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FOR HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE,
COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL ON EDUCATION.
Report on Schools inspected in the Counties of Bedford, Cambridge,
and Huntingdon, by the Rev. John Allen, M.A., Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools.
King's College, London; 6th February, 1844.' . MY LORDS,
Your Lordships, in June, 1842, having directed me to inspect the schools connected with the Church of England that have been aided by public grants in the counties of Bedford, Cambridge, and Huntingdon, and having instructed me at the same time to communicate to the Bishop of Ely the object of my tour, with a view to my extending my inquiries as to the state of education in that district, I waited on the bishop, and was furnished, through his lordship's kindness, with a letter to the rural deans of the diocese of Ely; which letter, sanctioning the objects of my visit, served as an introduction to the clergy of the several parishes, who, with few exceptions, most readily opened their schools to my inspection, and did all that was in their power to facilitate the objects of my tour.
I must acknowledge, with respectful gratitude, the obligations I am under to the clergy visited, not simply on accout of the hospitality with which I was received, but also on account of the kindness with which they listened to any suggestions which I had to offer in reference to be schools inspected, and the anxious desire shown to make my visits profitable.
My inquiries did not embrace Sundry-schools, and were directed towards ascertaining the number and quality of daily schools in existence in the several parishes open to the poor, and in connexion with the Church.
The main results of my inquiries I have now the honor to submit to your Lordships, premising that, as, in consequence of several interruptions, the period of time embraced in the inspection extended over somewhat more than 19 monihs, the observations noted must be understood as representing the state of things in the several parishes at the time that they were respectively visited by me. Happily year by year the exertions of the Archidiaconal Boards, the administration of the Parliamentary grant, together with the zeal and liberality of individuals contribute towards bringing about an improved state of things, and some of the deficiencies that have been recorded here will in future reports be noticed no more.
The county of Bedford contains 123 parishes ; of these for
educational purposes, the five parishes in the town of
3 The number of parishes in which schools existed, but
which from the absence of the children at the time of my visit, or from other causes were not inspected, was 9 The number of parishes in which no schools, or only
schools of the very humblest class, were in existence, was 65
The county of Cambridge contains 164 parishes, from which
number, deducting the 14 parishes of the borough of
parishes in which schools were inspected was
that my inspection would not be acceptable, was
which from the absence of the children at the time of my
visit, or from other causes were not inspected, was The number of parishes in which no daily schools, or only
schools of the very humblest class, were in existence
The county of Huntingdon contains 104 parishes; of these
the four parishes in the town of Huntingdon for educa-
were inspected, was
that my inspection would not be acceptable, was
but were not inspected from absence of children or other
schools of the very humblest class, were in existence, was
This deficiency in the means for the education of the poor
of these counties will be still more apparent, when it is added that of the 41 rural parishes in which daily schools were inspected in Bedfordshire, the number in which any reasonable measure of intelligent and really valuable instruction was communicated, cannot, in my judgment, be rated higher than 24, and that consequently the number of parishes practically without daily schools of value for the poor must be raised to 82: and that similarly in Cambridgeshire, the number of rural parishes in which daily schools were inspected, that seemed to me of value, cannot be rated higher than 49 ; while the number of parishes in which no such schools of worth are in existence for the poor, rises to 83: and similarly in Huntingdonshire, the number of rural parishes in which schools of worth were found, must according to the same rule be depressed to 26, while the number of deficient parishes proportionably rises to 61.
The parishes in which the deficiency was most apparent were commonly those in which the number of inhabitants was smallest, yet it will appear from the population of the following parishes in Bedfordshire, which are selected from the list of those which, in my judgment, are practically without daily schools of value for the poor, that this rule is not without exceptions --exceptions the more sad and notable in some cases because of the existence of funds left for the education of the poor. The amounts of these endowments, in most cases, are stated according to the parliamentary returns.
made since this Report was
to be completed early in 1815. 814 818 This parish is United with Hockliffe,
where a school is building. 2582 An endowed school, income $230
108., under a capable and active master, but wholly inadequate for the wants of the town, is here in existence. There is a large building which it is hoped will
soon be opened as a daily school. 562 531 693 Some of the children attend at
Westoning 509 529 The clergyman has recently erected
a school at Westoning, where
some of the children attend. 931