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BRIEF CONSPECTUS OF THE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION IN SCOTLAND.
The system of education in Scotland was organized by a law of 1872 on a basis similar to that of the English system as regards support from the public treasury and the Government inspection of schools. Scotland had, however, a system of public schools dating from a law of 1696, which required that a school be established in every parish. The country was thus prepared for a system of universal school boards as provided for by the law of 1872. The law differed also from the English law of 1870 in that, following the traditions of the old parish system, it made provision for both elementary and secondary schools. The latter did not share in the treasury grant, but by subsequent laws were allowed support from local taxes. Whereas compulsion has been gradually introduced into the English system, the Scotch law made education compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 13 (raised to 14 in 1883), or until a certificate of exemption should be secured. The standard or grade for exemption was made the fifth (law of 1878); the age for exemption is 12 (law of July, 1899).
A law just passed (1901) strengthens the compulsory measures without, however, changing the age limits.
Religious instruction in the schools of Scotland was left to local authorities, with the simple restriction of a conscience clause making the attendance of children at the religious exercises optional with the parents. A grant in lieu of fees (law of 1889) has had the effect of making the schools practically free schools.
In 1885 the Scotch education department arranged for the inspection of endowed and other secondary schools applying for the service. In 1888 the department established a leaving certificate for students who, on the completion of a course of secondary study, pass the certificate examination.
The number of secondary schools inviting inspection in 1902 was 95, of which 32 were higher class public schools, 25 endowed schools, and 38 private schools. The number of candidates for the leaving certificate in 1888 was 972; in 1901 it was 17,405.
A large number of university and professional authorities accept the certificate in lieu of such preliminary examinations as are held under their direction. Through the service of inspection and examination the secondary schools of Scotland have been brought into close relation with the education department.
Under the local taxation (customs and excise) act of 1890, and other acts providing for the application of public funds to secondary and technical education, the local authorities expended for these purposes in 1900–1901 the sum of £67,656 ($338.0.0).
PROGRESS AS SHOWN BY RETROSPECTIVE TABLES. The table introducing this chapter presents in summarized form the current statistics of education in Great Britain and Ireland. The significance of these summaries will be better comprehended by reference to the series of retrospective tables (pp. 247-253). These show the progress that has been made in the extension of school facilities and expenditure for popular education since the passage of the education laws of 1870 and 1872 for England and Scotland, respectively. With regard to Government supervision and aid, the two divisions of Great Britain were placed upon substantially the same basis, but tendencies derived from the conditions under which elementary education was conducted prior to the dates mentioned have given distinctive character and development to the two systems. As a radical change has just been made in the English system, it is this which here claims chief consideration. The alarming dearth of school accommodation in England and the prevalent ignorance of the masses, which led to the education law of 1870, have been happily overcome by the measures thus inaugurated. By reference to Table X, pp. 251-253, it will be seen that the school accommodation, which in 1870 was equivalent to 8.5 per cent of the population, was in 1902 sufficient for 20.5 per cent, while in the same time the enrollment in elementary schools rose from 7.66 per cent of the population to 18 per cent. The increase in the average attendance of pupils is still greater. In 1870 this average was equivalent to 5.21 per cent of the population and to 68 per cent of the enrollment; in 1902 to 14.7 and 81.4, respectively. PROGRESSIVE ASPECTS OF THE LAW.
The school provision comprises board or public schools managed heretofore by elected school boards and supported by Government appropriations and local taxes (prior to 1891 in part by tuition fees), and voluntary or church schools under private management and supported by Government appropriations, subscriptions, and fees.
The increase in the board schools is the most significant fact in the record of the period. These schools, which did not exist in 1870, numbered 1,596 in 1872 and 5,943 in 1902, with accommodations the latter year for 3,003, 247 children, or 46 per cent of the total number of school places, and an average attendance of 2,369,980, or 48 per cent of the total average attendance. (Table II, p. 248.)
