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APPENDIX IX.

TABLE of the Schools under Mr. Fletcher's Inspection, in the Southern

and Western half of the Kingdom.

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Schools, whether they bave received building grants or not,
which are in connexion with Government for annual aid :-
British and Infant schools, supported chiefly by the union

of all denominations, and using daily the Scriptures in
the authorized version, but no Catechism, though often
receiving the major part of their support from some one
congregation, as of Independents or Presbyterians, or
from the Society of Friends, or from some few chief em-
ployers and patrons who are Churchmen .
Wesleyan schools, using daily the Scriptures in the autho-

rized version, and likewise the Wesleyan Catechisms,
but the latter only for those children whose parents do
not object; others, though few in number, being received

with equal readiness into the schools
Presbyterian schools, using the authorized version of the

Scriptures and the Assembly's Catechisms, but with the
same liberty, as to the admission of children not learning
the latter, that is exercised by the Wesleyans

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Schools, chiefly British, which are not in connexion with the

Government for annual aid, but which have received building
grants from the Committee of Council :-
Probably in circumstances to challenge annual aid under

the Minutes of 1846 .
Not in circumstances to challenge such aid

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Schools, chiefly British, which are not in connexion with the

Government for annual aid, but which have received building
grants from the Treasury:
Probably in circumstances to challenge aid under the Mi-

nutes of 1846 .
Not in circumstances to challenge such aid

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General Report, by Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, J. D.

MORELL, Esq., on the British, Wesleyan, and other Denominational Schools inspected by him in the Northern and Eastern

Counties of England ;--for the Year 1848-9. My LORDS,

In presenting to your Lordships a brief Report of my operations during the last year amongst the British and Denominational schools of the Northern and Eastern Counties, there are one or two observations necessary to be made, explanatory of the general principles upon which the process of inspection has been carried on, and the individual Reports constructed.

First of all, I would particularly mention that, in considering the present state of schools throughout the country and reporting upon their efficiency, the whole must be understood as having reference to a certain average standard which experience alone points out, and which it is requisite ever to keep in view as a guide to the judgment. Were the entire condition of primary education amongst us higher than it really is, results which are now looked upon as eminently successful would undoubtedly appear frequently very defective. And yet justice to those teachers who have been labouring hard to reach the only standard which they have had set before them, and who have in some cases even surpassed it, compels us to give them full credit for efficiency in their exertions, and to judge them in great measure by the hitherto current ideas upon the nature and demands of primary instruction in our own country:

Another thing which must necessarily have its effect in modifying every one's decision upon the merits of particular schools, is the precise notion he may have formed as to what points such schools ought principally to aim at, and what purposes they have especially to accomplish. Some views or other, respecting the nature, method, and ends of primary education must in fact underlie every individual Report ; so that the very sense in which either satisfaction or dissatisfaction is expressed can hardly be rightly appreciated without a due exposition of the ideas by which it is regulated and measured. Leaving therefore any more specific remarks to the registered table of inspections, I shall embrace the present opportunity of making some few general observations upon the ideal of primary education, and the position which the real education of the country, so far as it has come under my own observation, holds in relation to it.

Problem of primary Education. And first, the necessity of doing full justice to all classes of schools, located as they are

VOL. II.

2 K

a

amongst the most widely different portions of the community, has constantly forced attention to the fundamental inquiry what the problem of the primary school really is, and what conditions are necessary to satisfy it. The problem which such schools are called upon practically to solve is admitted to be altogether peculiar in the whole scheme of national education ; and to involve special considerations which no one actually engaged in the work, can safely lose sight of.

Were we intending to lay the basis for a solid superstructure of theoretical knowledge, or were we proposing to construct a system of education which should produce at the same time a high degree of mental refinement and a profound insight into scientific ideas, then indeed must the foundations be planted proportionally deep, and the first elements be put together with a slowness and a strength capable of bearing any weight that may be afterwards placed upon it. But such is far from being the purpose of the primary school. The length of time through

. which the whole education of its pupils lasts is, on the average, Very contracted.

Regarding the country throughout, and taking into account the different circumstances which limit the duration of school attendance among the poor—(the frequent absence from school upon trivial excuses--the summer and harvest occupations of the rural districts—the half-time system of the manufacturing localities—the domestic avocations of girls in household duties or light manufactures, with numberless other circumstances)-taking, I say, these things into account, the whole average length of school instruction will be found almost incredibly short. The majority of schools I have visited admit each year at least two-thirds of their average attendance; and in some instances almost an entire change of pupils has taken place between one annual inspection and another-and that without any probability of many of the children having resorted to other schools in the neighbourhood. this short average period of instruction is to fit the masses of our population for every future duty of their existence. Not only have they to gain while it lasts some knowledge of reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, grammar, and such simple elements of primary scholarship; but they have to acquire, at least to a great extent, all the mental refinement, all the sense of propriety, all the habits of order and self-restraint, all the direct moral principles, and in numbers of cases, it is to be feared, all the religious education, they will ever be likely to enjoy for the whole extent of human life, and their entire guidance through it as moral, social, and accountable creatures.

The great point accordingly to be aimed at, as things now are, in the primary school is this :—How to give the greatest possible amount of mental instruction and moral discipline in the brief period through which the education of the scholar

And yet

lasts; and how to render this amount of the greatest practical service for the entire remainder of human life. Viewed in this light it will be seen at once that it is not the school which can bring forward a few showy and perhaps really successful pupils, that is doing the greatest service to the community; that it is not the school where a master with certain literary tastes is conducting his elder class into branches beyond their probable sphere in after-life, which is accomplishing the most real and beneficent purpose.

Such schools, it is true, will oft-times make a striking impression upon a stranger, especially when arranged for a simultaneous examination. The knowledge drawn out will seem quite surprising, and the ready answers of the few will shed a false light upon the many ; while the masses of minds which fill up the lower and central forms, and never rise at all to the higher, if observed in their after-progress, might give a very different turn to our whole judgment. If for the sake of example, we suppose the case of a school,

a placed in the centre of a district from which 150 or 200 children require to receive daily instruction ;-then the true object, which such a school should aim at is—to erert the greatest influence for good upon the largest number possible. If a few scholars are stimulated and the rest comparatively neglected, the whole amount of benefit done to the neighbourhood is very inconsiderable. On the contrary, though no striking results should appear at an examination, yet if a master be placed in such a locality who is really devoted to his work, who feels teaching and training to be his proper destiny, who succeeds in gaining the affections of his pupils, who softens them by kindness, moulds them by a friendly sympathy with their wants instils the knowledge of things rather than words, and awakens wholesome sentiments in the minds of the entire mass, such a school is assuredly accomplishing a great work in connexion with the mental and moral improvement of the community. I feel it important therefore to state that this consideration has always been one element in the judgment I have been called to exercise upon the efficiency of different institutions; and I would here record my belief, that many schools by no means taking the highest intellectual standing, if tried by such a test will be found amongst the best in their aggregate effect on the population around them.

To keep such an end as this strictly in view, demands I am aware, considerable self-denial and self-restraint on the part of the teacher. There is almost always a tendency to aim at something that will tell upon an outward observer, and many parents unfortunately encourage and almost necessitate a course of this kind by their looking rather at what their children can do, than considering what they are becoming in their moral principles and mental habits. It is impossible therefore to impress

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