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impediment has been partly grappled with by the Legislature, in the case of cotton and silk mills, by the half-time system. But other injuries are caused to education from the value of juvenile labour, besides non-attendance or short attendance at school. The children very early become self-willed, and even independent. It is almost incredible how soon they become their own masters, and I believe it is quite common for them, in towns like Manchester, to dictate what school they will go to, and what school they will leave. This strikes a great blow at discipline in schools.
I have made a passing allusion to the evils resulting from female labour in the mills. It is for politicians to consider whether such labour can be further restricted by law with safety. But there is a point connected with that labour which all friends to education should consider, and, if possible, remedy. I refer to the case of the helpless infants whose mothers go to the mills; they are either left to themselves or to the care of a sister, kept from school for that purpose, or to persons for the most part totally unfit for the charge. The consequence is obvious; and it is a well-ascertained fact that half the children at least, born in factory districts, die before the age of five years; and those who survive grow up an enfeebled race. Would it not be worth while, in our large factory towns, to have special asylums for these poor babes, at which their mothers, as they go to the mill, might deposit them every morning, and call for them in the evening ? Proper nurses would have to be provided, but fees would be charged to the mothers, which would nearly cover the expense of the asylums.
The disorganization of parochial schools arising from the mixture of the “ half-timers,” and the irregular attendants from the print-works, with the rest of the children, is so great an evil that it would be best, perhaps, in factory towns for the managers of the various parochial schools to combine to establish special schools for those children who are employed in the mills
, instead of mixing them up with the children of the other labouring population.
My remarks have extended beyond what I contemplated or expected, I must therefore bring them to a close. There is one topic, however, of such immense importance to this district that I should be loth to leave it altogether unmentioned. I mean evening schools. Much more use ought to be made of them. Youths should here systematically carry on from the age of 13 or 14 to 23 or 24, the education which they had only commenced in the elementary school. The same buildings would serve.
What is wanted is the masters and the funds to pay them. The masters of the evening schools must be adequately paid, and they must not be the teachers who have been at work all day in the parochial schools. I see no way to bring about this vital measure except by large special assistance from the Committee of Council, derived from the Parliamentary grant for education, or from an educational rate. The voluntary system has done a vast deal, but it has nearly, if not quite, run to the end of its tether. And if I were to sum up in one sentence the result of my experience during the last 12 years, which I have chiefly devoted to education, as a parochial clergyman, as Secretary of the National Society, and one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, I should say that the problem which statesmen have to solve in England is, how to continue to have schools managed and supported pretty nearly as they now are, but at the same time to have their grievous wants and deficiencies supplied by large public aid derived from a Parliamentary grant, or, still better, from a rate for education. I have the honor to be, &c.,
General Report on the Schools inspected in part of Wales, com
prising the Counties of Brecon, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Glamorgan, Merioneth, Montgomery, Pembroke, and Radnor; in the Year 1849. By Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, the Rev. H. LONGUEVILLE JONES.
I have the honor of forwarding to you, for the information of their Lordships of the Committee of Council on Education, the following Report on the condition of schools, in connexion with the Church of England, in those counties of Wales which have been inspected by me under their Lordships' orders, during that portion of the year 1849, which was comprised between the 1st of February and the 1st of November. These counties are eight in number, being as follows, viz. :Brecon
Radnor and they contain, in the aggregate, 131 schools under inspection, in 47 of which, examinations of pupil-teachers have been conducted, and in 14 of which there are teachers who have received augmentation of salary in consequence of their holding certificates of merit, obtained after examination before Her Majesty's Inspectors.
During the above period I have also held the five following general examinations, viz., two of masters, at Swansea and Welshpool, during the month of April; two of mistresses, at Carmarthen and Ruthin, during the months of September and October; and one of the students in the Training School at Carmarthen, during the month of April. These examinations, with the time subsequently required for revising the papers worked by candidates, occupied eleven weeks. During the remainder of this portion of the year, with the exception of one week's leave of absence, I have carried on my inspection of schools without intermission.
The remainder of my district, comprising four counties, with many schools, and the Christmas examination of training schools
, will occupy my time incessantly, until the end of March 1850.
