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REPORTS ON ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
East MIDLAND DISTRICT.-General Report, by Rev. J. J. BLANDFORD. SOUTH EASTERN DISTRICT.-General Report, by Rev. W. H. BROOKFIELD. NORTH WESTERN DISTRICT.-General Report, by Rev. W. J. KENNEDY.
SOUTHERN AND CENTRE COUNTIES.-General Report, by Rev. H. Longue.
General Report, for the years 1848 and 1849, by Her Majesty's
Inspector of Schools, the Rev. J.J. BLANDFORD, on the Schools inspected by him in the East Midland District of England, comprising the Counties of Derby, Huntingdon, Leicester, Lincoln, Northampton, Nottingham, and Rutland; also on certain Schools situated in the Counties of Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk,
and Lancaster. MY LORDS,
I have the honor to present to your Lordships a Report on the schools which I have inspected in the counties of Derby, Huntingdon, Leicester, Lincoln, Northampton, Nottingham, Rutland, Lancaster, Cambridge, Norfolk, and Suffolk. The schools in the four last-mentioned counties are not included in my district, but I have reported on them in the usual way, having received instructions to visit them in reference to the examination of candidates for pupil-teachers. I have not been able, therefore, to visit so many schools in my own district, as I otherwise should have done.
The schools on which I have reported in the East Midland District are chiefly those whose managers had made application for pupil-teachers, or schools where pupil-teachers had been already apprenticed, who required to be examined, and the state of the school reported, in order to the fulfilment of the conditions of the indentures.
I have now to offer some remarks in reference to the state of those schools in my district which are liable to inspection, as having received aid from the Committee of Council on Education, or which have invited such inspection; and I wish it to be understood that the favourable report that I have made of some of them is to be taken in a limited sense, and in no respect is the idea intended to be conveyed, that any one of these schools, thus favourably mentioned, is not susceptible of much further improvement, both in regard to the character of the instruction given therein, and in the methods of imparting it.
DERBYSHIRE. In this county there are 88 schools under inspection. Of these 30 are double schools, where boys and girls are taught in separate rooms, but in the same building under a master and mistress ; 34 mixed; 7 infants; and 17 single. The greater part are situated in the middle and southern parts of the county. In the northern part there are but few schools under inspection; and these are of such a character as to minister very imperfectly to the educational wants of the population for whose benefit they have been established.
At New Mills, where there is a large manufacturing population, a handsome building, containing accommodation for 300 children, has been erected, towards the expense of which a grant was made by the Committee of Council on Education of 3001. When the school was inspected in 1847, the average attendance of boys and girls out of a population of 4,000, was 57; in 1848 there was a decrease of this small number, the average attendance being only 11 girls and 26 boys: no regular mistress had been appointed, and the master was about to leave. At Witfield, about nine miles from New Mills, another large school has been built, towards the cost of erecting which a grant of 3001. was paid in April 1848. Upon visiting this school in July 1849, it appeared that although the building was finished, and everything was ready for the reception of the children, yet no master had been appointed: the building hitherto has been merely used for the purposes of a Sunday and evening school : in the latter, young men and adults are gratuitously instructed by a gentleman residing in the parish. The existing provision for the educational wants of a rapidly-increasing population is very scanty in this neighbourhood, and it was in consequence of the strong representations which were made to their Lordships on this point, that so large a sum as 3001. was granted. Towards the school at Tideswell, where there is a population of between two and three thousand, a grant had been made, in February, of 2551. The building, when I visited Tideswell in 1849, was not finished, and further operations had been suspended in consequence of a deficiency of funds: measures have been taken to supply this deficiency, and there is a prospect of the school buildings being completed in the course of the present year (1849).
The school at Brimington, which is in the neighbourhood of extensive iron-works near Chesterfield, has been closed for more than a year : the master, who obtained his certificate, resigned his situation in consequence of a contemplated reduction of his salary. There is no girls' school in the parish, and that to which I have alluded has never prospered. The clergyman has exerted himself for the purpose of reopening the school, and an appeal has been made to the other trustees; but hitherto no effect has been produced: in September 1849 the school remained closed.
In the southern parts of the county, the schools are more numerous : those amongst the collieries, where good schools are especially needed, are in general the least efficient, and the attendance of the children irregular and fluctuating.
In the town of Derby there are nine schools under inspection: two of them, the National school, Curzon,-street (boys), and Trinity (boys and girls), exhibit considerable life and energy, to which the apprenticeship of pupil-teachers has in no slight degree contributed. The Victoria school, at Chesterfield, still retains its character for efficiency: those also at Doveridge, Measham