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school rates are over £200,000 more. In fact, they remain, so far as the finanAlready, in six years, £2,200,000 has cial arrangements are concerned, as been provided out of the public funds, they were; and the only change in their £450,000 in the shape of building grants position is that introduced by the combythe Exchequerand the remainder at the petition of the board schools, which, in expense of the localities, to erect school addition to fees and earnings from the accommodation. And what results have grant, receive from the local rates a subwe achieved ? There were in Scotland, sidy, including interest on buildings, of in 1879, 650,000 children between 5 and 22s. per pupil in average attendance. 14, exclusive of about 108,000 who re- Compulsion has operated all round; and ceived instruction in schools of a higher it is a noteworthy fact that, in the one grade than those aided by the Education class of schools which has refused to Department. Of these only 482,000, or have anything to do with the school74 per cent, were on the registers of board system the Roman Catholic State-aided schools; and of these only schools the increase has been quite as 385,000 were in average daily attend remarkable as in the case of the board ance--385,000 out of 650,000-or under schools, and those Presbyterian denomi60 per cent. There was accommodation national schools which are being rapidly in the Board schools alone for 50,000 merged into them. In illustration of more than the total average attendance this fact, I may mention that in Glasgow, at all the elementary schools. This was which possesses by far the largest Roman the result of all our expenditure and our Catholic population of any town in Scotelaborate system of compulsion. Now, land, the number of pupils in attendance there is no question that, much as this at elementary Roman Catholic schools leaves to desire, it is a great advance had increased from 5,000 in 1873 to upon the state of things which prevailed 9,000 in 1880, or 80 per cent, which is a before the passing of the Act of 1872. little over the increase that the aggreBut what we have to consider in connec- gate attendance at the Presbyterian tion with the question of retaining or schools, sessional and board, shows over abolishing school fees in public schools the sessional schools which, in 1873, is this. What effect have these fees in educated the same class of children. frustrating the object of all our legisla. This fact, I think, points out that in tion and expenditure—what effect have Scotland compulsion has had more to do they in keeping away from our schools with the increase in number of children the 25 per cent of the children of school attending our schools which has taken age who are not upon the roll, or the 41 place since 1873 than the large subvenper cent of the children of school age tion, amounting to close on 22. out of who are daily absent from schooỉ? every 3d. drawn as fees, which the board Granted that the Education Act has schools receive from the rates. given a great impetus to education in now, on the other hand, look at what Scotland, how much of that impetus is can be done in the way of promoting due to the enactment of compulsion, and public education, by means of the abolihow much to the subsidies to public tion of fees without the assistance of schools which, under that Act, are paid compulsion. There are in Scotland from the rates? Well, let us try, in the 758,000 children between 5 and 14, of first place, to solve the latter question. whom 482,000 are on the registers of The essential difference in the case of schools aided by grants, and we are told our primary schools in Scotland before that a seventh more of the entire numand after the passing of the Act was ber receive instruction at schools of a this--that previously to it the schools higher grade. This would bring the were all supported by fees and what entire number receiving instruction up they could earn on the principle of pay- to 590,000 out of 758,000, or under 78 ment by results from the Government per cent. In America Free Education grant; and, of course, in the case of has been adopted in one State after voluntary schools by subscriptions. another, and since 1871 it has been Since then the position of schools other universal throughout the Union. In than board schools has remained prac- some States there has been a nominal tically unaltered. They, in common compulsion; but, with the exception of with board schools, exact fees and earn Massachusetts, at the date of Mr. Adams's their share of the Government grant. visit, compulsion had been found more
or less inoperative, owing to the nature we find that in 14 States the figure of 59 of the method adopted. But, as I have per cent was exceeded, and in five States said, fees had been done away with, and the ratio ranged from 70 to 80 per cent. the result was that in 1873 in 17 States These facts seem to me to prove that if of the Union-I quote from Mr. Adams's you want to get the best value in the work on free schools in the United States shape of universal public instruction out
-the enrolment of children, without dis- of the enormous sums of money annually tinction of age, colour, or nationality, in spent in subsidizing our educational private and public schools, exceeded the system, you will succeed better—if your entire number of children between 5 and choice is restricted between compulsion 15 years of age, and in three other and Free Education—by adopting thesys. States it ranged from 88 to 91 per cent tem of Free Education than by the method of the children between those ages. In of compulsion; and that, in a system comthe Report of the Commissioner of Edu- pulsory and only partially free, you will, cation for 1872, quoted by Mr. Adams, while incurring the cost and disadvanstatistics are given of the school attend- tages of both systems, accomplish little ance in 50 of the principal cities through- more than you might accomplish by out the Union, ranging in population means of the unsubsidized compulsory from New York City to Nashville, Ten- system alone. Committed as the nation
From these statistics, the is, and especially as Scotland is, to enor, Commissioner arrives at this conclu- mous investments in school property, sion
do not think that the possibility of with: of all the cities were confined to the population tire cosť of a compulsory education wil “ If the enumeration of the school population insisting on the parent bearing the en
drawing all contributions from rates, and of children at parochial and private schools suggest itself to anyone. The practical were fully reported, the total enrolment in the problem, therefore, comes to be a coma public and private schools would probably cover parison between the present system and about 90 per cent of the youths between those
a compulsory system uncounteracted by ages.