With regard to the state of education in these counties generally as evinced by the schools which have come under
my inspection, I do not know that it would be safe to say anything upon it as a whole; for I have found such wide differences existing between various counties, and even districts of the same county, that no general opinion can be formed upon data that will universally hold good. I may be allowed, however, to say thus much, that my previously-formed expectation of finding the state of education better in many places than it was commonly believed to be, has been fully confirmed; though, on the other hand, the disproportion of the means employed to the result obtained has often been to me a subject of agreeable surprise. If there be any general circumstance observable throughout these counties it is the following, which however, I presume, must exist in most other parts of the island, viz., that the state of education in any given district is commonly proportioned to the interest felt in it, and the aid given, by the upper classes of society there resident. Some exceptions exist even to this, and they are worthy subjects of tongratulation wherever they occur. I shall have the pleasing task to perform of signalizing them by-and-by to their Lordships' notice.
It would, however, be contrary to the duty which I owe to Her Majesty and to their Lordships, if I did not point out two circumstances which, whether they are exclusively characteristic of my own district or not, have an immediate influence on the state of education in the principality. One might be concealed, from a fear of giving offence to many whose notice it might meet; the other might be suppressed, from an apprehension of causing pain to the modesty of those to whom it referred. They are, however, so intimately connected with the future welfare of the people of the principality, that they cannot avoid obtruding themselves on the attention of whoever studies to promote the educational advancement of his fellow-countrymen. The first is, that the landowners of the counties I have inspected, do not, as a general body of men, contribute that amount of pecuniary support to the local schools, which their property and their interests, if properly understood, would lead the country to expect. There are numerous exceptions to this general fact; but the correctness of the assertion can be proved by a comparison of the local subscriptions, in various parishes of these counties, with the rent-rolls or the income-tax returns of the inhabitants. The other circumstance is, that the clergy, as a body, though with several exceptions to the contrary, do contribute towards the support of schools to an extent, and in a manner, far beyond what the country has any right to demand from gentlemen of such small incomes. The value of ecclesiastical benefices in some of these counties is below the ordinary average of those in other parts of the kingdom ; and yet it is hardly exaggerating the state of things to say, that in many of the country parishes, the local schools could barely exist, were it not for the pecuniary assistance given by the incumbent clergymen, who, out of revenues of less than 2001. per annum, often contribute as much as landowners of ten times the same income. At the same time it is found that the small freeholders are much less accessible to any appeals for the support of schools than are the gentlemen of the same districts; and it is also very commonly the case, that the farmers are inclined to plead poverty and refuse assistance, when their means do not warrant such ill-placed parsimony. It is to be hoped, that this insensibility to some of the dearest and highest interests of the nation, on which the present tranquillity and the future stability of the realm so much depend, will give way to a truer perception of what is the duty of the community in matters of education. There are, indeed, symptoms of a better feeling already springing up: those who are now receiving the benefits of education will, in succeeding years, diffuse a wider perception of its great importance; and it may perhaps be anticipated, that ere another fifty years shall have passed away, there will not be a single child within these counties who shall not be educated in a public or a private school. At the present moment, however, as I observed above, the burthen of public education presses heavily on the clergy of Wales: not on their time nor their persons, because the devotion of these to the instruction of their flocks is one of the first duties of the Christian ministry ; but on their purses, which are almost always taxed to an undue extent.
To give an instance of how far this may be carried, but without particularizing names in an invidious manner, I will allude to the case of a parish in one of the wildest, but by no means one of the poorest parts of these counties. It extends nearly fifteen miles in length over hill and dale, and is divided among two or three gentlemen, the heads of some of the oldest and most honourable houses in the principality, as well as a considerable number of small freeholders. There is no dissenting school in the whole parish, because, as the clergyman observes, the ministers of the various denominations could never persuade the farmers of their congregations to part with their money for such a purpose. A small church school does, however, exist in the village that forms the centre of this district, which is supported partly by weekly payments from the children of those, who acknowledge that they can afford to make them, amounting however to only 131. in the course of the year, and principally by the clergyman who, out of his income, which is under 3001. per annuin, pays 15l. yearly for the gratuitous instruction of thirty of the poorer children. Finding this to come rather heavily upon his resources, he made the most strenuous appeals to his neighbours, and also to the