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CATECHISING.

INDEED with regard to both Testaments, I consider oral and catechismal instruction as the preparative provided by Christ himself in the establishment of a visible church-Ibid.

Documents.

FIFTH REPORT OF THE LONDON DIOCESAN BOARD OF EDUCATION. The interest which continues to be attached to the great subject of popular education secures a certain degree of public attention to the proceedings of diocesan boards. The committee of the board established in the metropolis are therefore not insensible to the responsibility which they incur when it becomes their duty to bring out an annual report, and to offer remarks and suggestions upon the most difficult, and yet the commonest, subject of our social economy.

In their last report, the committee took occasion to advert to the original designs with which the London Diocesan Board of Education was formed in 1839, and they enumerated the objects to which the attention of the managing committee would be chiefly directed. The resources at the board's disposal being very limited, it became the special care of the committee to see how they could be applied to the best advantage, and with the strictest regard to economy; and considering that to render existing schools more efficient was an object of little less importance than adding to their number, the committee during the past year have applied all the energies and resources of the board chiefly to that one object.

The functions of diocesan boards generally appear now to have found their Jimitations within the following points :

I. To train, or prepare for training, a succession of schoolmasters and mistresses of a superior description, and such as the gradual improvement in popular education appears to require.

II. To bring schools into union, with a view to diocesan inspection, or to form a medium of communication between the clergy and other persons interested in the cause of Church-of-England education.

III. To institute inquiries into the statistics of popular education in Churchof-England schools, with a view of co-operating with the National Society, and showing to the country at large the extent of national education as carried on under the superintendence of the clergy.

IV. To aid in the erection of new schools, by making grants on a small scale.

There is, however, no diocesan board out of the fifteen already formed that has sufficient resources at its command to carry out with effect the whole of these objects—hence the necessity of selecting one or more according to local circumstances, and with reference to the special work for which contributions are made. The London board, for reasons which will be sufficiently obvious, has never attempted to make grants in aid of schools, except in the case of the Metropolitan Commercial Schools' Institution, for securing its establishment: the training institutions of the National Society, having their seat in the metropolis, render that particular object of a diocesan board in London superfluous; but there still remain three things of great importance to be accomplished: viz.,

1. To bring schools into union.
2. To make statistical inquires.

3. To prepare candidates for teachers. 1. Schools in Union.—The number of schools of all descriptions in union

with the board is 209 ; during the past year five only have been added. This small number still shows the reluctance or the indifference, on the part of managers of schools in the metropolis, to declare their schools to be in union; in no instance that the committee are aware of does this reluctance exist on the part of the clergy, who are always ready to respond to the calls made upon their time and attention, when sanctioned by the diocesan ; but the refusal generally arises from the parochial authorities or managers of endowed schools, who have erroneous impressions as to the nature and meaning of the union. Many are apprehensive, that by coming into union with the board, they would subject themselves and their schools to be controlled by the committee, and be bound to adopt certain rules and practices which might cripple their independence of action; whereas the advantage of such union would manifestly be all on the side of the school, for it gives to every school the privilege of sending one or more candidates for the board's scholarships, as vacancies occur yearly, and of consulting the board on any subject connected with the management of schools or the selection of teachers, and (as will appear at once from the “ terms of union”) neither control nor authority of any kind is sought for on the part of the board by such union. In order to obviate any feeling of that kind, the terms of union have, in the course of the past year, been reduced to a simple declaration of what must be the fact in every Church-of-England school, and it is not sought to bring any other into connexion with the board. The terms of union, the form of application, and the certificate of admission, will be appended to this report'; and the committee would express a hope, that the clergy who have not yet succeeded in placing the schools with which they may be connected in union with the board, will press the subject upon the managers, and show them the advantage and propriety of such friendly association. It is not with a view to diocesan inspection that the London board seeks to bring schools into union with it; for, as it was stated in a former report, the inspection which was so efficient, when conducted by the late secretary of the board, may now be procured by application to the privy council on education. From the report of the government inspector, the Rev. F. C. Cook, it appears that he has inspected schools in 37 places in the two archdeaconries of London and Middlesex. The committee would not, however, be understood to say that diocesan inspection is rendered unnecessary by that which has been provided by the privy council ; but in the absence of a diocesan inspector, which it would in all cases be desirable to have, the committee, with the concurrence of the Right Reverend the President, recommend applications to be made for the government inspection.

2. Statistical Inquiries.—This important branch of the board's operations has not been omitted during the past year, although the committee has but little progress to report on this subject. It was remarked in the last report, that a digest of 750 returns, containing a great mass of information, had been made; and the committee have examined this digest, with a view to ascertain what information was still wanting to bring the state of education in the two archdeaconries of London and Middlesex before the public. Some communications have passed between the board and the committee of the National Society with reference to this subject of a statistical inquiry. If the National Society renews its quinquennial' inquiry without the intervention of the diocesan boards, it would be almost superfluous for the committee to go on with this branch of their labours. It does, however, appear desirable to make this statistical inquiry, wherever it can be done well, through the diocesan board: more accurate information will probably be obtained when such inquiries are carried on under the immediate direction and sanction of the diocesan. The report of the Bristol Board of Education, printed in the appendix to the last published report of the National Society, shows how effectually this work may be done by a local board; but it would seem reasonable that, if the National Society receives the returns from a diocesan board free of expense, a small grant should

be made towards covering the expenses attending such statistical inquiry. There is, upon the whole, every probability that the committee, before another annual meeting, will have to report upon the number and condition of church schools within the two archdeaconries above mentioned.

