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GREENWICH HOSPITAL SCHOOLS.
Admiralty, 10th August, 1840. I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to transmit to you a copy of a letter from the Governor of Greenwich Hospital, on the subject of the present management and system of education at the schools belonging to that institution; and I am to request that you will lay the same before the Committee of Privy Council on Education, and move the Committee to cause an inspector to be sent to Greenwich, for the
purpose of examining and reporting on the state of the schools in question.
I am, &c. To Dr. Kay.
(Signed) R. MORE O'FERRALL.
No. 2. Admiral C. E. FLEMING, Governor of Greenwich Hospital, to
Mr. R. More O'FERRALL. SIR,
Greenwich Hospital, 7th August, 1840. I REQUEST you will be pleased to represent to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that since the schools of this establishment were remodelled, many highly important improvements in education have taken place, the subject has become much more an object of general inquiry and solicitude, and the advautages enjoyed by other similar institutions are here wanting.
I have made it my business to inquire strictly into this important subject, and my conviction is, that it may be very easily proved that the three schools here are very far in arrear of the majority of such institutions.
It would not be difficult to propose most important alterations, which, I have not the least doubt, their Lordships would immediately approve; but as it is necessary that this highly important matter should be approached with caution, in order to ensure the full benefit to the public as well as to the parents and children themselves, I request their Lordships will be pleased to direct a competent person or persons, of whom there are now many, to make
a strict and careful examination into the whole management of these three institutions, and to report what alteration in the system of education, discipline, clothing, provisions, and management may be requisite; with a view to ensure the pupils the best possible and most useful education for their rank in life, and to instil a due sense of morality, and at the same time effect the necessary saving of expense, which may be required to give these important objects
That such an investigation is imperatively called for will
appear most evident by the examination lately made by their Lordships on the spot; but if any further proof were required it is only necessary for me to state that more than one-half of the boys of the Lower School cannot read, which is not to be wondered at, when there are only allowed two teachers for 400 boys; and when discharged from the establishment, at the age of fourteen, few, if any, are fit to enter the sea-service, either in the Royal or mercantile navy, still fewer are apprenticed to trades, and all being incapable of procuring a livelihood become a burthen on their friends, the parishes, or are driven to obtain it by dishonest means.
The case of the Girls' School is still more deplorable. They also are discharged at the age of 14, without any knowledge of those domestic duties which would fit them for service, with the exception of sewing; being thus incapable of relieving or assisting their parents, and not amenable to parish relief, they too frequently become abandoned, and finish at an early age a life of misery, which might have been avoided had they been left under the eye of their parents or natural guardians, where their natural customis would not have been altered by a removal from their native counties.
I have, &c. R. M. O'Ferrall, Esq. (Signed). C. E. FLEMING, Governor.
INSTRUCTIONAL LETTER to S. T'REMEN HEERE, Esq., Her Majesty's
Inspector of Schools.
Committee of Council on Education, SIR,
Council Office, Whitehall, August 11, 1840. The Committee of Council on Education direct me to furnish you with the enclosed copy of a letter, which they have received from the Lords of the Admiralty, and to inform you that, being desirous of giving effect to their Lordships' wishes, my Lords have placed your services at their disposal, in order that by your assistance their Lordships may ascertain, for their own guidance, the state of the schools connected with Greenwich Hospital,
My Lords therefore request you to regard the enclosed letters as instructions from the Lords of the Admiralty by which
your proceedings will be regulated; and to understand that you will fulfil my Lords' wishes in acting under any further directions which you may receive from the Lords of the Admiralty.
In reporting the result of your inspection, you will address one copy of your Report to the Lords of the Admiralty, in accordance with whose instructions it will be drawn, and you will address another copy of your Report to the Committee of Council on Education, for their information.
I have, &c. Seymour Tremenheere, Esq., (Signed) J. P. KAY.
. Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools.
Dr. Kay to the Right Honourable the Lords of the ADMIRALTY.
Committee of Council on Education, MY LORDS,
Council Office, Whitehall, September 9, 1840. I Have the honour to inform you that Mr. Tremenheere, one of the Inspectors of Schools aided by public grants, on being furnished with your Lordships' letter, dated August 10, 1840, as his instructions, proceeded to Greenwich Hospital, and has been for some time engaged, with the approval of the Committee of Council, in the examination of the Upper and Lower School connected with that Hospital, under your Lordships' authority. In accordance with my Lords' wishes, Mr. Tremenheere has addressed a Report to your Lordships on the state of these schools, and containing suggestions for their improvement, which he has this day placed in my hands, in order that I may transmit it to your Lordships.
I have, &c.
