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Contributions may be paid to MESSRS. DRUMMOND, Bankers, Charing Cross; to MR. HENRY STRETTON, the Society's Receiver, 67 Lincoln's Inn Fields, to whom all Remittances should be made; or they will be received at the National Society's Office, Sanctuary, Westminster, or by any of the Local Treasurers to the Society, or by the Society's Travelling Agents.
NUMBER OF QUEEN'S SCHOLARS ADMITTED.
Having received the particulars from three training institutions only, we have not considered it desirable to print the table as proposed by Mr. Cromwell in our last Number.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Board,
The Bath and Wells Board, as appears by their Report, has been engaged in bringing into action the plans adopted last year for making the funds intrusted to it available for the peculiar wants of the large majority of the schools in this diocese; and as a further measure, the Board has agreed to make loans to deserving young persons desirous of being trained as school-teachers.
The operations of the Board in respect of grants may be gathered from the following summary of expenditure for the past year:
"Grants paid for pupils in training, 381.; school-books, &c., 21.; District Inspectors, for monitors and certificated teachers, 151. 15s. 6d.; expenses, Diocesan Inspector (half a year), 257.; stationery for
schools, 581. 5s. 11d.; and 741. 9s. for contingencies, leaving a balance in favour of the Board of 4841. 128. 7d.; but the outstanding grants exceed 1007. The amount of subscriptions and donations received is 2331. 13s. 10d., and there have been received for stationery sold to schools, exclusive of expenses of carriage, &c., the sum of 551. 78. 4d., which, added to last year's balance, and to 71. received from a teacher who had been trained, makes a total of 6984. 3s."
The report proceeds as follows:
"The examination of the candidates for Certificates of Merit given by the Bishop was held at Taunton the 1st of June. It was conducted, in the absence of the Diocesan Inspector, by the Rev. E. P. Vaughan, assisted by the Rev. G. R. Lawson and the Rev. J. Stephenson, District Inspectors; and the industry of several deserving teachers was rewarded with success, six being selected for certificates of the second class. The benefit of the annual examination, and the advantage of episcopal certificates of merit, are apparently more generally felt both by the teachers and the managers of schools. Many clergymen, who find it unpleasant personally to examine candidates for their schools, can thus easily ascertain their fitness by making it a condition, on their taking their schools, that they attend the examination and gain a certificate.
The standard which has been set for certificates is as low as the examiners would have been justified in fixing, so that no one unable to obtain a certificate is really fit to be intrusted with a parochial school.
The examination next year will be held (D. V.) at Glastonbury in the month of June.
The examination of candidates for the Training Grants given by the Diocesan Bord took place also at Taunton on June 1st. The number of applicants for these grants was small, but they passed generally a very satisfactory examination, and were recommended to the Board. The Rev. F. Smith most hospitably entertained at his own house at dinner both the candidates for certificates of merit as well as those for the training grants. The thanks of the Board are mcst jus ly due to that gentleman for this act of kindness and liberality.
In the absence abroad of the Diocesan Inspector, no general report of the school-inspection of the diocese has been submitted to the Bishop this year, The labours of the District Inspectors have, however, been continued as usual, with the exception of three districts in the Archdeaconry of Taunton, in which, from various causes, no new inspectors have for the present been appointed.
The following plain and practical remarks, written by one of the most experienced of the Bishop's Inspectors, would, it is believed, command the assent of all his colleagues. They point to a most serious and increasing evil, which threatens to baffle the most zealous efforts made by the friends of education to improve both schools and schoolmasters:
'While I regret to say that the high price of food, and still more the greater demands for the labour of children, has tended to draw the children away from school at a much earlier age than usual, I fear I can report no great improvement in education this year. I rather think we have a little gone back. The poor man, supporting his family with the utmost difficulty on 10s. a week, cannot be expected to keep his child at school if that child can earn 3s. a week. If we blame him for taking away his child, he feels we do not understand his situation, and have no sympathy with him, and we lose all our influence with him. I doubt whether those who value education the most would keep their children to school after ten, if in the circumstances in which our poor agricultural labourers are placed. I believe we must look more and more to the improved evening winter-school for the education of our agricultural population.'
