taste for the theological discussions with which their senior classes are occupied, that they contain a very large pro-

*Mr. Lingen, Mr. Jelinger Symons, and Mr. Vaughan Johnson.

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portion of the whole population of the country, whilst they are so widely spread that every small cluster of houses in the most remote parts of North Wales has its branch school, and the whole population may be said to be under their influence. Statistical returns were collected by Mr. Jenkins as to the county of Merioneth and the unions of Merthyr and Neath. In this district 487 Sunday schools made returns. They contained 36.65 per cent of the whole population, or considerably more than one-third, the proportion in the union of Bala being as high as 52.7 per cent, whilst even in the populous town of Merthyr it was 19.9. The influence of these associations over the adult population is shown by the fact that the proportion of scholars above 15 years of age in the six unions was 49.18. In Bala the proportion was 73.4, and in Merthyr 35.81. Mr. Jenkins saw old men and women of from 60 to 70 years of age present in the schools.*

Something like this exists also in some of the northern manufacturing towns. "Of the female scholars," says Mr. Winder, "not less than 29.88 per cent at Rochdale, and 24.22 per cent at Bradford, are above 15 years of age. I myself saw about 200 young women present at one time in the large school of the United Free Methodists at Rochdale. Indeed, it is quite a common thing for women to come to school after their marriage, and many teachers become scholars on the Sundays on which it is not their turn to teach."†

There is a considerable conflict of opinion among those who have given us their views as to the utility of Sunday schools. Mr. Ackroyd says,‡ "Sunday schools are of little value, except as nurseries for the particular religious sects to which they belong." He writes from Halifax. In country parishes, where there is comparatively little of denominational division and zeal, this object of Sunday schools can exist but in a slight degree, though in such parishes the Sunday school collects and prepares the children for their place of worship.

The Dean of Carlisle says§ -

Sunday schools should be confined to those children who are not trained in our improved day schools. I am confident that the Sunday school is just a faggot above a load in many instances. The
*Report, pp. 483-496.

†Report, p. 193.

‡Answers, p. 15.

§Answers, p. 124.

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Sunday-school teachers, as a body, however pious and well-intentioned, are inferior even in Scripture knowledge to the day-school teachers, and they are generally wholly unskilled in the art of training. I have seen the children of a class laughing at the blunders of their Sunday-school teachers. I firmly believe that the subsequent irreligion of so many who have been through our schools is to be traced to the injudicious amount and quality of the whole Sabbath-day instruction. Sunday, instead of being a day of rest and relaxation, is the heaviest and dullest day of the seven to the poor children. The clergy in general differ from me on this point; but every year's experience confirms me in my opinion.
Mr. Fraser says that the clergy of the diocese of Bath and Wells "appear to admit that their Sunday schools are not thriving, and attempt to account for the increased difficulty in getting scholars to attend them by a variety of causes; the cause which most of them concur in alleging being the vast improvement in the day schools." ... "I was in the habit of visiting one or more every Sunday, but of all that I saw - more than 20 - there is not one that has not left the impression of weariness and deadness on my mind." ... "I do not remember an instance of adult classes. The scholars are mostly composed in the Church schools of the same children who attend the day school, with the addition of a few elder boys and girls, who continue for a year or two to attend school on Sunday.'' He adds that more interest very probably is thrown into the dissenting Sunday schools for the reason already assigned, that none is absorbed by the day school."*

There can be little doubt, however, (and the above evidence of Mr. Winder confirms the belief,) that Sunday schools, when well conducted, are an effective means of giving religious teaching, and possess other and great advantages.

The following table, prepared from returns obtained by this Commission, compares the centesimal proportion of the scholars in week-day and Sunday schools belonging to the different denominations. With the exception of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, the proportion in Sunday schools preponderates in every instance. This evinces the close connexion of the Sunday school with nonconformist zeal. The

*Report, p. 49. In Mr. Fraser's district, out of 402 schools, 376 were connected with the Church, 12 were British, and 14 Dissenting schools.

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British schools, which contain 9.7 per cent of the week-day scholars, have no corresponding Sunday schools.

The total number of Week-day scholars and of Sunday scholars respectively, on which the above centesimal proportions are founded, are 1,553,212 and 2,388,397.

Such are the schools for the independent poor, classified with respect to their several objects. The day schools form the most important element, occupying as they do the whole time of the scholar, and influencing the whole character. The infant schools are an introduction, and the evening schools a supplement to them; whilst the Sunday schools are devoted to religious instruction, and occasionally form centres of religious interest, and of communication for members of their respective denominations.


The next point of view from which schools for the children of the independent poor may be considered is their constitution. We shall speak of the constitution of endowed schools in the

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fifth part of our report. That of private schools requires no particular mention.

The constitution of public schools varies according to the religious denomination with which they are connected. One of the first acts of the Committee of Council was to publish a variety of forms of trust deeds for schools; and by the Minute of December 1840* it was provided that in the conveyance of the sites of school-houses erected with aid from the Parliamentary grant the trustees should avail themselves of one or other of the forms so published. They are contained in the first of the annual volumes published by the Committee, and are seven in number.† They provide for the management of schools in three different ways: 1. That the school shall be conducted upon the principles of or shall be united to the National Society, and shall be under the general management and control of the committee for the time being of the subscribers. 2. The same, with the exception that the British and Foreign is substituted for the National Society. 3. That the school shall be under the management of the parish vestry, or a committee appointed by them; that instruction shall be given in the Bible and Catechism to all children whose parents might not object to it on religious grounds; and that such instruction shall be under the superintendence and direction of the minister of the parish. The other forms were drawn to provide for Church of England schools, not being parish schools, nor in connexion with the National or British and Foreign School Society;‡ schools similarly situated, but not connected with the Church of England;§ and cases in which spiritual corporations sole granted sites for the foundation of National or parish schools.||

In the course of the years 1844 or 1845 a practice grew up (though there is no record of any Minute or other official authority establishing it) of recommending to promoters of Church of England schools the insertion of certain clauses¶ in the trust deeds intended to define the authority by which such schools should be governed. The ground of this practice was, that when inquiry was made into the constitution of schools requiring assistance it appeared that** "the provisions for school

*Coll. Min. p. 7.

† Min. 1839-40, pp. 94 and 99; reprinted in Min. 1844, vol i. pp. 93 and 99.

‡ Form 4.

§Form 7.

||Forms 5 and 6.

¶Letter of Sir J. K. Shuttleworth to Secretary to Diocesan Board of Bristol. Min. 1847., I. lxxiii

**Min. 1847, I. lxxv.

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management in the trust deed comprised every form of negligent or discordant arrangement. Often there was no management clause; in which case the government of the school devolved on the individual trustees and their heirs, who might be non-resident, minors, lunatics, or otherwise incapable. When a management clause was inserted, there was seldom any provision for the supply of vacancies or re-election, nor any qualification for the office of manager." As this criticism applies to the forms published by the Committee of Council, and noticed above, it is probable that further experience as to the confusion existing on the subject induced the Committee of Council to take steps for its prevention.

After the practice had prevailed for more than two years, and after an alteration had been made in the form of the clauses, at the suggestion of the then Archbishop of Canterbury,* a prolonged correspondence took place between the Committee of Council and the committee of the National Society upon the question whether the adoption of the management clauses should be a condition precedent to the receipt of aid from the Parliamentary grant, and as to the precise terms in which the clauses should be expressed. The Minutes bearing upon the subject are those of 28th June 1847,† 12th June 1852,‡ 2nd April 1853.§ The two later Minutes vary the terms of the clauses, but the recommendations to be made as to their adoption are determined by the Minute of June 18447, which provides that the Secretary of the Committee, in communicating with applicants for aid in the erection of school buildings for Church of England schools, shall recommend the adoption of Clause A. in populous districts of towns in which the intelligent and wealthy inhabitants are numerous; that he shall suggest the adoption of Clause B. in school districts in towns and villages in which the well-educated and wealthy classes may be less numerous, and in rural parishes having not less than 500 inhabitants, with at least three or more resident gentlemen, or intelligent yeomen, manufacturers, or tradesmen; that he shall permit the adoption of Clause D. in rural parishes containing fewer than 500 inhabitants, and in all school districts in which from poverty and ignorance the number of subscribers is limited to very few individuals, and great difficulty is experienced in providing a succession of school managers; and that he shall permit the adoption of Clause C. in very small rural parishes in

*Min. 1846, I, pp. 25-27.

†Coll. Min. p. 46.

‡Coll. Min. p. 24.

§Coll. Min. p. 51. See also codified minutes, arts. 29, 30.

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which the resident inhabitants are all illiterate, and indifferent to the education of the poor, in which the clergyman has given proof of his zeal for the education of his parishioners, and in which there is no prospect that he will be supported by the aid of persons willing and competent to co-operate with him in school management.

The substance of the clauses in question is as follows:

Clause A. declares that the principal officiating minister, for the time being, of the parish or ecclesiastical district shall have the superintendence of the religious and moral instruction of all the scholars attending the school, with power to use or direct the premises to be used for the purposes of a Sunday School under his exclusive control and management. In all other respects it vests the government of the school and the selection, appointment, and dismissal of the teachers in a committee consisting of the principal officiating minister for the time being, his licensed curate or curates, if he shall appoint them, and a certain number of other persons, being residents or having real property to a certain extent in the parish, and being contributors to the school in the current year to a certain amount. These last mentioned members are to be elected annually by persons who have contributed to a certain amount to the funds of the school during the current year, are members of the Church of England, and qualified by residence or estate as persons to be elected. Each contributor so qualified has a number of votes proportioned to his subscription, but no one is to have more than six votes. The minister if present is chairman of the committee. In his absence the committee appoint a chairman. The chairman has a casting vote. No person is to be appointed or continue to be the master or mistress of the school who shall not be a member of the Church of England.

It is optional with the promoters whether the school is or is not to be connected by the deed with the National Society; whether or not such of the churchwardens as are members, or whether or not such as are communicants of the Church of England, are to be ex officio members of the Committee; whether the lay members of the committee shall be required before serving upon it, or interfering in the management of the school, to sign a declaration that they are members, or to sign a declaration that they are, and for three years have been, communicants of the Church of England, and whether the elected members of the committee are to be residents or proprietors in the parish, or either in the same or in an adjoining parish.

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In case any difference shall arise between the minister or curate and the committee of management respecting the prayers to be used in the school, not being the Sunday school, or the religious instruction of the scholars, or any regulation connected therewith, or the exclusion of any book, the use of which in the school may be objected to on religious grounds, or the dismissal of any teacher from the school on account of his or her defective or unsound instruction of the children in religion, any member of the committee may cause a written statement of the matter in difference to be laid before the Bishop of the diocese, who may inquire into the matter, and whose written determination shall be final, and must be carried into effect by the committee. If differences arise on any other subjects, upon the request of the third part of the committee of management, the President of the Council may nominate an inspector of schools, and the bishop of the diocese may nominate a beneficed clergyman of the diocese, who are jointly to appoint a third arbitrator, being a justice of the peace and a lay member of the Church of England, and the decision of the three or of any two of them is to be final.

If the two arbitrators do not select a third within 30 days, the appointment rests with the Archbishop of the province and the Lord President jointly. If the bishop or arbitrators award that any teacher shall be dismissed, such award is upon notice to the teacher to operate as a dismissal from any interest in his office taken under the deed.

Clause B differs from A only in this, that whereas in A the Managing Committee is annually elected by the subscribers, in B, the election is confined to vacancies occasioned by deaths, resignations, or incapacity. B is the form usually recommended.

In Clause D the committee fills up its own vacancies until the bishop directs election by the subscribers; in other respects it contains the same provisions as A and B.

In Clause C the principal officiating minister of the parish or ecclesiastical district is the sole manager, until the bishop directs the election of a committee of the subscribers; in other respects it contains the same provisions as A, B, and D.

If the school is meant for the education of the children of more than one parish, the religious superintendence is given to the principal officiating minister of that parish in which the school is situated, and the ministers of the other parishes included in the trust of the school are appointed ex officio members of the Committee of Management.*

*Min. 1852-3, I, pp. 59, 60.

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The management of British schools is vested by the management clause* of the model deed in a committee, to be annually elected by subscribers of a certain amount. The committee elect a chairman for the year, who has a casting vote. The committee have power to dismiss the teachers.

The schools in connexion with the Wesleyan Committee of Education were admitted to participate in the Parliamentary grant by the Minute of June 28, 1847,† and the constitution of their schools is provided for by a model deed,‡ which vests their control and management in a committee, consisting of the ministers of the Connexion appointed and stationed for the time being by the Conference to the circuit in which the school is situate; two of the trustees of the school to be annually appointed by the trustees from their own number; the society steward or stewards of the Wesleyan society in immediate connexion with the school; and a suitable number (not less than six) of other persons, two-thirds of whom are to be Wesleyan Methodists, elected by the annual subscribers of not less than 5s each. The superintendent minister has the right of employing the school premises as a Sunday school, under the management of a committee appointed in conformity with the regulations of Conference respecting Sunday schools. The school is to be opened and closed with devotional singing, and prayer, the Wesleyan hymn books being used. The Bible is to be read and used in the school, as also the Wesleyan catechisms authorized by Conference, and no person is to be permitted to teach in the schools who shall either therein or elsewhere maintain, teach, or promulgate any doctrine or practice contrary to what is contained in Wesley's notes on the New Testament, and the first four volumes of his sermons. The children are to attend public worship on Sundays in some Wesleyan chapel, unless their parents object on religious grounds. The parents have also a right to object, on the same grounds, to the instruction of their children in any catechism or other religious formulary, and a free choice is left to them as to the Sunday school or place of worship to be attended by the child on Sundays.

The management clause of the model deed relating to Roman Catholic schools was settled after a prolonged correspondence between the Committee of Council and the Roman Catholic Poor School Committee.§ As ultimately settled, it provides that the Roman Catholic priest of the district, acting under faculties from

*Consol. Min. p. 34.

†Consol. Min. p. 2.

‡Consol. Min. p. 63.

§Consol. Min. p. 45.

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the Roman Catholic bishop, shall, so long as such faculties continue in force, have the management and superintendence of the religious instruction of the scholars, with power to use the premises on Sundays for the purpose of such religious instruction exclusively. In other respects the management, including the selection, appointment, and dismissal of the teachers, is vested in a committee composed of the priest and six other Roman Catholics. Vacancies are filled up by the election of the remaining members, until the bishop directs that the election shall be by subscribers, after which persons who subscribe to a certain amount are entitled to votes in proportion to their subscriptions, though no subscription will secure more than six votes. The priest is the chairman of the committee, with a casting vote. No persons may vote at any election or be appointed or continue a member of the Committee, or be appointed or continue a master or mistress in the school, or be employed therein in any capacity whatsoever who is not a Roman Catholic.

The priest has also the power of suspending any teacher from his office, and of excluding any book on religious grounds, having laid a written statement before the committee to that effect. Such suspension or exclusion is to be in force till "the decision of superior ecclesiastical authority can with due diligence be obtained, and when laid before the committee in writing under the hand of such superior ecclesiastic is final and conclusive in the matter." If the superior ecclesiastical authority awards that any teacher be dismissed, such direction or award is to operate as a dismissal, and to prevent the teacher from having any interest in his office under the deed.

In Jewish schools* the religious instruction (which is not compulsory on scholars whose parents do not profess the Jewish religion) is subject to the guidance and superintendence of the chief rabbi or an officiating minister of a Jewish synagogue, or other person duly appointed by competent authority to exercise ecclesiastical functions, and specially charged with such religious guidance and superintendence by the committee of the school The selection of the person by the committee is subject to the control of the Jewish governors and subscribers of the school. at a general meeting. In all other respects the school is to be under the management of a committee, who have power to appoint and dismiss the teachers, and to regulate the school. The committee are elected annually by the subscribers, and have power

*Consol. Min. p. 73.

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to regulate their procedure in all respects, to fix the day for the annual meeting of governors, and to regulate the procedure at such meetings. The members must be Jews.

There are some schools in which the Bible is daily read,* and from which all religious formularies are excluded, whilst they are neither connected with any religious denomination, nor with any central educational society. By the form of deed for such schools the management is vested in a committee annually elected by the subscribers.

In each of the model deeds a clause is inserted, providing that the school shall at all times be open to Her Majesty's inspectors of schools;

The Church of England deed provides that the inspectors shall be appointed in conformity with the Order in Council bearing date 10th August 1840;

The Wesleyan deed provides that the inspectors shall have been approved by the Wesleyan Education Committee; and that the inspection shall be in accordance with the instructions issued to the inspectors dated August 1840, so far as such instructions relate to the inspection of British Schools, and no further;

The Roman Catholic deed that they shall be guided by the instructions of August 1840, as modified by the minute of December 18, 1847, and in so far as they are applicable to Roman Catholic schools;

The Jewish deed that the inspectors to be admitted shall be laymen, and the inspectors are to report concerning the secular instruction only.

The adoption of one or other of these clauses is a condition precedent to a building grant, and additions or variations have been disallowed. Thus the Committee of Council will not sanction a provision that the schoolmistress must be a communicant,† nor the adoption by a Church of England school of the Roman Catholic management clauses, mutatis mutandis.‡



The expenditure of schools is classified by the Committee of Council Under three heads: 1. Salaries to teachers; 2. Books

*Consol. Min. p. 77.

†West Mailing Correspondence, Min. 1851-2, p. 62.

‡Min. 1851-2, p. 54.

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and apparatus; 3. Miscellaneous. The last head includes all the expenses incidental to maintaining the school not included under the two others, such, for example, as fuel, lighting, repairs, servants' wages, and a great variety of other charges, which occur either occasionally or periodically.

The most important, and much the largest, of these items, is |that of salaries to teachers. This appears from the following table, constructed from returns collected by the Assistant Commissioners, and showing what proportion of every £ of income was expended in the year 1857 upon teachers' salaries, and what upon other objects, in inspected and uninspected schools of various denominations.

Very nearly the same results are given by statistics collected by the Committee of Council, and published in a table given at p. 11 of the Minutes for 1859-60. From this table it appears that in 5,089 schools, the aggregate income of which was £645,254 12s 5d, the expenditure on salaries was £458,355 9s 7d; that on books, &c., £43,653 18s; and the miscellaneous expenditure, £143,245 4s 10d. Thus in these schools the proportion expended in salaries was rather more than 14s in the £.

It appears from this table that from thirteen to sixteen twentieths of the whole expense of a school consists in paying the teacher's salary, and that in uninspected schools the teacher's salary bears a larger proportion to the whole expenditure than in inspected schools. As the average salary of a certificated teacher is, independently of his augmentation grant, higher than that of

*These schools were thus designated in the Returns. They were not returned as British Schools, though perhaps they resemble them in character. They appear to be connected with mines and other large works.

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an uncertificated teacher, this difference cannot be owing to any diminution in the amount of salary produced by the Government grant, but is evidence of the fact, that the uninspected schools are not so liberally supported as the others, and accordingly have less to spend on other objects than the master's salary. The capitation grant being unappropriated, and available for any purpose to which the managers choose to apply it, may to some slight extent explain this difference, but the other grants can have no effect upon it.

The absolute amount of the salaries of teachers varies widely, according to the local situation of the school, the sex of the teacher, and the rank of the certificate, and, to some extent, according to the denomination with which the school is connected. These variations are given with great detail in a table, given in the Minutes for 1859-60, and inserted in the Statistics printed with this report. It establishes the following amongst other particulars.

The average emoluments of a certificated master, including Government grants and all professional sources of income, taken on 3,059 cases distributed over the whole kingdom, amount to £94 3s 7d. 2,102 had, in addition, houses or house-rent provided. The highest average was £122 7s 2d, being the average salary of masters in the schools of Protestant dissenters, in a district including London. The lowest (in England and Wales*) was £78 9s 1d, being the average for Church of England schools in Wales.

The average emoluments of 596 uncertificated masters, of whom 351 had houses or house-rent, were £62 4s 11d, varying from £84 8s in denominational schools, in a district including the greater part of Wales and several of the Western Midland counties of England, to £43 11s 0¾d. in Church of England schools in Berks, Hants, and Wilts.

The average emoluments of 1,972 certificated mistresses, of whom 1,035 had houses or house-rent, were £62 13s 10d, very nearly the same as those of uncertificated masters, varying from £75 14s 5d in Church of England schools in Middlesex, to £55 3s 2d in Church of England schools in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset.

The average emoluments of 658 uncertificated mistresses, of whom 314 had house or house-rent, were £34 19s 7d, varying from £48 17s 4d in Church of England schools in Middlesex, to

*Some Scotch schools are included in the table, which are not referred to in this inquiry.

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£25 13s 1d in Church of England schools in four Northern counties.*

The average emoluments of 4'4?7 certificated infant school-mistresses, of whom 314 had houses or rent, were £58 3s 8d, varying from £78 4s in denominational and British schools in a mistresses. district including London, to £42 10s in Roman Catholic schools in 35 Welsh and English counties.†

The average emoluments of 526 uncertificated infant school-mistresses, of whom 186 have houses or house-rent, are £35 2s, varying from £45 4s in denominational schools in a district which includes London, to £22 16s 1d in Church of England schools in the Midland counties.

All the schools from which these averages were taken were in receipt of annual grants. In schools visited for mere inspection, in which no annual grants were received, masters received on an average £45 12s, mistresses £28 7s 9d, and the mistresses of infant schools £26 13s 6d.

The figures prove the great popularity of the certificated teachers, and especially of the certificated mistresses. The highest payments on certificates are £30 on a first-class master's certificate, and £20 on that of a first-class mistress; and the average payments on certificates are £20 and £13 respectively, yet the difference between the average emoluments of certificated and uncertificated masters is about £32, which exceeds the highest rate of augmentation - a rate very seldom earned; whilst in the case of mistresses, it is nearly £28, which is more than double the average payments on the certificate, and exceeds, by more than a third, the highest rate ever paid.

Another form under which the expense of a school may be considered is in its relation to the number of scholars; but the formula thus obtained is useful only when it is applied to very large numbers, or when it is applied with great minuteness of detail, to the expense of different classes of schools; as the expense of a small school, efficiently conducted, is far greater, in proportion, than the expense of a large one. In the Statistics printed with this report, detailed tables, constructed from returns collected by the Assistant Commissioners, are given on this subject. Their principal results are as follows:

*The average salaries in Roman Catholic schools in 35 English counties is given as £25, but as the number on which this average is taken is only 1, it would mislead.

†In another Roman Catholic district £39 is given, but the average is taken on only 2 cases.

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[click on the image for a larger version]

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The figures in tins table are exclusive of the grants on account of pupil-teachers. In table, page xxix., "Report of the Committee of Council," 1858-9, the number of pupil-teachers is stated to be 14,024. In table No. 1., Appendix to the same Report, the number of scholars in average attendance in schools employing 13,281 pupil-teachers was 672,728; this proportion would give 710,363 scholars in average attendance in schools employing 14,024 pupil-teachers. The grant for pupil-teachers in 1858-9 was £221,719 or 6s 2¾d per scholar in average attendance. The total amount of Government grants to teachers and pupil-teachers appears therefore from the preceding table to be in Church of England schools 3s 5¾d + 6s 2¾d or 9s 8½d per scholar in attendance; and the total of the annual Government grants of all kinds, is 3s. 5¾d + 6s 2¾d + 1s 1½d + 4d or, 11s 2d. At p. xvi., "Minutes, 1859-60," this total is stated to be 11s 6d per scholar in England and Wales. The full cost therefore of educating a scholar in Church of England schools under Government inspection appears from the preceding table to be £1 8s. 0¼d., exclusive of charges for rent and the cost of inspection and of central administration.

It may be remarked that although the total sum per scholar in the foregoing table is almost identical with the total stated by the Committee of Council, yet the proportions per scholar given in the columns headed "Teachers" and "Capitation Grant," are to some degree different from those which might be deduced from the tables published in the Minutes for 1858-9. The difference may probably be explained by the fact that those tables include the attendance in schools in Scotland, as well as in those in the whole of England and Wales.


The income of schools is derived from five different sources; (1) the Government grant, (2) school fees paid by the parents of the children, (3) subscriptions, (4) endowments, and (5) other sources, such as collections in churches and chapels, and occasional gifts. The following table, constructed from the returns obtained by the Assistant Commissioners, shows the proportion in which each of these sources contributes to the income of schools of the different classes comprising most of the public schools of the country:

Every £ of income, exclusive of the grants on account of pupil-teachers, arises from the following sources:

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In the case of the Church of England schools, which comprise between nine and ten elevenths of the public week-day schools in the country, it will be seen that the subscriptions to schools not receiving Government aid, though somewhat larger in amount than the subscriptions to those receiving it, are not nearly sufficient to make up the absence of the Government aid. In inspected schools they amount to a little more than one-fourth, in uninspected schools to rather more than one-third, of the total income. Neither is the absence of Government support compensated by increased payments from the children. On the contrary, the school fees are considerably lower in uninspected than in inspected Church of England schools. The occasional sources of income in each case amount to a little less than one-eighth of the whole. The uninspected schools, as a class, have greatly the advantage in the amount of their endowments (6s 2d in the £1), the excess of which over the endowments of the inspected schools (4s 4½d in the £1), almost exactly balances the Government aid (4s 6½d in the £1), afforded to inspected schools. On comparing the proportions of income raised in the British and denominational inspected and uninspected schools, it appears that the want of assistance from the Government is in each case supplied partly by endowments, but in a much larger proportion by an increase of the school pence. There is evidence that the schools connected with the Protestant Dissenting denominations are attended by the children of parents who pay higher fees than schools connected with the Church of England.

It remains to consider each source of income by itself, and to point out the circumstances connected with it, which appear to require notice.

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The Government contributes, as has been already observed, about a quarter to the income of the schools which receive annual grants. It must, however, be remembered, that this contribution is made upon terms which secure its expenditure upon the improvement as distinguished from the direct provision of education. The annual grants improve the quality of schools, but except in so far as the prospect of obtaining Government assistance may operate as an inducement to private persons to subscribe, they cannot be said to increase the number of schools.

A question has been raised how far the Government grant has produced an increase of private liberality. That such an increase has taken place contemporaneously with the grant, there can be no doubt; but it is impossible to give direct proof of the proposition that it would not have taken place if no grant had been made. But though the supposition that it would, is possible, it is opposed to almost all the opinions which we have collected.

The reports of the Assistant Commissioners furnish abundant evidence on this head. Mr. Cumin's experience in Bristol is particularly valuable, because that city appears to be better provided with the means of education than any other into the state of which we have inquired, whilst there is none in which it is more liberally supported by all classes of the population. Now, Bristol has received from the Education grant upwards of £32,000*; yet all the witnesses connected with Bristol agree that the Government aid has stimulated local exertion. So, too, in Devonport the Rev. Æneas Hutchinson, who has had very great and varied experience in the matter, cited to Mr. Cumin the contributions to the schools in his own parish in proof of a similar assertion. They rose from 1849 to 1857 as follows: £30, £36, £50, £71, £86, £85, £107, £96, £100. Similar evidence is given by most of the Assistant Commissioners.

Canon Waldegrave (now Bishop of Carlisle) describes the effect of Government assistance in increasing private liberality in his own parish, near Salisbury. After describing the unsatisfactory state of the school up to 1854, he proceeds:

That parish, named Barford St. Martin, in the county of Wilts and diocese of Sarum, contains about 600 inhabitants. Beside my own family there is no person resident in the place above the rank of
Min. 1859-60, pp. 619-20.

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a yeoman, though a considerable proprietor resides in the adjoining parish. Farmers and the labourers employed by them, with their families, constitute the bulk of the population. During my incumbency, which commenced in 1844, the wages of day-labourers have rarely exceeded 10s; they have been generally as low as 9s or even 8s per week. The extra pay obtained at harvest, and piece-work, raise the average, of course; still the population is a poor population.

In 1854 we resolved to replace the very insufficient buildings by a new school -house, with residence attached. The plan enlarged on our hands as we proceeded, but the result was the erection of a school-house, containing infants' room, elder children's room, a class-room to each, lavatory, lobbies, and offices, with an excellent residence attached, the orchard being given as a site and turned into a dry well-steyned playground. Landlords and my own private friends gave liberal aid, but the most important point affecting your inquiry was the liberality of the farmers, tradesmen, and labourers. The Minute by which Government undertakes, within certain limits, to double local contributions was passed during the progress of our work. The Committee of Council gave us the benefit of it. Directly it was announced in the parish that they had granted the point, and that every penny would be doubled, there was quite an emulation to give, so much so that little less than £150 were contributed by the classes named above, at least £30 coming from the labourers, and more than £3 from the very children of the school; £588 in all were raised in the parish and among the landowners. The whole cost of the building was £1,645. The Committee of Council were strict in their requirements, but I am now glad that they were so, as it compelled us to do the work much better than otherwise we should.

The parishioners have, since the completion of the buildings, subscribed annually to the amount of about £41, collections at church have varied from £8 to £20 annually, special donations have seldom fallen short of £10, while capitation grant has varied from £9 to £14. The children's pence have been about £37. We have thus been able to pay in salaries at least £80 per annum, besides paying monitors. The Committee of Council have allowed us the additional aid of two and three pupil-teachers. "Their Lordships" have in this matter been strict overseers; they have compelled us to change our masters (for on opening our new buildings we made the worthy dame named above our infants' teacher), until we have now an experienced and certificated and thoroughly efficient man with his wife, also trained.

The result is a general raising of the standard of education in the parish, which is gradually being more and more appreciated by the parents; so much so that we are now beginning to retain under our care boys and girls whom their parents, of the tradesmen class, would in former days have sent to "boarding schools," in which they would have paid more and learnt less.

I ought to add that the institution of a committee, in which laymen assist in the management of the school, is, in my judgment, a great benefit. It diffuses the interest in the education of the poor more widely over the parish, and exercises a wholesome control over all parties concerned. It must be the clergyman's fault if he has not all the weight that is due to his position and attainments.

It appears to be well established that the number of persons who entertain conscientious scruples to the acceptance of Government aid has greatly diminished since the first establishment of

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the system. The aid given by Government is at present accepted by members of all denominations and by the population of all districts. The only exception is to be found in the case of those Baptists, Independents, and Friends whose views upon public education are represented by the Voluntary School Association, and the Congregational Board.

It is, however, easier to get a school built than to get it supported, and there is more evidence that the Government grants promote subscriptions for the former than for the latter purpose. Where a single effort is to be made, the prospect of Government assistance will induce private individuals to contribute; but where there is a fixed annual charge, the local interest is apt to flag, and great difficulty is experienced in obtaining subscriptions for what is looked upon as an established institution. Mr. Winder's report contains some observations on this subject which deserve consideration. He says:

The effect of central aid upon annual contributions for the maintenance of schools is more doubtful. It is quite impossible in districts like mine to discover the amount of voluntary donations to schools even for the current year, much less for a series of past years. In a great many instances no records exist which might serve as an authority; in the next place, congregational collections for united purposes of day and Sunday schools are common in aid of or substitution for subscriptions, and it is impossible to disentangle the share allotted to each. It is by no means unusual, too, for a school to go on getting year after year into debt, and be finally cleared by one or two liberal friends, who give the necessary money privately and quietly, without any account being kept or remembered.

On the whole, though there is a great difference of opinion between school managers on the question, the more general view seemed to be that in so far as a particular school is known to be assisted by public money, it is felt to have a loss strong claim on private support than if it were not so assisted. So far private liberality is checked. But it is equally true that, inasmuch as the Government plan has greatly increased the number of schools in actual existence, each of which when set on foot has specific claims on the bounty of neighbours who previously had no call made on them, the aggregate amount of subscriptions has been largely raised through its influence.


Fees supply a proportion of the total income of the schools varying from about a quarter to as much as three-fifths. Minute information respecting the fees in schools in receipt of annual grants has been collected by the Committee of Council, and is contained in a table in the Statistical part of our Report. The payments vary in the schools of different denominations.

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The following table gives the results in an abridged form:

CENTESIMAL PROPORTIONS of the TOTAL NUMBER of CHILDREN of each of the under-mentioned CLASSES of RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS paying certain stated FEES.

Whether the rate of fees denoted by this table could be raised is a question on which our inquiries have not enabled us to express any general and decided opinion. The rates differ widely, not only in the schools of different denominations, but in different districts. In Church of England schools in Yorkshire only 16.19 and in Lancashire and the Isle of Man only 22.95 per cent of the children pay so little as 1d a week, whilst in Buckingham, Cambridgeshire, and three adjoining counties the proportion is 60.95, and in the Western counties 66.53 per cent.

Mr. Watkins, the Inspector of Schools for Yorkshire, stated that throughout his district the fees were usually a little over 2d a week, that the experiment of increasing that amount had been hardly ever tried; and though he would not give a positive opinion as to the possibility of raising the fees, the general tendency of his evidence seemed to be unfavourable to the prospect of the success of such a measure.* Mr, Scott, the principal of the Wesleyan Training School, said that "except in rural and infant Wesleyan schools," 3d. a week was usually charged: he thought that 4d. would be "a very great strain upon the poor.† Mr. Unwin, speaking of the schools connected with the Congregational Board, which reject State aid on principle, said that though the suburb in which the model schools connected with the Board are situated is one of the poorest in London, the parents paid about 12s a year, which for a school year of 44 weeks would be more than 3d a week.‡

*Evidence, 1122 to 1132; 1145 to 1147.

†Evidence, 2052 to 2055; 2057 to 2059.

‡Evidence, 2242, 2243, 2244.

[page 73]

As the whole expense of the education of each child is about £1 10s a year, including the share of grants for teachers and central and office expenses, and as the attendance of the children lasts at the utmost for only 44 weeks in the year, no parent can be said to pay fully for the education of his child, unless he pays at least 8d a week. The difference between what he actually pays and 8d a week is in the nature of a charitable donation. There is therefore reason for raising the rate of payment as nearly to 8d a week as the ability of the parents will permit.

The question whether such a course is possible in any particular case will of course depend upon a variety of local circumstances. The ability of a poor agricultural district can be no guide as to that of a rich manufacturing town; but the evidence seems to prove that an increase in these payments is practicable in many cases, and that it is not so unwelcome to the parents as might be expected. Almost all the evidence goes to show that though the offer of gratuitous education might be accepted by a certain proportion of the parents (and in fact in ragged schools it is necessary to take precautions against their being used by persons for whose benefit they were not intended), it would in general be otherwise. The sentiment of independence is strong, and it is wounded by the offer of an absolutely gratuitous education.

The feelings, which tend to make the offer of gratuitous instruction unpopular, tend also to incline the parents to pay as large a share as they can reasonably afford of the expense of the education of their children. Several instances are given, both by the inspectors and by the Assistant Commissioners, in which the parents willingly concurred in an increase of the school pence. "So far," says Mr. Norris,* "from high fees emptying a school, I have found that of the schools in my district (Chester, Stafford, and Shropshire) the most expensive are the most popular;" and instances are given, both by Mr. Norris and by Mr. Cumin, in which the raising of the fees was decidedly popular with the parents,† and was followed by an increased attendance of children. This, of course, cannot go beyond a certain point, which must be ascertained by experience in each district. If the fees are too high the poor will be driven from the school, and it

*Min. 1851-52, p. 729.

†Mr. Norris's Report, Min. 1853-54, vol. II., pp. 525-26; Report, p. 74.

[page 74]

will be frequented by children of a higher class, for whom the Government grant is not intended.

Some of our witnesses have gone so far as to assert broadly that high fees are more popular with the parents than low ones. This appears extremely improbable. The truth probably is that the parents, or at least the large majority of them, mistrust the value of a purely gratuitous education; that they prefer paying a comparatively high fee to an efficient school to paying a low fee to an inefficient one; and that they believe a high fee to imply peculiar efficiency or at least peculiar attention. There can be little doubt that a school which combined high fees with a reputation for inefficiency would soon lose its pupils. Graduated fees. An arrangement is occasionally made with respect to school pence, which deserves notice. The payments are graduated according to the position in life of the parents, farmers and shopkeepers being charged more than mechanics and labourers. This plan is favourably spoken of* by several informants. It has the advantage of affording an additional security for the efficiency of the school, as the richer class of parents would never continue to pay the higher scale of fees unless they represented an adequate advantage.

Upon the subject of the mode of payment, Mr. Fraser's report contains an observation of considerable importance. He says†:

It would be a great improvement on the system of school fees if the payments were made monthly; or, still greater, if quarterly, instead of weekly. The weekly payment has this difficulty about it. If a child is unavoidably kept from school, perhaps only for a single day, at the beginning of the week, the whole week is often lost, because the parent does not think it worth while to pay the fee, on which, of course, from its amount, no discount can be given, for four days' schooling; so that if a child is absent on Monday or Tuesday, it is ten to one if the master sees his face again till the following Monday.

This difficulty, which is not felt in the free schools, would be certainly obviated if the payments were for longer periods, in advance; and I am persuaded that a considerable reduction might be made in consideration of possible contingencies; e.g. a shilling, or even tenpence, a quarter, instead of a penny a week, or one shilling and ninepence a quarter, instead of twopence a week; and the school income still be a large gainer by the change. Having had eight years' experience of the system in my own parochial school, I ventured to advocate its adoption whenever I had the opportunity.

It should be added that the managers do not in general appear to be so strict in enforcing the payment of fees, as to be unwilling to make exceptions to meet particular cases. In reference

*Mr. Mitchell's Report, Min. 1854-55, p. 471.

†Report, p. 68.

[page 75]

to schools which are almost entirely supported by school pence, or by the subscriptions of the parents, and which are thus much in the nature of proprietary schools for the lower classes, Mr. Lingen says,* "I think that you would almost invariably find that no person would be turned away from such a school if he wished to enter on payment of a lower fee. If you were to put it before the managers, A.B. can pay 2d. a week, but cannot pay 1d. a week, and wishes to come to this school, I do not think that you would ever find that they would turn that child away." It is also a common practice to charge a reduced fee for the attendance of more children than one belonging to the same family.

Private schools are supported exclusively by the payments of scholars. The fees charged in them often vary according to the subjects taught, so that it would be impossible, without very minute statistics, to show the average payments. Light is thrown upon the subject by two tables in the statistical part of our Report, constructed from the returns collected by the Assistant Commissioners, and showing the number and centesimal proportion of scholars attending schools in which the highest fee stands at various rates, from 1d to 1s, and the number and centesimal proportion of schools in which they are charged.

It appears that in 68.95 per cent of the schools, containing 66.77 of the scholars, the highest charge is from 2d to 6d, that in 16.57 per cent of the schools, containing 17.73 of the scholars the highest fee ranges from 7d to 1s; and that in 13.82 per cent of the schools, containing 14.72 of the scholars, the highest charge is upwards of 1s a week.


Subscriptions are the next source of income; their payment is the condition upon which the existence of the Government grants and school pence depends. The proportion which they bear to other sources of income has been already shown to vary from one-third to one-fourth of the total income of the school. The principal point of interest connected with them is the question as to the source from which they are derived.

A distinction must be drawn between different parts of the country. Subscriptions stand upon a different footing in manufacturing districts, in large towns, and in agricultural districts.

*Evidence, p. 10.

[page 76]

In manufacturing districts, and especially in those parts of the country in which manufactures are carried on in large establishments, the employers of labour exercise a supervision over the education of the workpeople in their employ which is unknown elsewhere. Not only do they contribute themselves a very large proportion towards the annual support of schools, but they not unfrequently compel the persons in their employment to contribute also, by means of weekly stoppages from their wages. Mr. Foster's experience in Durham and Cumberland supplied several instances of this practice, and Mr. Jenkins met with it also in the ironworks in South Wales. "In South Wales," says Mr. Jenkins,* "a charge on the earnings of the workman, in the form of a poundage, or a deduction of a sum amounting from a penny to three halfpence per head, from their weekly wages," is made for the support of schools connected with collieries and ironworks, and is levied on all alike, even young and unmarried men and boys. Mr. Foster constructed a table with respect to 49 schools in his district (Durham and Auckland), showing the proportions in which various persons contributed to the support of the schools. The result shows the deep interest which, in that part of the country, large employers of labour take in the education of the persons in their employ.

In Bradford and Rochdale, and generally in towns to which the half-time system applies, the effect of legislation has been, in many instances, to force the manufacturers to provide schools in connexion with their factories, and in other cases the consciousness that it would be necessary for them to do so, unless a school which could receive the half-time children connected with their factories could be established by other means, has induced them to contribute liberally to the establishment of such schools.†

*Report, p. 521.

†Mr. Winder, Report, p. 211, 212.

[page 77]

In rural districts a state of things exists less favourable to education. In the first place, the schools are relatively far more expensive than in the towns, because they are smaller; the school fees are lower, seldom exceeding 1d a week, and thus private subscriptions are more important. In the second place, the landowners do not contribute to the expenses of the schools so liberally as the wealthy classes in mining districts or large towns, so that the burden of supporting the schools falls principally on the parochial clergy, who are very ill able to support it. This is set in a strong light by a letter published in the appendix to Mr. Fraser's report, from which it results that £4,518 contributed by voluntary subscription towards the support of 168 schools was derived from the following sources:

169 clergymen contributed £1,782 or £10 10s 0d each.
399 landowners contributed £2,127 or £5 6s 0d each.
217 occupiers contributed £200 or 18s 6d each.
102 householders contributed £181 or £1 15s 6d each.
141 other persons contributed £228.
The rental of the 399 landowners is estimated at £650,000 a year. Mr. Hedley gives the following table, as to certain schools in regard to which he had the opportunity of making the same inquiry.

[page 78]

The heaviness of the burden borne by the clergy is imperfectly indicated even by such figures as these. It frequently happens that the clergyman considers himself responsible for whatever is necessary to make the accounts of the school balance, and thus he places himself towards the school in the position of a banker who allows a customer habitually to overdraw his account. He is the man who most feels the mischief arising from want of education. Between him and the ignorant part of his adult parishioners there is a chasm. They will not come near him, and do not understand him if he forces himself upon them. He feels that the only means of improvement is the education of the young; and he knows that only a small part of the necessary expense can be extracted from the parents. He begs from his neighbours, he begs from the landowners; if he fails to persuade them to take their fair share of the burden, he begs from his friends, and even from strangers; and at last submits most meritoriously, and most generously, to bear not only his own proportion of the expense, but also that which ought to be borne by others. It has been repeatedly noticed by the school inspectors,* and it is our duty to state that as a class the landowners, especially those who are non-resident (though there are many honourable exceptions), do not do their duty in the support of popular education, and that they allow others, who are far less able to afford it, to bear the burden of their neglect.

These observations apply chiefly to schools connected with the Church of England, to which denomination almost all the schools in rural districts belong. In British schools, and schools connected with Protestant Dissenting denominations, which are generally situated in towns, the number of subscribers is much larger, and the amount of each subscription is smaller. In some cases these subscriptions are given by the parents of the scholars, and when this is the case, the school becomes, to use the expression adopted by Mr. Lingen, a sort of "proprietary school" for those who attend it.

Endowments are considered in a separate part of this Report, and the occasional sources of income call for no remark.


The object of this examination is to show what may be described as the gross amount of popular education. This gross

*Min. 1848-50, vol. ii. p. 193; ib. 193; Min. 1850-51, vol. ii., p. 331; Min. 1852-53, p. 296; Min. 1855-56, p. 305.

[page 79]

amount is subject to large qualifications and deductions which will be pointed out in the following chapters, when we come to consider the regularity of attendance and the quality of the education given.

The first point is to ascertain the total number of scholars whose names are on the books of the different elementary schools in England and Wales. This number is of course far larger than the number of scholars in regular or even in average attendance. The relation between these numbers will be shown in a future chapter.

The mode in which the results given below have been reached is as follows: We obtained through the different central societies and public departments already enumerated statistics of almost all the public schools in England and Wales. We ascertained through the Assistant Commissioners the proportion which in their districts, comprising about one-eighth of the population of the country, was borne by the scholars in private, to the scholars in public schools, and assuming this proportion to hold good for the country at large, we made the necessary addition to the number ascertained to belong to the public schools. The result at which we arrived was that in the middle of the year 1858, being the time at which this part of our inquiry was made, there were in England and Wales, 58,975 week-day schools, containing 2,535,462 scholars. Of the schools,* 24,563, containing 1,675,158 scholars, were public, and 34,412,† containing 860,304 scholars, were private. The average number of scholars in each public week-day school was 68.2, the average number in each private week-day school 24.82. Of the scholars in public week-day schools, 911,152 were males, and 764,006 females. In private schools there were 389,607 males and 470,697 females.

Of the 2,535,462 children on the books of week-day schools, 35,000 were in collegiate and superior endowed schools, and 286,768 in private schools for the upper and middle classes, making together 321,768 children receiving a superior education.

Thus the number of children of the poorer classes under education is 2,213,694.

*By "school" is here meant a separate department, under a separate principal teacher. Thus an establishment containing a boys', girls', and infants' school, would be regarded not as one, but as three schools.

†It may be remarked by way of comparison that the number of private schools as ascertained by the census, was 30,524.

[page 80]

The public schools may he divided into four classes:

I. Schools supported by religious denominations22,6471,549,312
II. Schools not specially connected with religious denominations35743,098
III. Schools entirely or almost entirely supported by taxation99947,748
IV. Collegiate and superior or richer endowed schools560*35,000

The subdivisions of which each of these classes is composed, and the average size of the schools which each subdivision contains, appear from the following table.

These statistics relating to the various classes of public weekday schools, and also those respecting evening and Sunday schools, are arranged in the order of counties in the statistics printed with our report.

*These round numbers have been taken from the Census of Education of 1851.

†Circulars and forms in the Welsh language were issued from the office of the Education Commission to Calvinistic schools, but the returns were so imperfect that it has been thought advisable to adopt the numbers of the census returns.

[page 81]

The schools are either for boys, for girls, for boys and girls, or for infants. Some notion of the proportion which they bear to each other may be derived from the fact that of 1,895 schools in the districts of the Assistant Commissioners, 927 or 48.9 per cent, were mixed, 421 or 22.2 per cent, were boys', 342 or 18.1 per cent, girls', and 205 or 10.8 per cent, infants' schools.

The evening schools, like the day schools, are connected for the most part with religious denominations. Their distribution and the number of their scholars is shown by the following table:

[page 82]

The following table gives similar information with respect to Sunday Schools:

[page 83]

Of the children thus enumerated, 917,255 were in 1860 on the books of schools in receipt of annual grants from the Committee of Council. The total number of children in schools of the first and second of the four classes mentioned in page 80, was, when our returns were made, 1,592,410. If this number remains unaltered there are 675,155 scholars in public schools of the class for which the grants were intended, but which derive no annual advantage from them.

In the private schools there were 860,804 pupils. In the specimen districts it appeared from the returns that about one-third of the scholars in private schools belonged to the upper and middle classes. If this proportion is applied to the whole country it would follow that 573,536 of the children in private schools are of the class for which the annual grants are intended and derive no benefit from them. These, added to the scholars in unassisted public schools, make a total of 1,248,691 children to whose education the annual grant does not contribute.

In round numbers, the annual grants in 1860 promoted the education of about 920,000 children, whilst they leave unaffected the education of 1,250,000 others of the same class. The number of children unassisted is somewhat larger than this, as it has no doubt increased since our statistics were collected. These figures, however, do not show the full extent to which the annual grants promote education, for it must be remembered that the schools assisted by the Privy Council grants could accommodate many more children than they actually contain. In the schools visited on account of annual grants in England and Wales in 1859, the number of scholars on the books was 789,186. The schools contained accommodation for 970,353 children, at eight square feet per child.*

We have no exact information as to the extent of the accommodation for scholars in schools not in the receipt of t leal results of annual grants from the Committee of Council. If the same proportion holds for these schools as for those referred to in the table given in the minutes for 1859-60, they might contain 1,127,821 children. In drawing practical conclusions from this fact, it must be borne in mind that an unascertained deduction must be made on account of the unequal local distribution of the schools. The surplus accommodation is not always provided in the places where the population requires it. On the other hand, precautions are taken by the Committee of Council

*Min. 1859-60, p. 3.

[page 84]

against the erection of larger schools than are required. Taking these circumstances into consideration, it appears probable that a considerably larger number of children might be educated in the annual grant schools than is the case at present, though of course at some increase of expense.

The foregoing calculation is based upon the number of children ascertained to be at school at a given time. Its accuracy is confirmed by the following considerations, which give nearly the same result, though they set out from an independent base and establish separate conclusions.

The only way of discovering with complete accuracy how long the names of children are usually retained on the books of schools would be to examine the careers of a number of individual children sufficiently large to furnish an average applicable to all the children in attendance throughout the country. The intricacy of such an inquiry, and the impossibility of obtaining trustworthy evidence as to the multitude of minute points which it would have embraced, put it out of the question. Such evidence, however, as there is, points to the conclusion that the bulk of the children who attend elementary schools have their names on the books of some school from six to ten years of age, though a considerable number go before six and many remain as late as twelve. The children of the higher classes probably attend longer. We may therefore assume, in order to calculate the number of children who ought to be at school at a given time, that the average period of attendance for children of all classes does not exceed six years. Assuming, therefore, six years as the average period of attendance, the names of one-half of the children between 8 and 15, or 2,655,767 ought to have been on the books of some school at the time when our statistics were exhibited, in order that all might then have been receiving some education.

The number actually on the books of all schools was 2,535,462. This falls short of the number required by 120,305.

Against this deficiency we have to set off children permanently incapacitated by bodily or mental infirmities, of whose number we have no certain estimate, and children, educated at home, the number of whom must be small, except in the wealthier classes. Most of the children who, being able to attend, do not belong to any school, appear from evidence given in subsequent parts of the report to be the children of outdoor paupers or of parents viciously inclined. With these exceptions, almost all the children in the country capable of going to school receive some instruction.

[page 85]

If the average period of attendance is shorter than six years, the difference between the number of names which ought to be, and the number which are on the books, would be even less than it actually is.

The average duration, as determined exclusively by our statistics, and independently of the general evidence, is 2,535,462/5,311,534 = 5-7. This result confirms the inference drawn from the general evidence.

This conclusion is strengthened by the general, as distinguished from the statistical, evidence. Wherever the Assistant Commissioners went, they found schools of some sort, and failed to discover any considerable number of children who did not attend school for some time, at some period of their lives.

Mr. Fraser estimates that of the children of the school age, two-thirds are at school. Of those who are not at school, two-thirds are at work, and the remaining third, who thus form about one-ninth of the whole, are to be found idling, playing, or begging about the streets.

Mr. Hedley says:*

I have had no means of ascertaining with any degree of accuracy what number of children are left altogether without education, but, from the answers given to my inquiries, I should suppose it to be between 5 and 10 per cent. These are almost always the children of dissipated parents, who are totally indifferent to the welfare of their families, and cannot be said to have a reason for keeping their children from school. In villages these cases are much fewer than in towns.
Mr. Cumin enters† into calculations to show that almost "every child between 3 and 10 gets a certain amount of education." "There are," he says, "I believe, very few cases " indeed in which children have been at no school whatever. To one clergyman in Bristol, to another in Plymouth, and to a third in Stoke, I put this question, 'Do you know any moderately respectable man, making 12s a week and upwards, who does not send his children to school?' In every case the answer was in the negative. I went myself with the Rev. Mr. Hutchinson, of Stoke, in order to see if I could find an instance, and, though we made diligent inquiry, we were unsuccessful. Again, the Rev. Mr. Procter told me he had made an education census of his parish some time ago, and found no child without education."

Dr. Hodgson, who reports unfavourably of the state of education in his district (which was in the South of London), says,‡ "There are very few, perhaps, who do not 'see the inside'

*Report, p. 146.

†Report, p. 59.

‡Report, p. 518.

[page 86]

of something that may be called a school, especially since the

establishment of ragged schools.' Mr. Foster says,* "There are few families without some kind of school within easy reach." And Mr. Winder observes,† "My own inquiries, which were rather extensive, would lead me to believe that amongst the respectable working men in the towns, this absolute neglect is almost unknown, and that so much of it as there may be is confined almost exclusively to the lowest of the immigrant Irish, who prefer that their children should beg; to a few of the degraded class, brutalized by profligacy and poverty, and to the more ignorant of the colliers and miners."

At Rochdale, out of 1825 scholars at evening schools, 2.85 per cent had never been at a day school; and at Bradford, 6.34 per cent, out of 2,096, but Mr. Winder adds, "I strongly suspect that these rates would be too high for the general population."

No doubt many of the schools are exceedingly bad, and the attendance is frequently so irregular as to be of little value, but the result is nevertheless a valuable one, as it points out the direction which future efforts for the improvement of popular education ought to assume. There is no large district entirely destitute of schools and requiring to be supplied with them on a large scale, nor is there any large section of the population sharply marked off from the rest, and capable of being separately dealt with, as requiring some special and stringent system of treatment. The means of obtaining education are diffused pretty generally and pretty equally over the whole face of the country, and the great mass of the population recognizes its importance sufficiently to take advantage to some extent of the opportunities thus afforded to their children.

This, however, applies only to day-school education. The provision of evening schools is altogether inadequate to the wants of the population. There are only 2,036 of them, containing 80,966 scholars, and the instruction given in them is almost entirely elementary. If the education of the country were in a good state they would be nearly universal, and would serve to compensate the scantiness of the instruction given in day schools, by giving more advanced instruction to an older class of scholars.

The deficiency in the provision of infant schools is also important. Of 184,064 scholars on the books of public week-day schools in the ten specimen districts, only 25,864, or 14 per cent, were taught in separate infant schools, though 31 per cent of the scholars, or

*Report, p. 347.

†Report, p. 181.

[page 87]

57,243, were between three and seven years of age. It appears, however, from the statistics collected by the Committee of Council, that though the attendance of infants at school is far from adequate, it is improving. The percentage of children under five years of age receiving instruction was:

In 18557.57
In 185613.23
In 185714.47
In 185812.67
In 185912.17

The proportion of the population between three and five being 18.34 per cent.* This table shows only the proportion of infants who attend school; it does not show the proportion of children in infant schools, properly so called.

The progress made by popular education in the course of the last ten years is measured by the fact that the proportion of scholars to the population was ascertained by the census of 1851 years. to be 1 in 8.36. Our returns, collected through societies connected with education and by other means, show that in the middle of the year 1858 the proportion was 1 in 7.7. The returns collected by the Assistant Commissioners show that in their districts, which included one-eighth of the total estimated population of England and Wales, the proportion was 1 in 7.83. This result coincides so nearly with that of the inquiry conducted through the societies as to supply a strong confirmation of its accuracy.

The following Table, showing the proportion of scholars to population in each specimen district in 1851 and 1858, shows the comparative progress made in different parts of the country.

*Rep. Min. 1859--60, p. xx.

[page 88]

The presence of this proportion of the population in school implies (as is shown by the foregoing calculations) that almost every one receives some amount of school education at some period or other; but it also implies that the average attendance is far shorter than it ought to be; and it is perfectly consistent with the incompetency of a large proportion of the schools in the country to give really useful instruction, or to have considerable influence in forming the character of those who attend them.

[page 89]




To very poor children the school is a substitute for a home; they frequently have no other experience of domestic comfort and decency, and the teacher and those who take an active interest in the school are the only persons of tolerably cultivated minds with whom they are brought into anything approaching to an intimate relation. The influence which the personal character of the teacher exercises over the scholars is accordingly very great. "As I go from school to school," said Mr. Moseley,* "I perceive in each a distinctive character, which is that of the master; I look at the school and at the man, and there is no mistaking the resemblance. His idiosyncrasy has passed upon it; I seem to see him reflected in the children as in so many fragments of a broken mirror."

The teachers of the schools of the independent poor form the subject of this chapter.

They are trained or untrained.

We do not think it necessary to dwell, specifically, on the untrained teachers in public schools. We show hereafter what they were before the introduction of the pupil-teacher system, and there is no reason to suppose that they are now materially different, though probably they have been affected by the general improvement of education. A large proportion of the untrained teachers are to be found in the private schools.

We shall state shortly the results of our evidence respecting them, and pass on to the more important subject of the trained teachers.

We shall trace the professional education of the trained teachers from its commencement, when they are pupil-teachers, to its termination, when they have become certificated masters and mistresses in charge of schools. We shall show, by an examination of their conduct as masters and mistresses, what are the fruits of that education.

*Min. 1851-2, p. 159.

[page 90]

We shall suggest some measures for the improvement both of their education and of their conduct; and we shall end by showing how far the supply of trained teachers may be expected to fall short of the demand for them, or to exceed it.

This chapter, therefore, will be divided into six sections:

I. Teachers of private schools.
II. Pupil-teachers.
III. Students in training colleges.
IV. Trained teachers in charge of schools.
V. General statistics as to trained teachers.
VI. Recapitulation.

A large proportion of the private schools kept by women have already described in the last chapter under the head of infant schools, but there are many others which are intended for children of the same age and class as public day schools. As the business is conducted exclusively for private profit, little information has hitherto been collected by public authority respecting these institutions, but the Assistant Commissioners were directed to inquire into the subject. Some difficulty was experienced by them in determining what schools fell within and without the line of their inquiry; but in their more minute inquiries they excluded from it all schools in which the charge for attendance exceeded a certain sum per quarter, usually £1. They found the schools of all degrees of efficiency, some of them being greatly preferred by the parents to public schools.* The existence of this preference is well illustrated by One of Mr. Wilkinson's informants. He says:†

There is a strong and wide-spread preference among the poor of London for private over public schools, partly because the former are more genteel (this is increased in proportion as the public school is cheaper), partly because the same regularity of attendance is not required. - (Illustration.) - A poor cripple, without legs from infancy, was brought up at a National school; when about 14, possessing good abilities and teaching power, he was retained as monitor till 18, when he was dismissed for misconduct. He then opened a school on his own account, and got 20 or 30 boys; this failed through his misconduct, and for some years he lived on alms, wheeling himself about the streets. Once more he tried a school, through the help of friends, who thought he had improved in character. He then took two rooms in a small court, close by a National school in high repute, under an excel-
*Mr. Fraser's Report, pp. 36-81.

†Report, App., p. 420.

[page 91]

lent certificated master, an assistant, and five pupil-teachers, where the fee is 2d a week and 1d extra for drawing; there are 150 boys, and there is room for 50 more. The private school under the cripple is crowded to excess; the rooms being about 20 feet by 10, and 8 high, the children have scarcely room to sit; fees, 3d and 6d. Boys are sometimes taken from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd classes of the National school to be FINISHED AT THIS PRIVATE SCHOOL.
Some of these schools are decidedly good, others indifferent, and others very bad indeed; in fact, they are of all degrees of merit. "They present," says Mr. Fraser, "as many features of discrepancy as public schools, and as many degrees of merit." It is to be feared, however, that the bad schools are the most numerous.

The following is a specimen of the better kind of private schools observed by Mr. Fraser:*

Dec. 1. - Visited a remarkable private school; 130 children on the books; 80 or 90 present at my visit. School kept in two rooms of al)out 15 feet square each. Children as close as they could pack. No ventilation, and not too much light. The master and his wife are the only teachers. The master dressed himself in a little brief authority during my visit - a big, burly man of 55, issuing his commands with the voice of a Stentor, but he looked kind-hearted, and the children did not appear a bit afraid of him. He gets all his work ready, copies and sums set overnight; does not "want more teaching power;" "could manage" 100 boys as easily as he can turn himself round." The secret of his success is, that he teaches writing remarkably well. He told me he wished that I had time to hear his first class make some head calculations - "they would frighten me." They did not, however, show any supernatural quickness in telling me what 5lbs of cheese would cost at 7¾d per lb. One would suppose that the reading could not be very good, as they have no books but Bibles and Testaments, and each class only reads in them for 20 minutes per day. There were a few labourers' children, but mostly those of small tradesmen and dairy farmers, at 6d a week. They came from great distances. Of those present, one boy, a carpenter's son, had come 5½ miles; 14 boys and 7 girls had come 3 miles; 24 boys and 5 girls had come 2 miles. Distance, therefore, is no hindrance of attendance. The school is intensely popular in the neighbourhood, and is interesting as showing what kind of education finds favour with that particular class of parents.
In Dr. Hodgson's Report, which contains notes of the condition of a very large number of schools, no school so good as this is mentioned. The following, which contained 60 boys and 71 girls, is, perhaps, the best:
766. ___ Miss ___. Males 60. Females 71. - A gentle, tidy, intelligent young person, who seems to maintain a good tone and spirit among her pupils. I have had occasion to visit this school three times, and I have been always pleased with the conduct, intelligence, and neatness
*Extract from a note book of Mr. Fraser, submitted to the Commission, but not published.

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of the girls, in spite of the very bad neighbourhood and unsuitable premises. They sing also remarkably well, and are permitted to sing at intervals during needlework, which, I think, has a very good effect. How far it interrupts the work I cannot say. The room, and those above it, are used for a Sunday school.
Other instances set in a striking light the utterly miserable character of the lowest kind of private schools:
707. ___ Mr. ___. Males 12. Females 2. - This school is held in probably the most miserable place I have yet seen, at the top of a very , steep and broken staircase, and in a room more like a carpenter's shop than a school-room. It is impossible to describe the poverty and decay which everything indicated. The chief text-book seemed to be a kitten, to which all the children were very attentive. The room is small and unventilated. Window dirty. Mr. ___ is a young man, very pale and sickly in appearance, born in this country; a Roman Catholic, and most of his pupils, if not all, are of the same faith. Between school-hours he does carpenter's work at the desk and benches, which he is fitting up. He expressed a strong wish to have an arithmetic book and a grammar for his own improvement. I promised to send him both. His mother keeps a marine-store on the ground-floor.

545. ___ Mrs. ___. Male 1. Females 6. - Widow: age about 70. Her husband died 12 years ago, through intemperance. She receives 2s 6d a week from the Union; 7 pupils at 3d each make 1s 9d, and this is her income! She was very grateful for the small donation of 1s. She complains of inability to buy meat, "and without meat her strength fails." She is very weary of life, and hopes that her time on earth will not be long.

The teachers of these schools are of course of characters as various as the schools which they teach, but they have rarely been in any way trained to their profession, and they have almost always selected it, either because they have failed in other pursuits, or because, as in the case of widows, they have been unexpectedly left in a state of destitution. The evidence of the Assistant Commissioners upon this point is unanimous. Mr. Fraser, after saying that,* "the great majority of the private schools in his district are kept by most respectable people, some of them by very admirable men and women," adds that "the teachers have often no special fitness, or, at least, no fitness that is the fruit of preparation or training for their work, but have taken up the occupation in default of or after the failure of other trades." ... "Most of them have picked up their knowledge promiscuously; several combine the trade of school-keeping with another." "The general testimony," says Mr. Hare,† speaking of Hull, Yarmouth, and Ipswich, "goes to show that most private schoolmasters are men

*Report, p. 36.

†Report, pp. 294, 295.

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who have failed In other pursuits, and that many of them eke out a subsistence by doing whatever odd jobs chance may throw in their way. One witness specifies quondam barbers, sailors, soldiers, and millers as turning to school-keeping, and present schoolmasters as being also Interested in ship-owning or engaged in rate-collecting." "I became acquainted with one whose general Intelligence enabled him not only to keep a day and evening school, but also to cater for a country news- paper, to conduct the correspondence of persons who are no scholars, and to make the wills of testators who are penny-wise and pound-foolish."

Mr. Cumin's experience In Bristol and Plymouth was similar. Of the private schoolmasters In Devonport, one had been a blacksmith and afterwards an exciseman, another was a journeyman tanner, a third a clerk In a solicitor's office, a fourth (who was very successful in preparing lads for the competitive examination in the dockyards) keeps an evening school and works as a dockyard labourer, a fifth was a seaman, and others had been engaged In other callings. Of some of these schools Mr. Cumin's informant spoke in favourable terms.

In none of the districts, however, were these features so strongly marked as in London. Dr. Hodgson* found evidence (parts of which have been already quoted) to justify the assertion, that "none are too old, too poor, too ignorant, too feeble, too sickly, too unqualified in any or every way, to regard themselves, and to be regarded by others, as unfit for school-keeping. Nay, there are few, if any, occupations regarded as Incompatible with school-keeping, if not as simultaneous, at least as preparatory employments. Domestic servants out of place, discharged bar- maids, venders of toys or lollipops, keepers of small eating- houses, of mangles, or of small lodging-houses, needlewomen, who take in plain or slop work; milliners; consumptive patients In an advanced stage; cripples almost bedridden; persons of at least doubtful temperance: outdoor paupers; men and women of 70 and even 80 years of age; persons who spell badly (mostly women, I grieve to say), who can scarcely write, and who can not cipher at all." Mr. Wilkinson's account of the matter is very similar. He says that the profession, as such, hardly exists, and that it Is a mere refuge for the destitute, and enumerates grocers, tobacconists, linendrapers, tailors, attorneys, painters, German, Polish, and Italian refugees, bakers, widows or daughters of clergy-

*Report, p. 482.

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men, barristers, and surgeons, housekeepers, ladies' maids, and dressmakers, as being found amongst the teachers of private schools. Mr. Winder says that hardly any one is brought up to the business unless he suffers from some bodily infirmity. He called, without design, on five masters successively, all of whom were more or less deformed; one, who taught in a cellar, being paralytic and horribly distorted. All other private schoolmasters had been engaged in other callings; but three only, a stationer, a druggist, and a clock-cleaner, carried on their business concurrently with teaching.

Most of the private schools which came under the notice of the Assistant Commissioners were institutions of the most temporary kind, set up and afterwards laid aside, apparently without any notion on the part of those who conducted them, that they were either intended or suited for permanence, a conclusive proof that they were mere makeshifts for the purpose of obtaining a precarious livelihood.

"The majority of these private schools," says Mr. Fraser,* "are of very mushroom growth, by far the larger proportion of the existing ones having sprung up since the census of 1851." Dr. Hodgson's Report shows the cause of this: "When other occupations fail, even for a time, a private school can be opened, with no capital beyond the cost of a ticket in the window. Any room, however small and close, serves for the purpose; the children sit on the floor, and bring what books they please: whilst the closeness of the room renders fuel superfluous, and even keeps the children quiet by its narcotic effects. If the fees do not pay the rent, the school is dispersed or taken by the next tenant."

Mr. Fraser's own experience supplied a curious illustration of the correctness of Dr. Hodgson's view, for he personally contrived the re-establishment of a private school on the spur of the moment:

Nov. 3. - I met with a case today illustrating the use of dames' schools. In a block of cottages - six or eight in number - attached to a farm, a mile from the parochial school, I heard that a certain Mrs. ___ kept a school. Approaching the cottages, which lie at some little distance from the road, I found eight or ten of the wildest looking; urchins playing about the heap of faggots that lay before the cottage doors, in every state of dirt and tatters, their mothers meanwhile, each at her door, staring at the stranger, "gloving" away at the same time. Having found Mrs. ___, I inquired about her school. With tears in her eyes, she told me she had given it up when the new parish school was
*Report, p. 38.

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opened. The squire's lady had used to give her 3s 6d a week for teaching these outlying children, but discontinued it now. "She could not sleep at night for thinking of it," and her eyes were so weak she could not "glove" like her neighbours. "But why not keep school again? there were ten or a dozen children outside, who would be all the better for being looked after." "Oh, the parents could not pay. There was a dairyman who wished her to take his two children, but the others were too poor." "Well, begin with the dairyman's; others will soon come; the parents will find it cheaper to pay you twopence a week to look after their children, than to let them run about, as they are doing now, tearing their frocks and wearing holes in their shoes. I'll go out and ask some of them." The first neighbour at once assented to my view of the comparative cheapness of schooling and idling, and said she would gladly pay for her children, if Mrs ___ would take them. With this little morsel of comfort I returned to the old lady, and I have some hope that she got her usual allowance of sleep that night, and that the next Monday morning she started her school once more, where, if the children won't learn much, they will at least be kept out of mischief and the thousand ill consequences that flow from untended ways.
Notwithstanding the inefficiency of many of the private schools, they appear to maintain their ground against the public schools, on account of the preference which exists for them in the minds of the parents; but the complaint that the Government grant enables the public schools to undersell, and so to ruin them, is very common amongst the teachers. Mr. Winder observes* that, except in very favourable situations, the school fee cannot be raised much above the public school level, and that in consequence the private teachers bitterly complain that they find it difficult to earn a living. The following Table bears upon this point. It shows the proportion per cent of scholars in private schools to the whole number of scholars in each of the districts of the Assistant Commissioners in 1851 and in 1859:

*Report, p. 220.

The Union of Durham is not included in this comparison of the statistics of Mr. Foster's district.

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It thus appears that the public schools have gained but slightly on the private, and that in some parts of the country the reverse has been the case. This has happened in 4 out of the 10 specimen districts selected by us.

The position of the teachers of private schools, in relation to the Government grant, is a point of considerable importance. They complain that the tendency of the interference of Government is to give a monopoly to a particular class of schools. In our opinion the complaint is well founded. We think that the assistance given by the State to education should assume the form of a bounty paid upon the production of certain results by any person whatever. We consider it unfair to exclude the teachers of private schools from a share in this bounty, if they can prove that they have produced the result. We shall, therefore, recommend that they be admitted to a share in the public assistance, but subject to the condition that the school shall be perfectly ventilated and drained, and shall afford accommodation at the rate of eight square feet, at least, for every child in attendance, and that it be open to inspection, and be not reported on unfavourably by the inspector. The effect of this condition would be to exclude the objectionable class of schools which we have just been describing, and indeed most of the existing private schools, from any share in the grant; but it appears probable, and we think it desirable, that the prospect of obtaining a share in it may induce a superior class of persons to adopt the calling of a private teacher as a regular profession, and to invest money in the erection of suitable buildings. A cripple may not usually make a good teacher; but if he has a natural aptitude for teaching, and can obtain a proper place to teach in, it would be hard to prevent him from doing so, or to adopt a system which would place him on an unfavourable footing with respect to other teachers. The great popularity of private schools affords another reason for supporting them. The parents, as we have already said, often prefer them, because they think that the pupils are more respectable, that the teachers are more inclined to comply with their wishes, that the children are better cared for, and that they themselves, in choosing such schools for their children, stand in an independent position, and are not accepting a favour from their social superiors. These are natural grounds of preference, and it would be rash to say that they are always unfounded.

The character of the teachers would be much improved if they were allowed to obtain certificates of competence to teach, analogous to a university degree. We recommend that, in order to

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promote this object, the examinations for certificates be thrown open to all persons who have kept a private elementary school for three consecutive years, and can produce satisfactory testimonials as to their moral character from ministers of religion or magistrates who have known them during that period. The effect of these measures will be to raise the character of private schools and teachers, and to impress upon the calling a character of permanence and respectability


No general system for training teachers of elementary schools existed in this country before the beginning of the present century. Such a system was not to be expected when the number of elementary schools was very small. When the first efforts to improve popular education were made, the want of a class of trained teachers was felt. Dr. Bell and Mr. Lancaster tried to supply this want by using the elder children as teachers of the rest, and this was the origin of the monitorial system.

It was supposed that the objects aimed at in elementary schools might be attained by carrying out precise instructions framed with something of the strictness of military drill. "The system," as it was emphatically called, was supposed to be capable of being learnt by any one who attended for that purpose, for a few months, or even weeks, at a National or British school.

"The necessities of past times," said Mr. Allen, in 1845,* "familiarized people to the notion that a few weeks' attendance at an organized school, where what was called the 'National system' might be learned, was sufficient to transmute a decayed tradesman, with some knowledge of writing and accounts, into "a National schoolmaster." Those who were engaged in the superintendence of these establishments,† were deterred from making a better provision for the wants of the country by the difficulty of finding suitable pupils, the great expense of training them, and the low conception which prevailed throughout the

*Min. 1845, i. p. 87. See, too, Mr. Moseley, Min. 1854-5, p. 305.

†In the British and Foreign Society's establishment in the Borough Road, 25 masters and 18 mistresses were trained during part of the year 1835, and "there was but small variation in these numbers during a lengthened period." Mr. Fletcher's Report, Min. 1846, ii. 310, Mr. Fletcher quotes many complaints from the Committee of the Society, as to the difficulties under which they laboured, the short period of training, and the low qualifications required of teachers by the public. Pp. 310-318.

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country as to the qualifications to be required of the teachers of elementary schools.

Before the attention of Government had been directed to the subject of popular education, many schools conducted on the monitorial system had been established in different parts of the country, but the first important result which was obtained from the inspection of the state of education in the years 1839-46 was proof of the inadequacy of the monitorial system, and of the inefficiency of the teachers who were then in possession of the schools. The unanimous testimony of the inspectors was that the teachers were bad, and that the monitors, from their extreme youth, were of little use. They were fit only for the discharge of routine duties, and even these they discharged without interest, without weight, and without authority. They were frequently untrustworthy, and almost always ignorant. The consequence of this was that the schools were generally in a deplorable state in every part of England. The great naval school at Greenwich, being supported at the public expense, and having the advantage of a long and constant attendance of pupils, was nevertheless utterly inefficient. The Lower School at that time contained about 400 boys, divided into eight classes. There were only two masters for the whole number of boys and two monitors for each class. The monitors "were able to read and write decently, and had advanced in arithmetic as far as fractions, but their knowledge of the meaning of words was very imperfect, and when called upon during the examination of the lower classes to assist in explanations or to point out errors, it was not found that they were in any degree competent or capable of anything more than giving aid towards the mere mechanical process of reading." "Of the 86 boys " present in the fifth class," at the time of Mr. Tremenheere's inspection,* "five who had been at the school from one year to one year and ten months were unable to read. In the fourth class, three who had been at the school from a year to eighteen months, and in the third class eight who had been in the school from two to three years, could not read. Sixteen who had been there a similar time could only read imperfectly. Of the 350 boys, the average number present at one time at the school, those who could write small hand on paper were 79 boys of the first class, and 34 out of 74 in the second."† When a great public

*Sept. 1840.

†Min. 1840-1, pp. 246, 247. When Dr. Woolley reported on these schools in September 1858, there were a head master, 5 assistant-masters, and 16 pupil-teachers. In the first three classes of the lower school, containing 183 boys, 124 wrote from dictation well, 50 fairly, and 9 indifferently; whilst 165 read well, 14 fairly, and 4 indifferently; Min. 1858-9, pp. 435-438.

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institution, abundantly supplied with money, was so ill provided with teachers, the state of schools in the remoter parts of the country may be imagined. It may be stated generally that all the inspectors declared that the best teachers were ignorant and unskilful, though they were often well-meaning and serious-minded men, and that the inferior and more numerous class of teachers were unfit for their position, and unqualified to discharge any useful function in education.*

It was to supply these defects that the Committee of Privy Council, by its Minutes of 1846, laid the foundation of the present system of pupil-teachers, training colleges, and certificated masters and mistresses.

