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mode of assessment on the efficiency of the schools. They finally concluded that:
"The distribution of the Parliamentary grant cannot be wholly freed from its present dependence on the results of examination without the risk of incurring graver evils than it is sought to cure. Nor can we believe that Parliament will continue to make so large an annual grant as that which now appears in the Education estimates without in some way satisfy. ing itself that the quality of the education given justifies the expenditure. Nevertheless we are unanimously of opinion that the present system of 'payment by results' is carried too far and is too rigidly applied, and that it ought to be modified and relaxed in the interests equally of the scholars, of the teachers, and of education itself."
Accordingly the Report proceeded to recommend some substantial modifications of the system then in force, e.g. that there should be a fixed grant of 10s. per scholar, and a variable grant of about the same amount, dependent partly on the results of individual examination and partly on various conditions hitherto recognizable under the name of the 'Merit Grant,' the principle of which they sought to retain, though under a slightly altered form. Effect was subsequently given to these recommendations by changes made during the VicePresidency of Sir W. Hart Dyke and of Mr Acland. But later experience has, under the present régime, led to the complete abandonment of all attempts to graduate the grant according to the degrees of efficiency in a school. In place of a report on the individual examination of scholars there is to be one summary estimate of the school as a whole; in place of an annual examination, occasional inspection without notice; and in place of a variable grant, dependent on a report in detail on the several subjects of instruction and on specific merits or educational defects, one 'block' grant, payable to all schools alike, which are not found to be bad enough to justify the withholding of the grant altogether.
This change of policy has been received with much public approval, but it is too early to forecast all its consequences. The policy which trusts the teachers, and provides that if a
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school is not up to a high level of excellence it shall nevertheless receive the maximum, or nearly the maximum grant, in order that it may make itself better, is a generous policy. The reaction against a discredited mode of awarding the public grant has been complete, and it remains to be seen whether the opposite of wrong proves to be right. Yet, after all, liberty to improve may imply in some cases liberty to remain unimproved. Many of the best school managers are beginning to complain that some of the safeguards for thorough and accurate teaching have disappeared, and they are looking anxiously for some other safeguards to take their place. The motive force in the grant-earning system was not a very noble one, but some motive force may still be found needful in hundreds of schools, which are neither good nor bad, but dull and apathetic, contentedly acquiescing in routine and in a low standard of aim as well as achievement. We do not want to bring about again the state of things which existed when the Duke of Newcastle's Commission made its report, and when slovenly teaching and slovenly inspection seemed to call for a sharp and summary remedy. So it may be that further modification in the Code will prove to be needed and that new precautions will be required.
The Scotch Education Department, which on more than one occasion has set an example worthy of imitation, has in its new code for this year taken two such precautions: (1) the permission to the Inspector to recommend deductions of one to five-tenths, from the Block grant, for faults of instruction, or imperfect discipline; and (2) the award of a leaving or Merit Certificate to scholars who at the end of their school course prove on examination to have received a satisfactory general education appropriate to their age. The former of these expedients will discriminate the degrees of efficiency in the inspected schools, will make the inspectors' reports more detailed, and therefore more helpful to managers in their efforts to improve; and the latter will set before every teacher the
goal which ought to be attained, and, by means of an effective individual examination at the seventh standard, correct any tendency to laxity which may have been observed in the ordinary work of the school. Neither of these two expedients has yet been adopted in England. The great problem which confronts all Governments in regard to education,-how to give guidance and regulation to those who need them, and liberty to those who know how to use it,-is not yet finally solved; and the nineteenth century, though it has made distinct advance and tried many fruitful experiments, leaves to its successor a system which with all its merits is still imperfect, and on which the last word has not yet been said.