It may be considered, perhaps, a sign of the times, that one layman, whose name is well known in connection with the subject of education, has this year boldly announced his opinion, in a pamphlet on the educational question, to the effect that the time is come for extending the principle of the Factory Act, in the matter of juvenile education, to the whole of our population, agricultural as well as manufacturing. This is a view about which men will widely differ; but no one practically acquainted with the present condition of our parochial schools can doubt that the evident diminution of the average age of the children attending them is a most perplexing and gloomy sign of the times. Gratifying as it is, in one sense, to see the efforts made to establish juvenile reformatory institutions, the Christian patriot must deeply lament that that preventice of juvenile crime, which would be best administered by the attendance of children, up to a suitable age, upon the means of obtaining Christian training, should be losing its efficacy from such a cause."
Reference is made to the steps taken by the National Society in the matter of diocesan inspection, and the joint work of that Society and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in preparing a new series of reading books. The report then further states that,
"In connection with the National Society, it may here perhaps be permitted to allude to the loss which not only that Society, but with it all the educational interests of the Church of England, have sustained in the removal by death from the councils of that Society of one of the most ardent and enthusiastic, and, at the same time, most practical friends of Church education, who have laboured in this generation in that sacred cause. Many of those here present must be familiar with the honoured name of the late Gilbert F. Mathison, Esq.; and some there undoubtedly are in this meeting who can bear testimony to what may not have been known to all, the large munificence of his personal gifts, as well as the unsparing devotion of his time and exertions in furtherance of that great work in which and for which he seemed to live.
The most important minute of the Committee of Privy Council which has appeared affecting Church schools during the last year is one modifying the Annual Aid Minute, referred to in the Report of 1853. The advantages of the annual aid grant have been extended, under certain restrictions, to mixed schools under a mistress-a point of great importance as affecting this diocese. The general stringency of the conditions, however, accompanying this grant, which it was hoped would have been a great and large boon to many of our poor agricultural schools, it is to be feared, will long render it practically unavailable to that class of schools; and it is much to be wished that some further relaxation were granted, so as to give more of the benefit of the annual grant to our rural districts, contributing their quota of taxation to the annual vote of Parliament, than they have hitherto received.
The Committee of the Privy Council have also so far met the urgent remor trances of our principal Training Institutions, as to n.odify their rule of last year with reference to the examination of these training schools, which is to admit, as desired, of a separate examination at the end of the first year's course as well as of the second. This change has a very important bearing upon the prospects of the maintenance of these institutions.
The following details, extracted from the elaborate and important report on the Education Census, so far as it bears on the county of Somerset and diocese of Bath and Wells, will be heard with interest. It is a matter of thankfulness that they speak as favourably as they do of the condition of Church education in this diocese, and of the amount of exertions made by the Church in recent years in that sacred
The proportion of children of all classes who might be at day-schools in England and Wales is laid down at 16 8, or one-sixth of the population. The actual proportion of day-scholars in Somersetshire is stated to be 12.1.
With reference to the provision made in Church day-schools, the report estimates that six or seven scholars in 100 of the whole population would express a satisfactory amount of Church instruction. The total number of scholars attending Church day-schools in S merset is returned at 25,755; the proportion per cent on the population is 5 82. This leaves Somersetshire the rank of eighth on the Hist of English counties for the attendance of its children in Church day-schools. The total number of exist ing day-schools in the county, and of private schools, is 490. Of these 382 are supported by religious bodies; and out of this number 331, with about 26,000 scholars, are maintained by the Church of England, leaving 51 schools with about 4000 scholars to all the other religious communities.
Besides this there are 56 endowed schools with 2887 scholars, and 18 supported by taxation with 1674 scholars, both of which classes may be deemed as almost entirely connected with the Church of England."
Kingweston Rectory, February 5, 1855.
MY DEAR SIR,-At a meeting of the Bath and Wells Diocesan Board of Education held on the 19th ultimo, and presided over by the Lord Bishop of the diocese, I submitted the Report of the Sub-Committee of Inspection of the National Society to their consideration, in compliance with the resolution of the Committee of the National Society of May 4, 1854.
I was desired to convey to you the opinions of that Board upon the principal points presented to their notice in the report of your sub-committee, and I believe the following remarks will represent the almost unanimous feeling of that meeting upon those subjects.
The Wells Diocesan Board, though sensible that practical imperfections have necessarily attended the working of that system of diocesan inspection which has been established in this diocese for many years, imperfections which they conceive must always be expected to attach to a system of purely honorary inspection, are yet disposed to think that so long as diocesan inspection is unendowed, the arrangements adopted in this dio cese are, with one or two exceptions to which I shall call attention, those best adapted for the organisation of this important part of the Church's work.
That system in this diocese may be briefly described as consisting in the appointment of a diocesan inspector, with sixteen deanery or district inspectors under him, all of them deriving their commissions directly from the Bishop, and not in any way from the Diocesan Board.