(Signed) J. P. Kay. the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
REPORT by S. TREMENHEERE, Esq., on the State of the Schools
connected with GREENWICH HOSPITAL. SIR,
September 9, 1840. I was informed, by special instructions dated August 11th, that my Lords, in compliance with the wishes of the Lords of the Admiralty, had placed my services at their disposal, in order that by my assistance their Lordships might ascertain for their own guidance the state of the schools connected with Greenwich Hospital.
I was further requested to regard certain letters from the Lords of the Admiralty to my Lords the Committee of Council, with copies of which I was furnished, as instructions by which my proceedings were to be regulated ; and in reporting the result of my inspection, I was directed to address one copy of my Report to the Lords of the Admiralty.
In obedience to these directions I enclose a copy of my Report for transmission to the Lords of the Admiralty, logether with this copy for the information of my Lords the Committee of Council.
The points to which my attention was drawn in the letters above referred to were“
1st. That a strict and careful examination should be instituted into the whole management of the schools of the Hospital.
2nd. That a Report should be made, pointing out “ what alteration in the system of education, discipline, clothing, provisions, and management may be requisite, with a view to ensure to the pupils the best possible and most useful education for their rank in life, to instil a due sense of morality, and at the same time to effect the necessary saving of expense, which may be required to give those important objects efficacy."
To this order of inquiry I have adhered in the following Report. 1.-On the present State of the Schools connected with the Royal
Naval Hospital at Greenwich. These schools are for the gratuitous clothing, boarding, and instruction of the children of parents belonging to the naval and mercantile marine of this country. Their actual complement is 800 boys and 200 girls. The period during which they remain at the establishment varies from three to five years. They are divided into Upper and Lower School. The Upper School "consists of 100 boys, sons of commissioned and ward-room warrant officers; and 300, the sons of officers of the above or inferior rank, and of private seamen and marines, who have served, or are serving, in Her Majesty's ships; and of officers or seamen of the merchant-service.”*
The Lower School “consists of 400 boys and 200 girls, the children of warrant (not ward-room) officers, of petty officers and seamen, and of non-commissioned officers and privates of the Royal Marines who have served, or are serving, in the Royal Navy.”+ The buildings appropriated to these schools are three large and handsome stone edifices, between the Hospital and the Park, standing each in its enclosure of garden and play-ground; the Girls' School being the centre building, and connected with the other two by a corridor on each side.
Lower School. The boys at this scliool are admitted from 9 to 12, and remain till 14. The school-room is 100 feet by 294, with a square of 25 feet in the centre of one side. All the classes are collected together in this room. The desks are disposed on
* Printed Regulations.
Dr. Bell's plan. The books used are the Bible, Goldsmith's History of England, the Life of Nelson, Mrs. Trimmer's Abridgments of the Old and New Testament, Reading-cards, and two small Reading-books of the National Society, containing the Miracles and Parables from the New Testament. No maps are used, and the apparatus is confined to a black board, slates, and copybooks.
The ordinary masters for the Lower School are, the Lower School master and one assistant, but the latter office has been only recently filled up, having been vacant four months. There is a monitor and assistant monitor for each class, taken respectively from the first and second classes.
The monitors were able to read and to write decently, and had advanced in arithmetic as far as Fractions; but their knowledge of the meaning of words was very imperfect, and when called upon, during the examination of the lower classes, to assist in explanations, or to point out errors, it was not found that they were in any degree competent, or capable of anything more than giving aid towards the mere mechanical process of reading. They are employed for three months at a time, during which period they receive only occasional instruction with their classes. The number committed to their charge varies from about 20 to 40 boys between the ages of 9 and 13.
The classes were successively examined in the presence of the master, and also of the chaplain. The latter is designated in the Regulations as “ Head Master and Chaplain," and his duties are thus described :
“ The Chaplain is charged with the whole system of instruction, both in the boys and girls' schools. He is to use his best discretion in improving the plan of education hitherto pursued; he is frequently to visit and examine the progress of the children in the several schools, and to see that the masters, mistresses, and assistants diligently perform their duties ; and in order that the monitors of the several classes may be rendered more competent to convey instruction to the other children, he is, at certain times, to class them together to receive instruction from himself; and, as the religious instruction of all the children must be a main object of his attention, he is to require from all the instructors under his authority the utmost attention thereto."*
The three lowest classes in the school, the sixth, seventh, and cighth, consisted partly of boys who had joined the establishment since the vacation, and partly of boys who had been at the school from four to six months. They were all engaged in learning to
ad nall words on the spelling-cards, and to copy them on their slates, and in beginning to learn the arithmetic tables. The slightest possible progress had been made even by those boys who
* Regulations, p. .