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SUMMARY B.

Aggregate Annual Income, as stated by Managers, of 180 of the Schools

enumerated in Summary A.

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Aggregate Annual Expenditure, as stated by Managers, of

180 of the Schools enumerated in Summary A.

Salaries.

Books and
Apparatus.

Miscellaneous.

TOTAL.

£ 8. d. £ 8. d. 17,704 17 37 1,723 15 5

8. d. e 8. d. 5,419 3 5 24,882 16 2

General Report, for the Year 1854, on the Schools inspected

in the Counties of Chester, Salop, and Stafford, by Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, the Rev. J. P. NORRIS, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Increase of annual

MY LORDS,

December 1854. In presenting to your Lordships my fifth annual report grants in on the inspection of Church schools in Cheshire, Shropshire, years, under and Staffordshire, it may be well to state generally the extent Minutes of to which the claims upon your Lordships' annual grants have

increased in the last five years in these counties. At the close of 1849, when I entered the district, I found 272 Church schools liable to inspection; the number now exceeds 400. In 1849, 71 schools were credited with annual grants, in payment of certificated or apprenticed teachers; the number has now reached 180. In 1849 there were employed in the district, 44 certificated teachers (35 masters, 9 mistresses), and 171 apprentices (106 boys, 65 girls); at the present time, I find 180 certificated teachers (117 masters, 63 mistresses); 356 apprentices (187 boys, 169 girls),* and 23 assistant teachers. Perhaps the simplest way of exhibiting the progressive operation of the Minutes of 1846 in these counties, is to compare the amount of money granted on account of teachers, in one year, with the amount granted in another year.

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From this table it appears that Staffordshire has made more progress than either of the two other counties, having more

*

Among the pupil-teachers during the past year there have been, I am sorry to say, four cases of serious misconduct. Six apprenticeships have ceased from disinclination for the work. Of the 44 who have completed their apprenticeships not more than 15 have, I believe, presented themselves this Christmas as candidates for Queen's scholarships.-P.S. Of these, 12 were successful.

+ The school-district of Staffordshire includes Dudley and Oldbury.

than trebled its share of annual grants in the last five years. But, taking population into account, Cheshire seems to be still in advance, receiving 1 d. a head on its population, while Staffordshire receives not quite l?d., and Shropshire something short of 1 d.

Although my own statistics are necessarily confined to such Educational of the Church schools as have sought inspection, it may not district. be uninteresting to bring into connexion with the above statements some of the results of the Census of 1851, relating to these counties. It may be stated generally that the population of the district is a million and a third ; that it has rather more than 1,000 public day schools, of which 800 belong to the Church ; and that, of these 800, one half are under inspection. In the following table the figures relating to schools under inspection, whether in receipt of annual grants (“A.G.”) or not (“not A.G.”), are taken from my own returns. The rest depend for their authority upon the Education Report presented to Parliament by the Registrar-General in the spring of this year. In the first column, I have assumed, in accordance with the most moderate computation, that one eighth of the population may be reasonably expected to be attending schools of elementary instruction.

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Thus it would appear that, taking the whole district, out of every hundred children who might fairly be expected to be attending some day school15 are attending Church schools improved by the Minutes of 1846. 9

Church schools not so improved, but under inspection. 23

Church schools not under inspection. 14

schools not connected with the Church. 29

private schools, chiefly dames' schools.

no school. 100

I do not wish to make any comments on this most unsatis factory analysis of the schooling that is going on in this

10

* Including Dudley and Oldbury.

grants under

district. It is due to the operation of the Minutes of 1846, that the 15 children in the first group, and some of the 14 children of the fourth group, have had at least the opportunity of securing a good education placed within their reach; and it may be hoped that this number will continue to increase as it has done, until it absorb many who at present appear to be so ill provided for. When I have spoken of annual grants in the foregoing remarks, I have purposely left out of account the capitation grants, which have come into operation during the past year, being desirous to exhibit the results due to the

Minutes of 1846 exclusively. Capitation

With regard to the Minute of 2 April 1853, in which your Minute of Lordships offer annual grants, proportioned to the number of

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children in regular attendance, to schools in small towns and rural districts, I have to report that the effect of these grants has been already most salutary. Not only has increased aid of a most acceptable kind been given to schools previously in receipt of annual grants, but several other schools, hitherto unable to fulfil the conditions of public assistance, have been in this way stimulated to further exertion and improvement. To reach schools of this description was the express purpose of the Minute. It is to be hoped that, as the advantages of the measure become more generally known, a large number of the schools which I have still to report below the annual grant standard may be encouraged to qualify themselves to receive this kind of assistance. The schools to which this Minute especially addresses itself are schools in agricultural districts, where neither the amount of annual subscriptions, nor perhaps the number of children, has hitherto appeared to the managers sufficient to justify them in engaging the services of a superior teacher. To the managers of such schools, if they will at once procure a certificated teacher, and engage to do what they can year by year to increase the efficiency of their school, an annual grant is offered of 6s. for every boy, and 58. for every girl,

who can be shown to have attended regularly during the year. Encourage- If the managers find that the demand for the labour of the

older children is so great that they cannot secure such reguscheme,

larity in attendance as fulfils the requirements of the Minute of 2 April 1853, the Committee of Council will accept a halftime attendance from such scholars; a definite scheme having been previously settled for the alternation of schooling with labour. The desirableness on all accounts of such a half-time scheme in agricultural districts, has often been urged in my reports, and will receive some further notice in the latter part of this report.

ment of hall-time

under Minute of 29 April 1854,

In visiting, as I have been able to do during the past year, Need of a larger number than heretofore of the humbler schools of my humbler district, I have been very frequently made sensible of the schools. difficulty of reconciling the duty of maintaining a given standard of efficiency, on the one hand, with the duty of encouraging schools which fall below this standard, on the other. No inspector can fail to be aware of the many and great difficulties that have to be overcome before a school can be established and maintained on an efficient footing. In some hundred parishes, in the course of each year, these difficulties form the subject of his conversation with the managers. Confronted, as he is at each visit, by all the peculiar difficulties of the place ; sympathising, as he cannot fail to do, with the anxiety and exertion of those with whom he is thrown; viewing the question, in short, from what may be termed the country side, he is often strongly tempted to wish the conditions of aid somewhat relaxed, and to ask in bis report for some indulgence in behalf of a school struggling to attain the annual grant standard, though still falling short of it. But, notwithstanding the apparent rigour of the rule, and notwithstanding the frequent unpleasantness of having to enforce it, it is my belief that the refusal of your Lordships' assistance to schools under teachers who fall short of a given standard of efficiency is working well for education in my district, and that in nine cases out of ten a concession to the demands of an inferior school would be no real kindness to the children of that place. To the managers of such schools I would say, with a confidence that gains strength from each additional year's experience, “ It is not increased pecuniary assistance that is chiefly wanted; an efficient school is not more expensive, but rather less expensive, than an inferior one. What is needed is the courage to engage a superior teacher, who will not only make the school more self-supporting, but will also secure to it the benefit of annual grants from the Government."

There is, I believe, a wide spread notion in my district that, Fallacy of in order to qualify a school to receive annual grants, so large a good school yearly expenditure is required, that poor schools, which most sive thanen need it, are virtually debarred from Government assistance. bad one Convinced that this is an entire misapprehension, and knowing proof that that it is discouraging many from endeavouring to reorganize the case. their schools on an efficient footing, I have been at some pains to compare the expenditure of annual-grant schools with that of non-annual-grant schools, in the country as well as in towns; and the following tables give the result of my inquiries.

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