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Report on the York and Ripon Training Institution for Females. By
IN obedience to your Lordships' instructions, I inspected the above institution on January 15, 1849, and following days. This institution was established in August, 1846, by certain members of the Church of England, lay and cleric, under the especial patronage of his Grace the late Archbishop of York and the Lord Bishop of Ripon.
The present premises, situate in Monkgate, were originally purchased for a training school for masters at a cost of 3,1007., but on the erection of new buildings were devoted to the use of mistresses. The buildings consist of kitchen and offices, two school-rooms, waiting-room, boarders' sitting-room, and twenty bed-rooms. The house throughout is lighted with gas; the warming and ventilation appear to be good.
In addition to the above there is a separate building contiguous to the main edifice, originally a cottage, at present unused, but capable of conversion into a small practising school, with class-rooms. Its dimensions are 19 × 15 × 105. The number of students during the first quarter was three,
The increase in the seventh quarter was caused by the endowment of 20 exhibitions; ten of them at 187. per annum each, and ten at 107. per annum each, for students of the dioceses of York and Ripon in equal numbers, selected after examination.
The exhibitioners are required to read and write fairly, to write from dictation tolerably; to work sums accurately in the four first rules in arithmetic, simple and compound, and to possess a fair knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and of the Church Catechism.
This standard, I believe, has not been very rigidly insisted upon, from the great difficulty of obtaining students so qualified.
The superintendent states that the attainments of the students generally admitted are very low, that their previous education has very frequently been almost entirely neglected, and that a great portion of time is consumed in instructing them in those elementary branches of learning which belong more properly to a national school than to a training institution.
On this ground it would seem desirable, that the managers should carefully consider whether the standard at present practically adopted in the appointment of exhibitioners, and admission of students be sufficiently high for the purposes contemplated in this institution, as it would seem preferable that a failure should rather be in the want of a full complement of students than in a deficiency of proper instruction to those under training.
The social positions of the students appear to be very varied. I was unable to ascertain those of all, but the following will account for 41 of those who have been admitted :—
From this it will be seen that the students are, for the most part, derived from the middle class of society. Their low attainments will go far to corroborate the general impression of the unfavourable state of education in that class of society from which they are taken, and will show the importance of establishing efficient middle schools,—a subject to which the managers of this institution have turned their attention. The moral conduct of the students is said to be good. No gross crime in this respect has occurred since the opening of the institution. This of course may, in some measure, be accounted for, from the fact that all come with certificates of good conduct from the clergymen of the parishes to which they severally belong. Prudential motives also may be supposed to operate strongly in a case where offences can scarcely escape detection, and where discovery is attended with the destruction of all hopes of future success in their profession.
Much, however, is due to the careful and judicious superintendency of Miss Cruse.
The number admitted since the opening of the institution is 62 of these, 34 have left, 25 of whom are now in situations. The other nine were dismissed unqualified. There are now in residence 29, of whom one has been there for more than 12 months, 24 above six months; four recently admitted; of those who have been trained and are now in situations, one was in the institution for 12 months; five above six months; nine above
three months; the others for less than three months, of whom six were there merely for a week during the harvest holidays.
Of the 25 in situations, the schools of three, are under Government inspection, viz., Cleckheaton, Yorkshire; Houghtonle-Spring, Durham; Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire: of these, three have apprentice pupil-teachers.
The inference from this would be, to some extent at least, that the mistresses trained at the institution are not qualified to carry on their schools at the standard fixed upon by their Lordships.
The probability, I imagine, is, that the majority are in small village-schools, where high attainments in the teachers are not considered requisite.
The payments of each student are 181. per annum, which include all expenses except washing.
The employment of each day will be seen from the following time-table :
Rise at six. When the bell rings, take the clothes from the beds, and turn the mattresses; assemble in the day-room at to 7, when the names are called over, and no excuse for absence is allowed but in case of sickness. Go to church at 10 minutes to 7. After service, two pupils in turn prepare the breakfast, the rest may clean their shoes, or tidy their own rooms. Breakfast at 8. After breakfast, make beds. All but the gallery monitors must be in the school-room by 9.
Study from 9 to 12.
12 to past, practice singing.
Dining-room monitors may go into the kitchen at 20 minutes to 1 to assist in preparing dinner.
Dinner at 1.
past 1 till 2, recreation.
Study from 2 till 5.
Tea at 5.
Study from 7 till 8. Supper.
Prayers at past 8.
past 9, retire to rest.
to 10, lights extinguished.
Each pupil is required to make her own bed and keep her room in the neatest order. Combs, brushes, shoes, &c. to be kept in bags. Basins and ewers, &c. to be always clean. Sweeping days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, when the gallery monitors will sweep every room, stairs, &c., and shake the carpets, and see everything in proper order.
If any pupil neglect to observe the rules, it is the duty of the gallery monitors to report her to the Superintendent.
No shawls, handkerchiefs, or bonnets are to be hung on the pegs in the gallery, but umbrellas and cloaks may be placed there. Every pupil must send her clothes to be washed every week. The gallery monitors must keep the passage at the bottom of the stairs in order, and never allow dirty shoes to be worn up stairs. The school-room monitor must keep the passage between the two rooms in order,
No pupil is to go out without leave, nor write letters without permission. The envelopes of all letters are to be signed by the superintendent or Miss C. Cruse.