Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

nished apartments be provided for the teachers in workhouses; that they be supplied with rations, the same in kind and quantity as the master of the workhouse; that they be subjected to no menial offices; that they have proper assistance in the management of the children when not in school, so that they may have time for exercise, and for the education of their pupilteachers; and otherwise defining their duties and privileges; and that the Secretary be directed to communicate with the Poor Law Commission on these subjects.

Their Lordships, having further under consideration the expediency of encouraging teachers who obtain certificates of competency and efficiency, by permitting, under the Minutes of August and December, 1846, certain of their scholars to be apprenticed to them, and by allowing them the annual gratuities granted in those Minutes for the instruction of their apprentices, resolved, that, one-half the above stipends of pupilteachers, and the entire gratuities to the teacher for the successful education of apprentices, be granted to teachers of workhouseschools holding certificates of competency or efficiency, on condition that the stipend of the pupil-teacher be reserved by the Committee of Council on Education, to form a fund which shall be given to him on his leaving the workhouse, if he successfully complete his apprenticeship, in order to provide for his further education in any training-school which he may enter with their Lordships' approbation.

Letter containing Instructions to Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools of Parochial Unions in England and Wales.

Committee of Council on Education, SIR,

Privy Council Office, Downing Street, February 5, 1848. I Am directed to communicate to you the enclosed Minute respecting the administration of the grant of 30,0001. for the salaries of the masters and mistresses of schools in parochial unions; and I am also to request your attentive perusal of the Paper communicated by Sir George Grey to the Committee of Council on the 18th of November, 1846, and which is printed at page 47 of their Lordships' Minutes for 1846 (vol. i.).

From these documents you will learn by what gradual measures their Lordships intend to provide for the examination of the teachers of workhouse schools, and, after the lapse of the present year, for the settlement of their salaries, so as to correspond with the certificates which they may obtain.

The first object to which you will address jourself, during the year 1848, will be to obtain an accurate knowledge of the eondition of the existing schools, and to ascertain, by an examination in strict accordance with the Paper published in their

1

Lordships' Minutes (vol. I. 1846), what are the qualifications of the teachers. A copy of this paper should be communicated to each school committee; they should be informed during the present year, at each visit you may make to the school, what certificate the teacher could at that time obtain, and what salary would be awarded with such a certificate. You will probably be able to make two such visits to the school during the present year, and you will thus ascertain whether the teacher is improving himself by self-education, and will probabiy be able to inform the Guardians, with some confidence, what certificate the teacher can hope to obtain in 1849, when his salary will be dependent upon it.

You will observe that, in order to avoid an abrupt termination of the engagements of teachers who are improving themselves, but who may not in 1849 be able to pass an examination entitling them to obtain from the parliainentary grant the salary which they now enjoy, the Guardians will in such cases be permitted, during one year, to make up the difference between the salary consequent on the certificate, and that which had been previously voted by the Guardians. This provisional arrangement will cease with the year 1819.

With regard to the lower certificates of permission and of probation, you will perceive that they are each granted for one year only.

When very humble attainments are united with industry, correct conduct, and successful efforts for self-improvement, my Lords do not refuse the lowest rate of salary for one year; during which time the master may have an opportunity to raise his acquirements to the level of a second degree of probation.

To masters who in the first year might be admitted to this second degree of probation, their Lordships would allow during one year the next higher rate of salary; at the end of which time the teacher might by self-improvement obtain a certificate of competency

Such schoolmasters as might in the year 1849 obtain a certificate of competency would at once enter upon permanent service during good conduct, but would obtain higher emoluments if upon examination they were found afterwards to deserve the certificate of efficiency. This rank would also be given in the year 1849 to any master provided with proper testimonials of character and conduct from the Board of Guardians and Chaplain, and also able to pass the requisite examination.

By these means the salaries of workhouse schoolmasters will, in the year 1849, be graduated according to their merit; and the immoral and incapable will be deprived of all emolument, while those who remain will have a strong motive for selfimprovement.

a

The establishment of a Normal School is required to secure the general efficiency of workhouse schools.

Meanwhile it is expedient that your attention should be given to the means of rendering the position of the teacher in a workhouse one of comfort and respectability, so that it may be permanently occupied by a well-instructed man. He ought to be provided with separate apartments, decently furnished; and it is desirable that, if he prefer it, he should have the right to take his meals alone. His duties rightly performed will absorb his time. He should not therefore be charged with any other functions, and particularly he cannot be allowed to fulfil the offices of porter, or clerk to the master, &c. .

The regulations of the Poor Law Commissioners will so distinguish the privileges and obligations of a teacher in a workhouse, as to remove him from degradation and drudgery inconsistent with his efficiency in his school, and to procure for him proper periods for exercise.

In the school the moral and religious instruction, the training in industry, and in elementary knowledge, are matters to which your special observation and inquiry will be directed; it is therefore desirable that you should know what is the view which my Lords take of the education required for a pauper child.

