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erection of school-houses, which might in many cases be avoided by the publication of a series of plans, specifications, &c., which would be available to all who were disposed to adopt them. The plans submitted to the Committee were frequently defective, both in the general character of the structure, in the means adopted for warming and ventilating the apartment, and particularly in the form and internal arrangements of the school-room. It appeared, therefore, desirable that the series of plans, &c., should be prepared, to enable the promoters of schools to avoid considerable expenses in the erection of school-houses, and to diffuse an acquaintance with the arrangements which have been sanctioned by extensive experience as best adapted to different systems of instruction.
The plans of school-houses, specifications, and estimates which the Committee at that period laid before both Houses of Parliament, and the explanatory minute with which they were accompanied, were reprinted in the 8vo. edition of the Minutes of the Committee for 1839-40, and extensively circulated throughout the country. The correspondence of the Committee contains many proofs of the advantage which has been derived by the promoters of the erection of school-houses from the information thus diffused, and many acknowledgments of its value. The Committee were, however, by no means prepared to expect the immediate adoption of their plans throughout Great Britain. On the contrary, they knew the information thus diffused to be so intimately connected with the adoption of improvements in the method of instruction, that they did not expect the general adoption of these plans to precede the general improvement of method, which will result from the foundation of schools for the training of teachers, and the publication of improved lesson-books and of manuals of method.
Their Lordships were, however, desirous to lay before the public, at the earliest period, information enabling them to avoid the creation of material obstacles to the future improvement of elementary schools, arising from the defective arrangement of the buildings and of the desks, benches, and apparatus.
A great number of schools, the promoters of which have solicited aid from the Parliamentary grant during the current year, were commenced before their Lordships' minutes were published, and the transmission and consideration of their applications were postponed until the settlement of the question of inspection by the Order in Council of the 10th of August, 1840. In a considerable number of cases, the promoters of the schools had been encouraged to avail themselves of the summer season to commence the erection of their schools, before they could submit their plans to the Committee, trusting that, under the peculiar circumstances, the Committee would admit applications made after the building had been commenced...
On this account their Lordships have not this year strictly confined their grants to cases the whole terms of which had been submitted for their approval before the building was commenced. But it is obviously important that all applicants for aid from the Parliamentary grant should ascertain, before commencing their operations, whether the title of the site of the school-house and the draft of the deed of conveyance will, in their Lordships' opinion, afford sufficient security to the public that the Parliamentary grant will be permanently devoted to the education of the children of the poor ; considerable expenses may otherwise be incurred, in expectation of aid from the Parliamentary grant, on a site having a defective title, or conveyed by a deed affording insufficient security.
Many of the plans submitted during the current year have contained exactly the same faults of construction and arrangement which had been observed in a previous year, but the Committee of Council have refrained from calling the attention of the promoters of schools to these defects, in those cases in which the buildings had been previously erected, or were so far advanced as to render
alteration a source of vexation to the trustees. The Committee have, however, made arrangements, by which, in future, the school committees and trustees may avail themselves of the information published by the Committee or possessed by this department.
1. The Committee have directed that every applicant for aid be furnished with a copy of the 8vo. edition of their Minutes containing the plans of school-houses, with an explanatory minute, specifications, estimates, forms of deeds of conveyance, and of a building contract, &c.
2. The Committee will be ready to furnish any of these plans or forms separately, from the folio edition, for the use of any school committee, and to transmit working drawings of any of the plans for which such drawings have been prepared. In those cases in which the school committees adopt in all respects the amended plans of the Committee, following as closely as local circumstances will permit the specifications, estimates, and forms of conveyance, the Committee will grant aid towards the erection of the master's house as well as the school-house, in the same ratio as that in which they ordinarily contribute to the erection of the school-house only.
3. The Committee will be prepared to furnish the trustees and school committees with their advice on any question of the construction of the school-house, or on the internal arrangements of the school-room.
4. The Committee will require a brief statement of the title of the site to be transmitted, in order that their Counsel may advise whether a further examination of the title is necessary; and whenever he may so determine, they will require such an abstract of the title as will enable him to ascertain its validity.
5. The Committee will afford the school committees and trustees the advice of their Counsel on all questions relating to the titles of sites, to the trust-deeds, to building contracts, and other legal processes.
6. The Committee are prepared to increase the number of their forms of conveyance as far as may be necessary to afford the utmost facility for the conveyance of sites of school-houses, and by such means to diminish the expense as much as possible.
7. The Committee will require that, in the conveyance of the sites of school-houses erected with aid from the Parliamentary grant, the trustees shall avail themselves of one or other of the forms published by the Committee, or that the deed shall be drawn in general conformity to one or other of those forms.
8. The Committee will require that every such trust-deed shall contain a clause stating that the school shall be open at all reasonable times to the inspection of the Inspector or Inspectors appointed or to be appointed by Her Majesty in Council, to which, in the case of Church-of-England schools, may be added the following words—" In conformity with the Order in Council, dated the 10th day of August, 1840."