The general character of the provisions contained in these Minutes of Minutes in relation to the present subject may be stated very shortly. They were intended not only to supply the elementary schools with teachers superior in training and experience to the monitors upon whose assistance they were formerly dependent, but also to provide the training colleges by degrees with a constant supply of pupils of a superior quality to those who were to be had before the pupil-teacher system was brought into operation. The institution of Queen's scholarships carried the pupil-teachership a step further, and the common examination to which all Queen's scholars were subjected introduced a considerable degree of uniformity into the course of instruction given in the various training colleges which were rapidly established with the assistance of the Government grants. The plan of granting certificates to masters upon an examination, the subjects of which were prescribed by Government, completed the system, which thus forms a connected whole, from the' first apprenticeship of the pupil-teacher to the attainment by the certificated master or mistress of the highest rate to which either may ultimately rise after being settled in charge of an elementary school.

Some time was necessarily consumed in bringing this system into full and general operation, but during the 14 years which have passed since its commencement, its growth, its character,

*As to South Wales, Mr. Tremenheere's Report, Min. 1839-40, p. 179; Northumberland and Durham, Mr. Allen, Min. 1840-1, pp. 127, 199, 130; Manchester and Liverpool, Mr. Baptist Noel, Min. 1840-1, p. 175; Cornwall, Mr. Tremenheere, Min. 1840-1, p. 193; Norfolk, ib. p. 443; Derbyshire, Mr. Allen, Min. 1841-2, p. 162. Southern District, Mr. Allen, Min. 1844, ii. p. 90; Eastern, Mr. Cook, ib. pp. 139, 140; Western, Mr. Bellairs, p. 233; Northern, Mr. Watkins, pp. 289, 290; Midland, Mr. Moseley, p. 510; British Schools, Mr. Fletcher: Southern, Mr. Allen, Min. 1845, i. pp. 86, 87; Eastern, Mr. Cook, pp. 148, 153; Midland, Mr. Moseley, pp. 245, 246.

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and its results, have been carefully watched in all their stages by Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, nor is there any subject on which they have given such full information. In order to afford a connected view of the results of their observation, it will be necessary to state the substance of their reports upon each stage in the history of trained teachers, from their account of the first selection of the apprentices, down to their final estimate of the merits of the certificated teachers in actual employment.

The first step to be noticed in the career of the pupil-teachers is their selection. Partly by an examination before the inspector, and partly by certificates from the clergyman and managers in schools connected with the Church of England, and from the managers alone in other schools, it is ascertained that their own characters and the characters of their families are such as may be expected to fit them for their situation. Early in the working of the system Mr. Brookfield gave a minute account of his experience of the practical working of this rule.* It was, that in his district there was a close cooperation between the clergy and the inspector, and that the clergy were in the habit of instituting a strict examination into the moral characteristics of the candidates whom they presented. "They are," he says,† "the flower of the clergyman's school, perhaps of his parish." "They are," said Mr. Cook, "persons of respectability in the best sense of the word," and he speaks of their conduct in terms equally favourable.‡ Mr. Watkins also speaks, after an experience of seven years, of the conduct of the apprentices as being "extremely satisfactory, and not surpassed by that of any other body of young people in any class of life." In the year (1854) to which this report refers, 3 only out of 556 had been dismissed for bad conduct.

Mr. Watkins, however, states that the terms offered to the apprentices are not in his district liberal enough to secure the services of the children best suited for the position. For several successive years Mr. Watkins has pointed out that the prospects of a pupil-teacher are unfavourably contrasted with those of an independent labourer or mechanic in Yorkshire, not only in respect to the amount, but in respect to the certainty and also to the time at which his wages are paid. The independent labourer is sure of his wages. The pupil-teacher is dependent on certificates of good conduct and on the result of an examination. The independent

*Min. 1848-50, vol. ii. p. 64, &c.

†Min. 1848-50, vol. ii. pp. 68, 69.

‡Min. 1848-50, vol. i. p. 467; Min. 1847-8, i. pp. 61, 62.

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labourer is paid weekly; the pupil-teacher annually, and until the expiration of the first year of his apprenticeship he gets nothing. Indeed, the payment is often deferred for a period which sometimes extends to three months longer, as every payment is made directly by the Committee of Council; and, in consequence of the large number of pupil-teachers, this takes a considerable time. The wages of a pupil-teacher (paid annually) are at the rate of 3s 10d, 4s 9½d, 5s 9d, 6s 8¼d., and 7s 8d a week, at 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 years of age respectively; but "boys of 13 and 14 years of age can get from 8s to 10s a week in some of the Sheffield trades." Telegraph clerks on the railways earn 10s and 11s a week, with the prospect of increase, whilst "other offices, merchants', lawyers', canals, &c., are almost as enticing to young lads, besides the common openings in trade, which in a great part of the district have a higher money value than the situation of a pupil-teacher, have none of its uncertainties, little of its trials, and a present instead of a prospective and conditional payment."* But it must not be forgotten that the pupil-teacher, during the whole of his apprenticeship, is receiving an education which fits him for other situations; and the sum paid by Government to the principal teachers for the instruction so given must be taken into account in estimating the pupil-teacher's wages.

Mr. Stewart, speaking of Cambridge, Huntingdon, Bedford, and other adjacent counties, goes further. "In many schools," he says, "no candidates can be found except the managers are prepared to pay £5 per annum to eke out the stipend conditionally offered by the Government," and he gives many individual cases tending to the conclusion, that though the number of candidates for apprenticeships increases, the candidates are not of the best class.† Similar complaints are made by our Assistant Commissioners.

It must, however, be observed that the numbers, even by the admission just quoted, do increase, and that the conduct of the pupil-teachers themselves is favourably described, the preference in this respect being given to the girls over the boys.

The candidate, being selected, remains in the school for five years, and takes part in its teaching, receiving himself instruction from the principal teacher for an hour and a half daily on five days in the week. Almost all the evidence goes to prove that the

*Mr. Watkins's Reports, Min. 1852-3, p. 147; Min. 1853-4, vol. ii. p. 159; Min. 1854-5, p. 436.

†Min. 1856-7, p. 432.

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effect of the presence of pupil-teachers upon the condition of the schools is very beneficial, especially when it is compared with the influence exercised over the schools by monitors. Mr. Cook tells us that from the first institution of the system in 1846 he observed a marked improvement in schools where pupil-teachers were apprenticed,* and that subsequent experience confirmed this observation. In his report for 1851,† he stated that after a very careful comparison between schools in which pupil-teachers were apprenticed and those in which monitors were employed, he found the improvement of the former uniform. In the senior classes of such schools the master, being relieved from the pressure of acting as sole instructor of the children, was able to teach higher subjects than he could formerly attempt, and to teach them with better results. " The elder pupils," he says, "learn much that was scarcely attempted in former years, and "understand much better what was formerly taught upon a superficial and mechanical system."

In the middle classes, which contain the bulk of the children who are in regular attendance, the improvement was more striking than in any other part of the school. All the ordinary subjects - such as reading, writing, arithmetic, and acquaintance with the Scriptures - were taught by the assistance of pupil-teachers to large numbers of children who did not stay at school long enough to rise to the higher classes, and who would have left monitorial schools with little or no substantial knowledge of the elements of education.

The junior classes are those in which the good effects of the pupil-teacher system are least apparent. As the children in these classes are very young, and their attendance very irregular, energy and skill are required to deal with them effectively; and as the youngest pupil -teachers are usually assigned to the lowest classes, whilst the difficulty of dealing with those classes is greater than that of dealing with any other part of the school, the system effects less good there than elsewhere. There can be no doubt that this requires correction. The services of the pupil-teachers ought to be so arranged that every part of the school, and especially the younger children, may receive the full benefit. It ought to form part of the inspector's duty to satisfy himself that this has been done.

*Min. 1847, vol. 1. p. 65.

†Min. 1851-2, p. 386-8. Compare Mr. Mitchell, Min, 1852-53, p. 283.

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In 1853,* Mr. Cook thus summed up the advantages of employing pupil-teachers: "They often conduct lessons in reading, arithmetic, and writing from copies and dictation better than many adult teachers of ordinary ability," whilst many of them can teach and examine a large class in grammar, geography, English history, and the subject-matter of books of general information with less waste of time and greater facility of illustration than the generality of untrained masters." Their faults, he observes, are that "they are often too pedantic and too mechanical and too much lost in the routine of school-work," and that they are apt to fall into the faults of meagreness, dryness, and emptiness, or the opposite and not less mischievous evils of presumption and ostentation."

The evidence of the Assistant Commissioners is unanimous as to the superiority or schools in which pupil-teachers are employed,† and most of the witnesses examined by them were of the same opinion.‡ The objections made to them by the witnesses who differed from the common opinion was that they were too much absorbed by preparation for their own examinations to attend properly to the children, and one witness, who had given much consideration to the subject, added that though the pupil-teacher system was a great improvement on the old system of monitors, the pupil-teachers required constant watchfulness on behalf of the clergy or other school-managers, in default of which they were very apt to become conceited and overbearing.

The education of the pupil-teachers themselves is provided for by the obligation imposed on the principal teachers of instructing them daily for an hour and a half, and is tested annually by the examinations to which they are submitted before their wages are paid. The curriculum through which they have to pass is regulated by the Committee of Council, which, through the agency of the inspectors, subjects each of them annually to an examination of increasing difficulty. At the end of their course they are expected to be able to read with proper articulation and expression, to be acquainted with English grammar, to be prepared to compose an essay on some subject connected with the art of teaching, to work sums in arithmetic, and to be acquainted with the first two books of Euclid, and algebra to the end of simple equations, if boys;

*Min. 18.53-4, vol. ii. p. 19.

†Mr. Hare's Report, p. 275; Mr. Cumin's Report, p. 85; Mr. Fraser's Report p. 89.

‡Mr. Wilkinson's Report, App. 441, 125-127; Mr. Foster's Report, App. 422, 109.

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or to be acquainted with arithmetic up to decimal fractions and simple interest, if girls, and with the geography of the habitable world. Prizes are given for proficiency in drawing where suitable means of instruction exist, but acquaintance with this subject is not compulsory.

In order to appreciate the extent of this course, it must be remembered that it has to be mastered between the ages of 13 and 18, by persons who are occupied in the school about five hours a day on five days of the week. To this must be added an hour and a half for their own instruction, and the time necessary for preparation. They are thus engaged in actual work for at least seven hours daily. The experience of the inspectors and of the masters shows that even in the case of the teachers this is hard work; and fears have been expressed by some observers that for the pupil-teachers, and especially for the girls, it is too hard. Upon this subject Mr. Procter of Devonport, in his answers to Mr. Cumin's* inquiries, observes:

Call to mind what a female apprentice in an elementary school is, and what claims home duties and school duties, if properly attended to, have upon her time.

Ordinarily, she is the daughter of a handicraftsman, or a labourer, or a domestic servant, or a farm servant. Her parents earn from 30s down to 12s, or it may be less, a week. She is not unfrequently one of several children, sometimes the only girl, or the only girl above infancy. It is a great wrong to her mother, father, brothers, and sisters, if she be prevented from bearing her fair share of the usual household work of her home, and a greater injury to herself if she be excused from this. She ought to bear her part of the family housecleaning, the family cooking, the family washing, and the family clothes-making and clothes-mending. Otherwise, if she fail to obtain a Queen's scholarship, or if she marry an elementary schoolmaster, or a small shopkeeper, or a small yeoman, she will be anything but a good housewife; or if she become a certified schoolmistress, she will not be the person whom sensible thoughtful parents of humble life will care to entrust with the formation of the character of their girls.

These home duties claim at least on an average an hour a day of her time.

Next, she is an apprentice TEACHER in an ELEMENTARY school. She may have charge of a section of 40 children. She must be engaged in teaching daily for not less than 5½ hours; and in preparing the school for her class, and putting things away, &c., for about another half-hour daily.

These school duties claim at least six hours a day, on an average of five days in the week.

Again, those school-managers who have the interests of their female apprentices really at heart, and the interests of the children who are already so much influenced by their example, or who will hereafter be

*Report, p. 134.

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under their care, require the female apprentices, with the assistance of the elder girls and monitors, to do sometimes all the household work of the school premises, sometimes all this, except scrubbing the larger and rougher floors. They also require them to visit, to inquire after absent children, dividing this duty between them and the principal teacher. These duties provide healthy bodily exercise.

These school duties, which are a most important detail in the training which is to fit them for their office, claim on an average another hour a day, or six hours a week.

Already we have taken up eight hours a day on an average for five days in the week.

But there is yet a claim on their time for one and a half hours daily. They have to spend an hour and a half a day for five days in the week in the class with the mistress; when she is to revise and correct the exercises they have written at home; to hear them the lessons they have prepared for her at home; to submit them to written examinations; to direct them as to what they are to study by themselves; to point out to them the difficulties they will meet, and when they have failed to overcome them without assistance to aid their own efforts to do so; to practise them in arithmetic and English grammar; to improve them in reading and penmanship; to exercise them in the fourth and fifth years in composition on some given subject; to instruct them in the art of teaching; to make up with their assistance the voluminous school registers and school accounts; and to give them such admonitions as occasion may require.

This makes nine and a half hours a day for five days in the week, or nearly eight hours a day for six days in the week.

Mr. Procter's experience appears to have been derived principally from the school which is under his own superintendence, and we think that his view of the subject is not free from exaggeration. Of the nine hours and a half, of which, according to his statement, the pupil-teacher's working day consists, an hour and a half is occupied by duties, which, to use his own words, "provide healthy bodily exercise," and another hour is taken up with home duties, to which the same observation applies. It must be remembered also that a great part of the time of female pupil-teachers, often as much as two hours a day, is occupied in superintending the sewing class. This, though a most important duty, is not hard work.

But after making these deductions from the value of Mr. Proctor's statements, we must admit that they are not without foundation, and that they add importance to the evidence to which we shall subsequently advert, as to the expediency of diminishing the hours of school attendance.

The evidence of some of the inspectors shows that the course through which the pupil-teachers pass is not calculated to develop their intelligence so much as to exercise their memories. Mr. Stewart* says that he is satisfied, from the character of the

*Mr. Stewart's Report for 1856, Min. 1856-7, p. 451.

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exercises sent up by the apprentices, that "the young persons labour under the disadvantage of having to grapple with an amount of work unsuited for their age, and too extensive for the time they can profitably devote to study." He adds, "those who are provided with good memories can retain an immense amount of crude undigested facts, but very few gain from their apprenticeship what is tenfold more valuable, precision of ideas, the power of expressing themselves well in their own language, and the ability to give a sensible opinion on any common abstract question. They become overlaid with facts. Playing on the surface of many subjects, and mastering none, their memory is un wholesomely stimulated, their judgment stunted and baffled." Mr. Matthew Arnold's experience is somewhat to the same effect. "I have been much struck," he says,* "in examining them towards the close of their apprenticeship, when they are generally at least 18 years old, with the utter disproportion between the great amount of positive information, and the low degree of mental culture and intelligence which they exhibit." It would not be fair to attribute this result exclusively to the character of the training which they receive. The general intelligence and refinement which might be expected of children of a superior class are hardly to be acquired in the homes in which they live.

Though such observations as these are entitled to attentive consideration, there can be no doubt that the system is upon the whole excellent. To appreciate its value, the pupil-teachers must be compared with the monitors whom they have superseded, and with the students who were with great difficulty and in scanty numbers collected into the normal schools before 1846. The inefficiency of the monitors has been already described. The utmost extent of the attainments of the students on their admission to the training colleges was an imperfect acquaintance with reading, writing, and arithmetic. The pupil-teachers, on the other hand, have furnished a constant and sufficient supply to all the training colleges, and their acquirements and general fitness for the posts for which they have been selected are best attested by the fact, that only 12.68 per cent of the total number admitted are removed during their apprenticeship, either by death, failure of health, failure in attainments, misconduct, or other causes, including the adoption of other pursuits in life.† Considering the stringency of the tests applied to ascertain the

*Min. 1852-3, vol. ii. p. 677.

†Min. 1858-9, p. xxxii.

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qualifications, moral and intellectual, of each individual in every year of his apprenticeship, this is a most successful result.

Mr. Arnold speaks in his report on the state of education in France,* in the strongest terms of the importance of pupil-teachers, whom he describes as "the sinews of English primary instruction," and whose presence in English schools he appears to consider the principal advantage of English schools over those of France.

Of the whole number of pupil-teachers 87.32 per cent successfully complete their apprenticeship, and 76.02 per cent become candidates for Queen's scholarships, which most of them obtain. The 11.3 per cent who do not become candidates for Queen's scholarships include those who either adopt other pursuits or follow the calling of a schoolmaster without going through the course of instruction given at the training colleges.

These figures enable us to estimate the truth of a prevalent opinion that a considerable part of the public money expended on pupil-teachers is wasted by their failure to follow up the profession for which they are educated.

Even if the failure of the pupil-teachers to continue in their profession were more common, it would not follow that the money laid out in their education was wasted, for it must be remembered that they render year by year services for the salary received, and therefore that their subsequent abandonment of their profession cannot make that expenditure merely wasted money; and it should also be borne in mind that this salary is presumably not excessive, inasmuch as they might earn more in other callings.

The result of the preceding evidence as to the pupil-teacher system is, that though it appears to be one of the most important contributions made to popular education by the administration of the Privy Council grants, its administration is accused of three serious defect?. They are -

1. The uniformity of the rate of wages paid to the pupil-teachers in different parts of the country, and their insufficiency in many districts.

2. The great labour imposed upon the pupil-teachers, especially upon the girls.

3. The mechanical character of the training which they receive, and its unfitness to elevate the tone of their minds.

The question of wages will be set at rest if our subsequent recommendation to pay all assistance derived from taxation in

*Report, p. 74.

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a single sum, to be disposed of by the managers according to their own views, be adopted. The managers will make their own bargains with the pupil-teachers according to local circumstances.

The labour imposed upon the pupil-teachers can be diminished only by diminishing the length of the school hours. It can hardly be supposed that an hour and a half daily is too much for their own education; and, inasmuch as they are both to teach others and to learn themselves, their course must of necessity be laborious. We shall hereafter adduce evidence to show that it may be desirable to shorten the school hours, and the relief which such a step would afford to the pupil-teachers is an additional reason in its favour.

The mechanical character of the training of the pupil-teachers is probably to some degree inseparable from their position. The constant repetition of the same routine must always tend to cramp and formalize the mind,* and this effect is particularly likely to follow where young boys and girls are brought into constant relations with mere children. Something might probably be done to counteract this by exchanging some one of the subjects contained In the present course for others of a more interesting nature. It is an omission in the course that it contains no literary subject whatever, and we think that one of the books of Euclid might be advantageously omitted, and that the pupil-teachers should be required to learn by heart passages of standard English prose and poetry, and to be prepared to repeat portions of them at the annual examination. We think also that whilst the intelligent study of physical geography is of great importance, many of the minuter points which it embraces might be omitted. Learning by heart is a most valuable exercise, and is for too much neglected in elementary schools.


The next step in the career of a teacher after apprenticeship is that of studentship in a training college.

The earliest proceeding of the Committee of Council† was to

*See the following question and answer in the evidence of Dr. Temple: 2956. (Sir J. Coleridge.) Is there not rather a tendency with the schoolmasters in all classes, to make them too much machines? - No doubt.

†Order in Council, 3rd June 1839, Coll. Min.

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record their opinion "that the most useful application of any sums voted by Parliament would consist in the employment of those monies in the establishment of a normal school under the direction of the State." The difficulty arising from differences of religious belief rendered this resolution ineffectual, and the Committee accordingly directed their attention to the distribution of aid from the Parliamentary grant to private societies or individuals who might be disposed to found such establishments.

Of the training schools which were founded before 1846, the Battersea Training school, which is connected with the National Society, and the Borough Road Institution, which is connected with the British and Foreign School Society, were perhaps the most important, and an elaborate account of the original foundation of each, and of the prospects, plans, difficulties, and expedients of its founders, is to be found amongst the reports published by the Committee of Council. The report on the Battersea Institution was written by its original founder, Sir J. K. Shuttleworth,* that on the Training school in the Borough Road, by the late Mr. Fletcher, formerly Inspector of British Schools.†

The Battersea Training school was originally intended for the supply of teachers to pauper schools and to schools supported out of the general taxation of the country. It was founded by the private liberality of Sir James Kay Shuttleworth and Mr. Carleton Tufnell, who bore the greater part of the expense from their private resources, and bestowed much time and labour upon the management of the institution. Sir James K. Shuttleworth lived for some time in an adjoining house, and closely superintended its progress.

The principles upon which the school should be established were investigated by its founders, during a journey on the continent, undertaken for that purpose in the summer of 1839. They examined the schools of Holland, in which they observed the advantages arising from the pupil-teacher system. They also paid attention to the schools of the Christian Brothers in Paris, and in other parts of France, and to the normal schools conducted in Switzerland on the system of Pestalozzi. The écoles mères of the Christian Brothers are under the management of an organization, the character of which is almost monastic. The Brothers, though not bound by a vow, devote their lives under a rule of celibacy to the education of the poor.‡ The école mère furnishes them with a

*Min. 1842-3, pp. 189-251.

†Min. 1846, vol. ii. p. 226, et seq.

‡Second Report, Min, 1842-3, p. 252.

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residence during the discharge of their active duties, and with an asylum in sickness and old age. The novices enter about the age of 12 or 14, assume the dress of the order, and commence the routine of its observances. As they advance in age, they are gradually introduced to public instruction under the superintendence of the elder brethren; such of them as appear not to be fitted for the vocation, leave it, but those who remain in it arrive in course of time at the full rank of members of the household of the mother school, and pass the remainder of their lives in giving elementary instruction to the poor.

Sir J. K. Shuttleworth and Mr. Tufnell were much impressed by this institution, but they appear to have felt that a more useful and available precedent for England was to be found in the normal school of Kruitzlingen in Switzerland. Its peculiarity was that all its arrangements were calculated to exercise a deep and permanent influence over the moral character of the students. They were constantly impressed not only by the express teaching, but by all the domestic arrangements of the establishment, with the feeling that they were to keep in view the object of educating poor children to be contented and useful in their own sphere of life; and that they were to regard this duty in a spirit of humility and self-sacrifice, and apart from views of personal advancement. In accordance with this view, the pupils were accustomed to a simple mode of life, and to hard manual labour. "Their food was of the coarsest character, consisting chiefly of vegetables, soups, and very brown bread." They passed a great part of their time in cultivating the land for their own subsistence, and did all the work which was required in the building and in the garden.

The Battersea Training School was originally established on this model, in a manor house standing in a large garden near the Thames. Some of the pupils were taken from the Norwood School of Industry, which had been established some time before for the education of pauper and criminal children, and a certain number were sent by private patrons, who defrayed the expenses of their education. No part of the training given was more carefully attended to than the moral discipline of the students in humility and self-denial, as acted on in the school at Kruitzlingen. A large part of every day was employed in manual labour in the garden, which was brought into cultivation by the students,*

*Min. 1842-3, p. 200.

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and, with the exception of a matron who acted as cook, no servants were provided. The teachers assisted personally* in such carpenters' and masons' work as was required in the building, and the diet was studiously simple, being provided in great part by the cultivation of the garden.

It will be seen that the views upon which the Battersea Training School was founded differed much from those which influenced the subsequent training schools.

The Normal School in the Borough Road, connected with the British and Foreign School Society, was originally instituted on a very small scale by Mr. Lancaster† in 1805, and a few teachers continued to be trained there, in the face of considerable difficulties, till the year 1842,‡ when new normal schools were completed at an expense of upwards of £21,000. The managers did not attempt to keep the pupils in the establishment for any considerable time, nor did they subject them to any special moral training. Their practice was to select as their pupils "only those who by age as well as by character might be ranked among persons of fixed and settled religious principles." They thus assumed that the elements of the students' characters, which they looked upon as most important, were settled before they came into the institution, and confined their attention to furnishing them as speedily as possible with the special knowledge required in their future profession. For this purpose they usually remained in the training schools for periods of from six months to a year, and their employments during that period were almost exclusively intellectual and exceedingly severe. They had no industrial training, and hardly any recreation, their whole time being divided between study and the practice of teaching in the elementary school (containing 650 children in average attendance) connected with the establishment. The severity of the course is thus described by Mr. Fletcher:§ "Proper exercise and even sleep are by many of them (the students) sacrificed to study, to an extent which only the briefness of the course renders at all consistent with health. All are in bed by 10 o'clock, and the morning bell rings at 6; but many are up at 4, and two-thirds at 5, for the sake of gaining more time for their preparation of lessons to which the first hour and a half of the ordinary working day is devoted. The application of every other hour of the day is truly described in the table already given, except where 'recreation' is mentioned

*Min. 1842-3, p. 207.

†Min. 1846, vol. ii. p. 298.

‡Page 319.

§Min. 1846, vol. ii. p. 349.

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(i.e. 12 to 2, and 5 to 6, including dinner and tea); for which private business or the preparation of lessons is in fact generally substituted."

There was great difficulty in obtaining suitable candidates for such a course as this, which could be beneficial only where considerable natural aptitude for the profession was combined with great zeal. Most of the pupils on their entrance were exceedingly ignorant. The reading of a few was good, and all read with fair fluency, though seldom with correctness or good expression. The writing of about half was good, of one-fourth inferior, and of the remaining one-fourth very deficient. The arithmetic of about one-fourth was good as far as vulgar fractions, about one-half could go as far as compound multiplication, whilst the remainder were ignorant even of these rules. Most of them, however, had a considerable knowledge of the Bible, derived principally from teaching at Sunday schools.

These two schools are specially important, because, though placed under different circumstances, and conducted on different systems, they each had to contend with the same difficulty. This difficulty was that of obtaining pupils who could by the end of their course be converted into useful teachers. If they were chosen, as was the case in the first instance at Battersea, at an early age, and subjected to a prolonged course of instruction, the promoters of the scheme had to provide for a large expense, and ultimately produced an unsatisfactory result, as the length of the scholastic training prevented the pupils from acquiring the practical experience which was essential to their usefulness as teachers. Their time had been devoted to the acquisition of knowledge, and not to its communication. The expense of the Battersea Training School when it was full, and there was great difficulty in filling it, was £55 per annum per pupil, of which £25 per head per annum fell upon the promoters of the undertaking,* and the remainder on the patrons of the pupils. On the other hand, the pupils who were educated there were found by experience to be but ill fitted for any of the more trying and conspicuous of the positions which they might be called upon to fill. Though not ill adapted to small rural schools, where they might be under the care and guidance of the clergyman, and where they would be

*Sir J. K. Shuttleworth and Mr. Tufnell expended upon this object "about £750 a year each." Q. 2336-8. Their total expenditure was upwards of £5,000, of which £1,000 was received from the patrons and friends of pupils; £1,500 was contributed by their own private friends, "with unsolicited confidence and generosity;" and £2,500 by themselves. Min. 1342-3, p. 278.

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exposed to few of the temptations of life, it was found that they were unequal to "the responsibilities of a large town or village school in a manufacturing or mining district."* They had not, and the training which they received could not give to them, sufficient knowledge of the world or strength of character to deal with difficulties, which could be successfully met only by masters of mature age and experience. Under the pressure of these considerations the managers of the Battersea school gradually adopted the principles of the school in the Borough Road, so far as to raise the age of students from 14 or 16 to 18 or 20 years.†

This change, however, was surrounded with difficulties no less formidable. In the first place, it was hard to meet with suitable persons, and when they were found their comparatively advanced age made it necessary that their stay should be short, and as they came to the school in a most uninstructed condition - hardly able to read and write, and "seldom skilful even in the first four rules of arithmetic,"‡ - it is obvious that their education for their profession would at best be most imperfect, and could not reasonably be expected to exercise much influence on their moral character; and, secondly, the expense was very large, and being incurred rather for general than for local purposes, was not readily supplied by local contributions.

The system of pupil-teachers and Queen's scholars was intended to meet these difficulties. The pupil-teachers produce a constant supply of candidates for the Queen's scholarships, whilst the scholarships themselves and the various grants made to training schools provide for the expense of training them. The general result has been to ensure to each college in respect of every moderately successful student an annual payment of £48.

There are in England and Wales 34 of these institutions, of which all but two (Lichfield and Homerton) are under Government inspection and receive Government assistance. They are vested in trustees, who hold them for the purpose of educating teachers, and are usually connected with central religious societies.

They resemble each other closely in their general nature and constitution. Their officers are for the most part the same, namely, a principal, who is generally a minister of religion of the denomination with which the college is connected; and a certain number of tutors, some of whom are lecturers in the receipt of grants of £100 a year from the Government. There are also

*Second Report on Battersea School, Min. 1842-3, p. 25-4.

†Page 258.

‡Page 260.

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certificated assistants, who are schoolmasters holding certificates of merit. "The services which they are intended to render consist in perfecting the students by examination, and by the careful revision of exercises in the matter of their oral instruction."*

Practising and model schools are elementary schools attached to the training colleges; in some cases, as at the National Society's Training College at Battersea, there are both. One at least usually is, and always ought to be, attached to each college. The object of the practising school is to give the students practice in teaching and in school discipline. The object of the model school is to afford them for their future guidance a pattern of what a school ought to be. The teacher of the practising or model school is an officer of the training college, and is called the "normal master." It is his special duty to give instruction to the students in the art of teaching.

The local and denominational distribution of the training colleges under inspection is as follows: There are 13 Church of England colleges for males. Of these, 3 are in or near London; the others are at Chester, Durham, Caernarvon, Caermarthen, Saltley near Birmingham, Culham . near Oxford, Peterborough, Chichester, Winchester, and Exeter. Of these, Battersea, St. Mark's, and Caermarthen are the property of the National Society. The Metropolitan is mainly supported by members of the Church of England Education Society, and the rest are connected with various Diocesan boards of education.

There is also a Roman Catholic training college for males at Hammersmith, and a British and Foreign or Non-Denominational college for males at Bangor.

There are 13 training colleges for females only. Of these, 11 are connected with the Church of England; two of which are in London, and the rest are at Durham, Warrington, Derby, Norwich, Bishops Stortford, Brighton, Salisbury, Bristol, and Truro respectively. All of them are connected with Diocesan boards, except the Home and Colonial Society's Institution in Gray's Inn Lane. The two remaining training colleges for females are Roman Catholic, and are situated, one at Liverpool, and the other at St. Leonards-on-Sea.

There are four training colleges for males and females jointly. The British and Foreign School Society's Institution in the Borough Road, which, in conformity with the principles of the society, is undenominational; a college at Cheltenham, and another

*Circ., Oct. 1851. Min. 1851-2, p. 27.

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at York, each connected with the Church of England; and a college in the Horseferry Road, Westminster, connected with the Wesleyan Committee of Education.

The total average number of students in these institutions was, in the year 1858, -

In colleges for males752
In colleges for females818
In colleges for males and females496

Of whom 1,676 were Queen's scholars. The largest was the Home and Colonial Society's Institution, which contained 172 students. Three other colleges had more than 100 students; one had 90; most of the others had between 30 and 70; and the smallest, the Peterborough college for males, had 15.

There were in 12 of the male training colleges 94 tutors and training masters. The highest number being 14 and the lowest 3.

The Government contributes largely to the maintenance of the training colleges. To the Church of England colleges for males inspected by the Rev. B. W. Cowie, in the year 1859, it contributed 76 per cent.* To the Church of England colleges for females, inspected by the Rev. F. C. Cook, it contributed in the same year 70.9 per cent.† At Cheltenham the contribution of Government is 94 per cent, at York 89, and at Durham 80.

The aggregate income of the training colleges, in 1858, was £94,734, of which the sum of £50,518, or 53.3 per cent, was supplied by the Government. In 1859 the proportion supplied by Government had increased to 64.1 per cent.

The total expense of building, enlarging, and improving 27 of the colleges was £334,981, of which £101,641 was derived from Government, and £233,339 from other sources.

Such is a general account of the existing training colleges. There is a considerable degree of resemblance in the courses of instruction which they give to their students. This arises from the fact that the Committee of Council prescribe the same subjects for the annual examination to which all the students in

*Report of Committee of Council on Education for 1859-60, pp. 288, 290.

†Report of Committee of Council on Education for 1859-60, pp. 355-384.

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all the colleges are subjected, as a condition of the grants earned by the colleges on their account. A syllabus of the subjects of examination was first printed in the Minutes for 1854-5,* having been prepared by Mr. Moseley, by the direction of the Committee of Council. It has subsequently undergone revision,† principally on account of the suggestions of Dr. Temple, who succeeded Mr. Moseley in the office of inspector of training colleges for males.

In order to explain the principles on which the syllabus was constructed, it is necessary to state the substance of Mr. Moseley's views as to the education of teachers. They are expressed in several successive reports between 1848 and 1855.‡ Their general character is as follows:

The course of instruction given in the training colleges ought to be entirely arranged with a view to the objects for which they are instituted, and for which the State supports them, that of forming good teachers for elementary schools. This is to be done directly by training the students in the art of teaching elementary subjects. It is to be done indirectly by enlarging, strengthening, and storing their minds, so as to enable them to teach with intelligence, force, readiness of application, and fulness of illustration. In the indirect as well as the direct training, the practical object of training good elementary teachers must be kept steadily in view. The public money is not voted in order to give a certain number of young persons a sort of academical education,

Mr. Moseley wished to attain both objects by one process, and he thought that this might be effected by teaching in the training colleges what may be called the philosophy of the subjects taught in the elementary schools: "Reading, arithmetic, English grammar, English history, and geography," he says, "as usually treated of in our elementary books, and taught in our schools, ... are mere statements of facts suggestive of few or no conclusions, and barren of interest;" but these subjects may be studied in such a way as to exercise the highest powers of the mind. A man, for example, who had a really sound and deep knowledge of English history, or of geography, would be able to select for the instruction of very ignorant children matter simple, interesting, and important, and his power of doing so would be increased by the depth and width of his knowledge,

*Min. 1854-5, p. 14-21.

†Min. 1856-7, p. 7-14.

‡See Min. 1848-50, vol i. p. 27 et seq,; Min. 1850-1, vol i. p. 39, seq. Min. 1854-5, p. 305, seq.

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because he would thus get a wider field for the selection of his materials, and a more intelligent view of the importance and connexion of different events.

Mr. Moseley also wished the students at training colleges to receive a sort of instruction which would enable them to teach in the elementary schools subjects which at present seldom find a place there. He thought that the labouring classes ought to be educated "by teaching them to reason about and understand things connected with their ordinary pursuits." He did not mean by this that they ought to be taught in school to conduct the common operations of domestic life. "There can," he said, "be little advantage in teaching children rules for the doing of common things, assumed to be better than those which of their own account they will hereafter follow, irrespective of the reasons of such rules. Better rules, unsupported by reasons, will be almost sure to be discarded by them, when they come to find them opposed to ancient practice and the general usage." He appears to have thought that the scientific principles which lie at the root of most of the common operations of life should be so instilled into their minds as to enable them to understand the reason of these operations, and to take pleasure in studying, criticising, and improving them as they grew older. As a step in this direction, he proposed that chemistry should be taught in the training colleges, believing that the elementary books connected with it could " be thoroughly mastered in elementary schools by boys from the age of 12 to 14, if taught by a master who himself understood the subject, in the same systematic and persevering way in which Latin is taught in schools of a higher class."

Thus the course of instruction by which Mr. Moseley wished to cultivate the minds of the students consisted in teaching them in a scientific manner "the subjects proper to elementary instruction," under which he appears to have included reading, arithmetic, English history, and geography, with the addition of chemistry or some other physical or applied science.

He pointed out, however, that these acquirements would not only be of little service, but would even impair the efficiency of the students as teachers, unless they were accompanied by proficiency in the art of teaching. In the absence of this skill, mere knowledge would only set up a barrier between the teacher and the pupil. "Every man," he observes, "must be conscious of a separation made between himself and a less educated man, a separation

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which enlarges at each step of his intellectual progress, and which is widened to its utmost limits when the relation is that of a child to its teacher, otherwise highly instructed, but who knows nothing likely to interest the child, or has been accustomed to study nothing in the light in which it may be made intelligible to it."

Such, as we collect from the reports of several years, appears to have been Mr. Moseley's theory, as to the course of instruction in training colleges; but in reducing it to practice many modifications were necessary. There were difficulties in procuring works which treated elementary subjects in a scientific manner. The art of teaching itself was little understood in England, and above all, the principals of the training colleges and their assistants, who for the most had been educated at Oxford or Cambridge, were commonly not prepared to teach with scientific precision, any subjects except classics and mathematics. It was thus impossible that Mr. Moseley's view should be carried out at once, or that anything more than a gradual approach to it should be made. To use his own language, "The training schools were compelled to use as a means of the student's education such subjects as there can be found teachers of. The result we seek to obtain must be placed in subordination to the means, and thus in one training school classical studies must continue to be employed, and in another mathematical, for forming the minds of schoolmasters who will never have to give instruction either in classics or mathematics, according as the officers of these institutions may happen to have been educated in the one or the other University or to prefer the one or the other department of study." With such objects, and on such principles, INIr. Moseley drew up the Government syllabus. Its object is to test the instruction given In a large number of different establishments, to each of which the observations just quoted apply with more or less force. It therefore allows considerable latitude In the subject of study to be selected for the students, but in every training college which regulates its course of instruction by the syllabus, the main features of Mr. Moseley's plan must be preserved, for the subjects are divided into two classes, one intended to form the minds of the students, the other Intended to give practical skill In the discharge of their duties as teachers. It Is of course difficult, and In many Instances Impossible, to make these two divisions of the course fit into each other in the manner proposed by Mr. Moseley; and thus there must always be a risk of increasing the separation between the educated teacher and the

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ignorant child, unless pains are taken to prevent the more technical of the two branches of study from being neglected in favour of the other.

The syllabus, however, is so arranged as to furnish precautions against this. It provides for a two years' course; it formerly provided for a course of three years; but the third year was omitted on Dr. Temple's recommendation, as it was found that the students of the third year were not the most vigorous, but the feeblest of the members. It had been hoped that they might be persons "in advance of the rest in enterprise of character and in attainments," and "fitted for some special and important work of the teacher."*

The subjects relied upon for the general cultivation of the students' minds are, in the first year, the first four books of Euclid, algebra, as far as quadratic equations, or, instead, that part of the Latin grammar which relates to accidence, concords, genders of nouns, perfect tenses and supines of verbs.

In the second year a choice is given between five subjects, in any one, but in no more than one, of which students may be examined. These subjects are, first, Physical Science, which includes the general properties of matter, inorganic chemistry, with the rudiments of heat, light, electricity, and galvanism, and the explanation of the construction and use of common instruments, such as an airpump, a thermometer, a barometer, a microscope (simple and compound), a telescope, an electrical machine, and a galvanic battery. Secondly, Mechanics, including the mechanical powers, and the most common modes of applying them; the accelerated motion of gravity, pendulums, and accelerated force; and questions on simple mechanism occurring in machines which are in common use for domestic, agricultural, or manufacturing purposes. Thirdly, Mathematics, including the sixth book of Euclid, with problems in the first four books; the subjects which follow quadratic equations in Lund's edition of Wood's algebra; trigonometry; solution of triangles, use of the tables, use of levelling and surveying instruments; practical problems of trigonometry and surveying. Fourthly, English Literature, which includes the history of English literature from Chaucer to Milton, with the addition of certain specified books, passages from which have to be paraphrased and analysed, whilst questions are set upon the style and subject-matter. It is recommended that the books specified should be read through with

*See Min. 1854-5, p. 15; and Min. 1857-8, p. 120.

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the students in short portions, as exercises in language, in illustration of the grammar used in the training school, just as the Greek and Latin classics are read in superior public schools. Fifthly, Latin, which includes as much of Yonge's Eton grammar, as was not included in the first-year subjects, and the translation of passages from a specified prose and poetical Latin author, with simple grammatical questions founded on them.

It must be remembered that of these five subjects one only is to be taken up by each student, and that the students come to the examination from 18 different colleges, which are independent institutions, and in which courses of study prevail, differing, within the limits prescribed by the syllabus, to some extent. If, therefore, any sort of instruction calculated to cultivate the minds of the students, and (in Dr. Temple's words) to "give them an idea of what is meant by hard work of the brain," is to be admitted into the course, it seems that the existing syllabus does not contain too large a proportion of such subjects. The number of alternative subjects between which a choice is offered in the second year does not really extend the range of study of individual students. It is intended to meet the cases of different training colleges, and to give the authorities of those institutions an opportunity of directing the students to the subjects which they may consider most likely to fit them for their future career, or in which they may be best able to instruct them.

Reference to the scale of marks will show that care is taken to prevent these subjects from obtaining undue importance in the minds of the students, to the neglect of other subjects more directly connected with school management.

The minimum number of marks required to obtain a place in the class list is as follows:

First YearSecond Year
Third Class300350
Second Class450500
First Class600650

Of these, 75 may be obtained by "excellence"* in Euclid, and 62 by "excellence" in algebra or Latin, or 137 in all, which is less

*The marks are either for "excellent," "good," "fair," "moderate," or "imperfect," with proportionate numerical values.

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than half the number required for a place in the third class. "Excellence" in the second-year subject which may be selected will only obtain 75 marks, or somewhat more than one-fifth of the number required for a place in the third class; on the other hand a first-class certificate may be obtained by a candidate, who being perfect in the elementary subjects, takes up none of the higher ones in the second year. Besides this, in order to secure a really vigorous study of the subject which may be selected, it is provided that no marks at all will be allowed for papers which fall below the standard of "fair."

We think that, regard being had to these considerations, it would be unjust to say that this part of the syllabus is too ambitious, or that it prescribes subjects unfit for the purpose of training teachers for elementary schools.

The subjects intended to increase directly the professional skill of the students are those which form the subject-matter of instruction in elementary schools, and differ only in the degree of completeness with which they are taught from the subjects which the students have already studied during their apprenticeship as pupil-teachers. The first of these subjects is religious knowledge, which comprises in the first year the history, chronology, and geography of the Bible, with the text of some one gospel; the text of the Catechism, and of the Morning and Evening Services and Litany, and the scriptural authorities on which they rest. In the second year the Acts of the Apostles and one of the epistles are added. In Church history, the outlines of the history of the Reformation, and of general church history in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are learnt in the first, and the history of the Book of Common Prayer in the second year. The examination in these subjects is confined to training colleges connected with the Church of England, and 100 marks are assigned to them. In other colleges the students are credited, without examination, with a number of marks on account of religious knowledge, proportional to those which they obtain in other subjects. That is to say, their religious knowledge is arbitrarily assumed to equal their secular knowledge.

The second subject is reading. The students are required at the examination to read aloud, "with a distinct utterance, with due attention to the punctuation, and with a just expression," a passage from Warren's Select Extracts from Blackstone's Commentaries," Sir J. Herschel's "Discourse on Natural Philosophy," or the "Spectator." The authorities of the training colleges are advised, in a note to the prospectus, to cause the text-books to

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be read through in short portions, like the classics at public schools, and to question the students in the same manner upon the portions so read. The students are also examined in the principles of grammar, and are expected to parse and to paraphrase passages from the books used for reading. In the second year they are required to paraphrase and to analyze a passage from works named beforehand (in 1860 the first book of "Paradise Lost," and Shakespere's play of "Julius Cæsar,") and to answer questions as to their style and subject-matter. Each student is confined to one of the two.

In penmanship the students are required in each year to write specimens of the text hand and small hand used in setting copies.

In arithmetic they are called upon in the first year to prove the usual rules from first principles, to compute, and to make (with a knowledge of the principles) simple calculations in mensuration. In the second year they are examined in the use of logarithms, compound interest, and annuities, and methods of teaching arithmetic.

In geography they are required, in the first year, to describe and draw the map of the four quarters of the globe, and the map of each country in Europe, and to answer general questions on the physical, political, and commercial geography of one quarter of the globe. In the second year they are examined in the physical, political, and commercial geography of the British empire, and in elementary propositions in geography which depend upon astronomy for explanation.

In history, the first-year subject is the outlines of English history. In the second year a paper is set, composed of five sections, each of which contains at least five questions. The sections relate to periods ending with (1) the battle of Hastings, (2) the battle of Bosworth, (3) the death of Charles I., (4) the death of Queen Anne, (5) 1815. Each student is confined to some one section, and the paper is so set as to be ca})able of being answered out of any one of the standard histories of England.

In each year there is an examination in drawing, and also in vocal music, for such students as have given proofs of their proficiency in those arts.

Besides these subjects there is in each year an examination in school management. In the first year the students are required to answer in writing questions as to the expedients to be used for the purposes of instruction in elementary subjects, and to draw up time-tables for use in schools in given circumstances. In the second year the student has to teach a class in the presence of the

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inspector, and to answer questions in writing on the methods of organizing an elementary school, the mode of keeping school registers, and on moral discipline.

The following is the scale of marks allotted to proficiency in the various subjects:

[click on the image for a larger version]

The syllabus for the female colleges resembles the syllabus for the male colleges, but its subjects are fewer and easier. None of the subjects noticed under the first head as being intended for the general refinement of the students' minds are contained in it. It is composed exclusively of subjects taught in elementary schools, and the second-year papers differ from those of the first year only in difficulty. The subjects are religious knowledge, writing, English language, grammar, and literature, including the classification and inflection of words, the analysis of simple sentences, syntactical parsing, and paraphrases, the examples being taken in the first year from the 5th book of Cowper's "Task," or from Goldsmith's "Traveller" and "Deserted Village," and in the second year from the 1st book of "Paradise Lost," or the 1st book of the "Excursion." Repetition of passages from these books is also required. There is an examination in school management similar to that which takes place in the male training colleges, and a similar but less extensive examination in English history, geography, and arithmetic. Drawing and music stand upon the same footing as in the male colleges. One subject is peculiar to the female training colleges - domestic economy. The same paper is set for both years, but answers to questions on the first four subjects only are required from the students of the first

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year. The subjects are clothing, food, cooking, laundry, the duties of servants, household expenses of a labouring man and his family, savings banks, the nature of interest, and practical rules, personal and domestic, for the preservation of health. Exercises in sewing and cutting out are also required in each year.

The examination held in accordance with this syllabus is only one element towards determining the rate of the certificate given by the Committee of Council. The certificate is not finally issued till the teacher has been in charge of an elementary school for two full years, and its rank is then fixed with reference to the practical skill shown by the teacher in that situation. It is to be observed, however, that the examination alone fixes the maximum grade of the certificate. No amount of skill can raise the certificate at once above the grade obtained in the examination, though the want of it may reduce it to any extent.

The training colleges give instruction calculated directly to increase the practical skill of the students in school management, by means of lectures on the art of teaching, by practising schools, and model schools. Practising and model schools are elementary schools attached to the training college, the latter always under the care of a certificated teacher, called the "normal master," who Is one of the officers of the training college, and who usually gives lectures to the students on the art of teaching. Dr. Temple's experience led him to think that they were usually too ambitious; that the lecturers were too much in the habit of attempting to deduce practical rules for teaching from metaphysical theories about the nature of knowledge and the constitution of the mind. He considered the principal Immediate value of the lectures to be, that they led the students to think about their future duties; but he added that he "was repeatedly told by schoolmasters, that they had never fully understood the normal lectures till they began to work in schools of their own, and that their old notes had then become of the greatest value in guiding all their labours."*

The practising schools are elementary schools in which the students teach; each of them is required to pass a certain part of his time In giving lessons. The model schools are schools which are supposed to be models of what an elementary school should be. To some of the training colleges both practising and model schools are attached, but in most cases one school has to serve both purposes. Dr. Temple justly observes that practising schools can hardly ever be good model schools, on account

*Min. 1856-7, pp. 695, 702-3, &c.

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of the constant change of teachers, which greatly interferes with the progress of the pupils, and also because they labour under precisely the opposite difficulty to that which usually affects elementary schools. In most cases there are too few teachers. In practising schools there are too many; and thus the students have no opportunity of learning the expedients of which they will stand in need in their future occupation.

The following extract from one of Dr. Temple's Reports describes very clearly the nature and uses of these establishments:*

The need of supervision over the students in the practising school, or of a careful arrangement of their duties there, was once not so great as it is now. When the students were gathered somewhat at haphazard, from sources of every kind, the chief use of the practising school was simply to accustom them to stand before a class of children, and to overcome by familiarity the bewilderment which seized their faculties at so novel a position. They needed to learn, not how to teach well, but how to teach at all. ...

But the introduction of the Queen's scholars has made a great change. The students are now almost universally youths who have been engaged in teaching for five years or more; they are perfectly familiar with the ordinary management of a class; mere practice is of no further use to them. On the contrary, if they have formed any bad habits before coming to the training college, these habits are liable to be confirmed, and if not, they are at any rate not likely to gain much by persevering blindly in what they have already mastered. Xor is this the worst; the students who are thus kept at what takes the form of a mechanical drill, begin to feel that their work in the practising school is not for their own sake, but for that of the school. They are not conscious in themselves of any improvement; they are not stimulated by the remarks of the normal master to aim at better methods; they fancy that all the time that they lose from their reading and lectures diminishes their chance of a good place in the class list; and hence this, not the least important part of their study, is almost invariably disliked. Being disliked, it is made a matter of routine, to which the student gives neither his thought nor his care, for which he makes little preparation beforehand, and on which he reflects very little afterwards. ...

The practising school ought to be so organized as to leave the normal master free to employ each student that comes there as may be best for his individual case. One student may safely be put to take a class, and will need no more than an occasional glance. It may be best for another not to teach at all, but to watch and take notes of what is done by a better teacher than himself. A third may require very frequent and careful supervision. The adaptation of each man's work to what will most improve himself, careful supervision of his method and criticisms on it, occasional examples set before him for study and imitation, these are necessary to make a student's practice tell upon his skill; and these require, besides great care and pains on the part of the

*Min. 1853, vol. i., p. 448-9.

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normal master, an organization which enables that officer to deal with the students quite independently of the practising school.
It appears to follow that practising schools are open to two serious objections. Any bad habits which the students may have formed in the course of their apprenticeship are likely to be confirmed, and the interests of the children are almost inevitably sacrificed to the instruction of the students. Model schools, on the other hand, must always be useful in proportion to their efficiency and the goodness of their arrangements.

It is important that where there are practising schools they should be attached to the training college. In some cases the students are sent to practise teaching at a neighbouring elementary school which has no connexion with the training college. Where this is the case, the teaching at the elementary school suffers, and, as its principal teacher is independent of the training college, there is no security for the proper instruction of the students.

In addition to these, which are the ordinary means of instructing the students in the art of teaching, there are in many of the colleges what are called "practising or criticism lessons," in which the students have to give lessons to a class of children in the presence of the normal master and the other students. After the lesson has lasted 20 minutes the children are withdrawn, and the normal master criticises the lesson before all the students, and points out in detail its observance or neglect of the rules of good teaching. "This exercise," says Dr. Temple, "when well managed, "is one of the most effectual that can be devised."

In training colleges for females the practical instruction in the art of teaching is similar to that which is given in training schools for males, though with some differences. Mr. Cook, the inspector of Church of England female training colleges, describes it as follows:

The quantity of time which ought to be employed in learning the art and practice of teaching will be better estimated by reference to the system now adopted with more or less completeness in all the female training colleges.

1. Each student is made to observe an entire course of lessons in every elementary subject. She takes notes of all that she observes. She has to state how far the method of teaching agrees with that which she has learned as pupil-teacher, or in what respects it may differ from it. The reason why any special method is adopted is carefully explained by the lecturer or professor charged with the superintendence of the practising schools. This course occupies a considerable time; not less than three months, and, indeed, ordinarily six months, when it is thoroughly done. The entire value of the course depends upon the care, the thoughtful earnestness of the student and her instructor. If her mind has another object, little or no impression is made. I doubt

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very much whether such an allotment of time is seriously attempted in colleges where they have made up their minds to train one year students.

2. Every student having thus learned the system to be pursued conducts a series of classes through an entire course of instruction in each elementary subject. Where the teacher of method does the work efficiently, it implies all the following processes: The student must give in a written account of what she intends to do each day; she must previously be well informed as to the circumstances of the class, the age, character, and attainments of the children; while she gives the lessons she must be watched constantly by a junior student occupied in taking notes, and she ought to be, and generally is, superintended at intervals by the teacher of method. After the lesson she must be criticised, her mistakes must be corrected, and she must be made to feel exactly in what respects she has satisfied or fallen short of the requirements of the institution. All this requires much time, much patience; and it certainly will not be done unless all parties concerned are equally convinced of the practical and paramount importance of professional training.*

In his viva voce evidence Mr. Cook gave the following answer upon this subject:
1005. (Mr. G. Smith.) Do you think that the training in the art of teaching bears a due proportion to the general training? - That is the point which I have considered the chief point of the inspection; it is certainly the very first thing aimed at, and to which the greatest attention is directed, and in that I think the results have been most successful in the good training institutions. In every one of my reports I report specially upon that point, and there is no doubt whatever that there is not any one subject of instruction which they are not practically exercised in. The principles are very clearly explained to them; a portion of their time is spent in the schools and in carrying out what they learn. I think that due attention is certainly paid to this point. The system varies very much in different training institutions, and in its results; but I should say that in none of them is it neglected.
Such is the general nature of the course of instruction both in reference to the Government examination and in reference to practical skill in teaching given in the training colleges.

But we feel bound to state that the omission of one subject from the syllabus and from the examination papers has left on our minds a painful impression. Next to religion, the knowledge most important to a labouring man is that of the causes which regulate the amount of his wages, the hours of his work, the regularity of his employment, and the prices of what he consumes. The want of such knowledge leads him constantly into error and violence destructive to himself and to his family, oppressive to his fellow workmen, ruinous to his employers, and mischievous to society. Of the elements of such knowledge we see no traces in the syllabus.

*Min. 1857-8, p. 744.

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except the words "savings banks and the nature of interest" in the female syllabus. If some of the time now devoted to the geography of Palestine, the succession of the Kings of Israel, the wars of the Roses, or the heresies in the early Church, were given to political economy, much valuable instruction might be acquired, and little that is worth having would be lost.

In the preceding pages reference has been made more frequently to training colleges connected with the Church of England than to those of other denominations, because they are the only class which is sufficiently numerous to occupy the whole time of any one inspector, and to include a number of different specimens sufficient to enable him to form general conclusions. It was, moreover, from the experience acquired in inspecting them that Mr. Moseley deduced the principles on which the present course of examination was framed. The inspection of the other training colleges forms part of the duty of the inspectors connected with the denominations to which they belong; their reports for the most part consist of accounts of the state of the individual institutions, and of the proficiency which the students have from time to time exhibited in particular subjects. There are, however, some differences of principle in the manner in which these establishments are conducted, which it may be desirable to notice. With reference to the British and Foreign School Society's Institution, Mr. Bowstead observes:*

This institution is in a peculiar position. It is the only normal school engaged in preparing teachers expressly for schools conducted on the principles of the British and Foreign School Society, and therefore it incurs a species of obligation to train them for every kind of work likely to be required of them. Among diocesan training schools, which are numerous and well-conducted generally upon one system, there may well be a division of labour; and, whilst one trains teachers for boys' schools alone, another may employ its machinery exclusively for girls, a third for infants. But if the Borough Road Normal School omit any department of the teacher's work, there is no other establishment ready to supply the deficiency in a manner exactly suited to the requirements of the case, and the cause of combined education must be the loser.
In the Wesleyan Training college the religious character of the students is made a subject of special attention. Mr. Arnold says:†
I have a few remarks relating to the training of the students in this institution to make in conclusion. ... The secular instruction here is no doubt well and adequately given, and those who conduct the
*Min. 1856-7, p. 697.

†Min. 1854-5, vol. i., p. 563.

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institution are anxious to perfect their students in it, and are of opinion that the attention which is paid to religious teaching will not affect their success in doing so. ... But the whole spirit of the proceeding in this institution, the language held by its promoters, the subjects constantly preferred by the students on which to give their lessons, the tenor of these lessons themselves, the very arrangement and organization of the practising schools, remind the observer that this is not the sole, nor even the chief thing aimed at. The Wesleyan Education Committee, and the Connexion on behalf of which they act, put it forth as their first principle, "that the week-day schools should secure the means of religious as well as secular instruction in such a manner as to make the latter strictly subordinate to the former;" and again, "religious teaching is the leading and paramount object in the system of week-day schools, which it is the business of the committee to promote. And therefore, as religious character is the primary consideration in the selection of the students, it is also the main end regarded in their discipline and training." The daily attendance at morning and evening worship required of every student, their weekly conversations with the principal on religious subjects, their meetings for prayer among themselves, the supplementary examination paper on Scripture doctrines and Scripture history set by the Wesleyan Committee to all candidates examined at their institution for Government certificates, are all of them so many endeavours towards securing this end. For this end too, the committee placed the institution where it is, rather than in a less miserable and necessitous neighbourhood, because, to use the principal's own words, "they did not wish their students to be spoilt in training, and by a lengthened residence away from the dwellings of the poor, and amongst the attractions of superior life, disinclined and rendered unfit to take the arduous and self-denying duties of school teachers. They hoped that, surrounded as the students are at Westminster, by the families of the poor, their want of education, with its attendant degradation and misery, would excite their best feelings. A moral end then, a moral effect to be produced upon the students, was in view, even in planting the institution where it now stands."

It is right to remember these things when one notices perhaps points in the proceedings of the training college, or of the practising schools, which seem unfavourable to the perfection of secular instruction; when a spectator attending exclusively to this, remarks that the lessons on religious subjects, or which are made to take a religious turn, are too frequent, that the method of the teacher is too often one of exhortation and lecture, rather than one of searching question and answer; it is right to remember that much of this is done with special aims in view to produce a special result, both in the teachers and in the children; that it was because they had these special aims that the Wesleyan Connexion, like the Church of England, for the most part withheld their assent from the principle of British schools.

The Roman Catholic training colleges have also methods peculiar to themselves for forming the character of the students, especially training of the female students, of whom a large proportion become members of religious communities.* These methods are of a spiritual

*Evidence, Answer 1368.

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nature, and are rather alluded to than described by Mr. Marshall, the Inspector of Roman Catholic Schools.*

Such is the course of instruction given in the training colleges considered in reference to its two principal objects; preparation for the annual Government examination, and the acquisition of practical skill in teaching.

An opinion appears to prevail that the principles upon which the course of teaching in the training colleges is framed are unsound. This is based upon a general impression, which appears to us to be founded on fact, that the teachers do not in fact teach as well as they should. Other causes account for this to a great extent, but the course of instruction given in the training colleges must have something to do with it.

The objections taken to the course of instruction are that the standard which the Government system sets up is higher than is requisite for the teachers of elementary schools; that the education which the students receive tends to make them conceited and showy, and that the instruction given has a tendency to degenerate into mere exercises of verbal memory. These objections are often summed up in the assertion that the students are instructed, not in the art of teaching, but in matters which, whether important or not, are not essential to it.

We have already affirmed the principle that the success of the training colleges ought to be estimated exclusively by the degree in which they succeed in producing schoolmasters and mistresses skilled in their proper calling; but in order to estimate fairly their success in this, it is important to ascertain what is meant by the art of teaching.

It contains two distinct branches; the one entirely technical and matter of practical arrangement and detail, the other more important, and less definite. The first branch of the art of teaching consists of everything that refers to the organization of a school, such as the arrangement of benches, the size of classes, the construction of time-tables, by which different lessons are appointed to follow each other in such an order as to economize the time of the scholars and the trouble of the teacher, the keeping of registers, and other matters of the same kind, which are important to the practical efficiency of a school. Instruction in them is rather a matter of routine than a study which can produce much mental effect.

The second branch of the art of teaching has reference to the

*Min. 1856-7, pp. 793, 794.

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manner In which the teacher imparts knowledge to the pupils. It consists in skill in simplifying the matter of instruction, so as to adapt it to the minds of the children, in placing it before their minds when so simplified, and in fixing their attention upon it, j^P^^'t'^g ^ I > knowledge. and in ascertaining that they have actually mastered it.

Of these two branches of the art of teaching both are necessary, but each is not equally capable of being taught. The first, of course, may be taught like any other definite process, such, for example, as military drill, or the mode of working sums according to definite rules, but it is a process which, however necessary to a teacher, can be learnt at an elementary school as well as at a training college. If this were the principal thing required of teachers of elementary schools, it would be a waste of time and money to support training colleges, and to maintain students in them, for the sake of learning it. Under the present system as much instruction is given on this subject as is required, by persons who are already familiar, from five years' experience as pupil-teachers, with the details of school management. And after this instruction has been received sufficient time remains for other studies.

The objection under consideration must, then, refer to the second branch of the "art of teaching," that, namely, which consists of skill in bringing children to attend to and to understand the instruction afforded to them. This is not, like the first, a matter of definite rule. No precise instructions can be given as to the manner in which it is to be accomplished; skill in it is derived partly from practice, partly from natural taste and fitness for that occupation, together with sympathy for children, but these being equal, it depends upon general intelligence and refinement of mind. The principal difficulty in teaching children is to put before them what they are required to learn in a clear, simple, and lively manner. Simplicity, clearness, and liveliness depend partly upon fulness, but to a greater extent upon general cultivation of mind, A person who has been accustomed through life to refined and intelligent society will express himself with greater simplicity and liveliness than another possessed of equal natural abilities and equal acquired information who has had fewer social advantages. It is matter of constant observation that when persons of superior social station take part in elementary education they have a great advantage overall other teachers, if they are possessed of sense and judgment. The importance of the influence of clergymen and their wives in parish schools is well known. Ladies are admirable teachers for evening schools, and Mr. Marshall, the inspector of Roman Catholic schools, speaks in terms of enthusiastic praise, coloured,

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perhaps, by a pardonable exaggeration, but obviously called out by a real object, of the advantages which schools of this denomination derive from the female teachers, who are of higher social rank than common schoolmistresses, and who enter upon their duties from religious and charitable motives.

The faults which are usually, though somewhat vaguely, ascribed to certificated teachers, and which are supposed to arise from too high a training, are, in fact, to be ascribed to the opposite cause. They arise, not from over refinement, but from vulgarity. The use of ambitious language, vain display of knowledge, the overlooking what is essential and elementary, a failure to see what it really is which perplexes a child, are the faults which an educated person avoids, and into which an uneducated person falls. In so far as the trained teachers are justly chargeable with these defects, it is because their training is defective, not because it is excessive. They are not the faults of persons who have enjoyed greater social advantages. So far as they are connected with training, they are to be attributed to its insufficiency. So far as it goes, training is useful. Trained teachers may be vain or conceited, but the absence of training shows itself in confusion, obscurity, and an unintelligent adherence to rules of which the principles are unknown. The effect of discontinuing the efforts made by the training colleges to raise the general mental level of the students, and to excite the higher powers of their minds, would not be to make them simpler and more practical, but to leave them in the state of helplessness and conceit which is natural to a person who has learned routine and nothing else, and never been taught to appreciate the existence of a higher standard than his own. If It were possible to take the students from a different class of life, or to submit them to a longer course of instruction, embracing fewer subjects, but acquainting them more deeply with those selected, they would probably acquire greater clearness of mind, and liveliness of expression, and would so be better fitted for teaching. This is Dr. Temple's opinion. "I think,"* he says, "that it would be far better if you could get schoolmasters with less knowledge and more education, which is what is commonly meant by people who ask for what they call a lower standard, but it really is a much higher standard." To obtain this higher standard by the means thus indicated is, for the present, out of the question. The expense would be too great, even if the persons were to be found, but the

*Evidence, 2955.

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training given in the training colleges is a step in the direction desired.

The defects of the trained teachers in so far as they can fairly be connected with the course of instruction at the training colleges, appear to result not from the fact that the syllabus contains a certain proportion of difficult subjects, but from the mode in which, under the pressure of the syllabus, all the subjects are taught, and from the amount of detailed information relating to elementary subjects which the students are expected to acquire. The preparation of the syllabus must always form part of the duty of the Central Office, which will naturally have regard in the discharge of that duty to the experience, to the wishes, and to the resources of the authorities of the training colleges. We do not therefore feel ourselves called upon to recommend a new syllabus, but we think it desirable to express our opinion as to some of the principles upon which the syllabus should be framed, and with reference to which, modifications of it should from time to time be made.

The duty which the trained teachers have to perform in the actual exercise of their calling, consists in preparing the children of the poor for their future life by appropriate religious and moral instruction and discipline, by teaching them to write, to read their own language with interest, and with an intelligent perception of its meaning, and to perform common arithmetical operations. It is only exceptionally that some of them will have to give, in other branches of knowledge, such instruction as the more advanced age of their pupils and the regularity of their attendance may fit them to receive.

We agree in Mr. Moseley's opinion, that even when the Instruction to be given is elementary, considerable cultivation on the part of the teacher is required. We also agree in his opinion, that this makes it desirable that subjects calculated to rouse the intelligence of the students should be introduced into the course of study at the Training Colleges; and we think that the plan of appointing alternative subjects so as to suit the convenience of different institutions and the aptitudes of different students, is a good one; and we approve of the rule which confines each student to one subject. So far we approve of the existing syllabus; but we think that the subject chosen for the purpose of developing the mental powers of the students, whatever that subject may be, can hardly be studied with profit, unless it is studied continuously and progressively throughout the whole of the two years of which the course consists. It appears, that in Church of England training colleges, physical

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science or mathematics is usually selected from the five alternative subjects in the second year. It may be doubted whether much mental benefit is likely to be derived from either of these studies, unless time is given to them enough to enable the student to obtain a thorough knowledge of some of their more important principles; and considering the great number of other subjects embraced in the course, we think it unlikely that this should be done in that part of the second year which is not occupied by other matters.

We also think that the present list of alternative subjects omits some which are so important that the question whether they should not be made compulsory in all cases, at the expense of sacrificing some of what we have described as the elementary subjects, well deserves the attentive consideration of the framers of the syllabus. These are the principles of physiology in so far as they are necessary to explain the rules which affect the preservation of health, and, as we have already remarked, the principles which regulate employment, wages, and expenditure. Some knowledge of these subjects is already required of female candidates for certificates. They are examined in the first year upon domestic economy, under which head questions are asked as to clothing, food, cooking, and washing; and in the second year, upon the duties of servants, the domestic expenses of labouring men and their families, savings banks, the nature of interest, and practical rules, personal and domestic, for the preservation of health.

There seems to be no reason why the male students also should not be instructed in similar subjects; not only are they of the greatest practical importance, but they are calculated to exercise the mental faculties; and their results may be thrown into shapes readily intelligible to children, and illustrated by practical applications deeply interesting to them.

The manner in which the teaching of elementary subjects, religious knowledge, English history, and geography is conducted is, however, open to grave objection. These subjects, or some of them, are probably indispensable, but the teaching of all of them is liable to degenerate into a mere exercise of verbal memory, and there is strong evidence to show that in point of fact it does so, and that this is attended with bad results on the minds of the students. The evidence of Mr. Robinson, the Principal of the York Training College, upon this head is important. Being asked whether the instruction given in training colleges is well adapted to its object, he answers:*

*Report, p. 404.

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I must answer this at some length. In the first place then I admit that there is much that is valuable in the existing course of study, and in the methods of training pursued. But the system is characterised by some important faults and deficiencies.

(1.) Let us look at the programme of subjects required to be known by the students. Their character and their number at once indicate that the present course pursued in training schools tends to impart information rather than to develop the faculties and to discipline the mind. Vast demands are made on the memory, little is done for the improvement of the judgment or reasoning powers. The principle in short, which the course of study virtually recognises is, to pour into the students' minds a large supply of knowledge which they in turn may discharge into the minds of their scholars, rather than to give them that disciplined intellect which enables a man to obtain for himself and apply information as he wants it. To use a very significant and very intelligible expression the great feature of the course of study pursued in training colleges is cram. In such subjects as Old Testament history, Church history, outlines of English history, there is necessarily an immense preponderance of names, dates, and facts, which have to be remembered but not digested.

Now what is the effect of this system? I can vouch for two consequences which may fairly be charged upon it.

(a) The students work hard, but a great deal of their work is routine and mechanical. They can in an examination reproduce what they have learnt, but if thrown upon their own mental resources, and required to apply their knowledge, to make new combinations, or to draw inferences, immediately they are at a loss. On the whole they leave the institution with full but comparatively languid and unbraced minds.

(b) Another consequence of the system of study is that in very few cases is a taste for reading formed among trained pupils. It will not, I suspect, be found that schoolmasters are a very studious or a very literary body. They themselves say that the weary round of text-books, note-books, technical manuals, &c., which forms the main part of their intellectual nutriment at college has the effect of destroying their appetite for study.

The prevailing system of instruction has been defended by some on the following grounds:

(a) First it is urged that as the future business of the students will be to teach many of the subjects referred to, so the business of the training college authorities must be to provide that the students shall themselves be well acquainted with them.

But then I would urge in reply that the students will never be required to teach much of what they are compelled to learn. For example, what village school is it likely that lessons will ever be given on the history of the Christian Church during the 15th century? To what generation of labourers' children will it ever be expedient to discourse on the Schism of the Papacy, the Council of Basle, the Pragmatic Sanction, or the Wars of the Hussites?

Again, a mere knowledge of facts is so uncertain and evanescent a possession that it does not follow because a student knows the names of all the Kings of Israel and Judah, and the dates of all the Minor Prophets when he leaves the training college, that he will know them six months afterwards,

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Yet once more. I believe that the system we are considering operates unfavourably on the teaching in elementary schools. It causes that teaching to be too much a retailing of facts and names. The master has been crammed himself, and so he crams his pupils.
The character of the examination papers issued to the students to some extent confirms this evidence.

We have examined a set of these papers issued for females in 1857, and we are not surprised that they should appear liable to the charge of too great difficulty, when looked at by persons not practically familiar with the ordinary teaching in good elementary schools, and not aware of all the circumstances under which the young women are called on to answer them. Such persons are apt to try them by the test, whether they themselves, unprepared, could answer them. We believe that in practice this objection of too great difficulty is not found to exist. There are on an average four sections in these papers, each of which contains, at least, three questions; the candidates are allowed to answer only one in each section, and three hours are allowed for the paper. The candidates have been previously trained to answer similar questions, and prepared in the subject matters, out of which they arise; so that it seldom happens that any one is unable to select some of them, as to which she has the necessary amount of information. Upon the question of difficulty, we should certainly be slow to intimate any opinion which might interfere with the discretion of those who have far better means than we have of estimating the presumable capacity and acquirements of the candidates; especially remembering that these are questions put to those who are passing into the office of teachers, and who ought to possess more and more varied knowledge than they will be called on actually to impart to their pupils; and that it is desirable to give to students who have studied the subjects placed before them with minute care, an opportunity of showing that they have done so.

But although we do not acquiesce in the justice of this charge, we cannot conceal our opinion, judging from the specimen above alluded to, that in the character of the questions in every section there is too much of minuteness; too much which appeals to mere verbal recollection, and too little attention to the real importance of the subject matters inquired into. We think that in the questions, whether on Holy Scripture and matters connected directly with religion, or on history, geography, or grammar, it should always be borne in mind that they are addressed to persons who are to be appointed to no higher office than that of teachers of children of the poorer classes.

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Mere "cram" is not only useless in itself, but injurious in its effect upon the mind. It overloads and weakens the memory, which in adults ceases to be mechanical, and can be strengthened only by imparting habits of method and arrangement. But, what is much worse, it destroys the intellectual appetite, and makes knowledge an object of disgust.

In regard to music and the teaching of singing in the training colleges we have received a communication from Dr. Wesley, the organist, of Winchester, which we think important. He is of opinion that much advantage would arise from a different mode of examining the pupils being adopted, instead of that at present practised:

The course, he says, now pursued is to require written answers to a series of questions on the theory of music, and the consequence is, in many instances at least, that in order to succeed at the examinations, the pupils are obliged to slight and neglect the far more useful attainment of practical performance.

So little has thorough bass and the theory of composition to do with practical performance, either vocal or instrumental, that it is well known most of the great performers and singers do not study theory at all, know nothing about it, and are never called upon to practise it in any way.

Now, considering what are the real objects of the Council with respect to music, it seems obvious that the ready mode of directing the course of both pupils and masters aright is to institute a personal hearing of all pupils, as then their first object will be to attain that proficiency which it was the desire of the Council to promote. Of course, in thus alluding to the theory of composition and thorough bass, I do not mean that pupils should slug without understanding the rudiments or principles of notation. These they should understand thoroughly. They are sufficiently taught in the various musical works made use of by vocal students.

It has been observed that such objections to the mode of examination now practised seem obviated by requiring all students, before they are allowed to take the examination papers, to produce a certificate from their master, or the principal, of their ability to sing or play on a musical instrument.

To this it may be objected, that a principal or master, by preventing the pupils taking the examination papers, in fact, gives evidence in his own disfavour. He is showing that his pupils are unfitted for their duties, and that they have made no proper progress. To "sing or play on a musical instrument," is so vague an expression that it may admit pupils of only the least amount of ability, and these may, perhaps, acquire a high position at the examination, from their having devoted their time to thorough bass and theory.

Having thus stated the nature of the instruction given to the pupils in the training colleges, we proceed to describe its results.

In order to estimate fairly these results, it is important to point out what it is reasonable to expect. It is reasonable to expect that the teaching shall have a tendency to enlarge the minds of the pupils, and to give them practical skill in their calling; but it

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is unreasonable to expect that it will actually produce that effect in all cases, or that it will not fail to produce it in many. It is still more unreasonable to expect that every, or even any, trained teacher will be fitted to stand in a sort of parental relation to some 50 or 60 children, so that their attendance in the school will secure to them not merely certain specific attainments, but a considerable share of the intelligence and refinement which belong to children brought up by educated parents. Yet this is the sort of effect which some persons appear to expect elementary schools to produce on their pupils, and which the training colleges are supposed to be bound to enable their own students to produce. It is also a common mistake to forget that the students on leaving the training colleges are only beginning their profession, and that thorough skill in any calling can be obtained only by practice. A training college can be expected to give its pupils only the power of learning their business. It cannot give actual proficiency in it.

Taking this view of the expectations which may reasonably be sound and entertained respecting the training colleges, the evidence as to their condition, in connexion with the evidence as to the trained teachers actually in charge of schools, appears to us to prove that the training given is on the whole sound, though there are several drawbacks to its value.

