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was transferred to the Privy Council, like the Education Department, it was placed nominally under the Lord President of the Privy Council but virtually under the newly created officer of State, the Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education. This arrangement, with its possibility of divided counsels at head-quarters, has now been swept away by the Board of Education Act.
The Science and Art Department received an Imperial Grant which amounted in 1899 to as much as £600,000, and which it disbursed to Governing Bodies, to teachers and to students. The conditions on which it distributed the money have undoubtedly had a considerable effect in encouraging, especially in the case of adults, the teaching of subjects in the Science and Art Directory, but, in respect of Schools, the examination tests which it imposed were not on the whole such as tended to establish right methods of teaching or intelligent learning. These tests, so far as Schools are concerned, have been, and are still being, modified in the right direction; but, beyond this, a sound, if partial, system of educational Inspection is growing up in place of examination. Under this system not only such results of teaching as may be ascertained by written papers, but also practical work and the methods of teaching employed come under the personal review of the Departmental Inspector.
Since 1890, also, both teaching and learning in science subjects in Schools have been much improved by the establishment, under the term School of Science, of special departments within Schools with a prescribed curriculum for three years (or four) in certain subjects.
This step undoubtedly marks a real advance in administration. State control is likely to be more efficient when it recognises the limitations which school conditions necessarily impose upon the mutual relations of one subject to another in school courses of assigned length. But inasmuch as the conditions imposed affect, not the School as a whole, but merely a
part of it, and affect that part only in certain subjects, these regulations of Department must be regarded as an interim arrangement calling for early modification.
The influence exercised by the Department upon Secondary Schools has grown great from small beginnings. Broadly speaking, it has caused the substitution in most of the less wealthy endowed schools of grant-earning subjects for literary and linguistic studies, and has tempted Governing Bodies of Schools to surrender their own independent judgment as to the selection of the courses of study appropriate to their Schools, and to adopt instead the only course which would procure them a money grant.
This tendency was greatly increased by the working of the Technical Instruction Act (1889) followed by the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act (1890).
The first of these two Acts was passed to remedy our national deficiencies in the application of science and scientific method to our industries: it was the direct outcome of the Recommendations of the Royal Commission on Technical Instruction which sat from 1881-4. That Commission pointed out the need of good secondary schools of a modern type and declared that legislation was necessary to enable localities to found and support technical and secondary schools: they further expressed their conviction that a good secondary education is the best possible preliminary to all good technical instruction.
The second Act made available a very large annual sum of money, now £800,000 a year, for the promotion of Technical Education, and entrusted this sum to those Local Authorities -Counties and County Boroughs-which had recently been established (1888) and whose administrative powers extended over the whole area of the country.
It will be remembered that when in 1867 the Taunton Commission recommended the establishment of Local educaion Authorities there was not, except in boroughs, any adminis
trative area available; and, even in 1870, when the nation became awake to the urgent need for organising Elementary Education a new area-the School Board area-had first to be devised, and secondly to be left, as a matter of local option, with the consequence that, after thirty years from the passing of the Act, only two-thirds of the country and about half the population are now under the School Board system.
The definition of "technical instruction" which occurs in the Act of 1889 can only by courtesy be regarded as a definition at all: it is both prolix and obscure, and even self-contradictory1. Hence, even from the first, it has virtually been disregarded, and the Science and Art Department has been entrusted with the responsibility of interpreting it by Minute. The Department disregarding logic, but keeping essentials in view, has proceeded to sanction one by one every subject taught in schools except Classics, as coming under the head of "technical instruction." Thus, Local Authorities have been empowered bit by bit to aid secondary schools, and the majority of County Councils and County Boroughs have in a greater or less degree used their powers in this direction, but the indefinite character of the statute itself and the indirect method (viz. by Minute) adopted for supplying its deficiency have seriously impaired the effectiveness of the powers conferred by confusing the minds of local administrators.
The aid thus rendered to secondary schools has taken the shape of capital and of annual grants, the former for equipment, the latter for maintenance. In the County of London, for example, for the year ending March 25, 1900, the equipment grants made under this head were £1900, and the maintenance grants £22,870 [of which £7143 was paid in scholars' fees]. Further, it is to be remarked, that the London allocation was consequent on a preliminary survey of secondary schools within the County area, and is not based upon a mechanical scale, but has been adapted to the special needs of the
1 See note p. 170.
individual schools with a view to ensuring the efficiency of each. Thus the varying sums allotted bear witness to an effort to supplement deficiencies of income arising from small endowments or low fees.
On the whole, and with few exceptions, the conditions imposed by County Councils on grants to schools under the Acts have been reasonably framed, but it is no less true that in the distribution of these grants too little attention has hitherto been paid to the question of efficiency and its normal and ascertainable cost per pupil.
The third member of the Central Authority for Educationthe former Education Department-officially touched Secondary Education in three points only.
I. The Vice-President of the Committee of Council was at once virtually head of the Education Department and of the Science and Art Department.
2. The Education Department had the last word in respect of all School Schemes framed by the Charity Commission and could, if it chose, remit them for further consideration.
3. Lastly, in the necessary authorisation and inspection which the Education Department had to provide not only in Training Colleges, but within Elementary Schools, for Pupil Teachers, many most important questions of Secondary Education were raised in connection with the general course of education to be thus established.
Thus though there were three Central Authorities with powers bearing upon Secondary Education, viz. the Charity Commission, the Science and Art Department, and the Education Department, there was no Body which regarded education as a whole, and Secondary Education as a matter of national concern. Just sufficient touch between the three Bodies was maintained to prevent official friction, but, as they were united in no common educational aim, there resulted in each Office a district administrative tradition. The Educa
tion Department came to focus its attention on one-the elementary type of education-and rarely, if ever, considered the bearing of its actions on other types. The Science and Art Department was naturally limited to the scope implied by its name, and whilst encouraging Science and Art teaching in general, sought to establish a uniform test for all types of education. Lastly, the Charity Commission, originating as it did with a portion of the Court of Chancery, has regarded educational charities rather from the point of view of the interpretation of the trust than that of the interests of the persons for whom the trust was held.
One effect of the office tradition of the Charity Commission, which subordinates the financial to the legal aspect of the case has already been touched upon [p. 68]. Another and even more serious effect is to throw the office out of touch with the Schools whose Endowment it guards. This loss of touch with the changing requirements of education, which seems inseparable from the legal point of view as carried to its logical conclusion, is best exemplified in an extreme case by the famous judgment of Lord Eldon in the case of Leeds Grammar School. In this case the locality sought to improve the curriculum of Leeds Grammar School, then a purely classical School, by including arithmetic, writing and other subjects, but the learned Chancellor whilst admitting that from an educational point of view the proposal was not unreasonable, declined to sanction the changes on the ground that the applicants had not produced sufficient evidence to show that the estate of the Trust would thereby be benefited'.
Again, the Science and Art Department till 1890 consistently pursued the idea of payment by subjects, quite regardless of those right combinations and proportions of subjects which
The exact words are worth preserving: "A provision for teaching educational subjects in a separate branch of the school might be very useful to the rising generation of Leeds, but could not possibly be represented as useful to that charity" [The Attorney General v. Whiteley, 11. Vesey, 241].