Other particulars of special importance brought out by the retrospective tables are (1) the increase in the proportion of alult as compared with pupil teachers, the latter, which were 51 per cent of the total teaching force in 1870, having been reduced to 12 per cent in 1902, or to 21 per cent, omitting additional teachers, a class that did not exist in 1870; (2) the spread of compulsory attendance indicated by the fact that the entire population is now under compulsory by-laws as against only 35 per cent in 1872; (3) the increase in the total and per capita expenditure for elementary education. The former (current and capital) in 1895 was above six times that for 1871. (Table III. p. 248.) The per capita expenditure for maintenance only rose in voluntary schools from £1 7s. 5d. ($6.35) in 1872 to £2 6s. 4d. ($11.55) in 1902, and in board schools from £1 8s. 440 ($7.09) to £3 9d. ($15.19). The progress in the particulars which adunit of numerical expression has been accompanied, as might be inferred, by marked development in respect to the conduct of schools, their equipment, the qualification of teachers, the required programme of studies, and the efficiency of the instruction imparted.
Scotland has witnessed also a great increase in school accommodation and enroliment since the passage of the law of 1872. For instance, while the population has increased by 31 per cent, school accommodation has increased by 223 per cent, and school enrollment, which made its greatest gains in the first half of the period 1872 to 1901, has, even in the last two decades, increased by more than 40 per cent. (Table XI,
p 2.53.) Fortunately the liberal conception of popular education which had prevailed in Scotland under the old parish system, and which kept an open road to the universities for all children of good ability, has been maintained since 1872 under the more highly organized Government system. Unlike the English law of 1870, which provided for a very elementary programme of studies, the Scotch law of 1872 recognized the value of the higher burgh or town schools, which prepared students even for the universities and authorized their continuance with aid from the local taxes.
In 1885 special provision was made for bringing these and other secondary or higher schools under Government inspection, and they have, since that date, been included in the annual statistical record.
The retrospective tables for Ireland (p. 264), though perhaps no less suggestive than those relating to England and Scotland, pertain to a system of education so different that they will be more advantageously considered hereafter in connection with a brief account of the Irish system as a whole. Here it may be observed, however, that the three divisions of the United Kingdom are in the midst of an educational ferment which shows in all three many common tendencies.
Fostereil originally by church and state for the moral or civic improvement of the masses, the elementary school has become an uplifting force in individual souls, awakening aspirations and resolutions for material good that can not be stified. It has played also an important part in that mental stimulation which has changed the industrial aspect of the world, and thus popular education in the most elementary form has created demands which must be met by larger provision of the means of higher education. The most pressing educational need at this time, alike in England, Scotland, and Ireland, is that of higher and specialized education for the industrial classes. But this question is inextricably involved with that of the general administration of education, which for the time being has overshadowed all other phases of the problem, and in England especially has become a political issue of absorbing interest. The year under review has been marked by the application of the education act of 1902 and the passage of a new education la w for London, which city was not included under the general law.
CONTINUED OPPOSITION TO THE LAW OF 1902.
The most important changes effected by the law of 1909 a are noted in the brief conspectus of the English system. The intense opposition to the measure while it was pending in Parliament was due to the endeavor to give the denominational schools the benefit of local taxes (rates) without bringing them under public control. Now that the measure has become law opposition to this obnoxious feature is continued in the practical form of “passive resistance"—that is, refusal on the part of nonconformists to pay that portion of the local school tax levied on them which would go to the support of religious instruction in the church schools. This resistance is not occasional and sporadic, but is an organized force ramifying throughout the country. In Wales the opposition has assumed a still more threatening aspect, many of the county councils having refused to levy a local tax for the support of sectarian schools. Under the circumstances the settlement can hardly be regarded as final.
a For full text of the law see Report of Commissioner for 1902, Chap. XXV, pp. 1017-1020.
The method and extent of tho "passivo resistanco" may be seen from the following statements:
In the lIouse of Commons, on Friday, August 14, Mr. LLOYD GEORGE said:
With regard to the administration of the act throughout the country, the Government ought to take serious consideration of the situation. The local authorities ought not to be left to face the difficulties alone. It was quito certain the act was not accepted by any section of the people as a fair settlement. Its administration hall created friction and disturbance, and once or twice something approximating to riot. In one case within a milo from the House the auctioneer came to a sale armed with a revolver, and the police intervened and disarmed him. He was hustled in getting through the crowd of 2,00) persons, and ho came to the conclusion that this was a fierce attack upon him and, placing the revolver in the rostrum, he said he would shoot down the first man who assaulted him. The Gorernment could not ignore the situation; and although they had transferred a responsibility to the local authorities who had never asked for it, the real responsibility of the alministration rested with the Government themselves. What were they going to do with the recalcitrant county councils? It was not only tho Welsh county councils that were in question. The Cambridge and Halfax councils had made up their minds that they would not raise money for sectarian education unless they had control of the schools, and it was not improbable that the London county councils would take the same course. What were tho Government going to do? Here was a legitimato subject for inquiry. Whilst they were mixing the pigment for the coloring of their statistics could they not give a moment's consideration to this urgent problem at their very doors? He asked whether they did not think the time hnd come when they ought to consider this subject seriously, and in the meantime suspend the operation of the obnoxious part of the act.