3. Pupil-Teachers.—The measure which has chiefly occupied the attention of the board during the past year, is that of raising up and preparing a certain number of boys and girls to be assistants in schools while they are in preparatory training for becoming masters or mistresses in due course of time. This plan, which is not without its difficulties, has not yet received its full development; and the committee feel that, in carrying it out so as to be a means of improving schools, as well as beneficial to the pupil-teachers, a longer time than one twelvemonth is necessary to test its merits.

The acknowledged difficulty of finding fit subjects for training institutions at the age generally fixed for their admission, first induced the managing committee to turn their attention to this subject; but on account of the many elements which enter into it, some time must elapse before the plan can be practically and fully carried out.

The consent of parents, as well as their interests, must concur in the appointment of a pupil teacher ; and for that purpose parents must be made aware of the mode in which their children may advance to an honourable and useful occupation. Provision for carrying on the education of the successful candidates must also be made ; a moral superintendence, equivalent to that which a religious parent would exercise, should be secured. The benefit of the school where the pupil-assistant is placed should be considered; and the prospects held out to the parents of the boy or girl, thus, as it were, adopted by the board, must not be delusive. These and other considerations of equal importance, render the working out of this scheme no easy task for the committee; but the results already obtained, from one short year of trial, are such as to encourage the board to pursue their plan with redoubled vigour. At the last annual meeting, the committee had to announce that the first ten boys, after a satisfactory examination, had been elected, out of sixteen candidates. In November last, an election of ten girls was made out of twenty-two candidates, and a further election of three boys out of thirteen candidates, to fill up the vacancies which had occurred. Since the original election, on the 26th and 27th of May, just past, other eight were elected, after examination, viz. five boys and three girls; so that at this time there are no less than twenty-nine of those young persons enjoying the emoluments afforded by the board ; all of them, with the exception of nine, receiving the full allowance.

It is gratifying to be able to state that the most favourable reports of the conduct of those pupil-teachers, in the several schools where they are placed, have been received from the clergy, together with certificates given them by the masters and mistresses. These reports were sent to the boa when the pupilteachers appeared for examination, on the 22nd and 23rd of May last; the result of that examination was very satisfactory.*

The committee cannot offer a better proof of the success which has attended this branch of their labours, than that which is afforded in the report presented to the committee of privy council on education by their inspector.

The Rev. F. C. Cook observes,—“I have inspected schools in which these youths are employed, as, for example, at St. John's, Hoxton, Hampstead, Christ Church, Chelsea, and Baldwin's Gardens, in which their assistance is highly valued ; and I am convinced that the plan will be found practicable and most beneficial. The qualifications of some of these youths,” he adds, extremely creditable to the schools in which they were educated.” After speaking in high terms of the qualities and attainments of one of the youths in par

are

* The reports of the examiners are given in the appendix.

ticular, the inspector adds,—“Those employed in the other schools are hardly inferior in attainments.” The suggestions offered by Mr. Cook in his valuable report with respect to the employment of those pupil-teachers, and the strict conditions which ought to be made for them when placed as assistants in large schools, will not be lost upon the managing committee; they feel the responsibility which rests upon them in taking a youth from under the immediate eye of the parents, and the consequent duty of doing their utmost to secure his moral and spiritual welfare.

A further consideration presses upon the attention of the board, how those pupil teachers are to be disposed of at the end of the three years, when they will have attained the age of 17, and be ready for a more complete course of training. If the present number be maintained until the expiration of the first three years, there will be 30 of those young persons to be disposed of in the course of the year 1847. The committee is not without hope that the National Society will do something towards promoting this object. If the committee of that society would offer three exhibitions for male, and as many more for female candidates, to be gained by competition in an examination, this would dispose of six out of the 30; and should the National Society deem it expedient to repeat the offer annually, there would be six teachers per annum prepared for the society's purposes in the best manner possible, at a comparatively small cost. The previous advantages which candidates for such exhibitions would have over others who had never been so employed or taught, would have the effect of abridging the time that is thought necessary for training others,-in some instances a year, in others eighteen months, and in others two years, might be required; but, taking an average of a year and half (making each exhibition for boys worth £35, and for the girls £15), the National Society might have six teachers well prepared for national schools, at a total cost of £150. Another mode of providing the sum necessary for the expense of training for such as might not obtain the free exhibitions, is by the savings of the pupil-assistants themselves; for in many schools where their services are valued, not only may they have the £10 or £12 per annum allowed by the board, but also a weekly payment from the school. In some instances they may be boarded and lodged free of expense; so that the greatest part of their allowance from the board might go to form a fund sufficient, with very little assistance, to pay for their own training. In other cases, provident parents, not in the lowest circumstances, would take care that in the course of the three years sufficient should be be saved to secure the training of their children; and thus all of them might pass into the National Society's institutions. The board had contemplated also offering occasional exhibitions, so as to diminish still further the number of the self-supporters. This latter measure must, however, depend upon the amount of funds placed at the disposal of the board. The sum required for keeping up the number of the pupil-teachers is about £300. per annum; and this together with the incidental expenses, nearly exhausts the resources of the board ; but it is hoped, when this plan of making the board a kind of preparatory training institution is made known, and if it should commend itself