The witnesses whom we examined with reference to the condition of the training colleges for males were, besides Mr. Robinson, Dr. Temple, Mr. Clark, the Principal of the Battersea Training College, Mr. Scott, the Principal of the Wesleyan Training College, and Mr. Unwin, the Principal of the Homerton Training College.

In answer* to a question whether it is sufficiently kept before the eyes of the students that they are to be schoolmasters, and nothing else, Dr. Temple said, "It is so perpetually dinned into their ears that they can hardly forget it;" he added " I have myself, before now, recommended changes rather in that direction, but I think now it would be a great mistake to sacrifice the thorough instruction of the students to any greater amount of practice in their profession."

Dr. Temple was examined at some length as to the extent to which the students really learn the subjects contained in the syllabus.† He said that one-tenth do them really well, but that they all show a want of command over their knowledge,

*Evidence, 2933.

†Evidence, 2950-6.

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that the pressure of the curriculum upon them is so great that they have no time for anything else, but that though this produces in some respects a bad effect on the mind, "it is for the present a necessary evil. It is your only chance in the life of those men to give them a thorough conception of what is meant by work of the brain, and it is really necessary for their profession afterwards."

The following passage from Mr. Robinson's statement is valuable in consequence not only of the intelligence and experience of the writer, but because his sympathies are in favour of the pupils whom he trains, and of the system which he himself administers. " I believe," he says, at the beginning of his paper, "that the trained teachers are in the main a valuable and right-minded body, and that the improvement of training colleges has at least kept pace with the increased grants to them."

"Students in training colleges," he continues, "are all young men. They, therefore, like other students, have the impulsive" ness, the thoughtlessness, the passions of young men. Again, they are mostly selected from a class which has been very little in contact with refinement or self-control, or delicate appreciation of what is elevated and honourable. Moreover, though the majority of them have been pupil-teachers, apprentices to a schoolmaster, and under the surveillance of a clergyman, I do not, as a rule, find that any particular pains have been taken with their religious training. Taking all these things into consideration, I do not hesitate to say that their general tone and spirit and deportment are creditable. I do not think gross or immodest conversation would be tolerated in their common room. If some of the coarser spirits were inclined to it, it would be checked promptly and sternly by the better men. They do not indeed, as a body, bring with them to the training college a very high sense of honour, but they certainly show themselves capable of being impressed with such a feeling, and when the virtues of manliness, integrity, and truthfulness have been properly urged and illustrated for their benefit, they often respond very encouragingly to the challenge."

Mr. Maurice speaks warmly of the value of the training colleges. He says, "So far as I have been able to observe, the training colleges are the greatest blessings that have been conferred on the land in the last quarter of a century."

Dr. Temple describes the moral condition of the training colleges which have fallen under his observation as not being so good

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as might be wished, but as incapable of improvement except by espionage, which is out of the question, or by time and patience. *We may, however, point out one inconvenience in respect of this matter. When the authorities of the training colleges do their duty by refusing to an immoral student the certificates required by the Government as a condition of the annual grants, they do so at the expense of depriving the college of the grants which it would have received on account of the student if he had passed his examination successfully. They are thus exposed to a distinct temptation to allow a lax state of morals. We do not believe that they do so in point of fact, but the existence of such an inducement is an inconvenience.

As to the views with which the students regard their future calling Mr. Clark states, that †"a large proportion of the students take a thoughtful and proper view of their future calling, and that the authorities of the college do all they can to foster it, and that the training schools produce a great effect in the direction of promoting amongst the students a sense that the work in which they are to be engaged is one of great religious importance:" Indeed Dr. Temple was of opinion that the effect produced in this direction was greater than was desirable; he considered‡ that by training teachers in a separate institution they got too exalted a notion of their position and of what they have to do, "and they gradually acquire a wrong belief that the work of a schoolmaster is the one great work of the day, and that they are the men to do it." He, however, thought that the separate instruction was rendered necessary by the peculiar nature of the training required.

As to the internal arrangements of the training colleges, we have noticed above the importance which was attached by Sir J. K. Shuttleworth to the moral effects which might be expected to be produced upon the students by the introduction into the colleges of a very plain style of living and a good deal of manual labour. The attempt to enforce this kind of discipline has been almost entirely given up. Mr. Robinson, after referring to the earlier practice, says - "Much less of this kind of work is now required from them, and the change has become absolutely necessary from the increased pressure of their literary and professional studies. Still in most colleges they have some industrial duties to perform, and this is I think desirable, as tending to

*Evidence, 2959-60.

†Evidence, 1814-15.

‡Evidence, 2929-30.

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check the growth of any 'fine gentleman' airs among them." The students have, generally speaking, little time to themselves. Nearly the whole of their day is passed either in lectures, in preparation for them, or in short intervals of recreation. They have little unoccupied leisure, and for the most part pass their time together. There is a considerable general resemblance between the different colleges, and Mr. Robinson's account of the arrangements of the college at York is probably a fair specimen:

As the period of training extends over two years, the resident students are classed in two great divisions, viz., students of the first year and students of the second year.

Class-rooms are assigned to these divisions, and in those class-rooms the lectures are delivered, the exercises performed, and the private studies of the pupils carried on. There is a common room used for collective musters of the students and for general purposes. There is also a common dining-hall, in which the students take their meals, and where the resident masters also (with the exception of the Principal) breakfast, dine, and sup at a higher table. Each student has a separate dormitory or bed-room, but access to this is only permitted at certain times and under certain restrictions. The hour for rising is in summer at half-past five, in winter at six o'clock. A bell is rung by a monitor as the signal for rising, and half an hour afterwards it is rung again, when the students assemble for roll-call; then follows an hour of private study; then chapel and breakfast. At nine o'clock lectures commence, and continue till twelve. The hour of dinner is one, and the afternoon course of lectures commences at half-past two and continues till half-past five. At six o'clock the students meet for evening service in chapel; at half-past six they have tea; at seven o'clock they sit down to private study, and continue thus employed till half-past nine, when they prepare for bed. This is the regular routine, and except that Wednesday and Saturday are half-holidays, there is no deviation from it. It will be seen that a system like this makes considerable demands on the time and powers of the students, and leaves little opportunity for indulgence in frivolity or dissipation.

Fears have been expressed that the course of study which we have described is too severe for the health of the female pupil-teachers and students. Lady Macclesfield* in her written evidence says, "the training in colleges is extremely overdone, and only those young women who have unusually strong constitutions can bear it." Our attention has been directed to the same subject by Mr. Menet, who has also represented his views on former occasions to the Committee of Council. The evidence, however, which we have collected seems to show that the health of the

*Answers, p. 296.

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young women in the training colleges is satisfactory. Mr. Baber*, the Principal of the Whitelands College, speaks strongly on this point, and has repeated and illustrated the opinion given in his evidence, in a supplementary addition to his report; and Mr. Cook examined minutely into the subject in 1856 and 1857, and arrived at the result† that the health of the students did not suffer, but on the contrary improved during their training. Both Mr. Baber and Mr. Cook, however, found that a large proportion of the Queen's scholars were in weak health on their entrance into the training colleges; so that though the impression referred to cannot be said to be correct, it is not without foundation. The evidence seems to show that though the health of the female students may not suffer, the health of the female pupil-teachers does.

As respects the male students, the hours of study, as stated by Mr. Robinson, appear to us too long. They are 9½ or, including chapel, 10 hours a day, or excluding half-holidays, but including the work on Sunday, 60 hours a week. Again, the time capable of being given to outdoor exercise seems small. In winter it cannot be more than the hour before dinner, between 12 and 1, and perhaps half an hour after dinner, before the evening lecture, at half-past 2. This is scarcely enough. The evil consequences may not show themselves during the two years passed in the colleges, or even for some years afterwards; but we cannot but suspect that over exercise of mind and under exercise of body must often sow the seeds of weakness in both.

The circumstances of one or two of the training colleges require specific notice.

The Roman Catholic training colleges, of which there are three - two for females, and one for males - are in a peculiar position. Mr. Marshall,‡ the inspector of Roman Catholic training colleges, informed us that the schoolmasters of that denomination had been till lately, as a class, "incompetent and unsatisfactory," that they were ill trained, and that, though within the last few years an improvement had taken place, they were even now not what might be wished. He ascribed this to the circumstance that the class of pupil-teachers from which the male training school Is almost exclusively supplied with pupils was "perhaps too low socially to admit of any very great improvement."

The female training schools on the other hand are supplied with students of a much higher class, and their teachers, being for the

*Evidence, 1904.

†Min. 1857-8, p. 753, &c

‡Evidence, 1362-84.

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most part members of religious communities, are "immeasurably superior to those who teach the males".

In the male training schools few teachers are connected with religious communities,* as the number of men in this country, who wish to take monastic vows is small, and of that small number, still fewer wish to devote themselves to education.

The Homerton Training College, which is connected with the Congregational Board of Education, is remarkable, because it is, with one exception, the only training college in England which is supported entirely by voluntary contributions. The Board is opposed on principle to State interference with religion or education, which are In Its opinion inseparably connected. Its operations are similar to those of the British and Foreign School Society, but it Is connected principally with the Independents, and Is so constituted as to* exclude Unitarians. The points In reference to Its training colleges which principally require attention are that the age of the students is more advanced (20 to 22 In the case of females, 22 to 24 In the case of males) than Is the case In the assisted colleges; that Its course of instruction is more extensive and difficult than that which is founded on the Government syllabus; that its expenses (£40 per annum per pupil) are not materially less; and that the pupils generally attend for a shorter period, namely, for a year to sixteen months. Indeed it has a strong resemblance in many particulars to the British and Foreign School Society's Training College as it was before the introduction of the pupil-teacher system.†

We have already observed that the differences between denominations affect the conduct of the managers of elementary schools more than the willingness of the parents to send their children to them. We may add, that these differences bear more strongly on the education of the teachers than on the education of the children. We believe that the managers of training colleges would object even more than the managers of schools to any increase of the interference with them of the Government, and there seems to be no wish that such Interference should be diminished. We do not, therefore, propose any change in the relation of the training colleges to the State.

We do not recommend any reduction in the amount of aid at present given to the colleges in various forms. The contributions of the State form at present about 76 per cent of the total annual income of the Church of England Training Colleges

*Evidence, 1436.

†Mr. Unwin's Evidence, 2157-2162, 2172-2181.

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for males, but this proportion, large as it is, is far from representing the whole amount of public assistance offered to these institutions. It shows what they do earn, but it does not show what they have an opportunity of earning. The terms of the grants made are such that a successful college, conducted with rigorous economy, may derive from the State so large an amount of assistance as to be almost independent of voluntary contributions. Cheltenham, for example, earns 94 per cent of its income from the Government grant, and York, 89 per cent. These contributions purchase all the authority over them which the Government requires or could beneficially use. The regulation of the syllabus has produced a degree of uniformity in their management which could hardly have been expected d priori, and by altering it as occasion may require the Committee of Council can modify the character of the instruction given to all the certificated teachers in the kingdom in every point except those which are peculiar to different religious denominations, with which it has no wish to interfere.

It is not alleged that the administration of the training colleges is extravagant. The facts prove the contrary. Sir J. K. Shuttleworth's expenses at Battersea amounted to about £50 per pupil; the expenses of the Homerton College, which is unassisted, are £40 7s 9d per pupil. The average of the 33 colleges is a little more than £45. Of the 14 Church of England male training colleges, Caernarvon was the cheapest, costing £30 15s 3d; and Peterborough the dearest, costing £67 9s 1d for each student. Tills difference is no doubt due partly to the difference in the expense of housekeeping in different parts of the country, and partly to the fact that some colleges are better supplied with students than others. At Peterborough, for example, there were only 15 students. At Caernarvon there were 40. Six other colleges besides Caernarvon were conducted at less expense than Homerton, namely, Cheltenham, Chester, Chichester, Exeter, Culham, and York. Their expenses varied from £35 16s 5d at Culham, to £39 16s 11d at Cheltenham. From this it follows that even if the public paid the whole amount required by the training colleges, it would get full consideration for its money.

It may be asserted that though the money is well spent, and though the relation between the Government and the training colleges is satisfactory, the assistance given discourages private liberality, and that the withdrawal of a part of it would be compensated by an increase of private subscriptions. We do not agree with this opinion. It appears probable that con-

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siderable difficulty would be found in obtaining subscriptions enough for the support of these institutions. Private benevolence usually operates rather to relieve the evils which directly excite sympathy and attract attention, than to prevent their occurrence by contributing to the removal of their remote causes. It is possible to reckon with confidence on the pity which persons of comparative wealth will feel for gross and helpless ignorance, or for the sufferings produced by disease or accident, when they are forced upon their attention by their proximity. Hence arise the funds from which churches, hospitals, and elementary schools are built; but the education of clergymen, physicians, and schoolmasters must be provided for from other sources. An institution which produces good teachers may be the most efficient of all aids to education, but it appeals to no sympathy, it relieves no immediate distress, and it accordingly obtains subscriptions with difficulty. The early history of the Borough Road and Battersea Training Colleges proves this. Each of them languished till it could reckon on permanent support from Government, and it was no wonder that it did so.

It would no doubt be a good thing if these institutions were supported by voluntary liberality without public aid, but some conveniences are incidental to the present state of things. No other institutions stand so much in need of a permanent income, and of a considerable degree of Government supervision, which, of course, can be had only at the expense of Government grants. To ascertain and to regulate the principles on which teachers should be trained is a difficult process, and requires the light of long and varied experience. If every training college was self-supporting, and was entirely regulated by its own subscribers or committee, they would vary far more than they do now, and would lose the great benefits which they at present derive from the common course of examination imposed upon the students by the syllabus, and from the experience which the Inspectors derive from their annual visits, and make public in their Reports.

As we have already observed, the first resolution (dated on the 3rd June 1839) of the Committee of Council for Education was as follows:

The Committee are of opinion, that the most useful application of any sums voted by Parliament would consist in the employment of those monies 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 prin-

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ciples 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.
It appears to us that the experience of the last 21 years has furnished a practical solution of the difficulties referred to in this resolution, which constituted the only reasons given by the Committee of Council for foregoing the establishment of "a normal school under the direction of the State." Under the combined influence of private liberality and Government assistance, the relation between the Government and the denominations has been adjusted to the satisfaction of both parties. There is no question as to the subject-matter of the education to be given, or as to the degree of Government interference which is admissible. With the single exception of institutions for training infant school mistresses, the training colleges are sufficient for the wants of the whole population, and not only do supply them at present, but will be capable of supplying them permanently. As the matter is thus substantially arranged on both sides, there seems to be no reason why the public, which derives much benefit from these bodies, should not contribute liberally towards their support. They are under strict supervision and inspection, and are neither too large nor too numerous for central supervision. It would therefore seem desirable that the grants made to them should continue on their present footing.

In support of this opinion we refer to the evidence of Mr. Robinson,* and to the last report of Mr. Cowie,† the Inspector of Church of England training colleges for males. Mr. Robinson says of the York College, of which he is the Principal, "I do not hesitate to say that the withdrawal of even a very moderate proportion of the amount now received from Government, say 20 per cent, would seriously embarrass this training college, and probably compel us to reduce our machinery to a point below efficient working order, or possibly to shut up altogether."

Mr. Cowie, who considers the rate at which the aid to training colleges has increased as a matter of anxious consideration, examines at length the different items of which the assistance given is composed. The general purport of his report is that for the present any material reduction is impossible, though he hopes that in the course of time the prospects of trained teachers may be found to

*Page 403.

†Min. 1859-60, pp. 287-297.

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be sufficiently attractive to enable the training colleges to charge the students themselves with part of the expense of their education. This remote prospect appears to him to be the only source from which the training colleges can expect additions to their income which would enable them to dispense with any part of the grants which they at present derive from Government. He says,* "In making inquiries as to the possibility of the Government aid being limited or reduced, I have been guided by the consideration, that as the position of the schoolmaster is one which has gained an honourable estimation, and is one of independence at an early age, it cannot be necessary, as a permanent rule, that the expense of securing it should be defrayed by the State." In another place he observes,† "These institutions have all passed through a financial crisis, and are only now emerging from it. It has been found extremely difficult to get voluntary public support for them; it is only from the farsighted and reflecting that such aid has been procured for an object not immediately tangible, not immediately beneficial to the schools in which they take an interest."

We may observe that there is no part of the system of popular education on which the incomplete and progressive character of the whole existing state of things has so direct a bearing as on the Committee of training colleges. It is possible that arrangements might be made which would induce those who at present refuse public aid upon principle to accept it, and this might add another institution to the number already receiving aid; but subject to this. It appears probable that no more colleges will be required, that no more than the present number of students will annually leave them, and that no addition to the present number of Queen's Scholarships will be necessary. On the other hand, the number of pupil-teachers in the country will probably continue to Increase for a considerable time, and thus the Queen's Scholarships will gradually become prizes for the more successful pupil-teachers. It Is possible that ultimately the desire of pupil-teachers to enter the training colleges may become strong enough to enable the Committee of Council to diminish the value of the scholarships, the students paying the difference. On the other hand, the supply of teachers may prove after a time superfluous. In that case the Committee of Council will probably diminish the number of the scholarships; and it is possible, though we do not think it probable,

*Page 294.

†Page 293.

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that they may find it necessary at the same time to increase their value. We have adverted to these points in order to show how the present system enables the Committee of Council to regulate the supply of teachers for elementary schools. The degree of assistance to be afforded from time to time must always be a question of administration. We see no reason to recommend at present any alteration in the amount given. One alteration, however, in the nature of the certificates given to the students in the training colleges will follow from the recommendation which we shall make and explain in a subsequent part of our report, that all annual grants be paid to the managers in a single sum, to be expended at their discretion for the purposes of the school. They will then make their own bargains with the masters, and the certificate, instead of having a money value, will be a testimonial of conduct and ability issued by an impartial and competent authority.

We do not propose to disturb the existing arrangements as to the examination of students at the training colleges, and we wish to continue the present system of suspending the issue of the certificate till the teacher has been in actual charge of his school for two years. We wish also to continue the system of raising the degree of the certificate, without further examination, according to the teacher's success, at intervals of five years. The influence of the certificates on the salaries of the teachers v/ill, of course, depend on the managers.

We think that in the place of the present system of registration, a fourth class might be added to the three existing classes of certificates.

The system would then stand thus:

1. There would be an annual examination at the training colleges, open to all students and to all teachers actually engaged in schools, public or private, and properly recommended as to moral character.

2. The names of those who had passed this examination would be arranged in four classes, of which the first three would, as at present, be each arranged in three divisions,

3. Any person who, having passed this examination, had subsequently been in charge of an inspected elementary school for two years, which had been twice inspected, would receive a certificate corresponding to his place in the examination.

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4. The inspector would have the right of reducing the rate of the certificate to any extent if the state of the school at the time of inspection appeared to him to require it. He would also have the right of raising the rate of the certificate by one division if the state of the school appeared to him to warrant it.

5. The certificates, when issued, would be subject to revision at the expiration of every period of five years from their original date, spent in charge of any inspected school or schools, when the inspector would alter the certificate according to the state of the school. In each of the five years an endorsement as to the state of the school should be made by the inspector on the certificate.

It may be said that the State has excited expectations in the minds of the teachers by the system of augmentation grants, which give them a moral right to their continuance, but we do not think augmentation that this is really the case. The fact that the present system is supported by sums voted annually, and not by a permanent charge on the Consolidated Fund, shows that the State is not pledged to its permanence. Indeed it is notorious that it has grown up by degrees, and that ever since its origin the propriety of replacing or altering it has been under discussion. The arrangement by which a certain portion of the grant is appropriated to the augmentation of the teacher's salary is an arrangement between the State and the managers, not between the State and the teachers, and it is for the benefit of the school, not for the benefit of the teachers. At present the average emoluments of certificated masters of all classes and denominations are £97, which considerably exceeds the amount which can be said to be in any sense guaranteed to the holders of the highest certificates; nor is there any reason to believe that the managers of schools under the modified system would desire to reduce the salaries of their teachers


We come now to consider the character of the trained teachers when in actual charge of their schools. It is proved beyond all doubt that they are greatly superior to the untrained teachers.

The following is part of the evidence on this subject. It might be greatly extended. Mr. Brookfield, who is not at all disposed to overvalue the effects of training, examined 686 schools, 470

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of which were under trained, and 215 under untrained teachers, with the following results:

The Assistant Commissioners, whose opportunities of comparison were greater than those of the inspectors, as they visited uninspected as well as inspected schools, are nearly unanimous in their opinion as to the superiority of the trained teachers. Mr. Fraser says, that "trained and certificated teachers, as a rule, are far superior to those who have not had the advantage of the former, and do not possess the qualification of the latter; but it is a rule which has many exceptions."† Mr. Cumin‡ says, "The unanimous opinion in my district is, that teachers trained at a normal school are superior to those who are untrained. In this I concur." Mr. Hare§ says, "Individual teachers trained at normal schools strongly attest the beneficial effects of such training, and their testimony is confirmed by that of managers of schools and other intelligent observers." Mr. Wilkinson|| collected the evidence of 20 witnesses connected in various ways with education, in St. Pancras, Chelsea, and St. George's-in-the-East, of whom three only expressed an unfavourable opinion of the trained teachers; that opinion being founded rather in their disinclination than their disability to discharge their duty. Dr. Hodgson¶ says, "From what I have said it will be readily believed that as a rule the teachers of public inspected schools are of a higher order than those of private or public uninspected schools." Mr. Winder** says, "The public schoolmasters and mistresses who had been trained left on the whole a very favourable impression upon my mind." Mr. Foster,†† whose evidence upon the subject differed in some essential respects, to be noticed

*Min. 1859-60, p. 80.

†Rep. p. 116.

‡Rep. p. 84.

§Rep. p. 286.

||Rep. p. 438.

¶Rep. p. 541.

** Rep. p. 218.

††Rep. p. 364.

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hereafter, from that of the other Assistant Commissioners, describes the trained teachers as generally dissatisfied with their position, but writes of them in a manner which admits their general ability.

Some of the Assistant Commissioners add a high testimony to their general character, and to the spirit in which they pursue their pursue their calling. Thus, Mr. Fraser* says, "I wish to bear my humble testimony to the very admirable spirit in which the great body of certificated teachers whom I either saw in the course of this inquiry, or have the pleasure of being acquainted with elsewhere, are doing the work to which they have been called." And Mr. Hare observes, "My decided impression is, that the systems of training have been very successful both in adapting the students to teach, and in furnishing them with solid matter, and good methods of instruction. As a class they are marked, both men and women, by a quickness of eye and ear, a quiet energy, a facility of command, and a patient self-control, which, with rare exceptions, are not observed in the private instructors of the poor."†

We now proceed to consider the alleged defects of the system. One is the youth of the trained teachers when they enter on their office. It is thus stated by Mr. Watkins.‡ "The certificated teachers," he says, "have one obvious and great disadvantage; they are very young when they enter upon their duties, and they have to deal with very young children. But the younger the children to be trained, the older, within certain limits, should the trainer be. He has more need of experience, of self-knowledge, of discernment in child-nature, and sympathy with child-life. He has before him a more delicate and continuous work than he who acts upon the juvenile boy or girl." Generally, though not always, the trained teacher begins his duties earlier than the untrained master or dame; but the disadvantage, such as it is, is only temporary, and there can be no doubt that, as the supply of trained teachers becomes more commensurate to the demand, the number of teachers who begin their career as assistants will increase, and most of them will thus bring more maturity and practical experience to the office of principal teachers. Mr. Bowstead,§ in 1854, said that some of the best elementary teachers in his district were uncertificated. But this arose from the fact that their time and strength had always been too severely engaged by the important institutions over which they presided

*Rep. p. 96.

†Rep. p. 282.

‡Min. 1854-5, p. 431.

§Min. 1854-5, p. 628.

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to admit of adequate preparation for a week's examination in a great variety of subjects. This only amounts to saying that before the system of certificates was invented there were a few good teachers who have not since its establishment had time to obtain them.

The second remark which we have to make is, that the position of the teachers in the class list, though it regulates to some extent their salaries, is a doubtful indication of their comparative professional value. This is ascertained by the observation of the inspectors of schools in all parts of the country, and was of course more apparent in the infancy of the system, when the certificates had reference solely to the examination, than it is at present, when they are not finally settled till the efficiency of the teacher has been tested by two years' school-keeping. In the year 1851 Mr. Cook* reported that some of the best teachers In his district had either no certificate or a low one; and that others who were not remarkable for efficiency had comparatively high certificates. In his report for 1853† Mr. Brookfield said, "It is an embarrassing but undoubted truth, that of the good schools in my district under certificates the proportion is by no means in favour of those of the higher class. The number of course is not; because the number of the higher certificates is comparatively small; but even allowing for this, the proportion of good schools still remains decidedly in favour of the lower class certificates." Speaking of Wales, Mr. Longueville Jones observes,‡ "Managers state that they do not find the class of the certificate of merit to be any sure index of the value of its holder as a schoolmaster. In the justice of this I altogether concur. I never form my own opinion of a master with any but the slightest reference to his certificate. ... I might also go further, and say that according to my own experience the good schoolmasters do not hold high certificates; certainly the best schoolmasters in Wales either hold none, or else those of the third class." In 1856§ Mr. Cook, whilst assuming the superiority of trained over untrained teachers, qualifies his observations as follows: "I am far from saying that the most highly educated persons are the best teachers, or that their efficiency always corresponds to their position in the class list, or that teachers at least equal to the generality of these certificated masters are not to be found among those

*Min. 1851-2, p. 385.

†Min. 1853-4, p. 377.

‡Min. 1854-5, p. 605.

§Min. 1856-7, p. 227.

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who have not presented themselves for examination." In 1857 Mr. Brookfield* said, "Upon a very careful investigation of the results effected by teachers holding a third-class certificate and by those of a higher diploma, I do not find any such difference in favour of either division as would justify a general inference to the disadvantage of the other. The utmost that I can safely say is that there is no such superiority on the side of the higher classes as would seem to be indicated by their designation. The preponderance of efficiency, indeed, is somewhat, though very slightly, in favour of the third or lowest class of certificates."

It would be incorrect to found upon this a conclusion unfavourable to the principles upon which the training college examinations proceed. It is the nature of examinations to test only certain kinds of ability, the possession of which is only one element of professional success. Many intellectual, moral, and physical qualities which are essential to that object pass unnoticed in an examination. It is the common peculiarity of places of education to preserve the intellectual energy and vigour of the whole institution by means which necessarily classify the students imperfectly with reference to their fitness for any particular walk in life. No examination could ever be devised by which it would be possible to ascertain the relative positions which a given number of students in law, medicine, or divinity would occupy ten years afterwards in their respective professions, yet examinations are indispensably necessary for the sake of stimulating and rewarding exertion. The training colleges cannot be reasonably expected to do what is done by no other institution intended for a special purpose.

Besides the teachers who are both trained and certificated, there are some who are certificated but not trained, others who are trained but not certificated, and others who, being neither certificated nor trained, are registered. None of these classes are large, and their numbers will in all probability diminish, as the trained and certificated teachers come to be supplied in larger numbers. Any teacher in charge of an elementary school may present himself for examination for a certificate, whether he has been through a training college or not. Those who succeed in this examination are certificated, though they have not been trained. On the other hand, there are a certain number of students who pass through the training colleges without obtaining certificates. If they become teachers they are trained, but not certificated. The

*Min. 1857-8, p. 387.

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registered teachers are those who being in charge of an elementary school, and being 35 years of age or upwards, succeed in passing an examination somewhat less difficult than that which is required to obtain a certificate. This arrangement was originally made with the view of admitting to the benefits of the grant the more deserving of the teachers who had entered the profession at an earlier time, and who were too old when the system of certificates was established to obtain them by passing the necessary examination.

Whilst it appears to be proved that the character of the teachers is greatly raised by their training, and that they are altogether a superior class to those who preceded them, it is equally clear that they fail, to a considerable extent, in some of the most important of the duties of elementary teachers, and that a large proportion of the children are not satisfactorily taught that which they come to school to learn.

The evidence of this fact will be fully considered in Chap. IV., on "Instruction given in inspected Schools;" but the general results may be stated very shortly in this place. Though children leave school at a very early age, and attend with little regularity, they do attend long enough to afford an opportunity of teaching them to read, write, and cypher. A large proportion of them, however, in some districts do not learn even to read; at least, their power of reading is so slight, so little connected with any intelligent perception of its importance, and so much a matter of mere mechanical routine, as to be of little value to them in after-life, and to be frequently forgotten as soon as the school is left. The children do not generally obtain the mastery over elementary subjects which the school ought to give. They neither read well nor write well. They work sums, but they learn their arithmetic in such a way as to be of little practical use in common life. Their religious instruction is unintelligent, and to a great extent confined to exercises of merely verbal memory. The evidence in support of these assertions will be adduced in a future chapter. They are made here as a justification of our opinion that the trained teachers often neglect an important part of their duty.

The difficulty which superior teachers find in heartily devoting themselves to the drudgery of elementary teaching is exemplified by Mr. Coode, who, in speaking of Dudley and the Potteries, says,*

*Rep. p. 269.

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"The fact appears to be that in these two districts the work of education is really such as to render the accomplishments of a highly instructed teacher for the most part unavailable. Where ... the children at school at eight or nine years of age are the few exceptions to the general practice of setting children to work at an earlier age, it is wholly impossible to give to such children more than a mere groundwork of plain reading, a still less portion of practice in writing, and yet less of practice in the elementary rules of arithmetic, the grinding of which into the pupils is the most repulsive part of the task of education. Accordingly, the first address made to a visitor by a master or mistress who feels himself fitted for higher work is almost always an expression of dissatisfaction with the work in which the labour is incessant, the result so small, and the possible credit to be gained so little." After speaking of the immense importance of good reading, Mr. Coode adds: "Where at best but a little can be done at all, this should on that account be, if possible, all the better done. But at the earliest stage this involves the greatest of all drudgeries to a teacher who is conscious of an ability for higher things. I am compelled to say that this essential accomplishment is in this district unduly neglected, and that this neglect is too often in proportion to the higher pretensions of the teacher."

Though we feel strongly this defect in many of the teachers, we feel also that to lower the standard of Popular Education throughout the country by discouraging the employment of trained teachers would be fatal. Intellectually and morally they are far superior to untrained teachers, and there can be no doubt of their competence to teach elementary subjects thoroughly well to young children, or to see that they are so taught by pupil-teachers if they had an adequate motive for doing so. It is sometimes urged that the way to effect this object is by altering the course of training in the training colleges, or by impressing upon the students in them more studiously than is the practice at present, that what they have to do is to teach young children rudimentary subjects; but we do not think that there is any reason to suppose that they either want the power to accomplish that object, or are unaware of its importance. It would be unjust and unwise to depreciate the importance of the care devoted to the study of school management and methods of teaching, but there is a real danger that the technical manner in which these subjects are dwelt upon, and the way in which different methods of teaching children to read and spell are connected with elaborate

[page 156]

theories of various kinds, may conceal the fact that after all there is no profound mystery in teaching children to read, write, and cypher. Amongst the wealthier classes (rare and disgraceful exceptions apart) every one learns at a very early age to perform each of these operations without conscious difficulty, and he receives this knowledge from women who have never given a thought to the subject of elementary instruction, and who in many cases have fur less ability and less instruction than the male or female students at training colleges. The reason that the child obtains this knowledge and skill is that in the upper and middle classes its absolute necessity is universally recognized. In other words, the person who has the instruction of the child has a sufficient motive to induce her to insist upon its learning, and the invariable consequence is that it does learn the indispensable elements of knowledge, and learns them perfectly. It is natural to suppose that the same results could be produced in elementary schools if the teachers were thoroughly determined to produce them.

No doubt a high and disinterested sense of duty might lead them to go through, or to see that their pupil-teachers go through, the necessary drudgery. Such a feeling is rare in all callings and in all classes. In most cases no other adequate motive exists. The reputation of the school and the augmentation grant, and certificate of the teacher, depend upon the general character and management of the school. If a fair average number of children are ascertained by examination to be well taught, if the school is well arranged, if its general appearance, and, as the inspectors say, its "tone" is satisfactory, if the pupil-teachers are well trained, and if the master or mistress teaches in a skilful and intelligent manner, and maintains discipline kindly and firmly, nothing more is required. All this is most important. It is intimately connected with all the higher results, the moral results of education. It contributes largely to the humanizing and civilizing influences of the school, and it ought on all accounts to be required in all cases, and where it exists to be commended and rewarded. Excellent, however, as it is, it is consistent with an enormous amount of ignorance of the most essential elements of education on the part of a large proportion of the scholars. Many children in a school which fulfilled all these conditions, and who had had opportunities of learning, might, and probably would be unable to read and write in such a manner that it should be a pleasure to them to do so. Just as many boys at the great public schools, Eton, Harrow, or Rugby, may have received great

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advantages from the general influences of the school, though they are unable to read an easy Latin book with satisfaction a year after they have left. To know Latin well is not absolutely essential, but to be able to read and write is so; and however good the influences of an elementary school may be, it has failed with respect to every child who having attended it for a certain time has not learnt these things perfectly.

There is only one way 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 the view of 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. If teachers had a motive of this kind to see that all the children under their charge really learned to read, write, and cypher thoroughly well, there can be little doubt that they would generally find means to secure that result, and the presence of such a motive would do more towards the production of the required effect than any remodelling of the training college system. It must always be a matter of speculation whether a lad who learns Latin in a training college will teach little children to read better or worse than a lad who learns chemistry. But there can be no sort of doubt, that if one of the two finds that his income depends on the condition that his scholars do learn to read, whilst the other is paid equally well whether they do so or not, the first will teach more children to read than the second. The case is one in which the question of power is subordinate to that of will. The teachers sent out from the training colleges are quite good enough; and, to use Dr. Temple's forcible expression, the nature of their duty "is so continually dinned into their ears, that they can hardly forget it," The object is to find some constant and stringent motive to induce them to do that part of their duty which is at once most unpleasant and most important. Every security is at present taken to enable them to do it, and to show them that it ought to be done, but sufficient effort is not made to ascertain that it really is done. The alterations which we recommend will, we trust, supply this omission.

The view taken by the trained teachers as to their own position and their general temper and behaviour is a matter which has attracted some attention. It is sometimes alleged that they are conceited, that their behaviour to managers and persons connected with the schools is not satisfactory, and that they are dissatisfied

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with their position. We have inquired into these assertions, and we do not think that they are well founded. We have met with some complaints of conceit and bad manners on the part of the teachers, but even if each complaint represented a case in which the teacher was to blame, these cases would not be numerous enough to form a ground for any serious charge against the class as a class. It is probable that in many instances the teacher complained of is right, and the manager unduly exacting or susceptible. "A trained teacher," says Mr. Coode,* "knows the value of the discipline he enforces, and he is unwilling to allow of any interference with it even by the most respectable gentleman or minister, or the most important clergyman, or most influential lady of the neighbourhood." He goes on to say, that in most specific cases of dispute which came under his notice he thought that the teachers were right and the managers wrong; but he adds that the manner of both masters and mistresses, especially when they are fresh from the training colleges, is occasionally conceited and presumptuous. Unfortunate as this may be, it is hardly unnatural, considering the class from which the teachers come; and if greater experience fails to correct it, the remedy is so completely in the hands of the managers, that we think it unnecessary to make any recommendation on the subject.

It ought to be noticed, that the managers of schools occasionally show a want of consideration for the feelings of the teachers, which is ill-judged and unjust. "A well-trained master who knows his business," says Dr. Hodgson,† " is not likely to endure, without a grudge, treatment such as I have myself been grieved to witness, treatment which the presence of a stranger renders more humiliating and painful. The clergyman enters the school without removing his hat, or salutation of any kind; he interrupts the lesson; he takes the pupils as it were out of the master's hands; he gives to pupils, visitors, and all, the impression that the school is his, and not the master's."

As to the view of the teachers upon their own position, it appears that there is a certain degree of dissatisfaction amongst them. Mr. Foster‡ dwells at some length upon this subject, and Mr. Wilkinson notices the existence of the same feeling in London, and gives the evidence of several schoolmasters, who express it at considerable length.§ The other Assistant Commissioners for the most part heard of this feeling, but did not find that it was either general or important. Mr. Fraser|| says,

*Rep. p. 271.

†Rep. p. 543.

‡Rep. p. 361-362.

§Rep. p. 393.

||Rep. p. 95.

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"I did not myself observe any tendency to dissatisfaction with the masters and mistresses, though I am told by several persons that dissatisfaction exists."

Mr. Snell, of East Coker, Yeovil, an intelligent schoolmaster, whose answers we have already quoted, states, we believe, well the feelings of many of his class:

As far as I know, trained teachers do not dislike their work; there is no reason why they should; it is honourable, intellectual, and benevolent, but society has not yet learned how to value them. This they feel with all the sensitiveness that belongs to educated and professional men. The man who studies human laws, he who understands the human frame and the healing art, the artist who can produce a picture, each has a recognized position, and is esteemed; but the man who labours for the elevation of his fellow, who deals with the human intellect, who is entrusted to cut and polish the most precious jewel in creation, is a mere social nonentity. The lawyer is ignorant of his existence, for he is without means, the parson takes the same notice of him as he does of the parish beadle, and the doctor only knows him as he knows all other poor souls, or rather poor bodies. The Government by assisting us to larger incomes and to better educations, has done very much to elevate our position, and we are thankful; still we conceive ourselves not holding that place in public estimation we may justly expect to hold. I believe from this feeling many of our best men leave the profession. It is thought that increased salaries will bring about an improved public opinion; to some extent it will, but let us be acknowledged as an educated, honourable, and important body.

Schoolmasters and mistresses should have an interest in the success of the school. The most successful teachers that I know are engaged upon that principle, the managers guaranteeing a portion of the salary, the teacher taking in addition the school fees, and the Government granting stipends and gratuities. Here I would suggest that for continued service and good conduct the promotion should involve a greater addition to the salary than the mere success at an examination. I will give an instance: Last year my certificate was called up for revision, and returned with an intimation of promotion from 2nd to 3rd degree. Well, what of that? Why, the seven or eight favourable reports have increased my stipend to the amount of £3 10s per annum. It reminds me of the rewards given to honest hardworking clowns, who for half a century living in one house, or serving one master,* are offered one guinea. It really seems to me that "patient continuance in well doing" demands greater acknowledgment than this.

Mr. Wilkinson† refers to conferences and meetings of schoolmasters, at which they took the opportunity of "putting him fully in possession of their grievances," though they "failed to convince him that the profession labours under any very peculiar hardships." We concur with Mr. Wilkinson's opinion. The alleged grievances, as expressed by his informants, are "that their salary is far beneath that which an equal amount of skill and labour

*Answer, p. 400.

†Rep. p. 393.

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would command in any other profession," and specially that the augmentation grants, "being paid through the treasurer or secretary of the schools, come to be considered as part of their salary;" that "their position in society is lower than it ought to be;" above all that there is no chance of promotion: that when they have once obtained a school, they rise no higher; and specially that they are not appointed inspectors. This is commented on by Mr. Snell with some bitterness.

The state of the case in our opinion is this. Boys who would otherwise go out to work at mechanical trades at 12 or 13 years of age are carefully educated at the public expense from 13 to 20 or 21, and they are then placed in a position where they are sure of immediately earning on an average about £100 a year by five days' work in the week, the days lasting only seven and a half hours, and they usually have six or seven weeks' vacation in the course of the year. After receiving these advantages at the public expense, they seem to complain that they are not provided with still further advantages on a progressive scale throughout the rest of their lives.

As to the specific complaint that they are not made inspectors, we think that they would not be fit for the office. It is absolutely necessary that the inspectors should be fitted, by previous training and social position, to communicate and associate upon terms of equality with the managers of schools and the clergy of different denominations. It is one of the alleged grievances of the schoolmasters that these persons do not recognize them as social equals; and that state of things, with which no public authority can interfere, is in itself conclusive against the suggestion that they should be made inspectors.

It is, however, untrue that there is no promotion for schoolmasters. None has hitherto been provided at the public expense, but in that as in all other callings some positions are better than others, and the best positions are on the whole filled by the ablest men. We have given above a list of the average emoluments of certificated teachers in different parts of the country and in schools of different denominations, and it appears from that list that the average payments in large districts differ so much that the master of a school in London gets 25 per cent more than the master of a school in Berkshire. In individual cases the range is far wider. Instances have been reported in which schoolmasters particularly eminent for their success make as much as £300 per annum, and even more, and it cannot be urged that the masters consider themselves morally bound to forego this advantage,

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as it is alleged in proof of their discontent that they constantly change their schools.

The real cause of this complaint is not the inadequacy of the remuneration of a successful schoolmaster, but the fact that it begins too early and rises by too steep gradients. A lad, the son of a day labourer earning 10s a week, finds himself at the age of 20 in the receipt of £80 or £90 a year. A young lawyer at that age is beginning his professional education. At 22 the young schoolmaster is probably earning £100 or £110 a year. The young lawyer is earning nothing, and does not expect to pay even his professional expenses till he is 30. But the schoolmaster may never earn more. He reaches in early life a table land, and may tread it till he dies. If the emoluments of the young schoolmaster were smaller, those of the older schoolmaster would appear greater, and there would be no complaint of the absence of promotion.

As to the specific complaint that the augmentation grant is paid them indirectly, and is thus "liable to be confounded with salary," the answer is, that it is paid in that manner because it is salary, and in order that it may not be supposed to be anything else. The Council Office has always carefully, and in our opinion properly, avoided any direct recognition of either principal or pupil-teachers, and has confined all its relations to the managers of the individual schools. The arrangements which we propose will be entirely based upon this principle, and will make it clear beyond all possibility of mistake that the teachers must make their own arrangements with the managers, and with them alone, that they are in no sense public servants, and that the advantages and the disadvantages of their occupation, whatever they may be, are like those of other occupations paid by the public, dependent on the market value of their services. These may be reasons for not undertaking it, but they are not grievances.

It may, however, be important to observe that the dissatisfaction felt by the teachers is to some decree explained by the circumstances of their training. Dr. Temple observes that the fact that they are trained in separate institutions, "gives them too exalted a notion of their position and of what they have to do," so that "they gradually acquire a sort of belief that the work of a schoolmaster is the one great work of the day, and that they are the men to do it." One of Mr. Wilkinson's witnesses, himself a schoolmaster, observes, "The office is spoken of as one of the highest in the land in importance, mentally, morally, and religiously, and yet the officer ignored, slighted."

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"They naturally think," says Mr. Robinson, "more of what education has made them than of what it first found them. They easily lose sight of the fact that they have risen from a very humble social position, and they crave for that status which education seems generally to secure. I think too that in some cases they are too apt to forget that they owe the culture they have to the public provision made for them."*

The existence of such feelings shows that however necessary it may be to point out to the students at Training Colleges the importance of their profession, and to dwell upon the propriety of their discharging their duties with hearty conscientious zeal, it is desirable that they should also be informed that the amount of honour and emolument attached to their calling depends, as is the case with other callings, not upon its intrinsic importance, but upon the feelings with which it is regarded by society at large. If they are not taught to view the matter in this light, there will always be a considerable risk that the efforts of the Training College authorities to impress the students with a sense of their responsibility, and the fact that the course of instruction is carried on by the stimulus of literary examinations, may produce a combination of zeal, half professional and half religious, with personal ambition, which can lead only to disappointment and discontent. It is important to remember that Sir J. K. Shuttleworth's hopes, that the teachers might be taught to look upon Popular Education in a missionary spirit, and be trained to a life of humility and self-denial, have been disappointed. The precautions against personal ambition which he tried to establish, in the shape of extreme plainness of diet and hard manual labour, have been given up; and though efforts are made to impress upon the Training Colleges a religious character, there can be no doubt that views of personal advancement have as much influence upon teachers throughout their whole career as upon other persons. The inspectors regret that sufficiently high salaries are not offered to pupil-teachers; the Government stimulates exertion by the prospect of money prizes; the Training College authorities recommend the best men to the most lucrative situations; and the whole course is regulated by examinations which cannot fail to stimulate personal feelings in a very high degree. This is inevitable, and is not a fair subject for complaint; but it is important that those whose duty it is to influence the students as to their view of their future calling, should bear these considerations in mind, and should not forget

*Page 408.

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the importance of leading them to form a sober estimate of their future prospects.

We may observe in conclusion that the occupation of an elementary schoolmaster is not well suited for a young man of an adventurous, stirring, or ambitious character, and that it is rather a misfortune than otherwise, when persons of that temper of mind are led into it by the prospect which its earlier stages appear to afford of rising in the world socially as well as intellectually. It is a life which requires a quiet, even temper, patience, sympathy, fondness for children, and habitual cheerfulness. It wants rather good sense and quiet intelligence than a very inquisitive mind or very brilliant talents, and the prospects which it affords appear well calculated to attract the class of persons best fitted for it. A schoolmaster is sure of a good income, a great deal of leisure, and moderate labour as long as his health lasts. If his prospects are not so extensive as in some other walks of life, they are more secure. He is never out of work. He is affected only casually and indirectly by the vicissitudes of trade, and he fills a position, which if not socially all that he could wish, is universally recognized as respectable and useful. It can hardly be doubted that these prospects, if neither exaggerated nor depreciated, are sufficient to attract an adequate number of persons to the calling; but it is important that their nature should be clearly understood, in order that disappointments may not arise from a misconception as to the character of the employment.

It may be proper to refer in this place to the opportunity which the high salaries paid to the teachers afford them of making provision for their support in later life. The following extracts from a circular* issued on the 12th June 1857, to the Inspectors of Schools have an important bearing on the subject:

The Committee of Council, as you are doubtless aware, has had under its consideration various proposals during the last few years for the superannuation of teachers. ...

Their Lordships have given their most attentive consideration to the matter.

It is impossible to overrate the importance both to the individuals themselves, and to the cause of education, that teachers should make due provision for their timely and honourable retirement.

The average of their receipts is, probably, at the present moment, somewhat artificially raised by a demand in excess of the supply. A certificated master, besides a house, receives (in salary and in Government grants together) about £90 per annum, and a certificated mistress £60, on the average of the whole kingdom. This is liberal payment for

*Min. 1857-8, p. 30.

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young men and women, the children, frequently, of artisans and labourers, at the age of twenty-one or twenty-two years, in a comfortable and honourable profession, and the fact that this income accrues almost at once and is not commonly much augmented by length of service, renders it matter of common duty and prudence that young schoolmasters and schoolmistresses should not spend the whole of their earnings, but should learn to put by a sufficient portion. The early purchase of a deferred annuity is one among other means for this purpose. The annuity extends to the end of life, and the demand for premiums comes in aid of weak resolution when the annual savings have to be made.

A general provision, however, for superannuated or incapacitated teachers involves social as well as merely educational considerations.

The general object of interfering at all with teachers in this respect could be answered only l>y compulsory interference, and the examples which have been quoted of such interference do not apply to the indirect relation in which the Government stands to the teachers of schools. The Government neither appoints nor dismisses those officers, nor does it recognize them, except as employed by the independent managers of schools under inspection.

Acting upon these views their Lordships have decisively resolved to confine the interference of the Committee of Council to the retirement of teachers to such a limited number of cases as, for the time being, may fall within the Minute of 6 August 1851, and since it is desirable that no misconception should exist about the intention of the Committee in this respect, I am to request that you will omit no opportunity in answer to inquiries of making it known. At the same time their Lordships wish you to call attention among the managers and teachers of schools in your districts, to the facilities afforded by the Act 16 & 17 Vict, c, 45., for making proper provision for old age on the security of the State in all those cases where the purchase of a deferred annuity is the most convenient mode of effecting this object.

We think that the reasons assigned in this letter by the Committee of Council for declining to interfere in order to compel the teachers to provide for themselves are satisfactory, and we take this opportunity of stating our conviction that the managers of schools ought to impress upon the teachers the importance of employing part of the large salaries, which they receive at a very early age, in making provision for their support in later life.


The proportion between the supply of trained teachers by the training colleges, and the probable demand for them, present and future, forms the last head of the inquiry.

It must be observed that two separate objects are to be attained, the provision of a number of teachers adequate to the present wants of the country, and the maintenance of training colleges

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capable of filling up the vacancies in that number, when it has been made up. It is very difficult to arrive at anything beyond conjecture upon these points.

The number of teachers required for the whole of England and Wales depends upon the number of children who may be expected to be in the elementary schools, and this, as we have already pointed out, depends principally on the age of the scholars, and the length of their attendance at school. We think that 2,000,000 is the largest number of children for whom trained teachers will be required until a considerable change of feeling has taken place amongst the poor as to the education of their children. The average number of children to a teacher in 1,851 schools in the specimen districts was 58.3. If 2,000,000 children were under trained teachers, about 33,000 would be required for the purpose. The training colleges at present produce about 1,500 teachers a year, which number would be enough to supply the vacancies of 33,000 teachers, on the assumption that the average tenure of office of each teacher was 22 years. The system of training has not as yet lasted long enough to give any satisfactory evidence as to the length of time during which the professional life of a teacher lasts, but as it begins at 21 or 22, it does not seem improbable that it should continue for a period of 22 years. If this is so, or if it even approaches the truth, it follows, that the supply of trained teachers will soon overtake the demand, and will be more than sufficient to fill up vacancies. It is very improbable that all the schools in the country will ever be filled by trained teachers. Private schools will always exist, in certain districts untrained teachers will probably hold their ground even in public schools. Of 1,825 schools in the specimen districts, containing 2,354 teachers, 612 or 26 per cent, were certificated, 35 or 1.5 per cent registered, and 72.5 per cent were neither certificated nor registered. We think, therefore, that the Committee of Council has exercised a proper discretion in resolving for the present to entertain no further proposals for the establishment of training colleges for males.

There is, however, one class of teachers, and one of the most important, for whom additional training colleges are wanted. These are the mistresses of infant schools. Their office, as we have already remarked, requires special qualification, and therefore a special education. At present there is but one college that specially trains them, that of the Home and Colonial Society, and it trains a number utterly inadequate even to the existing demand. We earnestly recommend that the Committee of Council devote its

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attention, and give its powerful aid to the supply of this want. One mode would be to recommend that in every training college for females a portion of time be devoted to the training of mistresses in the management of infant schools. Another would be to turn some of the training colleges for males into training colleges for infant schoolmistresses.

Should our recommendations have the effect of inducing denominations, which have hitherto refused Government aid, to apply for it, the question respecting the support by the State of new training colleges might be reopened.

Fears have been expressed that the supply of trained teachers for ordinary schools may become excessive, but it is impossible to guard against this beforehand. If the evil should be practically felt, the remedy would be to limit the total number of Queen's scholarships, and the training colleges which could neither obtain Queen's scholars nor dispense with them would probably be closed.


We now proceed to sum up the results of this chapter.

I. We have passed rapidly over the untrained teachers. We have shown that they are generally inferior to the trained teachers, and we have admitted the justice of the complaint of those who keep private schools, that they are subjected to an unfair competition with the schools aided by the State. We have proposed to remove this injustice, and thereby indirectly to improve the teachers of private schools, by allowing them to obtain certificates of competency, and to share in the public grant, so far as they perform its conditions.

Our attention has been fixed on the trained teachers. On those who have gone through the full course prescribed by the Committee of Council as pupil-teachers in schools, as students in training colleges, and ultimately as masters or mistresses of schools. They are almost creations of the Committee of Council, and it exercises over them so powerful an influence that it is responsible not only for their errors, but, so far as they are remediable, for their deficiencies.

II. We have explained the origin of the pupil-teacher system. We have shown that the pupil-teachers were introduced for the purpose of filling, during their apprenticeship, the place of monitors, and after their apprenticeship, of being trained to become masters and mistresses. We have shown that their action on the scholars

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is eminently beneficial, but more on the higher and on the middle classes than on the lower; the instruction of the youngest children, which requires, in fact, the most zeal, patience, and tact, being generally intrusted to the younger pupil-teachers, who necessarily are the least fit for it. We have considered two objections to the education which the pupil-teachers themselves receive during their apprenticeship. One is, that the hours of mental work are too long, lasting at least for seven hours a day; the other is, that their studies are devoted rather to the acquisition of facts than of principles; that "their memory is unwholesomely stimulated, and their judgment stunted and baffled;" that there is a striking contrast between "their great amount of positive information and low degree of culture and intelligence." We have admitted that both these objections have some foundation, and we have alluded to the possibility of shortening the hours of school attendance as a remedy for the one; and the change of some of the subjects of their present course of instruction for matter of a more interesting and practical nature as a palliative of the other.

III. We then traced the pupil-teachers to the next stage of their education, that of students in the training colleges. As their studies are governed by their annual examination, on their success in which the payments made on their behalf to the colleges depend, we have explained at some length the syllabus of the subjects of examination which is prescribed to the training colleges by the Committee of Council. It is divided into two portions, one intended to develop the general intelligence of the students, the other to give them practical skill in teaching. To the first portion of the syllabus we have given a general approbation, subject to an expression of regret that political economy is totally omitted from the male syllabus.

The second part of the syllabus we have also approved, fully as respects the syllabus for young women, and, as to that for young men, with a qualification that the same knowledge of domestic economy and physiology ought to be required from both.

But as to the examination papers prepared by the Committee Council on the foundation of the syllabus, we have stated our opinion that in the character of the questions there is too much minuteness, too much which appeals to mere verbal recollection, and too little attention to the real importance of the subject-matters inquired into.

From the syllabus and examination papers we proceeded to the training actually received by the students. It consists of three and a half hours a day of private study, six hours a day of

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lectures, occasIonally varied by attendance in the practising and model schools attached to the colleges. We have expressed our fears that these hours of work are too many; that the time given to outdoor exercise is too short; and that the attendance of the students in the practising schools tends to confirm any bad habits which they may have acquired as pupil-teachers. And we have also cited evidence to show that too much stress is laid on the exercise of the students' memory, while too little attention is paid to the improvement of their judgment and reasoning powers. On the whole, however, we have expressed a favourable opinion of the intellectual training of the students. The moral condition of the colleges, especially the female colleges, appears to be satisfactory.

IV. In these opinions we were fortified by the evidence as to the moral and intellectual character of those who, having passed through the training colleges, were found by our witnesses In the actual charge of schools. We cited from that evidence abundant proof that the trained teachers not only are comparatively far superior to the untrained, but are, in every respect but one, positively good.

That exception, however, is a most important one. It is that the junior classes in the schools, comprehending the great majority of the children, do not learn, or learn imperfectly, the most necessary part of what they come to learn, - reading, writing, and arithmetic.

We have attributed this defect, not to want of power, but to want of motive in the teachers, and we propose to remedy it by making it the interest of both managers and teachers that all the children under their care really learn to read, write, and cipher.

We have considered some other allegations against the trained teachers. One is, the early age at which they are first put in charge of schools. This we expect to disappear as the number becomes larger and the younger students are forced by competition to begin as assistant masters.

Another is, that the rank of the certificate, in so far as it depends on the examination, is an imperfect indication of the teaching power of its holder. This we admit, but it is a defect incidental to every attempt to test the practical skill of a candidate by inquiring into his knowledge of the sciences on which his art depends or of the rules by which it is directed. Our proposal that the certificate shall in future bear only an honorary value will diminish the practical inconveniences attending this unavoidable imperfection.

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Other complaints are that the trained teachers are conceited and dissatisfied. The first we do not believe to be true of the class, the second we admit to a certain degree, and account for it by remarking, amongst other causes, that their emoluments, though not too low, rise too soon to their highest level.

V. The last subject into which we have inquired is the probable supply and demand of trained teachers, and we have expressed an expectation that with one exception the supply from the existing training colleges will soon overtake the demand. The exception is that of mistresses of infant schools. The demand for them is great, and we trust that it will be much greater. The supply is insufficient, and does not seem likely to increase unless the Committee of Council will extend its powerful aid.

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The two preceding chapters contain an account of the means provided for the education of the children of the independent poor, with a general statement of the number of children which avail themselves of them. The present chapter describes in detail the length and regularity of the children's attendance, and discusses the plans which have been suggested for increasing them. It is divided into the following sections:


The questions to be answered are, how long are the names of the children on the books of any school, and what is the degree of regularity with which they attend during that period?

The first question could not be completely answered without minute information as to a number of children sufficiently large to give averages applicable to the whole number of children in attendance at the schools. It would be necessary to know the length of time during which the name of each individual child had been upon the books of any school whatever, and to ascertain in respect to each child the sum of all these periods. The intricacy and the minuteness of such an inquiry rendered it impossible, nor was there any trustworthy evidence as to the minute facts which it would have embraced. The only authentic information bearing upon the point which we could obtain was contained in tables showing the ages of all the children present in a certain number of schools on given occasions. The principle on which the inferences drawn from these tables depend is, that as there is no reason to suppose that the number of children whose names are on the books varies much from year to year, it may be assumed that if the percentages increase up to one

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year and fall off after another, the interval between those years will represent the period during which a considerable portion of the children attend school. The removal of children from school - to school does not affect this inference. The inference, of course, is vague. It may be that the children who enter school late also remain late, and that those who enter early are removed early. No evidence exists on which any trustworthy conclusion on this head could be based.

The following tables are founded on the returns obtained by the Assistant Commissioners from 1,740 public week-day schools and 3,450 private schools. These give the following results, which coincide very nearly with those obtained by the Committee of Council from the inspection of annual grant schools throughout the country, as appears from the second column.

In 3,450 private schools in the 10 specimen districts, the percentages were -

It follows that most of the children in elementary public schools, namely 65.8 per cent, are between the ages of 6 and 12;

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few go before 6, very few before 3; attendance diminishes rapidly after 11, and ceases almost entirely at 13, only 54 per cent, of the children remaining after that age. Hence it appears highly probable that the attendance of most of the children who go to school at all is distributed with more or less regularity over about four years, between 3 and 15, and generally between 6 and 12.

The table as to private schools, which was confined to schools in which the payment did not exceed £1 per quarter, indicates that a larger proportion of the children in them are of the age of 8 and under than is the case in public schools, the percentages being 64.5 and 46.4 respectively. It also indicates that the children who stay after 8 leave school less rapidly, and therefore stay longer than is the case in public schools. In the private schools the percentages diminish by two a year from the year 7-8 to the year 10-11, and then by one a year to the year 14-15. In public schools they diminish by about one a year from the year 8-9 to 10-11, and thence by from two to three a year down to the year 14-15. The explanation of this probably is that many of the private schools are infant dame schools, but that those which are confined to older children are frequented in many cases (as appears from the evidence given in Chap. II,) by children whose parents can afford rather higher fees than are paid in ordinary day schools, and who keep them there longer than the pupils of such schools are usually kept.

With respect to the regularity of the attendance, it must be observed that perfectly regular attendance implies uninterrupted resort from day to day to the same school. If the child is either kept away from school on particular days, or is removed from one school to another, the regularity of its attendance is interrupted to that extent. The statistics as to these two forms of regularity are distinct.

First, as to attendance from day to day. The schools are open for 44 weeks of five days each week, or 220 days in the year; the proportion of children in daily attendance to the number whose names appear on the registers is, in public week-day schools, 76.1 per cent.. The proportion of scholars returned in the 10 specimen districts as having severally attended

Per cent
Less than 50 days was17.4
50 to 100 days was18.9
100 to 150 days was20.7
150 to 200 days was24.4
Above 200 days was18.6

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If these proportions hold for the whole country, it will follow that of the 1,549,812 children whose names are on the books o the class of schools connected with religious denominations, 562,400 attend less than 100 days.

As many as 43.0 per cent, attended more than 150 days and upwards. This nearly tallies with the experience of the Committee of Council, which is, that in 1859, in annual grant schools 41.28 per cent of the children attended 176 days, so as to be able to claim the capitation grant. Our returns include schools to which no capitation grants are paid. It further appears that 63.7 per cent of the children attended 100 days and upwards.

As to regularity of attendance at the same school, the following table in the last report of the Committee of Council gives the mean centesimal proportion for seven years, ending with and including 1859, and also the mean centesimal proportion for 1859 and 1858 respectively of scholars on the books who have attended the same school for the several periods therein mentioned.

As the total number of children attending school does not vary materially from year to year, and as it has been already shown that the attendance of each child is usually distributed over about four years, this table proves that a large proportion of the children must receive their education in several different schools, each of which they thus attend for a short time only.

The result of these tables and of those showing the whole number of children at school which are embodied in Chapter I. may be thus expressed. The children of the great bulk of the poorer classes attend school for several years between the ages of 3 and 12, and generally speaking between 6 and 12; and more than three-fifths of them (63.7 per cent.) attend for 20 weeks in the year and upwards.

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To estimate the importance of this result, it must be remembered that an attendance of 100 days generally implies attendance for 20 weeks, as there is evidence to show that parents do not choose to pay for broken weeks; so that if the child stays away for one or two days it is frequently kept away for the whole week. "I found it quite a common thing," says Mr. Winder, "if a child missed school on Monday and Tuesday, for his parents to keep him away for the rest of the week. It would not be worth their while, they think, to pay 4d for 3d worth of teaching." Mr. Hare gives a curious illustration of this. Hull fair is observed at the schools in that town as a two days' holiday, and in one school there, 65 only, out of 140 boys, attended during the rest of the week. "Parents," says Mr. Hare, "will not pay 2d for a broken week."

This state of things leaves great room for improvement, but we do not think that it warrants very gloomy views or calls for extreme measures. Even under the present conditions of school age and attendance, it would be possible for at least three-fifths of the children on the books of the schools, the 63.7 per cent who attend 100 days and upwards, to learn to read and write without conscious difficulty, and to perform such arithmetical operations as occur in the ordinary business of life. This knowledge they might receive while under the influence of wholesome moral and religious discipline, and they might add to it an acquaintance with the leading principles of religion, and the rules of conduct which flow from them.


The last section gives the statistical results as to the attendance of the children of the independent poor at elementary schools. It remains to state the causes which determine those limits, and which must be motives influencing the parents, who, except in special cases, alone decide whether their children shall go to school, and how long they shall remain there.

The question as to the feelings with which parents of the poorer classes, who are neither in a state of abject poverty, nor of reckless and intemperate habits, regard elementary education, is one of the most important in the whole range of our inquiry. The Assistant Commissioners have collected a considerable mass

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of information upon the subject, and their evidence tends for the most part to establish two propositions. The first is, that almost all the parents appreciate the importance of elementary education, and that the respectable parents are anxious to obtain it for their children. The second is, that they are not prepared to sacrifice the earnings of their children for this purpose, and that they accordingly remove them from school as soon as they have an opportunity of earning wages of an amount which adds in any considerable degree to the family income. With respect to the anxiety of the poor to obtain elementary instruction for their children, Mr. Cumin says,* -

I took various opportunities of ascertaining from working men Illustrations, themselves, their opinion as to the value of education. When I asked them whether education was of any use to their children, they seemed to doubt whether I was serious; or if they supposed that I was, they seemed to consider the question rather insulting.

An Irishman whom I met driving a cart summed up the case in favour of education, thus: "Do you think reading and writing is of any use to people like yourself?" I asked. "To be sure I do. Sir," the man answered with a strong brogue, "and do you think that if I could read and write I would be shoved into every dirty job as I am now? No, Sir ! instead of driving this horse I'd be riding him."

On asking another man a similar question about girls, Mr. Cumin was met by the remark, "I don't know, Sir, whether you'd like to have your love-letters read or written by strangers." He mentions a case of an auctioneer's porter, earning 13s a week, who had five children, all of whom, except a baby in arms, were at school at an expense of 5d a week;† and of the widow of a cabman, "with five young children, working day and night as a sempstress, to keep body and soul together without aid from the parish, but yet sparing several pence a week in order to send her children to the best National school in the neighbourhood." After describing the evils which result from neglecting children, he says, "the working man or woman understands the thing thoroughly; I have questioned numbers of them on the subject, and I believe it to be an axiom with them that a child left in the streets is ruined."

Wherever a school is established which supplies the sort of education for which the poor are anxious, it is filled with pupils. All the Assistant Commissioners testify to this. Mr. Coode's district is remarkable for the bad state of its education, yet he says, "It is a subject of wonder how people so destitute of education as labouring parents commonly are, can be such

*Report, pp. 94, 95.

†Report, p. 95.

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just judges as they also commonly are of the effective qualifications of a teacher. Good school buildings and the apparatus of education are found for years to be practically useless and deserted, when, if a master chance to be appointed who understands his work, a few weeks suffice to make the fact known, and his school is soon filled, and perhaps found inadequate to the demand of the neighbourhood, and a separate girls' school or infants' school is soon found to be necessary." Mr. Coode gives several instances of this. In one case a schoolmaster began with three pupils, and raised the number in 15 months to 180; a strike took place and reduced the colliers to great distress; "but such had now become the desire of the children to remain at school, and of their parents to keep them there, that the greater number remained during a time when the provision of the school fees must have encroached in most of the colliers' families on the very necessaries of life."* Mr. Foster says, that on account of the inefficiency of the schools there is considerable indifference on the part of the parents to their teaching; but he observes, "it would be gross injustice to say that there is indifference to education or prejudice against it. Among the idle and the vicious there is doubtless much listlessness and apathy, but among the well-doing of the lower classes, who, except round some of the 'tommy-ticket establishments,' form by far the greater proportion in the district I have gone over, there is a strong desire to have their children educated, and if this has not issued in sending them to school, it has been chiefly due to the inefficiency and repulsive character of the schools within reach."† Mr. Fraser sums up the results of his inquiry in a list of 21 conclusions; the fifth of these, which is supported by many facts stated in different parts of his report, is as follows: "That all the difficulties which surround the attendance of children do not prevent the efficient schools from being full; that these therefore may fairly be considered to have solved and overcome them, and that the great object, consequently, to aim at, is to place all schools in a state of efficiency."‡

Mr. Mitchell, one of the inspectors of schools, in an essay read at the Educational Conference in 1857,§ says -

All people interested in this subject know that an idea very extensively prevails that the parents of the working classes are indifferent
*Report, pp. 258, 259.

Report, p. 350.

Report, p. 116.

§Essays, p. 3.

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to the education of their children, and that it often happens that the most indifferent are those who have received such education as the old National schools afforded. These complaints are constant; and when I look at the actual instruction too frequently offered in the schools for the working classes, I can only rejoice that parents are so sensible, for more complete waste of time than one too frequently grieves over in these schools it is hardly possible to imagine. The same complaint, however, is sometimes with justice made by managers, even where the schools are excellent - a case, however, not often occurring, since a really good, unfettered, simple-hearted, earnest, disinterested, unproselytising education rarely fails to succeed in commanding the attention of those for whom it is intended; and ordinarily, where it is otherwise, if you carefully observe, you may discover some snake in the grass - some unpopularity, whose origin is local, not educational.
Further proofs of the anxiety of the poor to provide education for their children, are to be found in the popularity of evening schools, and in the large sums paid to private schools. Evidence on the first of these heads has been already given. As to the second, it is enough to say that private schools, containing by estimation 573,436 children, are entirely supported by the payments of parents of the class in question.

The anxiety of the parents for the education of their children is, however, limited in its objects. The result which they wish to secure is that which they can themselves appreciate, namely, a knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic, of the elements of religion and of the principles of good conduct. Frequently also they either fail to appreciate the importance of regular attendance towards securing this result, or have not sufficient steadiness and self-denial to enforce it, so that they keep children from school on trifling occasions. Such conduct is perfectly consistent with a sincere desire to secure the education of their children, and a high estimate of its advantages; and thus an apparent conflict of evidence on this important point may be explained.

Injustice therefore is sometimes done to the parents by charges made against them by promoters of education even as regards irregularity of attendance, which, though a reasonable ground for complaint, often arises more from want of self-control and perseverance than from indifference to education. But when the parents are censured for not prolonging the attendance of their children at school, it rests with those who censure them to show that the most has been made of the attendance already given. If a child of 10 years old, who has attended school with moderate regularity for four or five years, can hardly read and write, and cannot cypher to any useful purpose, it is very hard to call upon the parent to keep him at school four years longer, and to tax him with gross selfishness and ingrati-

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tude because he does not choose to forego a large addition to his family income in order to do so. The parent's notion of what education should be may be limited; but, as far as it goes, it is sound. It is no doubt true that it would be most desirable to teach children many other things besides reading, writing, and arithmetic; but if a child is ignorant of these after four years' schooling, his parents may well be excused for supposing that the experiment has lasted long enough.

The name of almost every child is at some time or other on the books of some school at which it attends with more or less regularity. There are, however, children who never attend school, though it does not appear that they are found collected in large numbers in any particular places. In a few instances they receive instruction at home; but the two great causes of absolute non-attendance are poverty and neglect.

It appears from our evidence that, though poverty may be at times alleged as a cause of absolute non-attendance, it is more commonly an excuse than a justification, inasmuch as many parents of the very poorest class send their children to school. As we have before shown (chap. 1, section 2) the managers of schools are not so strict in enforcing the payment of the full fee as to allow a child often to be excluded from school by the poverty of its parents. Mr. Hedley* says: " I have met with very few instances indeed where children are supposed to be kept away from school through the inability of their parents to pay for them." After referring to arrangements for receiving several children of the same family at a lower rate, he adds, "Even persons who are receiving outdoor relief seem to be able to send their children to school. In one union inquiry had just been made at the time of my visit into this point by the Board of Guardians, and the result of it was that it was deemed unnecessary to interfere by assisting persons who were receiving outdoor relief towards the education of their children."

Mr. Cumin† says, "The sons and daughters of the poorest people, the outdoor paupers, are found at the ordinary public and even private schools." It is not, however, to be denied that in some cases excessive poverty may prevent parents from sending a child to school. Mr. Fraser‡ speaks of such cases as existing, though rare; and Mr. Hare's experience was to the same effect. "Inability," he says, "from abject poverty, involving want of clothes, and especially shoes, prevents some parents

*Report p. 146.

†Report, p. 32.

‡Report, p. 57.

[page 179]

from sending their children to school." We consider the mode of relieving such cases under the head of pauper education.

The commonest cause, however, of an entire absence of schooling is to be found in the intemperance, apathy, and recklessness of the most degraded part of the population. There are persons, though happily they are few, who entirely neglect their children, and allow them to grow up in a state of beggary and ignorance. After stating, that of the children of the school age who are not at school, two-thirds are either at work or employed, if girls, at home, Mr. Fraser* adds, "The other third, whose homes are mainly in the back lanes of the country towns, are to be found idling, or playing, or begging about the streets, or else extemporizing ... playthings ... out of the furniture of the cottage." After specifying streets in particular towns in which the children are thus neglected, he adds, "In a cottage or two in most country villages you will infallibly meet with groups more or less large of such children." The commonest cause of this is "the indifference, thriftlessness, and recklessness of their parents." Mr. Hare says that such neglect is generally owing to "the vicious indulgence of the father, tending to bad management at home."† Similar evidence is given by most of the other Assistant Commissioners. The course which we recommend with regard to these children is specified under the head of the Education of Vagrants.

As to the general motives of parents for removing their children from school at or before the average age, there is but little conflict of opinion. The reports of all our Assistant Commissioners, with the exception of Mr. Jenkins, those of the Inspectors of Schools, and the answers given to our circulars of questions, all agree in attesting that the children are removed for the sake of the wages which they earn, or of their services at home; the further inducement of fitting the child for some calling for which early training is required being alleged in some cases, Mr. Jenkins alone arrived at the conclusion, that in his (Welsh) districts the general cause of early withdrawal was not the necessity of obtaining the child's wages or services, but the parent's want of appreciation of the benefits of a higher education.

The weight of these inducements, and the question whether the parents are right or wrong in this matter, are points of the first importance, and the following section is devoted to the consideration of them and of the various practical questions which are connected with them.

*Report, p. 57.

†Report, p. 235.

[page 180]


Before discussing the plans themselves, we will describe the state of the facts to be dealt with, including the existing laws, and indicate the grounds on which our judgments will be formed.

The present section falls under the following heads:

I. State of juvenile labour.
II. Proposals for a general compulsory system of education.
III. Compulsory regulations in Factories, Printworks, and Mines.
IV. Private compulsion.
V. Prize schemes.
VI. Distribution of minor State appointments on educational grounds.

It would have enlarged the sphere of our inquiry beyond all reasonable bounds to have attempted to obtain the materials for a complete account of this subject, but we have collected evidence enough for the present purpose.

The principal employments of children in this country are, like those of adults, agriculture, manufactures, mining, and the occupations which exist in immense variety in all large towns.

These employments are either continuous, when the child's labour is required all the year round, or intermittent; they are also collective, in which case large numbers of children are employed in the same manner at the same time, or individual, in which case the labour of each child is regulated by the circumstances of its particular employment. These distinctions are of great importance in reference to all systems which aim at prolonging the period of education by distributing the children's time between education and labour.

1. Agricultural Occupations. Children are employed in agriculture from a very early age, and in a great variety of ways. "Children," says Mr. Hedley,* "begin to have a money value as soon as they can shout loud enough to scare a crow, or can endure exposure to the weather in watching cows in the lane. At eight years of age they can earn 6d a day, or more; at 11 or 12 they earn 1s a day." "The children," says Mr. Cook,† "are taken from school and from home, and at the age of seven and even so young as six years are kept in the fields from morning to night, Sundays and weekdays,

*Report, p. 147.

†Min. 1847-8, I, p. 52.

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for weeks together, without any occupation but that of watching the crows."

Mr. Moseley says:*

A long and dreary interval is allowed to intervene between the time when the child leaves school and that when his industrial education can in any sense he said to begin. He goes, it may be, into the fields at daybreak to drive away the birds from the growing crops, and continues there until sunset; or he is sent out to watch pigs and geese, or to keep cattle or sheep. Thus employed, he is conversant with the same horizon, contends with the same flock of sparrows, traverses the boundaries of the same field, leans daily against the same gate, or sits under the same hedge for months, perhaps for years, together. ... The intellectual stagnation of an existence like this eats into the soul of the child. I have often been told by those who have taken the pains to ascertain it, of the marvellous inroads it makes in his character, what a cloud it brings over his character, how in a few months scarce a trace remains of the knowledge he had acquired at school, except perhaps its most technical and mechanical elements.
These, however, are far from being the only agricultural operations in which children are engaged. They are employed in picking stones off the land, gathering twitch or weeds, in driving horses at plough, in cutting turnips for sheep, and in various other ways. At particular seasons "the population is not more than sufficient to do the work, and frequently the whole number of available hands is required at once. Farmers remarking upon this," says Mr. Hedley† "have said to me, 'at certain seasons we want the children, and must have them'."

