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Vice-Presidency of Committee of Council established, and the Department of Science and Art coordinated with the Education Department. Board of Education, including Consultative Committee, established.

Twice also has the Government of the day recognised that the organisation of education is a matter of national importance, viz. in 1869, when Mr W. E. Forster was admitted to the Cabinet with the purpose of giving the full weight of Governmental influence to his Education Bill, and again in 1892, when Mr Arthur Acland, though occupying no higher post than the Vice-Presidency of the Committee of Council on Education, was nevertheless admitted to the rank of a Cabinet Minister.

Thus the lack of legislation for secondary education in general has been due not to want of information on the subject, but to the absence of public interest in the matter and to a practical disbelief in national responsibility with regard to education as a whole.

Let us consider in order the several Inquiries into the subject, and their respective outcomes as regards legislation:

1. THE BROUGHAM COMMISSION. This was the first Commission appointed with powers of inquiry into Secondary Schools, though its range extended over charitable endowments in general. A Select Committee of the House of Commons, having considered their Report, recommended in 1835 the establishment of a permanent Commission to superintend the Administration of Charities.

2. THE CHICHESTER COMMISSION. Nothing effective was, however, done until this second Commission had reported that the abuses complained of by the former Commission had not yet been sufficiently remedied. As a consequence the Charity Commission was constituted by Act of Parliament in 1853, and empowered to conduct inquiries into Charities and to make

schemes for their administration. But it may be remarked, firstly, that such schemes were incomplete without confirmation by Parliament; and, secondly, that in the great majority of cases they dealt with non-educational charities.

3. OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COMMISSIONS. In 1850, two Commissions were appointed to inquire into the state, discipline, studies and revenues of Oxford and Cambridge respectively. Both Commissions had a difficult task to perform owing to the open hostility of the resident members of the Universities. The Oxford Commission was exceedingly frank in its criticism of the then existing state of things. The Cambridge Commission was more guarded in its expression of opinion. But the case for reform was so strong that in 1854 and in 1856 Acts of Parliament were passed for Oxford and Cambridge, respectively embodying some of the chief recommendations made. In the reforms which followed both Universities became accessible from a wider variety of schools than had hitherto been the case.

4. THE CLARENDON COMMISSION. In 1861, a fresh Commission was appointed to inquire into nine great Public Schools-the boarding schools of Eton, Winchester, Westminster, Charterhouse, Harrow, Rugby, and Shrewsbury, together with the day schools of St Paul's and Merchant Taylors'.

The result of this inquiry was practically to reveal the need of a far wider inquiry, namely, as to the education given in endowed grammar schools generally. The legislative outcome of this Commission is seen in the Public Schools Act, 1868, a measure of exceptional legislation in favour of the nine schools above named.

5. THE TAUNTON COMMISSION. The Terms of Reference of this Commission were contained in the following words:

"To report what measures, if any, are required for the improvement of secondary education, having special regard to all endowments applicable, or which rightly can be made applicable thereto."

Among the twelve Commissioners on this occasion were the first Lord Lyttelton, Dr F. Temple, now Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr W. E. Forster, and Mr (afterwards Sir) T. Dyke Acland. This was the Commission to which Matthew Arnold reported on the systems of secondary education existing in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, and which he sought to impress with his cry of "Organise your Secondary and Higher Instruction." One of the less obvious effects of the Report was to reveal to Parliament the striking deficiency of public provision for the secondary education of girls in England, and the capability of girls to benefit by such a provision, if made.

The Report of this Commission, which appeared in 1867, was of a most able and thorough character, and had its Recommendations been adopted, much of the subsequent waste and confusion might have been avoided. No fewer than 572 Secondary Schools were reported upon; amongst these, the efficient schools were found to be few in proportion to the needs of the community; the best schools, moreover, were boarding schools, designed chiefly for the wealthier classes. There were 100 towns with at least 5000 inhabitants which had no endowed grammar school at all; in fact the supply was utterly inadequate, and that which existed was in many cases inefficient. Of this inefficiency two examples may suffice.