Mr. Robson maintained that on the local Government board rested the duty of advising the local authorities in this matter. The Government dare not attack the passive resistance movement as a whole, but were throwing on the local authority the responsibility for a harsh, oppressive, and vindictive application of an unjust law.
Mr. BROADHURST supported the appeal to the Government to take steps to mitigate the severity of these distress processes. The prime minister had declared there was a limit to human endurance when attention was called to the violent attacks on meetings held to protest against the South African war. There was also a limit to human endurance in this matter which touched the consciences of thousands of most reputable citizens. To be compelled to pay for the teaching of doctrines and professions of faith with which they had no sympathy whatever was to them an intolerable strain, Over 800 summonses had been issued under the act, half of
Apart from the evident purpose to favor sectarian schools at the expense of the taxpayers, the new law makes distinct advance in respect to the local administration of education. The very provision as to the support of church schools, which in principle seems unjust, removes the pecuniary disability of these schools, a very important matter, since they educate 42 percent of the school children. Further, by bringing secondary education within the sphere of Government supervision the law conduces to the coordination of elementary and secondary schools, which have hitherto worked without reference to each other.
The progress that has been made in the application of the law of 1902 was summed up as follows by Sir William Anson in a speech submitting the education estimates for the coming year to the House of Commons:
Every council was desired to form a scheme for an education committee, and the number of councils called upon to frame schemes was 333–62 counties, 69 county boroughs, 159 boroughs, and 63 urban districts. Of these, schemes have been submitted to the board of education, approved, and published to the number of 238 in England and 5 in Wales; there are schemes now in course of pnblication to the number of 26, and the schemes sanctioned for publication but not yet published are 7 in number; 31 schemes submitted to the board are now under consideration with a view to publication; sanction has been refused to 1 schemes; and 19 councils have not yet sent in schemes, some because their areas being large they have not yet been able to formulate their schemes, and in other cases urban-district councils are considering whether they shall relinquish their educational powers to county councils. The great majority, then, of the councils have already sent in schemes which have been approved, comparatively few are hanging back or held over, and only 4 councils have sent in schemes which have not been sanctioned for publication.
which had not yet been heard. What possibilities of illegality and violence there were in the execution of these warrants against the most law abiding classes of the community! Men had consciences before Parliament made laws, and they would exercise their consciences as far a3 they could do so, despite any physical violence which the Government might let loose upon their hitherto peaceful homes.
Mr. GEORE WHITE said that on the previous night he had gone down to Battersea to attend what was practically the first ale of goods seized under the education act in the neighborhood of London. This was no laughing matter to at least half the people of this country, who were abylutely opposed to the act. The sale took place in a small room capable of containing 100 people. There was a large crowd of the public assembled outside claiming admission, but they wero kopt out by a furco of police. When he demand admission to the room a robust policeman caught him by the collar and shoved him bak violently. He then told the policeman that he was a member of Parliament, upon which the policeman at once made way for hinn to the door. He was sorry afterwards that he had said he was a member of Parliament, as he should like to know from practical experience how a private individual would have been treated. But he claimed an exemption, and he was equally ameuable if he was doing wrong, although he was a meinber of Parliament. The action of the police was calculated to cause friction betwrenthem and the people, and the home office ought to issue instructions to prevent the police doing what they would not do in the case of an ordinary public auction. This incident at Battersea was but typical of what was going on through the length and breadth of the land. They had only reached the beginning of the trouble. The Government had no idea of the strong di termination there was on the part of the whole of the Nonconformnists to resist the payment of rates for doumas which they existed as religious bodlies to fight against as erroneous. He complained, too, that the moment any defendant d sired to make any stat ment his mouth was closed by the generality of the inagistrated. And why should not the local (tovernment board issue instructions to allow the portion of the rate tendered to be accepted? If these education act prosecutions were continuent in a vindictive way a ferling would bo aroused which the Government might have reason to deploro.
