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schools as would give education to all those whose condition is above that of the government grant. They would thus provide the machinery by which ability and diligence could be discovered in the lowest ranks of life, and in the interest of the community be promoted to a wider and fuller sphere of usefulness. In such a way compensation would be made for the injustice lately but perhaps inevitably done to the less wealthy classes of society, by the policy which has bestowed all the emoluments of the older schools by public competition, that is, which gives endowments to those whose means enable them to educate their children without any such aid.

I may perhaps state in illustration a fact which lately came before my notice. I was invited, a few weeks since, to give away certain prizes at Nottingham, and to make an address on education. In the course of my remarks I urged the propriety of adopting the plan which is stated above, and I was informed that in that town there was a fund given by Sir Thomas White for the purpose of making loans without interest, but on the bond of two securities, to young tradesmen. It is hardly necessary to say that tradesmen who borrow money without interest are very likely to compromise their securities, and that persons were unwilling to incur the risk. The accumulations of the fund at present exceed 20,0001., and they are likely to increase largely. What could be a better use of this fund than that which should devote it to the education of boys? I know no reason why girls should be excluded from similar arrangements, in such a way as would fit them for the purposes of business.

IV. I have never heard that there is any lack of competent persons offering themselves as masters to endowed schools whenever a real election is made, even though there be a limitation to clergymen. Most of those parties who have established proprietary schools have found it expedient to introduce this condition, for the general public demands guarantees for the moral character of schoolmasters, and, rightly or wrongly, believes that it secures this end in a rough way by entrusting education to clergymen. The chief difficulty in the way of obtaining competent teachers seems to me to be the present constitution of electoral bodies. Nominations by individuals ought to be at once put an end to as inconsistent with the public interest. It is an extravagant concession to what are called the rights of property to allow the representative of some ancient founder, or the possessor of some manor, the privilege of being patron to a grammar school. I can recollect a case in which such a patron, the endowments of the school being considerable, and the place in which it was situated being of some importance, appointed a person who had, to my knowledge, been plucked three or four times, and had never had an hour's experience in teaching.

I cannot conceive that any benefit would ensue from establishing a training college for schoolmasters. A public school and a University are the best training colleges in existence, and the class lists at Oxford and Cambridge are, on the whole, the

best certificates of proficiency. The suggestion that there should be a training college and a certificate seems to be presented because persons want to have all the evidence of a schoolmaster's fitness at the time of his election, and do not like to undertake the responsibility of annulling their own judgment, in case they have made a bad choice.

I have, &c.



S. N. STOKES, Esq., Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools. MY LORD,

The Portico, Prescot, December 6, 1866. The delay on my part in replying to your Lordship’s circular letter, dated 28th May 1866, arose from disinclination to obtrude what may be thought a private and partial view of the subjects under consideration. But as you have been so good as to call upon me again for some answer to your inquiry, I will not longer hesitate to submit a statement which, resting on my own responsibility alone, and representing, may be, no one's opinion but my own, is yet based upon an honest and independent view of the interests of a large section of Her Majesty's subjects.

As a Roman Catholic, and one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Roman Catholic schools, I beg leave to direct attention to the position of Roman Catholics in reference to educational endowments. From participation in the ancient endowments Roman Catholics, as such, are excluded. I, myself, not being then a Catholic, received a free education in St. Paul's School, whence I proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge, with a Campden exhibition of 1001. a year, supplemented at the end of my first term by a Perry exhibition, and subsequently by a scholarship; and hence more acutely, perhaps, than the bulk of my co-religionists, who have never participated in such great benefits, I feel the crushing disadvantage to which my own sons and other young Roman Catholics are subjected by exclusion on account of their religion from the endowments that give generally to boys of the middle class in England an opportunity of gaining the higher education and all that it leads to.

Again, from the reign of Elizabeth downwards trusts specially for Roman Catholic education are believed to have been accumulating. Under the penal laws such trusts were necessarily secret, and Parliament not at that time aiming at coufiscation, exempted them from the inquisition of the Charities Commission of 1818 and following years; but in 1832 O'Connell's Act, which received a retrospective interpretation by the Courts, placed Roman Catholic schools and their endowments upon the same footing as Dissenters' schools, and in 1860 the Roman Catholic Charities Act became law. But that Act has not been brought into general operation, nor has any inquisition been made into the modern educational endowments of Roman Catholics; the

consequence is, that the public remains unacquainted with the extent and objects of such endowments, and they are believed to be, in fact, administered solely for the ecclesiastical education of youths who desire to become priests. Hence the Roman Catholic laity are shut out from the old endowments, and not admitted to the new.

The results may be surmised. “ Any substantial improvement " in the education of our middle class will tell directly and “ powerfully on those immediately below them in the social “ scale." (Address by the Rt. Hon. H. A. Bruce, Oct. 6, 1866.) Equally true is it that deterioration in the schooling of the middle class, such as must inevitably happen wherever families of moderate means get no help towards the education of their sons, will influence for evil the classes below. “I find, from a

parliamentary return, that on 15th April there were in the “ New Bailey Gaol 370 Protestants and 176 Catholics ; in the “ Manchester City Gaol, 254 Protestants and as many as 200 “ Catholics; in the Liverpool Gaol at Walton, 458 Protestants u and the same number of Catholics ; and in the Kirkdale Gaol, “ 221 Protestants and 153 Catholics.” (Speech of Lord E. Howard, M.P., in the Manchester Guardian, Nov. 28th, 1866.) So far, Catholics, with five per cent. of the people, produce 43 per cent. of the crime.