9. The Committee are desirous to afford the utmost security for the due execution of the trusts of the deed by which schoolhouses are secured for the education of the children of the
poor; they have therefore formed a registry in which an attested copy of the deed of each school will be registered and preserved. Such a registry will afford the utmost facilities to all persons interested in the due execution of the trusts of school-houses to peruse and cxamine the deeds, whenever, from local circumstances, the original may be inaccessible, or whenever it may be mislaid or lost.
INSTRUCTIONS RESPECTING THE MODE OF ANSWERING
THE QUESTIONS, Form A.
Committee of Council on Education,
The replies returned by the promoters of schools to the Questions, Form A, are intended to afford the Committee of Council information by which they may be enabled to determine the comparative claims of applicants for aid from the Parliamentary grant.
They will also form a permanent record of the views and intentions of the founders of each school at the period when it was established, which may be appealed to at any future time, to secure the property from misappropriation. It is therefore important that The answers to these questions should be carefully prepared, and should be written in a clear and legible hand, and signed by the
majority of the school committee or trustees, at a meeting duly convened for that purpose, and that the date and place of meeting should be attached to the signatures. The trustees and school committee should have been duly authorized, by the promoters of the proposed school, to act for that purpose, as well as for the general management of the school.
A few observations on the mode in which some of the most important questions should be answered will obviously tend to promote regularity of procedure.
1. In the first question, the name by which the school is to be distinguished should be inserted thus : St. Peter's, Birmingham, Church-of-England School—or, Windsor National School or, St. Andrew's Sessional School-or, Limehouse British Schoolor, Spitalfields Infant School.
4. In describing the tenure of the site, care should be taken to distinguish freehold from copyhold or leasehold property, and in the latter case to state the term to which the lease extends. If the property be the freehold of a spiritual corporation sole, or other person usually disabled from conveying land, reference should be made to the Act 4 and 5 Vict. cap. 38, to ascertain whether the land can be conveyed under the powers granted by that Act, and it should be stated whether it will be so conveyed.
.5 and 6. Trustees should in all cases be chosen before the replies to the questions are returned, and their names and professions stated. If any alterations be subsequently made, they should be communicated by letter to the Committee of Council.
The questions, from 8 to 26 inclusive, relating to the drainage, nature of the site, and structure of the building, &c., should not be answered without the assistance of the architect who drew the plan and prepared the specifications, or of the builder who is to erect the school-house; and if the arrangements thus described be subsequently altered in any important particular, that alteration should be communicated to the Committee of Council.
27. The plan of the school-house, master's house, and playground for the children, should be transmitted with the replies to the questions, Form A. This plan should be neatly drawn according to scale, and should display the dimensions of every room, and the arrangement of the benches, desks, gallery, and other school apparatus, and the elevation of the school-house. The name of the school should be given at the head of each drawing, and the name of the architect or builder at the foot of the design.
28. The mode of ventilating and warming the school is of such importance to the health of the master and scholars, that it ought to be most carefully considered by the school committee, and a sketch of the air-grates and flues should be included in the sectional drawings. The school committee will find useful information on this subject in the Minute Explanatory of the Plans of School
houses, published in the 8vo. edition of the Minutes of the Committee of Council.
29. The plan of the exercise-ground, and the position of the gymnastic apparatus, should be included in the plan of the schoolhouse.
30, 31, 32, 33, 34. The replies to these questions should be made with great care, as they are not unfrequently the subject of counter-representations, either on account of their incompleteness or their inaccuracy.
36. In the statement of the probable income of the school, it is desirable rather to transmit the list of subscriptions and donations actually obtained than to estimate their probable amount.
37. In reply to this question, the estimate of the architect or builder, duly signed by him, must be transmitted.
38 and 39. The school committee should not attempt to reply to these questions until their subscription-list contains the greater part of what they hope to derive from local contributions.
40 and 41. Under these heads the receipt or expectation of any loan or grant of money from any society or other source should be stated; and if this loan or grant be conditional, the conditions must be reported.
When the site and title of its owner have been approved by the Committee of Council, their Lordships will require that a draft of the proposed conveyance, or deed of trust, shall be submitted to their Counsel for approval. The draft should not in any case be settled without the sanction of the school committee, duly convened for that purpose, or without the advice of the legal person to whom the preparation of the deed is to be confided.
The school committee may derive useful information for this purpose
from an examination of the forms of deeds of conveyance published (in the 8vo. edition of the Appendix to the Minutes of the Committee of Council, 1839-40) for the use of the promoters of the erection of school-houses. Among these forms are comprised, No. 1. Conveyance of a site or buildings to trustees for a
National School. No. 2. Conveyance of a site or buildings to trustees for a school
on the plan of the British and Foreign School Society. No. 3. Conveyance of a site or buildings to trustees for a
parish school, not being in connexion with the National Society or the British and Foreign School
Society. No. 4. Conveyance of a site or buildings to trustees for a
Church-of-England School, not being a parish school, nor in connexion with the National or British and
Foreign School Society. No. 5. Conveyance of a site or buildings to trustees for a