the antagonistič influence of fees. If 14 As for the average attendance, enrol States in America, by means of Free ment being so universal and the maxi- Education, were seven years ago able, mum school age being higher, it is not without effective compulsion, to show a easy to institute a comparison between betterstate of things than we can yet doby the state of things found in America and means of compulsion and education free that which exists in Scotland; but in to the extent of three-fourths, it shows, I Scotland the average attendance at ele- think, that with a compulsory system such mentary schools is 385,000, and the total as we possess, and education entirely free
, number accounted for in higher grade we might accomplish the object for schools is 108,000. If we assume the which we pay so much still better than latter, then, to be in constant attendance, is done in those 14 States. You already the total number of children between 5 pay out of public moneys 158. of ereny and 14 being 758,000, it will give us a £1 spent on public education; and if ratio of average attendance to total chil. you find that the exaction of the re. dren between those ages of 65 per cent. maining 58. in the shape of fees largely This 65 per cent of the total population neutralizes the effects of all your expen; between 5 and 14 would be equal to diture, it comes to be a very practical under 59 per cent of the total popula- consideration whether it would not be tion between 5 and 15, which is the age wiser to drop the fees altogether and see on which the American results are cal- whether you cannot get full value out culated ; and the figure I have taken, as of the 58. they now produce raised in suming, as it does, a constant attendance some other manner
. on the part of one-seventh of the whole is an experiment which the nation should number of children --- those attending be called on rashly to adopt ; but I higher grade schools-is, of course, above maintain it is one of which it is most anything which could possibly be attained. important we should have an oppor: Nevertheless, from a table in Mr. Adams's tunity of ascertaining the results, and book, showing the ratio of average at- therefore, one which Parliament should tendance to total population between 5 encourage rather than forbid. I there; and 15 in 31 States in the Union in 1873, fore propose to make the adoption of
I do not think this
Free Education permissive. The Bill, Scotland there are neither Roman Caof which I shall move the second read- tholic nor Episcopalian schools. In a vast ing, applies only to Scotland. I have number of parishes all the Presbyterian restricted it in this manner for several schools have been handed over to the
In the first place, we have the school boards, so that board schools are entire country governed by school boards now the only schools in existence. Their and under a compulsory system of edu- revenue consists of rates and fees and cation. Again, as regards voluntary what they can earn by results from the schools, England and Scotland stand Department. So far as the latter are upon an entirely different footing. In concerned, the Department in its giganEngland there are 14,000 voluntary tic expenditure can have only one obschools against 3,100 board schools, and ject; and, provided the efforts of the the attendance at the voluntary schools school board tend towards that object, is three times what it is at the board why should they not be allowed to maschools. In Scotland, on the other hand, nage their local contributions in their the board schools already outnumber the own way? In some districts there may grant-earning voluntary schools by over be objections to the abolition of fees. In 4 to 1, and these voluntary schools, some places they may amount to a rewith the exception of that portion of spectable sum, and the number of chilthem maintained by the Roman Catholics dren educated outside board schools may and Episcopalians — are annually de- be such that Free Education, by bringcreasing, and in the course of another ing them in, would largely increase the decade, unless some very decided change rates. In a number of instances, the occurs, will be almost extinct. To show process of absorption of the voluntary how diverse is the tendency in the two schools has not yet gone far enough, and countries, contrast what has occurred in the locality is not yet ripe for the total England and Scotland. In England, in abolition of fees, though it will be in a 1870, there were 8,281 voluntary schools few years. But in many others the board in receipt of Government aid, with an schools afford the sole means of educaaverage attendance of 1,152,000 pupils. tion, and the fees amount to a mere baIn 1879, the same class of schools had gatelle. There are many districts in increased to over 14,000, and their which the fees are really not worth colaverage attendance to 1,925,000. In lecting; and the local opinion is that it Scotland, on the other hand, since the would be much better to do away with passing of the Act, the number of volun- them altogether, and meet the entire tary schools has decreased from 1,900 in expense by another i. orld. orld, in the 1872 to 629 in 1879. In what are called pound of assessment. I hold in my hand a the "sessional and other” schools, a Return-No. 35 of this Session--which, class which may be described as Presby- to be candid, I obtained by mistake. I terian voluntary schools, in Glasgow, for asked for certain particulars regarding a example, the number of pupils on the dozen towns in Scotland; and, through roll, which, in 1873, was 27,000, has the misplacing of a comma, the informaprogressively gone down to 12,000 in tion was furnished for all the school 1880. In England the public schools boards in Scotland. Sir, I am grateful may be making rapid strides, but the for the mistake, for it has shown a case voluntary schools are also advancing, for Free Education in many of the reand still constitute by much the larger moter districts, of the strength of which part of the national educational ma- | I had no conception. It shows that in chinery. In Scotland, on the contrary, one schooldistrict_Kintail-whereld.in the board schools are monopolizing ele- the pound produces £21 158. 