I would urge then on the Schools Inquiry Commission as matters of national importance, that, 1. Means be taken to relieve Roman Catholics of their exclu

sion from the benefits of endowed schools founded for the

general good; and 2. An inquisition into Roman Catholic educational endow

ments be instituted with the view of making them better known and more generally useful under the provisions of the Act 23 & 24 Vict. c. 134., in accordance with the intention of the founders.

I have, &c. The Right Hon. the Chairman SCOTT NASMYTH STOKES.

School Inquiry Commission.

The Right Rey. ConnOP THIRLWALL, D.D., Lord Bishop of

St. David's.

Abergwili Palace, Carmarthen, MY LORD,

June 8, 1866. Having considered the questions proposed in your letter of the 28th May, with the light which is thrown on them by cases which have come within my own knowledge, I will very briefly state the conclusions to which I have been led. I must however premise that, unless an entirely new system of middleclass education is to be created, it would, in my opinion, be very unsafe to lay down any general rule or maxim, to be applied to all endowed schools, irrespectively of local circumstances.

1. The only ground on which it would seem to me either expedient or right to take away the privilege of free admission to an endowed school from those who have bitherto enjoyed it, would be, either that it is generally injurious to the school, as by diminishing the attendance of paying scholars, or that it impairs the quality of the education given to the free scholars. But it cannot be safely assumed that these are necessary or invariable effects of gratuitous education. And, at all events, it would not be right or wise to exclude any who would be entitled to the privilege, and whose parents cannot afford to pay the school fees. Perhaps it would in many cases be best to take an intermediate course between the simple continuance and the total abolition of gratuitous education, by confining it to the lower school or elementary instruction, and only extending it to the upper school, or full course of instruction, as a reward of merit, or an encouragement to promising abilities.

Still less should I think it desirable to sweep away all fixed incomes of the masters. No doubt, where the amount of the fixed income is such as to make the master independent of the success of the school, he will be tempted, as far as he can, to make his office a sinecure. But such will not be the effect, either of an endowment, or a guaranteed minimum, which is not adequate, or barely adequate to his wants. On the other hand, judging from what I have happened to see and know I should think that there must be a great number of endowed schools to which such a measure would be injurious in the highest degree, if not absolutely fatal, exposing them to the danger of either remaining closed for long periods, or passing through a rapid succession of less and less competent hands. I believe that a considerable amount of fixed income, beyond what is absolutely necessary for the support of the master, would always be found consistent with the highest prosperity of the school, and would tend to promote it, if only proper provision was made to secure the appointment of a fit person and a satisfactory performance of his duties.

2. I do not feel myself qualified to offer an opinion on the suggestion which has been made as to the management of endowments, as I am not sure that I clearly see its full scope. But I think it would be highly desirable that the trustees of every endowed school should be required to give a periodical and public account of their management.

What seems to me a more difficult and at least equally important question, is that of the best mode of regulating the relations in which the trustees are to stand to the master, so as on the one hand to protect him from annoying and mischievous interference, and on the other hand to keep him subject to a responsibility sufficient to secure the school from suffering through his negligence or misconduct. For this purpose it would seem necessary that every school should be placed under the authority of a visitor or board of visitors, which perhaps might answer the purpose without that intervention of the Government which seems to be suggested, but would be open to many objections.


3. I have not sufficient knowledge of the facts to offer any opinion on this head.

4. I should not venture to recommend the foundation of a training college, unless it was to form part of an entirely new system similar to that of the continental schools. In the present state of things I do not see the need or use of the certificate. Where the mastership attracts competition, testimonials are or should be always required, and would practically serve the same purpose. Where the mastership is rather in the nature of a hazardous venture, the examination for the certificate would probably deter many candidates, without securing the choice of one who would be likely to carry on the school with success. It would be quite otherwise on the continental system, in which both training colleges and certificates are, I believe, essential elements.


&c. Lord Taunton.

C. Sr. DAVID's.


Majesty's Civil Service Commissioners. Answers to Questions of the Schools Inquiry Commission.

I. Endowments for schools may probably be best expended in the following ways :

(1.) In providing and maintaining school-buildings, planned and erected in accordance with the suggestions of the highest special authorities in the United Kingdom and in foreign countries on the subject.

(2.) In contributing a fixed sum towards the stipends of schoolmasters, while at the same time a part of their stipends is made to depend on the number of their scholars. It is undesirable that all schoolmasters should be wholly dependent on fees, as the element of serious risk which this would introduce into pecuniary calculations would deter many men of cultivation and refinement from entering the profession, or would cause them to abandon it at a favourable opportunity.

(3.) In giving exhibitions or gratuitous education to those who after an open competitive examination are found to be of the greatest merit. Experience seems to show that, except under a system of the strictest safeguards, it is unwise to give purely gratuitous instruction from charitable sources, as distinguished from local rates; and that such instruction is repugnant to the feelings of many, or is undervalued, unless some element of honour is connected with it which takes away its eleemosynary character.

(4.) In providing,—what is generally a part of the arrangements of Prussian gymnasia—a museum of natural history and a cabinet with the philosophical instruments and other materials requisite for instruction in the experimental sciences. The Prussian system should be followed, in which two hours of

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