One of the greatest needs of our time is that of some means of prolonging educational discipline and cultivating the desire for self-improvement beyond the age of fourteen, when the strictly primary course is finished. In Germany and Switzerland this object is largely attained by legislation, which compels the boy or girl to attend a supplementary school for two or three evenings in the week. In France and Belgium it is met partly by the Écoles Primaires Supérieures, which carry on the primary course to new subjects, but on the same lines, to the age of 16 or 17 and partly by various technical and industrial institutions, apprentice schools, schools of commerce, and the like. We are waking up to a sense of the need which exists for some provision of this kind, but it is curiously characteristic of the haphazard character of English legislation on this subject that we owe the chief modern resources for this supplementary instruction to unexpected accidents. In 1890 Parliament was called upon to deal with the excise duties derived from the sale of spirits, and it was proposed by the Government to devote a considerable portion of this sum to compensation to publicans for the loss of licenses. But energetic efforts were made to prevent such an appropriation. Mr A. Acland interposed, and suggested that this part of the revenue should be ear-marked and devoted to Technical Education. The moment was favour
able, 'the blessed word' Technical, though its meaning was only very imperfectly understood, touched the imagination of the House of Commons and the country; and in this way a sum of nearly £1,000,000 per annum was definitely secured for distribution among the County Councils of England and Wales, in proportion to the several populations. The share of this sum accruing to the London County Council is upwards of £180,000 a year, and this sum has been most judiciously devoted to the encouragement of scientific instruction in schools, to apprenticeship and scholarships for promising scholars, to manual training, and in many ways to the improvement of the intelligence and skill of young artizans of both sexes. Fortunately the Act of Parliament gives a very elastic meaning to the word 'technical,' and it is becoming daily more evident that preparation for a skilled handicraft alone would prove very unsatisfactory except as a part of a wider and more general curriculum of a secondary type, in which the claims of language, literature, and the 'humanities' generally shall be duly co-ordinated with physical science and manual industry.
The other windfall which has come into the possession of the public recently is derived from the City Parochial Charities. Mr Bryce, in 1883, succeeded in drawing attention to the large sums available in the City parishes, from ancient endowments, which were once useful when the citizens of London resided in their places of business, but which had become obsolete, and were indeed mischievously wasted. The Commissioners found that large local charities for doles, for apprenticing, for pensions and Christmas gifts had ceased to be of use, partly because no worthy recipients were to be found, and partly because the value of the estates had in many cases increased out of all proportion to any conceivable local requirements. So, after devoting £155,000 to the purchase of open spaces and an equal sum for erecting Polytechnic institutions in the suburbs of London, an annual revenue of about £50,000 was secured for the maintenance of those institutions, and otherwise for placing
within reach of the young artizans of London, trade laboratories, classes and special instruction adapted to the industrial needs of the Metropolis. The London School Board, also, by means of its continuation schools, is strenuously exerting itself to afford additional means of advanced and appropriate instruction to scholars who have passed through the primary school course.
It need hardly be said here that finality has not been reached. There are grave problems yet unsolved, which will call for the exercise of all the experience and wisdom of the new Board of Education, even when aided by its Consultative Committee. There is first of all the question of the training of teachers. After all that has been said of the urgent importance of this question, it is a little humiliating to reflect that one half of the schoolmasters and mistresses who enter the profession each year have received no regular training, and have had no means of obtaining it. Last year about 4400 new recruits obtained certificates-scarcely enough to supply the yearly waste in an army of 60,000 fully qualified teachers, and of these only 2200 proceeded from Training Colleges, 1400 being from denominational institutions-Anglican, Roman Catholic, or Wesleyan and 800 from undenominational colleges, including the day students from the normal departments of the great provincial Colleges of University rank. The rest—amounting to about one-half of the total number- are assistant teachers and others who have qualified by passing the certificate examination, but are untrained. It is evident that we need more normal or training institutions. Yet the Government does not establish them; the School Boards have no legal power to do so; and from the first the Government has relied mainly on the provision for training which has been furnished by the Churches. Nobody has better reason than I have to know how much faithful and valuable work has been done in the denominational Colleges and what devoted teachers they have succeeded in producing. But there are inevitable limitations to the usefulness of close