The education of a child in a workhouse, though separated from intercourse with depraved inmates, is necessarily carried on under circumstances requiring peculiar precautions. The common incidents of the house, which is not only the asylum of indigence, but of vagrancy, are not likely to raise the standard of his morality, or to give him a vigorous sense of independence. It is therefore important that the school of the Workhouse should be as separate as possible from the other wards. No pauper should have charge of the children in their employments. If this rule be broken, discrimination will be difficult, and probably associations allowed which will corrupt the scholars.

On these and other accounts, it is desirable that schools separated from workhouses should be formed for districts of Unions, wherever the population is of sufficient density to supply the requisite number of children within a moderate area.

Parliament has already sanctioned such arrangements, and it may be hoped will be prepared to grant whatever facilities may be required, to provide a thoroughly efficient training in religion and industry for children whose destitution leaves them no hope, if neglected by the public.

In large cities and other populous districts, your attention will therefore be particularly given to the means which under the present law exist for the creation of such District Pauper Schools, in order that the education of this class of children may be conducted apart from the workhouse, and that it may

a

be rendered more efficient by the united funds and combined efforts of four or five Unions.

You will report on such combinations as may suggest themselves to you, in order that they may be brought under the consideration of the Poor Law Commissioners.

The letter of the Poor Law Commissioners to the Chaplain of the Norwood Schools of Industry, conveying their view of the mode in which his spiritual instructions might most effectually promote the education of such children, deserves your attentive perusal.

Before this letter was issued, it was submitted to the Bishops of London and Winchester, and approved by them ; it may therefore be regarded as having authority, and the experience of several years now confirms the wisdom of its suggestions, If this letter be not in the hands of the chaplains of the Unions which you visit, it may be well to introduce it to their consideration.

The volumes of the Reports on the training of pauper children, and those more recently published in the “Minutes of the Committee of Council on Education,” respecting the Schools of Industry at Norwood, Liverpool, and Manchester, contain an account of the plans which have been pursued in such schools.

One of the first things to be done in a workhouse school is to devise proper employments for the scholars, suited to develop their strength, and to prepare them for a course of honest industry.

It is not within the scope of this letter to give more than very general indications. In rural work houses no labour is more suitable than that of a garden. Tile and brick-making, with stout and hardy boys, would tend to rear them in vigour and in habits suited to field-work. Such employments as can be pursued in the open air are always to be preferred for the young

It is therefore to be hoped that the pauper children may soon be withdrawn from the workhouses in towns and great cities.

If the garden be the chief employment for the boys, the mode of cultivating it would afford ample subjects for instruction in the school.

In seaports the school might be kept in a ship moored in the harbour, like that of the Marine Society on the Thames, so that the boys should be accustomed to those employments which would prepare them for the enterprise of a sailor's life.

The workhouses of great cities and of densely-peopled manufacturing districts afford the least healthful means of employment. If some manual craft must be followed within doors, that should be preferred which is best adapted to develop the strength, and which most exercises the mind in contrivance,

A child should not for misfortune be condemned to some mean mechanical drudgery, such as sorting hair or bristles, or picking oakum; such work as heading pins, or making hooks-and-eyes, or chopping billets, is too easily learned, is too monotonous, and does nothing, beyond promoting docility in continuous labour, to prepare

him for his after-life. For in-door employment in towns, and for winter work in the country, coopering, basketmaking, tinman's and blacksmith's work, carpentry, and printing, are preferable to tailoring and shoemaking, which are now commonly resorted to, because more easily taught, and of more immediate use in the establishment. In-door work should alternate, especially in town workhouse-schools, with some out-door relaxation, in which the children should be allowed all natural freedom while attended by the schoolmaster.

To the girls, under proper arrangements, the workhouse affords ample opportunities for instruction in cutting out clothes, in sewing, knitting, and mending, in washing and all laundry work, in cooking and kitchen labour, and in all the services of a housemaid. Such instruction may be combined with lessons in the school on cottage economy. Care however should be taken that this work is done under the eye of servants of good moral character, and that the children do not associate with the paupers of the workhouse.

A practical connexion should be established between these employments and the instruction of the boys and girls in their schoolrooms.

Too little importance is attached in schools to the period at which children are taught to write. The art of writing a small hand neatly and quickly should accompany or precede fluency of reading

If the early acquirement of this art be kept in view in work. house schools, you will place in the hands of the scholars and masters one of the chief instruments of instruction.

Lessons in dictation, in writing abstracts from memory, in letter-writing, prepare the scholars for keeping accounts of domestic, or garden, or other work, and thus furnish the most practical link between the labour and the lessons of the school.

A class-book on cottage economy and garden culture is required for the success of schools of industry; and my Lords regret that they cannot refer you to any such book.

It will be your duty to procure from the Board of Guardians, as a condition of the grant of salary to the teachers, a wellordered arrangement of desks and benches, and a sufficient supply of the lesson-books for the use of the school.

Your visit to a workhouse school should, if possible, be made to correspond with the day of meeting of the Board of Guardians; and you should at all events give notice of your intended visit at least one week previously, in the forms provided for

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »