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To meet this he introduced the industrial principle, be it observed, nearly half a century before many who now treat it as a recent invention. Printing suited his locality. In 1808 he acquired his first types. In 1818 the year's profits on the printing account had gradually risen to 5181. 8s. 10d., about which sum they continued steadily till the last report wbich the writer has seen—that for 1849—when the total value of the school property, including the original endowment of 2,0001. and premises, had risen by outlay drawn from profit to 9,7261. 17s. 2d.
But the mere profits of the school, except as the criterion of its prosperity, are nothing when compared with its effect on its children. The scheme of management is this : Some of the more diligent and proficient are allowed as a reward, to work two hours a day at the printing. The eagerness to gain this indulgence is a stimulus to the diligence of all. The industrious receive a share of the profits of their industry-half in money and half placed in a savings bank, in their respective names, to be paid to each on condition of his remaining at school till the age of fourteen. Of course they remain ; for they are started, on an apprentice fee or a small fund, with which, and the habits of useful and provident industry acquired at the school, to begin a life of comparative comfort and happiness, which they owe for the most part to William Davis.
Redfield House, St. George's, Bristol, DEAR SIR,
9 January 1855. In reply to your queries about the Industrial Schools at Bristol, I beg leave to inform you that there are two in the city in connexion with the Church of England :
1. In Pennywell-road, Trinity, St. Philip's.
2. In Hotwells-road. The former for boys, under the Ragged School Committee; the latter for girls, under private management.
There are day and evening schools belonging to the Ragged School Society in
Ends proposed 1. To give elementary instruction to such children as could not obtain it, if payment was required. The Educational Committee in my own parish is specially careful to exclude all whose parents or relatives are in a position to pay for their education.
2. To rescue boys and girls from bad company and evil habits, and train them to some industrial pursuits, while encouraging them to lead moral and religious lives.
The means adoptedDay and night schools in each of the parishes above named. The day for boys and girls ; the night for boys who are employed during the day, and those who belong to the Industrial Department of the institution. The latter receive instruction during an hour in the morning, also in Scripture and Church Catechism.
The results, In several cases, children have been reformed after they had started upon a very vicious course. During the year 1853, not a single conviction of any of our boys had taken place before the magistrates. The master reports the same gratifying fact for 1854. The boys who have left the industrial school for honest occupations are well reported of by their employers, while the accounts from the four who emigrated are most satisfactory. One of the four had been in prison seven times. He is now living respectably in California.
The meritsMay in some measure be judged of from what I have said. The lowest class of society being brought into contact with so many of the better class who sympathize with, and care for them. The desire manifested to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The impartation of the knowledge of some useful employment both to boys and girls, by which they may be suited to occupy situations in society, where by honest industry they may earn their bread, and the bringing so many from the haunts of vice and wretchedness to attend the house of prayer on the Lord's Day. These are advantages which cannot be two highly estimated.
The defects— Want of properly qualified teachers in every school but one. Mr. Hibberd, in the Pennywell-road school has obtained a Government certificate, but all the other teachers belong to the class which existed twenty or thirty years ago. They have not a knowledge of the subjects taught, adequate to the requirements of the present day, but in general they do what they can for the children while with them. In most cases, the numbers in attendance have fluctuated very much, but I have generally found that when the children have been properly looked after there has been not only an increase, but greater steadiness also.
In the management there is a want of some directing voice. Where there are new plans constantly being proposed and partly followed, and then abandoned from lack of co-operation, there is a diminution of confidence. At present several propositions are before the committee, and what course may be adopted it is hard to say. The funds are not kept up as they ought to be.
The committee have had under consideration plans for training the industrial boys in agricultural pursuits. Nothing decisive has yet been done, though such a course seems the great desideratum in connexion with such an institution.
I remain, &c.
(Signed) David COOPER, The Rev. H. W. Bellairs,
Incumbent of Holy Trinity, Bristol. Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, fc.
ENDOWED SCHOOLS. MY DEAR SIR,
Painswick, 1 March 1855. Judging from the number of charities for apprenticing poor boys with which I am connected, their number over the country should be considerable. Has it ever struck you that these funds might be applied with more practical benefit, as well as in more conformity with the intentions of the founders, if the trustees, instead of apprenticing boys, of whom they probably know but litttle, to any blacksmith or cobbler who says he is willing to take one, were to see fit to select, in our National and other schools under inspection, clever and deserving boys, and to apprentice them as preparatory pupil-teachers to a certificated master ?