The district inspectors have been, in very few cases, rural deans; and the custom has: been for the district inspectors to visit the schools in their respective districts and send in reports to the diocesan inspector annually, except in that particular year in which the diocesan inspector himself visits their archdeaconry-a visit which, as a general rule, has been triennial.
Guided by their experience of this system, the Wells Board are disposed to give as their decided opinion, that it is not desirable that the offices of rural dean and of school inspector should be necessarily united; on the contrary, they are persuaded that as a general rule the office of school inspector should be a distinct office, to be filled by that clergyman in each lccality whom the Bishop may find to be most interested in the subject of education.
Nor is the Wells Board disposed to think favourably of the plan of appointing the inspector for a given term of years. His interest in the work, and his influence, they consider to be best promoted by his being placed in an office of a permanent character, although undoubtedly he should be considered as removable according to the judgment of the diocesan..
The Wells Board think that one improvement might be made in the system at present adopted in this diocese, and that it is not desirable that the visits of the district inspector should be suspended every third year in consequence of the visit of the diocesan inspector, although in particular cases the district inspector may consider it judicious not to press, his own visit that year..
Indeed, with reference to the inspection of schools of the whole diocese by the chief:
inspector, which has been carried on in the most indefatigable manner in their own diocese by the present diocesan inspector, the Wells Board are of opinion that such a plan can never be permanently persevered in, and therefore ought not to be contemplated, in any general scheme of unendowed diocesan inspection. They would be disposed to recommend in such a scheme that there should indeed be a chief inspector, but that his duties should be of a stationary rather than of an active nature, that he should rather be a superintendent of the inspectors than an inspector of all the schools of the dio
The correspondence of the district inspectors with the Bishop would ordinarily pass through his hands; and it would be his special duty to tabulate, digest, and record the educational statistics of the diocese, while of course his services would be available to the Bishop to visit any particular schools for special reasons, or in cases of peculiar difficulty.
The Wells Board have no hesitation in recording this opinion of the position which ought to be assigned to an honorary diocesan inspector, and they also think that much of what has been said of the right position of that officer would apply to the case of one who was even suitably endowed.
With reference to the question of endowment, the Wells Board having formerly memorialised her Majesty's Commissioners of Inquiry into the condition of our Cathedrals, as well as the National Society, on the subject of the endowment of diocesan inspection out of the revenues of the cathedrals, think it only necessary on the present occasion to repeat that the Board adhere to the opinions expressed in those memorials.
The Wells Board are not inclined to think that the adoption of fixed subjects for examination to be announced beforehand is desirable or practicable for schools in dioceses circumstanced as is the diocese of Bath and Wells, consisting of some considerable towns, and a very large number of small rural parishes.
The winter season is undoubtedly that best suited for the inspection of schools in this part of the country, so far as the schools are concerned, were it not that unfortunately it is a time of year least adapted for the travelling of the inspectors.
A uniform system of reports is obviously desirable; and the National Society's forms will be thankfully employed, so far as they are applicable in this diocese. The Lord Bishop has announced his wish that full returns, founded upon the basis of Form D of the National Society, should be made of all the schools within the diocese by the district inspectors, previously to his Lordship's first visitation in the course of the present year.
The Wells Board desire to invite the attention of the National Society to the working of the Chew Decanal Schoolmasters' Union; an institution which has flourished for many years in a particular part of this diocese, and which has been attended with great benefits both to the schools and school-teachers. I enclose a copy of the rules of the
The Wells Board have specially desired me, in reference to the concluding remarks of the report of the sub-committee, to express to you their strong impression that the great merit of a system of diocesan inspection is that it is a friendly system, one which rather tends to work in a spirit of encouragement and advice than of severe criticism. So far from thinking that this is a mark or a cause of feebleness, they are of opinion that in this lies the real secret of the usefulness, and the general acceptableness to the clergy, of the diocesan system. While it is undoubtedly right that a strict eye should be kept on the expenditure for school purposes of all grants of public money, it is, to say the least, not the less needful that that very large class of our parochial schools which are unable to avail themselves of the benefits of such grants, and whose existence at all, under the many discouragements and difficulties which in our rural parishes press upon the clergy, is a subject often for wonder as well as for thankfulness, should be fostered, encouraged, and improved under the influence of a system of diocesan inspection which seeks to reflect in its working the paternal character and feelings of that office from which alone it derives its commission.
While, therefore, the Wells Board of Education heartily join with the sub-committee of the National Society in thankfully appreciating the most useful labours of her Majesty's inspectors, they consider there is ample room for the distinct exertions of diocesan inspectors throughout the country, and they rejoice that the National Society has appointed a special sub-committee to promote and assist the general operation of such a
system. They anticipate, with the Divine blessing, the greatest advantages from the formation of that body.-I am, &c.
GEORGE H. FAGAN,
To the Rev. J. G. Lonsdale, Secretary, &c.
The following are the rules of the Schoolmasters' Association referred to in the foregoing letter:
CHEW DECANAL BOARD OF EDUCATION.
Rules of the Schoolmasters' Union, as revised and agreed upon at a General Meeting, at the National School room, Brislington, on the 3d July, 1851.
The Ven. W. T. P. Brymer, Archdeacon of Bath, in the chair.
1. That the object of this Union be the promotion of education, and the encouragement and improvement of parochial and other schools, in the Deanery; this word being understood to comprehend not only the Deanery of Chew, but all parishes formerly within the Deanery of Bedminster, with the exception of those which are now in another diocese.
2. That this Union consist of members of the Church of England.
3. That all masters and mistresses of schools within the Deanery, conducted on the principles of the Church of England, be eligible as ordinary members, on the recommendation of the Incumbents of their respective parishes, on payment of an annual subscription of 2s. 6d.
4. That all parochial Ministers, or subscribers to the Diocesan Board of Education, be honorary members on payment of an annual subscription of 5s.; that other persons, duly elected, be honorary members on payment of an annual subscription of 10s., or a donation of 51. Subscriptions to be due for the ensuing year on the day of the sum er meeting.
5. That the summer meetings be held on the first Thursday in July, at 11 o'clock, in the parishes of Chew Magna, Clevedon, Brislington, and Portishead, successively; and that the winter meetings be held on the first Thursday in January (unless that day shall happen to fall on a festival of the Church, in which case the meeting shall take place on the following Thursday), in the parishes of Keynsham, Wrington, Nailsea, and Yatton, successively; the consent of the respective Incumbents being previously obtained.
6. That at all meetings the highest dignitary of the Church be ex-officio chairman; and no dignitary being present, that the chair be taken by the Minister of the parish.
7. That the diocesan and decanal inspectors be requested to attend and examine the school or schools where the summer and winter meetings shall take place.
8. That after the examination, which shall commence at eleven, a lecture shall be delivered on some subject connected with education.
9. That at the summer meetings, at 1 o'clock, the report, with a statement of accounts, be read, and subscriptions received.
10. That at the summer meeting a committee of not less than four honorary members and three ordinary members be appointed to conduct the business of the Union; that a treasurer and secretary be appointed from the honorary members, and two of the ordinary members be appointed as assistant secretaries. Two of the honorary members and one ordinary member to form a quorum.
11. That at the summer and winter meetings, the members dine together, at 2 o'clock, at an expense of not more than 2s. 6d. each for males, and 1s. 6d. for females; and that, after dinner, papers on educational subjects be read to the meeting.
12. That the diocesan or decanal inspectors, having examined the parochial schools in the Deanery, shall be requested to specify to the meeting those which they consider are the best conducted and the most efficient.
13. That a list of the prizes placed each year at the disposal of this Union by the kindness of the Lord Bishop, the Archdeacon, and others, be sent to every ordinary member before Christmas in each year.
14. That all masters or mistresses of parochial schools, members of this Union, and whose schools are in connection with the National Society or with the Diocesan Board of Education, be eligible for the prizes; provided, in the case of school prizes, such members have had charge of their several schools the year previous to competition, and, in all other cases, have been members of the Union for one year. Provided also, that no master or mistress who has gained a first prize be allowed to compete for any prize for that subject within two years.
15. That no member whose subscription shall be in arrear be entitled to vote at meetings, or to compete for any of the prizes: and that any member whose subscription shall be two years in arrear shall cease to belong to this Union.
16. That a library for circulation among the ordinary members be formed; and that the committees De empowered to order and receive such books as may best promote the objects of this Union.
17. That a special general meeting may be convened by the committee, or upon a requisition adressed to the secretary, signed by seven members; and that no alteration be made in these rules except by a special general meeting called for that purpose, notice of which shall be given a fortnight previously.
18. That the business of this Union commence and end with prayers selected from the Liturgy. W. T. P. BRYMER, Archdeacon of Bath, Chairman.
Brislington, July 3, 1851.