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part of the Minutes in which certificates respecting religious instruction and religious qualifications are required from the managers of schools not connected with the Established Church. The Deputation were anxious to explain that the objection of the Free Church of Scotland to that part of the measure was not by any means the same with the objection felt by some other religious bodies, particularly in England, who deny the right of the Government to interfere in the matter of the religious instruction at all, even to the extent of asking the managers of their schools to certify their own satisfaction with it, and who consequently feel it to be a grievance that such a certificate should be required from them. It was explained, on behalf of the Free Church, that she has no scruple, for her own part, in acknowledging the right of the Government to take cognizance of the religion taught in her schools ; but that her difficulty is of an entirely different kind, inasmuch as she holds that the Government, by requiring the certificate in question, does involve itself in the responsibility of dealing with the religious element in the education which it promotes, while by accepting as satisfactory the certificate of managers of any religious persuasion, (Popish, or Socinian, as well as Protestant and Evangelical,) the Government appear to act upon the principle of indiscriminately acknowledging and supporting religious truth and error alike. The Deputation endeavoured to show that it would be better for the Government to require no religious certificate of any sort from the managers of schools aided by them, than to accept certificates indiscriminately from all.

In reply, it was stated that the Committee of Council were in the act of preparing a document containing such explanations and modifications of the particular portion of the Minutes referred to, as, it was hoped, might satisfy the Deputation and their constituents. The precise nature of the proposed modifications was not communicated to the Deputation; but, generally, the Deputation were led to anticipate that the rule requiring a certificate regarding religion would, to a certain extent, be relaxed or dispensed with; and that, in the case of Roman Catholic schools, special Minutes would be framed, fitted to make the Government assistance apply exclusively to the secular education given, without involving any responsibility for the religious element. The Deputation, of course, reserved their right of judging of the modifications indicated, when these should be more fully and formally before them; expressing, at the same time, their conviction that their constituents would be disposed to give a favourable consideration to whatever might be proposed, with a view to render the present measure more satisfactory.

III. The Deputation next adverted to the subject of the

application of the Minutes of Council to the parochial schools of Scotland. It was explained, on the part of the Government, that while the endowments already provided by law would not be taken into account, as constituting a claim for grants under the Minutes, yet, in the event of any additional salary being given, by the voluntary subscription of the heritors or other parties, that salary, together with the fees, would be held as entitling the teacher of a parochial school, equally with the teacher of any other school, to a share in the benefits of this new scheme, on the other conditions being complied with, to the satisfaction of the Government and its Inspectors. Upon this proposed application of the plan, the Deputation took the liberty of representing, that, while it admitted the schools already endowed by law to a participation in the new grant, on equal terms with schools altogether dependent upon voluntary resources, it manifestly placed these last at a great disadvantage, and gave an undue preference to the former class of schools, which not only would be enabled, by the fact of their holding public endowments already, to provide more easily the additional funds necessary to give them a claim on the new grant, but, in receiving that grant, would, in fact, be doubly endowed by the State, while all others obtained only a single boon; that this favour, shown to the endowed parochial schools, seemed the more inequitable, inasmuch as no change was to be made in their constitution, and no comprehensive measure of reform was proposed, for removing their sectarian character as a mere pendicle of the Established Church, opening them to the general religious community, and otherwise improving their management; and that, failing any such general revisal of the whole educational system of Scotland, as such a reform would imply, and as the third resolution of the General Assembly desiderates, the most equal and expedient course would seem to be this, -to limit the application of the present plan to schools dependent upon voluntary resources, including, of course, schools on that footing connected with the Established Church, as well as others,—and to reserve the publicly-endowed parochial schools as a separate class, to be dealt with, as to increase of salaries and other amendments, according to their own peculiar claims and circumstances, in a distinct legislative measure altogether, without attempting to bring them under the operation of the present Minutes.

In reply, it was intimated generally that, while the Government were by no means to be understood as indifferent to the considerations thus urged relative to a revisal of the parochial school system, yet the present measure being one limited to the mere object of aiding and encouraging voluntary efforts, by whomsoever made, there seemed no sufficient reason for making a distinction between one class of schools and another; it being

the principle of the measure that all schools, whether endowed already or not, may receive additional aid from the new grant, in proportion to such voluntary efforts as may be made on their behalf.

IV. The Deputation then proceeded to certain matters of detail, connected with the receiving of grants under the Minutes. Of these the principal are the following:

1. It being understood that grants for building schools are given upon conditions of these schools being always open to Government inspection, and it being explained that the right of inspection on the part of the Government, as at present limited and defined, is fully acknowledged by the Free Church; the question was put;--Supposing that at any future time the terms of inspection should be altered, or a right of inspection claimed beyond that now in use,—would the managers of schools, partly built by grants of public money, be still bound to submit to such Government inspection, thus altered and modified ? Or, in case of their refusal to do so, would they forfeit the property of the schools, or be bound to repay the sums originally advanced by the Government for their erection ?