The abuses under the present system, from which I am sure many trustees would gladly escape, are— Ist. The unsatisfactory state of apprenticeship, as testified by the many laws for its better regulation. 2ndly. The fact, which too often occurs in practice, that the party requiring an apprentice agrees with the parent to share the premium, on the understanding that no apprenticeship in fact is to take place.
I once belonged to a large county club, whose object was to apprentice some ten or fifteen boys every year, which was broken up partly, if I recollect, in consequence of the frequency of this abuse. On the other hand, the intended benefits to the apprentice, as a pupil-teacher, would be pretty well secured under inspection, and such abuses as those mentioned above avoided.
To schools and education generally the advantage would be this. We most of us find that many a deserving boy of poor parents is sent out to work at eleven or twelve years old, and his chance of rising to be a pupil-teacher is lost. The small assistance towards his board and lodging, which the apprentice fee would afford, when shared between him and the master, would keep him at school till the age of thirteen, when, being found fit, he would be eligible as a pupil-teacher under the Privy Council.
I enclose an extract from the last report of the Painswick schools, showing how the small funds of some charities under our administration here are thus brought to aid education generally, and in a way which the trustees think will best carry out the intentions of the testators. "I have also proposed to my co-trustees, in other charities elsewhere, to act in the way I have proposed; and I believe they mean to adopt the suggestion.
&c. The Rev. H. W. Bellairs.
(Signed) W. H. HEGELL.
Extract from the Report for 1854 of the Painswick United National and
Free School. “The Charity Commissioners have authorized the trustees of the Free school to apply the annual interest of a donation made by the late William Bayliss, about 6l. a year, towards apprenticing from time to time as a preparatory pupil-teacher to the master of the United schools, one poor deserving boy, who has received at least one year's education as a free boy at the said United schools. They have also sanctioned the application of the interest of a bequest of 3501.
, made by the late Miss Cox, towards the instruction of girls of good character, in such domestic duties and services as the circumstances of the school and mistress's house will admit. Miss Cox's bequest was made to certain trustees upon trust to apply the income in the founding and support of a school at Painswick, for training female servants, &c. The trustees named, finding the scheme impracticable, applied to the Charity Commissioners for directions, and were authorized by them, as the nearest approximation to the intentions of the testatrix, to apply the interest, viz., about 101. a year, as stated above; but, as some small allowance towards the maintenance of the girls selected will be chargeable on this sum, it is not expected that we shall be able so to educate more than two girls at the same time.”
The two girls will be receiving an education, as far as their other occupations will allow, as monitresses in the school, and, if found eligible, might be advanced to the situation of pupil-teachers.
W. H. H.
Drawing Classes, 8c., at Nuneaton. In connexion with these schools drawing classes were commenced in April 1853. They were open to the whole district, and were attended by persons from the neighbouring villages. They were taught by Mr. Fussell, the master of the Coventry School of Design. Considerable expense was incurred in providing models and drawing-copies, and, for a time, all things went on in a satisfactory manner ; at length these classes were found not to be self-supporting. Mr. Fussell left the neighbourhood, and, for want of funds to pay a master, they were discontinued. This is much to be regretted, for such instruction would be of the highest importance, especially in a manufacturing population like that of Nuneaton.
Lectures. Public lectures on useful and instructive subjects are delivered almost weekly during the winter months, in the girls' school-room. They are attended by many of the ladies and gentlemen of the neighbourhood, and respectable inhabitants and tradesmen of the town, as well as a great number of the working classes, especially those who are members of the library and reading-room. The lecturers are provided by the exertions of the vicar, and these lectures are becoming more and more valued, and are found to be of great service in assisting to carry out the intellectual improvement of the population, in creating a taste for mental and literary pursuits, and the study of natural history, while the constant mixing together of all classes in the same rational pursuit of innocent recreation and improvement is accomplishing a great good.
Library and Reading Room. In the evening the infant school is used as a reading-room, and the society attending it is now in a flourishing condition.
