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“ In connexion with the reading-room is a cricket club, to which all members are admissible. In the winter evenings there are classes for such of the members as may desire to improve themselves in reading, writing, and ciphering. These classes are free, the books only being paid for. Coffee is provided for the members at ld. per cup, bread and butter ltd. additional. The income to the funds of the club from this source during the past year amounted to 41. 185.; the expense of provisions, 41. 13s.
“ Several friends of the institution have delivered interesting lectures on various subjects during the past year. These have been remarkably well attended by the working men.
Pupil-Teachers. I venture to bring again under your Lordships' consideration the importance of modifying the existing system of pupilteachers. The defects referred to in my report of last year will, I conceive, be fully borne out by the experience of Her Majesty's Inspectors, viz., the insufficiency of teaching staff provided by one pupil-teacher to forty scholars; and the number of inefficient, partially efficient, and unwilling persons who are annually thrust into the profession. To which I will add the great pecuniary loss sustained by the Government in supporting, for five years each, a large body of pupil-teachers, who, on the termination of their apprenticeship, resort to other professions. From the Rev. H. Moseley's last report it appears that 750 pupil-teachers finished their apprenticeships in 1853 ; that 304 of these competed for scholarships ; that 248 were successful, 56 failed. Of the 502 who failed in obtaining scholarships Mr. Moseley thus writes :
“ There remain 502 of the 750 without Queen's scholarships, and of whom but a very few will probably become schoolmasters. For I have ascertained that but a small proportion of the pupil-teachers who do not obtain Queti's scholarships find their way to the training-schools.”
“Of the 370 male pupil-teachers who remained without Queen's scholarships at Christmas 1852, only 31 entered the training schools. The remaining 539, educated with so much pains, and at so great a cost, for the office of the teacher, were probably nearly all of them lost to the cause of education.”
My own impression is that a great part of the evil would be removed by certain modifications of the existing plan of apprenticeship. The plan proposed in my report of last year would, I think, prove a fair basis of such modifications. The principle to be kept in view would be the elimination of all such pupil-teachers as would not heartily embrace the profession. This is not sufficiently provided for in the present plan, which assumes that a boy of 13
boy of 13 years of age is competent to determine upon his choice of the future. My scheme proposed 16 years of age as a fit time for such determination ; 15 would probably answer as well; and, if so, would remove a difficulty which meets the plan proposed at its termini. By taking 15 as a proper time for determination, children might be taken for stipendiary monitors at 12 instead of at 13, and at 15 would be more eligible for other employments than at 16. Their apprenticeship of four years would then terminate at 19, and they would have two years training at a college instead of one. There are also objections to the plan I proposed, in that it confines the apprentices to schools of 100 children and upwards; whereas smaller schools not only require subsidiary aid as much as larger ones, but are by many supposed to be better nurseries for the embryo teacher. On this ground, I would propose that one apprentice should be assigned to the first fifty children in a school, and one for each additional hundred, with one stipendiary monitor for the first fifty, and one for each additional twenty-five. This plan would apparently entail some additional expense, so far as pupil-teacher stipends are concerned, but I conceive would be attended with a very great saving to the public purse, when considered with reference to the future provision of teachers for the profession.
Before leaving this subject, I would venture to express Appoint: some doubt upon the probable effects of the proposed selections Civil Serof certain pupil-teachers for the Civil Service, on the recommendation of Her Majesty's Inspector. My hesitation on this measure is founded, not so much upon the difficulty of selecting with a view to avoid encouraging idleness among the pupilteachers, and apathy to their profession, (for such would be the result of choosing second-rate apprentices) as, upon the general impression it will convey that your Lordships do not consider a pupil-teacher morally bound to prosecute the profession of schoolmaster. Experience has proved that the cords which now bind the pupil-teacher to the profession are very weak. Every opening to other successful employment will weaken them still more. On this ground I would submit that there is some defect in a system which requires such encouragement as this. The application of it to any other profession would go far to destroy it.
With your Lordships' sanction, some portion of my time Schools induring the past year was spent in inspecting schools in South South Wales. My colleague, the Rev. H. Longueville Jones, will, I feel Wales. sure, forgive me for apparently trespassing on his province by stating some few of the points which struck me as most deserving of notice with regard to the Welsh schools.
I. The absence of girls' schools. The schools are generally conducted on the “mixed" plan, on the plea of economy; the needlework sometimes neglected, at other times entrusted to a partially qualified teacher; the female training of the girls,
which can only be carried out efficiently by a woman, altogether lost sight of. This I conceive to be an evil of no common magnitude, and one which will seriously affect the well-being of the principality in the rising generation.
II. The anomalous condition of some schools, in which English teachers with no knowledge of Welsh are employed, in neighbourhoods where the people understand no language but their own tongue ; and this, too, in a country where ignorance of the vernacular language is considered by the bishops a disqualification for an officiating clergyman. The loss to the population-religiously, morally, politically, commercially—of keeping up a language which is virtually dead in all other parts of the United Kingdom, beyond some of their own counties, reducing as it does, if not absolutely forbidding, all intercourse with the metropolis and the more advanced parts of the richer and more developed country, I do not wish to mitigate. At the same time, I cannot but think that a schoolmaster should be able to understand the mothertongue of his scholars, without which, it would seem difficult to understand how he can interrogate his children, or explain or illustrate his lessons.