7d., the fees mentary education of every kind, with the received during the year ending June, exception of that desired by the Roman 1880, amounted only to 13s. It shows Catholics and Episcopalians, who in that in Barra, of £2 178. 4d. received Scotland constitute but a small fraction of in the shape of fees, £1 58. 5d. was the population. It may take some time paid by the Parochial Board ; that in before the others are completely ab- Stenscholl, of £3 198.3d. received as fees, sorbed; but absorbed, if the present the parish paid 68. 104d.; and in Moy, state of things goes on, they must be where ld. in the pound produces £35, in a comparatively few years. In against £4 58. of fees, paid by parents, 9 out of every 10 school districts in £2 178. 11d. was paid by the Parochial
Board. It shows that in many other lose something when not sent to school. It is a places the net fees received during the year remarkable fact that in Switzerland and the amounted to less than £10; and it shows, sory officer does not exist, and the idea of a child
Tyrol compulsion is not necded.
The compul. further, that in 182 out of 930 school of school age not being sent to school is not board districts, or one-fifth of the entire dreamt of. This I know from personal exnumber, the total fees not paid by Paro- perience.” chial Boards were less than the produce As illustrating further the results of our of a rate of 1d. in the £1. This accounts, present system, here is an extract from a doubtless, for the fact that at a con- letter I received some months ago from ference of the Highland school boards the master of a board school in Lanarkheld at Inverness in January, 1875, a re- shire. The writer sayssolution was passed that -
" An instance of the absurdity of the present “ Having regard to the fact that in some in- system has occurred in this district
. I stated stances the amount of recoverable school fees some of the particulars in a former letter to you. does little more than pay the cost of the col. We have compulsory education, but the only lector, and for other reasons, it should be at the way our school board has of enforcing payment discretion of school boards to give free elemen- of fees is to exclude children unless they pay tary education to all children between the ages fees weekly in advance. This system has in. of 5 and 13;”
creased the irregularity in attendance very
much. No fee, no admission to school. The and this probably accounts for the fact case to which I allude was that of that the Town Council of Inverness has The children were dismissed for the want of petitioned in favour of my Bill, which fees in the end of April last year. The Pam. practically embodies that resolution. declined to commit the parent on the ground of
chial Board refused to pay for them; the Sheriff What is the result of the exaction of his poverty. In a new action the Sheriff found fees? I give it in the words of an In- the Parochial Board liable to pay the fees. spector of Schools in Scotland, who wrote The Parochial Board appealed to the Sheriff me privately, in consequence a report
Principal, who dismissed the appeal as incomwhich he had seen of a lecture I last of counsel as to the effect of an appeal io the
petent. The Parochial Board took the opinion year delivered on Free Education. He Court of Session. This not being favourable says
to the views of the Parcchial Board, they, a
week or two ago, signed an order throngh the "I write to say how heartily I agree with you Inspector of Poor to admit the children to the in the matter of Free Education. No one who public school at the expense of the Parochial has not the sort of practical experience which an Board. But before this decision has bien Inspector of Schools interested in the matter arrived at, four or five times the amount of the possesses can have any idea how enormously school fees have been expended in the various the elliciency of our present educational system legal processes, and the man's four children is lessened by the ridiculous custom of making have been excluded for the last eight months." the parents pay 3d, for 1s. worth of education. Children are kept back weeks and weeks from Under the system of the working of school in order to save the fees, so that, in many which that is a practical example, the country districts, nearly two months of the fees of 16,000 children in Scotland are school year are practically lost. If a child is ill on Monday, he is kept away from school for the paid by the Parochial Boards; and in a whole week, lest the parent should pay 3d. for large percentage of these cases there is what he wrongly supposes to be worth only 4-5ths much wrangling, litigation, and delay. of 3d. If the parent cannot pay at all the child Now, of course, in all these cases you is often kept away, while the board, parish, and have Free Education-education paid sheriff indulge in a kind of triangular duel."