Agricultural labour varies greatly according to the season of the year and local peculiarities as to produce. The following deviations from the usual routine occur in the districts of Mr. Hedley and Mr. Fraser. They show how great the variety must be if the labour of the whole country is taken into account. "On the banks of the Trent, below Gainsborough, potatoes are largely grown, and in the autumn the children are all employed in following the men who dig the potatoes, and gathering them up. In the neighbourhood of Tickhill peas are grown for the Sheffield market, and at the time for gathering them the bellman is sent round to call all the women and children into the fields. In the neighbourhood of Newark willow-peeling employs many young hands in the spring. At Brandon there is work for children in 'fur-cutting,' as it is called - preparing rabbit skins for use. About Ely children assist their fathers in 'claying.' About Depden the children help the labourer in draining, their duty being to keep the man's spade wet."‡

Mr. Fraser says,§ "In Herefordshire there are no fewer than

*Min. 1849-50, I. p. 6.

†Hed., p. 149.

‡Hed., p. 148.

§Report. p. 26.

[page 182]

seven annual harvests, in each of which children are largely employed; 1, bark-peeling, 2, hay, 3, corn, 4, hops, 5, potatoes, 6, apples, 7, acorns. Add to these, bird-keeping in autumn and spring, potato-setting, hop-tying, and the incidental duties of baby nursing and errand going." When it is remembered that agricultural wages range from 9s to 14s or 16s a week, and that children, in the various modes indicated, can add to this sum sometimes as much as 4s or 5s, and generally 2s 6d, the importance of their earnings to their parents becomes sufficiently apparent.

Watching birds in a field or cows in a lane is a stupefying employment, but this is by no means the case with agricultural labour in general. It is, on the contrary, an employment which gives very considerable opportunities for employing the various faculties. "It is the fashion," says Mr. Fraser,* "to speak of agriculture as requiring only unskilled labour. It seems to me that it is a very erroneous epithet. The man who knows minutely the habits and manner of treatment of four or five different kinds of animals, horses, beasts, sheep, swine, poultry; who can hedge, ditch, thrash, mow, reap, plough a furrow, drive a drill, sow a field broadcast, as straight and true as though the line was chalked for him; this man wants something more than mere thews and muscle; he must possess cleverness of the hand and eye; and the first-rate farm labourer is as truly skilled as the first-rate mechanic or artisan. Now this land of skill can only be picked up at an early age, when the imitative faculties are strong; and I have again and again heard old labourers accounting for the bungling work made by some novice in the craft by saying, 'Ah! he never turned his hand to it till he got too old'." Mr. Hedley's observations† as to the effects of the industrial training given in workhouse schools was to much the same effect. He says, "The workhouse boy cannot compete with the labourer's child brought up at home. At best, he is not sought after by the farmer. He has learnt to handle a spade, but he has never handled harness; he knows nothing of the farmyard, and he is not inured to weather. No system of industrial training can give boys that handiness which they acquire in real work. Few boys from the workhouses obtain places as farm labourers, nearly all are apprenticed to a trade."

The common fallacy as to the unintellectual and stupefying character of agricultural labour was long ago confuted by Adam

*Report, p. 46.

†Report, p. 152.

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Smith, "Wealth of Nations," Book 1, Chap. 10: "The man who works upon brass and iron works with instruments and upon materials of which the temper is always the same, or very nearly the same. But the man who ploughs the ground with a team of horses or oxen works with instruments of which the health, strength, and temper are very different upon different occasions. The condition of the materials which he works upon too is as variable as that of the instruments which he works with, and both require to be managed with much '' judgment and discretion. The common ploughman, though generally regarded as the pattern of stupidity and ignorance, is seldom defective in this judgment and discretion. He is less accustomed, indeed, to social intercourse than the mechanic who lives in a town. His voice and language are more uncouth and more difficult to be understood by those who are not used to them. His understanding, however, being accustomed to consider a greater variety of objects, is generally much superior to that of the other whose whole attention from morning till night is commonly occupied in performing one or two very simple operations."

2. Manufactures. The employment of children in manufactures was minutely investigated by the Children's Employment Commissioners in 1840-43. It will be sufficient for our purpose to point out a few leading facts which bear upon the question of education. In some branches of manufacture, as, for example, in the cotton and woollen trades, the labour is, on the whole, continuous, the number of persons employed is large, and the operations to be performed consist of a mere mechanical routine, so that it is easy to divide the children whose labour is required into sets, of which only one is at work at once.

Children are employed in printworks principally as teerers, and whose business it is to stand by the block printer and keep a sieve full of colour ready to be supplied to the block, each application of the block to the cloth requiring a fresh supply of colour. A teerer is attached to each block printer, by whom it is generally hired and paid, the manufacturer having no relation whatever to the children, and apparently knowing nothing of them.* The labour of children employed in factories and printworks is subject to legal restrictions referred to below. Before they were imposed, the children used to enter on their employment, in some cases, in their fifth year, and in the printworks they worked in the most irregular manner, being entirely de-

*Children's Employment Commissioners, Second Report, pp. 12, 105.

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pendent on the adult printers, who were in the habit of idling for days and then working for great lengths of time together.

Factories and printworks are almost always establishments of considerable size, and contain a large number of workpeople. They are thus easily inspected, so that, if the inspectors do their duty there is good security that the provisions of the laws relating to them, whatever their value may be, will be enforced.

There are besides these a number of occupations in which children are employed, not in large numbers but in small groups, by persons in their own rank of life.

Some of these occupations are of such a character as materially to interfere with the education of the children. Mrs. Turner, a person employing about 40 hands as cheveners, a branch of embroidery, stated to the Children's Employment Commission, that the common age at which children began to work in that business was seven; that they had no time to go to school on the work-days; that they went from bed to work, and from work to bed: and that they would probably be stupefied on Sunday and not get much from instruction.

Mr. Norris* gives the following account of the life of a potter's child up to the age of apprenticeship, bearing directly on its educational condition:

At eighteen months or two years old he is sent to one of the dames who gain a livelihood by taking care of young children whose mothers are at the factory. Here, from seven in the morning to eight or nine at night, he is stowed away in a small room, without exercise or change of air, predisposing the constitution to consumption, which is a common malady in the pottery towns.

This continues on an average for four years. He is then, at five and a half or six years old, sent perhaps to the National school, where he stays one or two, or at most three years, but during the latter part of the time he is sure to be kept away very much to act as an occasional substitute for some other boy who is at work. At eight or nine ("earlier if his parents are drunken or improvident, often at six or seven") he begins to work regularly for a journeyman potter, turning his jigger (the potters' wheel, to which steam seems never to have been applied), and earning from 1s to 2s a week. In a year or two a quick boy will begin "handling" (making handles for cups, &c.), or "figuring," and earn from 2s to 4s. But by this time a great change has come over him; he has been kept at work 12 or 13 hours each day, and so, even if disposed to continue his school studies, has little time to do so, consequently he now reads badly, and writes worse, and, in short, nearly all he acquired at school is forgotten. But, while he has lost this, he has learned and takes pride in using the slang so common in the potteries, which distinguishes them from any other class of boys. At thirteen or fourteen, or fifteen, he is apprenticed to some "branch." This, though for a time it diminishes his earnings - part going to the master - raises him in importance, and, if cast among steady men, he improves rapidly, lays hold of every opportunity to repair the loss of

*Min. 1853-4, II, p. 401.

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former years, and qualify himself to read the "news" and discuss with his fellow apprentices. But if the men with whom he is employed are men of bad morals, he gradually acquires their habits, and even before fifteen visits with them the public-house.

I might have drawn a much more highly-coloured picture if I had taken an extreme case, but I wished rather to give what might be a fair average sample of the class; and I have been so careful in verifying my information, that I believe the results of my several inquiries given above may be accepted as conveying a true notion of the general condition of the children in the potteries.

One or two facts may be stated which serve to illustrate the magnitude of the earnings of very young children, and the consequent inducement to employ them. Children under eight can earn 4s a week each in the northern foundries,* and Mr. Bellairs calculated that the earnings of children between 8 and 14, in the six counties of Gloucester, Oxford, Warwick, Worcester, Hereford, and Monmouth, were worth at the rate of 2s a week each, about £260,000 a year. In one establishment at Birmingham, in which 315 hands were employed, 33 per cent were between 8 and 14 years of age, and they earned on an average 4s a week.

Whenever a particular manufacture becomes prevalent in a district - as, for example, cutlery at Sheffield, ironworks in South Staffordshire, or potteries in the north of the same county - the division of labour is almost certain to be applied to an extraordinary extent. This subdivision of labour, by reducing manufactures, as it were, to their lowest terms, tends to increase the demand for juvenile labour, because it increases the number of minute occupations which do not require the strength or skill of an adult workman.

3. Mining. Far the greater number of mines in England are either collieries or iron mines, and the mode of working them is very similar. In each of these many boys are employed, and at the time when the Children's Employment Commissioners undertook their inquiries women also worked to a great extent. In mines of copper, lead, tin, and zinc there were few very young children, as the work is almost entirely of a laborious kind.† They usually begin to work there between 10 and 12. In collieries and iron mines the case was different. In all parts of the country children were employed in these mines from the very earliest age at which they could walk. In some cases they were sent to work at four years of age; in others at five and six.‡ If the coal measure was thin, the children were sent at an early age; if thick enough for men to work in it, at a later one.

*Mr. Stewart's Report, Min. 1853-4, II., 581.

†Children's Employment Commissioners, First Report, pp. 205-7.

‡Ibid., pp. 1-24.

[page 186]

The employment of the children in collieries and iron mines consists partly in shutting and opening the doors by which the current of air from the downcast shaft is prevented from passing in the wrong direction. The child sits in the dark the whole day, with no other employment than that of pulling the door open when required for the passage of a "skip" or truck of coal, and letting it fall back as soon as the truck has passed. This work is done by the youngest children. Somewhat older children are employed in "hurrying," that is, pushing the carriages of coal through passages too small to allow the passage of horses and asses.

It is alleged, that the nature of a collier's employment is such that it can hardly be performed at all unless the children are accustomed to it from a very early age.

During the last session of Parliament an Act, to which we shall presently advert, was passed by which the employment of boys under 12 in collieries or mines was forbidden unless the boy produced a certificate from a competent schoolmaster that he could read and write, or unless the employer procured in the second and every subsequent month of his employment a certificate that he had attended school for not less than three hours a day for two days in each week during the preceding month.

4. Miscellaneous occupations in large towns. The occupations for children in large towns are almost endless in number and variety. Besides apprenticeships to all the common mechanical trades, such as shoemaking, carpentry, tailoring, mason's work, and the like, which exist all over the country, there are occupations which are hardly reducible to any general heads. For boys of 9 or 10, running errands is the principal employment; they make about 2s 6d a week in this manner. Young girls sometimes go out to act as nursemaids in poor families, where they get 1s a week and their board.* "London," says Dr. Hodgson,† "is very unlike small towns or rural districts, in which one or other branch of industry predominates, and juvenile labour becomes valuable at, but not before a certain age. There is scarcely any age at which in London money may not be earned. Vast is, if not the demand, at least the field for juvenile labour. Even regular callings present an early opening. One teacher has told me of a boy not yet nine years of age, whose attention was caught by a bill in a shop window, which he could just make out to mean

*Mr. Cumin's Report, p. 59.

†Report, p. 520.

[page 187]

that an errand boy was wanted. He offered himself on the spot, was speedily accepted, and in a few days afterwards left school, probably for ever." Mr. Wilkinson says,* "In the metropolitan districts there are facilities for earning money from the age of six and upwards, and the variety of occupations is so great as to render a detailed list almost impracticable." Mr. Wilkinson's witnesses gave evidence as to the different occupations of children in various districts of London, the result of which is, that boys under 15 will earn various sums, from 2s 6d to 10s a week, whilst girls earn from 1s with their food, upwards, as nursemaids. The demand for boys who have any Demand for instruction is very great. Schoolmasters are constantly applied to for boys of 12 to enter situations which are as highly paid as the labour of a farm servant in many parts of England. Mr. Langton, the head master of the model schools in the Borough Road, gave Dr. Hodgson a list of applications which he had lately received. The maximum age (with exceptions) at which boys leave his school is 12, and the terms offered ranged from 5s up to 10s a week to begin with, with prospect of advancement. This seems to justify the observation of Mr. Cook.† "Very few children of common workmen remain at school beyond the age of 12. They obtain situations very generally between 11 and 12. I have ascertained that at that age steady and intelligent lads gain from 3s to 7s weekly in London. So far as I can judge from a tolerably wide experience, the wages now paid to boys are much larger than formerly, and are steadily increasing."

In all parts of the country children are of use to their parents from a very early age in the management of their homes. The poor have no domestic servants, and a girl of 9 or 10 who has several younger brothers and sisters can afford great assistance to her mother by acting as a nurse, or by cleaning, or taking care of the house. Boys of the same or even of an earlier age are employed in going on errands, which are often of sufficient importance to make it worth while to keep the child away from school. The manner in which this operates is thus stated by the Prince Consort in his address to the Educational Congress on the 22nd of June 1857. "You will probably trace the cause to our social condition, perhaps to a state of ignorance and lethargic indifference on the subject amongst the parents generally; but the root of the evil will, I suspect, also be found to extend into that field on which the political

*Report, p. 354.

†Min. 1854-5, p. 392.

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economist exercises his activity; I mean the labour market, demand and supply. To dissipate that ignorance and rouse from that lethargy may be difficult; but with the united and earnest efforts of all who are the friends of the working classes, it ought, after all, to be only a question of time. What measures can be brought to bear upon the other root of the evil is a more delicate question, and will require the nicest care in handling, for there you cut into the very quick of the working man's condition. His children are not only his offspring, to be reared for a future independent position, but they constitute part of his productive power, and work with him for the staff of life. The daughters especially are the handmaids of the house, the assistants of the mother, the nurses of the younger children, the aged, and the sick. To deprive the labouring family of their help would be almost to paralyse its domestic existence."

The statistics of school attendance given in the last section show that the children of the poorer classes are usually sent to school, with more or less regularity, in the more favourable cases until they are about 12, and in the less favourable cases until they are about 10 years old. The facts as to the state of juvenile labour given in the present section, show that at those, and even in some cases at earlier ages, the children are able to earn wages which bear a large proportion to the weekly income of the family, and for the sake of which, or for services which they can render at home equivalent in value, they are removed from the school.

Is the state of feeling on the part of the parents which these results denote in itself an evil? If so, upon what principles is it to be dealt with? In answering this question a distinction should be made between regular and prolonged attendance. There can be no doubt as to the importance of regular attendance, and every effort ought to be made to secure and to encourage it; but with respect to prolonged attendance the case is somewhat different; and it should be remembered that the circumstances of various classes and districts differ materially in particulars which are important in relation to this subject. There are two considerations which ought to be regarded as paramount in discussing it.

In the first place independence is of more importance than education; and if the wages of the child's labour are necessary, either to keep the parents from the poor rates, or to relieve the pressure of severe and bitter poverty, it is far better that it should go to work at the earliest age at which it can bear the physical exertion than that it should remain at school.

[page 189]

There can be no doubt that this necessity sometimes exists; in the cases of large families, in the case of the children of widows, or of persons who are either out of employment, or uncertain whether they shall not soon be reduced to that condition. The position of many of the labouring poor, especially of those whose health is not strong, or whose manual skill is not great, is precarious; they are the first to feel changes in the state of trade, and may be suddenly reduced from comparative comfort to destitution, misery, and pauperism. It is no light thing for such a family to forego an opportunity of providing for a child; nor would the father be justified in doing so, unless he clearly saw his way to some distinct advantage to accrue from prolonging the child's attendance at school. It must be remembered, moreover, that a child which is a burden to its parents is less likely to be kindly treated at home, and that the influence of a kind home is as essential to the formation of character as that of a good school.

In the second place the child has a moral right to as good an education as the parent can afford to give it at the expense of reasonable sacrifices. It would be very difficult to lay down a general rule as to what sacrifices are reasonable, but we think it clear that if a parent is in receipt of an income which, independently of the child's earnings, will support his family, he has no moral right to send his child to work merely for the sake of increasing his own income, until the child has received a certain amount of education, or until the age has arrived, after which the branch of labour to which it is destined cannot be thoroughly learnt.

Mr. Fraser, speaking of Herefordshire, says, "The peasant's wages are never up to the mark that can allow of his sacrificing the earnings of his child to higher considerations." Mr. Jenkins says of the Welsh miners: "In districts in which in Wales. I found the population strictly moral, the heads of families, serious, thinking, and even reading men, - almost every individual having associated himself to some religious denomination in the neighbourhood, where sobriety and general good conduct were characteristics of the population, where the cottage was well furnished, the children clad with an evident regard to their comfort, and a well-dressed population on Sundays frequented their respective places of worship, - early withdrawal is so prevalent, that I found in a neighbouring day school of 70 scholars only three children in school above 10 years of age. The parents entertain honestly the conviction that in adopting this course they are discharging

[page 190]

a duty to their children. Their reasoning was that after giving them as much schooling as was required in their sphere of life, they ought to lose no time in putting them in the way of earning a livelihood."*

What amount then of general education is a parent morally bound to give his child? No absolute answer can be given to this question. Private persons who are acquainted with the circumstances of a particular man, district, or class, may truly urge that in the case under their notice a moral obligation exists to keep children at school till their minds and characters are thoroughly formed. But for purposes of legislation or for the administration of grants of public money, a more general standard is required. The best standard that we can suggest for public purposes, is that a man is morally bound to give his children such an amount of education as the respectable members of his own class usually consider necessary. We do not believe that the respectable part of the working population are indifferent to the welfare of their children, and we feel that their practical decision as to the amount of education which they require is entitled to great weight at the hands of all public authorities. Their views upon the subject may be narrow and inadequate; and to enlarge and elevate them may be a useful employment for the promoters of education; but with a view to legislation and to the administration of public grants, the standard which the respectable part of the class set up by their conduct cannot be disregarded by the Legislature or the executive Government.

The Dean of Bristol being asked by Mr. Cumin whether he could suggest any means of checking the tendency in parents to remove their children so early from school, replied:

None whatever. I speak, of course, of the bulk of the parents. The better the education, the longer will those parents who can afford it leave their children at school. But as to the bulk, I believe the more you expedite the bringing of the child to a certain point the more you increase the tendency to remove it from the school. This may appear to offer some argument against what I said in favour of infant schools. I would risk, however, the better education to be so secured, in the hope that a parent may not find it worthwhile, in the great majority of the cases, to remove the child at a younger age than at present.

I think we ought to deal with the case as we find it. I am persuaded it is only to attempt the task of Mrs. Partington over again, to set ourselves to stem hack the demands of the labour market.

The sooner, therefore, we get rid of the idea that all the education of our people must necessarily be given before children go out to work, the better. The sooner that we give up trying to cram the child with all possible kind of things, in all possible haste in proportion to the short time it remains at school, the better. The better every way, for

*Report, pp. 474-5.

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our people and ourselves, as we the sooner make up our minds to follow our young men through life, wherever they go, into whatever trade or calling, the soldier, the sailor, the civilian, with the means of educating themselves."*
Before dismissing this part of the subject, however, we must call attention to the important evidence of Mr. Shields, master of the Birkbeck schools, Mr. Imeson, the master of the Central London district school, Mr. Moseley, the master of the Stepney Industrial school, Mr. Todhunter, the master of the South Metropolitan district school, and Mr. Randall, the master of the St. James National school, as to the number of hours during which children can be usefully kept in school, and the length of time for which their attention can be sustained. This evidence may have an important bearing on the question of prolonged attendance.

There is a conflict of opinion between Mr. Shields and the other witnesses; but the evidence on the whole tends decidedly to the conclusions: I. That for children under the age of 12 years, 24 hours a week is nearly the limit of profitable instruction in studies requiring mental effort. II. That 18 hours a week is often a more useful period of mental effort than 24. III. That 15 hours a week, the utmost that is obtained by the factory children, is, to use the most unfavourable expression, not insufficient. IV. That much may be done in 12 hours a work, or two hours a day, provided that those two hours be two fresh hours in the morning. V. That children who have been educated up to the age of seven in a good infant school can be taught in three years, in a school attendance of from 15 to 18 hours a week, to read well, to write well, and to understand and apply the common rules of arithmetic.

Mr. Chadwick has kindly communicated to us a paper embodying similar evidence, and pointing to the expediency of shortening the school hours generally, and employing the time thus set at liberty in drill, the invigorating effects of which, both on the body and the character, he has in the same paper adduced a considerable body of evidence to prove.

We are of opinion that no general change of this kind can be prudently recommended, and that its introduction would probably cause great numbers of parents who feel that they are paying for a full day's schooling to become discontented with the schools. But we call attention to the point as one which may be of the highest importance not only in cases where the nature of the employment admits of the regular half-time system, but also in certain cases where the child's services are required during the

*Appendix to Mr. Cumin's Report, pp. 171-2.

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greater part of every day, it being in evidence that if two fresh hours in the morning can by any means be spared for the school, a considerable amount of education may be secured.


Proposals for the establishment of a compulsory system of education are generally based upon the supposition that such a system has been established and has succeeded in other countries. The country most commonly referred to is Prussia, and upon this point the report of our Assistant Commissioner, the Rev. M. Pattison, contains information so interesting, and in several respects so novel, that we think it desirable, at the expense of a short digression, to give in this place an outline of the Prussian system.

An impression, created we believe by M. Cousin's report to the French Government in 1831, prevails very generally that in Prussia compulsory education and compulsory military service are analogous in principle, and are of equally recent origin. This is not the case. Military service has been compulsory only since the year 1814, but education has been compulsory since the Reformation. "Compulsory school attendance," says Mr. Pattison,* "dates from the earliest period of the Reformation, and was a recognized religious duty long before it became a law of the state." Consistorial edicts to this effect have been issued at various periods since Luther's address to the municipal corporations in Germany in 1524. In the 16th and 17th centuries the education given was exclusively religious. In the 18th century writing and arithmetic were added, but from the 16th century to the present day the acquisition of some degree of education has been recognized as "an obligation universally admitted as one of the first duties of the citizen and member of the church," and has been repeatedly enforced by positive enactment, both in Prussia and in other parts of Germany. The effect of this is, that though registers of children within the school age are kept by the police, and periodically compared by boards appointed for that purpose with the school registers of attendance, and though non-attendance is punishable by fine and imprisonment of the parent, these regulations are practically unimportant, because they are rarely called into operation. Mr. Pattison says of Germany in general: "Though I have spoken of irregular attendance, and of enforcement of attendance by penal-

*Report, p. 204.

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ties, it must be borne in mind that these are individual cases. I have found no province or district in Germany in which public feeling manifested itself as rebelling against compulsory attendance in itself. In 1818-49 such a feeling could not have failed to have found expression had it existed." He adds: "The schooling is compulsory only in name; the school has taken so deep a root in the social habit of the German people that were the law repealed to-morrow no one doubts that the schools would continue as full as they now are. In the free city of Frankfort there is no compulsory law, and I was assured by persons most likely to be informed, that all the children of school age are as regularly sent to school there as in any other town in Germany; and Frankfort, it should be re- membered, is a place of refuge for many loose and unsettled families escaping from the more severe police of the bordering countries, Nassau, Darmstadt, Baden, &c. In Würtemberg a law was last year enacted, abridging the time of schooling, for the sake of easing the pressure on the existing school accommodation; but it has not yet (May 1859) appeared that the people are disposed to avail themselves of the remission of time."

He observes elsewhere that "the children learn to read, write, and cypher as a matter of course, just as they learn to talk or to dress as neatly as they can afford.'' It is thus obvious that the present state of education in Prussia illustrates the results of a compulsory system, which having been established under a state of society altogether unlike our own, has lasted long enough to have become superfluous. It proves nothing as to the effects of introducing legal compulsion into a nation previously unaccustomed to it.

The distinguishing characteristic of the Prussian system is not its compulsory attendance, but the mode in which the schools are governed. Their affairs are divided into interior and exterior, the interior affairs are those which relate to teaching and discipline, the exterior those which relate to the management of school property, the enforcement of attendance, the investigation of charges against the teacher, and the preparation of statistical returns. The appointment of the teacher forms a separate head. It is sometimes vested in the parish, and sometimes in a patron, private, official, or corporate, as the case may be.* The teacher is required, on receiving his appointment, to take an oath of allegiance, an oath to the constitution, and

*Report, p. 248.

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since 1851 a very stringent regulation has made the appointment or promotion of an elementary schoolmaster dependent on his political conduct and opinions."

The interior affairs of the school are almost entirely under the control of ecclesiastical authorities. The clergyman of the parish is ex officio local inspector, and as such has the management of the school as well as the duty of visiting it. He is also personally charged with the religious instruction, which is minute and laborious. He has to prepare every young person in the parish for confirmation by daily lessons of at least an hour, spread over a considerable period.* Where there are mixed schools for more than one denomination, both the Protestant and the Catholic clergymen discharge this duty for the children of their own denomination, but mixed schools are rare. Almost all the schools in Prussia are denominational. Mr. Pattison says, "In poor and remote villages a few mixed schools may still remain in the Rhine province, but they are only kept so by the poverty of the people, and are yearly disappearing before the advance of wealth and population." The pastor is subordinate to the superintendent of the circle (kreise) in which the parish is situated. The superintendent answers roughly to an English archdeacon, and the circle is a district not altogether unlike an English hundred, and composed of a variable number of parishes. The superintendent inspects the schools in his circle regularly, and regulates their teaching and discipline, but his discretion in these matters is subject to the administrative regulations of the department, which "are exceedingly particular and minute." The superintendent reports to the government of the department (bezirk).

The exterior affairs of the school are governed by a managing board, which, however, is almost entirely under the authority of an officer called the landrath, who is at the head of the civil administration of the circle. The landrath is subordinate to the president of a larger district (bezirk), answering to a French department; the prefect is subordinate to the president of the province (of which there are eight in the kingdom); and he to the Minister of the Interior, who, for purposes of school administration, is associated with the Minister of Public Worship. The presidents of the provinces and those of the departments have each a deliberative council, and one of the councillors is attached as an equal colleague to the prefect of the department with the title of schulrath. He is an ecclesiastical officer, and

*P. 178.

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has much authority over the superintendents of the different circles of the department.

The law administered by all these authorities is composed partly of school usages peculiar to the different provinces, partly of ministerial rescripts binding on the whole kingdom. One of these, issued in 1854, "regulates the matters to be taught in the school, and orders the same lessons for every one-class elementary school in the kingdom."

It is this elaborate machinery which Mr. Pattison considers as the most characteristic part of the Prussian system. The compulsory attendance he views as a matter which, in the present state of feeling, at least produces comparatively little practical result.

Education is compulsory in almost the whole of Germany, and in several other countries.

In four out of the five French cantons of Switzerland, viz., Vaud, Fribourg, Neufchatel, and the Valais, education is compulsory; in Vaud from 7 to 16, and in Fribourg, Neufchatel, and the Valais from 7 to 15. An account of these laws and their operation will be found in the report of our Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Arnold, page 119 and following pages. Mr. Arnold found great relaxations made in practice. In the Valais the children are compelled to be at school only five months in the year. In Fribourg the law gives power to the Inspector to exempt from the obligation of attendance at school children who are sufficiently advanced, and "children whose labour their parents cannot do without." In canton Vaud, the largest and richest of all the French cantons, the local school committee may grant dispensations to all children above 12 years of age whose labour is necessary to their parents, provided they continue to attend school a certain number of times in a week; and as the master may grant leave for two days in the week, the president of the school committee for a week, and the school committee itself for a month, children above 12 years of age may in these ways get their school-time very much abridged. Mr. Arnold's inquiries, however, led him to doubt whether the law is ever "really executed at all," and his conclusion is, that though primary instruction is most prosperous in canton Vaud, "the making it compulsory by law has not added one iota to its prosperity. Its prosperity is due to the general comfort and intelligence of the population. Where these are equally present, as in Geneva, the prosperity of education is equal, though there is no compulsion; where these fail, the compulsion of the law is powerless to prevent the inevitable check inflicted on education by their absence."

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By the School Laws of Massachusetts, chap. 41, secs. 1, 2, "Every person having under his control a child between the ages of eight and 14 years, shall annually, during the continuance of his control, send such child to some public school in the city or town in which he resides, at least 12 weeks, if the public schools of such city or town so long continue, six weeks of which time shall be consecutive; and, for every neglect of such duty, the party offending shall forfeit to the use of such city or town a sum not exceeding twenty dollars; but, if it appears upon the inquiry of the truant officers or school committee of any city or town, or upon the trial of any prosecution, that the party so neglecting was not able, by reason of poverty, to send such child to school, or to furnish him with the means of education, or that such child has been otherwise furnished with the means of education for a like period of time, or has already acquired the branches of learning taught in the public schools, or that his bodily or mental condition has been such as to prevent his attendance at school or application to study for the period required, the penalty before mentioned shall not be incurred." "The truant officers and the school committees of the several cities and towns shall inquire into all cases of neglect of the duty prescribed in the preceding section; and ascertain from the persons neglecting the reasons, if any, therefor; and shall forthwith give notice of all violations, with the reasons, to the treasurer of the city or town; and, if such treasurer wilfully neglects or refuses to prosecute any person liable to the penalty provided for in the preceding section, he shall forfeit the sum of twenty dollars."

The School Committee of Boston, U.S., in their report for the year 1858-9, complain that though much has been done to correct the evil of truancy, it still prevails to an extent which calls for active effort in curing it.

In Canada, the educational system of which was framed after a most careful review and comparison of the systems of other countries, no measure of compulsion has been adopted.

Two only of our Assistant Commissioners have reported to us the existence in their districts of a desire for compulsory education, and in both cases the class entertaining it were colliers, whose minds had been familiarized with the intervention of the Legislature by the Acts restraining juvenile labour. Mr. Foster, speaking of the Durham collieries, says: "It is the universal opinion, subscribed to by parents as well as teachers, employers of labour and managers of schools, that education

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in order to be general and efficient, must be obligatory in some shape or other; and the general feeling appears to be that a certain amount being required before labour is begun at 10 or 12 years of age, there should be legal provision for continuing it afterwards by sparing for this purpose a reasonable portion of the child's time. The coal owners are much in favour of this; but so long as there is nothing to render it equally binding upon all, none will venture to make it his own rule. Parents would be glad of legal enactments to strengthen their own hands, and uphold them practically in what they believe to be right, but have not firmness to maintain, as regards keeping their children at school. They say it would be well for themselves if their parents had been obliged to give them education." Mr. Cumin found the unanimous opinion to be, in the collieries near Bristol, that when a boy presented himself at the mouth of the pit for employment, he should produce a certificate of having attended school for a certain time previously, an opinion which has received legislative sanction by the Act of Parliament of last Session.

A petition was presented to Parliament in 1854 by the pitmen in Durham and Northumberland, in which they prayed for a law enacting that "from 10 years of age till 14 no boy should work down the pit longer than six hours a day, that he or they may thereby be enabled to go to school the other part of the day, and thus extend and perfect the education previously got." They further petitioned "that it should be compulsory on the owners of mines to build schools on their several collieries;" and stated that the petitioners would contribute from their earnings twopence each, weekly, in support of such schools, "provided they had the appointment of the schoolmasters, the control over the funds thus subscribed, and to see them properly and well applied, so as to procure for their children a good and moral education."

Among the persons to whom we addressed our circular of questions, and whom we selected as fair exponents of general opinion, the great majority of those who have touched upon this point declare themselves against a general system of compulsory education. We may refer to the evidence, among others, of Mr. Blakesley, the Rev. R. Brown, Miss Carpenter, the Rev. T. W. Davids, the Rev. S. Earnshaw, the Rev. Canon Guthrie, Miss Hope, the Rev. C. E. R. Keene, the Bishop of St. David's, the Hon. and Rev. W. H. Scott, Mr. H. S. Skeats, and Mr. John Snell; the evidence of Mr. Ackroyd, the Hon. and Rev. Samuel Best, and the Dean of Carlisle tends in the other direction. The

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evidence contains indications that the current of opinion is setting away from general compulsory measures. Lord Lyttelton advocated direct compulsory education in his "Thoughts on National Education," proposing that "it should be made a punishable offence for any parent or guardian not to send to school, and keep there, any child of a given age; that they should be required to pay a certain sum for the schooling of such children, and that they should be allowed to choose freely what school it should be." He now says: "I am still of opinion that what I have there proposed is practicable, would involve fewer difficulties than most other plans, and would be to a great extent effectual. But I must admit that since its publication not only have I seen no considerable signs of adhesion to that particular plan, but the course of public opinion has seemed to tend away from the principle of compulsion rather than towards it." The Hon. and Rev. W. H. Scott says: "I long thought that nothing short of compulsory attendance, and imposing a penalty on employers hiring children under a certain age, would make it possible to educate the children of the labouring classes; but on mature consideration I am satisfied that the difficulties attending such a law would be insurmountable, and that before we could impose compulsory attendance on rate-paid schools, we must, in each rate-paying district, have as many schools as there were differences of religious belief among the inhabitants. In short, the disadvantages arising from an educational rate, or from compulsory attendance in rural districts, would far outweigh any benefits." Mr. John Snell also says: "I was long of opinion that nothing short of compulsory education would answer. I am not now of that opinion. The educational movement is already progressing, and will hardly require so violent a measure. English sentiment is unmistakably opposed to compulsion; and the means of evasion are so numerous that a law to this effect would probably fail from unsuitableness and want of popular sympathy. Still, a species of indirect or negative compulsion, requiring school attendance as a condition securing privileges, situations, &c., such as suggested in preceding answer, might be resorted to. The education of certain classes might also be compulsory, as of paupers in workhouses, criminals in gaols; but in the latter case it should be confined to moral, religious, and industrial, as anything tending to sharpen their wits would probably be productive of greater mischief than ignorance itself"

It does not appear, therefore, that the Government would be

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seconded by public opinion in instituting and maintaining the minute system of supervision, registration, detection of defaulters, and enforcement of penalties, which would be requisite in order to carry into effect a general system of compulsory education. The administrators would be brought into collision with the constitution of English society and the habits and feelings of the people. There is a material difference, in compulsion. reference to such questions, between the political and social circumstances of our own country and those of countries where the central administration wields great power over a people but recently emancipated, habituated to the control of a searching police, and subjected to the direct action of the Government without the interposition of a numerous landed gentry and a multitude of great employers of labour; or where social equality renders possible and democratic opinion enforces a general resort to common schools, the heritage of an ancient Puritan community or the pride of a modern republic.

The conviction, entertained by many persons and embodied in the protests to which we have referred, that Government compulsion is wrong not only in policy but in principle, whether general system well founded in itself or not, would compel the Legislature to place the compulsory system on a clear moral basis by making it bear equally on all classes, which it would probably be very difficult to do.

Even as regards the operation of the Factory Acts, Mr. Winder says,* "I satisfied myself by repeated questions to individual children, and by an inspection of school registers both at Rochdale and Bradford, that on the average half-time children at the commencement of their work have been a shorter time previously at school than day scholars of the same age." "I am afraid," he adds, " that it is the prospect of compulsory education which is at the bottom of this exceptional neglect, and this I found to be the opinion of those best qualified to judge. The knowledge that a child must go to school at a later period of life makes its parents more careless during its earlier years." Canon Girdlestone, also speaking from an experience of 25 years in Lancashire, states that great numbers of children do not attend school till the age arrives at which they are compelled by the Factory Act to do so.†

The existing schools belong to private managers. But the Government, in adopting a general measure of compulsory education, could scarcely refrain from undertaking, to some extent,

*Report, p. 229.

†Appendix to Mr. Cumin's Report, p. 159.

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the management of the schools. If it compels parents to send their children to school, it is bound to see that there is a school to which they can conveniently, profitably, and conscientiously resort. Difficulties might then arise between the Government and the managers with regard, amongst other things, to the religious instruction, especially in country parishes, where there is generally but one school; and scruples which ordinarily lie dormant, or yield to more important considerations, are apt, when the State becomes a party, to be insisted on as a matter of right.

A system of education tests, in the shape of examinations or certificates of school attendance, has been proposed as a simpler and more practicable plan than a system of compulsory school attendance actually overlooked and enforced by the State. The verification of the certificates would probably be little less difficult, and liable to fraudulent evasion, than the supervision of school attendance, especially in the case of the more migratory portions of the population, whose children are frequently removed from school to school. Both tests would alike require some supplementary provision for the case of children, who, through the fault of their parents, or their own stupidity or truancy, failed to satisfy the test, and who would thus, on arriving at the age of labour, be excluded from all honest callings. The State could not compel the parents by law to do more than their moral duty, in each case, requires. The moral duty of labourers, mechanics, and small tradesmen, as to the amount of education to be given to their children varies greatly according to the nature of their employment and the amount of their wages. Either a variable scale of the greatest complexity must be constructed to meet these differences of obligation, or the minimum must be accepted as the standard, in which case little would be gained.

That which the State compels it must also enable men to do. It must therefore take on itself in the last resort the obligation of assisting those who are too poor to pay the whole sum for the education of their children; an obligation now acknowledged and discharged by social duty, but which, when it legally rests upon the State, social duty will perhaps cease to acknowledge and discharge.

The state and prospects of education in this country, as displayed by our evidence and returns, do not seem to us to warrant the recommendation of a measure which would entail so much difficulty and danger, and give so great a shock to our educational and social system.

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The same social organization which repels State compulsion also to a great extent renders it needless. Active and right-minded employers, landowners, clergymen, and other persons of local influence, may and frequently do exercise a moral pressure on their poorer neighbours in the matter of education, the practical force of which is probably, at least, as great as that of State compulsion in the countries where it prevails, and which, combined as it is with charitable assistance, must be far superior in its influence on the relations between classes and on the character of the people.



In the case of certain manufactures, the State has interposed, in the first instance, to prevent the oppressive employment of children before a proper age, and as a collateral object to secure their education. It is a question quite distinct from that of general compulsion whether the principle of the Factories Act can and ought to be extended to other manufactures and to mines. Six of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools have memorialized the Secretary of State for the Home Department in favour of "one general and simple law for securing a certain amount of schooling to all children employed in mines and manufactures," urging, among other arguments, that a general law would be less likely to disturb the children's labour market than any partial measures. We proceed to state the measures which have already been taken, and the result of experience on this subject.

The general nature of the results obtained by the half-time system in factories may be stated very shortly. Where the schools are efficient the result is that the children are well instructed, but the provisions of the Acts afford no security that they shall be efficient, and the consequence is that the amount of good actually done is far less than it ought to be. In order to explain this state of tilings it will be necessary to state shortly the history of our legislation on this subject. Its effects will be illustrated by extracts from the reports of the factory inspectors.

The first Sir Robert Peel brought in and carried the 42 Geo. 3. c. 73, for the preservation of the health and morals of apprentices employed in cotton and woollen mills and factories. It

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forbad the employment of apprentices in such mills and factories for more than 12 hours a day, and it enacted -

That every such apprentice shall be instructed, in some part of every working day, for the first four years at least of his or her apprenticeship, in the usual hours of work, in reading, writing, and arithmetic, or either of them, according to the age and ability of such apprentice, by some discreet and proper person, to be provided and paid by the master or mistress of such apprentice, in some room or place in such mill or factory to be set apart for that purpose; and that the time hereby directed to be allotted for such instruction as aforesaid shall be deemed and taken on all occasions as part of the periods limited by this Act, daring which any such apprentice shall be employed or compelled to work.
In 1819 the employment of children under the age of nine years in cotton mills and factories was prohibited. But the educational clauses of the 42 Geo. 3. were not extended to them.

The first of these Acts protected children, being apprentices, against their masters. The second protected all children against their parents.

No material change was made for above 20 years.

At length the 3 & 4 Will. 4. c. 103. (1833), the 7 Vict. c. 13. (1844), and the 10 Vict. c. 29. (1847), were passed: these Acts, which are to be construed together, form the existing factory law. The chief provisions of these Acts are as follows:

The 3 & 4 Will. 4. c. 103., the 7 Vict. c. 13., and the 10 Vict, c. 29., which form the existing factory law, regulate the labour of children in all factories, which are defined to be buildings wherein steam, water, or other mechanical power is employed to work machinery used in the manufacture of cotton, wool, hair, silk, flax, hemp, jute, or tow. Factories for the manufacture of lace, hats, or paper, or solely employed for bleaching, dyeing, printing, or calendering [passing paper or cloth between rollers to smooth it], were originally exempted from these Acts, but by an Act passed in the last Session, the 23rd and 24th Victoria, cap. 78, children employed in bleaching works and dyeing works are subject to them. No child under eight years of age can be employed in a factory at all, and no child under 13 years can be employed for more than six hours and a half in a day, or ten hours on alternate days. A child working every day must attend school for three hours; a child working alternate days must attend school for five hours.

We may add that the school to be attended by the half-time children is to be chosen by the parents, or, in their default, by the factory Inspector. Parents neglecting to cause their children to attend school are liable to a penalty not less than 5s or exceeding 20s for each offence. Mill-occupiers are subject to

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a penalty if they employ children without a certificate from a schoolmaster of their having properly attended school.

They must pay to the schoolmaster such sum, not exceeding 2d a week, or a penny in the shilling of the child's wages, as the Inspector shall direct, and may deduct it from the wages.

If the Inspector shall be of opinion that any schoolmaster is unfit to instruct children by reason of his incapacity to teach them to read and write, from his gross ignorance or from his not having the books and materials necessary to teach reading and writing, or because of his immoral conduct, or from his continued neglect to fill up certificates, the inspector may deprive him of the power of granting certificates.

But he must name another school within two miles of the factory, and either the schoolmaster or the mill-occupier may appeal to the Secretary of State.

As the Bill passed the House of Commons it contained the following clause:

"Be it further enacted, that wherever it shall appear to any inspector that a new or additional school is necessary or desirable to enable the children employed in any factory to obtain the education required by this Act, such inspector is hereby authorized and required to establish or procure the establishment of such school, by contract or otherwise; and if the deduction herein-before authorized, at the rate of one penny out of every shilling from the wages of such children, shall be insufficient to pay the expenses of such school, the employer or employers of such children shall pay the deficiency, each in the ratio of the number of children in their employment, which deficiency shall be assessed by and paid to the inspector; and every sum so paid by any employer may be deducted by such employer out of the poor rates which shall next become due from such employer in respect of his factory; and if such payment shall exceed the amount of the poor rates so due from such employer, the excess shall be reimbursed to him out of the poor rates of the town, parish, or place in which such factory is rated, and every overseer of such town, parish, or place is hereby required to reimburse such employer accordingly: Provided nevertheless, that if it shall appear to the inspector that any considerable proportion of the children of any factory reside out of the parish, town, or place in which such factory is rated, it shall be lawful for such inspector to apportion, amongst the parishes, towns, or places of such residency, the sum paid for any school by any employer; and the overseers of such parishes, towns, or places

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are hereby required to pay any sum so apportioned to such employers.

"And be it further enacted, that if, upon any examination or inquiry, any inspector shall be of opinion that any schoolmaster or schoolmistress is incompetent, or in any way unfit for the performance of the duties of that office, such inspector may dismiss such schoolmaster or schoolmistress, or by a general order, or by such other means as he may think proper, disallow or render null all tickets, certificates, or other vouchers of education to be made or granted by such schoolmaster or schoolmistress."

The House of Lords substituted for this clause the following one:

"That wherever it shall appear to any inspector that a new or additional school is necessary or desirable to enable the children employed in any factory to obtain the education required by this Act, such inspector is hereby authorized to establish or procure the establishment of such school."

As the House of Lords refused to the inspectors the means of raising the funds necessary to the establishment and maintenance of such schools, the clause has become inoperative.

Children in silk mills need not attend school after the age of 11.

Mr. Horner was one of the factory inspectors first appointed. He performed that important duty for more than a quarter of a century. His fifty reports are full of the excellent results of the half-time factory education in the few factory schools that are good, and of its failure in the great majority. The following passage occurs in one of his last reports on the subject:*


Among those who take an active interest in promoting the education of the children of the labouring classes, the subject of what is called the half-time system, as exemplified in the Factory Acts, has been of late frequently discussed, with reference to the applicability of the principle in other employments. It has been confidently stated on various occasions that the long-tried experiment in the factories has proved a failure, and that, consequently, it affords no encouragement to the extension of the system. As I know from long and extensive experience that such a statement, so far as my district is concerned (and there are more children employed in it than in any other) is to a great degree erroneous, and as I should consider it a great misfortune for the cause of education among the labouring classes if such an opinion were to prevail, I take this opportunity of stating at some length the views I have been led to form on this subject.

*Reports of Inspectors of Factories, April 30, 1857, pp. 16, 21, 25.

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It is very true that a large proportion of the children employed in factories who obtain certificates of attendance at a school, in fulfilment of the letter of the enactments in the Factory Acts on that head, have received no instruction of any value. But for this the legislature is alone to blame, by having passed a delusive law, which, while it would seem to provide that the children employed in factories shall be educated, contains no enactment by which that professed end can be secured. It provides nothing more than that the children shall on certain days of the week, and for a certain number of hours in each day, be enclosed within the four walls of a place called a school, and that the employer of the child shall receive weekly a certificate to that effect signed by a person designated by the subscriber as a schoolmaster or schoolmistress. Not a word is said as to what the instruction shall be, and the lowest possible qualifications that could be applied for teaching the rudiments of infantine training are declared to be sufficient for the granter of the certificate. Power is given to the inspectors to see that the other parts of the Acts are substantially carried into effect, but, as regards this most important part, their right of interference has been strictly limited. They cannot require the removal of the children from a place which they see to be a mere mockery of education to a good school available on the spot, or within an easy distance. If the children are crammed into a cellar, and it is called a school, they must accept the certificates of the professed teacher therein. When such certificates are valid, it is not to be wondered at if ignorant parents, unable to appreciate the value of education, send their children where they can obtain the legal qualifications for employment at the least expense. Then, as to the employer of the child, in nine cases out of ten he looks no farther than to the possession of the legal certificate, and gives himself no concern about the nature of the education.

But it is not only in the miserable places above referred to that the children obtain certificates of school attendance without having received instruction of any value, for in many schools where there is a competent teacher, his efforts are of little avail from the distracting crowd of children of all ages, from infants of three years old and upwards; his livelihood, miserable at the best, depending on the pence received from the greatest number of children whom it is possible to cram into the space. To this is to be added scanty school furniture, deficiency of books and other materials for teaching, and the depressing effect upon the poor children themselves of a close, noisome atmosphere. I have been in many such schools, where I have seen rows of children doing absolutely nothing; and this is certified as school attendance, and, in statistical returns, such children are set down as being educated. Even in many National and British schools, from the inadequate state of their funds, the evil exists of infants being admitted with children of more advanced age, solely to make up the teacher's salary, making a direct and frequent communication between the teacher and the child, that essential in education, wholly impossible.

To ascribe, therefore, the uneducated state of a great proportion of the factory children to that provision of the law by which they can attend school only half the day, is obviously an entire mistake; if they attended such schools the whole day, the sole effect would be, that their prolonged confinement and wearisome inactivity would render the school still more hateful to them.

The only way in which the effect of the half-time system - the principle of combining school education with an industrial education in a wages-yielding employment - can be fairly tested is when the children attend a thoroughly good and efficient school. Several such, attended

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by "half-timers," happily exist in my district, and then, as I shall presently show, the half-time system, so far from having proved a failure, has been eminently successful. Multiply them, thereby extinguish mock schools, and the like good results will assuredly follow.

The following is a detailed description of some of the schools which Mr. Horner stigmatises.*

(A. 9.) 47 children in a room, 18 feet by 12 feet.
(B. 90.) 62 children in a room, 18 feet by 14 feet.
(C. 22.) 50 children in a room, 16 feet by 14 feet.
(D. 54.) 62 children in a room, 18 feet by 11 feet.
(B. 129.) The master is 70 years of age; he is able to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic in a certain way, but altogether it may be termed mere nominal teaching.
(C. 41.) In this school there are 62 factory children. The master received an injury in a mill, and therefore became a schoolmaster; he is evidently incompetent to teach more than the mere elements of instruction. The room is a wretched building, exposed on three sides, cold and damp.
(C. 61.) The master was a spinner in the factory, where he lost his right arm, and has since taken to teaching. He sets the copies with his left hand. I put him on to read a verse in the Chronicles, and he made three or four bad mistakes. His scholars were a little better than himself. I asked him to question them on a verse they had read in the New Testament, and forthwith he began to preach in set phrases, without any explanation of the passage in hand. The children seemed all idle, and some evidently laughing at their master.
(E. 43.) The master, who is 73 years of age, is past work, and totally inefficient: no system. It is a wretchedly bad school.
(E. 24.) The master is self-taught, and formerly a soldier; in no degree qualified for a teacher. The school-room is a dark, low cellar, in which I found 47 children, who were dirty, and had little or nothing to occupy them, and consequently were noisy and disorderly. This may well be classed among the numerous mock schools in this part of your district.
(C. 81.) In this school 80 children were found crammed into a room 15 feet square. The master wanting in ability and energy; the books dirty; the room in a slovenly state, and used partly as a barber's shop.
(B. 8.) This school is in a court, well known as one of the dirtiest places in the town, where every description of filth is accumulated. The children are crowded together in a small room, and the utter disregard of personal cleanliness equally evident in the master as in the children.

Out of the 427 schools in this district, 76 only, that is, not so much as one-fifth, are good efficient schools; 26 more are only tolerably good; 146 are considerably inferior to these last; 112 are so low in quality that the term indifferent is better than they deserve; and 66 are not only of no value but positively mischievous, as deceptions and a fraud upon the poor ignorant parents who pay the school fees. These are schools scattered over the whole of Lancashire, and a few of them in the four northern counties; and from all we know it is more than probable that if a similar inquiry were instituted into all schools for the humbler classes throughout the country, the results would be

*Report, April 30, 1851, pp. 11-13.

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very similar. The inspectors have no direct power to check the evasion of the true object of the law, even where a good school is available. We may suggest and urge the duty of the owner of the factory to use his influence to have the children removed from a bad to a good school where that is easily practicable; but we can do no more. The Act (7 Vict. c. 15. s. 39.) gives us power to annul a schoolmaster's certificate if we are of opinion that he is unfit to instruct children "by reason of his incapacity to teach them to read and write;" but under terms so undefined it is obvious that our power of interference amounts almost to nothing; and if the school be held in a low damp cellar, we have no authority whatever to require that the children shall be removed to a proper school-room.
Mr. Horner accuses the framer of the Act of 1833 of indifference to education. "The imperfect provisions, he says, "of the Act of 1833 prove the correctness of the statement which I have often heard made, that in the clauses making attendance at a school imperative, the passers of that Act had education much less on their mind than the providing a security against the children being employed in the factories for a longer time than that to which the Act restricted their daily labour. The so-called education clauses enact no more than that the children shall attend a school; nothing is said as to the kind or quality of the education which they are to receive.''

This applies to the Act of 1833 only as it was altered by the House of Lords. By the educational clauses as they passed the Commons, the inspector was not merely authorized but required to establish factory schools wherever he thought them desirable, and he had in the poor rate an unlimited fund for their creation and support. He could dismiss a master or disallow his certificates, if he thought him in any way unfit to perform his duties, and there was no appeal from his decision.

Mr. Horner,† when in the last year of his service, alluding to the failure of his efforts to improve the law, gave an unfavourable account, among other things, of its educational results.

I have in many former reports brought the subject of over-working prominently forward; I have pointed out the existence of the evil, and how punishment can be evaded; I have shown the injustice to the mill-owner who strictly observes the limits, and the injury to all the workpeople who are not employed on piece-work, but receive weekly wages. I have also suggested remedies which might be applied without imposing any fresh restraints that would be onerous or even inconvenient to mill-owners who obey the law. But as there is evidently no disposition, in any quarter, to have the glaring defects in the law corrected, it is unnecessary for me to enlarge upon this subject any
*Report for October 1855, p. 18.

†Report, April 30, 1859 pp. 8 and 9.

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more. I have also pointed out, at some length, in former reports, how the education of the children, professedly provided for, is, in numerous cases, an utter mockery, how the protection of the workpeople against bodily injuries and death from unfenced machinery, also professedly provided for, has become, practically, a dead letter; and how the reporting of accidents is, to a great extent, a mere waste of the public money. These defects in the working of the Factory Acts will, I presume, continue; for those who formerly took an active interest in this question, and those whom it most directly concerns, seem to be satisfied with the good which the factory legislation has done and is doing, notwithstanding these imperfections. I have felt it to be especially incumbent upon me, on the present occasion, to call your attention to these defects in the law which its practical working have brought to light, and which, at the same time, might be easily remedied, because, in all probability, this is the last report which I shall make.
The difficulties of providing efficient education are not so great now as they were in 1833, or even ten years later. The Commissioners on the Employment of Children reported, in 1843:

"12. That the means of secular and religious instruction are so grievously defective that in all the districts great numbers of children are growing up without any religious, moral, or intellectual training, nothing being done to form them to habits of order, sobriety, honesty, or forethought, or even to restrain them from vice and crime.

"13. That in the towns which have suddenly sprung up under the successful pursuit of some new trade or manufacture, no provision is made for education, nor for affording the means of moral and religious instruction and training; nor, in general, is there any provision whatever for the extension of educational and religious institutions corresponding with the extension of the population.

"14. That there is not a single district in which the means of instruction are adequate to the wants of the people, while in some the schools are insufficient for the education of one third of the population.

"21. That even in the day schools which do exist the teachers, with some striking exceptions, are wholly unqualified for their office."*

Under such circumstances it was necessary not only to require the children to attend schools, but to provide schools for their attendance.

At present good schools exist, or if any attention were paid

*Second Report of the Commissioners on the Employment of Children, pp. 201 and 202.

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by the mill-owners to the selection of schoolmasters, would immediately be called into existence.

"My attention," says Mr. Saunders, in his report for October 1850, pp. 54 and 55:

has been specially directed by each of the sub-inspectors in Yorkshire, especially by Mr. Bates and Captain Hart, during the last half-year, to the state and condition of different schools in their respective districts.

In some cases repeated representations have been made, without effect, to the occupiers of extensive works, as to the inefficient state and condition of the schools under their own immediate control. This, I regret to say, has occurred in some cases with persons of education and experience, who would resent with indignation any charge of a want of sympathy on their part in the welfare of the working classes. All admit in words the importance of the subject, but by their conduct declare it to be of little value.

Sometimes the appeals made may have led to a change of teachers, but often the change has been of little service, either from want of sufficient care in the selection of new teachers, or because such terms have been prescribed as to preclude any properly qualified persons from seeking, or, if appointed, from retaining the office. In other cases the office of teacher has been found a convenient mode of providing for a dependant, or for a workman suffering under some serious injury, for which the mill-occupier considered himself morally bound to find him employment. In such cases, provided the party be able to read and write, he is forthwith appointed schoolmaster, without any reference as to his ability to convey instruction to others, or to introduce and support the necessary discipline of a school. The children employed by such mill-occupier are obliged to attend the school, and the teacher receives either a small weekly payment or the sum of 2d per week for each child. The letter of the law is obeyed, and the compassion of the mill-occupier for his dependant or injured servant is evinced, at the sacrifice, however, of all the best interests of the poor children committed to his care.

In a recent case a mill-occupier refused to permit the children employed by him to attend a well-conducted and efficient school in the immediate neighbourhood of a factory which had been recently occupied by him for the first time. He established a school expressly for those children, in opposition to the urgent appeals against such a system on the part of both the sub-inspector and myself, convinced as we were from the mode in which another school, under the control of the same mill-occupier, had been long conducted, that no sufficient care and improvement would be obtained for the children in question.

In other cases, I have visited schools in which there has been a total absence of all attempt to introduce method or discipline - where constant disorder prevails, and where the children are permitted to attend without the slightest regulation as to cleanliness of dress or person. This has occurred after repeated appeals both to the schoolmaster and to the employer of the children to adopt a better system. The only authority with which an inspector is entrusted, to prevent the attendance of children at inefficient schools, is set forth in the 39th section of the 7 Vict. c. 15. It will be easily seen how any wary mill-occupier or schoolmaster may easily guard himself against the exercise, on the part of the inspector, of the authority I have described; and in many cases, how an inspector may be unable, under such limited authority, to benefit

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the children, while their attendance at such a school must be altogether useless, except as a means of preventing their being overworked by extended hours of labour.
The remedy which we recommend is to enact that after a specified day no certificate of school attendance shall be valid unless the school from which it issued shall have been declared by an Inspector to be excellent, good, or fair for that purpose. This declaration should be valid for one year, and lists of the schools so declared fit to grant certificates should be published in the local papers. Few of the schools now receiving annual grants from the Privy Council would be excluded. Out of 7,646 such schools, 5,770 are reported by the Privy Council Inspectors as excellent, good, or fair, even for the purpose of training apprentices, the highest of scholastic functions.


The law with respect to printworks is contained in the 8 & 9 Vict. c. 28. It prohibits the employment in these works of children under eight, and it also prohibits the employment of females and of children under 13 between ten at night and six in the morning. It also provides that during each half year from the 1st of January to the 30th of June, and from the 1st of July to the 31st December, in which a child under 13 is employed, it shall attend school for 150 hours, distributed over 30 days, in each half year, not more than five hours being reckoned in any one day. The ground for the legislative distinction between factories and printworks appears to have been that the demand for the article produced by the printworks has hitherto been liable to such sudden and irregular changes as to require a large amount of labour at particular times, and thus to make it more difficult in this case than in the case of factories to divide the children into sets for alternate labour.

Such of these provisions as refer to education appear to be of little use. The following extracts from the inspectors' reports clearly show the cause to which this is due, and the general evidence that irregularity of attendance is the great evil with which ordinary schools have to contend supply any confirmation which their authority may require.

Mr. Redgrave's report of October 1857, contains the following statement of the actual working of these clauses:*

Under ordinary circumstance the children attend school morning and afternoon for 30 days, for at least five hours each day, and upon
*Reports from Inspectors of Factories, Oct. 1857, pp. 41-43.

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the expiration of the 30 days, the statutory total of 150 hours having been attained, - having, in their language, "made up their book," - they return to the printwork, where they continue until the six months have expired, when another instalment of school attendance becomes due, and they again seek the school until the book is again made up.

The principals of one establishment in my district have always evinced good feeling in their dealings with their hands; they promote by many means their social comfort, and they have always expressed dissatisfaction with the educational provisions of the Printwork Act, not because of its interference of the work in their establishment, but on account of its inefficiency. I have been assured by one of the managers who takes a great and active interest in the schools of his parish, that at his visits to the school, and during his superintendence of classes, he has found very many boys, having attended school for the required number of hours (150) who, when they return to school after the expiration of their six months' work in the printwork, are in the same condition as when they first attended school as printwork boys, that they have lost all that they gained by their previous school attendance, and that frequently boys take a worse position in the school than that which they held at their previous school attendance.

In some establishments the children attend school whenever their services are not required by reason of slackness in any particular branch of the trade; they may attend school for a week or a fortnight, then work for a like or longer period, and thus continue in unequal alternations of work and school until they arrive at the age of 13 years.

In other printworks the children's attendance at school is made to depend altogether upon the exigencies of the work in the establishment; the requisite number of hours is made up each six months by instalments consisting of from three to five hours at a time, spreading over perhaps the whole six months. An instance of the manner in which the regulations for school attendance can be observed with strict regard to the requirements of the law, with complete non-interference with the work carried on, and with the very slightest advantage to the children themselves, came recently under my notice.

Upon visiting that establishment I examined many of the children as to the duration of their school attendance, and inspected the registers and certificate books of school attendance. It appeared that in every instance into which I inquired that the children had attended the school for the proper number of hours, and so far as I could ascertain the law had been observed to the letter. Sometimes a child would attend school for the number of hours required by law at one period of the day, sometimes at another period, but never regularly; for instance, the attendance on one day might be from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., on another day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and the child might not appear at school again for several days, when it would attend, perhaps, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; then it might attend for three or four days consecutively or for a week, then it would not appear in school for three weeks or a month, after that, upon some odd days at some odd hours, when the operative who employed it chose to spare it; and thus the child was, as it were, buffeted from school to work, from work to school, until the tale of 150 hours was told.

Mr. Horner says,
Of all the mockeries of the education which the Legislature intended that children employed in factories and printworks should receive, by the enactments for that end, none is so great as in the case of a large proportion of the children employed in printworks.

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The children sometimes attend one hour in the day; are then away for a week, and attend another hour; and so on in the most irregular way, until a pressure comes to make up their qualification, and then they attend the five hours daily. I have reason to believe that the attendance certified is often set down carelessly, and sometimes fraudulently.*
The whole body of inspectors, &c., by their joint report of October 1855, thus denounce the system:
There is a part of that Act to which we feel it our duty to call your earnest attention, namely, the provisions for the school attendance of children employed in printworks. Every such child must attend a school for 150 hours in every half-year; that is, the employment becomes illegal on any day if during the six months immediately preceding that day the child has not attended some school for 150 hours, with the restriction that the attendance shall not have been more than five hours on any one day, nor more than 25 hours in any one week; in other words, more than the five and the 25 hours do not count. There are some instances of the owners of printworks having provided good schools, and in such cases, and when the attendance of the children is carefully looked after, and they are not stinted to the legal minimum of attendance, such schooling may do good; but as regards the great majority of these children, this nominal school attendance has been found in practice not only a farce, but a mischievous delusion, for it is a semblance of education without any reality. The children get no good; their attendance at school is at uncertain intervals, no more than sufficient to make up the statute number of 150 hours; and the records of such very irregular attendance, required by the law to be made out by the teachers, can be very little relied upon.

An amendment of this part of the Printworks Act is much wanted. There is nothing in the employment of the children in these works to prevent their labour being restricted, as in the factories, to half a day, with a regular attendance at school of three hours a day for five days in every week; so that the day's work might be done by two sets of children.

We feel ourselves called upon to bring this subject forward, because we should be sorry if, from ignorance of the actual working of the so-called education clauses of the Printworks Act, they should be quoted as a good precedent to follow.†

Messrs. Horner, Howell, Kincaid, and Redgrave, whose joint report we have just quoted, recommend, as we have seen, the extension to printworks of the half-time system, the restriction of the labour of the children to half a day, and the requisition of three hours' schooling every day. Another mode of effecting the same object, perhaps with less benefit to the children, but also with less interference with the manufacturer, would be to restrict the children to alternate days of work, the intermediate days being devoted to school. The anticipations expressed in 1837 that any interference whatever with the hours of labour

*Report for October 1853, pp. 10, 11.

†Report for October 1853, p. 114.

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would be fatal to a trade in which idleness for weeks is succeeded by a pressure of business twice as great as that which can be performed in the ordinary hours, have not been verified. Since that time infants under eight years old have been excluded from printworks, and children under 13 and women are excluded from night work. Yet calico printing is more prosperous than it ever was. Block printing, which required the employment of children as teerers, is rapidly giving way to machine printing.


Mr. Tremenheere, the Inspector of mines, has for many years published annual reports upon the state and character of the population engaged in the collieries and iron-mines, and upon the necessity which exists for taking measures to improve it. The reports of our own Assistant Commissioners Mr. Foster and Mr. Coode also contain valuable information upon the subject.

The total number of persons returned at the last census as miners was


Thus 247,023 were employed in coal or iron mines, and 59,966 in mines of lead, copper, and tin.

There is a singular contrast between the colliers and iron-miners on the one hand, and the men who are employed in the mines of lead, copper, and tin on the other. The reports of the condition of the latter are on the whole favourable as to their morality, their intelligence, and their state of education. They are, generally speaking, frugal, orderly, and comfortable.

Mr. Tremenheere speaks of the Cornish miners as very intelligent:

Every stranger who comes in contact with them is disposed to the conclusion that the intellectual capacity of the class of miners in this country reaches a standard above the average of a labouring population. ... Clergymen, strangers to the county, find that their addresses from the pulpit are readily understood and commented on by the labouring classes. Men of science bear willing testimony to the skill exhibited by the working miners in relation to their various occupations.

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Mr. Foster* describes the lead-miners of Durham as -

A steady, provident, orderly, and industrious people - a high minded people, disdaining pauperism as the deepest degradation. He adds that they are remarkably intelligent and generally well educated; there are books in almost every house, attendance at public service is the rule not the exception, and profane language is scarcely ever heard.
The colliers are not ill-natured, ill-disposed, or criminal. Indeed, the evidence collected by the Mining Commissioners as to their general character went to prove the opposite. The inquiry took place in 1842 and 1843, soon after the disturbances which prevailed in the summer of the former year in several parts of the mining and manufacturing districts, but pages† of the report are filled with evidence of the simple-minded, good-natured, and harmless character of the colliers, and of their gratitude to those who treated them with kindness.

On the other hand, the nature of their occupation and the circumstances under which it is pursued, expose them to peculiar temptations which ought to be met by a more than usually careful education. Their occupation is very dangerous, unpleasant, and dirty, and does not require that exercise of individual judgment and enterprise which develops the intelligence of the tin, lead, and copper miners. The adult collier population grew up before the employment of women and of children under ten was forbidden. Most of them were sent into the pits before they obtained the very rudiments of education, and they are the sons and brothers of women who were exposed to all the evil results, moral and physical, of a sort of labour utterly unsuitable for their sex. Besides this, the field of employment for colliers is so large, and the sort of skill required is so similar in all parts of the country, that they are migratory and unsettled, and are thus brought much less under the influence of persons of superior rank than those whose employment is more continuous.

The result is that their dwellings are often - to use Mr. Foster's words - "miserable and repulsive," and so crowded as to prevent any proper separation of the sexes. "Till a comparatively recent period," says Mr. Foster,‡ "every effort to improve their dwellings was viewed with jealousy, and met by the cry that it was an attempt to enslave the workmen, that is, to attach them to one spot, and abridge the easy

*Report, p. 7.

†Midland Mining Commission, p. cxxiv., &c.

‡Report, p. 322.

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freedom with which they quit one employment for another, or in case of a combination against their masters, turn out of their dwellings and bivouac in the open country."

The result of all these circumstances is that the mode of life of the colliers is reckless, improvident, and coarse. They often earn high wages with short hours, and when this is the case they spend their money not merely in intemperance of the ordinary kind, but in the strange and almost unmeaning extravagance, with which sailors in former times squandered their prize-money. Mr. Tremenheere says, "Poultry, especially geese and ducks, the earliest and choicest vegetables, (e.g., asparagus, green peas, and new potatoes when they first appear in the market), occasionally even port wine drunk out of tumblers and basins, beer and spirits in great quantities; meat in abundance extravagantly cooked; excursions in carts and cars, gambling, &c., are the well-known objects on which their money is squandered."*

The evils which this state of things entails upon the colliers themselves are too obvious to require comment. The evils inflicted on the community at large are not so obvious to cursory inspection, but are not the less important. The copper, lead, and other miners live on good terms with their employers. In the collieries disputes, which lead to strikes, are of very common occurrence. It would be out of place to discuss here the merits and demerits of strikes, but it is obvious that their occurrence is a great misfortune, and that every influence which raises the intelligence and refines and improves the morals of the^ labouring population tends to prevent them.

The general character and position of the iron miners is similar to that of the colliers, and the description here given applies to both.

The existing legal provisions as to collieries are as follows. The 5 & 6 Vict. c. 99. subjected mines and collieries to inspection and prohibited the employment in them of all females and of boys under the age of 10. By the 23 & 24. Vict. c. 151. it is provided that after the 1st of July 1861, no male under 12 shall be employed in any mine or colliery unless before he is employed the owner of the mine shall obtain a certificate from a competent schoolmaster that he can read and write, or unless in every second and subsequent lunar month of his employment the owner shall obtain a certificate under the hand of a competent schoolmaster that he has attended school not less than three

*Tremenheere's Report, 1850, p. 10.

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hours a day for two days in each week during the lunar month immediately preceding, exclusive of any attendance on Sundays.

As to the operation of the first of these Acts there is some evidence that its provisions are not properly carried out.

"In the colliery districts," says Mr. Foster, "boys are sent into the pits at eight, seven, and even six years old, and at this tender age to 15, earn from 1s to 2s 6d a day, and some even more. In the Auckland Union there are six per cent, and in Durham nine per cent, of the collier boys under 10 years of age, according to the best calculation I can make. ... I saw in a school record the name and age of a boy who had been removed the week before at six years and three months old to go into the coal pit, and in a collier dwelling I was shown the fly leaf of the family Bible, in which the dates of the children's births had been manifestly altered, so as to add two years to the age of each, in order to enable a widow to get her boys employed. This unnatural pressure into labour proceeds from the collier families themselves rather than from the employers, who say they could to a much greater extent substitute machinery for boy labour, but that it would give dissatisfaction to parents." Mr. Kennedy also says, "the law is not observed in some parts, and better inspection is wanted to enforce the observation of the Act."

The Act gives no power to inspectors to disallow the certificates given by an incompetent master, and provides no test of competency. It is to be feared that in the absence of such a test the certificate will prove to be of little use. With reference to the importance of a certificate that the boy can read and write, we would direct special attention to the following extract from one of Mr. Tremenheere's reports:

What is now, by universal consent, in all but a very few and very favoured localities, the mental condition of the very great majority, probably at least three-fourths, of the boys and young men in the coalmining districts who have passed through the excellent schools that are now everywhere accessible to them, and gone to the work and occupation of their lives? Within two or three years after they have left school they were found to have lost nearly the whole of the little they had ever learned, they cannot read in a manner to profit by or take the least pleasure in reading; they cannot understand the common language of books; they cannot write a letter; they are unable to do a simple sum in arithmetic. Except, therefore, for whatever amount of moral influence may have been exercised over and impressed itself upon their characters during their short and desultory attendance at the day schools, which they leave generally between the ages of eight and 10, seldom staying till after 11, their so-called education amounts to next to nothing, and the liberal expenditure of employers and the

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Government in providing good school-houses and well-trained masters and mistresses has been, practically, all but thrown away.

It may be asked why is it that three-fourths of these boys who have passed through the day schools so soon lose nearly all they have learnt. It is because they have little or no encouragement at their homes to keep up what they have learnt at school, because in England and Wales they do not, with very few exceptions, attend any evening school, and because the little power of reading which some may keep up for a time by attending the Sunday schools does little to prepare their minds for secular reading, which they therefore soon give up the effort to practise either for amusement or instruction.

This evidence points to the conclusion that all boys engaged in mines and collieries, whether provided or not with a certificate of ability to read and write, should be compelled to attend school for the time specified in the Act. The evidence contained or referred to in the last section, further proves that attendance at school is in itself of little value unless the character of the school is guaranteed by an inspector's certificate similar to that recommended already for factory schools.


The main objections to the plan of general legislative compulsion do not apply to private compulsion exercised by employers on their workmen as to the education of their children. As the relation between employers and workmen is one of contract, and can be determined at pleasure by either party, there can be no objection to the introduction of any terms into it to which both sides consent; and as the number of the workmen is manageable, whilst their occupations are uniform, the practical difficulty of devising the arrangements required for the purposes of education is easily overcome. Our Assistant Commissioners met with many instances in which important and in some cases very successful efforts had been made by employers to secure the attendance at school of the children of their workmen. The most remarkable specimen of such efforts is to be found in Mr, Foster's* report on the London Lead Company's system. It is so important that we extract the greater part of it.

The Company's mining estate consists of large patches here and there, extending over a district of country about 30 miles long and 10 broad, which is annually inspected by a deputation from the court of directors in London. The miners here, as in Weardale, work at their
*Report, pp. 366, 367

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own risk. Their "bargains" are let to them quarterly, but the pecuniary settlements are annual, and here, as elsewhere, a monthly allowance, called subsistence money, is advanced for the supply of their wants during the year. The balances due at the end of the year are of various amounts. The more fortunate miners invest them in land or house property, while small sums are committed to the savings bank. A neat row of cottages got up by miners for themselves stands at the entrance of Middleton. The Company have likewise built a number which they let at a low rent to their own people, and never allow to want repairs. These generally consist of four apartments, with proper outhouses, and a neat garden to each dwelling, the fountain being the only thing used in common. There are premiums given at the annual inspection for the best kept houses and gardens.

In the Company's educational system the respective duties and of responsibilities of employers and parents are fully recognized, and the religious views of the parents meet with due regard. The Bible is made the groundwork of the teaching, and the several catechisms and other books in use have been selected with the intention of avoiding sectarian peculiarities, while giving to the children a knowledge of the fundamental doctrines and principles of our common Christianity ...

The distinguishing feature ... is, that schooling here is strictly compulsory. The Lead Company, holding in their dependence a population of above 10,000, require that every boy be sent to school from the age of six to twelve, and every girl from six to fourteen, if she remain so long under the parental roof; the reason of the difference being, that boys of twelve are available for the lead washing, and may be supposed to have gained as much literary instruction at twelve as the girls at fourteen, because much of the girls' school-time is occupied with needlework. Each school is conducted by a master and mistress, who employ the elder pupils as monitors, some of whom receive small payments. The girls are found extremely useful in this respect, being more apt, cheerful, and kindly teachers than boys; and they derive from this occupation a valuable preparation for becoming mothers. The parents pay 1s a quarter for each child, and those not in the Company's service 2s 6d. Children not sent to school till after six years of age, or attending irregularly, or from any other cause not making due proficiency, are not released at 12 or 14, but are obliged to attend till they have given satisfaction; and no boy is admissible to work for the Company unless he produces a certificate of having complied with all the regulations.

In case of any being detained from school, or permitted to neglect it, the father is taken to task when he presents himself for the next quarter's engagement, which would be refused if he declined sending his children. This, however, never happens; but fines of 5s have been sometimes imposed for the children's irregularity of attendance. If sickness is pleaded, one of the surgeons maintained at the expense of the Company must be sent for to examine the case, and certify the fact of inability to attend.

The Company likewise require attendance at Sunday school and public worship; and this to be continued on the part of boys working for them, even if deemed necessary, till 18 years of age, when they are admissible to labour under ground. No particular place of worship, however, is enjoined; nor are children here, as elsewhere, urged to church in droves. Parents take or send them to whatever place they themselves prefer; and they mingle among the congregation, to the

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saving of all the disturbance which usually arise from large schools in places of worship. At the door each child or young person receives a ticket, which he presents at school next Sunday as the voucher for his attendance. Each ticket bears a text of Scripture; but in order to prevent any imputation of influence, the church or chapel at which it is issued is not indicated. I looked into four places of worship at the time of dismissal, and in the vestibule of each saw a respectable-looking man standing, like a Scotch elder, with his back to the partition wall, distributing these tokens of attendance. Any working lad who absents himself from Sunday school or public worship, or is guilty of any disorderly practice on the day of rest, subjects himself to dismissal from the Company's works. Such cases, however, very rarely occur. On finally leaving the Sunday school, each youth is presented with a quarto Bible, and each girl with an Oxford Reference 12mo., on the production of a certificate from the Company's school inspector that he or she has passed a satisfactory Bible examination; and no lad having attained the age of 18, is admitted to regular employment underground unless he has passed this examination, or can produce a certificate from the Sunday-school superintendent giving a sufficient reason for not having passed it, and stating that his conduct is connect, that he is industrious, and is making suitable progress.

