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alone can constitute education-not to speak of a liberal education. From an educational point of view it is of course useless to attempt classification by subject. Arithmetic, for instance, belongs exclusively neither to elementary, nor to secondary, nor again to technological instruction, for it enters into the curriculum of each of these types.
Lastly, the Education Department, under the influence of a somewhat narrow tradition, limited its powers as regards Secondary Education to considering how far the Charity Commission Schemes which were submitted to it bore upon the Elementary School system which it had to administer.
THE BRYCE COMMISSION. We now come to the most recent of the Commissions dealing with Secondary Education. The Bryce Commission, which sat for 17 months (March 1894-August 1895), if not the greatest of the Royal Commissions on the subject, was in several respects the most important. In the first place, it set up a new precedent as to the constitution of a Royal Commission, inasmuch as of its 17 members 3 were women. In the next place, its singular unanimity in a matter relating to so many interests as Secondary Education does, was paralleled by the cordiality with which the Recommendations were welcomed throughout the country. Doubtless some of this unanimity was directed rather to the general principles than to the details, but the broad fact of its general acceptability remains, and many of its Recommendations have found, and more will find, their way into the statute book.
The main Recommendations of this Commission were:
I. To create an Education Office under a responsible Minister of Education, with a permanent Secretary, and an advisory Educational Council to consist of 12 members, of whom one-third should be appointed by the Crown, one-third by the Universities, and one-third by co-optation.
Into the Office on the one hand were to be absorbed the Charity Commission, so far as educational endowments are
concerned, the Science and Art Department and the existing Education Department. And besides the Office the Commission advised Her Majesty to appoint a permanent Body of educational advisers, an Educational Council, whose functions were indicated as follows [Vol. 1, p. 258]:
"Most of the work to be assigned to the new Central Office would naturally be despatched by the Minister and his departmental staff in the usual way. There will be some matters however in which the counsel of persons specially conversant with education and holding an independent position, may be so helpful, and there will be some duties in their nature so distinctly judicial rather than executive, as to make it desirable to secure for the Minister the advice of persons not under his official direction. There will, moreover, be some work to be done in a Central Educational Department, so purely professional, as to belong rather to an independent body than to a Department of State. For these purposes we propose that there be created an Educational Council which may advise the Ministers in the first mentioned class of matters and in appeals, while such a professional function as the registration of teachers might be entirely committed to it. We do not advocate such a council on the ground that it will relieve a Minister of responsibility, for we conceive that the responsibility both for general policy and for the control of administrative details ought to be his and his alone; but we believe that the unwillingness which exists in some quarters to entrust to the Executive any powers at all in this branch of education would be sensibly diminished were his position at once strengthened and guarded by the addition of a number of independent advisers."
2. To establish Local Authorities of definite and uniform constitution in each County and County Borough (i.e. in Boroughs of more than 50,000 inhabitants).
These Local Authorities should supervise all local Secondary Schools and be bound to provide sufficient means of secondary education, whilst the Central Office should see that this duty is fulfilled. Non-local Schools were to be exempt from the Local Authority [Vol. 1, pp. 265, 272, 5].
3. Finance. In addition to the grants already available the Local Authorities were empowered to raise a local rate not exceeding 2d. in the £.
4. Inspection was to be separated from examination, and was to be mainly administrative, i.e. to deal with the efficient working of the School as a piece of administrative machinery rather than as a place of education, and as such inspection was to be conducted by the Local Authority, the examination of pupils was to remain in the hands of University and other examining bodies as before.
These Recommendations have suffered the fate of the Recommendations of every other Royal Commission on Education they have not been adopted in their entirety; on the other hand they were timely, they have served to focus public opinion, and in consequence have profoundly affected the important statute with which the century closes--the Board of Education Act, which came into legislative force in April 1900.
To come into legislative force is not quite the same thing as to come into active operation; that is left for the Twentieth Century.
I have called this Act an important Act, perhaps I should rather call it an Act of great potentialities. It appoints a Minister of Education and gives him a wide scope with much elasticity and freedom of action: it frees him from the detailed control of Parliament and hands over a great task with but few definite instructions. It is true that it leaves all the questions under discussion open questions, and in consequence it has been called vague, indefinite, and a mere skeleton of an Act; but in the existing state of public opinion this was inevitable, and was on the whole the wisest thing to do.
Let us note what the Act does :
I. It creates a Board of Education bringing together-not at once, but gradually-all the three central Authorities for Education. This central consolidation is bound to produce far-reaching results.
2. The Board of Education is placed, as the Bryce Commission recommended, under a responsible Minister, who (whatever his exact title may be) will be the Minister for
Education. If the President of the Board is in the House of Lords, he is to have a Parliamentary Secretary in the House of Commons; but it is probable that, owing to the extent of the public expenditure involved, it will become customary for the Minister to sit in the Lower House.
There is to be a permanent Secretary of the Education Office with certain Principal Assistant Secretaries.
The following diagram will show the relative positions of the chief officials at present appointed under the Board of Education Act:
The Board of Education Act, sweeping away as it does the old Committee of Council on Education, abolishes the VicePresidency of that Committee, but by special provision of the Act Sir John Gorst still enjoys the title and powers of VicePresident which, so soon as he leaves office, will become extinct. In consequence of this special provision the need for appointing a Parliamentary Secretary has not arisen.
The appointments indicated above do not constitute, it should be remarked, by any means an ideal arrangement, or even so good an arrangement as reasonably might have been expected from the assurances given on more than one occasion in the House of Lords by the Lord President of the Council
himself, who definitely promised to appoint three [not two] Principal Assistant Secretaries of equal status. These assurances, which had the effect of disarming hostility to the Board of Education Bill, have hitherto been disregarded in these official appointments, but as the existing arrangements are not prescribed by the Act they need not be regarded as an ultimate solution of the problem, and they may, at no distant date, give place to the arrangement contemplated immediately before the Act was passed.
3. There is to be attached to the Board of Education a Consultative Committee, composed, as to at least two-thirds, of persons "qualified to represent the views of Universities and other Bodies interested in education.'
In June 1900, the first appointments to membership of the Consultative Committee under the Act were made by Her Majesty in Council, and no reasonable objection can be raised against the personnel of this educational Council of 18 as first constituted. As in the Bryce Commission, there are upon it three women—Mrs Bryant, Miss Manley, and Mrs Sidgwick --but the method of selection is not that recommended by the Bryce Commission, which suggested a representative Body nominated in part by educational institutions. The Government has preferred to keep the nomination of members in its own hands. The Committee is empowered to frame regulations for the registration of teachers, but, apart from this function, has no power of initiative; time alone can show how this limitation will work.
4. But the Act goes far beyond mere administrative action : it arranges for the Inspection of all such Secondary Schools as shall apply to be inspected, and it draws no line (as has hitherto been done by the Charity Commissioners) between administrative and educational inspection.
Further, the Board is required to regard Inspection by the Universities as equivalent to the official Inspection. This provision will serve to keep together the great and the lesser