for entirely out of the public purse-in He goes on to say
the worst and most demoralizing form “ Consider the very common case of a child possible. Of course, too, the parents of who thus loses 22 weeks (one-half the school school boards are not always successful year). He only pays 58. 6d. in fees-if he
pays ihem-and the school not only loses the 58. cd. in throwing the fees upon the parish, and which he does not pay, but the 15s., or other in these unsuccessful cases there is fur. sum, which he might, if qualified, have caused to ther wrangling, and litigation, and inbe added to the general grant. Thus the parish terrupted education. Again, a vigorous is a dead loser to the extent of 98. 6d.
great deal of school-time is taken up in collecting fees application of compulsion may bring the It is said that the people will not value the educachildren to school; but, as we have seen, tion they do not pay for. At present we know it cannot make them attend regularly. that they value it at less than what they pay The more respectable classes of our poor for it, and have no conception of its real value. will not send their children to school Wherever it is free, as at our Heriot Schools, in Switzerland, in the Tyrol, in Bohemia, America, exposed to the insult of being turned &c., people do value it, and ficl that the children back for non-payment of fees, and if
they have not the fee to send with them keep up its compulsory machinery, and they keep them at home. The result is the efforts of the school board in that that the efficiency of the school is so direction are attended with only this much impaired. The expenditure of success, that 63 per cent of the children public money on it is in so far wasted, between 5 and 13 are on average attendand the board is deprived of the oppor- ance at any school. Now, though I have tunity of earning so much of the Go- adduced the case of Glasgow by way of vernment grant. Now, some of the illustration, I do not mean to say that shrewder boards have come to see this ; Glasgow is at all ripe for Free Educaand in Glasgow, for example, according tion. I believe that in the course of to the Return No. 18 of this Session, another five or six years it will be so; from which I quote the fact
but at present the same difficulty exists “ The Board having given instructions to the which would exist to the adoption of Free teachers to deal leniently in cases of arrears Education in England, though to a very when they were satisfied of the willingness of much smaller extent. There are too many the parents to pay,”
children being educated outside the during the year of depression ending in board school system in voluntary schools. June last, £1,233, or over 6 per cent of These, however, as I have more than the whole fees payable otherwise than once said, are being rapidly absorbed by Parochial Boards at the ordinary day into our board schools; and when that schools, was left unpaid; 7,900 pupils, or is accomplished to a greater degree than over one-fourth of all the pupils paid for at present, it will be time enough to by their parents, ran into arrear. The consider the desirability of abolishing result of this-I may mention in passing fees. Edinburgh, on the other hand, -- was that, notwithstanding the excep- has already a large number of free eletional depression of the year, the aver mentary schools supported by endowage attendance at the board schools ment. Nearly 5,000 children receive showed a decrease of only one-fifth of Free Education at these Heriot schools, 1 per cent on the previous year; while and when, some years ago, it was proin the voluntary schools of Glasgow posed to charge a small fee in order to generally, the decrease was 2} per cent, enable a larger number of children to and in the sessional schools, which edu- receive a very cheap education, the cate the same classes and the same de- ) artizans rose in arms against the pronominations as the board schools, it was posal. They have there seen the extra14 per cent. To illustrate the kind of ordinary regularity of attendance, and no-system with regard to fees which the success which the free school system prevails in our Scotch board schools, has achieved. They know that the peri may mention that in the case of centage of absenteeism at the Heriot Glasgow, besides the 7,900 who had schools is a mere fraction of that which the £1,200 worth of their fees practi- exists at the board schools. The result cally remitted by the school board and is that Edinburgh is quite ripe for the 3,141 who had their fees paid by Paro- experiment. In Edinburgh the gross chial Boards, there is a rule exempting amount derived from board school fees from fees the eldest of four pupils of is little over 3d. in the pound of rating. the same family attending school, and various authorities have estimated that charging only half-fees for the eldest of the abolition of fees would be met by three. Undor that rule, 726 children an extra ld. of rates, and not merely the were exempted from fees, and 2,118 artizans, through their Trades' Council, were charged only half-fees. Adding but the Town Council of Edinburgh, these figures together we find that 13,885 have petitioned in favour of this Bill. children, or nearly half the number on Elsewhere, where public opinion has the roll of our Glasgow School Board, found expression regarding it, it has last year had their fees either wholly or been expressed in opposite directions partially remitted or paid out of the very much according to the position of rates, and that, in a large number of those concerned. The working classes, their cases, the education so provided who constitute the vast majority of those was not elementary, but the most ad. whose children attend board schools, vanced provided by our board schools. who are familiar with the hardships and Notwithstanding all this liberality, it inequalities of the present system, and costs Glasgow over £4,000 a-year to who inhabit cheap houses, see that it