The Company's Sunday schools are supplied with voluntary teachers of different denominations, most of them plain religious men connected with the service of the Company. I met with no such exhibition of Bible knowledge as here; such readiness to prove each point by a reference to Scripture testimony, and such complete familiarity with sacred geography. The hours of the Company's Sunday schools are so arranged, that the pupils can likewise attend those connected with their own congregations, which most of them do, and the teacher's likewise.

In case of children residing at too great a distance from any of the Company's day schools, they may be sent to another, provided the master furnishes quarterly to the agent a journal of their attendance, behaviour, and progress, with a certificate of their attendance at a place of worship. There is a similar provision in case parents declare in writing that they object on religious grounds to their children being educated in the Company's schools, but no such declaration has ever been made. The Company pay either an annual subscription or 3s a head per quarter, and in some cases both, to schools attended by their children in outlying districts. Such schools are visited twice a year by the Company's inspector, and children from them must pass an examination before leaving school for the washing floor.

By means of the various registries and returns of the agents, the Company are enabled to ascertain the whole of every child's career and conduct, and to this they can and do refer when filling up the various situations of trust which are connected with the works, as well as in granting the humble employments of mere labourers.

The following is the educational state of the adult population of 2,535, including the parents of these children:

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I found 180 scholars present in the Company's school at Middleton, the ages ranging from 6 to 15, boys and girls mingled together in seven classes. Out of 27 children into whose hands White's English History was put after being opened at random, 21 read fluently, correctly, and with (expression, though with strong local accent. The writing from dictation was perfectly accurate in every instance, so far as spelling was concerned, and remarkably neat as to penmanship. The arithmetical exercises were accurately performed with astonishing rapidity, and when I questioned the class on the reasons for the various modes in which they obtained the answer, it was still more gratifying to find that the operation was not merely mechanical, but perfectly understood. There were no thoughtless or irrelevant answers here, either on the history in hand, or any other incidental matter that arose. Mr. Hyslop, the master, said he had fair play with these children, in having them uninterruptedly with him for such a length of time; and also in the fact that the mothers are now for the most part educated, religious, and sensible women, orderly in their household arrangements, and ready as well as able to give assistance in the preparation of lessons at home. He also mentioned, that during the 25 years he has taught here, he has never had "a back word" from one of the children. I was no way surprised at this when I visited their homes, and observed the easy and yet on their part deferential intercourse between them and their parents.

I prosecuted a pretty extensive house-to-house visitation, found everything clean, whole, and in its place; no trumpery little ornaments as in the collier cottages; where there is a picture it is that of some favourite minister, such as Wesley, or a copy of the "Cottar's Saturday Night." There are in almost every cottage some select Sunday books, besides the Bible and Hymn Book, an occasional volume of poetry, as Cowper, Milton, Burns, or some favourite local author, and not unfrequently some of the expensive illustrated books published by Fullarton, Black, or Blackie. I reckoned 19 copies of the Imperial Dictionary. Here were no cheap periodicals or "people's editions;" they are not reckoned at all "canny." The miners like everything good of its kind. Many of them have cows, and not a few have a pony also to draw coals from the "West country." The remarkable personal beauty of the children, as compared with those of the adjoining colliery districts, can, I presume, be attributed to nothing but the transmitted and reflected intelligence and refinement which has resulted to the parents through mental, moral, and religious cultivation. I saw nothing that had the appearance of a neglected brat, no dirty or undarned stockings, no unblacked clogs, or unwashed faces. ...

In and about Middleton I conversed with 37 men and women of the mining class, besides 13 joiners and masons, all of whom had been brought up under the Company's rules. They were unanimous in approving of the strictness of the regulations about schooling, admitted they thought the discipline hard themselves when they were under it and confessed they would not have the heart to keep their children so very closely at school if it were left to themselves; but the stringency of the Company saves them a world of trouble, and on the whole they are glad see the young ones "gart deet" (obliged to do it). An aged woman who had been brought up in Weardale eulogized the Company's schools as preparing the young people for any vocation in life, and alluded with contempt to those who "fash awa'" their time at the Church schools. This testimony, in which other aged persons concurred, appeared the more valuable, as it is natural for old people to be jealous of innovations, and to give unreasonable preference to the order of things which obtained in their youthful days. A man whom I

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found building a house for himself, and afterwards recognized among the Sunday-school teachers, expressed it as his opinion that "in thez Dal t'oonedicated wull seen be coosaithered looniteeks."

The sole policeman of Middleton has a beat of about 16 miles, and he considers his situation nearly a sinecure. He says petty theft is almost unknown, unless committed by passing strangers; and there have been only two serious prosecutions, both connected with poaching, during the 10 years he has held his appointment in this place.

The conditions favourable to this system are the employment of a large number of persons in work of the same kind by a single proprietor. The object might no doubt be effected by a combination of employers of the same sort of labour. If the owners of collieries would unite for these purposes, they might confer an immense benefit on the men in their employment, and would reap the fruits in increased tractability and good character.

In some of the works in South Wales, the employers, to diminish the evil of early withdrawal, have established an education test as a condition of the employment of children ranging from 10 to 12 years of age. The test usually adopted is ability to read and write. Mr. Jenkins* did not find that any very marked result was secured: "The standard proposed is easily attained by the child at 10 years of age, with scarcely the slightest intellectual training, and in a year or two after the withdrawal, the power both of reading and writing is, from disuse, almost entirely lost."

A high degree of moral pressure in the way of encouragement may be exercised short of that direct compulsion which operates by refusing employment to a workman who neglects to send his child to the school. The essential thing is that the great employers of labour should endeavour to establish good schools for the children of their workmen, and show a kind and watchful interest in them when established. Independently of any claims which the workman may have on his employer, or any feelings of moral responsibility on the part of the employer himself, it is evident that a system which not only improves the character and intelligence of the workman, but attaches him to the employer by a tie of an almost domestic kind, must well repay the outlay and the care which the institution of a good elementary school requires.


Many attempts have been made to encourage attendance at school by offering prizes to the children. The most impor-

*Report, p. 477.

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tant of these schemes have been set on foot in Staffordshire and the neighbouring counties, and are described by Mr. Norris in his reports to the Committee of Council* These schemes do good, but the opinions of the Inspectors and Assistant Commissioners are not, on the whole, favourable to their general establishment. Their great costliness is in itself a conclusive objection to making them form a part of a national system. In 1853 Mr. Norris reported on five schemes in his district which cost about £150 each. They seem to come to little more than this, that at a great expense a certain number of parents may be induced by the prospect of their children obtaining a prize to keep them somewhat longer at school; but in order to affect the general average of attendance it would be necessary to pay a sum bearing no inconsiderable proportion to the collective wages of the children sought to be so retained.

Mr. Norris' reports appear to show that these schemes prolong the attendance of many of the most promising scholars, sometimes for one, and sometimes for as much as two years. We do not, however, think that they are likely to produce much effect on the great mass. It seems improbable that parents who, from ignorance or indifference to the subject, are unwilling to sacrifice the earnings of their children, for the sake of keeping them at school a year or two longer, should be induced to do so by the prospect that they may possibly receive a prize of £2 or even £3 at the end of that period. Children of 11 can usually earn in most occupations 3s or 4s a week, which would be equal to £7 16s and £10 4s per annum respectively. Mr. Cook observes, on prize schemes, "They would, in my opinion, keep a not inconsiderable number of the steadiest and most intelligent children in school one or even two years longer than at present, but they would have little effect on the great mass who leave before they rise into the first class, and would have no chance whatever of obtaining any of these rewards."† The Dean of Bristol, who is a member of a prize association for the county of Gloucester, is of opinion that it will scarcely be a means of retaining children longer at school in any appreciable degree, though he thinks it may be of use in giving the country a test by which it may judge of the condition of education in its schools.‡ Mr. Cumin, in his report on Bristol and Plymouth, found that this was the general opinion. A prize scheme "would only affect the

*Min. 1852-3, vol. I., p. 345; Min. 1853-4, vol. I., p. 396; Min. 1854-5, p. 753-4.

†Min. 1854-5, p. 395.

‡Appendix to Mr. Cumin's Report, p. 202.

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most forward of the children; but even amongst them instances were produced in which the parents of children, who were likely to obtain a prize, were taken away from school before competing, in order to take advantage of a situation which offered."* Mr. Akroyd draws a strong distinction between prize schemes and certificates of merit. "Pecuniary prize schemes are wrong in principle, because they act as a bribe to the parent to send his child to school; and, in order to be successful, the prize must be larger than the amount of wages which the parent would receive from the labour of the child, if kept at work. Certificates of merit and good conduct, on the contrary, are highly desirable, because, first, they awaken a spirit of emulation among the children themselves, and because, secondly, to the parents they offer a valuable recommendation for the future employment of their children."†


A proposal, very similar to prize schemes, is that of offering small Government appointments as prizes for proficiency. Mr. Cumin‡ gives a favourable account of the effects of a system of competition for the appointment of apprentice, leading to that of shipwright, in the dockyard at Devonport. The clergy, the schoolmasters, and persons interested in education, assured him that the system of open competition would have a material effect in inducing parents to send their children to school, and in prolonging the period of attendance. Stories were told of the sacrifices made by parents to fit their sons for examination; and he found several instances of boys remaining at school longer than usual for this purpose. In this case the number of the appointments is considerable, their recurrence constant, and their influence as prizes is brought to bear upon a limited population. It is probable that these conditions are essential to the success of the system; and, if so, its power of producing sensible improvement in education must be confined to the neighbourhood of large Government establishments.

We asked, in our circular of questions, opinions on this subject, but it does not seem to have attracted much attention.

*Report, p. 62.

†Answer, p. 16.

‡Report on British and Plymouth, p. 63.

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The tenor of such answers as we have received is unfavourable. Mr. Maurice* says "the distribution of minor State appointments on educational grounds would, I have no doubt, give confidence to the middle classes, and perhaps, also, to the working classes in the general equity of the Government, and its willingness to dispense with the use of patronage for discreditable purposes. Regarding the measure with reference to education merely, and not to its political advantages, I should think its importance had been overrated. The proportion of those who become clerks by profession would be greatly increased. I do not see how it could materially improve the education of those who continue to be field labourers, shoemakers, tailors. And surely this question is the serious one for us to consider."

All Government appointments, for which reading, writing, and cyphering are required, must necessarily be distributed to that extent on educational conditions; their influence will thus co-operate for the improvement of education with that of the increasing demand in commercial offices, under railway companies, and in other establishments, for educated servants. Mr. Jenkins traces the beneficial results of a plan adopted in some of the works schools of South Wales, of appointing the best scholars to a higher order of employments, such as office clerkships, and other situations which open up a career of promotion. This is, in fact, nothing more than the natural course of an enlightened employer selecting the best educated boys for the employments which require the highest education. It is not an artificial stimulus, but a just appreciation and encouragement. But we see nothing in the nature of Government appointments especially or in our evidence respecting them, to warrant us in recommending that they should be made the subjects of an exceptional system of competition, with a view to the promotion of public education.

It may be further observed, with regard to competition for small Government appointments, and to some extent with regard to prize schemes also, that their tendency is to teach the people to value education as the means of rising to a higher station in life. This is of course a reasonable object in many cases; but the main object of promoters of education must be to teach the people to value it as a source of morality, enjoyment, and comfort, in the station in which the great mass of them are necessarily destined to remain.

*Answers, p. 301.

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Our principal conclusions in relation to this part of our subject are as follows:

1. That the present conditions of school attendance are such that three-fifths of the children resorting to elementary schools attend sufficiently to be able with proper instruction to learn to read and write with tolerable ease, and to cipher well enough for the purposes of their condition in life, besides being grounded in the principles of religion. This, however, is subject to some deduction on the score of the frequent removal of children from school to school.

2. That coupling these conditions of attendance with the increasing interest felt in popular education, and the prospect of better and more attractive teachers and schools, the state of things in this respect is not on the whole discouraging.

3. That the difficulties and evils of any general measure of compulsion would outweigh any good results which could be expected from it under the present state of things.

4. That neither the Government nor private persons can effectually resist, or would be morally justified in resisting, the natural demands of labour when the child has arrived, physically speaking, at the proper age for labour, and when its wages are such as to form a strong motive to its parents for withdrawing it from school.

5. That this being the case, public efforts should be directed principally to increasing the regularity of the attendance, rather than to prolonging its duration; and that so far as the prolongation of attendance is aimed at, the division of the children's time between school and labour will be found more feasible than their retention for the whole of their time in school.

6. That under the present circumstances of society, a satisfactory point will have been reached when children go to the infant school at the age of three, and from the infant school to the day school at the age of six or seven, and remain in the day school till 10, 11, or 12, according to the circumstances of their parents and the calling to which they are destined; provided that they attend, while on the school books, not less than four hours a day for five days in the week, and not less than 30 weeks, ranging, under the most favourable circumstances, up to 44 weeks in the year.

7. That there is nothing in the feelings of the parents on the subject of education to prevent well-directed efforts to insure this amount of attendance from meeting with general success.

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Part I.

8. That special effort should at the same time be made, by means of evening schools, to keep up the education once received, to which the encouragement of free and lending libraries would form a valuable auxiliary.

9. That much time may also be redeemed for educational purposes, from the years of childhood now neglected, by preparing the children for the day schools in good infant schools.

10. That the beneficial operation of the education clauses of Factory Acts depends upon the quality of the schools; and that the quality of the schools depends to some extent on the countenance given by the manufacturers. That where the schools are good the clauses act well; subject to a certain drawback arising from the tendency which the prospect of compulsory attendance has to induce the parents to neglect the child's education during its earlier years. That those of the Acts affecting Printworks are nearly useless. That the expediency of extending these clauses to other manufactures and to mines depends upon the power of the Legislature to secure good schools and regular attendance.

11. That the defects in the Acts of Parliament respecting the employment of children in factories, printworks, mines, and collieries, should be remedied by legislative enactment.

12. That the institution of good schools by the great employers of labour for their workpeople, and the exertion of their influence for the encouragement of the schools, has been and will be attended by the greatest and the most unmixed benefits to education; and this may be done not by single employers only, but by several employers in combination.

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We shall consider in this chapter the subject of inspection, and the efficiency of the schools receiving it, under which class are included all the schools receiving annual grants from the Committee of Council, and a few of those which have obtained merely occasional assistance.

It is divided into the following four sections:

I. Inspection.
II. Standard of efficiency in the inspected schools.
III. The character of the instruction given in them.
IV. Their moral influence.


The number of Inspectors of Schools employed by the Committee of Council is 36, and the number of Assistant Inspectors 24. Their principal duties are to inspect the schools which receive or apply for annual grants for certificated and pupil-teachers, and these duties are discharged in the following manner:

It is calculated that an inspector may inspect five schools a week during 35 weeks in the year. Each inspector receives a list of the schools in his district liable to inspection on account of annual grants already received, of applications for future grants, or of building grants from Government. Taking the schools in receipt of annual grants as the basis of his classification, he forms his district into six subdivisions, to each of which two consecutive months are assigned. In those months in every year the schools in receipt of annual grants which fall within the subdivisions are inspected, and if any other schools within the district apply for annual grants, appointments to visit them are made with reference to these standing appointments, and the appointment is notified to the managers by the central office as it is made. Schools liable to inspection on account of their receipt of building grants from the Treasury, or from the Committee of Council, are inspected as opportunity serves, relation

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being had to the fixed engagements already mentioned. The inspector gives a week's notice of the day on which he will visit any school, enclosing with the notice a form to be filled up by the managers, containing detailed information upon the income and expenditure of the school, the teachers, the attendance and subjects taught, and books and apparatus in use in the infants', girls', and boys' schools respectively. The form also contains blank forms of the certificates to be issued by the clergyman or managers (as the case may be) and schoolmaster as to the pupil-teachers or candidates for apprenticeship, and as to assistant teachers.

Besides this form a schedule is directed to schools in which the capitation grant is claimed, to be filled up with the names of the scholars on whose account it is claimed, the number of days during which each has attended in school, the amount paid by each in school fees during the year, and the age of each.

These returns are to be filled up by the managers before the inspector's visit, and the Committee of Council lay great stress on the importance of complying with this rule.

When the inspector visits the school he directs his attention to every part of it, examining the children, the pupil-teachers and the principal teachers, as well as the state of the school, and the character of the instruction given. He also examines the register, the state of the premises, apparatus, and organization. From these materials he frames his report in a form provided for that purpose. The form records in a tabular shape the position of the teacher in relation to his certificate, and the inspector's recommendations as to the payment of the augmentation grant upon it. It also contains the inspector's report on the proficiency of the pupil-teachers in the several branches of their duties, his opinion of the teacher's qualification to instruct his apprentices during the ensuing year, and to be a guide and example in forming their character. It also contains a report of an examination of each class of the boys', girls', and infants' school in every subject of instruction.

If the capitation grant is claimed it is required that the children between 9 and 11, and those over 11, should be separately examined, and that their proficiency in certain special branches of instruction should be recorded. The inspector grounds his recommendation as to the payment of the grant upon a review of all these particulars, and that recommendation is embodied in the report.

The Managers' and Inspector's reports form a check on each other. They are forwarded to the office of the Committee of Council, and

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the inspector's report forms the basis of their determination respecting the grant of the various forms of annual aid.

Such are the duties of the inspectors as regulated by the official forms and circulars. We proceed to show what effect the inspection has upon the schools, and how far the inspectors actually discharge the duties intrusted to them.

The superiority of inspected schools may be stated as beyond dispute; and though this is partly attributable to inspected schools possessing an apparatus of trained teachers and pupil-teachers, which in other schools is unknown, yet much is due to the activity and carefulness which are the results of a system of constant supervision. This is clearly expressed by Mr. Hare, who examined a large number of witnesses, and who assures us that "on the beneficial effects of inspection, especially as carried on by Her Majesty's inspectors, the agreement is more general than on any other subject. Nearly all consider it as a wholesome stimulus to all concerned - managers, parents, pupil-teachers, and scholars." And Mr. Fraser, who is well aware of some of the occasional defects of inspection, and "heard complaints now and then of an inspection being so hurried as almost to have turned the poor teacher's head," adds, "it is very rarely indeed that I heard an allegation of want of consideration or impatience of temper."

The great advantages of inspection appear still more clearly if we examine the opinions which have been sent to us from different parts of the country. Thus the Hon. and Rev. S. Best, after criticising as "faulty" several details of the Government system of aid, speaks thus: "Having dwelt thus long on the deficiencies of the system, let me make amends in a single sentence. The schools under Government inspection are as a rule the only good schools in the country, and we cannot too highly appreciate the assistance the system renders and has Inspectors. rendered." The Rev. J. Eller, Sir A. Elton, Canon Guthrie, Lord Lyttelton, and Miss Yonge, all speak strongly of the beneficial effects of inspection; and although using more general terms, the Hon. and Rev. W. Scott, the Rev. C. Wollaston, the Rev. B. Zincke, and the Bishop of St. David's, all appear, to use the words of the last, to believe that the Government system of inspection "is the best suited to the actual circumstances of the country." We may also refer to the evidence of the Dean of Carlisle, Rev. J. Earnshaw, Rev. G. Hamilton, Mrs. Haines, Miss Hope, Mr. H. Skeats, Rev. D. Coleridge, and Miss E. Twining.

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There are, however, some points connected with inspection on which practical defects are believed to exist. We are not, indeed, inclined to give much weight to complaints of an arbitrary tone and manner, and even of hasty decisions, especially when we remember that the temptation of an inspector (as we shall presently find Mr. Arnold remarking) lies in the direction of leniency rather than of severe requirement. But that such complaints are made the above extract from Mr. Fraser indicates, and we have reason to believe that in some cases they are made with justice.

The difference of the standards adopted by the inspectors, and particularly by the inspectors of different denominations, has obviously a bad effect upon teaching, and especially upon the view of their duties taken by the schoolmasters. The latter defect points to the want of one or two superior officers, who shall exercise a general supervision, visiting from time to time different parts of the country, in order to observe the state of education, and regulate the standard of inspection. At present every inspector is independent, and practically almost uncontrolled even by the central office. This state of things has grown up gradually and accidentally; it is in itself undesirable, and will become still more so when a greater number of schools are brought under inspection.

Another defect is that most Inspectors do not attempt -nor does the present system make it possible - to examine every child individually. This has been stated by Mr. Tufnell:

Do not the forms at present in use require the inspector to examine and report individually on the qualification of each child on whose behalf the capitation grant is sought? - Whatever the forms may require, I assert that it is an impossibility for any inspector to report on the individual qualifications of any considerable number of children. An inspector can take a class and report on the qualification of that class on any subject, but he knows nothing of the individuals in it; and it would be an intolerable waste of time if he were even to endeavour to make himself acquainted with their names. There is no difficulty in arriving at a fair estimate of the mental condition of a school, by examining the classes on the subjects they have been taught; but I cannot conceive the possibility of any inspector being able to report on the individual qualifications of the children, though he may incidentally remark the superiority or backwardness of two or three.
Sir J. K. Shuttleworth confirms Mr. Tufnell's statement, and defends the existing practice:
2450. It has appeared in the course of the evidence which we have had with regard to the inspection of the schools that the inspectors are totally unable to take the boys' capitatim? - Nor do I think it in

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the slightest degree desirable that they should do so; I think that the tendency of such a system would be this, instead of examining the general moral relations of the school and all the phenomena which meet the eye, the attention of the inspector would be concentrated necessarily upon some two or three elements of education. I think that it would be quite impossible for him by examining those three elements of education to test the condition of a school. I will take for example the ordinary case of schools reported in the last volume of the Committee of Council: it appears that 60 per cent of the scholars do not remain more than a year and a half in the school, and that 40 per cent do not remain a year. Whilst the scholars are so migratory, it is quite obvious that an examination of the result of education in any school could not at all give you a test of the merits of the school. That is an obvious and necessary conclusion, and therefore an inspector examining a school in that sense would not arrive at so just a conclusion as he would from a general examination of its machinery and the whole method in which it was conducted, and taking some of its results from those children who had been longest in the school would show the skill of the master.
Sir J. K. Shuttleworth's words, while they insist on the most valuable object which inspection secures, show that it does not profess, and would fail if it did profess, to be an examination of individual boys. It is at present, as we shall see hereafter from the evidence of Mr. Norris, directed mainly to the higher classes rather than to the junior ones; and thus regarded as an examination it is insufficient, and especially insufficient with respect to that part of the school which most requires vigilant and assiduous teaching.

It is a common complaint that the examinations by the inspectors are so conducted as to make the teaching in the schools more a matter of memory than of reasoning, more a collection of minute, often unimportant, facts and dates, than of principles or of general results.

The Rev. Isaac Holmes, the chaplain and head master of the Liverpool schools at Kirkdale, has remarked:

There are some parts of the subject matters of instruction required by the Government inspectors which I think, for a popular education, may be advantageously altered. If, instead of so much being required to be taught, especially in girls' schools, in history, geography, grammar, and even in arithmetic, there were subjects on what is now termed "common things" more insisted on, it would add considerably to the welfare of the children. The female teachers, who are certificated teachers, have repeatedly told me that they would not teach such subjects, if their salaries did not depend on their children answering Her Majesty's inspector of schools fairly, at least, on history, &c.; that they could spend the time much more profitably.
We have already said that out of 35 persons examined on this subject by Mr. Wilkinson, 33 were favourable to inspection.

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These are the answers of the two dissentients, both of them clergymen, superintending schools in London, or its neighbourhood, to the question, "Does the system of Government or other central inspection, affect the efficiency of schools inspected? and how?"

A.B. - Inspection materially affects the character of a school, but it is doubtful if it increases the efficiency of the school in the real object desired; there is great danger of essentials being neglected for showy acquirements, e.g., a master said, "my credit depends on the inspector's report. If he makes most account of mental arithmetic and etymological derivations, what can I do? "

CD. - They are cramped by the Government system. Few masters or mistresses venture to adopt any system of their own, however much required, for fear of the inspectors.*

"The efforts of the teachers," says Mr. Foster, "whom I met with, appeared directed chiefly to the facts of Scripture history, stimulated hereto by the usual tenor of the inspector's examination. A Roman Catholic lady, writing about a school under her management, which she wished me to see, and describing the religious instruction there given as devotional and practical, remarked, in passing, that it did not consist, as in the Protestant schools, of inculcating the exact number of kings that reigned in Israel, or the precise names of Jacob's sons. The animadversion was, I believe, strictly just. Whatever may be the repetition of forms, the real teaching is for the most part neither devotional, nor doctrinal, nor practical, but historical, embracing chiefly the facts, and names, and numbers recorded in the sacred text. An inspector explained to me, that his reason for asking minute questions of this sort was, that if he found the children acquainted with these minutiæ, he inferred a general knowledge of Scripture truth. Whether he is right or not, this practice in inspection gives the direction to the daily teaching of the schools."

We shall end these quotations by an extract from Mr. Robinson's valuable paper on training colleges.†

Teachers are, from the very nature of the case, under a temptation to prepare their scholars mainly with a view to make a good show at the inspector's visit, and though I believe that very few are guilty of yielding to this temptation in an extravagant degree, yet I think that many fail to appreciate the importance of adapting the subject matter of their lessons to the moral and social necessities of their pupils.
*Report, p. 428.

†Report, p. 414.

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These points may be briefly illustrated. Take, for instance, the Scripture teaching in Church of England schools. It will often be found defective in the moral element, often also defective in the Christian element. The children will, perhaps, show themselves well versed in Jewish history, able to trace accurately Israel's wanderings from Pi-hahiroth to the banks of Jordan, to canvass the merits of Hezekiah and the demerits of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, to give the dates of any number of Old Testament events, while at the same time they will exhibit a very superficial acquaintance with the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, and will soon betray the fact that the lessons they have received have not been given with any very direct reference to the formation of a moral and religious character in them.

Take, again, the subject of English history. It will hardly be denied that some knowledge of this subject is desirable even for the humblest Englishman. But what do children in National schools learn about it? Generally the dates at which the Sovereigns commenced their reigns, the great battles that were fought, the dynastic changes which took place, &c. Moreover, as the fashion is to begin at the beginning, and as children stay at school for a very short time, it will probably be found that the slender knowledge of history which the rising generation of artisans and peasants can boast of, is for the most part limited to the Roman and Saxon periods. Surely something might be done towards adapting history to the circumstances and requirements of children in elementary schools. It must be possible to make the character, the rise, and the progress of our great national institutions intelligible to them, and to give them interesting pictures of the glorious past of "the land they live in." So, too, with geography. It ought certainly to be brought more home to their business and bosoms than it is. England and her colonies, her commerce, and her manufacture, should supply the main part of the geographical lessons, while the rivers of Asiatic Russia, the islands of the Pacific, and the highest peak of the Pyrenees, may be pretermitted till the advent of that golden age of education when no child shall leave school under the age of 14.

Mr. Arnold has urged that the efficiency of inspection is diminished by the fact that notice is given of it beforehand. The Inspector's arrival is prepared for, so that he sees the school only at its best, and is thus led to form too favourable an estimate of it, and the same opinion has been expressed by others. We do not agree in this. The Inspector is of course aware of the fact that his arrival is expected, and ought to make allowance for it; and as all the schools alike are prepared for his visit, he has as good an opportunity of comparing them as if they were all in their ordinary condition. We think also that the necessity of preparing for the inspection must in itself exercise the same sort of influence over the discipline of a school as the prospect of any other examination. The practical objects of inspection would be frustrated if no notice were given beforehand. Returns have to be made up in readiness for the inspector's arrival, and this of course requires time. These returns are most important to the working of the system. In his Report on French Educa-

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tion, Mr. Arnold says* "their inspection is a reality, because made when not expected. The Nancy inspector who went round the schools of that town with me had a pass-key by which he let himself into any one of them when he pleased, and he told me he entered every public school in the town fifty times in the year." In a single town such a system might be possible, but under our own system it is impossible for the inspectors to visit the schools oftener at an average than once a year. It would therefore be impossible to keep the approach of the inspector's visit secret. He has engagements for nearly every day in the year, which are carefully settled beforehand, and even if the exact day of his visit were not announced to the teachers they could easily ascertain at what time he would be in their neighbourhood, so that the only result of leaving the day itself uncertain would be to keep the teachers in suspense and expectation, and to unsettle their minds for a week or a fortnight.


While little doubt can exist on the relative superiority of inspected over uninspected schools, that superiority is of course no measure of their positive merit. The great majority of them are described by the inspectors as "Excellent," "Good," or "Fair." But what do these words mean? What is the standard by which an inspector judges a school? Can he test, or is he able to test, the performances of the whole or of a large portion, or of only a small portion of the scholars? If all are not examined, are those who are examined to be considered always as samples, or sometimes as exceptions? To these questions we now turn.

All schools examined by inspectors are classified under the headings "Excellent," "Good," "Fair," ''Bad," and Mr. Brookfield in his report of 1856 has described with great liveliness the standards by which these terms ought to be assigned. The description is a long one, but it would be unjust materially to curtail it. Mr. Brookfield describes a "fair school" as one of "the average creditable kind, but with nothing to boast of." In such a school, say of 75 children, he supposes a first class of fifteen, -

To read a page of natural history - about an elephant, a cotton tree, or a crocodile - with tolerable fluency and with scarcely a mistake.
*Report, p. 84.

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They would answer collateral questions upon this, not well, but not preposterously ill; they would have a general knowledge of the distribution and conventional divisions of land and water over the surface of the globe: most of them would name the counties on an unlettered map of England, and the kingdoms on one of Europe; they would work a sum in compound addition - two-thirds of them without mistake; they would write out a short account of any object named to them which they had seen or read about, - an animal, a tree, a flower, - intelligibly, and not without thought and observation, but with trifling errors of grammar and of spelling; they would have a pretty fair knowledge of the leading incidents of the Book of Genesis and of the Gospels, but with very imperfect notions as to their order of time; they would repeat the Church Catechism with verbal accuracy, but with very faint apprehension of its meaning; they would be able to repeat a few (but in my own experience, very few) texts of Scripture, and those chiefly of prophetic or doctrinal application; for which, with unaffected deference to better judgments, I should be glad to see substituted (if there be no time for both), and copiously substituted, the preceptive, the warning, the consolatory.

In such a school as I have been adverting to, - marked "fair" - the remaining four or five classes would show attainment proportionably graduated from that which I have represented as usually belonging to the first. With respect to acquirement, boys are ordinarily a little in advance of girls, because they have more time for it. The girls compensate by a somewhat livelier intelligence, by prettier reading, by better discipline, and by needlework, on which two-fifths of their time are spent.

Schools to which the epithet "Excellent" may be applied are of much higher pretensions. Mr. Brookfield thus describes them:
In a school of the same size, marked "excellent," I should find a class of the same number (fifteen) but perhaps a little older (twelve and a half or thirteen), who would fill a slate with an extemporaneous account of flax, or sugar, or a river, or a brewery, or a flour mill, or a zoological garden, showing good observation, memory, reflection, faultless spelling, rarely deficient grammar, and writing* that might awaken, not the envy, but the approbation of a Government department; their reading would be perfectly fluent and articulate, and usually very pleasing, - that of the girls remarkably so. Perhaps the latter may possess a more delicate organization, both for the apprehension and the reproduction of sounds. Easy fractions and decimals with boys, and, with girls, easy rule of three, would be worked without a blunder. A general acquaintance with the surface of the earth, its people and productions, would close up into one more particular of Europe, and still more detailed and accurate of Great Britain. Co-ordinately with all knowledge of facts and detail, I should find coherency and reflection cultivated. Nor would the refinements of instruction be wanting. A little singing and a little drawing, where nature had furnished an aptitude for such accomplishments, would be cultivated according to time and opportunity. Throughout the school there would be committed to memory
*This commendation applies, however, only to writing upon slates. On cheap woolly paper, and with cheap steel pens, which might as properly be called needles, the penmanship is of course indifferent.

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a few pretty hymns and select pieces of secular poetry, adapted to the capacity of the learner. The clergyman would have taken care that there should be, not perhaps a minute, but a competent and intelligent acquaintance with Old and New Testament history. The first class, as here represented, is only a type of the rest in their several degrees. Whatever is taught throughout the school is well taught, and judiciously graduated to each class, according to its measure, down to the little inarticulate learners of the alphabet; unless, indeed, the infant school relieve the upper one of these interesting embarrassments. With the managers, of whom the clergyman is most frequently the sole representative, the bodily health and comfort of the children have been no secondary consideration; complete warmth and ventilation have been secured; well-proportioned desks and forms have been so adjusted as neither to cramp nor crowd the little disciples; the walls are covered with pictures, with illustrations, and with colours which can make even maps attractive; the room is filled with healthy, frank, and happy faces; and the discipline, which for occasional purposes can be almost regimentally exact, is habitually unrestrained, cheerful, and quiet, - easy and free, without being free-and-easy. Supposing such a school to turn out annually twenty-five children, and that only one-third of them should have attained such instruction as is here described, the remaining two-thirds being such as might be found respectively in the second and third classes of the school, and supposing them all transferred to menial and mechanical occupations, will they not till those occupations more ably, more pleasantly to themselves and their employers, more contentedly, and in better heart, for having had both their minds and bodies kept in vigorous health?
Lastly, we are afraid that the following is still a correct description of many country schools:
*Other gradations will be easily inferred, but there is one which neither inference nor imagination can go low enough to appreciate: I mean that which comes under the term "bad." I have affixed to it "zero," as indicating its relative numerical value compared with the average 30; but it is in truth far worse than nothing. It is absorbing into its cold, ill-ventilated, and unfurnished room, and into its still colder and more barren charities, a crowd of boys who would otherwise have found another and an efficient school. Here they learn nothing but what idle boys are prone to teach one another, - nothing very edifying it may be guessed. Their only books are a few torn Testaments, which they learn to read with precisely the same amount of intelligence as if they were attempting to read the Greek language in English character. They have no more idea whether Jerusalem was in Palestine, or Palestine in Jerusalem, than they have of the outside of the moon; or whether the event from which all Christian time is reckoned occurred before or since the Battle of Waterloo. Very few indeed of them can work the humblest multiplication sum correctly. Their writing, if legible, is rendered unintelligible by the spelling. While their minds are thus left utterly uncultivated, their morals can be deriving no advantage from their communion with each other about their street experience. They are perpetually engaged in eluding and cheating the master; and I must say that the master, - and not he alone, - may take to himself whatever comfort is implied in a seventy times seven-fold retaliation.
*Min. 1854-5, pp. 502-3.

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The standards adopted in this description by Mr. Brookfield appear to us just and sensible; they appear to be also those of Mr. Cook, and it may fairly be supposed that the general estimate of the inspectors corresponds with the two whom we have selected.

Mr. Cook's words are:*

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 schoolbooks, 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, duodecimals, 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 artisans, 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.

*Min. 1854-5, pp. 393-4.

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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 be omitted without practical detriment to the schools.
We have thought it important, prior to any other consideration, to show what is the real standard of efficiency adopted by the Inspectors, and agreeing as we do in its justice, we accept Mr. Brookfield's implied conclusion, that in so far as the children receive the degree of instruction given in a school marked "excellent," the school deserves the title; and that its scholars will fill any occupations "more ably, more pleasantly to themselves and their employers, more contentedly, and in better heart, for having had both their minds and bodies kept in vigorous health." Nor must it be forgotten that the schools described as "fair," are 80 per cent of the whole number of inspected schools; and that the pupils who remain in them till they reach the first class, that is, till they are 11 or 12 years of age, receive a sound and useful education. There is, however, another side to this picture, which the interests of popular education require us fully to describe. We shall do so in the next section with the following preliminary remarks.

It is obvious from the descriptions we have just quoted, that the inspection is an inspection of schools rather than of scholars, of the first class more than of any other classes. Speaking generally, the inspector's description of an excellent school turns like that of Mr. Cook upon the performance of boys of 11 or 12 years old. The present system (particularly in its plan of examination) seems to us to have a necessary tendency to make the first class the measure of the value of the whole school; and indeed we find Mr. Norris, in a passage to be afterwards more fully given, making the important, though in our opinion mistaken statement, that "schoolteachers seem to have a right to ask that their success be measured by the proficiency of their first class children. In the best schools the discipline is often imperfect, the reading and writing awkward, and the arithmetic inaccurate in the junior classes the teacher fairly claims that he shall be held responsible for those only who were allowed by their parents to stay long enough to reach his first class."

No passage could show more conclusively than this that inspectors, as well as masters, are inclined to "measure the success of a school by the proficiency of its first class children." We shall hereafter consider the justice of an opinion which implies

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that the children of labourers, if they leave the day-school at 10 years of age (which is very generally the case) can have received no teaching worthy of the name. At present we only quote it in proof of the tendency to judge a school by its first class only, and that this is the case is still more conclusively proved by the following passage from a report of Mr. Matthew Arnold, which states both the fact and its explanation with great clearness.

The character of school inspection, too, is, it appears to me, at present such as to render difficult the adoption of a uniform principle in reporting by all the inspectors. The inspection of a school is now, upon a plan founded when a far smaller number of schools were under your Lordships' supervision than at present, carried out into such detail as to afford every facility to an inspector desirous to give a favourable report upon a school for doing so, by enabling him to call attention to special points of detail in which the school may be strong, rather than to others where it may be weak, or to its general efficiency, which may be small. At present, for instance, an inspector finding an advanced upper class in a school, a class working sums in fractions, decimals, and higher rules, and answering well in grammar and history, constructs, half insensibly, whether so inclined or not, but with the greatest ease, if so inclined, a most favourable report on a school, whatever may be the character of the other classes which help to compose it. But it is evident that the attention of your Lordships is especially concentrated on those other classes, and that an elementary school excites your interest principally as it deals with these, as it deals with the mass of children who, remaining but a short time at school, and having few or no advantages at home, can acquire little but rudimentary instruction; not as it deals with the much smaller number, whose parents can enable them to remain long at school, to pursue their studies at home, to carry on their education, in short, under favourable circumstances, and who, therefore, less need the care and assistance of your Lordships.
We have already said that inspection tests the school more than the individual scholars and, though an inspector's tact and experience may enable him to look through 150 boys in an hour and a half, such an examination is obviously one only in name. It is really an inspection rather than an examination, and cannot apply the test and stimulus, particularly to the lower classes, which a real inquiry into their knowledge secures. We inquired into this point carefully. Mr. Cook says:*
857. (Chairman.) Do you consider that the mode of inspection adopted is such as to enable an inspector under all circumstances to form an accurate opinion as to the condition of the schools which he inspects? - I think that it is his own fault if he is not able to do it, excepting when it happens, which has happened continually, that from the very rapid growth of the system, the number of schools which actually must be inspected is considerably beyond that which the inspector can fairly attend to; but as soon as that is the case, it is his
*Evidence, pp. 125-126.

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duty to report upon the state of his district, and to bring it under the consideration of the Government, and then additional assistants are supplied as soon as the necessity for those assistants is demonstrated. But it invariably happens that there must be some delay in that respect, because the inspector cannot claim assistance until he has shown that the assistance is really wanted; and then if you allow for the time which will elapse before assistants can come to him - it very often happens that an inspector for one year, and sometimes even for a longer time, is over pressed, and is not, consequently, able to give quite so much time as would be necessary to report the schools fully. I can say that, so far as I myself am concerned, I have never visited any school which I have left without the full conviction that I had ascertained everything which I considered it necessary to ascertain.

858. I was not asking you the question so much with reference to your own practice as with regard to the system under which you act? - Then it is merely a question whether sufficient promptitude is shown in appointing additional inspectors and assistants where they are wanted.

859. You consider then that the tests which you are bound to apply to the condition of a school are such as would preclude the possibility of any school being inspected and reported upon as good which should prove afterwards to have turned out scholars not adequately educated? - Yes. I cannot see any opportunities which could be open to the inspector which he has not at present. It is his duty to remain in the school long enough to see that every part of the instruction is thoroughly carried out; that the organization is quite complete, and that the qualifications of the teachers are sufficient. Of course he may be deceived either from want of judgment or of experience, or from other circumstances to which all persons are liable; but if I were at liberty to fix the opportunities which should be given to the inspector, I do not think that I could mention any except additional time.

860. (Rev. W. C. Lake.) When you examine a school containing 150 boys, how many hours do you devote to the inspection of the school? - I think that I should finish it very completely in about four hours.

861. How many boys on an average would you examine? - I should not consider myself bound to examine every boy, but to see that every boy had sufficient means of acquiring information, and also to test the fact by a certain number of general results which can be ascertained; for instance, I should hear every boy read, I should see the writing of every boy, I should try the arithmetic, and, in fact, go through all; but I should see the staple work of the school very easily in about an hour and a half.

862. With 150 boys? - Yes. The rest of the time would be spent in hearing the teachers teach, and hearing the boys examined by the master, and in examining them myself so far as is necessary , it is much more satisfactory, and I, of course, prefer to have the boys examined by the teachers, because by that means I get two results at the same time.

863. Could you make a close individual examination of every boy of 150 boys in an hour and a half? - No; I should hear them read, look at their writing, and test their arithmetic.

864. (Rev. W. Rogers.) You say that you do that, but is it usual with inspectors to hear every child read, and to examine his cyphering and writing? - I should say that all the inspectors try the cyphering very closely, and that all the inspectors try the writing very closely. I do not know that the inspectors would consider themselves bound

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(I should not say that they were bound) to hear every child read, but to ascertain that they read well in every class.
Mr. Watkins says:*
1041. (Chairman.) What time do you consider necessary for the inspection of each school; take a school of 200 children, for instance? - It does not depend much upon the number of children; it depends more upon the number of subjects taught. I can examine a school of 300 children sooner, where very few subjects are taught, than I can examine a school of 60 children, where a great many subjects are taught; and, of course, very much will depend upon the character of the school, upon its intelligence and the instruction which is given in it. Sometimes, a very bad school of 150 or 200 children can be examined in an hour and a half, to speak positively about it, and a school of 60 children, who are taught all the subjects which are taught in a school, will take three and a half hours, or four hours.

1042. (Sir J. Coleridge.) Of course, you do not examine each individual child? - We do, in a great measure; we hear them all read, for instance, or the great majority of them, and we see all their sums. We look at all their copy-books, and question very often the whole of the scholars, almost every child.

1043. (Mr. Senior.) I suppose that your experience enables you now to examine a school of a given number much more quickly than you could when you first began? - It enables me to form an opinion sooner; but I do not know that I can satisfy the managers sooner.

1044. That is to say, you could examine the school sooner? - Certainly.

1045. Your opinion, I suppose, does not much vary after the first hour? - Not much.

1046. (Sir J. Coleridge.) Does it form part of your inspection to make the children write under dictation or sum under dictation? - Yes, both.

1047. Would not that imply an increase of time very much according to the increased number of children? - No doubt it would, but in a bad school they do not either the one or the other. When I speak of bad schools I mean very bad ones, where the children cannot write tolerably from dictation.

Allowing for the tendency, which Mr. Arnold and Mr. Norris speak of, to judge a school by its upper classes, we are far from saying that the inspection described by Mr. Cook and Mr. Watkins would not convey a sound general impression of a school's condition. An examination, however, in the usual sense of the word, it is not. Thus Mr. Cook says that he should "see the staple work of a school of 150 boys very easily in about an hour and a half," and that in that time "he should hear every boy read, should see the writing of every boy, and try the arithmetic, and in fact go through all." This no doubt might be done; but as only 36 seconds would be thus occupied in examining the reading, writing, and arithmetic of each scholar,

*Evidence, p. 147.

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the examination could be hardly otherwise than cursory; and the evidence which we have quoted justifies us in concluding that the school, and the lower classes particularly, would derive few of the benefits, and little of the stimulus, which could have been supplied by a close examination of every individual scholar.

Mr. Macleod, the head master of the Model School in the Military Asylum, Chelsea, stated that a whole day was necessary to examine the upper division, consisting of about 70 boys, of a large school in reading, dictation, composition, and arithmetic. In reply to questions on this point, he says:

Are there any elementary tests which, in your experience, you would deem sufficient for testing the efficiency of school teaching or the proficiency of scholars? - Yes; reading, dictation, composition, and arithmetic.

Would these suffice? - Decidedly.

How would you apply them? - By viva voce and written examinations.

How long would it be requisite to test, by a sufficient examination, a division of a school, say of 300? - In a school of that size the upper division would be about 70, and those might be examined in the subjects specified in a day. I have done it easily with soldiers; heard every man read, tested him in arithmetic, and tested all those who are able to write in dictation.

Mr. Macleod is not a professional examiner, and therefore probably takes longer time. But the difference between the whole day, which he requires for 70 boys, and the hour and a half required by Mr. Cook for 150, is striking.


Under the last head we described the standard which entitles a school to the character of "good" or "excellent," and we showed that it was derived from the inspector's impressions on a general examination of it, and that it implied that the children in the first class received as good an education as could be desired.

From the statistics given in the last chapter it follows that the large majority of the children never reach the first class, as they leave before they are 11 years of age; and there can be no question that their instruction is far the most important part of the system, as they belong to the class which stands most in need of all the benefits which education can bestow upon it. It is important, therefore, to consider, first, how much a child who

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leaves school at 10 or 11 years of age, after attending with average regularity, may be expected to learn; and, secondly, how far the large proportion of children (three-fifths of the whole number on the books) who do attend with a fair degree of regularity up to the age of 11, actually attain that standard. In so far as they do attain it, the schools succeed. In so far as they do not attain it, they fail, and that, not on account of the irregularity or shortness of the attendance, but from teaching, which is, for want either of knowledge, of skill, or of diligence, defective.

With respect to the standard which ought to be attained under the circumstances specified, we agree with the following observations made by Mr. Fraser and Mr, Mitchell, each of whom has had great experience of schools in agricultural districts, in which the difficulties of education are great. Mr. Fraser says:*

Even if it were possible, I doubt whether it would be desirable, with a view to the real interests of the peasant boy, to keep him at school till he was 14 or 15 years of age. But it is not possible. We must make up our minds to see the last of him, as far as the day school is concerned, at 10 or 11. We must frame our system of education upon this hypothesis; and I venture to maintain that it is quite possible to teach a child soundly and thoroughly, in a way that he shall not forget it, all that it is necessary for him to possess in the shape of intellectual attainment, by the time that he is 10 years old. If he has been properly looked after in the lower classes, he shall be able to spell correctly the words that he will ordinarily have to use; he shall read a common narrative - the paragraph in the newspaper that he cares to read - with sufficient ease to be a pleasure to himself and to convey information to listeners; if gone to live at a distance from home, he shall write his mother a letter that shall be both legible and intelligible; he knows enough of ciphering to make out, or test the correctness of, a common shop bill; if he hears talk of foreign countries, he has some notion as to the part of the habitable globe in which they lie: and underlying all, and not without its influence, I trust, upon his life and conversation, he has acquaintance enough with the Holy Scriptures to follow the allusions and the arguments of a plain Saxon sermon, and a sufficient recollection of the truths taught him in his Catechism, to know what are the duties required of him towards his Maker and his fellow man. I have no brighter view of the future or the possibilities of an English elementary education, floating before my eyes than this. If I had ever dreamt more sanguine dreams before, what I have seen in the last six months would have effectually and for ever dissipated them. In such inspection of schools as time and opportunity allowed me to make, I strictly limited myself to testing their efficiency in such vital points as these; never allowing myself to stray into the regions of English grammar, or English history, or physical science, unless I had previously found the ground under the
*Report, p. 46.

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children thoroughly firm, and fit to carry, without risk of settlements, a somewhat lofty and more decorated superstructure.
Mr. Mitchell says:* - "I find that, properly taught, children of 10 years of age can write dictation of the Third Book very well, with few misspellings, at the rate of about a minute a printed line, and for twenty minutes. They will work also fairly sums in the compound rules, multiplication, and division of three figures."

How far, then, is this standard actually attained? In the first place it is obvious that the number who attain it even in schools which are described as excellent is narrowly limited. Mr. Cook, in the extract which we have quoted, speaks of boys of 12 years of age only, and Mr. Brookfield's supposition as to an excellent school, is that one third of the children who annually leave it may have attained a first class standard. We shall presently see that this estimate is a high one; meanwhile, it is plain that in the very best schools two-thirds leave without attaining the standard. Mr. Cook in speaking of prize schemes says in a passage already quoted, "They have little effect on the great mass, who leave before they attain the first class;" the great mass are therefore excluded from his description of the attainments of the children in good schools.

But we are able to go far beyond this general calculation. With regard to the amount of knowledge which is actually obtained by the great majority of the pupils, we have ample evidence from the inspectors themselves. The last volume of Minutes† contains a remarkable report of Mr. Norris, who has made a minute inquiry into this very point.

It will be said, "these groups of young people whom you have brought up in evidence are no doubt very creditable specimens of your system; but what proportion do they bear to the whole number of children that have passed through your schools?" I have no wish to decline the question. It must be confessed at once that they do not constitute more than one-third, at most, of those who pass through our schools; and that the remaining two-thirds are by no means so well educated.‡ This requires explanation, and anyone conversant with our schools will be at no loss to supply it.

School teachers seem to have a right to ask that their success be measured by the proficiency of their first-class children. In the best schools the discipline is often imperfect, the reading and writing awkward, and the arithmetic inaccurate, in the junior classes. No very lasting impressions can be made on the mind or habits of a child ten years of age. In testing the success of a school, therefore, by

*Min. 1858-9, p. 71.

†Min. 1859-60, p. 103-113.

‡The mere smattering of education obtained by a large proportion of those who nominally pass through our schools is well illustrated by the statistics of the Second Staffordshire Militia, given in the Appendix.

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the conduct and intelligence of its former scholars, the teacher fairly claims that he should be held responsible for those only who were allowed by their parents to stay long enough to reach his first class.

Now, what proportion do these constitute? Desiring to gain precise information on this very important point, I sent the following circular question to all the annual-grant schools in my district: "What proportion of the children who left your school in the last twelve months had reached the first class? I subjoin the summary results of this inquiry:

In Cheshire -
65 boys' schools returned 28.54 per cent.
63 girls' schools returned 29.42 per cent.
In Salop -
30 boys' schools returned 26.72 per cent.
27 girls' schools returned 21.11 per cent.
In Stafford -
67 boys' schools returned 20.82 per cent.
62 girls' schools returned 19.05 per cent.
The general average for all three counties is 24.58 per cent. Thus it appears that, in this district, of the children who pass through our schools only one-fourth stay long enough to reach the first class. Three out of four of them leave school with only such a smattering of education as they may have picked up in the lower classes. The more advanced lessons given in our elementary schools - lessons in geography, in grammar, in English history, in the higher parts of arithmetic, in drawing, in cutting out and fixing for needlework, - are reserved, for the most part, to the first class, and are thus brought within the reach of only one-fourth part of our scholars, according to these statistics.

*If I were asked, therefore, 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.

The circumstances of difficulty which have created this state of things will be presently referred to. So far as it depends on the teachers, there are many excuses for them. They have hitherto been educated on the theory that they will have to instruct boys of a more advanced age than those who actually frequent the schools, and a greater stimulus than has hitherto been applied is obviously required to induce them to teach the lower classes and the humbler subjects of instruction. But we should be sorry to see Mr. Norris's words construed (they do not necessarily bear such a meaning) into a claim on behalf of the teachers that they should not be responsible for any children under 10; it cannot be too distinctly understood that not only are teachers responsible for the education of children below 10 years of age, but that that responsibility constitutes one of the most important parts of their

*Min. 1859-60, p. 111.

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duties. Mr. Norris's meaning, though not clearly expressed, may have been that, however a master may attempt to instruct his children, his teaching cannot be permanent in its effect if they leave him at an early age; "they will leave school," as Mr. Mitchell says, "they go to work, and in the course of a year they know nothing at all." And there would be great force in this opinion if there were no prospect of continuing this early education; but believing as we do, that a night school may be the supplement of a poor child's education, we are less inclined to sympathise with the hope which Mr. Norris entertains of extending the earlier education than with the fear of Mr. Fraser, that in reality we must "lose three-fourths of our children as far as the day school is concerned at 11 or 12 years old." We must meet the difficulty, at all events in the rural districts, by the night school.

We start, then, with the general opinion expressed by Mr. Norris so lately as 1859-60, that "three out of four children leave school with only such a smattering of education as they may have picked up in the lower classes," and "that we are successfully educating one in eight of the class of children for which the schools were intended." We may combine with this an opinion equally strong of Mr. Bowstead.

I do not believe that the results attained, even in these first-class schools, are altogether satisfactory in themselves. On the contrary, I fear that the mass of the young people who go forth from them do so with very crude notions even upon the staple subjects in which they have been instructed, with but little taste for reading, and slight appreciation of the value of intellectual pursuits, and with only transient impressions of the principles which their teachers have endeavoured to inculcate. It seems certain that a large proportion of those among them who enjoy no further educational advantages, forget the greater part of that which they have learnt, and relapse almost entirely into the condition of the uneducated. This disheartening result is to be attributed, not to any defect in the ability of their teacher or the system on which they are taught, but solely to the short period of their attendance at school, and the early age at which they leave it.
We have elsewhere given reasons for doubting whether the early age of removal is a sufficient cause for the defective result which Mr. Bowstead describes, and whether the period of school attendance (though it is often broken and irregular) is so short as his words would imply. But without pausing on this point, we will only confirm the testimony of these witnesses by that of Mr. Fraser.

After describing the standard which might be attained by children leaving school at 10, in the passage quoted above, Mr.

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Fraser* proceeds as follows: "Not that I would be understood as implying that one half, or even one quarter of the children at 10 years of age carry with them into the lousiness of life even the humble amount of accomplishments which I have named." In a subsequent part of his report,† he says, "It thus appears that out of 282 schools only 100, little more than one in three, are in a condition that ought to be satisfactory either to teachers or managers; while not more than 23, or scarcely one in 12, are in that state of efficiency which shall send forth a child at 10 years of age into the world, for the work of life, with that amount of scholarship which I attempted to describe," in the passage quoted.

The incomplete character of the results as regards children below 10 years of age, even in schools marked fair and good, is to seen still more clearly when we enumerate the special points of learning in which the inspectors in very recent reports have described them as ill-instructed. The very staple of life in the learning of a poor scholar is his reading; in this at least we should expect no insuperable difficulty with a child of 10 or 11 years old. But on this point the complaints of inspectors are, perhaps, more nearly unanimous than on any other. Mr. Cook's evidence has here a peculiar force, for having remarked the defect in 1856, he had attributed it to causes which in the following year he describes as neither the sole nor the principal ones.

In 1856 Mr. Cook says, "I have often remarked that good reading, while it is one of the most valuable is also one of the most difficult attainments in our National schools. The irregular attendance, the constant migration of the children, and the inaccuracy of their previous instruction, present obstacles hardly to be overcome by the most able teachers."

In 1857 Mr. Cook, dwelling on the same defects, points as an additional reason for them to the defect we are noticing. "In the year 1857 Mr. Cook‡ observed, formerly it was simply "impossible to teach children in large National schools to read correctly and intelligently; at present, when the organization is complete, the progress of all the classes ought to be satisfactory. But there is, and always will be great danger lest teachers of considerable ability, and even energy, should neglect the somewhat mechanical and certainly most fatiguing work

*Report, p. 47.

†Report, p. 88.

‡Min. 1857-8, p. 252.

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of bestowing upon every section and every individual child that amount of care and systematic attention, which is requisite in order to secure proficiency in these elementary subjects, upon which real progress in all teachers of elementary education principally depend."

Mr. Fussell says, in his last report:* "Few will be disposed to deny that no secular subject contained in the time table is of greater importance than reading ... The practical working, however, of a considerable number of schools is not so conducted as to lead to the conclusion that this belief is shared by the teacher or his staff. In some reading is not taught at all in any real or sufficient sense. In others the reading lessons of the lower classes are conducted with but slight regard to clearness of articulation or correctness of pronunciation." Mr. Mitchell says:† "In most of the schools of the district" (the Eastern Counties) "the reading and spelling is the most defective subject of instruction." These complaints have continued for a series of years. In 1858 Mr. Alderson said:‡ "The part of the instruction which strikes me as being, on the whole, the least satisfactory in the schools I have visited is the strictly elementary; in particular, the reading and arithmetic. The grounding of the younger children is by no means sufficiently attended to; they often reach a comparatively high position in the school, reading inarticulately, spelling incorrectly, and with the vaguest notions of numeration. On the other hand, "I rarely find schools deficient in the higher branches of instruction, such as geography, history, and grammar." In the following year Mr. Alderson§ remarked some improvement. In 1858 Mr. Stewart observed:|| - "It is a matter of considerable surprise with me that both with school managers and school teachers this branch of instruction" (reading) "is often treated as one of subordinate importance." In the same year Mr. Norris¶ remarked an improvement in the elementary subjects, which he attributed to the fact that the Inspectors had latterly examined chiefly on elementary subjects. He says that this is necessary, because "the unconscious bent of the teachers will perhaps always be in the other direction, for the task of teaching geography and history is far easier and less irksome than

*Min. 1859-60, p. 20.

†Min. 1859-60, p. 61.

‡Min. 1858-9, p. 177.

§Min. 1859-60, p. 188

||Min. 1858-9, p. 105.

¶Min. 1858-9, p. 103.

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that of teaching to read and write thoroughly well." Mr. Fussell observed in the same year:* "The reading, though in some schools decidedly good, judged even by a high standard, is not by any means what it should be generally. Two things are essentially needed - an improvement in the reading of the teachers and pupil-teachers themselves, and a very far stricter attention to the quality of the reading in the lower classes."

Mr. Fussell's last three reports have, indeed, all dwelt strongly on this subject, for in 1857 he had remarked:

Next in importance to religious instruction we must place those indispensable subjects, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Of these the two former are indisputably the most difficult to teach, and as indisputably the most rarely well taught. This arises, I believe, in no small degree from the inadequate standard which both teachers and children have formed in their own minds respecting them, - they are far too easily satisfied with themselves. A very large proportion of the children do not know what good reading is - they are not taught in what it consists, or in what bad reading consists. Iu too many cases it would be more true to say that the teachers hear them read, than that they teach them reading. Very careful and special instruction should be given to the pupil-teachers in this respect. Few things are more painful to me than to see the energies of a young teacher in his class frittered away after this fashion. A child reads a sentence, - he commits gross faults. "Read it again," says the teacher. He reads it again, and, as may be expected, he reads it pretty much as at first. "Read it again;" and so on. It does not seem to enter into the teacher's conception that his own labour, and the child's too, would be immensely lightened, if he would but tell the child what his faults are, and why he has to read it again. A teacher who pursues this plan will never have good reading in his class. The children are baffled, confused, and disheartened; and, as a natural consequence, they subside into stolid indifference. It must never be forgotten that the art of reading is an imitative art, and that no teaching of it can be effective unless the practice of furnishing the children with models of good reading be largely resorted to.
Mr. Brookfield says,† "The reading even of a first class is deficient in that articulation and expression which would make it an available resource on a Sunday evening by a cottage fireside." Mr. Alderson says:‡
I regret to notice the imperfect character of the reading prevalent in many schools. Take, for instance, a class of children reading "Easy Narrative." It wants time, and patience, and constant habituation, to bring such a class to read even decently well. A teacher is apt to conceive that all is done when the majority succeed, with more or less effort, in pronouncing the words of the lesson, one after another, without spelling them. Few appear to set sufficient account on the other elements of which reading, to be really good, must be composed; such
*Min. 1858-9, p. 29.

†Min. 1857-8, p. 364.

‡Min. 1857-8, p. 588.

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as absence of hesitation, correctness of accent, and above all clear and audible articulation. Cases in my district, where reading has involved all this, have been comparatively rare; and I have found in the course of my visits of inspection nothing more annoying that the indistinct mumbling which in many schools passes current for reading.
In 1855* Mr. Stewart observed of the northern counties, "I very much doubt whether the boys and girls who now leave our parish schools have gained a mastery of the mere mechanical difficulties of elementary education so complete, that they may be expected to find in books any occupation of the leisure which they may have as adults."

The Assistant Commissioners have paid, as they were instructed to do, particular attention to the manner in which elementary subjects, and especially reading, are taught, and the evidence confirms these extracts so strongly that we venture to quote from it largely. It shows that the mass of the children get little more than a trick of mechanically pronouncing the letters, and that the words which they read convey hardly any ideas to their minds. No doubt even the mere mechanical facility of reading which children now obtain would with practice grow to something better; but if a child leaves school with that power only, it is almost certain that it will not practise reading, as it can derive no pleasure from it, and thus, in a short time, it will lose even the slight power which it once had. If on the other hand it can read in an intelligent manner, it is nearly certain that it will read for its own amusement. The evidence of the Assistant Commissioners is as follows.

Mr. Fraser observes:†

That the majority of stipends being low, the majority of schools should fail to come up to a satisfactory standard, is, therefore, nothing more than a rational inference. But I do not think, even where salaries are liberal, and the possession of a certificate attests with a certain amount of warranty the competency of the teacher, that the efficiency of a large proportion of the schools is satisfactory, or quite of the kind that one would desire to see. Good reading - by which I mean distinct articulation, proper expression, and an intelligent apprehension of the drift of the passage read - is a treat that I was very rarely permitted to enjoy. The children appear to fall into slovenly habits, - indistinctness of sight as well as of speech, - in the lower classes, which become ineradicable. The modern method of discovering the pronunciation of a hard or previously unknown word seems singularly infelicitous. There is a reading lesson in the Third Irish Book, which I was fond of using as a kind of test. It is the story of a congress of birds summoned by a swallow to discuss the proper course to pursue in reference to a field which a farmer was sowing with hempseed. It begins easily enough to
Min. 1855-6, p. 414.

†Report, p. 92-3.

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tempt the children to start glibly, but in the second or third line there comes the adverb "unanimously," a long but by no means difficult word to articulate for children who have ever been taught to regard the syllabic arrangement of letters, but upon which the second class in variably, and very often the first class, broke down. There would be first an uncomfortable pause, then a wistful eye cast on the teacher; then, on my request that the word might be spelt, a rapid gabble of the 11 letters of which the word is composed; at the conclusion of this process, the same helpless incompetence to proceed; then the eye once more turned upon the teacher; and finally, in most cases, the frank confession of the latter that it was her habit always to help the children at this point, and that when they had repeated the letters, she gave them the pronunciation of the word. I venture to assert that the girls in the Hereford workhouse were not taught to read in this way. Such teaching will never enable its pupils "nare sine cortice" [i.e. to read without assistance].

Another phenomenon that you frequently observe in hearing a class read, not perhaps the very highest class in a school, but the second and third classes, and which certainly, I think, indicates the absence of some very important qualifications in the teacher, is that, if you quietly stand by and give the children their head (so to speak), for five minutes, without stoppage or correction of any kind, ^ you will be perfectly amazed, if it is at all a difficult passage, at the quantity of utterly unintelligible gibberish that you will have listened to. I remember once hearing at the inspection of a school, though not in the course of this inquiry, the head girl in the first class read St. Luke, iv. 14, thus: "And there went a flame of him through all the religion round about," with perfect self-satisfaction, and in utter unconsciousness of the absurd blunders she was perpetrating. Such children never can have been accustomed to connect sense and sound, but have simply acquired a mechanical facility of utterance, which is a bar instead of a help to rational progress. A piece of mechanism, when it does get out of gear, plays havoc just in proportion to the speed at which it is going. The unconscious thing believes that its only duty is to go, and whether it is going right or wrong it has no test within itself to discover.

He adds in a footnote some observations on the prevailing mode of teaching, which deserve attention:
The importance of good reading - the key of knowledge - the power which is to enable a man to become a self-educator, is so great, that perhaps I may be allowed, in a note, to enumerate the reasons that appear to me to prevent its being more frequently met with in elementary schools. They are as follows:

1. The use, or rather the abuse, of parallel desks. These were never surely intended for reading lessons. Where there is a triple tier of them, in a school with the average amount of concomitant noise, I defy the articulation of the child who may happen to be reading to be audible to the whole class. Those in the front row cannot hear those in the hindmost row, nor vice versa. I tested the truth of this again and again, at Sherborne, Malvern, and many other places where I found the practice in use. The reading class, it seems to me, should always be drawn up in square or horse-shoe.

2. The size of the class, and consequently the short time that each child is exercised. Take a class of 20, and allow 45 minutes for the lesson, more, probably, than they get clear. This gives 2¼ minutes to each child. If (which is rare) they read twice in the day, each child only reads 4½ minutes per diem, or 22½ minutes per week.

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3. The explosion of the old fashion of spelling words by syllables.

4. The want of attention to stops.

5. The low mumbling tone of voice into which children are allowed to fall.

6. The uninteresting, desultory character of the text-books mostly in use.

7. The want of intelligent questioning on the part of the teacher.

8. The imperfect acquaintance, both of teachers and scholars, with the laws of grammatical analysis, which govern the groupings of words, and with the laws of rhetorical expression, which have so large an influence upon elocution.

Mr. Hedley says:*
The impression which I have received from my visits to schools under certificated masters is, that the elementary branches of instruction are not sufficiently attended to; the mechanical part of the work is not well done; the writing of the children can seldom be called good; the reading still more seldom. The writing lesson is too often conducted as if the children needed only practice, and not instruction.

In reading, the utmost that appears to be aimed at, is that children should be able to read without hesitating and stumbling, that is, should be able to read with facility to themselves. They are scarcely ever taught to read with expression, so as to convey the meaning of what they read clearly and agreeably to others. I do not think that good reading can be expected where the reading lesson is habitually given in the midst of the noise of the school; and I have rarely found that the class-room, where there is one, is used for this lesson. Distinct articulation again seems never to be taught; the substitute that is insisted upon is a loud tone or high pitch of voice, elicited by the usual order to "speak out." And if the teacher and the rest of the class were at any time to close their books, I doubt whether the reader would be intelligible to any of them.

I do not find that the better class of masters have tried any expedients of their own for improving the writing or reading. They do not, in fact, seem conscious of the importance of these subjects and the deficiencies of their scholars.

Mr. Cumin, whose district was, perhaps, in a more satisfactory condition than any of the others, says:†
As I have said, reading, writing, and arithmetic form the staple of school instruction. These are the essentials with the parents, and these are the branches to which I almost entirely confined my examination. It is difficult to devise any means of conveying to persons not present at an examination the character of the reading in common schools. The chief difference which I found to characterize a good school, compared with a bad school, was this, - that in the good school the scholar read loud enough, and distinctly enough to be understood by the bystander, whilst in the bad school it was impossible even to hear the reader, much less to understand him. Moreover, the well taught scholar read the words accurately as they were printed, the badly taught scholar omitted some words and substituted others, especially for the smaller ones. Though good reading is a rare accomplishment in any class, still I have no doubt that the common practice of the master looking at his
*Report, p. 161.

†Report, pp. 88-9.

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book whilst the class roads, produces the worst effects. The child ought constantly to feel that unless it reads audibly and correctly, the master will stop it, and make it repeat the words. Nor can the master, with the book before him, judge of the character of the reading, and even if he could judge, the book tends to make him careless. Again, the school books generally in use are singularly uninteresting. Those who compiled them seem to think that increase in useful knowledge and the infusion of moral ideas are the only objects for which reading ought to be employed. Interesting stories and anecdotes are comparatively rare; and thus dull books produce their natural consequences, - bad readers. Though the girls generally read better than the boys, - more especially in those schools in which ladies take an interest, and sometimes teach classes, - still I must confess, there is very little really good reading, for in some of the best public schools the style is stiff, affected, and unnatural. Nor, indeed, do I believe that, considering the class from which the masters and mistresses come, will it ever be otherwise.
So again Mr. Hare:*
Being instructed to ascertain whether trained teachers are disinclined to bestow proper attention upon reading, writing, and arithmetic, particularly reading, I have made this a subject of special inquiry and close examination. The prevailing sentiment appears to be, that, if by chance a young man fresh from the training college should be foolish enough to despise and neglect these elementary branches, experience would soon convince him that they are the grand essentials of any education he is likely to give or the poor to require. It may be questioned, nevertheless, whether, as a fact, "the proper degree of attention" is given to these fundamental and often all-sufficing subjects. To writing, on the slate at least, enough time is devoted, though the trained masters, as a class, are not eminent for their calligraphy, but not enough to reading, nor, I incline to think, to arithmetic either.
Dr. Hodgson says:†
Let me take seriatim [in order] the subjects commonly placed in the first rank of educational requisites. Reading is by no means taught, in general, as it ought to be. Many reasons might be stated in explanation of this serious defect; to a few I will briefly allude. In many cases I have found that the great aim of the readers was so to slur over the words that it could not be told whether they were rightly or wrongly pronounced. A separate room for a class engaged in reading seems to me a primary want. Again, in order to contend with the surrounding noises, the voice is pitched on too high a key, and all just modulation destroyed. Again, mainly from the cause already stated, the reading of each pupil is not sufficiently continuous. So long as each pupil reads one sentence and no more, how can it be expected that he will read as one would do who is interested in the subject and anxious to interest others in it? But this is a thing seldom, if ever, dreamed of. The object of reading aloud (I mean not of mere learning to read aloud) is wholly forgotten. Every pupil has, or is required to have, his eye on the book. So has the master. The pupil who reads aloud for the time is not led to feel that he is expected to
*Report, p. 283.

†Report, p. 546.

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convey any thoughts to those who listen. Without his intervention, as well as with it, they have, or may have, the thoughts. The master, again, cannot judge of the pupil's reading so long as he follows the words with his eye as well as with the ear. The impression through the one is confounded with that through the other. But when a pupil is called out from the class, when the master shuts his book, and the other pupils are told to shut theirs, the pupil who reads finds that he is expected so to read that others may learn from him by understanding what he reads, and the effect is wonderful even at the outset. But this mode of teaching requires, still more than the present, a separate room. Again, the choice of reading-books is generally most unfortunate. The subjects are often uninteresting; they are torn into shreds and patches; the language is often difficult and unfamiliar. "Robinson Crusoe" or "Uncle Tom's Cabin" would be far more effective in teaching to read well, because they excite deeper and more continuous interest than the best selections from the best authors in prose or in poetry, whatever be the subject of which they treat.
Mr. Wilkinson* sums up his impressions as to the education given in the schools, in several conclusions, of which the following are two:
4. That the system of reading pursued by pupil-teachers, and still more by monitors, is faulty; instead of "teaching" to read, it ordinarily consists in only "hearing" to read - too frequently in a slovenly manner and without intelligence; and that the reading books ordinarily used are sadly dull, and not well adapted to a child's understanding.

5. That writing and arithmetic are usually far better taught than reading.

Mr. Winder's observations at Bradford and Rochdale led him to the same conclusions, expressed in nearly the same words. He says:†
It is to this want of intelligent system, much more than to any preference of masters for the more showy branches of education, that the rudimentary instruction of the lower classes of schools is not what it ought to be. The neglect of children in their early years is the great educational evil in my districts. This would seem to indicate that the schools ought to put forth their most vigorous efforts in respect of the elementary instruction of the lowest classes. But this is very certainly not the case.

It is impossible, for example, in the cardinal article of elementary reading to overstate the imbecility with which it is taught by ordinary pupil-teachers. You may meet with children of average capacity who have been learning for years without mastering the rudiments. The wonder is that they learn anything at all on the plan which I have frequently seen adopted. A large class, probably of 25 children, stands up, sometimes in their parallel desks, sometimes in a group on the floor, to read to a pupil-teacher. Each child in order reads a single sentence so low, and in such a Babel of sound, that it is with the utmost difficulty heard by the teacher, and only half heard, if heard at all, by the rest of the class. When the child comes to a word which he does not know, he simply spells it letter by letter, and then, without making any

*Report, p. 375.

†Report, pp. 226, 227.

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attempt to find it out for himself, looks up at the teacher, who forthwith to save trouble pronounces the word. No attempt is made to teach the art of division into syllables, and the old method of spelling seems universally discarded. The lesson goes on, and at the end each scholar has perhaps read two sentences, and heard three or four more, but it would be difficult to say what he had learnt.

In hardly a single school that I went to was the reading what it ought to be, either in respect of expression or in merely mechanical facility. By far the best specimen which I met with, taking the age of the children into consideration, was in the Bradford workhouse. I found three boys from 8 to 10 years of age who read fluently a difficult portion of a leading article in the "Times," of which they could not understand a line. When they came to a long word, they went steadily and unerringly through it by the syllables. Though of a decidedly low physical organization, they had acquired the art very completely. The girls I found usually better readers than the boys, and some of the female pupil-teachers at Bradford gave admirable lessons; but generally speaking, reading is the weakest point in school instruction, and taught with the least intelligence.

Finally, Mr. Foster tells us:*
I met with very few day schools indeed in which it seemed that the words read or repeated from a book, even with apparent ease, conveyed any idea to the mind of the pupil. For instance, a smart little boy read the first verse of the ninth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, "And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own " city." I asked, "What did he enter into?" "Don't know, thank " you. Sir," replied the boy politely. "Read it again. Now what did " he come into?" "Don't know, thank you. Sir." In another school, a girl of about 13 years of age was directed to "say her geography" to me, and after she had repeated the boundaries of several countries, I asked "What is a boundary?" "It's a year's wages." My question had suggested to her mind the terms on which the pitmen are in some collieries bound for a year to their employment. Doubtless she did not dream of its connexion with the lesson she had just repeated. These are fair specimens of the usual results of any effort to elicit the children's apprehension of what they were learning - either total silence or an answer perfectly irrelevant. The truth which has been forced upon me in a way it never was before is, that the language of books is an unknown tongue to the children of the illiterate, especially in remote situations. It is utterly unlike their vernacular dialect, both in its vocabulary and construction, and, perhaps, not less unintelligible than Latin generally was to the vulgar in the middle ages. The gulf between is the more impassable wherever, as in the collier villages, there is little or no intercourse with persons of the middle class. Only a very small proportion of the children seem to attain any adequate understanding of the language of books during their school life, and whether they do afterwards or not depends much upon the circumstances of their lot.
Mr. Foster's observation, bearing as it does on one of the most formidable difficulties which lie in the way of teaching to read in elementary schools, appears to us to be forcible and

*Report, pp. 338, 339.

