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Extract from Minutes of the Committee of Council on Education,
3rd December, 1839.
Their lordships deliberated on the 9th regulation of the 24th of September ; viz. “In every application for aid to the erection of a school house in England or Wales, it must be stated whether the school is in connexion with the National Society, or the British and Foreign Society; and if the said school be not in connexion with either of those societies, the committee will not entertain the case, unless some special circumstances be exhibited to induce their lordships to treat the case as special.”
Resolved,—That if such special circumstances be stated as to induce the committee to entertain the consideration of any such case, their lordships will require to be informed,
1. What are the objections which the applicants make to connecting the intended school with the National Society, or the British and Fereign School Society.
2. To whom the superintendence of religious instruction will be confided in their school, and whether such religious instruction will be obligatory on all the children in the school, or whether the parent or natural guardian of any child may withdraw it from such religious instruction, or from any portion of it, without thereby forfeiting the advantages of the general education in the school.
3. Whether the Bible or Testament will be required to be read daily in the school by the children, and whether any and what catechism will be taught, and whether, if the parents or guardian of any child object to such catechetical instruction, it will be enforced or dispensed with.
4. Whether the children who attend the day school are required to attend a Sunday school, for the purpose of religious instruction, or to attend for divine worship at any particular church or chapel, or whether the place of divine worship is left to the selection of their parents solely, without their incurring, by reason of such selection, any loss of the privileges of the school.
5. Whether the school is to be connected with the congregation of any religious denomination, either by the erection of the school house within the boundary wall of the site on which a place of divine worship is built, or by reason of its being chiefly supported by subscriptions from the members of such congregation, or in consequence of any rule limiting admission to any one religious denomination.
6. If it is intended that the school shall be so established and supported, the committee must be informed what is the district from which the children will assemble in the school ; what is the population of the district, and what portion of that population belongs to the religious denomination of the congregation with which the school is connected.
Resolved,-That on these facts in relation to each case being presented to the committee, and their lordships being satisfied that the regulations of the 24th of September will in all other respects be fulfilled, they will limit their aid to those cases in which proof is given of a great deficiency of education for the poorer classes in the district ; of vigorous efforts having been made by the inhabitants to provide funds, and of the indispensable need of further assistance; and to those cases in which com
petent provision will be made for the instruction of the children in the school ; the daily reading of a portion of the Scriptures forming part of such instruction.
The committee will further give a preference to schools in which the religious instruction will be of the same character as that given in schools in connexion with one or other of the above-named societies ; and to those in which the school committee or trustees, while they provide for the daily reading of the Scriptures in the school, do not enforce any rule by which the children will be compelled to learn a catechism, or attend a place of divine worship, to which their parents, on religious grounds, object.
Resolved,—That the following circular and questions be transmitted to the applicants for aid for the support of schools.
Circular, No. 2.
Committee of Council on Education,
Council Office, Whitehall. SIR. In reference to your application for aid from the parliamentary grant, to defray a portion of the annual expenses incurred for the support of the school at- -, I am directed by the Committee of Council to transmit to you the enclosed copy of their regulations of the 24th of September.
I am to request you to observe that your application for such assistance can only be entertained under special circumstances; and I am to inform you that my lords will be chiefly disposed to grant such aid in cases in which they receive sufficient evidence of the great deficiency of the means of education in the vicinity of such schools, when they are convinced that the utmost efforts have been made by the inhabitants for their support, and when relief from a temporary embarrassment would probably ensure the permanent prosperity of the school. My lords are of opinion that schools will be most extensively useful when supported by the exertions of the school committees and other benevolent individuals by whom they have been founded. The grant of money voted by Parliament was intended to encourage, not to supersede or impair, such local exertions; applications for aid to defray the annual expenses of a school can therefore only be admitted in consequence of difficulties of a peculiar character, rendering the case an exception to general rules.
I am therefore to request you to examine and reply to the enclosed series of questions, when my lords will proceed to the further consideration of your application.
I have the honour be
Your obedient servant
1. Whether the school is connected with the National Society, or British and Foreign School Society?
2. What is the tenure on which the site of the school is held ? 3. Who are the trustees ?
4. State the form in which the object to which the building is devoted is expressed in the trust-deed.
5. State the length, breadth, and height of each of the school-rooms, by internal measurement.
6. Is a master's residence attached to the school ?
7. Who are the chief promoters of the school ? State their names, professions, &c.
8. From what district do children attend the school ? Define the boundaries of that district
9. What is the population ?
10. State what charitable or other funds and endowments for the education of the children of the poor exist in this district.
11. Enumerate the schools for the children of the poor existing in this district, and the number of children each will accommodate.
12. State the grounds for representing this case as deserving of assistance granted only under special circumstances, in cases of peculiar urgency, to relieve the temporary embarrassment of important schools.
13. Among the reasons for expecting that the schools will be efficiently and permanently supported (if the temporary embarrassment now experienced be relieved), state the probable amount of annual subscriptions and donations.
Of annual collections.
Of any other source of income. 14. State generally the extent of resources which the neighbourhood is likely to furnish for support of schools.