In one school the Commissioners found that the Head Master and the Second Master enjoyed the freehold of their offices and had not exchanged a word for thirteen years. In another case the school was found to consist of a single pupil, and the large school-room had become a billiard-room for the master, who, when asked why he did not shew greater energy in getting pupils, replied that the house was a good one, the income was sufficient, and he was not ambitious.

"At Sedbergh there were 13 pupils, the schoolrooms were in a shameful state, and the scholars, though showing signs of having had teaching, were in a thoroughly bad state of discipline, and apparently only staying

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on to qualify for the school exhibitions. Thame had two masters, receiving £300 between them, one of whom had a good house also. Mr Fearon found one boy in the school. A private school close by had 80 boarders and 40 day scholars, paying higher than the grammar school fees....Reading had three scholars, and there was no hope of the school reviving under the then master....At Whitgift's Hospital, Croydon, the late master (who died in 1863), Mr Fearon was informed, found no pupils attending the school when he came, and never had any at all during the 30 odd years that he was master....At Netherbury the master has other business, and at one time carried on continuously with the school the business of a flour and spinning mill. Mr Stanton examined the upper half of the school: "they were profoundly ignorant on all subjects." [Vol. 1. pp. 225, 6.]

"The faults that may be charged in the buildings," reports Mr Bryce, speaking of the Lancashire Schools, “are of various kinds. I will briefly touch on some of the most conspicuous:

"1. They are, as a rule, ugly without and dingy within; ugly and dingy to a degree which not even a photograph could faithfully represent.... The interior is even more repulsive; the roof is low, and the small windows admit a feeble light. The walls are mostly whitewashed, or covered with a wash which once was white, but is now a grimy brown.

The desks and benches are old, clumsy, inconvenient. There is everywhere an air of discomfort and neglect.

2. It is seldom that they have any proper means of maintaining an equable temperature. The fireplace is usually at one end-the upper end where the teacher's desk is placed-of a longish room; and the master is fried while the boys are frozen. The floor is more frequently of stone than of wood-I have even seen it of mud, interspersed with puddles—and thus the maximum of noise and the minimum of heat is secured.

3. The room is generally dirty and untidy. There is often no porch where the children may clean their feet and hang up their caps or coats.

4. The faults which meet the eye, however, are very far from being the worst to be encountered in these schools; it is another sense which really suffers, and suffers more than can well be described...the ceilings are generally low; the windows small and few. Many have windows which do not open; in others they are not opened from fear of the violent thorough draughts which would ensue. The result must be felt to be. understood." [Vol. 1. pp. 279, 80.]

The chief recommendations of the Taunton Commission


S. M. L.


1. That a Central Authority should be appointed-a strengthened Charity Commission.

2. That Provincial Education Boards for the local grouping of Secondary Schools should be established.

A difficulty was felt in determining the areas of local administration and the Registrar-General's districts were suggested: but this was only in default of an official unit-area recognised for general administrative (including rating) purposes.

The Commissioners were fully alive to the immense gain which will accrue to Secondary Education when it can enlist on its side local interest and local support.

"The necessity of dealing with schools in groups," writes the Commission, "seems plainly to imply a corresponding necessity of local provincial Boards to deal with them...local opposition to many changes would be probably diminished and perhaps disappear if a considerable district, such, for instance, as a county, were handled by itself, and the endowments were administered for the benefits of that county....It is plain that a local Board has some very great advantages over a central authority. It can act from personal knowledge of the district, and consequently can consult the feelings and peculiarities of the people. It can inquire into all important endowments on the spot, and give every person interested an opportunity of being thoroughly heard. If in any substantial degree it represents the people, it carries a force with it which it is impossible to secure in any other way." [Vol. I. pp. 637, 638.]

3. That Boroughs should be empowered to rate themselves up to 2d. in the £ for the supply and maintenance of Secondary Schools.

4. That an Examining Council should be appointed to report upon the instruction given; half of the members of this Council were to be nominated by the Universities; the benefits of examination to be open to all, not merely to endowed, secondary schools; and all schools to be capable of inclusion in the list of 'efficient' schools.

Further, a Commissioner was to be appointed by the Central Body to each District with powers of inspection.

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