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important; it is strikingly confirmed by the evidence given in several successive reports by Mr. Brookfield, who complains that a large part of what the children learn is learnt simply by memory, and without any approach to an intelligent perception of its meaning. In order to "illustrate the extent to which sounds may be taught, without any commensurate appreciation of the sense," Mr. Brookfield published* two answers written on slates by children of average intelligence of 11 years of age. They were answers to the questions from the Church catechism, "What is thy duty towards God?" and "What is thy duty towards thy neighbour?" They were as follows:

"My duty toads God is to bleed in him, to fering and to loaf withold your arts, withold my mine, withold my sold, and with my sernth, to whirchp and to give thinks, to put my old trast in him, to call upon him, to onner his old name and his world, and to save him truly all the days of my life's end."

"My dooty tords my nabers, to love him as thyself, and to do to all men as I wed thou shall do and to me, to love, onner, and suke my farther and mother, to onner and to bay the Queen, and all that are pet in a forty under her, to smit myself to all my gooness, teaches, sportial pastures and marsters, to oughten myself lordly and every to all my betters, to hut no body by would nor deed, to be trew in jest in all my deelins, to beer no malis nor ated in your arts, to kep my ands from pecken and steel, my turn from evil speaking, lawing and slanders, not to civet nor desar othermans good, but to lern laber trewly to git my own leaving, and to do my dooty in that state if life and to each it is please God to call men."

It curiously illustrates this writing if we compare it with the following answers made to Mr. Fraser in a promising school: "'What is a region?' After some delay one little fellow put out his hand. 'Well?' 'A roundabout.' He might have had a faint idea of the meaning, but more probably only had the jingle of the New Testament phrase in his ear, 'All the region round about'."

The answers given to Mr. Brookfield supply a vivid illustration of the sort of evils to which Dr. Hodgson refers when he speaks of the children's tendency to "slur over the words so that it could not be told whether they were rightly or wrongly pronounced," or which Mr. Foster is describing

*Min. 1855-6, p. 347.

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when he says that "the language of books is an unknown tongue to the illiterate," which Mr. Wilkinson describes as "reading in a slovenly manner and without intelligence," and which the different inspectors whose evidence we have quoted describe in general terms of the same character. Without specific illustration it is impossible to understand the full meaning of such statements. They leave an impression that school children read badly in the sense in which a person of the higher classes might be said to read badly who read in a monotonous manner and without proper emphasis and inflection. These answers, which are a transcript of the sort of reading under consideration, show that the bad reading of school children is something far more serious than this. Mr. Brookfield's observation on the subject is very important. "If these citations be read aloud with the rapid utterance and foggy articulation which is so often permitted in schools, it will be found that errors and confusions and splicings of words which mere bad spelling cannot account for, which nothing but downright inapprehension ... of the meaning can account for, will nevertheless sound very much like the answers given with correctness." The answers themselves when carefully examined throw great light on the fundamental defect of school teaching. All the unfamiliar words "worship," "authority," "governors," "submit," "spiritual pastors." "order," used as a verb, are misspelt in such a manner as to prove that they conveyed no notion whatever to the children's minds. A child who had been taught the meaning of "put in authority" would never have substituted for it "pet in a forty." A child who does not clearly and without an effort distinguish between the meanings of the two phrases "and to each he gave," and "unto which he gave," cannot be said to know its own language, and it is idle to suppose that the impression which such a child derives in future life from any book which it may read - if it does read at all - will not be so loose and inaccurate as to be of little value and less interest.

The extent to which these defects of instruction in other elementary subjects runs through the best schools is further illustrated in Mr. Brookfield's last report, as well as by several remarks contained in those of the Assistant Commissioners. Take the case of arithmetic.

In 1859 Mr. Brookfield* put the two following questions to

*Min. 1859-60, p. 87.

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1,344 children in the first classes of 53 schools containing 6,890 scholars; 17 of the schools were good, 19 fair, and 17 inferior: "What is the cost of five dozen eggs at five for twopence?" "What do you mean by that state of life into which it shall please God to call you?" In the second case, he says, he always varied the question thus: "Tell me of any state of life to which it has pleased God to call anybody that you can think of; to what state of life has He called you, or is likely to call you, if you live to be a little older?" "I put these questions," he adds, "with every advantage of time and elucidation (short of suggesting answers) that I could devise." Of the whole number, 256 answered the question in arithmetic, and 142 the question on the catechism. "In other words," says Mr. Brookfield, "4 in 100 of the total number of scholars in 53 schools, and 19 in 100 of the first class, found the price of five dozen eggs at five for twopence; and 2 in the 100 of the total scholars, and 11 in 100 of the first classes, knew what was meant by 'the state of life to which it shall please God to call me'." Mr. Brookfield adds:*

The arithmetic failure proves no more than this, that the children, who would undoubtedly have worked correctly questions apparently much more difficult, had not been sufficiently accustomed to have their arithmetic presented to them in forms which required a little thoughtful arrangement of the elements of the problem before the mechanical operation of it. They had been too much accustomed to have questions "fixed" for them on the black-board, much as a girl's needlework is "fixed" for sewing, and requiring nothing further than the simple process of multiplication, division, &c., according to mechanical rules. What baffled them in my question was the little bit of thought required to translate "five dozen" into "sixty," and "five for twopence" into "ten for fourpence." If the question had stood (as, set by the teacher on the black-board, it most likely would have done), "What is the cost of sixty eggs at fourpence for every ten?" the answers, I have little doubt, would have nearly coincided with the number in the first classes. The defect thus indicated in due cultivation of reflection is, however, the less serious because it is by no means difficult of amendment.

With regard to the catechism failure, I shall refrain from comment, except that in my deliberate belief it is significant of a defect of intelligence much more extensive and much more nearly total than is generally suspected, in a subject upon which a great deal of time is consumed. It might, perhaps, be conjectured, with reference to the above question in this subject, that there were many children who had a sufficiently practical understanding of the words without being able to explain them in appropriate language. But I left myself no room for this belief; I put the question in various forms, and gave the most favourable interpretation to any answer that approached to substantial correctness. But the customary answers given were, "A state of

*Min. 1859-60, p. 87-89.

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eternal life; of eternal death; of sin; of salvation; of grace; of wickedness; of holiness; of misery; of happiness; of glory; of sanctification," &c.; words the indiscriminate and utterly incoherent use of which is familiar to everybody accustomed to examine school children in religious instruction. Such answers as "A rich state; a poor state; a state of sickness or of health," I accepted.

In two schools only out of the 53 were the answers satisfactory from every child in the first class.

The Assistant Commissioners give numerous instances of the same kind of want of intelligence. Some of the most striking are afforded by their experience of the arithmetic taught in the schools. In working sums expressly stated, the children were often successful enough, but they were usually quite ignorant, of anything that required the simplest knowledge of a principle. "With respect to arithmetic," says Mr. Cumin,* "I tried the test of dictating a sum in addition or subtraction. The knowledge of notation was singularly defective; but wherever I found a good knowledge of notation, I found the class thoroughly instructed in the elements of arithmetic. It was by no means uncommon to find boys and girls in fractions and compound division who could not write down sums up to 10,000 or even 1,000. It seemed to be the opinion of some that that notation was hardly a fair test to apply." In the course of the inquiry, the Assistant Commissioners met, and Mr. Cumin communicated this amongst other observations to his colleagues. One of them (Mr. Hare), adopted the practice on his return to his district. The results were remarkable and instructive. He says:†
You will find a knowledge of the multiplication and pence tables Mr, Hare, at as early an age as you could reasonably expect, and familiarity with practice, rule of three, and even fractions, at years not beyond the average of boys of all classes grappling with such calculations; but, if you take the boys back, it may come out that some of them have made more haste than good speed. I confess that it had not occurred to me to try even the younger boys in numeration until Christmas, when one of my colleagues in this inquiry suggested it as a test of the arithmetical knowledge of even the senior classes. In both Yarmouth and Ipswich, I subsequently acted upon the hint; and, to the chagrin of masters and astonishment of scholars, many boys of the first class in their respective schools, able to solve questions in advanced rules with ease and accuracy, were found utterly at fault in a simple addition sum, when consisting of five or six lines of seven figures, slowly and repeatedly dictated, but testingly interspersed with numerous O's. This was a palpable demonstration, that "the proper degree of attention" had not been bestowed upon arithmetic; for, had the defaulters been sufficiently accustomed to recapitulate, according to the practice of the best commercial schools, they would have been at no loss to set down with correctness lines of seven figures of whatever precise value.
*Report, p. 89.

†Report, pp. 283-284.

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Lastly, take the case of religious knowledge. It is a continual subject of complaint that the children are not taught to understand passages of Scripture relating to their religious and moral duties, but are compelled to acquaint themselves with historical facts and incidents, which taken by themselves can give little instruction. In an essay read at the Educational Conference of 1857,* Mr. Jelinger Symons said, "In Scripture I find nothing commoner than a knowledge of such facts as the weight of Goliath's spear, the length of Noah's ark, the dimensions of Solomon's temple, what God said to David, or what Samuel did to Agag, by children who can neither explain the atonement, the sacraments, or the parables, with moderate intelligence, or tell you the practical teaching of Christ's life."

Mr. Wilkinson says,† of schools in London, "The general character of religious did not appear to me so satisfactory as that of secular instruction. Too much attention was paid to the geography and history of the Bible, the families and genealogies of the tribes of Judah and kings of Israel; and I rarely found the Catechism learnt in such a manner that when I changed the order of the questions, or put them in another form, I could obtain a ready reply." Dr. Hodgson's evidence‡ is to the same purpose. Mr. Fraser says,§ "In some schools, quite of an unpretending rural character, ... the religious knowledge while thoroughly distinctive was remarkably accurate and good. In others, I am afraid it must be said in most, it was of that parrot-like description in which sound is allowed to stand for sense, which Mr. Brookfield has ... portrayed in more than one of his reports."

In regard to other subjects, especially history and geography, similar complaints are common. The same points are repeatedly dwelt upon in the answers to our questions, and by no one more fully than by Sir Arthur Elton, in a passage to which we call attention, though too long for quotation. - Answers, p. 163.

We have already said that, so far as these defects are to be imputed to the teachers, there are many excuses for them; their failures must not be concealed, or even palliated, but they may be accounted for.

In the first place, it appears to be clear that the whole scheme of education in the schools was settled, that the school-books

*Essays upon Educational Subjects, p. 302.

†Report, p. 398.

‡Report, p. 552.

§Report, p. 104.

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were prepared, and above all, that the teachers were trained, upon suppositions as to the age of the pupils and the opportunities which would be afforded for instructing them, which the facts have not sustained. In his last report, Mr. Watkins states this most strongly, he says:*

It is impossible to shut one's eyes to the fact, which day by day Mr. Watkins. and year after year stands out in plainer and more legible characters, and is simply this, that the school-age of the children must needs be small, that they are born for hand-work and must go to hand-work as soon as they are physically qualified for it. Sixteen years of constant occupation in and about elementary schools have fully convinced me that, though this truth has not been denied by those who have been the most active and interested in the education of the working classes, yet it has been practically ignored. Their chief efforts seem to have been directed to inform the child, intelligently indeed, and methodically on subjects of great interest and of much value to those whose lot it is to labour with the head more than with the hands, but not such as to fit him best for his work in life. He has been in too many instances dealt with as if he were to be a scholar rather than a workman.
The character of the school-books used for reading lessons are a remarkable illustration of this. They are collections of extracts upon every sort of subject - generally speaking, subjects unlikely to interest children. The reading lessons appear to be frequently treated as opportunities for lecturing the children on the subject matter of these extracts, rather than as opportunities for teaching them to read. Mr. Hare† says, "It appears to be " the peculiar distinction of our common schools, unless they are " to be considered as having borrowed a hint from the thorough " classical teaching of our great public schools, to make the " reading of a book in class the foundation of lessons in every " branch of knowledge on which the writer may directly treat " or incidentally observe." Dr. Hodgson, in a passage already quoted, says, "The history spoils the reading, and the reading " spoils the history." Most of the Assistant Commissioners and several of the inspectors‡ complain of the dullness of the reading-books. The mistake appears to be partly in forgetting the necessity of exciting the children's interest in order to make them read well, and partly in omitting to observe the fact pointed out by Mr. Foster, that to many of these children the language of books is a foreign language.§

*Min. 1859-60, p. 33.

†Report, p. 298.

‡For example, Mr. Stewart, Min. 1858-9, p. 105; Mr. Brookfield, Min. 1859-60, p. 84; Mr. Cook, however, says, that most of the boys in the first classes of London schools have also read several such books as Robinson Crusoe.

§Report, p. 23.

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An instructive story on this subject is told by Canon Moseley in his Report on the Greenwich Schools:

Soon after my connexion with them, I became aware that no inconsiderable number of the boys of the Lower School remained incapable of reading with tolerable ease and correctness during the whole time (three years) of their residence in the school, and I reported to that effect. As there was reason to believe that nothing was wanted on the part of the masters to overcome this difficulty in the use of the ordinary methods of instruction, it was determined to make an extraordinary effort. A new master was accordingly appointed for the purpose, called a reading master, and a room set apart for it, called the reading room. Into this room all the bad readers were sent, to be exclusively occupied in reading all day long, until at length they should be able to read well; and to ensure the requisite amount of individual labour for this object, they were broken up into small subdivisions, each in charge of a paid monitor.

The experiment was, in an educational point of view, an instructive one. It resulted in an entire failure. Although the whole effort of the master and his monitors, and the whole labour of the boys, were concentrated on this one object of learning to read - and with many of the boys it was continued from morning until night for weeks and months together - yet they made but little progress, matters remained very much as they were, they could not be taught to read.

It was plain that, in the attempt, some great educational principle had been violated, on which success depended. Shortly after the appointment of the present intelligent master of this class, Mr. Connon, the exclusive instruction in reading was given up; other things were combined with it, calculated to interest the boys, to awaken them to the perception of a power to understand and of a pleasure in understanding, and to relieve the monotony of the constant mechanical action of the faculties, whatever they may be, which find an exercise in reading. This plan, conceived with much judgment and sagacity, and carried out with great zeal by Mr. Connon, has been successful. They spend now only a portion of their time in reading, but they learn to read far better than when they gave up their whole time to it; meanwhile their education, in a higher sense, instead of being in abeyance, is proceeding.

Another great difficulty with which teachers have to struggle is the capricious removal of children from school to school. The extent to which this goes on is extraordinary. We have already referred to the subject in our last chapter, but we may notice here its special effect on the child's progress. The schools are often conducted on different systems, and thus what is learnt in one school has to be unlearnt in the next. In the pamphlet already quoted, Mr. Watkins says, "In the large towns and populous districts where schools of different denominations exist, the children change much from one school to another. Some of them in their short school life have been in, but not through.

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six or seven schools. Suppose a lad of the higher class thus tasting, as it were, six or seven of the great public schools of England - Eton, Westminster, Harrow, Rugby, Charterhouse, Winchester, what nourishment would he be likely to get from them?"

It must also be remembered that the children are frequently grossly ignorant when they first come to school, having been either at no infant school or at a mere dame's school. This is illustrated by the following table* of the state of knowledge of 369 boys admitted or re-admitted to St. George's school, Sheffield, from August 1854 to August 1855:

The following Table is drawn up from the Admission Book or Register, and shows the State of Education, or rather the Ignorance, of the Children admitted into the St, George's Boys' National School between 1st August 1854 and 1st August 1855. 369 were admitted and re-admitted during the above Period.

[click on the image for a larger version]

It is also just to the teachers to bear in mind the extreme difficulty and irksomeness of the task of teaching very young children the elementary branches of knowledge, and seeing that each child individually acquires them. The power of attracting a child's attention, and of sympathizing with its difficulties, sufficiently to draw out and really exercise its faculties, is rare amongst teachers of all classes, and it would be unreasonable to expect it to be commoner amongst teachers of the class in question than with others.

*Mr.Watkins, Min. 1855-6, p. 266.

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For these reasons we do not think that it would be just to throw on the teachers the whole blame of the unsatisfactory results of the system upon the great mass of the children. The utmost that can be said against them is that they do not perform a most arduous duty, which they have no direct personal motive for performing, and which they seem to have been accustomed to look upon as almost hopeless, as the passage quoted above from Mr. Norris's report proves. Nor is it possible to throw the blame of the failure upon the parents. The persons really responsible for the kind of education given in the schools are the managers. This is well explained by Mr. Unwin, the Principal of the Homerton Training College, in the following extract from his examination:

2285. You say that the education provided has been unsuited to the wants of the poor? - Yes, I have no hesitation in saying that.

2286. What do you suppose to be the causes which determine what sort of education shall be offered to them? - The education has been hitherto determined by the committee which has established the school, and which superintends it. Now I think that the views which have been entertained by committees in relation to education have not been correct. The parents look for an education more practical, and one which bears much more upon the success of their children in after life, and I have found more wisdom amongst parents in regard to this matter than I have found amongst committees.

2287. Much, I suppose, in the management of a school must depend upon the views of the master? - Very much.

2288. And the views of the master very much depend upon the training which he has received? - Undoubtedly.

2290. Upon hearing the curriculum of Homerton College, it appeared to me to be one of the highest that we have had before us? - That is for the students, not for children in the schools. - Our teachers have to go into the market, and to get a price for their article according to its value. They have not the advantage of any Government bounty, and therefore must aim to present an article which will be appreciated.

It would be far from the truth to infer from the preceding evidence that the inspected schools must be considered as having failed. That they have not yet succeeded in educating to any considerable extent the bulk of the children who have passed through them is true, but they give an excellent education to an important minority.

This last fact explains an apparent difference of opinion between some of our witnesses. Those who, like Mr. Cook* and Mr. Hare,† speak of the schools more favourably than the others, are, in fact, describing parts of the schools different from the parts of them which the other witnesses have dwelt on. They

*Min. 1856-7, p. 237.

†Report, p. 298.

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refer principally to the performances of the elder scholars in the better schools, with regard to which we have ourselves quoted with approbation Mr. Brookfield's estimate, and will further repeat a remark of Mr. Winder's that "they achieve something like the maximum of success possible under the present conditions of attendance," Nor must it be forgotten that the good and intelligent state of the highest class does not end with itself; it has a very beneficial influence on the intelligence and the moral bearing of the whole school. And therefore, even where the definite knowledge of the younger boys is below an attainable standard, it is quite intelligible that the inspectors, while registering (as they have not failed to do) their complaints of shortcomings, may still speak of such schools in the language of commendation.

Before closing this section we must explain, what may surprise many of the friends of popular education, the low age of 10 or 11 years upon which we have fixed as the probable limit of the education of a large body of the children. In doing this, we do not mean to indicate that it is desirable that the education of children generally, or of any children, should close at so early an age. It is obvious that a different rule is likely to hold in this respect in towns, where a demand for intelligent labour will keep children longer at school, from that which applies to the country, where agricultural labour demands early practice, and where (to use Mr. Fraser's words) "on the average we must make up our minds to see the last of boys, as far as the day school is concerned, at 10 or 11," "and of girls, at the outside, at 12." Believing this to be the fact, and that in country districts 11 years of age will not cease to be a good average for the day school, we have inquired whether it may not be possible, even on this basis, to give children a good start in education, and to render the knowledge of humbler subjects and arts, now comparatively neglected, but peculiarly adapted to early years, the one absolute necessity for the minds of common men, and an invaluable substratum for a later teaching, attainable by all. We have already, in chapter 1, section 8, adverted to the aid which may be gradually given to this later teaching by means of evening schools. If these two means can be combined for a poor child; if he can receive an education sound as far as it goes till the age of 10 or 11 in the day school; if from that time onwards he has an opportunity of continuing his first teaching in the evening school; and if it is made possible to establish an evening school in almost every village in the country, we believe that popular education

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will be placed on a foundation at once suited to the necessities of the labourer, and calculated, while it offers to all children the necessary amount of teaching, to give full cultivation to those who even in the humbler classes are found endowed with superior mental powers, and with the legitimate desire to raise themselves by their improvement.


The moral effect produced by the schools is more important than the instruction given in them, although not so appreciable. The standards by which it can be measured are less definite. We believe it to be very great, and we should be astonished if it were not so. We have seen that the managers of the public schools are almost all of them men whom strong religious convictions and feelings have impelled to found and to maintain schools at a considerable, sometimes a very great expenditure of trouble and money. We have seen that the pupil teachers and masters have generally been selected for their moral as well as their intellectual character, and have received an education more religious than any other that is given in England. Among the higher classes in society the teacher is not socially superior to his pupils, often he is their inferior; often the difference in cultivation and refinement between the school and home is unfavourable to the school. But among the labouring classes the teacher is almost the only educated man with whom they daily come in contact. The school, when compared to the home, is a model of neatness and order.

We might assume therefore, even if we did not know it to be so, that the religious and therefore the moral influence of the public schools over the children must be very great, and we have also much evidence in support of that opinion.

One of the tests of the moral influence of the school is its discipline. The best teaching will produce little good effect if this be defective.

The attention of the Committee of Council has been properly drawn to this, and they have reduced into a tabular form the reports of their inspectors on the discipline of the schools under their inspection. There is no subject on which the reports of the inspectors deserve more confidence. They may be misled as to the instruction given in the school, but scarcely as to its discipline.

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They report the discipline to be excellent, good, or fair in 94.3 per cent of the schools receiving annual grants, and 75.7 per cent in the others.

An illustration of the moral effect produced by the discipline maintained in the schools is furnished by the marked success in subsequent life of the children coming from district and separate schools, particularly of the orphans, the class which is secluded from almost every other influence, and is often thrown on the world utterly friendless and deserted.

A further illustration may be found in the change produced on the population of a district by the establishment of good schools.

The Minutes of Council and the Reports of our Assistant Commissioners contain many such instances. We extract from the Minutes of 1856-7, p. 432, the following account of the effects of the establishment by Mr. Kinnersley of a school in the Staffordshire mining district:

Established 1839.

(From the Rev. Prebendary Wade.)

In 1839 a daily school was erected by the proprietor of the works, Thomas Kinnersley, Esq. Here great numbers of children were collected, and the best education then available was afforded to them. At that distant period many fears were entertained that the children's education would have utterly unfitted them for their future irksome lives of colliers and miners; but the experience of seventeen years has shown that sound education is nowhere attended with greater blessings to the workmen and masters, than in the mining districts.

In 1853 the old school was pulled down, and on its site the present noble building was erected by Mr. Kinnersley, at a cost of £1,700. The schools are quite crowded, the daily attendance being above 300, and the great difficulty is now how to provide accommodation for the children pressing in for education. They are under the management of certificated teachers. They aim, not only to afford instruction to the children of the very poorest of the people, but likewise to the children of the respectable tradesman and mercantile clerk. The payments are carefully regulated from 1d weekly to 10s per quarter; whilst no distinction is made in the classification of the children, but what merit alone may determine. This plan works admirably. It has secured the confidence of the parents; and the annual payments of the children have risen to upwards of £130, and this in a mining district of 3,000 souls, and where there are other schools, not only of dissenters, but private individuals. The results are shown in the present improved character of the population. The schools have largely helped to promote morality, industry, and respect for the laws; and these blessed results are now apparent in a village once notorious for everything the contrary.

*Min. 1856-7. pp. 422-3.

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The absence of crime. Not an instance can be produced of a child educated at Kidsgrove Daily School, since its formation in 1839, having been convicted as a felon.

The respect for the Church. Every Sunday the Church is crowded with a congregation of the working class, most devout and attentive in their manner, and all respectably clothed. Many persons who remember what the appearance of the people was twenty years since, and what it is now, are struck with amazement; and it is among the young men that this change is most wonderful and apparent.

The absence of drunkenness. Formerly this vice prevailed to a fearful extent; now it very seldom occurs that a man is fined. The workmen very generally save their money, and great numbers have built themselves good houses. But perhaps it will speak as much as anything else for the improved character of the people, when the fact is repeated that they are now paying annually upwards of £130 for the education of their own children.

The scholars educated at Kidsgrove School. Of these several have become teachers, others are now respectable tradesmen, clerks in various railway offices and mercantile pursuits. The most respectable of the artisans, miners, and labourers now employed in Kidsgrove Works, will be found to have been scholars of the school.

The school and parents. It is found that the school has acquired such a strong hold upon the parents that they cheerfully submit to its very stringent regulations, and, in some instances, it has decided a man not to leave his employer, because he must thus forego the advantages which he considered it confers upon his children. It helps to steady the man with a family to his master and work. A man employed at Kidsgrove had lately some difference with his employer. He received notice to leave, and, being a first-rate workman, there was no difficulty in the way of his being engaged elsewhere. Yet this man expressed, as the cause of deep regret at leaving, that he had to remove his children from a school where they were learning so well, and to which they were so strongly attached. His wife subsequently stated that one of her little boys intreated that he might be allowed to return to his old school; and he offered, if his dinner were given to him, to walk five miles daily to school. The family have since returned, and the children are all again at Kidsgrove school.

Female population. Here a great improvement has taken place, the instances of immorality are becoming very rare, a much higher tone of morals prevails, and an inspection of the cottages of those young women who are now married, but who were once scholars, will show how far the school has helped to fit them for the duties of wives and mothers. A great many of the young women are members of a female club in the village, where the least deviation from the path of virtue insures expulsion.

Conclusion. The whole character of the population is changed. The people themselves are conscious of this, and gratefully acknowledge it; and not long before his death presented their kind benefactor, - Thomas Kinnersley, Esq., and his lady, (on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the church), - the former with a bible, mounted in solid gold; and the latter with a costly bracelet, in testimony of their gratitude for the benefits conferred upon them and their children.

It would neither be just nor right to close this report without saying a few words on the present admirable system by which education has been so much improved and extended under the salutary influence of the Committee of Council on Education. This school is most deeply indebted to the assistance received from the Government for its present

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efficiency and usefulness. Without that aid it never could have effected what it has done, nor have taken such a firm grasp upon the affections of the parents and children.

(Signed) F. Wade.

It is not often that we obtain such decisive testimony as the following letter from a superintendent of police contains of the immediate effect of education on the moral state of the neighbourhood:

Police Office, Burslem, August 16, 1856.

Rev. Sir,

In reply to your communication of the loth instant, respecting the crime and condition of Kidsgrove, it will, I am sure, be gratifying to you to learn that from July 1846 to July 1856, there were but ten persons committed for trial. Two of those were travelling boatmen, and one was a servant in the employ of the railway company. There has been no committal for trial since June 1851 - except the railway servant - and his offence was committed on the line. During the same period (ten years) there have been but five persons summarily convicted, two of those were boat boys. Breaches of the peace, drunkenness, or other cases for the police seldom occur. Your wakes - which took place last month - did not produce a single police case. The inhabitants of Kidsgrove are orderly and industrious. I do not know a place in the country where the population is so great, and employing such a large number of workpeople, so free from crime. During the time I have had the management of the police of this part of the country (twelve years in January next) I have always been pleased with the reports and the remarks respecting the education of the children at Kidsgrove.

To the Rev. F. Wade.

I am, &c.
(Signed) THOS. POVEY,

Very similar is the following account from Burton-on-Trent:
BURTON-ON-TRENT NATIONAL SCHOOL (Town). Established 1844.*
(From R. Thornewill, Esq.)

August 19, 1856.

The results arising from our schools are, as far as we can judge, satisfactory. Thirty of the boys have obtained good situations, either in the railway or in the breweries; and are many of them holding important posts. Eighty have gone out as apprentices to good trades. Thus, we can account for about one fourth of the boys. They have improved their conditions and standing, and are in the way to become valuable members of society. About 400 boys have passed out of our schools since I took the management. We can give but little account of the state of the remainder. Burton has a very fluctuating population, but we have the satisfaction of seeing many of them at times at church, and frequently a few may be found spending their evenings in the reading rooms of the Young Men's Society. The education given has, at any rate, borne fruit in an improved and less awkward manner amongst the boys in the district, - less swearing, less immoral conversation, less indecent scrawling on the walls, and an improved and

*Min. 1856-7, p. 424.

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more religious tone altogether. There has not in the last six years been more than one case of a boy educated with us being brought before the petty session either for felony or misdemeanour, and this speaks for itself. Both boys and girls are eagerly sought for as they leave the school, and we rather suffer from the requirement, - we wish they remained longer with us. The increased cleanliness of the girls is a great recommendation to them; and I am thankful to say no children can be cleaner than ours are. Our schools seldom number less than 650 or 700 on the books. I am sure their value is fully estimated in the township, and their efficiency appreciated. Not making it a point of insisting on the peculiar views of this or that religious party, but conscientiously instilling the truths of the Gospel, we are trusted by every sect with their children. Nor do we find that objection is made to the principles of the Established Church, which are never concealed or disguised in the school, care being taken that nothing is done to offend any party. I find this matter easily managed in practice - difficult as it may appear in theory. Moderation and forbearance is all that is required, - never losing sight of the important fact, that our object is to make sincere Christians and useful members of society.

(Signed) Rob. Thornewill.

We take a similar instance from an entirely different neighbourhood, that of a large manufacturing town:
MESSRS. CHANCE'S SCHOOLS, NEAR BIRMINGHAM (Manufacturing District - Glass).
Established 1845.*

(From the Schoolmaster, Mr. Talbot.)

Spon Lane, August 26, 1856.

Since the receipt of your circular of the 12th instant, I have made a great many inquiries with the view of assisting myself in the formation of an opinion of the moral and social effects of the education imparted in the above school since its opening in 1845. I shall not be able to give you statistics in support of every statement which I may advance, but in all cases I shall be guided by the results of actual inquiries or observation. Of 800 boys who have passed through the above school, a large number have remained in the school to the age of twelve and upwards. Such of these as have remained in the neighbourhood have been assembled from time to time for a treat in the school room, and thus I have been enabled to keep up a connexion with them which has been of much use to me in my inquiries.

I am informed that our old scholars in their work give entire satisfaction to their managers and employers. There is a most observable difference throughout the glass-works between the educated boys and the uneducated. It is such a difference as cannot fail to strike even the most casual observer. ...

In their recreations old scholars form a favourable contrast to those who are uneducated. They are more respectful to each other, more methodical in their games, and more trustworthy in the duties that devolve upon them. Of two cricket clubs formed this summer, the one composed chiefly of pretty-well educated boys, the other mostly of rough and ignorant youths; the former is playing regularly, and managing its financial affairs most successfully; whilst the other, having broken up within a few weeks of starting, has not yet returned me the

*Min. 1856-7, p. 425-6.

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apparatus which I purchased for it, nor paid anything towards the rent of its ground.

In respect of dress and general personal appearance our old scholars are, for the most part, all that can be desired. Many of them look models of neatness and propriety. Most of those whom I have occasionally met, on Sundays or holidays, look, in the absence of cigars, chains, &c., just how one wishes to see an English workman always look.

I am thankful to know that in several departments of the works here, as well as in other places, our old scholars are gradually making way. One, besides being a good practical chemist, is managing clerk in an extensive chemical works in the neighbourhood, belonging to the Messrs. Chance. Another, educated here till he was thirteen, has just taken ten prizes from a French college, and amongst them the first prize for drawing, in which subject he excelled whilst here. A lad of sixteen called at the school the other day, and observing a class drawing at the desks, voluntarily told me that his drawing, learnt at school, obtained for him 2s more per week from his employer, a mechanical engineer, than he would otherwise have had. About a dozen old scholars are clerks in offices, chiefly in those of Messrs. Chance, and they obtain good characters without exception. One youth, who died two or three years ago, had earned for himself quite an extraordinary character by his amiability, his strict integrity, and his admirable business habits. His name is still affectionately remembered by his employers and fellow clerks.

I have been at some pains to ascertain whether any old scholars have rendered themselves amenable to justice, and having obtained permission to examine the book of charges at the police office for this district, I was unhappy enough to find that one had been convicted of theft, and summarily sentenced to a short imprisonment. He has since attended his work very regularly, and, from what I hear respecting him, seems a sincere penitent. In order to arrive at a definite conclusion as to the proportion of well conducted youths who have received their education here, I have taken the names of 100 boys admitted in 1845-6-7, and made some inquiries respecting each of them. I am enabled, with some degree of confidence, to classify them thus:


The list from which the above classification was made contained none who had been less than one year in the school.

(Signed) F. TALBOT,
Master of Messrs. Chance's School.

Mr. Cumin's* evidence on the general effect of education in Bristol and Plymouth is very remarkable.
Those with whom I conversed on this subject were never tired of contrasting the civil demeanour and general intelligence of the working classes of these days with what they were in former times. The
*Report, pp. 93-94.

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Bristol riots would now probably be impossible. The sanguinary struggles between masters and men, which disgraced the working classes, are now unknown. Mr. Vickers, the manager of the Great Western Cotton Mills, told me that disputes about wages can now be settled by discussion and arbitration, and that the personal encounters, which used to take place daily at dinner time, are now unknown. Mr. Wigham, the head of the locomotive department at Bristol. bore witness to the same effect. The officers in the army and navy, but especially in the navy, spoke in the highest terms of the effect of education in civilizing the men.

In some parts of the colliery districts, where the men have been neglected, the old spirit of brutality still survives, but where masters like Mr. Handel Cossham take an interest in their men, they are ready to submit to moral influences. No better illustration of this can be found than the fact that out of Mr. Cossham's 300 or 400 colliers not a man lost a day's work from drunkenness in 12 months. Again, in Devonport, where 12 years ago very little had been done by the clergy, and where I was assured that a clergyman could not walk through some of the streets without being insulted, there is now the most perfect civility. In Bristol I was told the same thing; indeed, I walked with the superintendent of police and an old officer through courts and back alleys where they said it would have been impossible to walk in safety 14 or 16 years ago. This evidence was confirmed by that of the police who had served in the Bristol force since its commencement; by the town clerk of Bristol, who spoke of the demeanour of the people on the occasion of great fetes, and in the case of sailors by what I myself witnessed when two ships were paid off at Devonport. No doubt a good deal of the improvement in Bristol is due to the activity of the police, but still a great deal is due to education. In some parts of Plymouth, where there is a want of schools, and in those parts of the colliery districts where education has been neglected, the population is still barbarous, and indeed, the demeanour of the children in the streets at once shows whether the neighbourhood is or is not well supplied with schools. Small as the amount of knowledge may be which the child of nine and a half years carried away, the moral effect seems to be indelible; it is so much more natural to be civil that when the habit is once formed at school it is never lost. Again, it is the opinion of regimental officers, and this opinion is established by the official reports shown me by the serjeant-major, that the most ignorant men are the most riotous; and this view received a remarkable confirmation by the facts connected with a serious military affray which took place lately at Plymouth. Having disputed the connexion between education and morality with Colonel Crofton, of the 2nd battalion 17th regiment, he said that his experience had satisfied him that the least educated soldier was the most troublesome, and he added that he could prove this by a return. The following is the result: In the 2nd battalion 17th regiment, consisting of 748 men, of the 485 men who could read and write, 256 or 52.7 per cent had committed no crime, the rest 229 had committed 480 crimes; of 80 men who could readonly, 34, or 42.5 per cent, had committed no crime, the rest, 46, had committed 170 crimes; of 183 men who could neither read nor write, 65 or 35.5 per cent, had committed no crime, the rest, 118, had committed 272 crimes.

In short, unless the evidence of every witness is unfounded, the working people of this country have greatly improved; to use the expression of the Dean of Bristol - and no one knows the common people better - "For a shy, surly, dogged demeanour there is now a

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frank, ready, loyal, free courtesy; for suspicion, confidence; for turbulence, docility." I do not pretend to be able to contrast the working classes as they now are with what they were 30 or even 20 years ago; but wherever I went, and amongst whatever class I went, I found them full of candour, intelligence, and civility; deeply grateful to those who took an interest in their welfare, and keenly sensible of any attempt to corrupt them or to control their independence.


We now proceed to sum up the results of this chapter, and to state the recommendations which we found on them.

I. We have strong testimony to the marked superiority of inspected over uninspected schools, and to the stimulus which inspection supplies, subject to the remark that the Inspectors 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. As a remedy for these defects we recommend the appointment by the Committee of Council of one or more Inspectors General, whose duty it shall be to superintend the Inspectors, to notice their deficiencies, and to correspond on the subject directly with the Committee of Council.

II. We have found, 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 in schools, and to estimate the whole school accordingly.

III. It appears that even in the best schools, only about one-fourth of the boys attain the highest class, and are considered by the Inspectors to be "successfully educated."

IV. The evidence indicates that there is a tendency in schoolteachers to neglect both the more elementary subjects and the younger scholars, and these last appear to be capable of receiving a far better teaching in reading, writing, and arithmetic, than has hitherto been given to them.

V. The religious and moral influence of the public schools appears to be very great, to be greater than even their intellectual influence. A set of good schools civilizes a whole neighbourhood. The most important function of the schools is that which they best perform.

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VI. Even as to mere literary instruction, it would be a mistake to suppose that the existing system has failed because it has hitherto educated successfully only one-fourth of the pupils. The effort has been directed towards establishing a good type of education; towards the quality of the teaching more than to the number of the taught. In this point it has succeeded. In good schools the senior classes have turned out scholars really well taught; the pupil-teachers have been brought up in them, and even where the definite results in the junior classes might appear small in an examination, they have probably affected the whole school morally and intellectually. We think, however, that the time is come when a further attempt should be made to influence the instruction of the large body of inferior schools and of inferior pupils who have hitherto been little affected. We propose to effect this by offering distinct inducements to the masters in all schools to bring up their individual scholars, junior as well as senior, to a certain mark.

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We propose to consider in this chapter the public schools unassisted by the Committee of Council.

We have already produced evidence, showing the general inferiority of their teachers, which of course implies the inferiority of this class of schools. On this point the evidence of our Assistant Commissioners, as of all others who have spoken to it, points to the same conclusion. In fact their opinions on this subject may be considered as unanimous.

As all the schools which receive grants from the Committee of Council are inspected, the term "assisted" is often used by our informants as synonymous with "inspected," and "unassisted" with "uninspected."

Mr. Fraser, who has not been sparing in his strictures on the shortcomings of many assisted schools, states broadly,* "that it seems impossible to bring a school into a good state of efficiency unless the managers avail themselves to the fullest extent - particularly in the employment of pupil-teachers - of the resources offered by the Committee of Privy Council. I only met with two exceptions to this rule." Mr. Wilkinson sums up his examination of the state of education in the schools in the conclusion that† "the degree of efficiency of inspected schools is very much greater than that of schools which are not inspected," while of 35 witnesses whom he examined, 33 answered in favour of inspected schools. Mr. Winder says as explicitly,‡ "the best public inspected schools achieve, I suppose, something like the maximum of success possible under the present conditions of attendance;" adding, "No unassisted public school, and no private school under circumstances which admit of a fair comparison, could compare" with the best assisted schools, but the indifferent inspected schools are no better than those which are unassisted. He says, "the Privy Council plan demands for its successful working a vigorous central authority, a sharp division of classes, a calculated distribution of time, in a word, a system." Mr. Hare, speaking§ of the great seaport towns on

*Report, p. 89.

†Report, p. 338.

‡Report, pp. 224-226.

‡Report, p. 269.

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the East of England, tells us that "none of the unassisted schools in Hull, excepting the boys' British school, will bear comparison with the assisted schools." And, finally, Mr. Cumin speaks in similar terms of the western seaports, Bristol and Plymouth. He says,* "The private scholars whom I did examine were very inferior to the best public scholars. At Bristol ... I found only one good public school which was conducted by voluntary efforts alone."

The unassisted public schools are far more numerous than those which are assisted, amounting to 15,952 schools, exclusive of 115 factory schools, containing 17,000 scholars, whereas the assisted public schools are only 6,897. They are inferior, however, in number of scholars; those on the books of the assisted public schools being 917,255, those on the books of the 15,952 unassisted public schools only 654,393. Some of these schools are unassisted, because the managers or patrons reject assistance, either from religious scruples, or because their patrons dislike interference. These obstacles, however, are comparatively rare, and are rapidly diminishing. The great cause which deprives schools of Government assistance is their non-performance of the conditions on which that assistance is offered, a non-fulfilment of which the principal causes are poverty, smallness of population, indifference, or, as it has been lately called, apathy.

The poverty, however, which is injurious to education is not the poverty of the labouring classes. It must always be recollected that the great sacrifice which they have to make is not the payment of the school pence, but the loss of the child's wages, and that those wages are always highest where the parents' wages are highest. Mr. Unwin† tells us that the neighbourhood of Homerton College is one of the poorest suburbs of London, yet that the school-pence in his school amount to about 12s a year per child. In Mr. Watkins' district, the richest in England, as far as the labourers are concerned, the average of school-pence in Church of England schools amounts to only 8s 6d a head.‡ With scarcely a dissentient, our Assistant Commissioners and those who have answered our questions say, that the school-pence are always and everywhere forthcoming. The difficulty is to obtain the subscriptions.

Nor is it the poverty of the owners of the soil. England and Wales contain about 37,000,000 acres, or 57,812 square miles.

*Report, p. 80.

†Evidence, 2242, 2243.

‡Evidence, 1124.

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divided into about 16,000 parishes, giving about 1,250 persons and 2,312 acres to a parish. The average net rental, after deducting parochial and county rates, cannot be less than £1 an acre, or £2,312 a year for each parish.

From the 1,250 parishioners may be deducted one-twentieth as paupers, one-fortieth for the religious denominations who reject aid, and five-twentieths as belonging to the higher and middle classes, leaving 844. Of these, one-fourth, or 211, are children between three and fifteen. One-fourth of them are in private schools; leaving 158 for the public schools. Therefore 79 children constantly in the public schools imply that the 158 obtain each six years of education. Their education, at 30s a head, would cost £118 10s. The children's pence at 2d a week for 40 weeks, would produce £261 6s 8d. The Committee of Council, supposing it to contribute only one-third, would give £39 10s; together, £65 16s 8d; leaving £52 13s 4d to be supplied out of an average net rental of £2,312 a year.

It may be said that averages are deceitful; that the acreage to each person, instead of 2.21 acres, is sometimes, as in the Strand, only .004, and sometimes, as in Cumberland, 5.36. The answer is, that with the density of population the rental has a tendency to increase. Nothing pays better than an acre covered with cottages, or an alley, in which each room contains a family. But, though there is always a rental amply sufficient to defray, at a trifling sacrifice on the part of its owner, the small annual sum necessary to meet the demands of the Committee of Council, those owners may be careless, illiberal, or indifferent. The districts in the hands of such owners are what are called the apathetic districts.

The general cause of apathy is the non-residence of the land-owners. Few persons interest themselves much in the concerns of the poor unless they live among them. In the thinly peopled rural districts the higher classes consist of the landlords and the clergy, the farmers forming the middle class. The farmers are often hostile to education; the landlords, unless resident, are indifferent. The burden falls, therefore, on the clergyman, and his utmost exertions may not be sufficient to raise the schools to the moderate degree of excellence which would entitle them to the aid of the Committee of Council. On the other hand, the densely peopled town districts are avoided by the higher classes; if they are owners there, they are non-resident. Under the influence of religious zeal, the middle classes in towns have done much and are doing much. But there are places in which non-

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residence among the higher classes and religious indifference among the middle classes co-exist. These are the apathetic town districts, as the parishes owned by non-residents are the apathetic country districts.

We extract from the reports of our Assistant Commissioners, some pictures of the state of such districts in the country and in towns:

Mr. Hedley says:

Schools are very often dependent for their efficiency upon annual subscriptions. And here, unfortunately, the supply is very far from being equal to the want. "What are your chief difficulties?" I have repeatedly asked of school managers. The answer is always the same: "First, want of money; second, irregular attendance of children." Farmers seldom feel any interest in the school, and seldom, therefore, subscribe to it. Landowners are often non-resident, and if they subscribe, do it to a very insufficient amount. Where landowners are resident and study the welfare of their tenants and labourers, they usually take an interest in the school and contribute liberally, if they do not wholly support it. But these cases are not frequent.

Schools are not often reported as being in debt; but the reason of this is that a real debt upon the school would very soon close it. In two or three cases I have found schools in debt to the clergyman. It is a debt so long as he sees any hope of raising subscriptions to liquidate it; otherwise he ceases to speak of it. Many schools would be in debt if one of the managers - generally the clergyman - did not consider his subscription to be whatever is wanted to make ends meet. It would be a mistake to suppose that because schools are not in debt the necessary funds are raised without difficulty.*

Mr. Winder says:
There is no superfluity of expense lavished on any school in my districts. If it be on the Government plan, no more money is raised than is necessary to meet the Government requirements. No additional teachers are supplied by its private patrons. Thus, though good evening schools are urgently required, I did not find a single instance where the managers had engaged an assistant master to enable them to take advantage of the late minute. Their ideal does not seem to be more comprehensive than the minimum of the Government scheme.

It is precisely the same with voluntary uninspected schools. A school-room and a master are provided, and that is all. It does not seem to enter the heads of the subscribers, that more teaching power than that of a single master is required for 150 or 200 scholars.

In truth, the burden of supporting the day schools falls upon a comparatively small number of individuals. The public at large do not take their fair share, partly, I believe, because they are not very urgently pressed to contribute, and partly because they know little or nothing about the subject. The Sunday schools are universally and generously supported, but the day schools are left to a very select body of patrons.

If a clergyman be respected and an earnest beggar, I see no reason to doubt that in every part of my districts he could collect enough and

*Report, p. 157.

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to spare for its education. But he must ask and ask again before the Part I. money will be forthcoming.*

Mr. Cumin says:

No public schools within my district were self-supporting. They were generally in debt, and the debt was defrayed, in the case of the National school, by the clergyman and his private friends; in the case of British schools by charitable persons. I visited one country parish in which the resident owners of land subscribe £2 to the school, and four non-residents £11 5s, whilst the clergyman gave £23 in one year. In this parish the rateable value of the land was £3,500. Again, in St. Mary's Devonport, in which the rateable value of land is £12,000, the subscriptions were as follows:

The Rev. E. P. Vaughan, of Wraxhall, Bedminster, says:

Generally speaking the expenditure of the schools slightly exceeds the income, and the deficiency is made up by the clergyman. The schools are never, as far as my experience goes, self-supporting. A large number of non-resident landlords refuse to contribute to the schools, and the subscriptions generally are by no means according to the property held in the parish, often the uniform subscription of £1. The man of £5,000 a year and the poor curate who has a stipend of £100 each pay often the same sum.†
Mr. Fraser says:
The ordinary means of a school's income are the pence paid by the children, amounting on the average to about 61. a year for every 40 children, and voluntary contributions, which vary indefinitely.

It would be wrong, perhaps, to say that schools are usually in debt, as I believe that there are rarely, if ever, any unsatisfied claims allowed to accumulate; but there is almost universally a considerable annual deficit, for which the treasurer - in most cases the parochial clergyman - is responsible. This is seldom less than £5, and, under the pressure of extraordinary expenditure, I have known it mount as high as £70.

I was directed to ascertain, if possible in a tabular form, the sources of the voluntary contributions towards the expenses of the schools. I have done so, and have tabulated every complete return I got in a schedule which I have inserted in the Evidence.

The return in question has been received in a sufficiently complete state to be available from 168 parishes only, and shows the expenditure and the details of the voluntary contributions in support of 168 schools. The rateable value of the lands in these 168 parishes

*Report, p. 217.

†Report, p. 75.

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amounts to £508,895; the gross estimated rental may safely be reckoned at one-third more, or at least £650,000. The total average annual cost of the 168 schools - though I suspect that the amount is understated, the sum named in some cases being only the salary of the teacher - is set down at £6,661, being an average of £39 6s per school. To meet this expenditure there are voluntary contributions to the sum of £4,518, distributed as follows: 169 parochial clergymen contribute £1,782, or, on the average, £10 10s each; 399 landowners contribute £2,127, or an average of £5 6s each; 217 land occupiers contribute £200, or an average of 18s 6d each; 102 householders contribute £181, or an average of £1 15s 6d each; and the remaining £228 is contributed by 141 other persons, who are for some reason or other interested in the school or the parish, though neither residing nor owning property there. So that it appears that an average subscribing clergyman contributes to the school expenditure 11 times as much as an average subscribing farmer, six times as much as an average subscribing householder, and (with probably not half the income), nearly twice as much as an average subscribing landowner. And even now the case i& incompletely stated; for, while it is the rarest thing in the world to meet with a parish of which the clergyman does not subscribe to the school, it would be very far from the truth to say that it is a rare thing to meet with a non-subscribing landowner; and it will be observed that there are only 399 landowners subscribing on behalf of property whose gross rental, at a moderate estimate, must be £650,000 a year; so that unless we are prepared to admit that each landowner possesses a property of the average value of £1,600 a year, which is not at all likely, there must be a large number of landowners - I should think probably not less than 200 - in this area of England, to whom the school in the parish from which they derive their income is a simple matter of unconcern. One per cent would not surely be an extravagant deodand [effectively a tax] to levy on property for the maintenance of a school, and one per cent on £650,000 a year would produce £6,500, a sum nearly equal to the returned expenditure of these 168 schools, and more than treble of what this income actually contributes to this end.*

A neighbour of mine told me not a week ago that his school accounts on the last six years show a debt of £140 "to the treasurer." A statement, in which this item is duly set down, is annually sent to each subscriber, but the fact makes no impression on the subscription. The covenanted two, three, or five pounds figure precisely in their usual places, and opposite the old names, as though the account were "in equilibrio," and the fate of the poor treasurer with his £140 of debt is perhaps never so much as speculated upon, as though he were some purely mythic being with an unlimited capacity for bearing liabilities.

The position of the farmers or land occupiers in relation to the support of schools (as illustrated by the same Tables) is not more satisfactory, though it is less surprising. For, at present they have hardly taken the bearings of the question; and I doubt whether the duty of supporting their share of the burden as parties largely interested in the social improvement of the labourer, has been pressed upon them with much patience or much adroitness. The farmers are not illiberal; they are as warm-hearted and hospitable as most other Englishmen; but they have as yet very little notion of almsgiving, and are not much in the habit of making cash payments, except to pay rent or

*Report, pp. 73-132.

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tithe. The farmer's incomings are mostly in money; his outgoings in kind. He probably has some sort of "set off" against most of his tradesmen's bills; he satisfies his way-rate by a kind of voluntary "corvée;" he thinks his nag-horses cost him nothing because he grows his own oats and beans, and that his housekeeping is a trifle because he lives on the produce of the farm. His labour is paid for in driblets, so that he is hardly conscious of the sum it mounts to in a year. His whole experience is of an expenditure, which has been going out all through the year imperceptibly, returning to him at harvest in one full golden tide. It is not wonderful, therefore, if men bred in these habits of mind appear to be illiberal. It is not wonderful if, when bluffly asked to subscribe to the school, they make some excuse for declining. It is not surprising either, if some of the prejudices against real enlightening education, which 15 years ago were nearly universal, should still be found lingering among the farmers. There has not been much done to prepossess them in its favour; for they, like the middle class generally, have entirely been overlooked in the efforts that have been made to improve the condition of English schools. I met a farmer in the neighbourhood of Chard, a tenant of 500 acres of land under Lord Bridport, who felt very strongly, and spoke very strongly (for he had nine children), about there being absolutely no decent school within reach suitable to his means, where he could have his family educated. You can hardly expect men, who have this difficulty in providing education for themselves, to feel very keenly the necessity of providing it for their labourers.*
The Rev. J. G. Cromwell, principal of the Diocesan training school, Durham, speaking of a coal district, says:
Non-resident proprietors usually subscribe through an agent, who gives the merest pittance. Most unhappily, many coal proprietors are non-resident, The clergyman is always expected to support the school.
St. Thomas, Charterhouse, is a specimen of an apathetic town district. We copy the description of it by Mr. Rogers, the incumbent:
The district is contained in an area of 17 acres, or 82,280 square yards, and the length of the boundary line is one mile, less 154 yards. It is bounded on the east by the west side of Whitecross Street; on the north, by Old Street; west, by Goswell Street; south, by certain courts of Cripplegate parish, and by a very small portion of Beech Street. Every better description of has been most scrupulously cut out by the original apportioners of the district, who have zigzagged the boundary line in a most extraordinary and unnecessary manner, in order to accomplish their object, and who have finally concluded by leaving it a net-work of the very lowest description of courts and alleys, forty-four of which are blind, the open ones leading one out of another, and eventually debouching in Whitecross Street and Goswell Street. Some idea of the poverty of the district may be formed from the following facts: There are 9,500 persons contained in 1,178 houses, the total rental of the district being £14,660, or about £12 per house.
Fraser, pp. 74, 75.

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Many of these houses are mere kennels, such as my friends in the country would not for a moment allow their dogs to inhabit, and which Her Majesty's pigs, which I had the honour to visit at Windsor, would not even deign to look upon. In any other district, these would long ago have been condemned by the surveyor; but here, like every other abomination, they are suffered to exist. Now and then, at cholera time, perhaps, a stir is made, and one or two are pulled down and offered up as a sacrifice to appease the tardily excited wrath of the Paving Board, whose bowels of compassion have been hardened by a letter from the Home Office, and then all is over. This is a most extraordinary movement; generally a little external whitewashing is deemed quite sufficient and the authorities are satisfied.

The inhabitants of this district are peculiar. We are peculiar, not only as numbering in our ranks a very much larger percentage of bad and profligate people than is to be found in other districts; the very nature of the courts and houses breeds this kind of gentry, rendering this locale a complete refuge for the dissolute; so that whenever a gang of thieves, fortune-tellers, or others of this class, are routed out from one neighbourhood, they are sure to resort hither, as well knowing that if the police, stirred up by the inhabitants, will not suffer them to remain in other places, here, at all events, they will be undisturbed, and may carry on their nefarious practices in peace. But we are peculiar in another way: we are not, like the inhabitants of Bethnal Green, or St. George's-in-the-East, who are employed in some particular business, either silk-weaving or working in the docks, and who, though very poor, are at the same time industrious; if you were required to describe this district, you could not describe it as agricultural, nor manufacturing, nor mining; but you would describe it as a costermongering district: it is, in fact, Costermongria.

A costermonger is, properly speaking, one who sells apples; but the name is not confined exclusively to the dealers in this kind of merchandise alone, but it is applied to all those who, as it is technically called, "get their living in the streets;" who hawk about fish, vegetables, &c. The most aristocratic possess a cart and donkey, the next class a truck or barrow, the lowest have their little all contained in a basket. Men, women, and children are all engaged in this business, and acquire such wild and Arabian habits from their occupation, that it is almost impossible to get any hold upon them at all. It is not that they are poor: many of them do very well, and make considerable profits; but they are improvident, will spend all they have got, sell up everything, lie on the floor, and when reduced to the lowest depths of misery, will borrow a few shillings and begin again. You will readily conceive the almost utter hopelessness of attempting to discipline such a crew as this. They are, for the most part, grossly ignorant, and show considerable unwillingness to attend any place of instruction. As for a church, of course, that is the last kind of place they feel disposed to enter. Indeed, Sunday is one of their chief days of business. At the same time, a good deal has been done, though rather in a desultory manner, to persuade them to come in. They have been, and are constantly, visited by clergy, scripture readers, and city missionaries; but very little impression seems to be made, and the places which they should occupy in church are not filled. Now and then, we catch a wild Arab, and induce him to come to church. He attends, perhaps, very regularly for a Sunday or two, and then disappears; the scarcity of visitors prevents our following him up, and we hear no more of him. Or, if some impression is made upon him, and he is persuaded to acquire better habits, directly he becomes at all

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respectable, he finds it impossible to live in such a neighbourhood, so he removes from this place of darkness to a purer region, and his room is occupied by seven other spirits more wicked than himself.

When I first came to this district, eleven years ago, I visited every house, and entered every room; but I soon found that, unless these visits were followed up more frequently than I was able to do, they were to all intents useless; so I determined to devote more of my time to the schools, hoping to get at the parents through their children; and the success which has attended my efforts I shall now proceed to detail.

School accommodation, where none existed before, has now been provided for 1,400 children, in good substantial buildings, secured to this district for the purposes of education for ever. The cost of these erections was between £8,000 and £9,000, towards which the Committee of Council contributed £2,400, the remainder was collected, - not from the district, for I believe, if the whole district had been sold up, that it would not have realized sufficient to meet the demand, - but it was collected from various public bodies, and from kind and sympathising friends perfectly unconnected with this neighbourhood. I had no one to help me, and, at very great personal inconvenience and risk, I had to make myself responsible for the money.

Other schools, educating, with the first that were erected, 2,154 children, have since been built at an expense of about £10,000, to which the Committee of Council gave £6,848, and the remainder was raised, as the first £8,000 had been, by contributions from persons unconnected with the district. They are maintained at an annual expense of £2,035, of which the school fees produce £1,308, the Government grant £287, and subscriptions and donations the remainder.

As to the third cause which prevents parishes from fulfilling the conditions of the Committee of Council, namely, the smallness of their population, some tables, constructed by the Rev. Nash Stephenson, and appended to his communication to us, afford remarkable evidence.

The first table shows that in the year 1857 there were in the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall, 1373 parishes. Of these parishes, 777 possessed a population of 600 persons or under, and 596 possessed a population exceeding 600 persons.

In the 777 thinly-populated parishes, there were 14 schools under certificated or registered masters, or less than one such school to 55 parishes. In the 596 more populous parishes, there were 204 such schools, or nearly one such school to three parishes. "There are," says Mr. Fraser, speaking of his Dorsetshire district, "great patches of country utterly destitute, or at best diversified at long intervals by a well-cultivated spot, betokening the presence of some liberal heart and diligent hand, and by the contrast heightening the gloom and dreariness of

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the surrounding waste. Thus, in the very large range of country between Dorchester and Sherborne, some 17 miles in length and 7 or 8 miles broad, there are on the west side the efficient schools of Maiden Newton, Cattistock (these being close together), and Bradford Abbas; on the east, the schools at Admiston, Piddletrenthide, and Buckland Newton, each good of its kind; but, beyond these, a school answering all the purposes of a school, really educating the people as they ought to be educated, you would try in vain to find. Yet the district I mean includes at least 40 parishes."

Such being the state of education in a portion of our rural and town districts, the question is, how is it to be improved?

Mr. Scott, the Chairman of the Wesleyan Educational Committee, an experienced and intelligent witness, trusts that the present system will gradually extend itself.

Question 2126. (Mr. G. Smith.) You propose, then, to extend the present system of Government assistance to the whole kingdom? - Yes.

2127. How would you apply it to those most necessitous districts which are at present unable to raise their proportion to meet the grant? - Everything desirable cannot be accomplished at once. If you could set up schools in all these necessitous districts at once by Act of Parliament or by local rates, you could not create suitable teachers by Act of Parliament and local rates, and these are necessary to fill the schools with children, and carry them on successfully. Time must therefore be given for the educating bodies of the country to prepare suitable teachers. As they are prepared, and when there shall be a surplus number, by degrees these now destitute localities will be provided for in the same manner as many such places have been already. I think benevolent people residing contiguously to those localities will seek to supply them with schools when they have the means of doing it.

2128. They will have no means beyond what they have now other than a surplus number of schoolmasters? - But in many instances they are now setting up schools in the very districts where they themselves reside. When those schools are built and they find them in working condition, they will look to the adjoining and necessitous districts. We are doing this in some few cases at present; but our limited means prevent us from doing as much as we otherwise should. The Church of England can do an immense work in that way if it choose, and I hope there is the mind to do it, but it must be a work of time. I do not think that you can overtake this necessity at once.

This, however, is a remedy of slow operation; a whole generation may grow up in ignorance before the "benevolent people" on whom Mr. Scott relies have come to their aid.

Sir J. K. Shuttleworth proposes a relaxation of the requirements of the Privy Council.

Question 2369. (Mr. Miall.) Is the machinery of the Privy Council adapted to reach those districts in which the necessity for

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education is by far the greatest? - I think that in those respects the machinery is capable of modification by contrivances, which would not in any essential particular either modify its principle or very greatly modify its detail, as, for example, taking an agricultural school in a parish which, owing to the apathy of the inhabitants and of the proprietors, afforded the least amount of resources towards the support of an efficient school. The mode in which the capitation grant has been relaxed to meet the wants of the agricultural districts is in my conception an error. That work might, I think, have been more safely attempted by other means. The difficulty which the Committee of Council have hitherto encountered has been the risk attending the letting down of their general regulations to the level of so apathetic a parish. Their apprehension has been that if they made their requirements for general contributions such as to meet the low intellectual, and I may say moral, condition of such a parish, they would in that way open the public grant to demands which would be consistent with a generally inefficient condition of education throughout the country. That apprehension is a well-founded apprehension, but I think on the other hand that it would be quite possible to adopt expedients with respect to rural schools which would not be open to that objection. In parishes below a certain amount of population, it might be quite right to permit a small school with not more than a specified number of children to be conducted by a system of probationary teachers, and stipendiary monitors instead of certificated teachers and apprentices, in which case the school would be conducted at a very greatly less cost. I think likewise that it would be quite possible to enlist the services of a superior class of females, who might from religious motives be disposed to undertake the charge of dame schools in agricultural parishes, having themselves small means. They would thus obtain a position of great usefulness, and some social status as a sort of deaconess in connexion with the church. Their services would be most efficient in conducting dame schools in such parishes, and at less cost to the Government. By some expedients of that kind, I think that the wants of the agricultural parishes might be met.
Sir J. K. Shuttleworth confines his proposal to small agricultural populations, and in such parishes it may perhaps be sometimes usefully adopted. But the children in such parishes form a small portion of the whole body of uneducated children. The bulk of those children are to be found in towns, and in towns the requirements of the Committee of Council cannot safely be diminished. The schools must be large and well ventilated, for the children are numerous, and their lower state of health unfits them to endure a bad atmosphere. Sites are procured with difficulty and at enormous expense. The children are perhaps intellectually superior to the children in the poor agricultural districts, but morally inferior to them; the home influences are generally worse, and the companions with whom they come in contact in the street and in the alley are still worse. It is an axiom, says Mr. Cumin, that a child left in the streets is ruined. Such children require the best school buildings and the best teachers that can be obtained. They cannot be aided, therefore,

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by diminishing the expense of education. Much may be done by employing the charities better. But when that resource is exhausted, nothing remains but the school-pence, the voluntary contributions of non-residents, and the assistance of the Privy Council. Of the 8d a week which a child's education costs, 2¾d may be obtained from the parent, and 2d from the Privy Council. Still 3¼d remains.

No doubt, by active, unremitting begging much may be obtained from non-residents, but such exertions perhaps ought not to be required, and certainly cannot be relied on. If we suppose ¼d a week per child to be thus procured, we have probably reached the limit of what can be expected from persons not connected with the district. Threepence a week per child, or three-eighths of the whole expenditure, remain.

How is it to be provided?

One scheme, applicable only to the rural districts, is that in parishes containing less than a certain population, generally fixed at 600, the aid given by the Committee of Council be increased.

This experiment was tried in the first capitation grant, and, as might have been foreseen, failed.

The parishes just excluded by the rule pressed on it, it was relaxed and broken, and the capitation grant, from being exceptional, became general.

One of these plans we will describe in some detail, because it shows the extravagance of any attempt to assist parishes on no other principles than those of small population or poverty.

In 1859 a memorial was addressed to the Committee of Council from the archdeaconry of Coventry, praying for "a relaxation of the Minutes, so far as they relate to parishes or districts with a population of 600 and under, not being in boroughs or towns." The principal recommendations were, (1) that a double amount of certificate (not to exceed £20) should be granted to all certificated teachers, and a gratuity of £6 13s to all registered teachers; (2) a capitation grant of 9s per head; (3) increase of payment for pupil-teachers, house, teachers' gratuity, &c.

Those demands have been again brought before us in the proposals of the Rev. Nash Stephenson, attached to the evidence to which we have just referred, on the ground that they are based on "justice, and in accordance with the first principles of political economy, and at the foundation of the social and moral well-being of the kingdom at large."

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It is obvious, however, that it is impossible to make the distinction, on which this demand rests, between parishes of a population below and those of a population above 600. The stipulation that the grant should be limited to country districts, and thus exclude those in towns, is itself unjust. Many parishes with a population of less than 600, which would of course profit by such a grant, are in a prosperous state; and the inability of most of those smaller parishes to raise a school depends upon a variety of circumstances which it is impossible for a central body to take into account. But the clearest answer to such demands was that of the Committee of Council, dated the 17th May 1859, which pointed out "the different measure which might be accorded to two schools, each under a mistress, and each containing 50 scholars, in adjacent parishes of 500 and 700 population respectively, if the scheme proposed by the memorialists were adopted." It was clearly shown that a parish of 700 population would be required to subscribe £41, and would receive from the Government grants £34 in return, while the adjoining parish, with a population under 500, would receive £74 14s, and would be required to raise only £20 6s in return.

This answer sets at rest the question of assisting parishes in proportion simply to their population. It does not deny that schools in small parishes are at a disadvantage, in comparison with those in larger; but it shows that this evil cannot be met on the principle suggested. It proves that such a plan of assistance would lead to an immense expenditure on the part of Government, and would produce results at least as unjust as those which it attempts to remedy.

We may add that the Committee of Council, so far from neglecting the interests of the poorer and of the rural schools, appears to have made every attempt to assist them which on the principles of the present system was possible. The assistance which a small school which is only able to raise by fees and subscriptions £17 would now receive from Government amounts to no less than £34, and the privilege given under the Minute of 26th July 1858 to this class of schools of engaging a probationer during two years, who may be either a male or female teacher, has enabled them to secure a first-class teacher on reasonable terms. The failure is in the want of some assistance to start with, which may act as a stimulus to induce such schools to connect themselves with the Committee of Council.

Another proposal, somewhat of the same kind, but still more objectionable, is that the assistance of the Government be proportioned to the want; that in the apathetic districts (for we

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have shown that the apathy, not the poverty, of the landowners is the obstacle to subscriptions) the Government step in to supply the absence of private zeal or of private liberality.

This is to ask that the whole system of the Committee of Council be not merely changed, but reversed; that the grant be proportioned not to the amount, but to the deficiency of local effort; that the carelessness or illiberality of the proprietors be encouraged, by the support of their schools being therefore assumed in a larger degree than usual by the State.

We may dismiss these proposals with no further comment.

A third plan for providing for the wants of small parishes is that of encouraging them to unite themselves into districts, each consisting of several parishes, which might jointly establish a school for their common use. Where such a course is practicable, it is unquestionably advantageous. A single large school is for many reasons usually more efficient than several small ones. The reason of this is well explained by Mr. Crampton, the head master of the Brentford public schools, in the following observations:

Owing to the differences of mental power of the pupils forming a class in a small school, and which difference is inevitable unless lavish teaching power be employed, I think that the quality of the instruction in a small school cannot be half so good as would be produced by the same agency in a school having numbers of pupils sufficient to allow the classes to be made up of learners of nearly the same attainments and mental calibre. The upper portion of a class composed of pupils (thus varying considerably in attainments) would be unemployed while suitable instruction was being given to the latter, and vice versa. The unemployed, and especially the younger portion, would become restless and troublesome, and the teacher would endeavour to prevent this by altering the style of his instruction to engage the attention of the unemployed portion. The QUALITY of the instruction cannot but be thus seriously injured, to say nothing of the tendency to irritation on part of the schoolmaster, who thus has to be policeman as well as teacher to the class. The time needful for developing certain results in a school of 100 would be twice as long as would be required in a school of 200. A much greater disproportion would, I believe, exist between a school of 400 and one of 50, owing to the enormous waste of teaching power in the latter, consequent on the great differences of attainment and capability of mental effort between the pupils of any class in a small school. In regard to economy, the gain will be ten times in favour of a school of 500, compared with one of 50. As for effective gradation, based on differences of arithmetical attainments, 12 classes are needful; and by the improved methods (e.g. simultaneous reading and card exercises in arithmetic), common to most good schools, a class of 40 pupils can be taught quite as efficiently, and with equal security for individual effort on part of the learners, as a class of four or five.*
*Communication, p. 85.

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We fear, however, that the adoption of this plan to any considerable extent would meet practical difficulties.

The Rev. J. P. Hastings, in a paper read by him to the Social Science Meeting of 1857, observes:

I have seen plans voluntarily carried out and answering extremely well, whereby three or four small contiguous parishes contributed towards one central school. But this is a case which can scarcely occur in any considerable proportion to the parishes needing education, from the unhappy differences which - it would be idle affectation to deny or gloss over them - exist among the clergy. If two contiguous benefices are held by men of earnest views, who happen to be upon opposite parties, anything like cordial co-operation or junction in so vitally essential a matter as the parish schools, is totally out of the question.
Mr. Lingen also, in his oral evidence, gives a discouraging view of the practical results of the few attempts which have been made to bring the scheme into operation. He says:
546. (Chairman.) Have you had much experience of attempts to form unions of parishes for the purpose of the construction of schools and the conducting of education? - There have not been a great many.

547. Do you think that such union has been successful where it has been tried? - I am hardly able to speak of any case where a professed union of parishes is existing. I have known a good many cases where in the way of correspondence it was found impossible to arrange the relations of the clergy, one with the other, as to the superintendence of religious instruction; and there certainly is a very general feeling in favour of each incumbent (wherever there is a district or parish with an incumbent) having a school for the religious instruction of which he himself and he only is responsible; this feeling is particularly strong in the country. With regard to towns, there are some few cases, chiefly old foundations, where schools have been instituted on the principle of united parishes, and I can remember at this moment one case, in which certainly this plan has not answered; the school has always been unprosperous, and regarded very much as the child of no one.

548. (Mr. Senior.) The district workhouse schools answer well, do they not? - Yes; but the district workhouse school is not a parochial institution; the chaplain acts with an authority of his own; the ecclesiastical management of it is as single as it would be in a parish.

549. (Rev. W. C. Lake.) Have you known attempts at such unions to have been made in the country, and to have failed or not succeeded well? - Yes.

550. (Chairman.) And even if successful in the first instance they would, I presume, always be liable to failure upon a change of the incumbent of one of the parishes, or if any misunderstanding arose between those who looked to the individual interests of their particular parishes? - I should think that would be likely to occur. My experience has been more in the preliminaries to unions of this kind than with regard to schools which have been so established. I do not at this moment call to mind in country districts (I have no doubt there are such), a single school of the kind; in towns I can think of some. I recollect no attempt which is going on at this time in country districts;

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I remember some correspondence which there has been upon the subject.
Under these circumstances we are inclined to think that though the scheme is one which would be useful if it could be carried into effect, it cannot be so generally adopted as to diminish materially the present difficulty of providing the means of education for small parishes. Lord Lyttelton's words express distinctly the difficulties of the case. "The fatal objection is," he remarks, "that a combination of parishes for any conceivable purpose requires an amount of local energy, co-operativeness, and business habits, which, it is quite certain, will never be found, but in a few scattered and exceptional cases."*

We shall in the following chapter propose a measure, or a combination of measures, of general application, adapted to spread education over the whole country, and we trust that such will be the effect of the union of central and local management, central and local superintendence, and central and local grants, which in a subsequent part of this Report we recommend.

*Answers, p. 283.

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In the foregoing chapters we have stated, in considerable detail, the facts, furnished by the evidence collected by us, which illustrate the present state of popular education in England and Wales. We come now to the most difficult part of the undertaking with which we have been intrusted - the suggestion of the measures best fitted, in our judgment, to extend and improve the elementary education of the poor. As any suitable plan for this object must necessarily take into account the actual state of the case as now existing, we think a rapid summary of the broadest facts which our inquiry has elicited may fitly precede a statement of our proposals.

The whole population of England and Wales, as estimated by the Registrar-General in the summer of 1858, amounted to 19,523,103. The number of children whose names ought, at the same date, to have been on the school books, in order that all might receive some education, was 2,655,767. The number we found to be actually on the books was 2,535,462, thus leaving 120,305 children without any school instruction whatever. The proportion, therefore, of scholars in weekday schools of all kinds to the entire population was 1 in 7.7 or 12.99 percent. Of these 321,768 are estimated to have been above the condition of such as are commonly comprehended in the expression "poorer classes," and hence are beyond the range of our present inquiry. Deducting these from the whole number of children on the books of some school, we find that 2,213,694 children belonging to the poorer classes were, when our statistics were collected and compiled, receiving elementary instruction in day schools. Looking, therefore, at mere numbers as indicating the state of popular education in England and Wales, the proportion of children receiving instruction to the whole population is, in our opinion, nearly as high as can be reasonably expected. In Prussia, where it is compulsory, 1 in 6.27; in England and Wales it is, as we have seen, 1 in 7.7; in Holland it is 1 in 8.11; in France it is 1 in 9.0.

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Before passing on to a much less pleasing aspect of the case, we should scarcely be doing it justice without adverting briefly to the surprisingly rapid progress of elementary education in of education this country since the beginning of the century. The Committee of the House of Commons, of which Lord Brougham, then Mr. Brougham, was chairman, and which was appointed in 1818 to inquire into the education of the people, obtained returns from the parochial clergy of all the day schools existing at that date, distinguishing those which had been established since 1803. Similar returns were obtained by a Committee of the House of Commons in 1833, presided over by the Earl of Kerry. Since then, in 1851, a complete educational census has been taken. The first two returns were probably defective, but they must have been sufficiently near the truth to show with tolerable accuracy the rapid pace at which day-school education has been advancing in this country. In 1803 the number of day scholars was estimated at 524,211, or one in 17½ of the whole population at that date. In 1818 the numbers were 674,883, or 1 in 17¼ In 1833 they were 1,276,947, or 1 in 11¼. In 1851 they were 2,144,378, or 1 in 8.36; while in 1858, according to our own returns and estimate, they have risen to 2,535,462, or 1 in 7.7. These statistics prove the great and steady progress which has been made since the early part of the century, both in the extent of the provision made for the education of the poorer classes, and in their appreciation of its worth.

We are bound to observe, however, that a very delusive estimate of the state of education must result from confining attention to the mere amount of numbers under day-school instruction. We have seen that less than three years ago there were in elementary day schools 2,213,694 children of the poorer classes. But of this number, 573,486 were attending private schools, which, as our evidence uniformly shows, are, for the most part, inferior as schools for the poor, and ill-calculated to give to the children an education which shall be serviceable to them in after-life. Of the 1,540,312 children whose names are on the books of public elementary day schools belonging to the religious denominations, only 19.3 per cent were in their 12th year or upwards, and only that proportion, therefore, can be regarded as educated up to the standard suited to their stations. As many as 786,202 attend for less than 100 days in the year and can therefore hardly receive a serviceable amount of education, while our evidence goes to prove that a large proportion,

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even of those whose attendance is more regular, fail in obtaining it on account of inefficient teaching. Much, therefore, still remains to be done to bring up the state of elementary education in England and Wales to the degree of usefulness which we all regard as attainable and desirable.