The reply was most frank and explicit, in the negative; and it was added, that, no objection would be made to an express article being inserted in the title-deeds, referring to the Minute at present defining the right of inspection, and stipulating that, in the event of a departure from that Minute, on the part of the Government, there shall be no obligation on the proprietors or managers of the schools, either to submit to any inspection other than that now in use, or to refund the money advanced by the Government. In short it was stated, that, every security the parties might deem desirable would be given on this subject. It was also explained that, in the case of schools connected with the Free Church of Scotland, the same assurance would be given as in the case of schools belonging to several other religious bodies; that any Inspector named by Government, for these schools, would be one of whom the Church, through the General Assembly or its Committee, expressed approbation.

2. In regard to applications for annual grants under the Minutes, it was asked-- What evidence will ordinarily be required to satisfy the Committee of the Privy Council, that, any particular school is needed in the district in which it stands, and that it ought to be recognised as entitled to its fair share of the grant, equally with others similarly situated ? Supposing, in any given school, all the other conditions, as to pecuniary resources, the qualifications of teachers, &c., satisfactorily complied with, will it be held enough to have the report of the Government Inspector or Inspectors, that, a sufficient number of children (say 50 or 60 in the country, and

90 or 100 in towns) either are actually in attendance upon the school, or engaged to attend, without the question being raised as to the contiguity of other schools, of a different denomination, or the amount of vacant accommodation in such schools ? In reply it was stated, that the Committee of Privy Council could not limit their discretion in judging of the comparative urgency of applications; their Lordships were disposed to receive representations, and to inquire as to the sufficiency of the existing school accommodation; and they would also consider any other ground which might be urged for the erection of a new school, where a school or schools had been previously established.

3. It being understood that the Committee of Privy Council are very unwilling to assist schools taught in ecclesiastical buildings, or buildings forming part of churches, it was explained by the Deputation that their constituents also discouraged, as far as practicable, the uniting of churches and schools in the same buildings; but it was added, that, this could not in every case be prevented; and the instance of the West Port Territorial Church and School (Dr. Chalmers'), in Edinburgh, was specified, where the school forms the lower story of the building, and the church is placed above it. The question was put ;-How far, in such a peculiar and exceptionable case, the Committee of Privy Council would be inclined to give assistance, if not for the erection, yet at least for the salary of the teacher, &c., from year to year, upon an assurance being given that the school apartments should be exclusively devoted to school

purposes, for at least 51 days cach week, and from 9 o'clock, A.M., to 5, P.M., each day?

In reply it was explained, that, though the Committee of Council were precluded from granting any assistance towards the erection of such school-rooms, and though the assistance contemplated under the recent Minutes could not be extended to them generally, yet their Lordships would be prepared to consider applications, when the schools were regarded as provisional and temporary until another school could be erected.

4. It was asked ;-What separation of the buildings would be held sufficient to entitle the school to be held a distinct erection from the church?

In reply it was stated, that, their Lordships consider it on all accounts expedient that the church and the school should be distinct buildings. The difficulty of obtaining sites in large towns having been represented, it was said that their Lordships would not refuse to admit a school to the benefits of their recent Minutes, because it had been constructed contiguously to the church, and had one wall of the church as a common party-wall. But, in applications for aid to erect schools, their Lordships would prefer that, when the school and church are

contiguous, they should be separate buildings, not having a common party-wall. When such schools were erected with a party-wall common to the church, the grant would be proportionably less than in other cases.

It was further stated to be a condition of assistance towards the erection of such school-buildings, that, their Lordships require to be satisfied with the title or disposition by which they are held in trust for the education of the poor, and that the right of Inspection is secured in the deed.

The preceding matters of inquiry appeared to the Deputation to comprehend all that it was needful for them to bring before the President of the Council; and, in now reporting to their constituents the particulars of the conference with which they were favoured, the Deputation cannot but again acknowledge the patience and courtesy with which their statements were received. They must regret indeed that the Government are not prepared to adopt so sound and comprehensive an educational measure as the peculiar position of Scotland might entitle her to expect. But, at the same time, they are bound to say, that, so far as regards the application of the present plan to the schools connected with the Free Church of Scotland, the Deputation found the utmost anxiety manifested to obviate difficulties, and to administer impartially the public grant; and every assurance was given that applications for aid to these schools will receive all the consideration to which they are entitled.

Answer relating to the foregoing Report.

Committee of Council on Education, SIR,

Council Office, Whitehall, July 28, 1817.
I AM directed by the Lord President to inform you, that,
he has perused with care the draft Report, by the Deputation
from the Education Committee of the Free Church of Scot-
land, "of what passed in interview between them and the
Right Honorable the Lord President of the Privy Council;"
and I am to express to you his Lordship's satisfaction with
the general accuracy of that report. In that report, however,
his Lordship has suggested alterations which are marked in
the enclosed draft, in order to obviate the chance of miscon-
ceptions, and to set forth distinctly the views of the Committee
of Council, as he hoped they had been understood.
With these alterations the Report is confirmed.

I have the honor to be, &c.,
John Gibson, Esq., (Signed) J. P. KAY SHUTTLEWORTH.

&c. &c. &c.

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