III. The absence of enlightened public opinion in favour of elementary education among the proprietors and clergy. Some progress in this direction has no doubt been made within the last few years, but it is still far behind that which exists in this country.
IV. The evil results of religious differences. The proprietors generally appear to belong to the Established Church, the middle classes and the operatives to some phase of Protestant dissent. Without venturing to detract from the religious zeal of either party, there are, I fear, very strong reasons for believing that political and financial considerations exercise a strong influence in determining the character of the education to be given in Wales. Sincerity is good, although it assumes the aspect of religious rivalry ; but it would be difficult, I suspect, to defend a spirit of religious antagonism based simply or principally upon political or sordid motives.
In Wales, even supposing the principles to be sound upon which the rival schools are conducted, the poverty of the country presents an insuperable obstacle to success in competition. This fact must eventually come out. It is much to be regretted that it cannot be seen before more mischief accrue. Great benefit would, I think, result at once, if the managers of schools of the respective parties would conduct them on principles of toleration, and consent to admit children of religious views different from their own, without forcing upon them offensive distinctive dogmas.
V. The peculiar talents of the Welsh children. With a lower physical development, and less of dogged perseverance than the mixed race of England, the native Welsh child appears to possess a higher degree of intellectual quickness. My conclusions in this respect were principally formed from the rapid and accurate way in which they determined arithmetical calculations.
VI. The great advantage of teaching more than one language to children. Words under these circumstances are more than aggregates of letters, and more than symbols of ideas or representatives of objects to be used simply for the practical purposes of reading, writing, and speaking. They become instruments of thought, possessing in themselves interest, soliciting of themselves inquiry, and producing that mental exercise which ever attends investigation and comparison, and which has a strong influence in developing and improving the intellectual powers. My convictions of the importance of really good etymological teaching have been much strengthened by these considerations.
I beg leave to call your Lordships' attention to two schools Schools closed; Chilvers Coton, in the county of Warwick, and Skenfrith, in the county of Monmouth. The managers of the former inform me that it has been closed in consequence of the establishment of a free school, by C. N. Newdegate, Esq., MP., in its immediate neighbourhood. The Bishop of Llandaff holds out expectations of the opening of the latter. I have the honor to be, &c.
H. W. BELLAIRS. To the Right Honorable
The Lords of the Committee of Council on Education.
SALTLEY Model School. Your committee have to record the satisfactory state of the Model School. The plans adopted last year have worked with continued success. The school time, from ten to three, avoiding the mid-day dispersion, has promoted regularity of attendance, although the boys are drawn from a widely scattered population; wbilst the admixture of different classes has rendered the school almost self-supporting. The attendance in June 1853, was 110, with 139 on the books; the average attendance throughout the entire year has been 107. with 137 on the books. The annexed balance shows that the expenditure has been 941. 158. 2d., while the receipts from pence have amounted to 841, 16s. 9d.
viz., 381. ls. sons of farmers, tradesmen, &c.; 341. 4s. 8d. journeymen, &c. 121. 10s. Ed., labourers, &c.
Your committee are more justified than ever in recommending the trial of similar plans, convinced that, by the graduated system of payments, many country schools might not only be rendered nearly self-supporting, but that the sympathies of the smaller farmers and village tradesmen (a class not usually entertaining enlarged views on the subject of education) might be conciliated and won to an interest in their success.
NUNEATON Schools. The school fees are 2d., 3d., and 6d. per week. This scale of payments is entirely regulated by the condition and circumstances of the parents; the more respectable pay their os. a quarter as freely as the weekly 2d. is paid by their poorer neighbours, and the saine instruction is given to all who are capable of receiving it, without respect of persons.
The children purchase their own books, on which they prepare lessons at home, to be examined by their teachers each morning in the school.
During the last three months the boys have been employed in draining a piece of ground adjoining that already occupied by the master, assistant master, and pupil-teachers. The main drain, which is about 65 yards long, and between 3 and 4 feet deep, is completed, and they are now running short ones to branch into it, and double digging, so as to get out a large quantity of willow-weed, which overspread the ground, and greatly retarded the growth of the crops which were sown in it. In the process of this work the boys were taught the construction and use of the spirit level.
In the spring, when it is reclaimed and fit for working, it is intended to set apart a certain portion of it to be cultivated and cropped by the boys, under the direction of tlie master; and in the season the produce is to be sold, and the profits equally divided among them.
The Evening School. This school is attended by about 60 adult females and 50 young men, who are taught by the assistant master, under the superintendance of the master, whose daughter takes charge of the females. They attend two evenings in the week, for two hours each evening, and they learn reading, writing, arith. metic, grammar, geography, and dictation. Many who had not an opportunity of learning earlier in life are now qualifying themselves to fulfil the duties of their calling in a more efficient and intelligent manner.
Worcester, St. Martin's School.
4 December 1854. In compliance with your request, I have the honour of transmitting to you the enclosed account of the books and school materials purchased by the children of the above school.
You are aware that when we commenced the practice of selling school materials we were in fear lest we should thereby lower our numbers, and we therefore sold our old used books at a lower price, and even fixed our tariff for the new books very low. But at the commencement of this year we raised the prices of several of the articles ; this will account for the different prices in the two following lists.
That we have not suffered in our members is evidenced by the fact that at the inspection in December 1853, we had 141 on the books, and