The aid rendered by the Committee of Council in this important work our evidence shows to have been extremely valuable. But for obvious reasons, the plan on which it has been given has produced results falling far short of what is required. In the first place, very few of the smaller schools, in comparison of the larger, have been able to fulfil the conditions on which alone they could avail themselves of it; and secondly, as a consequence, assistance has not reached those which stand in greatest need of it. At the date of our statistical inquiries, it assisted 6,897 schools, containing 917,255 scholars; but it left unassisted 15,750 denominational schools, and about 317 Birkbeck, Ragged, and Factory Schools, containing altogether 671,393 scholars, while the whole of the private schools, in which 578,536 children attended, were entirely passed over. It may be fairly assumed that even the unassisted schools have profited to some extent by the stimulus indirectly applied to them by the aid rendered to the assisted, owing to which aid the standard of elementary education has been generally raised; but the facts which we have stated above show that the system has not effected, and we have reason to believe that it is not adapted to effect, a general diffusion of sound elementary education amongst all classes of the poor.

One other point deserves attention; it relates rather to the kind than to the amount of the instruction given in our public elementary schools to the children attending them. The children do not, in fact, receive the kind of education they require. We have just noticed the extravagant disproportion between those who receive some education and those who receive a sufficient education. We know that the uninspected schools are in this respect far below the inspected; but even with regard to the inspected, we have seen overwhelming evidence from Her Majesty's Inspectors, to the effect that not more than one-fourth of the children receive a good education. So great a failure in the teaching demanded the closest investigation; and as the result of it we have been obliged to come to the conclusion that the instruction given is commonly both too ambitious and too superficial in its character, that (except in the very best schools) it has been too exclusively adapted to the elder scholars to the neglect of the younger ones, and that it often omits to secure a thorough grounding in the

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simplest but most essential parts of instruction. We have shown that the present system has never completely met this serious difficulty in elementary teaching; that inspection looks chiefly to the upper classes and to the general condition of the school, and cannot profess to examine carefully individual scholars; and that a main object of the schools is defeated in respect of every child who, having attended for a considerable time, leaves without the power of reading, writing, and cyphering in an intelligent manner.

The foregoing review discloses to us the main defects in the existing state of popular education which any practical recommendations should aim to correct. Passing over all the minor changes which may be usefully adopted, mention of which will be found in other parts of this Report, we are agreed that our recommendations should tend to secure the following results. First, that all the children who attend the elementary day schools of the country should be induced to attend with sufficient regularity to enable them, within a reasonable period, to obtain a mastery over the indispensable elements of knowledge, reading, writing, and the primary rules of arithmetic; secondly, that all the schools in the country at which the children of the poor attend should be qualified and induced to put this amount of instruction within reach of their pupils; and, thirdly, that this should be done in such a way as not to lower the general standard of elementary instruction to this its lowest level of usefulness. How best to do these things appears to us to be the problem we have to solve, and the measures we have agreed to recommend have been framed with a view to its solution.

Before entering upon the fuller consideration of the measures by which we propose to attain these objects, it may be desirable to review the plans which from time to time have been proposed for the improvement of popular education, whether by extending the present system or by substituting another in its place. These will be best considered under the three heads of, first, proposals for leaving education to be provided by the voluntary contributions of parents or of charitable persons; secondly, proposals for the opposite plan of a compulsory State education; thirdly, proposals for substituting a system of rating for the present system adopted by Government. It is true that in theory the two latter proposals might be combined, but practically they have been kept separate. We shall then state the merits and defects of the present system, and propose means for its modification and extension.

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It has often been considered that the poor would be able to educate their children successfully without any further assistance than that of charitable persons; and this course has been recommended by many of those who are interested in popular education, who believe that the interference of Government with education is objectionable on political and religious grounds, and that it retards educational progress. It is right here to state, in speaking on this subject, that there exists among the members of the Commission, as among the nation at large, deeply seated differences of opinion with regard to the duty of Government in this country towards education.

The greater portion of the members of the Commission are of opinion that the course pursued by the Government in 1839, in recommending a grant of public money for the assistance of education, was wise; that the methods adopted to carry out that object have proved successful; and that while it is expedient to make considerable alterations in the form in which this public assistance is given, it would not be desirable either to withdraw it or largely to diminish its amount. Without entering into general considerations of the duty of a State with regard to the education of the poorer classes of a community, they think it sufficient to refer to the fact that all the principal nations of Europe, and the United States of America, as well as British North America, have felt it necessary to provide for the education of the people by public taxation; and to express their own belief that, when the grant to education was first begun, the education of the greater portion of the labouring classes had long been in a neglected state, that the parents were insensible to its advantages, and were (and still continue to be) in most cases incapable from poverty of providing it for their children, and that religious and charitable persons, interested in the condition of the poor, had not the power to supply the main cost of an education which, to be good, must always be expensive. They are further of opinion that, although the advance of education during the last 20 years has led to a wider and more just sense of its advantages, the

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principal reasons which originally rendered the assistance of Government desirable still form a valid ground for its continuance, partly because large portions of the country have been unable to obtain a due share in the advantages of the grant, and in the improvements in education which have resulted from its operation, partly because there is still no prospect that the poor will be able by the assistance of charitable persons to meet the expense of giving an education to their children. They believe, therefore, that a withdrawal to any considerable extent of the public grant would have a tendency to check the general advance of education, and to give up much of the ground which has been won; and while they think that the present method of distributing the grant has many disadvantages, they believe them to consist in the manner in which the principle of giving public aid is applied and carried out, and not in the principle itself. Upon these grounds they have endeavoured in various parts of their report to indicate the points in which improvements are necessary, and the manner in which they may be most effectually introduced.

The minority admit that the responsibilities and functions of Government may be enlarged by special circumstances, and in cases where political disasters have retarded the natural progress of society. But they hold that in a country situated politically and socially as England is, Government has, ordinarily speaking, no educational duties, except towards those whom destitution, vagrancy, or crime casts upon its hands. They make no attempt at this distance of time to estimate the urgency of the circumstances which originally led the Government of this country to interfere in popular education. They fully admit that much good has been done by means of the grant; though they think it not unlikely that more solid and lasting good would have been done, that waste would have been avoided, that the different wants of various classes and districts would have been more suitably supplied, that some sharpening of religious divisions in the matter of education would have been spared, and that the indirect effects upon the character of the nation, and the relations between class and class would have been better, had the Government abstained from interference, and given free course to the sense of duty and the benevolence which, since the mind of the nation has been turned from foreign war to domestic improvement, have spontaneously achieved great results in other directions.

These members of the Commission desire that a good type of schools and teachers having now been extensively introduced, the benefits of popular education having been manifested, and public

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interest in the subject having been thoroughly awakened, Government should abstain from making further grants, except grants for the building of schools, to which the public assistance was originally confined, and the continuance of which will be fair towards the parishes which have hitherto received no assistance; that the annual grants which are now made should be gradually withdrawn; and that Government should confine its action to the improvement of union schools, reformatories, and schools connected with public establishments, at the same time developing to the utmost the resources of the public charities, which either are or may be made applicable to popular education, and affording every facility which legislation can give to private munificence in building and endowing schools for the poor. It appears to them that if the State proceeds farther in its present course, and adopts as definitive the system which has hitherto been provisional, it will be difficult hereafter to induce parental and social duty to undertake the burden which it ought to bear, or to escape from the position, neither just in itself nor socially expedient, that large and ill-defined classes of the people are entitled, without reference to individual need, or to the natural claims which any of them, may possess on the assistance of masters and employers, to have their education paid for, in part at least, out of the public taxes. Nor do they feel confident that Government will ever be able to control the growing expenditure and multiplying appointments of a department, the operations of which are regulated by the increasing and varying demands of philanthropists rather than by the definite requirements of the public service.

They have felt it their duty, however, to regard the question as it stands after twenty-nine years of a policy opposed to their own; and on the rejection of their own view, they cordially adopt, in the second resort, the scheme of assistance approved by the majority of their colleagues, which they regard as better in every respect, and above all as a far nearer approach to justice, than the present extremely partial system.

We have thought fit to state the differences existing among us on this important point. It must not be inferred that this is the only matter on which we differ. In a subject involving so many statements, so many inferences, so many general principles, and so many executive details, universal concurrence was not to be expected, and has not in fact been obtained.

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The possibility of establishing a system of compulsory education in this country has been brought before us in considering the extent to which it is desirable to enforce the "half-time system" in manufacturing employments. In the third chapter, while examining the objections which are often brought against enforcing the attendance at school of children collected together in certain trades and manufactures, we gave an account of those systems of compulsory education by the State which are now established in Prussia and in other parts of Germany. Our opinion of the applicability of such a system in this country was there indicated, and may be now briefly repeated. We are of opinion that it would be impossible to carry it out except in cases where children are working together in considerable bodies, and where the inspector can therefore ascertain the regularity of their attendance. Any universal compulsory system appears to us neither attainable nor desirable. In Prussia, indeed, and in many parts of Germany, the attendance can scarcely be termed compulsory; Though the attendance is required by law, it is a law which entirely expresses the convictions and wishes of the people. Such a state of feeling renders the working of a system of compulsion, among a people living under a strict government, comparatively easy. Our own condition, it need scarcely be stated, is in many respects essentially different. But we also found that the results of this system, as seen in Prussia, do not appear to be so much superior to those which have been already attained amongst ourselves by voluntary efforts, as to make us desire an alteration which would be opposed to the feelings, and, in some respects, to the principles of this country. An attempt to replace an independent system of education by a compulsory system, managed by the Government, would be met by objections, both religious and political, of a far graver character in this country than any with which it has had to contend in Prussia; and we have seen that, even in Prussia, it gives rise to difficulties which are not insignificant. And therefore, on the grounds of a long-established difference between our own position and that of the countries where a compulsory system is worked successfully; on the grounds of the feelings, both political, social, and religious, to which it would be opposed; and also on the ground that our education is advancing successfully without it, we have not thought that a scheme for compulsory education to be universally applied in this country can be entertained as a practical possibility.

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The plan of providing for the better extension of education by local taxation, in the form of parochial rates, deserves attentive consideration on different grounds from the preceding proposals. It has been often brought forward in Parliament, sometimes as a supplement to, and sometimes as a substitute for, the existing system; it possesses the obvious recommendation, that if it were enforced by law it would carry the means of education into every parish in the country; it is an attempt to make education universal, and at the same time is more in harmony with our institutions than the plan of compulsory education given by the State; compared with voluntary subscriptions it distributes the burden equally; it has been thought that it would not necessarily destroy the independence of the existing schools, nor injuriously affect the character of the teaching; and its supporters have maintained that it would lead to an increased local interest in education; while, by giving an united teaching to the children of different religious communities, it would encourage religious toleration.

Our opinion is unfavourable to the particular form of parochial rating, for reasons which we shall presently state. But we are alive to many of the advantages with which such a plan is accompanied, and as we propose ourselves to recommend that the public assistance given to schools shall be derived in part from local taxation, we wish to state distinctly the reasons which have decided us against the plan of parochial rating.

1. It is undoubtedly true that a compulsory system of parochial rating would establish school buildings, and supply the means of payment for education in all parts of the country more rapidly than any other system. But though these advantages are great, they would not necessarily secure the means of imparting a good education; there is no reason to doubt that they might be obtained, though not so immediately, by a different method; and the very fact of their being gained immediately might give rise to the evils which attend upon the premature establishment of a system for which the country is not prepared. Parishes are, indeed, seldom unprovided with school buildings, though they often require improvement; and little would be done either by an increase of buildings, or even of educational funds, unless it were accompanied by the establishment of an efficient system, unless the management were placed in the best hands, and unless security

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were taken for the ability of the master and the energy of his teaching.

It is also worthy of remark that most of the difficulties connected with parochial rating attach to the recommendation to build and establish schools out of the rates. It is quite possible to support a school already in existence by a rate in aid, and yet leave its management and its religious teaching substantially free, and proposals to this effect were made both in the Manchester Bill and in the Bill of Sir John Pakington. But if it is proposed to build a school from the rates, the management naturally belongs to the ratepayer, and the difficulties about its management and its religious teaching immediately appear. We have therefore ourselves recommended to build no schools by means of rates, but merely to provide by this means for a part of their support.

2. But most of the proposals for parochial rating have recommended that the ratepayers should substantially be entrusted with schools the management or the schools; and we do not think that such a body would manage them as well as they are managed at present. Where the object is felt to be of immediate local interest and advantage the ratepayers are the proper persons to pay for and to superintend the matter. The rates are also a proper fund for expenses in respect of which it is desirable to exercise vigilant and minute economy, and they are accordingly charged with the support of paupers. The support of a good school does not fall under either of these heads. No doubt it is a matter of immediate local interest and advantage, but it is not at present felt and acknowledged to be so by the great majority of persons contributing to the rate. The whole history of Popular Education in England shows that the contrary is the truth. What has been done towards its advancement has been done by a charitable and enlightened minority, assisted by the Government. The principal difficulties with which the promoters of education have to contend arise in many, if not in most, places from the imperfect appreciation of the subject on the part of the classes who, in the event of a parochial rate, would manage the schools. We are aware that many schools are well managed by a large body of subscribers; and it is often said that if ratepayers were intrusted by law with the management of the system, they would learn to take an intelligent interest in it. We believe that in the course of time this would prove to be the case, but in the interval the schools would suffer, their most active and intelligent friends would be discouraged, and many of the principal improvements in education, such

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as the employment of trained masters and pupil-teachers, might in many cases be given up.

We have observed upon the importance to schools of liberal and sympathising treatment, and have pointed out that the whole subject of education is experimental and progressive. This makes it most necessary that the management of schools should be in the hands of persons who feel a genuine interest in the subject, are willing to bear with disappointments and shortcomings in the hopes of ultimately attaining a satisfactory result, and are ready to try experiments and adopt suggestions for increasing the efficiency of the schools. We do not think that a committee of ratepayers would be likely at present to act in this spirit.

It is undoubtedly true that a system of parochial rating, if it became national, would be far more economical than a system of central aid, like the present, locally administered; and this is a fact upon which we shall frequently have occasion to insist, and which is, as far as it goes, certainly a recommendation of any rating system. It is, however, outweighed in our opinion by the opposite danger, that in the event of intrusting parochial authorities with the management of schools, many of the most essential expenses would either be refused or granted with great reluctance. Good elementary education cannot be obtained without considerable expense, and this is a conclusion which parochial bodies would be reluctant to admit. We have shown elsewhere that the most important improvements which have taken place in popular education are due to the introduction of trained teachers, and that they are greatly superior to untrained teachers in dealing with the most ignorant children. These considerations, however, would probably have little weight with the governing bodies which, under a system of parochial rating, would have the chief management of schools. The assertions that a highly trained man is not wanted to teach poor children to read and write, that the trained teachers are likely to be conceited, above their work, insubordinate, and dissatisfied with their position, are just the sort of fallacies which would mislead careless observers. The experience of the majority of workhouse schools leads us to fear that the consequence of putting the management of the schools into the hands of the parochial bodies would be that trained teachers and pupil-teachers would in a great measure cease to be employed, and that the whole standard of elementary education would be lowered. There exist indeed some excellent schools for pauper children; but in most cases it is only under pressure from the Poor Law Board that the Boards of guardians have been induced to appoint competent teachers.

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When left to themselves, they almost always made unsatisfactory appointments; and though (as we shall have occasion to observe more fully hereafter) there are special difficulties connected with pauper education, the way in which it has been generally managed by the boards of guardians is certainly not encouraging as evidence of the fitness of similar bodies to undertake the management of elementary schools.*

3. We think that if it were resolved to establish a system under which schools should be founded and supported out of the rates, difficulties would arise as to the religious teaching to be given in them, and as to the authority which the clergy of different denominations should exercise over them, which would probably prevent such a measure from passing through Parliament, and would prevent it from working in an harmonious manner if it did. Our opinion on this subject is founded principally on past experience. Difficulties of this kind, as we have elsewhere observed, prevented the Committee of Council from recommending the foundation of a Normal College in connexion with the State. Similar difficulties defeated the attempt to establish a national system of education in 1839, and to establish a system specially adapted for the factories in 1842. The difficulty as to the Normal Colleges was overcome by the establishment of upwards of 30 Training Colleges connected in the closest way with different denominations. And meanwhile many thousand elementary schools have been established in the course of the last 20 years, almost all of which are specially connected with some one religious denomination, in many cases by foundation deeds, which give legal security for the permanence of the connexion. These facts show that amongst those who really manage popular education, there are deep-seated differences of principle which operate strongly on their minds, and are very unlikely to be removed.

It may be urged that little has been heard of such differences for some years past, that the parents of the children to be educated are, generally speaking, comparatively indifferent to the subject, and that consequently whatever may have been the case formerly, no serious difficulty would be found at present in providing a common constitution for the schools supported by the rates, and in making arrangements as to the teaching in them which would be acceptable to all. We think this a mistake. It is quite true that for several years little has been heard of religious differences in the management of schools, and we do not anticipate that anything will be heard of them in future so long

*See both sides of the case stated in Mr. Temple's evidence, 2921-2925.

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as the constitution of the schools remains untouched. The quiet which has prevailed arises from the independence of the different denominations and their undisturbed possession of their respective provinces, but there is no reason to suppose that the circumstance of their having occupied this position for upwards of twenty years would dispose them to exchange it for another. On the contrary, the difficulties would be greater now than they formerly were.

In his evidence, Dr. Temple strongly advocates the support of schools out of the rates, but in answer to a question whether "the distribution of the funds would not be a bone of contention amongst various denominations?" he said, "I think that for the first 10 or 15 years there might be considerable difficulties, but I think that they would all wear out; and I do not think that a legislature has a right only to look at the next 10 or 15 years." In support of his opinion that these difficulties might be overcome, Dr. Temple referred to the Management Clauses which excited great opposition when they were first proposed by the Committee of Council, but were ultimately accepted, and have since that time caused no difficulty.

We do not think that this inference is just. The general character of the controversy about the Management Clauses was as follows: The Committee of Council made it a condition of their building grants that a certain constitution should be provided by the foundation deed for the schools to be built with that assistance. It was admitted that such a constitution must be provided, and the substantial question was whether the founders of the school should be allowed to give a greater or a less amount of authority to the clerical members of the Committee of Managers.

This discussion, as Dr. Temple observes, produced a warm controversy, but the excitement produced was not between different denominations, but in the case of the Church of England, between different parties in the same denomination, and in the case of the Roman Catholics, between a single denomination and the Committee of Council. No difficulty arose with the other denominations. The question debated with most warmth was this, whether the National Society in the one case, and the Catholic Poor School Committee in the other, should or should not recommend members of their respective denominations to accept certain grants of public money on particular terms. They at length determined to do so, and experience having shown that the terms were unobjectionable, no difficulty has arisen in consequence.

The question of a general system of national education sup-

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ported by rates, is very different from this, and depends upon deeply seated differences of principle which could hardly fall to produce constant bickerings and jealousies in a variety of everyday transactions. A few observations on the nature of the principles on which the parties differ will make this clear. Both agree, in common with the great mass of the nation, in looking upon education as essentially connected with religion. The clergy of the Church of England look upon their own denomination as the established religion of the nation, and they would feel that that fact gave them a right to a leading part In the management of any general system of education established by the State. A large proportion of the Dissenters, on the other hand, disapprove of any connexion between the Church and the State, and entertain conscientious objections to conferring upon the clergy, as such, any official connexion whatever with public education. If such a position were conferred upon them by law it would be felt to be exclusive, and the exercise of the powers which it conferred would be scrutinized with jealousy, and would be a constant occasion of bad feeling and disputes, If, on the other hand, it were withheld the clergy would feel themselves aggrieved, and would consider that the State had not recognized their claims. They would thus dislike the system, and would probably be reluctant to give to it that cordial co-operation which would be so important as to be almost indispensable to its success.

In some parts of the country, to the differences between Protestant bodies would be further added the wider differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics. These last excite so much warmth that they influence the parents as well as the managers. Mr. Cumin was told by workmen in Bristol and Plymouth, that though they would not object, if churchmen, to send their children to dissenting schools, or vice versa, they would send them to no school at all rather than a Roman Catholic one. The Roman Catholic week-day schools contain more scholars than any others except the Church of England and the British schools, so that this difficulty would be very serious.

Without expressing any opinion as to the success of the common schools in the United States of America and Canada, it may be well to point out that their establishment affords no proof that a similar system could be introduced into this country. In those countries there is no established church, and thus the difficulty as to the position of the clergy does not arise. Besides this the different classes of society are much more on a level than is the case in this country, and the common schools which are supported

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at the expense of all are made use of by all. Education moreover being almost universal, its importance is universally appreciated, and there is no fear that it will be managed in an illiberal or inefficient manner.

In the meanwhile it is not to be denied that many of the arguments in favour of a rate-supported system, and especially that which lays stress on the importance of arousing and sustaining local interest, have great weight; the more so because the want of local interest and of proper local support is the leading defect in the present system, - a defect which would render its permanent establishment throughout the whole country a very questionable benefit. Nor do the preceding observations apply to the principle of throwing on the rates some share of the burden of popular education, but only to the consequences which follow from the form in which most of the suggestions for a rating system have been cast. The most serious of these consequences, in our opinion, are those which touch the management and the independence of the schools. But the economy and the local interest which some amount of local payment and management secures, appears to us essential elements in a system of national education.

The dangerous consequences to which we have just referred, and the necessity for avoiding them, are seen, in our opinion, very distinctly in the history of the various measures by which a system of parochial rating for the purpose of education has been proposed to the House of Commons. Subsequent to the attempt to introduce a modified rating system into the Factories Regulation Act of 1842, five measures have been proposed bearing this character, the Manchester Bill, the Borough Bill in 1852, and the three bills of Lord John Russell, Sir J. Pakington, and Mr. Cobden, in 1855. It would be out of place to enter into any discussion of these measures; but we wish to indicate the points upon which the most carefully prepared schemes of parochial rating appear to have failed. We are assisted in this by the opinion of Sir James K. Shuttleworth, who gave us a full account of two of these Bills, which were in a great measure prepared by his own advice.* The education clauses in Sir James Grahams Factory Bill of 1842 seem to have been withdrawn, because they were supposed to invade the independence of the dissenting bodies; the Manchester Bill, which, according to Sir J. K. Shuttleworth, was "framed with remarkable skill in almost every detail," failed, partly because the ratepayers would not accept a burden of from 6d to 9d in the pound without

*See, with regard to all these points, the evidence of Sir J. K. Shuttleworth, q. 2413.

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a large share in the management of the schools, and partly too because it appeared to endanger the religious character of the teaching; and precisely the same points were urged against the three measures of 1855, that they threatened the independence of the religious teaching, and the good management of the schools. We express here no opinion with regard to any of these measures, beyond saying, that we do not see how either of these objects can be secured where the management is mainly committed to the ratepayers, or where the teaching is not left with the religious denomination to which the school belongs. In one of the leading principles on which many of these Bills were founded, that of calling forth local action as an essential requisite for any national system, we must express our agreement; but even this advantage would be dearly bought if it prevented the intelligent management or injured the religious character of schools, the support of which has been both the merit and the success of the present system.


Having shown the difficulties which would impede the establishment of any of the above systems of education, we shall now proceed to examine the plan which has been adopted by the Committee of Council, and to consider the possibility of retaining it as a permanent national system. Its leading principle is, that persons interested in the education of the poor, should, under the assistance and inspection of the State, be encouraged to provide education; it professes not to educate, but to assist in educating; and while it inspects schools in order to secure their proficiency, it leaves their internal management free. It has been very successful, and the arguments in its favour have considerable weight.

The first of these is that the present system is in possession of the ground, and the question can no longer be considered as altogether open. It is true, no doubt, that it has never been definitively adopted by the nation at large. This is shown by the fact that it is supported by annual votes, and that it has been constantly the subject of parliamentary discussion; but it is also true that though the discussion has lasted at intervals for upwards of 21 years, no other system has been devised which the nation

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could be induced to adopt, and this raises a strong presumption that the deliberate feeling of the public is in favour of the existing system.

This, however, is not all. During the last 20 years several thousand schools have been established in connexion with the system in different parts of the country. These schools are private property, and the founders of many of them are still living. They are connected with particular religious denominations, and the fact of that connexion formed the chief inducement to the subscribers to contribute towards their foundation. Their foundation deeds were drawn up in a great measure under the direction of the Government. The managers would, in our opinion, be very harshly treated if the assistance at present given to them were transferred to schools founded on a different principle, without any proof that they had failed to render the services for which the grants were paid, or if they were refused further contributions except upon the terms of altering the constitution which they were so lately compelled by public authority to accept, and upon the faith of which such contributions were made.

The next consideration is the success of the present system. The facts stated in the first section of this chapter are the best proof of this. Although essentially a voluntary system, and demanding great previous exertions as a condition of giving aid, it has, within twenty years of its commencement, either led to the foundation of or greatly improved 9,388 schools, or about two-fifths Schools, of the entire number of existing public schools, which contain 1,101,545 scholars, or about half the number now under instruction in the whole country. It assists largely in supporting 32 Training colleges, the greater number of which it helped to establish; and while the Government has itself expended on national education, in round numbers, £4,400,000, it has been met by voluntary subscriptions to the amount of £8,800,000. Its system of inspection has raised the standard of education, and by the careful training of its teachers, and, above all, by the introduction of pupil-teachers, it has supplied the best means for teaching in schools. There are, indeed, some important drawbacks to these advantages, but they are such as could be remedied without interference with the main principles of the system, and the remedies themselves would enable it to extend itself with even increased advantage.

It is a further recommendation of the present system that it secures the services of a class of managers, and excites feelings on

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their part, which have a most beneficial influence on the whole character of Popular Education. The managers are generally persons whose interest in the matter is of a religious and charitable kind, and though it is sometimes asserted that the zeal which actuates them is polemical and unhealthy, aiming rather at increasing the numbers and the influence of particular denominations than at promoting the interests of the class under education, we do not think that this criticism is just.

The evidence which we have collected shows that the state of feeling which prompts the foundation, and is produced by the maintenance of the schools is, with rare exceptions, of a very healthy kind. The reports of the Assistant Commissioners refer to a few cases in which angry and controversial feelings have been produced by indiscretion or misunderstandings, but the number of these cases is very small, and in the vast majority of instances the management of the schools appears to produce nothing but good and kindly feelings amongst all the parties concerned. The fact, to which we have referred more than once, that the children of different denominations frequently attend the same schools, shows that the schools are not conducted in a controversial spirit. It is an easy task to excite sectarian bitterness and hostility, especially amongst the ignorant, and if school managers were actuated by such feelings they would readily find means to gratify them through the agency of the teachers. It is not asserted that they do so. There are cases, it is true, where the benefit of a school is refused to children unless they will accept particular formularies or attend a particular place of worship. We greatly lament an illiberality which is equally short-sighted and unjust, and which in smaller parishes may have the effect of excluding children from the only good school. But we believe such a practice to be rare. With hardly an exception the schools are places of education and nothing more. This being the case, it appears too plain to require illustration, that it is desirable that they should be under the management of persons who show their interest in the subject of education by voluntary subscriptions towards its maintenance.

We think, also, that the existing plan is the only one by which it would be possible to secure the religious character of popular education. It is unnecessary for us to enter upon proof of the assertion that this is desirable in Itself. It is enough for our purpose to say that there is strong evidence that it is the deliberate opinion of the great majority of persons in this country that it is desirable. Some evidence has already been given upon this sub-

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ject of the feelings of the parents of the children to be educated. Those of the nation at large are proved by the fact that, with hardly an exception, every endowment for purposes of education, from the universities down to the smallest village school, has been connected by its founders with some religious body. The colleges of the University of London are a remarkable instance of this. Each of them is distinguished from the rest by its aspect towards religion. University College, which excludes religious instruction from its course, stands alone; but most of the affiliated colleges are connected with religious denominations, as King's College with the Church of England, and Stonyhurst and Oscott with the Roman Catholics. The controversies which have occurred in the course of the last 20 years, the difficulties which they have thrown in the way of the establishment of any comprehensive system, and their practical result in the establishment of the denominational Training Colleges and elementary schools, appear to us to place beyond all doubt the conclusion that the great body of the population are determined that religion and education must be closely connected, and we do not think that any other principle than that which is the base of the present system would secure this result.

It has been supposed that the object of securing the religious character of education might be equally attained either by restricting the teaching given in the schools to points upon which different denominations agree, or by drawing a broad line between the religious and the secular instruction, and by providing that the religious instruction should be given at particular hours, and by the ministers of different denominations. We do not think that either of these expedients would be suitable to the state of feeling in this country.

With respect to the plan of restricting the teaching to points agreed upon, we may refer to the history of the British and Foreign School Society. Undenominational teaching was its distinctive principle, but all the schools, including British and others which are founded on that principle, contain only about 14.4 per cent of the scholars in public schools, whilst the remaining 85.6 per cent are in denominational schools. The British schools are for the most part large schools in towns, and are usually established where the various dissenting bodies, not being numerous enough to establish denominational schools, prefer a British school to one connected with the Church of England. Religious communities, when able to do so, always appear to prefer schools of their own to schools on the undenominational principle.

The British and Foreign School Society is the oldest of all the

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societies connected with education, and might for a considerable time have been regarded as the representative of all the bodies which were not satisfied with the principles of the National Society; but in the course of the last 18 years the Wesleyans and the Independents have established boards of their own.

The plan of drawing a line between religious and secular instruction, and confining the religious instruction to particular hours, would, we believe, be equally unlikely to succeed. The principal promoters of education maintain that such a line cannot be drawn, and that every subject which is not merely mechanical, such as writing and working sums, but is connected with the feelings and conduct of mankind, may and ought to be made the occasion of giving religious instruction. They maintain that the religious influence of the school depends no less upon the personal character and example of the teacher, on the manner in which he administers discipline, upon the various opportunities which he takes for enforcing religious truth, and on the spirit in which he treats his pupils and teaches them to treat each other, than upon the distinctive religious teaching.

Upon this subject we would direct attention to the following resolution of the Wesleyan Committee of Education in reference to a Bill introduced by Sir J. Pakington:

"That while it has ever been the fixed rule in Wesleyan schools during the teaching of the catechism, to permit the absence of any child whose parents should object to his being taught such formulary, and to leave all children free to attend on the Sabbath whatever Sunday school and place of worship their parents may prefer, this Committee believes that the Wesleyan community will never consent that the teaching of religion itself in their schools shall be subject to restriction. Their experience shows, that besides the Scripture lesson with which their schools daily open, and in which it is sought to make divine truth intelligible to children of all capacities, an able Christian teacher will find throughout the day, when teaching geography, history, physical and moral science, and the knowledge of common things, frequent occasion to illustrate and enforce the truths of religion, and that religious teaching may be made to impart life and spirit to the whole process of education."

The above reasons which have been dwelt upon in other parts of our Report are the principal ones which induce us to believe, while we are prepared to suggest means both for its modification and extension, that the leading principles of the present system are sound, that they have shown themselves well adapted to the feelings of the country, and that they ought to be maintained. Its

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drawbacks, however, are not only considerable in themselves, but would be greatly increased if it were allowed to extend itself unaltered over the whole country. In that case defects, which even taken singly are formidable, might if united so impede the administration of the central office, so greatly increase its expenditure, and so injuriously affect the character of the education, that it would be doubtful whether the continuance of the system would be a national benefit. These defects, which we shall now proceed to consider, consist: (1) In the excessive expenditure which is likely to be thrown on the central revenue for an object the benefits of which are chiefly local. (2) In the difficulty without such an undue expenditure in assisting a large number of schools entitled to assistance. (3) In the defective teaching of elementary subjects. (4) In the complicated business of the office, which would be unmanageable if the present system became national.

The two first of these defects are closely connected, but we shall endeavour to consider them separately.



Before we enter on the consideration of the expense of public assistance to the education of the poorer classes, and its tendency to increase, we desire to say that we think it unreasonable to object to it simply on both or either of these grounds. If it be assumed that it is proper for the State to render pecuniary aid towards the education of the lower classes, a large expenditure, where the area is so large, will be a necessary consequence; and upon the same assumption it cannot be denied that the object is among the worthiest on which the public money can be expended. Again, if the money be wisely and successfully applied, it is to be desired and expected that indefinitely for some considerable time the number of schools seeking to avail themselves of the public aid will increase as improved education is more and more widely diffused, and operates more powerfully on the public mind. One legitimate result of this, however, in a system which is based on assisting local exertion, ought to be a higher and more practical feeling of their duty by parents to provide for the education of their children; with this may be reasonably expected an increased liberality, on the part of the higher classes, to assist their poorer neighbours in the discharge of this great duty, and thenceforward we should have a right to look for a decrease, gradual at first,

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and then rapid, in the demands on the public purse. We believe this to be the true and not visionary view under which the expense of giving aid to education and its tendency to increase are, of themselves, to be regarded. But this leaves open all considerations as to the detail and economy of the system, and also as to the propriety of throwing some share of the burthen on other funds than the central revenue. To these points we now address ourselves.

According to the most careful estimate we have been able to make, which is based upon a calculation of an increase in the number of pupil-teachers, and in the augmentation grant, the extension of the general system to the whole country would cost about £1,300,000, if the unassisted public schools alone were brought under it. If the scholars in private schools were added the sum would amount to about £1,620,000. And supposing an increase in the number of scholars of 20 per cent, in consequence of an improvement in attendance, it would be increased to about £1,800,000 yearly. To this sum, if the present system were unaltered, would have to be added a capitation grant for 2,300,000 children; and at the present rate of attendance, which is an increasing one, at least 800,000 of these would earn 6s a head. This would make the whole grant amount to nearly £2,100,000 a year.

Even supposing this to be the extreme point to which the present grant could possibly reach, it seems to us too large a sum to throw upon the general revenue for an object, the benefits of which are in great measure local. We shall give our reasons for this opinion hereafter, but it is desirable previously to consider the possibility that the expenditure on the present system may even exceed this calculation. The estimate we have just given as to the number of children agrees substantially with those of Sir J. Kay Shuttle worth, Mr. Horace Mann, and Mr. Lingen. Mr. Lingen reckons the entire expenses of the public aid to education, (including training schools, inspection, office, &c.,) at about 18s a child. Sir James K. Shuttleworth thinks it probable that for the next five years the grant will increase at the rate of nearly £100,000/. a year, and adds that one of the reasons for the introduction of the Manchester Rating Bill was "an apprehension that Parliament might hesitate to increase the grant beyond £1,000,000, or £1,200,000, or £1,500,000 per year." Dr. Temple, however, whose opinion is extremely opposed to the continuance of the present system, stated that its tendency was, by constant

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relaxations of its conditions, to attain the enormous sum of £5,000,000; and although this opinion is founded on expectations which we think erroneous, it points to a danger of involving the country in a large extension of the present expenditure in consequence of relaxations in the conditions of the grant.

The principal financial difficulty with which the Committee of Council has had to contend since its operations have assumed a more extensive character, has been the inability to meet the case of what are sometimes called the "poor districts." It is to be observed that the term "poor," as applied to a school or to the locality which requires a school, is inaccurate. Every country place has within it property capable of meeting the educational wants of its population, and the same is the case even with the most miserable parishes in towns. But it is no less certain, that owing to many reasons, - of which the principal seems to be the indifference of non-resident proprietors, - there is a vast body of parishes scattered through the country, in which the establishment of an effective school is a matter of the utmost difficulty. It was to meet this difficulty that the Committee of Council first departed from the principle of only giving aid in proportion to subscriptions, to which they had previously held fast in all their operations, and established in 1853 the capitation grant.

The history of that grant is in itself curious, and when fully considered, it supplies the most remarkable illustration of the strong tendency which exists in the present operations of the Committee of Council to branch out into fresh expenditure in compliance with local demands. In 1853 a scheme of national education was proposed, according to which the towns were to be provided for by rates imposed by themselves, and the rural districts by grants from the general revenue of the country, the amount of which was to depend on the number of children in attendance. The first part of the scheme was rejected by Parliament, but the Committee of Council brought the other part into operation by a Minute which established the capitation grant. It was offered in the first instance only to places where the population was below 5,000, and which were not corporate towns; so that it was manifestly an attempt to make special provision for poor districts. The attempt, however, to confine it to such localities failed on account of the numerous cases of hardship which it produced. Ultimately it was found impossible to draw a line of distinction between the class of poor and that of richer places. The grant had to be extended to the whole country, and consequently it is now received by many schools which do

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not require it. Since its establishment it has grown with great rapidity. It was £5,957 in 1854, £20,079 in 1856, and £61,183 in 1859. In the meantime repeated attempts have been made, both by appeals to the office and in Parliament, to get it largely increased, even to the amount of double its present sum.

On the supposition that the present system were to be continued without any attempt to provide by some fresh arrangement for the wants of the poorer districts, and were to advance at its present rate, there is no doubt that the capitation grant might be largely and in some respects wastefully increased unless Parliament interfered. Experience has already shown in how many ways this might occur. Great complaints are made of the hardship of the rule which requires 176 days of attendance as the condition of a child's earning the capitation grant; and it has been often proposed to make the grant depend on the average attendance at the school. Similar suggestions, all pointing in the same direction, of increased aid to meet the wants of poorer schools, are still constantly pressed upon the office. Thus it has been urged to give larger sums to schools on the mere report of the Inspectors; and a single Minute, giving increased aid "to exceptional cases," once passed, it would soon be found (as has happened already in the history of the grant) that other cases presented equal difficulties, and the rule would be made universal. On the supposition that 2,000,000 children ^night ultimately enter schools connected with the Privy Council, as we have calculated, and that it is allowed to extend its present system through the country, some relaxation of the conditions of the capitation grant would probably have been the only means of enabling so large a body of schools to share in its benefits. Indeed, the more its area were extended, the more loudly would the excluded schools cry out for such further aid as should enable them to bring themselves within its operations. And it is by no means impossible the capitation grant might grow to £300,000, and even to a greater sum.


It has always been considered one of the chief failures of the present system that it does not touch the districts which most require assistance. A great deal of our evidence shows that there are still, to use the words of Lord Lyttelton, "immense tracts of country in which the Government system is almost

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entirely unknown and unfelt,"* and that the schools in such districts are practically unable to meet the conditions of the Committee of Council. It is important indeed to avoid the inference often drawn that these are always found in small parishes. In many cases they probably are so, but their inability often arises as much from the apathy of a rich, as from the scanty subscriptions of a poor parish. Mr. Fraser has probably placed the matter in its true light. "I hardly know," he says, "what is meant by a rich parish or a poor parish, as in every parish (as one sees from the overseers book) there is a certain amount of annual income going into somebody's pocket, which on all principles of responsibility stands bound, as with a first charge, by certain duties to the place from which it is derived. The fact that makes all the difference in the educational, and almost in every other, condition of a parish, is the residence of the owners of the land; or, at least, this combined with the energy and zeal of the parochial clergyman. Where the proprietor does not live, there, to a very great extent, he does not spend; and many an owner of property, who is quoted as a benefactor to his kind in the neighbourhood in which he resides, is shabby and niggardly to an extent that is inconceivable towards a parish whose only claim upon him is that he carries off its great tithes or owns half or all its land. The 'poor parish,' in far the majority of cases, is that which is out of sight, and therefore out of mind. The school is a picturesque feature on the outskirts of the park; it is an expected feature - one which visitors will like to see, and will be sure to ask after - in the village adjacent to the hall; and there of course it stands, is tolerably cared for, and duly admired. But rare indeed are the instances of landowners who, wherever they have property, seem to feel it a first duty to do something for the social and moral elevation of the people."† But even while denying that the inability of parishes to meet the demands of the Council office is attributable to their small size, Mr. Fraser brings out very strongly the fact that in numerous cases a real difficulty is experienced, and even presses upon us a plan for subsidizing all small parishes, where the population is less than 400, by gifts of £10 or £15 a year from the Treasury.

It cannot indeed be doubted that the small parishes are in most respects in a less advantageous position with regard to education than the large ones. It is certain they have, in point of fact,

*Answers, p. 282.

†Report, p. 69.

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far less availed themselves of the Government assistance; and the proof of this is that the average numbers in uninspected schools are 34, those in inspected are 75. If we wanted further evidence it would be found in the condition of schools, as they have been recently described, in different parts of the country. In the diocese of Oxford, out of 339 parishes, with a population below 600, and containing a total population of 125,000, only 24 schools, two years since, were in receipt of Government aid; in Herefordshire, out of 130 parishes, with a similar population, only five received such aid; in Somerset, out of 280 such parishes, only one; in Devon, out of 245, only two: in Dorset, out of 179, ten; in Cornwall, out of 71, one; and in the archdeaconry of Coventry, Birmingham excepted, out of 76, seven.* And these facts become still more significant if we bear in mind the large proportion of schools in parishes, whose population exceeds 600, which have connected themselves with the Committee of Council. "If we look," says Mr. N. Stephenson, "at the average of all parishes over 600 that are under inspection, we shall find it to be one in 2.97; and if we look at the average of all parishes under 600, we shall find it only to reach one in 26.44." The complete account given by Mr. Warburton of the schools in Wiltshire represents a less gloomy view of the case of small schools, and one which may perhaps be taken as a fairer estimate of their state in the country generally; but out of a total of 159 schools in that county, in populations below 500, it appears that only 9 are in receipt of annual grants from the Privy Council. In stating these facts, indeed, we must remember to take into account that a number of these parishes, probably amounting to 15 per cent, possess each a population of less than 100, and therefore could scarcely support any school beyond a dame's school. Nor must we forget that a recent Minute of the Committee of Council (August 1858) offers increased facilities to parishes of this description for employing masters of a higher class; but it may be safely stated that it is extremely difficult to maintain a good school under a master, in a population below 500, without a very undue proportion of the expense being thrown upon the clergyman. Indeed, most of the evidence which we have received agrees with that of Dr. Temple,

*These statistics are given in the evidence of the Rev. Nash Stephenson, and are based upon the reports of the inspectors in the years 1857, 1858, 1859. We have already expressed our dissent from Mr. Stephenson's conclusions; but we have reason to believe that the facts he mentions (with the deductions here made) represent the state of the case with sufficient accuracy. More of the poorer schools may probably have connected themselves with the Committee of Council since that time; but it is improbable that any large number has done so.

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who has urged as a conclusive reason for some alteration in the present system, that "the poor districts can be only touched at an enormous expense." "It is impossible," he says, "to extend the present system to many districts without relaxing the conditions; and if you relax the conditions for one district it is practically impossible to prevent them from being relaxed for another."

These dangers of expense, and the difficulty of admitting the poorer schools, are cogent reasons for some modification of the present system. And they are so upon every view of the case. In the first place, if these schools are really unable to profit by the aid at present offered by the Committee of Council, there will be the strongest inducement, upon grounds of justice, to relax the present conditions. And until the system can be extended to the whole country, the case of the excluded parishes will be doubly hard, since they contribute as taxpayers to the fund in which they do not share. The most moderate attempt to offer additional relief would amount to an increase of £200,000 a year upon the present grant; and experience has shown that this aid would soon be made universal, and that it is impossible to draw a clear distinction between the wants of one parish and those of another. Thus the capacities of expenditure latent in the capitation grant would rapidly develop into an immense burden thrown on the general revenue. Or, again; suppose it to be urged that the capitation grant should be withdrawn, as an anomaly in the present system, - such a step we could not recommend by itself, for although the loss would be comparatively unimportant to the more flourishing schools, the withdrawal of a material aid which they have enjoyed for many years would be a hardship to the smaller schools, many of which it has been the means of saving from bankruptcy. There is a fallacy, moreover, in saying that the present system helps those who help themselves; the poor cannot help themselves in districts where the rich will not help them. Or, lastly, If it be urged that things should be left exactly as they are, and that the present present system, in spite of all disadvantages, will work its way through the country, then we should contend, first that its progress would be exceedingly slow, and, secondly, that while highly successful if regarded as provisional and as a stimulus to education, it would be unwise and unjust if established permanently as a national system. And this, for two reasons, both because it is at present mainly supported by excessive individual sacrifices on the part of the clergy, on which it would be impossible to rely as a permanent

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basis for a national system, and also because it would gradually tend to throw £2,000,000 a year on the central revenue for the support of an institution, the benefits of which are mainly local, and which ought, in part, to be locally administered.

The only way, therefore, in which we think this difficulty can be entirely met is by localizing some portion of the expenditure; and we are prepared to suggest a plan by which at a very small outlay parishes now unaided would obtain adequate assistance. Such a plan would obviate the inexpediency of throwing so large a sum on the central revenue. The benefits of education are to a certain degree local benefits. There can be no doubt whatever that education diminishes pauperism, and tends to improve a population in every point of material well-being. These are advantages which directly touch the proprietors of the neighbourhood, and towards the extension of which they should be willing to contribute. If upon the whole this duty is neglected, (and our evidence proves that it is fulfilled very unequally,) it is the business of the State to provide that one place shall not by neglecting to bear its own burdens increase those of others.

Nor is this all. If education is to be paid for locally, those who pay for it should have a due share in the control of it. At present our evidence goes to prove that it would diffuse both a greater interest and a healthier tone in education, if other persons besides the clergy took an active part in it.


The third considerable defect in the system of the Privy Council, and one which would be felt more strongly if it were extended to most of the smaller schools in the country, is the imperfect teaching of elementary subjects. We have endeavoured to show that no plan of examination, available by the Committee of Council, has any direct tendency to counteract this danger; that inspection looks rather to the general character of the school than to the particular attainments of the younger children, and that to enable it to examine these, in the true sense of the word, would demand a large increase in the number, and consequently in the expense of the Inspectors; and, finally, that hitherto the teaching of training schools has mainly adapted the young schoolmaster to advance his higher rather than thoroughly to ground his junior pupils. We believe that to raise the general character of the children, both morally and intellectually, is, and must always be the highest aim of education; and we are far from desiring to supersede this by any plan of a mere examination into the

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more mechanical work of elementary education, the reading, writing, and arithmetic, of boys below ten years of age. But we think that the importance of this training, which must be the foundation of all other teaching, has been lost sight of; and that there is justice in the common complaint that while a fourth of the scholars are really taught, three-fourths after leaving school forget everything they have learnt there; and we are desirous to suggest inducements by which the schoolmaster, while still chiefly interested in completing his work with his elder scholars, shall find it worth his while to give that sound foundation to the younger boys, which shall enable them, if so minded, afterwards to complete their education for themselves.


The only remaining question with regard to the possibility of extending the present system, is whether, if it were to include the whole country, it could be managed by the central office. Upon this point we must direct particular attention to the opinions expressed by Mr. Lingen, who, as Secretary to the Committee of Council, has been for the last ten years intimately conversant with the work of the office. Mr. Lingen's opinion is that responsibility for minute details which the present system imposes upon its administrators would make it a matter of extreme difficulty, without such alterations as he suggests, to bring all the schools of the country under its supervision. Mr. Lingen's words are the following: "Vice-presidents who have been in the Committee of Council, and have seen other departments on a large scale, would state that the complication of the system is far greater than they have seen anywhere else," and he adds "I think that if you were to follow out the present system, with its local and denominational subdivision, and with its detailed appropriations, it would break down at its centre, unless you provided a much greater establishment than either Parliament or the country would be willing, in the long run, to agree to." It might appear that, as in those public departments which deal with the application of broad principles of administration, little more would be required for the management of an increasing amount of detail than an increase in the number of subordinate officers. But upon this point Mr. Lingen's explanation is full, and, when examined, appears to be convincing. In substance it amounts to this: That the Education Office, as at present constituted, differs from every other department

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of Government in three leading points; first, in the minute details which the plan of appropriating grants to special objects necessitates; secondly, in the care and consideration required for conducting business between an office, and six or seven thousand independent bodies of school managers; and, thirdly, in the danger of delegating this work to subordinates, and the necessity that the greater part of it should pass under the eyes of the Secretary himself. And when we consider how much these points involve, - the amount of vigilance required by a central authority in controlling a grant locally administered; the constant demands for additional aid upon special grounds, which have each to be separately considered; the liability to mismanagement and fraud in appropriating the grants, and the care required for their transmission; the disputes which must often arise between managers, inspectors, and the Committee of Council, with regard to the payment or the withdrawal of grants; and further, that these intricacies of arrangement, which have proved so great already, would be quadrupled if the work of the office embraced the whole of England, we do not think that Mr. Lingen's opinion as to the difficulty of making the present system do the work of the whole country is overrated.

We will proceed, however, to give the evidence more fully. In the first place, we inquired into the nature of the complicated work of the office.

551. (Chairman.) In the course of a somewhat long examination you have been good enough to give us a history of the origin of the system, and also of its present working; are you enabled to state whether your experience leads you to suppose that it would be possible to extend the system much further? - I should say not, without considerable changes in it.

552. What are the difficulties in the way of the extension of the system, and what are the changes which you would consider necessary in order to increase the facilities for the extension of the system? - At present the object of these grants has been to appropriate them - not to pay large sums of money in gross to the managers, but as far as possible to allot to certain specific purposes whatever money is to go to the schools. Generally speaking, the person is designated who is to receive the money, so that when it arrives at the school there are at least two persons who have an interest in looking to its appropriation; that applies to the grants for pupil-teachers, and to the grants for the augmentation of salaries. The machinery which is necessary to insure that appropriation is of course an extremely complicated one. If you may have a school in any of the 52 counties of England and Wales, and if it may belong to either of four different denominations, and if the money which you send down to it may be for four or five different objects each of which has its own conditions and is subject to its own questions, a system of that sort is of course one of enormous complication. Vice-Presidents who have been in the Committee of Council,

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and who have seen other departments on a large scale, would state to you that the internal complication of the system is far greater than they have seen anywhere else. I think that if you were to follow out the present system with its local and denominational subdivision, and with its detailed appropriations, it would break down at its centre, unless you provided a much greater establishment than I think either Parliament or the country would be willing in the long run to agree to. The only way in which you could extend the system would be by simplifying the payments; and simplification really means either not appropriating the money or not following out the appropriation so strictly as you do now. For those reasons I think that the present system (meaning by the present system, the system as it now exists), is not capable of extension to the whole country.

559. (Mr. Senior.) It is a question of additional clerks, is it not? - It is a question of something more than clerks.

560. (Chairman.) I presume that in any extension which you would consider desirable, you would think it absolutely necessary that the system should be conducted under the same head? - I think that there must be one head certainly; but the extension of the system would afterwards extremely depend upon this, whether you could for a continuance rely upon its being conducted in nine-tenths of its work by separate officers, who would so far agree among each other as to observe uniformity of action, without being obliged to refer to the single head so often as to stop the machinery. That, of course, is a difficulty which, as the system extends, very much increases. I do not think that it is an insuperable difficulty, but I think that it is an extreme one.

In the second place we examined Mr. Lingen with regard to the particular causes which demand so minute a supervision from the Secretary, and render it impossible that he should delegate his work to any great extent to subordinate officers.
562. But is it practicable to subdivide the business into various departments, each department being of course subordinate to the head, but having no inter-communication the one with the other? - I should say not, for this reason, and we have had some amount of experience on the point. The Committee of Council during the first seven years of its existence made grants for one object only, namely, building. In 1846 it made grants for maintaining schools. Naturally the office at first fell into two divisions, namely, building schools and maintaining schools; but in a very short time the schools which had been built came to be maintained, and quite recently we found it necessary to combine, in a great degree, the working of those two departments. The same thing applies to the augmentation grants, and to the grants for pupil-teachers; those are separate grants for specific objects, but the certificated master to whom we pay the augmentation grant has a pupil -teacher under him, and the same school is receiving a capitation grant. It acts in the same way with the training colleges; the Queen's scholars who enter the training colleges come from schools in which they have been pupil-teachers; they pass through their examination as students into schools, in which they are masters. The grants are separate in their appropriation, but the sum total of several such separate grants goes to single schools. The managers of those single schools could not correspond with four or five independent departments.

563. Am I not to infer from the answer which you have just given, that it is impossible so to reconstruct the department as to give

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the same facilities to its head for general supervision which are given in the other departments of administration in the country? Take, for instance, the Colonial Office; the Colonial Secretary supervises the whole of the colonies of Great Britain; but under him he not only has two Under Secretaries of State and an assistant under secretary, but he has five heads of departments permanently remaining, of course, in the office, among whom are divided the whole of the colonies of the empire, such as the West Indian district, the Mediterranean district, and so forth. Each is answerable to the head for the details of business connected with each division, but has no connexion with the business of the other department. I think I am to understand that in the case of the Committee of Privy Council such a distribution of work would be impracticable. If so, would not the amount of labour be increased by any considerable extension of the system to such a degree that the machinery would break down from the impossibility of supervision; that is to say, that the President, as well as permanent officers immediately responsible to him, must forego that supervision which is absolutely required, and that thereby the greatest abuses, and possibly even frauds, might be introduced into the system without the possibility of detection? - I think that the only public department with which the Education Department, if greatly extended, in order to administer the present system, could be compared, would be the great Revenue Departments, or the Post Office. The distribution of nine-tenths of the education grant is essentially a question of detail; small payments are issued to small institutions, as to which, if you have an honest report, an honest verification, and accurate accounts, pretty nearly all that you can require is effected. But you have also connected with these details a great variety of questions on which people's feelings and animosities are very easily excited, and you require in this work, which looks so petty, a great deal of administrative discretion. An intemperate letter written to the manager of some little out-of-the-way school may produce a commotion in a diocese. Any act of partiality as between one set of promoters and another might produce very serious consequences. You have a certain amount of really responsible action entangled in a vast mass of complicated minute detail, and I think the question is just this, that if seven examiners and two assistant secretaries, and one secretary, are able to manage a certain amount of supervision, fourteen examiners, and four assistant secretaries will not be able to do twice as much as easily and as accurately. If the whole thing had to be organized de novo, a great deal might be done, undoubtedly, in having better buildings than we have got. At present we occupy the rooms from the cellars up to the garrets, and a great deal of distraction is occasioned by having our work scattered in so many different places. I do not think that the extension of the system is an administrative impossibility; but I think that it is a matter of extreme difficulty, and I think that it would have to be upon a scale which, as I said before, would alarm Parliament.
These are difficulties, which may not perhaps be appreciated by persons who are not practically conversant with the manner in which grants to schools are appropriated on the present system. But those who know the care which is required for the superintendence of the present system, and the numerous minute payments which it involves, are aware that they are not exaggerated.

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In addition to a long correspondence on the establishment of a school about building grants, the Committee have constant occasion to correspond with the managers of schools about three different grants - for the augmentation of the master's salary, for pupil-teachers, and for books and apparatus. Thus, to take the case of pupil-teachers alone, the Committee paid in the year 1859 to and on account of 15,224 pupil-teachers, £252,550 12s 11d. This must have involved more than 20,000 separate payments; for each pupil-teacher, and every principal teacher who was paid a gratuity for teaching him, received one, and each payment was made by a separate post-office order, in favour of the person interested. It has been already shown that this practice involves great delay in the payments, it is felt by the pupil-teachers and their friends as a grievance; and upon any misunderstanding arising in the matter the Committee of Council is frequently involved in a correspondence with the managers of the school about three different persons, the pupil-teacher, his friends, and the master. In addition to all this, another correspondence often arises, in case the pupil-teacher fails at any of his examinations.

There surely can be little doubt that any plan which should relieve the Committee of Council of some of this mass of minutiæ, and should enable them to look to the principles of education instead of scrutinising its smallest details, must improve their whole power of dealing with the subject. This is the view adopted by Mr. Chester, whose opinion, like that of Mr. Lingen, derives weight from the fact that he was during fifteen years Assistant Secretary to the Committee. And Dr. Temple, who was also intimately acquainted with the office both in the time of Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth and of Mr. Lingen, tells us that "the complication of the office is enormous in consequence of the present system." Mr. Chester's words are:

A great evil in the amount of work has been, I think, that the office has been so absorbed by the day's work, that there has been very little time to consider what improvements might be made in the system; and of late years there has been no attempt whatever to combine different religious bodies, or to supply what was defective in the system as a general system, and to lay the foundation for something really like a national system of education. It is impossible for a person worked as the Secretary, Mr. Lingen, is, to have time at his disposal to enable him to consider those questions properly, and the Vice-President and the President hold office for a very short time, and probably one set of those officers may take views somewhat different from the previous set, and minutes get reconsidered and altered.
We have thus the opinions of three persons who probably are as conversant with the recent labour of the Committee of Council,

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as any who could be found; and they substantially agree in their judgment, all of them, as to the nature of the evil, and two of them as to the character of the remedy required. It is true that Sir James K. Shuttle worth has expressed a different opinion from that of his successor as to the capacity of the office, if arrangements were made for dealing with its increase or business; but he has himself suggested various simplifications as absolutely necessary, and he states that if the inspection were greatly extended, he "cannot conceive that the present staff, without the aid of a permanent Vice-President of the Committee of Council, and an Inspector-General of Schools, would be equal to all the duties imposed upon it." But it is important to notice that Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth left the office in 1848; and that his experience, to which we attach great value, refers to a time when the grant did not amount to one-sixth of what it has since become. We will only further quote the report of the Committee of Inquiry into Public Offices, which speaks of the business of the office in a way tending strongly to confirm the opinion now expressed by Mr. Lingen. The report was published in 1854, and since that time the work of the office has increased more than sixfold.

There is no department of the Government into which more elaborate mechanism is introduced than the Office for Education. Grants in aid of schools are made to all applicants on their compliance with certain conditions. As the number of applications can never be known beforehand, the amount to be taken in the annual vote can only be estimated according to the experience of past years; and when the money has been voted, as the award of grants has to be made by anticipation, and payment follows at varying intervals (sometimes as much as two years), according to the nature of the conditions to be fulfilled, a strict watch must be kept over the expenditure, in order to secure the department against the risk of incurring liabilities beyond its means. It is also necessary to distinguish the purposes for which each several grant is made, so as to render it as useful as possible; for it would be undesirable to place a sum of money in the hands of the promoters of a school, merely as a grant in aid of their contributions, without ascertaining the particular uses to which it is to be applied. Further, it is essential to the system upon which the State acts with reference to education, that the grants made in each case should depend upon the exertions of those who receive it; and that the department charged with its administration should satisfy itself by means of well-regulated inspection, that it is applied to the best advantage. Such inspection has to be conducted by gentlemen appointed with reference to the requirements of different religious denominations; yet the whole must be directed upon harmonious principles, A central department can only carry on the direction of so complicated a system by the aid of very perfect machinery; and when it is borne in mind that the amount of the grant to be administered is no less than £260,000; that there are 25 inspectors' districts; 5,509 schools subject to inspection, of which 2,466 must be inspected every year, and the others as frequently as can be arranged; 2,875 certificated masters and mistresses, of whom 2,200 are receiving annual

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additions to their salaries; and 6,180 pupil-teachers in the receipt of salaries from the Government, and consequently subject to annual examinations; that from 800 to 900 sets of books and maps are annually distributed; and that aid is given towards the building of nearly 300 schools a year; it will readily be perceived that great care and constant attention are necessary to prevent confusion, and to carry on the business in a proper manner.

Our review of the existing system has led us to the following conclusions: We have seen that its leading principles have been to proportion public aid to private subscriptions, and to raise the standard of education by improving the general character of the schools throughout the country; that it has enlisted, in the promotion of education, a large amount of religious activity, and that, avoiding all unnecessary interference with opinion, It has practically left the management of the schools in the hands of the different religious denominations. In these respects It has been most successful. But we find that it demands, as a condition of aid, an amount of voluntary subscriptions which many schools placed under disadvantageous circumstances can scarcely be expected to raise; that It enlists in many places too little of local support and interest; that its teaching is deficient in the more elementary branches, and in Its bearing on the younger pupils; and that while the necessity of referring many arrangements In every school to the central office embarrasses the Committee of Council with a mass of detail, the difficulty of investigating minute and distant claims threatens to become an element at once of expense and of dispute. We find further that Lord John Russell, one of its leading supporters, asserted in Parliament that "it was not intended by those who in 1839 commenced the system that its plan should be such as to pervade the whole country;" we see that It has been found necessary to break in upon its original principle of proportioning aid to subscription, and that this leads to a vast Increase of expense, and we therefore conclude that if the system Is to become national prompt means should be taken to remedy defects which threaten to injure Its success In proportion to Its extension, and to involve the revenue In an excessive expenditure. We now, therefore, proceed, in accordance with Your Majesty's Instructions, to suggest the further measures which, in our opinion, "are required '' for the extension of sound and cheap elementary instruction to all classes of the people." We shall propose means by which, in the first place, the present system may be made applicable to

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the poorer no less than the richer districts throughout the whole country; secondly, by which the present expenditure may be controlled and regulated; thirdly, by which the complication of business in the office may be checked; fourthly, by which greater local activity and interest in education may be encouraged; fifthly, by which the general attainment of a greater degree of elementary knowledge may be secured than is acquired at present.


Before we proceed to explain the principles upon which we shall recommend extensive alterations and additions to the present system, it may be desirable to state in detail the leading features of the plan which we propose.


1. All assistance given to the annual maintenance of schools shall be simplified and reduced to grants of two kinds.

2. 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 the County Board of Education hereinafter mentioned.

3. 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, properly drained and ventilated, and supplied with offices; the principal school-room shall contain at least eight square feet of superficial area for each child in average attendance.

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4. There shall be paid upon the average attendance of the children daring the year preceding the Inspector's visit the sums following, for each child, according to the opinion formed by the Inspectors of the discipline, efficiency, and general character of the school.

Containing less than 60 ChildrenContaining more than 60 Children
In Schools in which a Certificated Teacher has been actually employed for 9 calendar months in the preceding year.Not less than 5s 6d nor more than 6s.Not less than 4s 6d nor more than 5s.

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 pupil-teachers qualified according to Rule 6, or assistant teachers, allowing 30 children for each pupil-teacher, or 60 for each assistant teacher.

5. Registers of the attendance of children, and of such other Register. particulars as shall be contained in a form to be authorized by the Committee of Council for Education, shall be kept in every school claiming the grant, and the managers shall certify that the list of scholars on account of whom the grant is claimed is correctly extracted from the register, and it shall be verified by the inspector.

6. Qualified pupil-teachers are those who are apprenticed to the principal teacher of the school for from three to five years, have passed the pupil-teachers' examination herein-after described, and have satisfied the inspector as to their behaviour, their power of teaching, and their power of reading aloud. No child shall be apprenticed as a pupil-teacher under 13 years of age.

7. General examinations of pupil-teachers shall be held half-yearly. The subjects shall be selected and the papers furnished by the Committee of Council.


8. Every school which applies for aid out of the county rate shall be examined by a county examiner within 12 months after the application.

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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.

The examiner shall examine every child presented to him for examination individually in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and shall make proper entries in the schedule.

After the examination the examiner shall make two copies of the schedule, of which he shall forward one to the county treasury, and leave the other with the principal teacher, or with a manager of the school.

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 county examiner in reading, writing, arithmetic, and who, if a girl, also passes an examination in plain work, according to the schedule appended hereto, and marked A.

Scholars under 7 years of age need 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.

The two grants together are never to exceed the fees and subscriptions, or 15s per child on the average attendance.

We have entered into these calculations because we thought it our duty to form as exact an estimate as we could of the ultimate expense of the measures which we recommend; but we cannot pretend to specify all the details of administration which will almost inevitably modify, in some degree, the estimate we have formed.


9. 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.

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10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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 Board of Guardians and the other members. The vacancies in the Borough Boards of Education shall be filled up by the Town Council at a meeting to be held within one calendar month from the day of the vacancies made.

13. An Inspector of schools, to be appointed by the Committee of Council, shall be a member of each County or Borough Board.

14. 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.


15. Grants shall be paid in the following manner:

The Inspector shall report to the Committee of Council the amounts payable to schools in his district out of the central grant.

The Committee of Council shall send to the county and borough treasurers a statement of the schools, and of the amounts payable to them in their county or borough, and shall transmit to them the total amount payable out of the grant to all the schools in their county or borough.

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The managers of every school intending to claim grants from the county rate shall, in the month of January in each year, forward to the clerk of the peace or town clerk a claim, stating the maximum number of scholars on whom grants will be claimed, and the name and address of some banker to whom the amount ultimately found due to them may be paid; and the payment made out of the county rate shall not exceed the maximum payable on the number of scholars mentioned in the claim.

The county or borough treasurer shall pay into the bank so named the total amount to which the school is entitled from both funds.

The school managers shall be able to draw upon these amounts by drafts, signed by two managers or trustees, made payable to the order of the payee, and stating on the face of it the purpose for which the money is paid.

The bankers shall forward the cancelled drafts to the county treasurer, who shall cause a classified summary of them to be published.


Declaration by teacher as to correctness of list.

Declaration by examiner as to personal examination of every child named.

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For Children from 7 to 9
Reading, &c.
Writing, &c.
Arithmetic, &c.

Same for elder Children


Similar Table for girls, with additional column for plain work.


We now proceed to consider the plan, of which we have given an account in the preceding pages. It will best be treated under the two heads of - I. Simplification and limitation of the present grants of the Committee of Council. II. Objects to be attained by an additional grant from the county rates.


Our proposals under this head may be summed up in the recommendation that a grant, on the average attendance of the children, shall be paid by the Committee of Council to the managers of every school in which a certificated teacher is employed, and that a further grant shall be paid to every school which is properly supplied with pupil-teachers, provided that the schools in both cases are certified by the inspectors to be in proper condition.

In this manner we hope to maintain that principle of the Committee of Council, of which we have always recognized the importance, which has aimed at keeping up the standard of

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education, by making the employment of trained masters and pupil-teachers essential to the reception of their grants. We regard this as the proper province of the Committee of Council. They have the control of the training colleges; they regulate the instruction of the pupil-teachers; and their representatives, the inspectors, are peculiarly fitted by their position and experience to appreciate the differences which, independently of positive acquirements, distinguish a good school from a bad one. We propose that the sums to be thus paid for trained masters and pupil-teachers may be increased or diminished within certain limits to be determined by the Committee of Council, according to the inspector's opinion of the condition of the school. This is a necessary provision to invest the inspector's opinion with importance; at present everything depends upon the inspector's report, and as the form in which we propose that the grant shall be given will have a tendency to diminish the importance of this report, we wish to attach a special value to it by the above means.

Our principal object in thus recommending that, subject to these stringent conditions, the grant to all schools in connexion with the Committee of Council shall be paid in one sum to the managers, rather than appropriated (as at present) to particular objects, has been to relieve the office of a great part of its connexion with the internal management of schools, and thus to simplify its business, and to relax what has been often complained of as "the rigidity" of its rules. It is, for example, an injustice attendant upon those inflexible rules which are essential to a central system, that the payment for the support of a pupil-teacher should be the same in Wales or Cornwall, where living is cheap, as it is in London, where living is dear. Local management would obviate many such defects; and important as it is to secure the employment of trained masters and pupil-teachers, these advantages can be obtained in a manner far less embarrassing to the Committee of Council, and not less simple, than at present. It is so necessary to show that our proposal would tend to relieve the office of an embarrassing complication, and not merely of an amount of details falling within its proper province, and capable of being managed by a few additional clerks, that we must again refer to Mr. Lingen's statement, that -

The only way in which you could extend the system would be by simplifying the payments; and simplification really means either not appropriating the money or not following out the appropriation so strictly as you do now. For those reasons I think that the present system (meaning by the present system, the system as it now exists,) is not capable of extension to the whole country.

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And when further questioned with regard to the manner in which these difficulties might be overcome, Mr. Lingen points to a plan similar in principle to this part of our own.

554. (Chairman.) And if it was thought desirable to continue the present system, the continuance of which I apprehend necessarily entails extension, the change which you would advocate, or at any rate would think necessary, would be to bring the whole system rather to a grant which should point at results than to a grant which should provide means? - I was at the moment thinking rather of the financial arrangement. Supposing that you came to a universal capitation grant, it might be given either as it is now, upon a general inspection of the school, which may be said to be paying for means, or it might be attempted to base it upon results in the shape of an examination of all the children. But I think it would be conceivable that you might adopt a system of capitation grants, leaving your present system of verifying the quid pro quo as it is. You might have a plan of this sort; you might have three, four, or five different classes of schools, defined by specified distinctions; and you might say that upon the inspector's report, in the case of a school falling under one or other of those classes, the capitation grant should be so much. I did not mean to say that a capitation grant necessarily implied paying for results as contrasted with paying for means, but I did mean to say that the simplification of the system would be in the direction of substituting capitation grants for the present annual grants.

The opinion of Dr. Temple is equally definite with regard to the difficulty of managing the increasing business of the office. After stating that "the complication in the office is enormous, in consequence of the central system," he proceeds as follows:

2583. (Rev. W. C. Lake.) Would you say that the pupil-teacher system illustrated the good as well as the bad effects of the working of the Privy Council system? - It illustrates one bad effect, namely, the rigidity necessarily attendant upon a central system.

2584. Will you explain your meaning when you use the word "rigidity;" is it only with respect to the payment? - I referred to the payments; but it is one instance of what attends a central system throughout all its working, - the payment of the pupil-teachers, the payment of the masters, and the arrangements of the school, would all of them in many respects be very much better left to a local authority.

2585. In all other respects then you think that the pupil-teacher system is entirely successful? - I think it is very successful.

2586. (Mr. Senior.) Might not that evil which you have mentioned be very much diminished if the Privy Council gave a smaller sum to the pupil-teachers, and required that sum to be augmented by the local authorities?I think it would be a great improvement to throw the burden of the payment of the pupil-teachers upon the local authorities.

2587. Altogether or partially? - If the present system must continue, which I should think a great evil, I think that it would be improved by turning all the grants into a capitation grant, and leaving the local managers to make all their bargains, both with masters and with pupil-teachers.

2588. (Rev. W. C. Lake.) Would you take no security in that case from the local managers that they had pupil-teachers at all? - I would

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only give the capitation grant on condition that the school was supplied with such and such definite things, namely, a certificated master, so many pupil-teachers in proportion to the boys capable of passing the examinations, such and such a state of school, such and such a supply of books, and so on.

2589. You would think it a very bad plan, supposing if the school was in a state of efficiency, the Government were to grant the money for it to do what it liked with it? - Yes, I should think it a very great evil. I am quite sure that the end of that would be that a good deal of the money would be simply thrown away.

Lastly, Dr. Temple fully states his own recommendation, as follows:
The best mode of simplifying the work of the central office, would be to change all the annual grants at present made from thence into a graduated capitation grant. Thus, to a school reported by Her Majesty's inspector to be of a proper size for the number attending it, well ventilated and in thorough repair, fully supplied with needful furniture, books and apparatus, and efficiently taught by a registered master, the capitation grant should be at the lowest rate; if the master were certificated, at a higher rate; and if besides all this there were a full staff of pupil-teachers able to pass the examinations, or a full staff of assistant masters, at the highest rate. The local authorities might then be left to make their own bargains with both masters and pupil-teachers. The inspectors could refer to the central office those examination papers, and those only, about which they felt any doubt; all refusals of the grant would come from the central office, but the central office would only have to deal with the special cases, and wherever the inspector felt quite certain that the grant ought to be made he would report favourably under each head, and the central office would act on his report. I have no doubt that this would simplify the central work extremely.
The mode of payment which we recommend would obviate the inconveniences, and attain the objects here mentioned. Under the present system, as the Committee of Council has no local organization to assist it, the precaution adopted in paying both pupil-teachers and masters, though cumbrous and inconvenient in the extreme, is perhaps indispensable. Upon the plan which we propose the payments would be extremely simple. The Committee of Council would pay all the annual grants due for all the schools in a county or borough to the county or borough treasurer. The treasurer would pay them to the account of the separate managers at the banks which they might select, and the managers would obtain the amounts which they required by drafts payable to the order of the payee, and expressing on their face the purpose for which the money was required. Thus, "Pay to A.B., or order, £15, being the amount of his wages as a pupil-teacher in ____ school, from ____ to ____." The bank would not cash the draft unless it purported to be for a purpose connected with the school, nor without the endorsement of the payee. Thus the

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money could not be misapplied without forgery or conspiracy, and the cancelled drafts would at once form vouchers for the proper expenditure of the money, and enable the county treasurer to account for the expenditure of all the public money received by schools in his county. Tabular or even detailed statements might be published in the local parsers, and would furnish an effectual guarantee against misappropriation, and useful statistical information as to the expenses of schools.

The objects which we hope to secure by the form in which we recommend that henceforth all grants from the Council Office shall be given to schools are - first, to maintain, as at present, the quality of education by encouraging schools to employ superior teachers; secondly, to simplify the business of the office in its correspondence and general connexion with schools in receipt of the grant; thirdly, to diminish the rigour and apparent injustice of some of its rules. These alterations might stand alone, and if we added to them a proposal to limit the grants of the Council Office to the average sum now given, they would probably have the effect of allowing the present system to extend itself slowly, and to embrace, in the course of time, a large number of schools now unconnected with it. They would be an improvement of the system on its present basis; but they would not in our opinion supply the requisite means by which the basis itself would be widened; in other words, by which the public aid would be extended to a large body of the poorer schools, both in town and country, which do not seem likely within any assignable period to be in a position to meet the requirements of the Council. Nor would they have any direct tendency to remedy those defects in the present teaching of schools of which we have spoken. The means for attaining these further objects, it will be the aim of the second part of our plan to suggest.


The second part of our scheme is that a grant shall be paid out of the county rate, in respect of every child who passes an examination in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and who has attended any one school whatever for 140 days in the preceding year. This grant would be independent of any conditions whatever, except that the school was open to inspection and was reported healthy. We propose that the examination

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shall be conducted not by inspectors, but by examiners; and that these shall be appointed by a county board, in the manner above described, whose business it shall be to make arrangements as to their districts, and to hear and decide upon any complaints which may be brought as to undue severity or laxity in the examinations. The direct effects which we anticipate from this recommendation are, first, that such a measure will enable many schools to obtain public aid which at present have no prospect of doing so; secondly, that it will excite local interest, and secure as much local management as is at present desirable; and, thirdly, that the examination will exercise a powerful influence over the efficiency of the schools, and will tend to make a minimum of attainment universal. We shall consider these points in their order.