15. What is the salary of the schoolmaster ? What is the salary of the schoolmistress ?
16. Is a house provided for the schoolmaster? Is a house provided for the school mistress ?
17. Is the schoolmaster provided with fuel? Is the schoolmistress provided with fuel ?
18. What income do the schoolmaster and schoolmistress derive from other sources than the salary afforded ?
19. Do the schoolmaster and schoolmistress devote their whole time to the duties of their office ? and, if not, state what other occupation they have. 20. What is the average annual expenditure for books, apparatus, &c.
For repairs ?
For fuel ? 21. What other expenses are incurred ? 22. What is the number of children on the books ? 23. What is the average attendance ?
24. Have the schoolmaster and schoolmistress, or either of them, received instruction in the art of teaching in any, and in what, model or training school, and during what period ?
25. What is the number of classes in the school ?
1. In the rudimentary classes.
27. State the course of instruction of each class during school-hours daily, and for each day in the week.
28. Are any, and, if so, how many monitors employed to assist the master ?
29. Are they paid, and, if so, how much per week ?
1. The system of mutual instruction.
3. The simultaneous method ? 31. Has the school at a previous period received aid from the parliamentary grant; if so, when, for what purpose, and to what extent ?
32. What is the amount of assistance now sought ? 33. For what purpose ?
GENERAL INSTRUCTION SOCIETY for the Publication and Distribution
of Works to promote Moral, Social, and Religious Knowledge ; and to encourage Loyal and Constitutional Principles throughout the British Empire, as the basis of National Education.
The business of the society is confined exclusively to the purposes implied in its title, namely-to bring the powerful influence of the press to bear on the moral, social, and religious improvement of the British people.
The society has been formed to meet and remove the ignorance and prejudices so generally prevalent amongst great masses of the community.
A donation of ten guineas constitutes a life member; and persons subscribing half-a-guinea annually, or more, are considered members.
Ladies admitted members on paying the usual subscription, and entitled to all the privileges of the society.
The funds are employed as a means of enabling the society to sell and distribute newspapers and publications at a cheap rate—and members are allowed to purchase, at very reduced prices—upon the same principles as those followed by the “Society for Promoting Christian KnowTedge,” the “Bible Society," and the “Religious Tract Society,"—for gratuitous distribution or otherwise.
No person to partake of the benefits of the society until the subscription for the current year be paid.
Clergymen and other gentlemen making collections for the society, shall
, if required, receive half the amount in publications; and when remittances amount to twenty pounds or upwards, the collecting party shall be considered a life member.
Catalogues will be published, from time to time-comprising history, modern and ancient-biography-tales—sketches of societychurch history, &c.—stories for youth-education series, &c. &c.—tracts -pamphlets—broadsides, &c.—tales for children, &c. &c.
The society—the purposes and modes of action of which, are here pointed out, has been established under the conviction that it is the clear and solemn duty of every lover of his country, to direct the press so as
to meet the urgent want, which has arisen of diffusing sound knowledge on the true relations which exist between the constitution of Great Britain and her people, and also of teaching and illustrating the social and political duties which ought to exist between the different classes of society; by so doing, it is believed, that a check will be placed on the anti-social principles, now unhappily too prevalent, and which cannot fail, if permitted to extend their influence, to destroy the civil and religious liberty, of which this kingdom has under the Divine blessing, been so long the privileged possessor. The many, socially and politically, have hitherto been left to the guidance of the worst and most degraded portion of the press, the effects
of which have already, in times of excitement, been seriously felt, and which threaten danger of the most alarming character to our venerable institutions. The remedy is plain—the powerful lever of the press has been used to disjoint the framework of society—it must be used to adjust and improve it. The necessity of this remedy is particularly obvious at this moment—when powerful efforts are making to divest the education of the people of Scripture instruction—the only basis on which it should be built.
Connected with national education, the society seeks to imbue parents with moral and religious feelings, for by this means only, it is believed, that the children of the lower classes can ever be educated as such feelings will keep alive the attention of parents to the temporal and eternal welfare of their offspring. Domestic instruction, which can be made to comply so far with family necessities, as not to deprive the frugal parent of the willing assistance of his children, must be the general basis of national education ; and it is impossible to describe the moral and political importance of thus cherishing the domestic and social affections of the English people.
“More knowledge is ordinarily diffused, especially among the young and ignorant, by one hour's catechetical exercise, than by many hours' continued discourse."Dr. Owen.
“The curate of every parish shall diligently, upon Sundays and holydays, after the second lesson at evening prayer, openly in the church instruct and examine so many children of his parish sent unto him as he shall think convenient, in some part of this catechism.” *
CANON LIX. Ministers to CATECHIZE every Sunday. “Every parson, vicar, or curate, upon every Sunday and holy-day, before evening prayer, shall for half an hour or more, examine and instruct the youth and ignorant persons of his parish, in the ten commandments, the articles of the belief, and in the Lord's prayer; and shall diligently hear, instruct, and teach them the catechism set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. And all fathers, mothers, masters, and mistresses, shall cause their chil
ren, servants, and apprentices, which have not learned the catechism, to come to the church at the time appointed, obediently to hear, and to
Rubric at the end of the catechism.