Free church and the act.-- The ('hristian World of last week (August 16 -2) contained a letter by Free Church leaders urging (!) that the vital amendment of the education act shall be made a test question at thegeneral-ler.tion, and (2) the desirability of endearoring to return 200 Free Church members to the next Parliament. These sur sestions emanate from the Rev. C. Silvester Horne, who contributes a sperial article, in which he declares that the general election will be a life and death struggle for Nonconformists. He urges that there should be returned to the House of Commuong as many Free Church ministers as there are bishops in the House of Lords, and that 15 to 200 Free Church candidates should be brought forward, so that every constituency in the country should be contested, even the soralled "forlorn hopes." He criticises tho Liberal leaders, and declares that Nonconformity must have their own menin Parliamentmen in whom they can trust. Letters approving Mr. Silvester Horne's proposals have been received from Doctor Fairbarn: Dr. Guinness Rogers: Doctor Clifford; the Rev. J.H. Shakespeare; the Rev. T. Travis (president of the National Free Church Council); Mr. Perks, M. P.; the Rev. Silas Hocking: the k v. F. B. Meyer; Dr. R. F. Horton («hairman of the Congregational Union); Mr. George White, M. P. (president of the Baptist Union), and other influential ministers and laymen in all the Free churches. Soveral menibers of Parliament support the new movement. [School Government Chronicle, August 29, 1933, p. 177.]
While it is generally admitted that the local authorities are inaking every effort to meet the requirements of the law, the difficulty of adding these new duties to those already resting upon them becomes more and more apparent.
The Schoolmaster illustrates the situation by a typical case, as follows:
It is after the formation of the education committees that the magnitude of the task begins to be realized. Take the case of a town of 150,000 population and some 30,000 scholars in the primary schools, say two-thirds in the voluntary and one-third in the board or council schools. With a county-borough council of, say, 96, it is easy to find 24 members to form the majority of the new committee. Under an excellent and able chairman, with an experienced staff of officials, the task is attempted under favorable conditions. Whatever may be the individual view of the act, all have bent themselves to getting the best possible out of the act. But the pace is telling. Councilors are complaining of the enormous time required. Everything points to the 24 councilors who are on the education committee demanding to be relieved of all other corporation committees. We shall come to one out of every four being a councilor for education only.
THE EDUCATION LAW FOR LONDON,
The most notable event of the year in respect to education in England is the passage of the new education law for London. In its final form this law does little more than extend the general law of 1902 to the metropolis, which had been reserved for special legislation; but in its original form the London bill departed much further from the policy of popular control of public schools than the principal law had done, and it excited, therefore, more intense opposition. Not only were the Liberals and all Nonconformists united in its denunciation, but also a great body of Conservatives and churchmen who had gauged the civic spirit of the city much better than the Government leaders. To the scathing criticism of the bill by members of Parliament and the press were added public demonstrations of ominous magnitude, and under this accumulated pressure the Government hastily withdrew or modified the most objectionable features of the bill.
The Parliamentary history of this measure is therefore of special interest, both as affording an insight into the educational situation of the greatest city in the world and also into the play of influences which control the destiny of the Kingdom. The legislative progress of the measure is here shown by means of the text of the original bill and the amended bill and by explanatory citations from speeches in Parliament, current editorials, etc. These citations emphasize the three main lines of opposition to the bill as originally drawn. First, opposition to the transfer of the great interest of public education from a body specially elected for that interest to a body overwhelmed with other affairs; second, opposition to the policy of transferring to the borough councils the supreme authority in educational matters; third, opposition to the policy of making the borough councils the direct managers of the board or public schools. The bearing of the last two provisions, which the Government finally withdrew, can not be understood without a brief reference to the local administration of the metropolis. The chief feature of that administration is its division of authority between the London county council and the 28 borough councils.
Up to 1889 the metropolis had no central representative governing authority. By the local-government act of that year London was made an administrative county, and the management of a large proportion of the municipal affairs was transferred to the county council, consisting of 118 elected members and a board of 19 aldermen. The council election takes place every three years. The aldermen are elected by the council for six years, 9 retiring at the end of one triennial period and 10 at the end of the next period. Under the technical-instruction laws of 1889 and 1891 the county council became the local authority for technical education. Within the area which was thus brought under the general administration of the county council are included 28 boroughs, each having its own elected