1. Schools in the smaller and more destitute places would obtain assistance.

We have found that the principal obstacle which has prevented the Committee of Council from assisting schools in places which primâ facie would appear most to stand in need of aid, arises from the fact that any extension of assistance to meet exceptional cases is sure to pass rapidly into an universal rule, involving much waste of public money. This difficulty we believe to be one from which a central office called upon to meet local and distant demands can never escape. We have therefore been led to look for some principle on which assistance can be offered to poorer schools, whether in town or country, without violating the rule which has hitherto directed all Government grants to education, that no public assistance shall be given to schools except in proportion to their own exertions to meet it. With this view we propose to offer a premium upon every scholar, upon proof given of a definite amount of knowledge, no condition being required from the school except its being clean and healthy. Such a plan would, we believe, act directly upon most of the smaller schools in the country, not only by encouraging them to improve their teaching, but by giving them that pecuniary locus standi [right to bring a legal action], which is what they may justly require as the means for raising themselves to the higher level of the Government grant. Thus a school of 50 boys which should obtain £8 or £10 from this examination would receive both an aid and a stimulus which would induce it to make greater exertions. No other mode of assistance appears to us appropriate. We have already shown that such schools often demand, at present, an extent of support which amounts to asking that the duties which are

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neglected by the proprietors of the neighbourhood should be paid for by the rest of the community. But the answer of the Committee of Council to the Hereford memorialists in 1856, and to the Coventry memorial in 1859, proves conclusively that few places are in such a condition that they could not, with the aid we now suggest, gradually increase the resources of the schools so as to meet the requirements of the Committee of Council. And Ave believe that if our proposal was adopted it would induce the great majority of them to do so.

We are thus led to recommend this method of proportioning assistance to exertion as one which would adjust itself to the comparative wants of different schools, while it would be free from the charge of wasting the public money, which may be urged with truth against most of the plans proposed for relieving the more destitute districts. We have already given evidence to show that the claims of many such places to assistance are real: and if this is granted, we may fairly ask by what means, unless the sound principles of the present system are utterly disregarded, any assistance can be given except on such a plan as we now suggest. We have examined some of the principal methods by which it is usually proposed to attain this object. We have seen that one of the most matured plans amounts to a demand that parishes with a population below 600 shall obtain £73 if they can raise £40, while the neighbouring parish of 650 is to raise £50 and to receive in turn £23. By such suggestions (and most of the suggestions agree in demanding similar subsidies), supposing the parishes with a population below 600 to be 7,000 in number, we should add by a single measure at least £300,000 a year to the amount of the present grant. A more reasonable proposal, indeed, has been suggested by Mr. Fraser, who, fixing upon a lower level for aid, recommends that a grant should be made from the Treasury of £10 or £15 a year to all parishes with a population below 400; and he adds "that the effect which such an additional outlay properly distributed would have upon the condition of the school is incalculable." Even this point, unless the conditions were stringent, may well be doubted; but the proposal is only another instance of the difficulty of giving relief without violating the principles of justice. Thus, the number stated by Mr. Fraser makes his plan almost exclusively applicable to rural districts; and there are many parishes in the more populous and destitute part of towns where it is even more difficult to support a school. How could such parishes with a population of 5,000 be refused assistance, while all

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rural parishes with a population of 400 were invited to dip their hands in the public purse? Or, again, on what principles are we to subsidize a poor parish of 400 and exclude a rich one, which may urge "exceptional claims?" Upon the principle which we have recommended, all would profit alike in proportion as their efforts tend to increase the healthy activity of the school; and we are unable to point out any other on which justice would be equally dealt out to all.

2. Local Interest would be directed to education.

It is a defect In the existing system that it has not in effect sufficiently awakened a general local interest. Our own proposals, we believe, would effect this, and would bring the condition of schools into public notice by testing the results or their teaching without any interference with their management. These benefits we expect to accrue from the working of a County Board, and of the similar Board which we propose to establish in certain boroughs. We have shown how excessive are the details of business from which we propose to relieve the Council Office, and some portion of this, together with a general control over yearly examinations, would come into the hands of the County and the Borough Boards. This would give them a considerable place in education; and while they would have no claim to interfere with the management of schools, a moral influence of publicity would be exercised, which would be beneficial to their working. At the same time, nothing would tend more directly to bring the many neglected districts in which assistance to education is given scantily or irregularly under the legitimate influence of the public opinion of the neighbourhood. The Reports of the Inspectors can hardly be said to have any public circulation, but Boards of Education in counties and in boroughs would publish their annual report of the examinations of their schools, and would secure a more judicious attention to the condition of such schools than any other tribunal we can suggest.

The areas, and the bodies from which these Boards are to be appointed, appear to us the only ones likely to secure a class of local administrators to whom so delicate a subject as education could be safely entrusted. In arranging the constitution of the County Boards we have attempted to secure the presence of persons whose standing, experience, and local knowledge would give weight to their proceedings and ensure their Interest in their functions. We think, also, that in most counties persons will be found who, without holding any official position, have much experience of popular education and take great interest in it. We

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propose, therefore, that the other members of the County Board should have the power of associating with themselves any number of such persons not exceeding six. And we propose that in addition an Inspector selected by the Committee of Council shall have a seat upon this, and upon the Borough Board. In the smaller counties it might be difficult or inconvenient to have a Board composed of 12 members. We have, therefore, in each case, left the electors the option of appointing a smaller number of members than the full number.

3. The examination will give an impulse to the poorer schools, and secure proper teaching.

From the plan of an examination we anticipate the double advantage that while it will maintain the only sound principle upon which schools ought to obtain additional aid, it will at once stimulate and improve the character of their teaching. On the first point we have spoken fully; with regard to the latter we need only repeat our belief that the present defects of teaching and inspection aggravate one another, and that, till something like a real examination is introduced into our day schools, good elementary teaching will never be given to half the children who attend them. At present, the temptation of the teachers is to cram the elder classes, and the inspection is too cursory to check the practice, while there are no inducements to make them attend closely to the younger children. We have repeatedly recognized the value and the important functions of inspection, and entirely agree with the description of its objects given by Sir J. K. Shuttleworth; but to assert that it is a real examination, and that an inspector can examine 150 boys individually in less than two hours, is obviously absurd. On the other hand, every one who has been at a public school knows how searching and improving is the character of a careful examination, even down to the very youngest children, of eight or nine years old. We believe that such an examination would be equally efficient in our humbler schools, and would impart a practical and real character to their teaching, which even the poorest child, paying in part for its education, has a right to expect.

We have carefully considered all that may be urged against such a plan, both upon the grounds of its employing the agency of schoolmasters, a class inferior to the present inspectors, and of the probable variations in the standard which so large a body of examiners will create.

With regard to the first point, we consider it to be one of the most valuable parts of inspection that the Inspector, moving in the

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same class of society, understands the objects and the feelings of the managers of schools.* It would be a great mistake to introduce a person of inferior manners and education as an adviser or an authority into the schools. But nothing of this sort is contemplated. The inspector will still form his estimate of the condition of the school, and regulate by his report a portion of its payment. The work of the examiner will be of a limited and technical character, and will give no room for the expression of opinion as to the school, and still less for interference with its arrangements. Meanwhile we regard it as a real though subordinate advantage that this occupation would give employment to persons of the class of schoolmasters whose prospects in life are of a somewhat unvaried character, and whose position (as we have already shown) is subject to disadvantages.

The proposed examination will be in reading, writing, and arithmetic only, but we are well aware that simple as such an examination may appear, there will probably at first be considerable variation in the standard among a large body of examiners. This, however, is an evil incident to every kind of examination. Every one, for example, is aware that even in the Universities it is impossible to maintain an invariable standard, and great complaints on this subject are often made with regard to inspection; but this is one of the objections which may be brought against every plan, and which must not be allowed to outweigh counterbalancing advantages. In the present case, if we were able to enter into details, it would be easy to explain the means by which the difficulty can be met as soon as the system is in action. For example, the only part of the examination which need be conducted viva voce is the reading; the writing and arithmetic would be done upon paper, and would be occasionally looked over by the examiners conjointly, so as to establish a uniform standard, but this is not the place to enter into minute details. We have satisfied ourselves by careful inquiry that an examination of young children in elementary subjects would be attended with fair and just results; and without speaking of these subjects as the only ones of importance in schools, we believe them to be essential to their perfect success, and to be at present greatly neglected.

A charge on the county rate such as we propose will not, we trust, be liable to the objections which may be urged against a parish rate. It will not involve the embarrassments connected with the religious character of schools, which have greatly contri

*Evidence of Dr, Temple, answer 2917.

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buted to the defeat of the various schemes for the establishment of general rating systems. It will not entail the transfer of the management, of schools to the hands of a large and mixed body of ratepayers; since the limited powers which we propose to place in local hands will be placed in the hands of the most highly educated classes. Being raised on a large area, it will not, we hope, supersede parish subscriptions, as a system of parish rating would tend to do; and so far as it redistributes the burthen of maintaining the schools, as between the clergy and the owners of land, the evidence shows that it does so in the interest of justice. It may be urged that like a parish rate, it falls exclusively on rateable property; but, as education undoubtedly diminishes pauperism, it has a direct tendency to lighten the poor rate; and scarcely any impost, local or general, can be named, the incidence of which is perfectly fair.


In concluding this part of our plan we must state that as we have wished, in relieving the Council Office of its complication of business, and in enabling it to extend its operations over the whole country, to preserve the leading features of the present system, - we especially adhere to the principles to which it is indebted for no small part of its success, non-interference both in the religious training which is given by different denominations of Christians, and absence of all central control over the direct management of schools. Omitting all other grounds on which we think this course desirable, our present inquiry has impressed us with the conviction that no other is practicable in the present state of religious feeling in England. Not only does it seem to us certain that the members of all religious bodies would be dissatisfied with any change in this respect, but the fact that religious education has been working with success upon this basis during the last 20 years, has given to this principle a position in the country from which any attempt to dislodge it would destroy much that has been gained, and would give a dangerous shock to our system of education.

While, however, we have deemed it a matter of the highest importance to leave the religious teaching in schools assisted from public funds to the exclusive decision and control of the managers, we feel ourselves compelled to notice a serious evil incident to this arrangement. It sometimes happens that in places too small to allow of the establishment of two schools, the only one to which the children of the poor in those places can resort, is

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placed by the managers under regulations which render imperative the teaching of the Church catechism to all the scholars, and the attendance of all at Church. In such cases it may result that persons of other denominations are precluded, unless at the sacrifice of their conscientious convictions, from availing themselves of educational advantages for their children, furnished in part by public funds to which as taxpayers they contribute. This is manifestly unjust. We observe that by the Act (23 Vict. c. 11.) passed last Session, "to amend the law relating to endowed schools," the trustees or governors of every endowed school are from time to time authorized and bound to make such orders as, whilst they shall not interfere with the religious teaching of other scholars as now fixed by statute or other legal requirement, and shall not authorize any religious teaching other than that previously afforded in the school, shall nevertheless provide for admitting to the benefit of the school, the children of parents not in communion with the church, sect, or denomination, according to the doctrines or formularies of which religious instruction is to be afforded under the endowment of the said school." If we are not prepared to recommend that the principle laid down by the Legislature for the regulation of endowed schools shall be extended to all schools aided by public funds, it is not because we regard it as indefensible on the grounds of justice. But, inasmuch as the evidence before us goes to prove that, on the whole, the practice of exclusion is not now very frequently enforced, and that it is progressively giving place to a more liberal management in this respect, we believe the evil may be safely left to the curative Influence of public opinion, and will not necessitate a compulsory enactment. Should events prove that we are mistaken, it may become the duty of the Committee of Council to consider whether the public fund placed at their disposal in aid of popular education may not be administered in such a manner as will insure to the children of the poor in all places the opportunity of partaking of its benefits without exposing their parents to a violation of their religious convictions.


The principle on which our proposal is based is that all schools shall have a reasonable prospect of earning from public sources one-third of the total expense of educating all children as well as they are educated in the present annual grant schools; the

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best schools, however, should be able to earn a higher sum, with the limitation that this shall in no case exceed half the amount of their expenditure. The direct annual expense of education for each child varies to some extent, as we shall show, according to the numbers in the school, but its general amount is about 30s a year. A reasonable prospect ought therefore to be afforded to the average of schools of earning (as they do at present if they are in receipt of annual grants) 10s per child per annum; but of course in order to enable the average of schools to do this, the maximum grant obtainable by any one school must be higher than 10s per child, and we recommend that it never be allowed to exceed 15s. Not many schools, however, would ever attain this maximum, and an average grant of 10s per child over schools with an average attendance of 1,500,000 children would not be exceeded in many years. If half of this sum were thrown on the local taxation of the country, the payment from the rates would be 5s per child, or £375,000. In addition to this the salaries of the examiners, their travelling expenses, clerks' expenses for the additional duties thrown upon the clerks of the peace and county treasurers, and a certain amount of expense for printing, would have to be provided from the rates. Allowing three examiners for every county in England and Wales, these expenses would stand thus:

Salaries of 156 examiners at £15023,400
Travelling expenses of examiners20,000
Clerks, &c.10,000

Thus the total amount chargeable on the rates from all these payments would not for several years exceed £428,400. Assuming the annual value of the rateable property in England to be about £86,000,000, a rate of 1¼d would raise about £447,000, which is above the amount required. Supposing the bulk of the schools should become qualified to avail themselves of the grant, and taking the increase of the population into account, the local grant might reach an average of 5s per child for 2,000,000 children, which would raise the whole local expenditure to about £560,000 or something more than a rate of 1½d.

The annual grants to be given upon inspection, together with several other items, would still remain chargeable to State funds. The most important of these would be building grants, inspection, grants to training colleges, and office expenses in

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London. The building grants will decrease slowly, and we may allow for them £100,000; for inspection there will probably be an increase of one-half, or £60,000; the office expenses are £17,000; and about £75,000 will be required by the training colleges, so that the amount of public assistance to be given to popular education will not exceed for several years the following estimate:



Grants for annual maintenance375,000
Building grants100,000
Training colleges75,000
Miscellaneous, say3,000


Grants towards annual maintenance375,000
Expenses of management and examination53,400


It may be desirable here to repeat that in calculating the expenses of schools, we have estimated the proper number of pupil-teachers as greater than at present. One pupil-teacher for every 30 children seems to us the smallest number which can work a school with thorough efficiency. The original scheme of the Committee of Council contemplated one for every 25. And when the number was raised from 25 to 40, it was with the hope that the schools would themselves in time supply the deficiency. This of course increases the cost of education, for pupil-teachers cost on an average £15 a year each; but then undoubtedly they constitute the most successful feature of the present system.

To the above estimate must be added the grant to night schools. The amount of this it is impossible exactly to calculate. It is greatly to be desired that night schools should be multiplied; but the assistance they will demand from Government is rather organization than pecuniary support.

It should at the same time be observed that we shall endeavour in a subsequent part (Part V.) of our Report to show that con-

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slderable assistance may be derived from the charities under an improved system of administration. In places where the charities can be made sufficient, the Committee of Council, in whose hands we propose to place all these funds, may ultimately withdraw its aid.


In the 4th Chapter we have described the advantages with which periodical inspection of the schools is accompanied, and we have shown what are the limits of its utility.

The only point which calls for remark is its denominational character.

The Inspectors of Church of England schools are always in fact clergymen. The rule upon the subject is contained in an Order of Council that no Inspector is to be appointed without the concurrence of the Archbishop of the province, who may at any time annul the appointment, by revoking his consent. The British and Foreign School Society, the Wesleyan Committee of Education, and the Catholic Poor School Committee, have each a similar veto upon the appointment of the Inspectors by whom their schools are to be inspected. The practical result of this is that there are three distinct sets of Inspectors, one composed of clergymen for the Church of England, another composed of laymen for Protestant Dissenters and Jews, and a third composed of Roman Catholics for the Roman Catholics. There Is thus a threefold division of the country into districts. The districts of the Church of England Inspectors on account of their number are of a comparatively convenient size, but the others are very large, and involve some additional expense and some loss of time in travelling. There are only three Roman Catholic Inspectors, and the whole country is divided between them.

The Inspectors of the Church of England inquire into the Inspection into the religious as well as the secular instruction given in the schools. The Inspectors of other schools do not.

The adoption of a local instead of a denominational distribution of Inspectors would have advantages in point of convenience and economy. But we cannot recommend such a measure, because we feel convinced that the managers of a great majority of schools would object to being placed under the Inspector or Examiner of a

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different communion from their own. Neither do we propose to disturb the existing regulations on the appointment of Inspectors, as they are considered of importance by the different religious communities, and as they are not used in an illiberal spirit.

With regard to the subjects of instruction to be inquired into by the Inspectors, however, the majority of us think that the rule should be made uniform, and that the inquiries of the Inspectors should be confined in all cases to the secular instruction; leaving the religious instruction to be secured and inquired into by the authorities of the religious communities to which the school belongs. The Church of England schools would then be in the same position as those of the Roman Catholics and of the Protestant Dissenters. Their religious instruction would be inquired into by members of their own Church, an inquiry which the majority think might be appropriately and safely left to Diocesan Inspectors. The minority are of a different opinion. They think that to prohibit the Inspectors appointed by the Committee of Council from examining religious teaching in Church of England schools, would, under present circumstances, be attended with serious evils, and that such a course would tend to injure the religious teaching of the schools. In their judgment there is no ground for expecting that the Diocesan Inspection can be armed with such power and authority as to make it safe to dispense with the religious inspection of the Inspectors of the Committee of Council. We have discussed the question among ourselves at the length which its great importance deserves. As it is one which has long been before the public, we do not think it necessary to state the arguments on either side; and as we are nearly equally divided, we abstain from making any recommendation on the subject.


The book department of the Committee of Council still remains to be considered. The teachers of elementary schools are more dependent than those of the higher schools on the quality of the books. The Committee of Council has not neglected this important department of the subject. It issues a list, bringing elementary books of all kinds before the notice of managers, and by grants of money assists in the purchase of them. In its printed circular on this subject it states, "that while by the aid of religious associations the managers

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of elementary schools have generally been enabled to procure a sufficient supply of Bibles and books of religious instruction, other lesson books have often been either wanting or very scantily furnished; and this evil has been increasingly felt since the standard of instruction has been raised by the operation of the Minutes of Council of August and December 1846. The Committee of Council on Education have therefore acceded to an almost universal sense of the importance of introducing a better supply of such lesson books in addition to the books of religious instruction, and have determined to make grants for this purpose." It proceeds to state, "that the difficulty of school managers does not consist in providing the means of reference to works of a comparatively expensive character, but in putting class books into the hands of each scholar, and furnishing the school with large maps and diagrams for class teaching; it is to such works that my Lords have desired to confine the list." Publishers of the books, maps, and diagrams included in the schedules allow a discount averaging about 40 per cent to those schools which purchase them through the medium of the Committee of Council, and towards the purchase at the reduced prices, grants are made at the rate of 10d per scholar, according to the average number in attendance during the year preceding the application; provided that no less than 20d per scholar be subscribed, on the part of the school, to meet such grants. Evening schools in connexion with day schools and normal schools are admitted to the benefit of these grants; and evening schools not annexed to day schools and schoolmasters' associations may apply for books at the reduced prices, and, under certain conditions, may receive a grant. Books, &c., may be applied for once a year at the reduced prices; but grants in aid are not made oftener than once in three years. The books may be purchased by the teachers and pupils at the reduced prices; and whenever there is a grant an allowance in proportion must be made to the masters and scholars purchasing the books. The name of every teacher and scholar buying a book must be written, as well as the name of the school, on the inside of the cover and on the title page of the book. In compiling the list the Committee of Council take as its basis the works submitted to them by educational publishers and societies. They reserve to themselves a liberty of rejection, which is exercised on two grounds; (1) the unsuitableness of the work for elementary education; (2) its belonging to a class too numerous to be comprised within the limits of the list.

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Among the principal classes of works excluded are works in ancient history, ancient and modern languages, biography, historical and geographical accounts of separate countries, other than England, Scotland, and Ireland; reading lesson books not forming part of a series; collections of vocal music unaccompanied by instruction.

The list undergoes constant revision, and any book which has been on it for three years, and has during that time failed to get into use, is struck off.

The Committee of Council, in the circular accompanying their list of books, guard themselves, as far as words can guard them, against the assumption of anything like a censorship, or the recommendation of any particular books. Their principle, which is clearly enough laid down, is, to place on their list all books not excluded either by the inappropriateness of the subject, or by the inundation of books of the same description; and to retain on the list every book once placed there, unless its failure to sell, after three years' experience, shall have practically condemned it.

But though the intention of the Committee of Council is clear, it is impossible that a Government list should not involve some of the consequences of an authoritative selection, both in the way of sanction and of condemnation. Thus, on the one hand, books known to contain errors, and therefore, in their present state, to be unfit for use in schools, are, in effect, to some extent maintained in circulation by the Government which, as it repudiates all censorship, is unable to condemn and remove them; while, on the other hand, classes of books, such as reading books not forming parts of a series, continuous narratives, and biographies, are unavoidably kept out of sight and discountenanced by rules of exclusion the only object of which is to confine the list within feasible bounds.

There can be little doubt that the list has hitherto tended to enlarge the repertory of school books by introducing to managers works of intrinsic merit, from whatever quarter they might proceed; but the point has now probably been reached at which, this good object having been effected, the list, from the necessary exclusion of large classes of works, will begin to restrict the repertory of books rather than to enlarge it.

The machinery of this department must be very expensive in proportion to the grant administered. The whole grant last year was £5,683. To administer this sum, there is a separate office in Great George Street, Westminster, with a staff of clerks. Messrs.

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Longman's agency for collecting, packing, and transmitting the books amounted to £1,000.

The arrangement we shall propose with regard to the annual grant will supersede the necessity of a special grant on this account. Booksellers will, no doubt, allow the same discount to managers of schools which they now allow to Government; and it will be to their interest to circulate good lists of school books, and to make all desirable arrangements for agency, the expense of which is now incurred by the Government.

We cannot pass from this topic without pointing out the great services which may yet be rendered to popular education by persons possessing the peculiar talent of writing good books for children. Those which have come under our observation, though many of them possess considerable merit, leave much to be desired. This remark is true with regard to reading books especially. It is commonly supposed that reading is the most elementary of all subjects of instruction, yet it is plain that to read with Intelligence, correctness, and taste is a rare accomplishment, even among the most highly educated classes, and that it is impossible a child can attain this faculty unless the book used is thoroughly suited to its understanding, and calculated to awaken its interest.

The Irish reading-books are the most popular of all, and their cheapness and completeness as a series have rendered their introduction into the schools of this country almost an era in popular education. Yet schoolmasters have reason to complain that the books of this series abound with words, needlessly introduced, which are quite incomprehensible to a child; that the poetry is taken from inferior sources; that dry outlines of grammar and geography (subjects which should be taught in a separate form) are unsuitably introduced; that the history is epitome, destitute of picturesqueness, and incapable of striking the imagination and awakening the sentiments of a child. The fifth book is greatly taken up with science in a form too technical for the purpose. If science is to be taught by means of reading books, care must be taken to translate it into familiar language, and to enlist the child's curiosity by illustrations drawn from daily life.

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Education of Pauper Children

We shall consider the education of pauper children under the following heads:

I. The education of pauper children in workhouses.
II. The education of pauper children in district and separate schools.
III. The education of outdoor pauper children.
IV. Conclusions.

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 directed the Poor Law Board to regulate the education of the children in the workhouses. In obedience to this enactment, the Poor Law Board, by their consolidated order, Article 114, ordered that:

"The boys and girls who are inmates of the workhouse shall, for three working hours at least every day, be instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and the principles of the Christian religion; and such other instruction shall be imparted to them as may fit them for service and train them to habits of usefulness, industry, and virtue."

The practical result of the provision in the Act, and of the order made in consequence of it, was to leave the education of pauper children to be conducted in the workhouses under the authority of the Boards of Guardians. The evils of workhouse education arising from the contamination of the children by intercourse with the adult paupers; the absence of moral, intellectual, or industrial training; the habit contracted by the children, of regarding the workhouse as a home, and pauperism as an inheritance, soon forced themselves on public attention In a volume, on the training of pauper children, published by the Poor Law Commissioners in 1841, these evils are pointed out, and they are insisted on by all the witnesses whose experience entitles them to speak on the subject. The following selections

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from the volume just referred to, the reports of the Inspectors of Poor Law Schools, the oral evidence of Mr. Tufnell, and the written answers of witnesses who have answered our circular of questions, illustrate their character.

In their volume on the training of pauper children, the Poor Law Commissioners say:*

Though our Assistant Commissioners describe in their reports many improvements which have been effected in the management of the schools for pauper children, as compared with the corruption to which these children were exposed in the workhouses of parishes and incorporations before the passing of the Poor Law Amendment Act, and the almost invariable neglect even of instruction then prevalent, yet they advert to various considerations of general policy, showing it to be undesirable that the pauper children should be reared in workhouses.

The moral and religious influences of education are not, we fear, without many obstructions when the school is within the workhouse, even when it is conducted by an efficient teacher; but under ordinary circumstances, when the deficiencies of the schoolmaster are combined with the pernicious influence of the associations inseparable from residence in a workhouse inhabited by a class whose indigence is often the sign of a low moral condition, we are convinced that we cannot hope for much beneficial influence from the school on the future characters and habits of the children, and we fear much evil and disaster may ensue. The children in workhouses, even in those in which the classification is maintained with the greatest strictness, are more or less associated with the women. The adult single women in the house have often children whom they are of course permitted to see, and the girls cannot learn any domestic duty without coming occasionally in contact with this class, who are much employed in household work. Such associations, even where much vigilance exists, are, we are convinced, polluting. A workhouse cannot, with the greatest attention to classification, be made a place in which young girls can be removed from the chances of corruption. These evils are faithfully represented in the report of Mr. Tufnell and of our other Assistant Commissioners.

In a report to the Committee of Council made in 1852, eleven years after the publication of this, Mr. Tufnell says:†
It is not often that we can penetrate into what I may call the inner life of a workhouse school, and trace out from genuine sources the working of the system. On this account I am induced to insert the following extracts from a letter addressed to me by an intelligent workhouse teacher. The school to which it refers is in one of the ordinary workhouses of the south of England; and there is nothing unusual in the character of the district, or in the internal arrangements of the house, nor any indication that would lead an inquirer to conclude that the case was anywise exceptional:

"In compliance with your request I send you an account of the union school which I have conducted a little more than six months.

*Rep. 1841, pp. vii.-x.

†Min. 1852-3, pp. 51, 52.

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"I need scarcely remind you of the state in which I found the school. It appears that the boys had for years formed habits of lying, stealing, and destroying property, and that their morals were not merely neglected, but actually corrupted by those who should have fitted them for virtuous and respectable living. I have now under my care some of the boys who carried on a system of burglary for three years undetected, and who were in the habit of using the vilest language imaginable to their teacher when reprimanded by him.

"The instruction given in the school seems to have been of the most meagre kind. It does not appear that any attention whatever had been paid to the smaller boys. A few of the bigger boys could read tolerably well, but could not understand what they read; they could repeat the Church Catechism by rote; they could write in copybooks; live of them professed to do sums in reduction, and two professed to know vulgar fractions. Yet there was not one boy in the whole school who understood numeration, or who could do a sum in simple addition well."

In a report to the Committee of Council the following illustration is given by Dr. Temple of the character of workhouse training, as an instance of the discouragements to which teachers in workhouse schools are subject. He says:
The workhouses are such as to ruin the effect of most of their teaching. "I think," writes one of the teachers, "the boys in this union will never be dispauperised; they have to mix with the men, most of whom are 'gaol birds.' I have found them talking to the boys about, the gaol, and of 'bright fellows finding their way to the gaol'." Another says, "I really can do nothing of any good in this place; the guardians will not give any land to be cultivated, and the dull deadening wool-picking goes on, and I have to sit sucking my fingers. What shall I do, sir? I cannot train the children. It appears to me to be absurd to tell these boys to be industrious, and to cultivate a proper spirit of independence, and then, after they have done schooling, to turn them adrift, with no chance whatever of being able to earn an honest living. I should be glad, sir, if you could place me in some station where there is some real work to be done, I do not care of how rough a character." "Nothing can be done while the boys are in the union," says another. "The common topic of conversation among the children is the arrival of the women of the town to be confined here," says another. Another, writing from a union where the boys work in the field with the men, remarks, "My work of three weeks is ruined in as many minutes."
With regard to the girls, the following is the evidence of Miss L. Twining in her answers to our written questions. Speaking of a visit which she paid to a small workhouse in the midland counties, she observes:*
This small workhouse illustrated another evil I have alluded to; these girls were taught household work necessarily in communication with the adults, and learnt the care and management of babies in company with their unmarried mothers, and it was impossible to avoid it, if the girls ever went beyond the limits of their school. I cannot imagine a more fatal risk than for these girls, just going out into the liberty of the world
*Answers, pp. 419, 420.

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(friendless and without protection) to see constantly before them these women with their babies; the workhouse seems their recognized home; they have (mostly) nothing to do but to sit and nurse their babies by a good fire and gossip with each other. There is no pretence at its being a place of penance or hardship, no one reproves them or endeavours to make them see their sin; why should not these girls go and do likewise? and so of course they do, and a constant supply is kept up.
She adds:
A most fatal error is that of mixing up children admitted for very short periods with the more permanent ones; such a practice should not be tolerated. In the large district schools it is endeavoured to obviate this evil, but even there it is not completely done, the orphans and permanent children being in no case entirely separate from those who stay only a few months.

In workhouse schools it is not attempted, and bitter are the complaints I hear from schoolmasters and mistresses on this point. The children of tramps or of anyone entering the house are placed in the school, and bring in with them evil enough to undo all the good that the teachers have been labouring to instil into their scholars; schoolmistresses who have the confidence of their scholars, learn a good deal of this instruction that is imparted, and shudder to find the depravity of it; or what is perhaps as bad, these children with parents must go out with them whenever they leave the house, and it must be remembered that there is no possible power to prevent these mothers or fathers taking their discharge, - going out perhaps for a day or two, it may be on pretence of seeking for work, or more possibly to attend a neighbouring fair. I have been told the kind of stories these children then bring back with them.

A good schoolmistress was asked why she seemed so depressed and spiritless about her work in a workhouse school; and she said it was because she felt she was training up the girls for a life of vice and depravity; it was impossible under existing circumstances that it should be otherwise; one after another went out to carry on the lessons she had learnt from the adults, and she returned like them, ruined and degraded, to be a life-long pauper.

Mr. Cumin says:*
It seems impossible to exaggerate the spirit of lying, low cunning, laziness, insubordination, and profligacy which characterize the pauper class in workhouses; and this spirit naturally infects the mass of poor children who are born and bred up in so pestilential an atmosphere. The master of the Bedminster union, where old and young work together in the garden, told me that he could observe a marked deterioration in them after they come away from such outdoor work. Moreover, I had a list furnished to me by the master and the mistress of the Plymouth workhouse of boys and girls who had left the union. This return, as far as possible, showed what had become of each individual child. Of 74 girls, I found that no fewer than 37 had returned to the workhouse; and of 56 boys, 10 or 12 had returned, many of them several times Lastly, I find upon looking over the list
*Report, p. 40.

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furnished, that out of the 74 girls, only 13 are known to be doing well, and of the 56 boys, only 18. It may be observed in passing, that this confirms the general evidence, which goes to prove that the condition of the girls is worse than that of the boys.
The bad influences of workhouses are not confined to the formation of vicious habits. They have an even stronger and better marked tendency to produce helplessness, and to prevent the growth of independence of character, than to encourage vice. Mr. Cumin gives the following description of the workhouse schools which came under his observation:*
I know nothing more pathetic than a workhouse school. No human creatures ought to excite a more lively sympathy. Without home, without parents, often without a single friend, they are alone in the world from the moment of their birth. Whilst one of the pauper nurses at Bedminster was sorting the infants in order to distinguish the orphans and the deserted from the rest, I asked the name of one that was rolling about the floor. "Fanny Step," was the reply. Why "Fanny Step," I rejoined. "Because, sir, she was found on a door-step." Such is the history of many a workhouse girl. Doomed by necessity never to know the meaning of that familiar word, home - cut off from the exercise of the ordinary affections - many of them diseased in body and feeble in mind - these poor children exhibit little of the vigour and joyousness of youth. Listless and subservient in manner, they seem to be broken down by misfortune before they have entered upon life. It is difficult to convey a definite idea of a child brought up from its infancy in the workhouse; but the following anecdote may help to realize it: I was examining the Bedminster workhouse boys in reading, and we came to the expression, "They broke up their household," I inquired its meaning. The boy stared, and the chaplain whispered to me, "You need not ask him that, for he never had a home." Another boy who had not been born in the house at once explained the phrase. Struck with this, I determined to put the question in another workhouse. I was in the girls' school-room at Stoke, and I desired the mistress to select a girl who had been born in the workhouse, and another who had just come in. I put the same question to the girl who had never been out of the workhouse, "What do you mean when you say that 'A man broke up his household?'" upon which she answered that the house had been broken into by robbers. She was familiar with the idea of crime. The other girl, who had lately come in, at once answered, "He sold his furniture and left the house."
He thus describes the effect of this state of mind in after life:
One of the most fatal effects produced by the pauper children being brought up in close contact with adult paupers is this, that the child loses all desire to earn its own living, and is content to spend its days in a workhouse. This is especially the case where, as in Plymouth, industrial training forms no part of the education. Boys who have never been accustomed to handle a spade, and girls who have never
*Report, p. 38.

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been accustomed to scrub the floors, naturally rebel when they are put to such work. They sigh for the workhouse, in which they can spend their lives in eating, sleeping, reading, and play. In one year in Plymouth workhouse, I was told, that an average of one child every fortnight left service to return to the workhouse. Some of those tradesmen who had taken union boys as apprentices told me that it took several years before they acquired the desire for independence - the wish to earn their own bread; and that in some cases the union apprentice would threaten to return to the workhouse the moment his master found fault with him or proposed to punish him.
In another part of a report* already quoted, Mr. Tufnell says, of a particular workhouse which he describes as a fair specimen of the system:
Instead of dispauperizing the children, it nursed them for the able-bodied men's yard and the county prison. The following statement was given to me by one of the able-bodied men, aged 21, who has himself been in the school. Replying to my questions, he counted 38 besides himself who had gone from the school to the able-bodied class. Of these 39, two are transported for 10 years, four for 15 years, and one for 20 years; twelve have been imprisoned, and only seven are doing pretty well. Some of these 39 are still almost permanently chargeable. It appears, therefore, that the boys were kept in the school until they were too old for it, and too old to be put into situations, such as are usually obtained by lads from school. No boy ought to be in a union after he has turned 13.
Mr. Hedley observes:†
Though industrial training makes the workhouse boy fitter for trade or labour than he would be without it, he cannot compete with the labourer's child brought up at home. The workhouse boy at the best is not sought after by the farmer. He has learnt to handle a spade, but he has never handled harness, he knows nothing of the farmyard, and he is not inured to weather. No system of industrial training can give boys that handiness which they acquire in real work. Few boys from the workhouse obtain places as farm labourers; nearly all are apprenticed to a trade.
The following letter from a pauper lad, although written some years ago, gives a lively illustration of the justice of these observations:
Wells Union, February 24, 1850


To write to you I have intended this last month; I mean to find out which way I am to turn. I am the boy, William Jones by name, that came before you about two months ago, the 19th of December last, 1849. I am now in my 18th year of my age; and for these 11 years I have been an inmate in the Union, and for these four years past I have been seeking for a situation, but I find it of no use. I have been very well educated the time I have been to school; I can

Min. 1852-3, pp. 51, 52.

Rep. p. 152.

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read, and write a good hand, as well as any of the boys, and why should I he kept in this place? If I stay here till they get me a situation I shall be entirely ruined. I wish to state my case to you because I should not have any noise. If they get me a place of farmers' service, I should be of no use, no more than a, child four years of age. I can neither milk, plough, reap, nor sow, nor anything of that business. I went to Cosely about a fortnight ago, to Mr. Boyd, to get a situation; he ask me whether I could do anything of the plowing? I did not know anything about it; I could not tell him I did, as I had been brought up in the workhouse. Sir, to tell you the whole of my case, I am actually ashamed to see me here. If I stay here another twelvemonth I shall be an object of oppression all the days of my life.

I remain, respectfully.
Your most obedient servant,
(Signed) William Jones.

Children brought up in workhouses come to regard them as their homes, and this was pointed out and a remedy was proposed for it by the Poor Law Inquiry Commissioners. They proposed, instead of one large workhouse for a union under one roof, four smaller workhouses for the aged, the children, the able-bodied males, and the able-bodied females. "The children," say the Commissioners, "who enter a workhouse, quit it, if they ever quit it, corrupted where they were well disposed, and hardened where they were vicious."

Unhappily this advice has been disregarded. A great number of large workhouses have been built in which provision is made for children under the same roof In other unions, where a separate building for the children has been erected, it is near the union house. Mr. Senior visited last year the workhouse at Southampton. The building appropriated to the children is distinct, but is separated from that containing the adults only by the street. The master and mistress admitted that the children frequently turned out ill, that the girls especially lost their places, returned to the workhouse, and were immediately ruined by the adults. The principal causes of corruption, they said, were the degraded state in which they arrived, the meetings, however rare, with the adults, and the visits from relations. The paupers, they said, are a tribe, the same names, from the same families and the same streets, fill the workhouse; it sometimes contains three generations. All the associations and feelings of the children when they come are vicious. "One girl," said the mistress, "and not a bad specimen of a pauper girl, said to me the other day, 'My cousin,

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Sally, left the house some time ago, and now she has come back with a baby. I hope soon to go out, and to come back too with a baby.'" "Could any of the children," I asked, "on their arrival, repeat the Lord's prayer?" "Not one of them," they answered, "had ever heard of it." Their relations are allowed to see them once a week. The visit generally undoes all the moral good that has been done during the previous week.

The difficulty of getting good teachers for workhouse schools is an objection to their efficiency, only less serious than the difficulty of overcoming the bad moral influences of the workhouses. The difficulties relate to the salaries of the teachers and the peculiar character of their duties. Their position is complicated and peculiar.

By the Poor Law Amendment Act, the selection of officers, including schoolmasters and mistresses, is left to the guardians. Unhappily the majority of the elected guardians of our unions in the agricultural districts, and in all except the very largest towns, are taken from a class generally indifferent to education, often hostile to it.

In 1846 the Government interfered. Parliament granted £30,000 a year to be applied in payment of schoolmasters and mistresses. Nearly the same sum has been granted during every subsequent year. It is included in the estimate of the Poor Law Board, and is administered in the following manner:

The Committee of Council make no grants towards workhouse schools beyond the cost of inspecting them, but they classify the teachers, having reference both to the abilities of the teacher and to the efficiency of the school, in grades, distinguished by certificates of efficiency, competency, probation, or permission. Certificates of the three classes first mentioned are further distinguished, as being of the first, second, or third divisions. If the teacher of a workhouse school obtains one of these certificates the guardians receive a, certain sum towards his salary from the grant voted for that purpose by Parliament, and included in the annual estimates of the Poor Law Board. The minimum is £30 for a certificate of efficiency, £25 for one of competency, £20 for one of probation, and £15 for one of permission; but this minimum is subject to increase up to a certain maximum by a capitation grant for the average number of children in attendance.

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The amounts are shown in the following Table:*

The following conditions are attached to the grant:

1. An accurate record of the daily attendance in the school must be kept.

2. The sums set forth in the above Table are to be paid to the teachers in addition to residence and rations, and where these are not provided, the guardians will be required to allow the teacher the sum of £15 a year in lieu thereof, in order to entitle them to receive from the Parliamentary grant the sum specified in the certificate.

3. The Poor Law Board requires every Board of Guardians, as conditions of these grants, to see that convenient and respectably furnished apartments be provided for the teachers in workhouses; that they be supplied with rations, the same in kind and quality as the master of the workhouse; that they be subjected to no menial offices; that they have proper assistance in the management of the children when not in school, so that they may have time for exercise, and for the education of their pupil-teachers.

*Consol. Min. p. 25.

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4. Wherever the workhouse school inspectors recommend that any workhouse school be furnished with books and the necessary school apparatus, if the guardians fail to provide the books and apparatus which are necessary, the Poor Law Board will advise the withholding of the grant, leaving the entire salary of the teachers to be defrayed out of the funds of the union.

The guardians are required to guarantee to the master a minimum salary, and if he fail in obtaining any certificate or obtain one entitling him to a less sum than the guaranteed minimum, the loss falls on the guardians. This, however, scarcely ever occurs. The guardians always fix the guaranteed minimum much below the scale adopted by the Poor Law Board.

The result of the mode of payment is that the income of the teacher depends, to a considerable extent, on the number of the scholars, but the number of the scholars varies inversely as the efficiency of the school. If the school is good and the scholars are well trained, they are sought after by persons who require their services, and this is not compensated, as would be the case in an ordinary school, by an increase in the popularity of the school, and, therefore, in the number of the scholars who enter it. No one, except from necessity, goes to a workhouse school; thus the teacher's duties and his interests are brought into direct opposition, in so far as the capitation fees are concerned. His duty is to fit them to leave the school, his interest is to keep them in it.

The rule is open to the further objection, that as the whole time of the teacher has to be devoted to the children, his labour does not depend on their numbers. Indeed, in some respects it is less where the children are numerous. With a large number classification is easier, and monitors, upon whom much of the routine work may be devolved, are more easily procured.

The irregularity of the stipend is also described as "unsatisfactory, both to the teachers and to the guardians. The latter do not know what ought to be paid, the former what he is to receive. Dissatisfaction ensues on both sides. Sometimes the teacher thinks he has received too little; the guardians always fancy that too much has been paid." All the inspectors denounce the mischief of this rule.*

*See, for example, Mr. Ruddock's Rep., Min., 1857-8, pp. 59-61.

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This point, as well as the inadequacy of the salaries of

the teachers, was urged upon the Poor Law Board by the Committee of Council in 1852. A correspondence took place between the two offices, in which the Committee of Council endeavoured to persuade the Poor Law Board to raise the salaries of the teachers, to augment the capitation fees, and to make a rule by which the emoluments of the teachers should be secured against diminution by the efficiency with which the children were fitted for service.

After a table showing that the average emoluments of the first-class masters in common elementary schools amounted to £133 a year, and those of the first-class masters in workhouse schools amount only to £65 a year, the Committee say:*

It is notorious to all persons in any degree acquainted with the state of opinion among elementary schoolmasters, or among candidates for that office, that workhouse schools are regarded by them with the utmost dislike. The workhouse schoolmaster has in any case to make great sacrifices. He has no assured vacations; his personal liberty is abridged, in comparison with other members of his profession, by the necessary rules of a workhouse; he is subordinate to, and dependent for his comfort upon, persons who are frequently less cultivated than himself: he has a less promising class of children to deal with; he has more to do for them. And if, in addition to all these drawbacks, his emoluments, as is now the case, are liable to fluctuate from causes over which he has no control, and are also disproportionately less than those obtainable by the superior members of his profession elsewhere, it may happen indeed occasionally that the spirit of self-sacrifice will retain 14 good master at the work; but, in the great majority of instances, such masters will be deterred from entering upon it, or will be driven away.

It is unnecessary to repeat that the unfavourable circumstances which, surround a pauper child, including not unfrequently a deteriorated organization, cannot be counteracted through education unless its remedies are skilfully and vigorously applied. The schoolmaster is part only of the education which the poorest child of independent parents receives; he is everything to the workhouse child.

The Poor Law Board's circular of the 6th of May 1850 was framed to meet certain anomalies which were found to arise from the employment of highly salaried (because highly qualified) teachers in small workhouse schools. In the correspondence between this office and the Poor Law Board which preceded the issuing of that circular, it was urgently represented that the true remedy was to be sought in a more equal distribution of the children among fewer schools, according to the intention of the Legislature as declared in the Acts 7 & 8 Vict. cap. 101, and 11 & 12 Vict. cap. 82, and that the present plan would operate in the discouraging manner which is now found to be the result of it.

It is obvious that the efficiency of a workhouse teacher can have no tendency to fill his school, though, by fitting his boys better and

*Minutes, 1852-3, p. 10.

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earlier for situations, it may lower the average number of children under instruction. While, therefore, as a general principle, it may not be improper to maintain that his salary shall bear a relation to the number of children he has to teach, as well as to his own attainments, it appears to be no less right that there should be a discretionary power to save him from the hardship and lottery of sudden fluctuations, and from the injustice of losing by the success of his labours. It may be mentioned that Mr. George Greenwood, the master of the Gainsborough Workhouse school, was positively such a loser in 1851, as compared with 1850.
The answer of the Poor Law Board was as follows:
The Poor Law Board cannot sanction a scale of fixed salaries for workhouse teachers which would confer a higher amount of remuneration on them than is generally paid to the master and matrons, who are their superiors in office, and to whose authority they are necessarily in some degree subject.

The Poor Law Board cannot assent to a higher scale of fixed salaries for workhouse teachers than that contained in their circular of the 6th of May 1850; but the Board do not object to the proposed increase in the fees to be paid to each teacher in respect of the number of scholars in his or her school.

As, however, the Board consider that the circumstances must be completely exceptional under which they could feel justified in assenting to the payment of the fees in respect of scholars who had ceased to be such, the Board would suggest to the Committee of Council the inexpediency of giving any instructions to Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools which might have the effect of systematically inducing them to recommend such a payment.

The conclusion from this appears to us to be that the plan of paying capitation fees is, in the case of workhouse schools, a bad one, and that sufficient salaries ought to be paid to the teachers, regulated as to amount by the goodness of their school and their own qualifications, as tested by inspection, but not depending on the number of the scholars.

There is abundant evidence to show that the Committee of Council were right in their assertion, that "the workhouse schoolmaster has in any case to make great sacrifices." The evidence given already as to the character of the scholars proves sufficiently that their position must be very uninviting; but nothing puts this in so clear a light as the result of the experiment tried by the Committee of Council, of training teachers for pauper children at Kneller Hall, an institution which was established for the express purpose. Its failure was predicted soon after its creation.

"Kneller Hall," said Mr. Symons,* "is training a set of men in

*Minutes, 1852.

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a manner which will make them unhappy in the posts thrown open to them. The office of a workhouse teacher shares the disrepute of the locality in which it is placed. Few competent teachers can be got to accept the post. It has its peculiar désagrémens, owing to the necessity that the master of the workhouse should have control over the whole staff in it, and the likelihood that in exercising it over the schoolmaster he is not qualified to appreciate the feelings of a man of education and comparative refinement."

Kneller Hall struggled on for a few years and was given up. If the expectations of Parliament had been fulfilled, and district schools had been established throughout England and Wales, it would have been a most useful seminary of teachers, but its scholars were too good to accept or to retain the ill-paid, irksome office of a workhouse schoolmaster. The causes of its failure are explained at length by Dr. Temple, the late Principal, in some observations published in Mr. Moseley's Report in 1855.* The substance of his statement is that the salaries were so inadequate that "a man who could instantly command £100 a year, if he had been trained elsewhere, cannot get more than £60 if he has been here;" that the teachers, though superior in education to the masters of the workhouses, were their inferiors in position, and were often treated by them with jealousy and incivility; that the labour was excessive, as the teacher had the whole care of the children from morning to night; that the rooms were very uncomfortable, and the rations sometimes insufficient. The case may be shortly summed up thus: The workhouse teacher for £60 a year has to teach and superintend a number of children of the most degraded character from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for seven days in the week, throughout the whole year, and under the authority of a man less cultivated than himself. The ordinary teacher earns £100 a year by teaching children of a higher class for five hours in the day, on five days in the week, and for 44 weeks in the year, under the occasional supervision of persons to whom he is accustomed to look up as his social superiors. Under these circumstances it is idle to expect that any but a very inferior class of teachers can be procured for schools conducted in workhouses.

This evidence, which it would be easy to increase to almost any extent, satisfies us that children cannot be educated in

*Min., 1855-6, pp. 96-99.

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workhouses in a satisfactory manner, because the influences of workhouses are in themselves pernicious, and because proper teachers cannot be induced to take charge of the schools.

There is some evidence in opposition to this conclusion, to which we may shortly refer.

Mr. Fraser describes the "satisfactory condition of many of the workhouse schools in his district." His evidence, however, bears principally upon the intellectual instruction, which, he says, is in several workhouses "not ambitious in its range, but thoroughly sound of its kind; the writing, almost without exception, good; and the reading of the girls in the Hereford workhouse the best for articulation and freedom from provincialisms that I heard." This he explains as follows:

"I attribute the efficiency of workhouse schools chiefly to the operation of the following causes:

1. The regularity of the attendance of the children. Every child in the house, unless sick, is certain to be in school.

2. The adequacy of the teaching power. The schools that I saw were all small, and without pupil-teachers, but in no case with more than 20 children to the single instructor.

3. The unambitious character of the instruction given, which gives time for what is taught being taught thoroughly.

4. The mixture of industrial with mental work, the advantages of which I fully admit where the combination is possible. These children rarely receive more than three hours' mental culture a day.

5. The constant intercourse between the children and their teacher. They are thus out of the reach of (what are too often) the vulgarizing and demoralizing influences of home."*

This is confirmed by Mr. Hedley, who says:†

But if we compare workhouse with other schools, and allow that the boys in the former are superior to those in the latter in reading, writing, &c., I think the difference can be wholly accounted for by the fact that the workhouse boys are perfectly regular in attendance, are under complete control both in and out of school hours, and owing to their small number are constantly taught by the master himself. If boys in ordinary schools, under trained masters, attended school regularly for three hours a day, I do not doubt that the standard of attainments would approach that in workhouse schools.

One beneficial effect of industrial training in workhouse schools is found in the improved health and spirits of the boys. It is obvious

*Report, pp. 89, 90.

†Report, pp. 151, 152.

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that this recommendation disappears in the case of boys who are at full liberty to work and play.

Mr Browne* says: "I have long felt that good schools are quite practicable in workhouses. There certainly are good workhouse schools, and there is no doubt that many children have left such schools who have turned out well and are now earning an honest living." He adds, however, "experience has proved that certain arrangements are necessary in workhouses, and especially separation of the children from adult paupers and their regular employment in field work if possible." The evidence quoted above appears to us to prove that these arrangements are hardly ever effectively carried out; and even if they were universally, the objection to workhouse schools would not be removed, unless a more strict separation of the children, especially the females, from intercourse with the adult inmates could be secured, of which we entertain little hope.


The evils of workhouse education described in the last section were, as we have already shown, felt and described by the Poor Law Commissioners so far back as 1841. In the volume already referred to they urged upon the Government the importance of establishing district schools as a remedy for them. After referring to the evils of workhouse education in the passage already quoted, they proceed:

Under these circumstances, evidence was presented to the Committee of the House of Commons on the importance of establishing district schools, in which the orphan, illegitimate, and deserted, and children of idiots, felons, and persons physically disabled, might be reared in religion and industry, by masters and mistresses trained for the discharge of parental duties to these outcast and friendless children. The Committee recommended to the House of Commons a combination of unions for the establishment of district schools, and our subsequent experience abundantly proves that such an arrangement is necessary to the success of our efforts to place these children in a career of virtuous and successful industry.

Some apprehensions of an increased expense consequent on the adoption of these proposals are, we conceive, attributable to the erroneous notion that new buildings will be required for these district schools.

*Min. 1857-8, p. 157.

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We are, on the contrary, convinced that in most, if not all cases, arrangements may be made for the establishment of such schools, without incurring the expense of the erection of new buildings. In almost every district of convenient size, a workhouse, abandoned on the formation of some union (or which might be relinquished on the adoption of these arrangements), would be available for the reception of the children. Where such a building does not exist, there are few districts in which an old mansion might not be procured for a small rental. By these and similar expedients we are convinced that convenient arrangements might be made for assembling the children of many unions in a district school with little expense.

The great majority of pauper children maintained in workhouses have no near relatives, or have been deserted by them, or are the offspring of felons and persons physically or mentally incapable of guardianship, or are illegitimate. Their removal to a district school, therefore, is not open to the objection of an interference with any natural sympathies.

The results of these recommendations were the following sections of the 7 & 8 Vict. c. 101 (19 August 1845):

Section 40. "It shall be lawful for the Poor Law Commissioners, as and when they may see fit, by order under their hands and seals, to combine unions or parishes not in union, or such parishes and unions, into school districts for the management of any class or classes of infant poor not above the age of sixteen years being chargeable to any such parish or union, who are orphans or are deserted by their parents, or whose parents or surviving parents or guardians are consenting to the placing of such children in the school of such district; but the Commissioners shall not include in any such district any parish any part of which would be more than fifteen miles from any other part of such district."

Section 42 provides for the election of a board of management of every such district school.

Section 43 gives to the District Board such powers as the Poor Law Commissioners may direct, and enables the Commissioners, with the consent in writing of a majority of any District Board, to purchase, hire, or erect buildings, but at an expense not exceeding one-fifth of the annual expenditure of each union or parish for poor law purposes.

Four years after, on the 31st of August 1848, the 11 & 12 Vict. cap. 82. was passed, which, after reciting that the restrictions contained in the previous Act had rendered it inoperative, repeals the prohibition of including in a district a parish any part of which should be more than 15 miles from any other part of the district, and also the limitation of the expenditure on buildings to one-fifth of the annual poor-law expenditure, in

[page 368]

cases where the major part of the guardians of the unions or parishes proposed to be combined shall previously thereto consent in writing to such combination. So stands the law at present.

Its efficiency may be inferred from the following statement, which has been furnished to us by the Poor Law Board.

The whole number of district schools in England and Wales is six.

The average number of children attending them during the six months ending the 25th March 1859, was 2,682.

The Acts, therefore, as respects the establishment of district schools, have been practically inoperative. Not, however, because those schools have failed. In the few instances in which they have been established their success has been striking. The following letter from Mr. Rudge, the chaplain of the North Surrey District School, to Mr. Tufnell, the Inspector of Metropolitan District Schools, after giving a description of the state of the pauper children as they came from the workhouses and from their parents' homes, similar to those which are contained in the evidence given in the last section, proceeds to describe the condition to which the discipline of the district school raised them:*

The number of children in the establishment is, at the time I am writing, 636. There are 280 in the boys' school, 186 in the girls' school, and 170 in the infant school. I will not occupy your time in detailing their present intellectual attainments, because from your own recent inspection you are sufficiently acquainted with them. Suffice it to say, that their progress, on the whole, is entirely satisfactory to me, and I think I may add, to the board of management also.

Of the moral effects I can speak with the utmost satisfaction. The bailiff and master tradesmen are instructed to make a daily return to the schoolmaster of any disobedience or bad conduct they may notice in the boys under them. But whereas at the commencement of our labours such reports were of constant occurrence, and they had to complain of frequent insolence, and occasionally even of personal violence, they are now very rare indeed. The vicious habits which once occasioned me so much pain and anxiety have almost entirely disappeared; corporal punishment is becoming almost unknown among us; they have learnt, without any other compulsion than that of gentle persuasion, the practice of private prayer; their behaviour in chapel, once so mechanical, is now so reverent, and apparently (I hope also really) devout, as to strike every occasional visitor with surprise and delight; and while their rude behaviour has been entirely subdued by firmness, I believe that we have succeeded in gaining their confidence and even affection. Now, although I must ascribe this happy change altogether to the blessing of God, and chiefly to His blessing upon the sound religious education given in the place, and to the efforts of our earnest-minded teachers, yet I am con-

Minutes, 1850-2, pp. 65-76.

[page 369]

vinced that the same results could hardly have been produced in so short a time, apart from the healthy tone which constant employment always gives to the mind. They no longer look upon labour as an irksome task, but rather as an honourable and pleasurable occupation; and I am convinced that there is not a boy in the whole school who would not shrink from a return to the workhouse as degrading, so long as it were possible to gain a livelihood by honest industry. Their very appearance is wonderfully altered for the better. They have lost the slouching gait and dogged sullen look which formerly too clearly betokened their origin and habits.
Five years afterwards Mr. Rudge reports the further progress of the school:
North Surrey District School, Anerley, February 8, 1856. - I am most glad to have the opportunity of bearing my testimony to the good effects which have resulted from one of the most wise and merciful legislative enactments for which the present reign has been distinguished - I mean the District School Act.

I have held the chaplaincy of these schools ever since they were opened in November 1850; when the children were drafted either from the various workhouses in the district, or from certain establishments for farming pauper children in the neighbourhood of the metropolis. I have, therefore, had unusual opportunities of testing the working of the two systems.

After referring to the letter just quoted as to the previous state of the children, Mr. Rudge proceeds:
In the course of the last five years 2,839 pauper children have passed under my charge. The average number of yearly admissions to the school has been 540.

The average number removed by their parents, or by order of the board of guardians, in each year, has been 252.

The whole number of children who have completed their training in the school, and been sent to permanent situations, is, up to the present date, 260.

Of the whole number admitted into the school since the commencement, only 16 have been sent back to the workhouses by the managers, from the circumstance of their having reached the age at which they become able-bodied paupers, without having obtained situations. And of these I can confidently assert that at least a moiety owed their failure either to some physical or some mental defect.

It has lately formed a part of my duty as chaplain to visit those children who have been sent to places, and to report upon their state to the board of management. I have generally found them giving satisfaction to their employers, and in the enjoyment of fair wages and kind treatment. The number of those who have returned to the school with an expression of the dissatisfaction of their employers is, on the whole, inconsiderable.

Mr. Tufnell gives the following evidence as to district schools in general:
3157. (Mr. G. Smith.) What are the moral results of education in district pauper schools, as compared with the moral results of edu-
*Minutes, 1855-6, pp. 43 to 45.

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cation in upper class schools? - I have peculiar means of finding out what, are the results in district schools, because it is the duty of the chaplains to visit the children after they go into service, which furnishes a test which perhaps you cannot apply to any other schools anywhere to the same extent. From such a source as that, and from another which I have got by always endeavouring to impress upon the masters the importance of teaching the children the art of writing letters, and then that they should write to their teachers, and sometimes to me, when they are in service, to state how they get on; from these sources I know that the number of failures in these schools are not, on the average, more than 2 or 3 per cent, and I believe that if you test the number of failures in the highest class schools, even those frequented by the peerage, you will find a greater proportion of failures in life than from the children of the district schools. I can mention one fact connected with that. When the Poor Law was first founded, some investigation was made into the education of the pauper children of London, and it was found then that the majority of the children turned out failures, that is to say, that more than 50 per cent of them were failures. They became either thieves or prostitutes, or paupers, or something of that sort. By district schools we have reduced that proportion to 2 or 3 per cent instead of 50 or 60.

3158. (Mr. Senior.) Do you know anything of the Marylebone Workhouse School? - That is a parish which has always objected to all interference of the Government, either of the Privy Council or of the Poor Law Board, and, therefore, I personally know very little about it; from other sources I know that it has been extremely badly managed.

3159. I have been told that almost all the girls proceeding from the Marylebone Workhouse School turn out prostitutes? - From good authority I have heard the same thing.

3160. (Rev. W. Rogers.) Is that school in the house? - Yes, it is in the workhouse. I should add that the guardians are, at the present time, building schools out of London, by which they hope to remedy that evil.

3161. (Mr. Senior.) What is the proportion of girls from the district schools who become prostitutes? - Very few indeed. Last year, from the North Surrey School, I think there was one girl who the chaplain thought had fallen, but he was not quite certain; and from the South Metropolitan School there was one, I think. That is one out of about 200.

3162. (Chairman.) Over what period? - In the South Metropolitan District School during the year 1858, 81 boys and 102 girls have been sent out to service; of these only four have been known to lose their places from misconduct. In the next year 237 children were put out to service, and one girl of those was known to have fallen.

Such being the success of district schools, the question naturally arises why they are not universally established, or rather why their establishment is almost universally refused or neglected.

The real obstacles to their establishment appear to be three:

First, the clause of the 11 & 12 Victoria, cap. 82, which requires the consent in writing of the majority of the guardians of each union, to its combination in a school district, any part

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of which shall be more than 15 miles from any other part of such district, and to the expenditure for building purposes of more than a fifth of the annual poor rate.

Secondly, the clause of the 7 & 8 Victoria, cap. 101, which empowers the guardians to send to the district school only orphans, deserted children, and children whose parents, or surviving parent or guardian, consent to their being so sent.

Thirdly, the absence of any department expressly and imperatively charged with the duty of endeavouring to effect the objects of the Acts.

The force of the first of these obstacles is indicated by the Poor Law Commissioners in their Report of 1850.*

Little progress has been made in the formation of school districts under the provisions of the 7 & 8 Vict. c. 101; and although the matter has in some instances been repeatedly brought before the Guardians of the unions proposed to be included in districts, the number of those opposed to their formation has appeared to be such as to preclude the hope, at all events for the present, and especially in the rural unions, that the provisions of the law in regard to such schools can be made generally available.†
The mode in which the clause requiring the consent of the guardians acts is well explained in the following extract from Mr. Bowyer's report of 1851:
The parts of my district which, from the density of the population, the grouping of several unions within a small area, the overcrowded state of some workhouses (to which the removal of the children would be a relief), and the comparative emptiness of others (which at a small expense might be converted into a district school), present the greatest prospect of success in inducing two or three unions and parishes to form themselves into a school district, are the neighbourhoods of Norwich, of Ipswich, and of Wolverhampton, and the group of towns called the Potteries. In the first two I sounded the dispositions of the boards towards the plan, and found them adverse. In the last, a plan of a district school was, in 1850, proposed to three boards by the poor law inspector of the district, but was rejected by the one whose consent was the most essential to its adoption. The causes of failure in these instances have been, the satisfactory state of some workhouse school which it was proposed to include in the combination; some peculiar cause which mitigated in it the evils of workhouse education; conflicting interests, real or imaginary; the sort of esprit de corps which renders the inhabitants of one union particularly disinclined to enter into an agreement with those of neighbouring unions; but, above all, a rooted distrust of any plan involving an immediate outlay.

For these reasons I am of opinion that the 7 & 8 Vict. cap. 101, and the 11 8f 12 Vict. cap. 82, under which the erection of a dis-

*Minutes, 1851-2, pp. 162, 163.

†Page 6.

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trict school is practically dependent upon the written consent of a majority of the guardians, will, except under favourable circumstances of rare occurrence, remain inoperative. And if this should be the case only for a few years, I fear that the difficulty of obtaining the requisite assent will be considerably increased, as the capital which the unions will have expended in the improvement of school-rooms and of teachers' apartments, in new dormitories, and other things connected with the children, will still further rivet the school to the workhouse. As instances of this I will only cite the St. Faith's workhouse union, in which new apartments have been built for the teachers; the almost new workhouse of the Leicester union; and the entirely new ones of the Aylsham and Erpingham unions, and of the parish of Birmingham; in all of which ample provision has been made for the accommodation and education of the children.
And from that of Mr. Ruddock, of 1850:*
The reports of my colleagues and of myself in previous years have amply detailed the existing deficiencies, and we have hoped that the gradual adoption of the system of district schools might ere this have begun to work a cure; a longer experience, however, has convinced that a permissive enactment only is inadequate for the purpose: various reasons combine to render the guardians in agricultural unions averse to the proposal; jealousy of neighbouring unions - the fear of the expense of the first outlay - unwillingness to remove so large an item of union expenditure as the children from the precincts of the union - and in some cases a morbid dread of what is termed over-education - operate singly or conjointly to prevent the general adoption of the proposal.
The following passage, from Mr. Bowyer's Report of 1852, shows how the second of these obstacles, the veto conceded to the parents and guardians, operates:†
From what I know of agricultural guardians and agricultural paupers, especially the women, I am strongly inclined to think that the former will in every instance scrupulously and distinctly warn the parent or guardian of the child of the right of refusal which the law confers, and that this right will, in almost every instance, be exercised. Thus the advantages of the district school will be, practically, confined to orphans and deserted children; and the large class of illegitimate children, with mothers in the house, who, from the very fact of their being neither orphans nor deserted, but exposed to the corruption of their vicious origin, are in greatest need of the influence of a purer moral atmosphere, and of a sound religious, intellectual, and industrial education, will be excluded from these benefits and left to fester in the workhouse; and they will even be in a worse condition than they are at present, as the workhouse schools, which, chiefly on their account, it may often be necessary to keep up, will be even more inefficient than they are at present.
We should have been prepared to recommend that the powers given to the Poor Law Board should be not merely

*Minutes, 1851-2, p. 89.

†Minutes, 1852-3, pp. 90-93.

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permissive, but imperative, under certain defined circumstances; but we are informed that the enactments have failed of success, not from any want of inclination or endeavours on the part of that Board to give them effect, but from the prohibitory powers still remaining with the guardians. The removal of these, therefore, is the amendment which it is necessary to make.

A substitute, however, and as far as it goes, an effectual substitute, for district schools has been found in the establishment of separate schools, that is, of schools at a distance from the workhouse, erected by a union for its own purposes, supported by its own rates, and governed by its own officers. Of these schools, which appear to be as well managed and as successful as the district schools, there were, on the 25th of March 1859, 19, attended by 4,381 scholars, making with the 2,682 children in the district schools, 7,063, leaving 37,545 in the workhouses.

The following report of 'Mr. Tufnell on the Stepney separate school is, happily, only a sample of the success of those institutions:

The following statement will show the number of admissions and discharges during the past five years, as also the number sent to sea and land service:
It appears by the above table, that this school has, during the last five years, educated and sent to situations 229 boys. The best test 1 know of the goodness of the education imparted in the school is, to see how these boys conduct themselves when turned into the world. The inquiry has been made, and the result is, that of the 229, four are returned to the establishment; three are in the adult workhouse, one of whom went there owing to an accident; four have died; two having committed crime are now in reformatory schools; and 216 are in situations, doing well.

Now, considering that these boys mostly came from the lowest grade of the population, that many of them have been reared amidst the vilest haunts of vice in one of the worst districts of London; that only two of them, less than one per cent, should have been convicted of crime, must be deemed a remarkable testimony to the excellence of the school that has instructed them. But I was especially desirous of discovering how it came to pass that these two boys fell into crime,

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and pursuing my inquiries, I found, as is too often the case in this class of life, that their fall was owing to parental influence.

The following is a brief history of the two cases. The first lad was two and a half years in the establishment, and left to go to the sea-service. No sooner was he bound as an apprentice (after he had been a trial voyage) than, by his mother's influence, he was induced to leave his ship clandestinely. His mother then obtained from him his sea-clothing and pledged it. The boy then, idling away his time, soon fell into crime, was convicted for stealing, and sent to Red Hill Reformatory School, where he remained eighteen months. He conducted himself well there, and is now on his way to Australia, likely, I am informed, to become a useful and respectable member of society. His wretched mother was subsequently convicted for causing the death of her step-child, and is now undergoing the merited sentence of transportation for life.

The second case is somewhat similar. This lad also was bound to the sea-service, and having faithfully served twelve months of his apprenticeship, was advised by his relations to run away from his ship. He subsequently soon became dishonest, was convicted, and is now in a reformatory school.

One of the strongest arguments that has been always used in favour of district pauper schools is, that they tend to withdraw children from parental influence, which in this rank of life is too often injurious. These two cases bear strong testimony to the soundness of the argument, and it is corroborated by the fact, that no orphan child sent into the world from this large school has ever been known to misconduct himself. On my last visit to the school, a case very similar to the above was on the point of occurring. A boy had been fitted out for sea, when his mother induced him to desert, pawned his clothes, and sent him adrift. He was fortunately discovered by the relieving officer, kindly fitted out a second time by the guardians, and sent to sea, far away, it is to be hoped, from his unnatural parent.

The schoolmaster of this establishment writes to me in the following terms with reference to this topic:

"During a period of eight years I have made it my study to observe the baneful effects produced upon the child by parental influence. I believe the most effectual means of regenerating the pauper class is to separate the children entirely from adults. An opportunity is then afforded to teach the child to provide for itself in after-life, and of rising in the social scale. This can be clearly seen by those who watch the marked difference between the orphan pauper children and those who have parents, showing them, as they usually do by their own example, the most degraded of society."

This reference to orphanage puts in a striking point of view the benefits conferred on the community by these schools. Orphan children of the pauper class, if they are not sent to such schools, are almost sure to become criminals; if they are sent, they turn out the best conducted and most hopeful of the pupils. So certain am I of this that I am in the habit of urging, that none but orphan children should be appointed as pupil-teachers, knowing that the greatest dependence can be placed on their good behaviour. Three pupil-teachers so selected, who were under the disadvantage of having only completed the fourth year of their apprenticeship, competed for Queen's scholarships last Christmas, and two of them succeeded in gaining first-class scholarships, against a formidable competition. Where these might have been, were it not for the pauper schools, we know from reference to the Parkhurst Reformatory Reports, where sixty per cent of the

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juvenile criminals are orphans. The Poor Law Returns show that the same proportion, sixty per cent, of the pauper children are orphans or deserted; and hence it is clear, that the pauper schools offer us the choice, according as we neglect or encourage them, of training honest and industrious members of society, or of increasing the juvenile criminals sixty per cent.
It will be observed that there are more than three times as many separate schools as there are district schools, and that they contain nearly twice as many children. This difference arises partly from the separate schools being free from the restrictions imposed by the District School Acts, and partly from the absence of jealousy between unions. No concurrence with another union is necessary to the establishment of a separate school, the expenditure is not limited to a fifth of the annual poor rate, the parents have not a right to object to their children being sent thither.

The separate school ought to be at a distance, and no doubt the great success of those which have been established by the metropolitan and the northern unions arises in a great measure from their distance from the workhouse, and from the friends and relations of the children.

This is well shown by Mr. Tufnell, in his evidence.

3239. You say that 60 per cent of the children in district schools are orphans and deserted children? - Yes.

3240. And you find that they almost invariably turn out well? - Yes, they are by far the best of all the children in the establishment.

3241. Do you think that they turn out as well as the children of independent labourers? - Yes; I should say quite as well, and perhaps better.

3242. So that the loss of parental affection does not appear to do them injury in subsequent life? - No.

3243. (Rev. W. Rogers.) It is very difficult to prove that? - It is difficult to prove that; but I know from inquiries which I have made that there is a very small proportion of the orphan children who ever go wrong, and I know that when a child has gone wrong after having got into a place, in most cases I have been able to trace his fall to his parent getting hold of him.

One objection has been made to district and separate schools, which deserves attention, not because it is forcible, but because it is frequent. We extract Mr. Tufnell's answer.
3147. Do you consider that there has hitherto been any practical evil in giving to the children of paupers so great an advantage over the children of the industrious labourer who has kept out of pauperism? - In my view the theory of giving instruction in these schools is to restrict it to such an amount as that the child when he goes into the world shall never be a pauper again. If we do not instruct these children at all, they, as I know from other cases, turn into thieves, or paupers, or prostitutes; but I always want to bring them to the point in this instruction, that when they once get out in the world they shall have a trade and the power of supporting themselves, and never

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come to the parish again. I do not think that you can make that certain with less appliances than v/e have at present, though I have no doubt that in many of these schools we instruct the paupers to a higher extent than is done in ordinary schools; but it is almost impossible that we should not do it, for this reason, that in ordinary schools they get out at the age of 10 or 11, while we cannot get them out before they are 14, because they are most of them utterly friendless, orphans, and deserted, and therefore their instruction goes on to a much later period. If a pauper child were turned out of school at the age of 14, with no more intellectual and industrial knowledge than is usually obtained by a labourer's child when he leaves school, as he usually does at 12, or sooner, the chances are that such a child would become either a pauper or a criminal. It should be remembered, that this class of children are either utterly friendless, or what is worse, have such friends and relations whom it is better they should avoid. Hence the necessity, both as a measure of humanity and economy, of giving them such a moral and industrial education as shall enable them to earn an independent livelihood without that parental aid which an honest labourer's child can count upon.

3148. Admitting the great advantage to the pauper children themselves, does your experience lead you to think that the system has any evil moral effect upon those who are the nearest to the pauper class, and who have of course thereby a temptation offered to them to come within the pauper class so as to obtain for their children the advantage which you give to the paupers? - No; I do not believe that there is any foundation whatever for that apprehension; in fact I may say that I am quite certain there is not any foundation for it, because there are vast numbers of children running about London whom we should be very happy to have in the pauper schools, but who will not come because they dislike the discipline of them, and it is very rarely that the parent of a child in the lowest class has any idea of the prospective benefits of education.

3153. Speaking of the general run of pauper children, you would not think it at all desirable to give them an education which placed them above the children of poor parents? - No; if I could hit the exact point, I should wish just to go the length of preventing their ever becoming paupers again. In going to that point it is impossible not inadvertently to go beyond it; but it is exceedingly important not to fall below it because a child perhaps becomes a burthen to his parish to the extent of £300 or £400 before he dies, if you do not instruct him at all, or he may become a thief, and may burthen the country to ten times that sum before he dies; and I know from other sources that such is the effect on many of the children of this class who do not enter these schools, because I have inquired minutely into the condition of the children in Parkhurst Prison, and I find there that the proportion of orphan children and deserted children is exactly the same as we have in the workhouses.

3154. You think that giving them a good and careful education tends indirectly very largely to diminish pauperism? - Yes; and it is very economical to the country in that way.

3155. (Mr. Senior.) Therefore a district school, whatever it may cost, is an actual saving of expense? - A very great saving of expense, I believe. I believe that the pauperism of London in the last few years has been very much diminished by the effect of these district schools. It is perfectly well established, that pauperism has a tendency to run in families, adult paupers rearing pauper children, and thus the vice of dependence on the rates becomes hereditary. The good education

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given in these district schools absolutely stops this hereditary pauperism, and I have no doubt also diminishes crime, by educating children out of their vicious propensities. It is well known the larger proportion of criminals have been orphans early in life, and yet the orphan class is precisely that which turn out best in district schools. Thus, if you do not educate them they become thieves and paupers; if you do, they become well conducted productive workpeople.

3156. (Rev. W. C. Lake.) And, conversely, the bad state of the ordinary workhouse schools you think, perhaps, causes a great increase of expense and tends to increase pauperism? - Certainly; I have no doubt about it.

The evidence given in this and the preceding section appears to us to establish the proposition that the education of pauper children ought to be conducted in district or separate schools according to the circumstances of different unions. District schools would probably be most suitable for unions too small to supply children enough to fill a separate school. In large towns, on the other hand, separate schools would be usually more convenient, though district schools may often be very successful. We are, however, of opinion that the circumstances of workhouses are seldom such that they can be proper places for the education of chi