buildings under the superintendence and with the aid of public departments.

My Lords have been careful, when making these grants, to obtain all the security in their power that this outlay of public money shall prove a permanent advantage to the labouring classes of this country. For this purpose they have required that the plans and specifications of the school-buildings thus erected should be submitted to them, in order that substantial and convenient structures only might be built with aid from the public funds. The titles of the sites, and the school deeds by which the buildings are secured in trust for the education of the children of the poor, have been examined by counsel, and parchment copies of the deeds are deposited in the Council Office. "My Lords have also passed three Acts of Parliament to facilitate the conveyance of school-sites, and increase the security of their tenure.

Their Lordships have been indisposed to grant aid excepting when a reasonable prospect existed that sufficient means would be procured to support the school (when built) in a state of efficiency. On this question my Lords have always experienced the greatest difficulty and doubt, but they fear that, notwithstanding Their precautions, they may, in certain instances, have granted aid for the erection of school-buildings, where the funds for the future maintenance of the school were so meagre as to afford a doubtful prospect of its efficiency.

The inspection of schools aided by public grants was founded for the double purpose of enabling Parliament to ascertain by the personal visits of public officers that the annual grant of money had been faithfully and judiciously devoted to the promotion of education in Great Britain—that the school-buildings were substantial and convenient—that they were duly secured for the education of the children of the poor—that daily schools were maintained therein according to the terms of the trust-deed, and to ascertain and report on the comparative efficiency of these schools. The arrangement for the periodical inspection of schools aided by public grants commenced in 1839-40, but has received considerable extension during this year by the appointment of fi additional inspectors.

The Lord President is therefore of opinion that the atte the Inspectors should be directed in an especial manr means which exist for the maintenance of schools, ar in which that income is expended; that they she what way

the income of the school can be whether it can be expended with greater effect. economy or improved arrangements.

On the first of these topics, his Lordship i what are the present sources of the incom example, how much was procured in 1. Subscriptions and donations of priv


tributions from charitable societies; 3. Collections in the church, or other place of Divine worship; 4. Annual produce of endowment, if any; 5. Of school-pence; 6. Of labour of children, if any; 7. Of other sources of income separately enumerated.

These facts should be collected with great precision, so as to enable

you, at the close of your tour, to tabulate the results with accuracy.

You will further inquire whether the income from each of these sources is sure, or whether it is liable to fluctuation, and what prospect there is of its permanent increase or diminution.

Under the head of annual endowment, it is particularly desirable to ascertain whether there are any funds in the parish available for the education of the poor now misappropriated, or absorbed by some inefficient school, or wasted on useless or pernicious objects. The amount of such funds, and the mode of their distribution, should be carefully ascertained, and you should avail yourself of the information contained in the Report of the Commissioners of Public Charities, to determine the uses to which such funds are legally applicable. These facts should be, as far as possible, tabulated in general results in your Report.

Under the head of school-pence, you are to ascertain the rate of payment for various classes of children in each school, the amount of weekly payments at different seasons, and the average annual sum so obtained.

In some schools the payments of the children cover the whole expenses of their instruction; in others, particularly in Scotland, they are also required to purchase writing materials, or even class-books for the several subjects of instruction. The progress of the child is liable to be interrupted in this latter case by the negligence or poverty of its parent; and the ill success of one child will thus prove an obstacle to the instruction of the school. You are requested to report your observations on the different sums required from the children of the poor as school-pence, the different periods and modes of payment,--the comparative influence of each on school-attendance, and the influence of each mode, or the character and usefulness of the schoolmaster.

In some elementary schools the children of farmers and shopkeepers are admitted at a higher rate of payment, and, by remaining longer in the school than the children of the poor, receive a higher range of instruction. You will do well to note the effect of this arrangement on the instruction of the inferior schoolclasses--on the character and exertions of the schoolmasterand on the school-attendance of the children of the labouring poor.

There are other sources from which the means of supporting schools are (in rare instances) derived.

1. A voluntary rate among the owners and occupiers, in proportion to the parochial assessment.

2. A voluntary arrangement, by which the owners and occu

by him.

piers contribute according to the number of children attending school from cottages on their respective lands.

3. An arrangement by which each employer of labour contributes a sum equal to the school-pence of the families employed

The school thus obtains school-pence from the poor family, and also from the occupier, while the children are in attendance; and when withdrawn from school for field or other labour, the employer who, at other times pays a sum equivalent to the school-pence, now pays to the school not only his own quota but the quota of the parents whose children he has withdrawn.

4. An arrangement by which the school-attendance of the children of all labourers is rendered compulsory at certain ages on the parents, the proprietor paying the charge to the school except when the children are withdrawn for labour, when the charge is borne by the occupier.