to the friends of popular education, a great accession of subscribers and donors will be obtained, so as to free the managing committee from anxiety on this head. It might also happen, that some individuals of great benevolence might think to give an exhibition to a boy or girl who should, upon examination, excel in some particular branch of education. But these are anticipations which the committee will forbear at present to indulge in ; and they only give expression to them for the purpose of offering suggestions.*

* Since this report was written, an exhibition to one of the National Society's training institutions has been offered by a private individual, upon condition of a similar offer being obtained elsewhere.

It is satisfactory to know that this plan for the improvement of large schools, and a future increase in the number of well trained and experienced schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, has lately been introduced into the diocese of Lichfield, and has for some time been in operation under the York diocesan boards.

(To be concluded in our next.)

Intelligence.

Trinity College, Scotland, -A meeting of the bishops, and members of committee, and subscribers, and others interested in the formation of the above institution, took place in the Hopetoun Rooms, on the ilth inst., on which occasion there were present the whole of the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church, a numerous body of the clergy, among whom were observed—the Very Rev. E. B. Ramsay, Dean of Edinburgh; the Very Rev. John Torry, Dean of Dunkeld; the Rev. J. C. Lyon, M. A., St. Andrews; the Rev. J. L. Ross, M. A., Pittenweem ; the Rev. A. Ranken, M. A., of Old Deer ; the Rev. A. Lendrum, M.A., of Muthill; the Rev. J. Christie, M. A., Turiff;

the Rev. William Henderson, M. A., Arbroath; the Rev. J. W. Ferguson, M. A., of St. Peter's, Edinburgh ; and the Rev. John Alexander, of St. Paul's, Carrubber's Close, Edinburgh ; and the following members of committee and subscribers :—The Right Hon. William E. Gladstone; Sir Archibald Edmonstone, of Duntreath, Bart.; the Hon. Lord Medwyn; John Gladstone, Esq., of Fasque; Major Maclaren, Portobello; Captain R. Moorsom, Scots Fusilier Guards; Edward Badeley, Esq., Barrister-at-Law ; J. W. Colville, Esq., Advocate-General of Bengal; John David Hope, Esq.; Patrick Boyle, Esq., of Shewalton; William Forbes, Esq., Advocate ; Alexander M'Neill, Esq., Advocate ; Robert Campbell, Esq., of Skerrington; W. H. Sands, Esq. W. S.; Hugh Hope, Esq., John Anderson, Esq. W. S.; Dr. Ogilvie, M.D., Aberdeen ; William Pitt Dundas, Esq., Advocate, Secretary and Treasurer; William S. Walker, Esq., of Bowland, Joint Secretary and Treasurer ; Charles G. Reid, Esq., W. S., Joint Secretary ; Wm. Skinner, Esq., Advocate, Local Secretary in Aberdeen ; &c. &c.

The Bishop of Aberdeen and Primus having been called to the chair, a report which had been prepared by the com

mittee for the consideration and approval of the meeting, and containing the agenda relative to the appointment of the Council or Court of Visitors, in whom the government and superintendence of the college was proposed to be vested, was read, together with a state of the funds. The report set forth that the list of subscribers embraced subscriptions to the extent of upwards of £24,000, and that a most eligible site had been granted by George Patton, Esq., of Cairnies, on the banks of the river Almond, at a distance of about nine miles from Perth, and three from Methven, a village on the high road between Perth and Crieff. That the preparation of the plans had been entrusted to Mr. John Henderson, architect, who had placed in the hands of the committee the very beautiful design which had been circulated among the subscribers. That the committee had, on the 20th of May last year, come to the resolution of commencing to build such portions of the design as would admit of the opening of the institution on a limited scale, and that the necessary contracts had been entered into in the month of July thereafter. That the total expense of these portions of the building, including furnishing and every other requisite, amounted to £16,000, and they would be ready for occupation in the autumn of next year. That the necessity of postponing the erection of the chapel and library in particular, owing to the want of sufficient funds, had been a subject of great regret to the committee, but that in the meantime, distinct subscriptions had been opened for both these objects, and that upwards of £1,000 had been received for the former, and several donations of books and in money had been given towards the latter; and that it was earnestly hoped that proper provision for the due performance of public worship might be made as soon as possible.

The agenda embodied in the report

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