It was originally instituted for the benefit of the Sunday-school teachers and pupil-teachers, but they having received from the vicar a valuable collection of books, so as to form an extensive library, it was thought desirable to extend the advantages to the inhabitants of the town, who are now admitted as members, under certain conditions ; so that all who have a desire for information, and are anxious for the improvement of their minds, can enjoy the benefits of the institution, for the small charge of 6d. per quarter.
The following is a report for the year ending November 1854 :
In taking a review of the proceedings of this institution, the Committee have much pleasure in being able to state that it has made considerable progress during the past year.
At present there are 140 members, and the increased average attendance at the reading-room shows that the advantages afforded are more fully appreciated.
After making an outlay of above 291., the following statement shows a small balance still remaining in the treasurer's hands. Dr.
£ 8. d.
£ 8. d. To Treasurer
5 0 31
By amount expended - 29 98 Honorary subscriptions 6 10 0 Balance in Treasurer's Members' payments 15 1 2 hand
0 7 91 Gain by pic-nic
3 6 0
L29 17 51
£29 17 51
Since last year 762 volumes have been circulated to be read by members at home, showing an increased desire for information, and affording encouragement to those who endeavour to elevate the moral and social condition of the present generation.
During the evenings of last winter eight papers on various subjects were prepared and read by members. They were much to their credit, and calcalated to afford exercise and instruction to their own minds as well as to the minds of those who heard them.
To correspond with the improved condition of the institution, it is intended to form a class for mutual improvement, in which given subjects are to be discussed; thus giving to each member a stimulus for research and consideration, and having exhausted the resources within his own reach, he will have an opportunity of appropriating the information derived from the resources of others. In pursuance of this object the Committee have passed the following resolution :
“ That members shall hold meetings in the reading-room for the purpose intellectual improvement, by means of conversation and discussion, and by preparing and reading essays of a useful and moral tendancy.”
Sunday Schools. The Sunday schools are attended by about 500 children, many of whom, on account of being early set to work by their parents, have no other opportunity of receiving instruction, or acquiring a knowledge of the doctrines of the Christian religion. The teachers are provided with class-books, in which they keep an account of the attendance, behaviour, and other particulars respecting the children. At the close of the year those who are found worthy, receive handsome rewards, either in books or articles of clothing.
At the commencement of the ensuing year it is intended to establish a juvenile benefit society, in connexion with the Sunday schools. Children from six to fourteen years of age will be admitted, and by paying one penny weekly, will insure the attendance of a doctor when required, and 2s. a week in case of illness. At the age of fourteen they are to be transferred into a senior Provident Society, which is established in the town, and holds its meetings in these premises. This society is founded on sure principles, and is likely never to disappoint the hopes of those who became connected with it.
Memorandum relating to the Government School of Art at Birmingham.
Birmingham, December 1853. The extension of elementary art instruction through the agency of the Government School of Art, Birmingham, has been satisfactorily effected during the past year, so far at least as the various schools have as yet availed themselves of the privilege of obtaining the services of a special teacher for one hour per week, on payment of a fee of 5l. per annum. The influence of the School of Art is thus brought to bear in a direction in which little or nothing had been previously effected, and ultimately that institution will be largely influenced in its practical bearing upon the industrial pursuits of the surrounding district by the elementary instruction imparted in the parochial schools. There can be no doubt, however, that ere this can be the case, a more extended application of the means now aff led by the arrangements of the Committee of Privy Council on Education, and the Board of Trade Department of Science and Art, must take place; and it may be useful to show by a reference to the numbers attending the Central School of Art, and its Elementary Branch School, the latter being intended for evening instruction only, the relative proportion existing in June last, between them and the numbers of pupils engaged in learning the elements of drawing in parochial schools, the training college of the diocese of Worcester, Saltley, and the special class for schoolmasters, and schoolmistresses.
In the annual report of the committee of the School of Art presented in June 1854, it is stated that 1,129 students were then under instruction through its agency in the Birmingham district. Of these 412 males, and 138 females attended the Central School, and 204 males attended the Elementary Branch School, giving a total of 754 under instruction in the classes of the two schools, and thus 375 were receiving instruction under the three heads above named, as follows :
42 St. John's, Deritend
46 Blue-coat school
41 Carr's Lane school*
45 18 Saltley National school
* A school not under inspection, attached to the Independent Chapel in Carr's Lane.