Such arrangements chiefly exist under the control of some large proprietor, whose character and property give him such influence with his tenantry and dependants as to produce the effect of a legal enactment both on the occupiers and on their labourers. When such influence is exercised temperately, the social union of all classes is strengthened by a consciousness of relative duty and a sense of mutual dependence.

Wherever the several sources of income which have been adverted to fail to procure a sufficient annual sum for the maintenance of an efficient school, your attention will be drawn to the remedy in each case for this discouraging circumstance. The schools inspected by you having been built with aid from the public funds, the intention of the legislature is frustrated in every case in which the annual income is insufficient for the maintenance of a good daily school. In every such case it is your duty to note impartially the causes of this failure.

In that class of cases in which voluntary subscriptions and the school-pence fail to make any adequate provision for the maintenance of an efficient day-school, and in which there is no reasonable prospect of the early enlargement of these resources, the dilemma is presented of a building erected with the aid of the State, and carefully secured for a trust which is not practically fulfilled.

You will also have frequent opportunities of communicating with the trustees of small endowments, who experience great difficulty in finding a legitimate mode of appropriating the fund in accordance with the will of the donor. Many such charitable funds are allowed to accumulate under the management of one set of trustees, and are misapplied by the misunderstanding or misconduct of their succesors. You will find the trustees of other funds desirous of promoting the improvement of an endowed school, but restrained by the inadequacy of the income to bear the charge of some outlay for immediate improvement. In such cases, the Committee of Council are enabled by the 6 and 7 Vict. c. 37, lately passed (a copy of which I herewith enclose), to make grants for the repairs, enlargement, restoration, or furnishing of the school-buildings. In other cases, the trustees are anxious to be permitted to apply the income of their endowment in aid of the funds of some existing school; but are unwilling to take the responsibility of this proceeding without the sanction of some competent authority. Some endowed schools are encumbered with an inefficient master, whom the trustees have no power to dismiss; others are restrained from improvement by the terms of their trust, or by regulations which they have no power to amend ; others have been founded for purposes no longer useful in the vicinity, and their funds are absorbed by masters who live in inactivity, or, having nothing to attract them to their proper vocation, combine that vocation with some other which absorbs their time. Other endowments are altogether devoted to some useful purpose not contemplated by their founder, but are thus entirely diverted from education, and liable, in the lapse of time, to be alienated to some parochial uses convenient to those who would otherwise have to bear an increased rate of charge. There are also cases of flagrant abuse, of the appropriation of public funds to private uses, or of their absorption in the gratification of low instincts among those in charge of these funds.

The large funds recently collected by the Church of England, and by certain societies of Protestant Dissenters for the promotion of public education, will probably be chiefly expended in the erection of school-houses in the most populous and neglected districts. Your inquiries as to the sources of the income of existing schools, and the adequacy of these funds for their support, acquire additional importance at a period when the number of schools is about to undergo so great an increase.

I have the honour, &c.,


Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools.

Letter to Her Majesty's Inspectors respecting Schools aided by

Treasury Grants.

Committee of Council on Education, Council Office, Rev. Sir,

Whitehall, December 16, 1844. The annual Parliamentary grant for the promotion of education in Great Britain was first voted in the year 1833, and, until the Session of 1839, was administered by the Lords of the Treasury. In 1839, Her Majesty was pleased, with the advice of Her Council, to issue an order creating the Committee of Council on Education, and from that period the distribution of the annual Parliamentary grant has been confided to this Committee.

The Lords of the Treasury were accustomed to refer all applications for aid in England and Wales to the examination of the National and British and Foreign School Societies, who issued a form of questions to the several applicants and reported thereon to the Treasury, recommending such cases as they approved to their Lordships for assistance. Grants were then conditionally made by the Treasury Board, and the announcement of the sum voted was in each case accompanied by the conditions on which the money was appropriated to each school.

By the Treasury Minute of the 30th of August, 1833, the following were declared to be the conditions of their Lordships' grants

1. That no portion of this sum be applied to any purpose whatever, except for the erection of new school-houses, and that in the definition of a school-house the residence for masters or attendants be not included.

2. That no application be entertained unless a sum be raised by private contribution equal at the least to one-half of the total estimated expenditure.

3. That the amount of private subscription be received, expended, and accounted for, before any issue of public money for such school be directed.

4. That no application be complied with, unless upon the consideration of such a Report either from the National School Society, or the British and Foreign School Society, as shall satisfy this Board that the case is one deserving of attention, and that there is a reasonable expectation that the school may be permanently supported.

5. That the applicants whose cases are favourably entertained be required to bind themselves to submit to any audit of their accounts which this Board may direct, as well as to make such periodical Reports respecting the state of their schools and the number of scholars educated as may be called for.

6. That in considering the applications made to the Board a preference be given to such applications as come from large cities and towns, in which the necessity of assisting in the erection of

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