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the school in which they have been taught as their home. I fear that these influences of Christian love may be somewhat less in connection with a more efficient system of secular instruction, but let this be attended to by our Christian teachers, let them seek that this power of attractiveness by Christian love, be brought to bear in our schools, and then I am sure that we shall all have reason to rejoice. As to the School Board, I have found, their officers willing to work in co-operation with the Voluntary Schools in my neighbourhood, and therefore it is that I said at first, that I should very much deprecate any opposition to the School Board. Let us try to co-operate with them when we can. Let us receive the children which their officers may send to us, provide some fund, by which not to lower the school fees, but to pay the deficiency between the penny a week, perhaps, which I think the parents ought in all cases to subscribe, and the regular fee, and thus to get the whole of our schools filled with those who may be brought under the power of those great truths which we believe to be necessary for their present and eternal good. Let us co-operate with School Boards, and if we cannot do all the good we can wish, let us do all the good we can.
Mr CARISTOPHER BUSHELL, late Chairman of the Liverpool
The question upon which I desire to say a few words is thus put upon the paper:-"The Church and the School Boards.” It is somewhat vaguely put, and perhaps wisely 80, in order that each speaker may address himself to the question from his own point of view. The inquiry which I desire to bring before the Congress is simply this :In what spirit should the Church of England regard the work of School Boards? Now, personally, I am strongly under the impression that School Boards are a necessity rather than a choice. In the metropolis and in our densely-crowded towns, in which the increase of population had far outstripped any efforts that the voluntary principle could possibly make for the education of the people, School Boards have become an absolute necessity. This is the age of great cities, and in them, and with their wants, no voluntary system could now be sufficient for the need. The Church of England, after all that it has so nobly done in this great work of education, has found, nevertheless, that very much beyond its power remains to be accomplished. After long and anxious consideration had been given to this question by Parliament, the country received at the hands of Mr Forster, a statesman to whom all honour is due, and to whose high character and great ability all reverence should be paid- the Elementary Education Act of 1870.
By that Act, the principle of local rating for elementary education was adopted. Seeing that the rates so levied would be contributed by all the various religious denominations, the education to be given in rate-supported schools, must of necessity, if not secular, at least be undenominational. The Act moreover conferred permissive power for the giving religious instruction in Board Schools, provided that no formulary or catechism should be used distinctive of the creed any particular denomination. Happily, as might have been supposed, the people at large, and School Boards in general, have adopted the principle, that the Bible, and the religious instruction which alone can be derived from it, shall be the basis of all elementary education, whether given in Board or Voluntary Schools. Unhappily, for a long time, sectarian differences, or, as they were delicately called, "religious difficulties,” prevented legislation upon this subject, and so year after year multitudes of children were brought up in ignorance, and many perished soul and body, as it were, in our streets. Let us therefore rejoice that we have in supplement to, and not in suspension of, the Voluntary Schools, those of the School Board, and that in most of them there is given, speaking from my own experience, what I believe to be as sound religious instruction as it is possible to give with the limitation to which I have previously referred. I am one of those who sincerely think that the two systems of School Board and Voluntary Schools will greatly help each other, and who therefore earnestly desire that they should be encouraged to go on in honourable rivalry together, believing that the general cause of elementary education will be best promoted by these joint means. Let us then, who are not only members of the Church of England, but also to His Church, who has commanded us to feed His lambs,-resolve that we will not look upon the action of School Boards in an antagonistic spirit, but, if it be possible, by becoming members of such Boards, share with them this work. At least let us sympathise with workers who are as earnest as ourselves, and receive with thankfulness the valuable help which they have already given, and which it may be hoped they will continue to give, on the promotion of the religious and moral instruction of the masses of our people. I need hardly point to the statistics of our Criminal Courts, to the prevailing drunkenness and its attendant poverty and misery, to show that an almost heathen ignorance in our very midst is the prolific parent of those national and social evils which we so deeply deplore. We ought not therefore to regard with disfavour, much less to dare to oppose, any means of education which are likely to help in banishing that ignorance which is at the very root of those evils which are a fearful blot upon our national character. The unparalleled prosperity with which this country has been blessed by Providence during the last few years, and which ought to have tended greatly to promote the increase of the home comforts and happiness of the masses of our people, to have helped the education of their children, and the improvement of their dwellings,-has by its gross misuse proved to have been a curse rather than a blessing. Now, the practical suggestion which I desire to make is this. I would earnestly urge in the best interests of the great cause of elementary education, not less than in the interests of our National Church, that no Church of England school shall ever be given over to a School Board, so long as it is possible otherwise to maintain them in thorough efficiency. In this respect, the Roman Catholics set us a noble example. They as yet have not, and I feel persuaded will not ever part with one of their schools. They know that their schools are the nurseries, the recruiting ground, as it were, of their Church; and that in them alone can their distinctive and dogmatic religious teaching be given. Let us, who differ so essentially from them upon many vital points, at least imitate their wisdom and zeal in this particular. If we value the privilege, and desire to retain the blessings which we believe belong to our National Church, it needs no argument to prove that we must, of necessity, maintain in vigour and efficiency our Church of England schools. I should be sorry to share Canon Jackson's fear that there ever will be a pecuniary necessity for parting with any of our schools. Let our bishops, who are at the head of our Diocesan Boards, frame some organisation, including the appointment of a committee, which shall have for its special duty the supervision of the whole Church of England school system of the diocese, excluding, perhaps, the large towns wbich might very well be called upon to fulfil that duty for themselves. The report of the diocesan inspector of religious instruction, and his personal knowledge of each individual school, would be most valuable aid and help n 'such supervision. Let Diocesan Boards also become responsible for raising the needful funds and for the distribution among the schools of poor districts such measure of help as they may require for their maintenance in thorough efficiency. I believe if the wealthy laity of the Church of England had the case clearly put before them, and were earnestly called upon by the bishops to fulfil their duty in this particular, that the needful funds would be abundantly forthcoming, and that our Church of England schools in town and country, throughout the whole length and breadth of the land, would not only be able to hold their ground, but to continue to maintain that lead which they have hitherto taken in the education of the masses of the people. Sir Wilfred Lawson yesterday showed us what faith can do. He most energetically pursues what some people may think a shadow. His powerful, zealous, and most laudable advocacy of the "Permissive Bill" are the result of an enduring faith that sound prin. ciples are embodied in that proposed measure, and that great benefits would result to the community from its enactment. We have grounds for a more vital faith than his. Sir Wilfred's remedy for the great evil of drunkenness, being of man's device, may be fallible. For our remedy against drunkenness, debauchery and crime, the only one in which I am able to believe-that of a sound religious education-we have on our side the glorious and infallible promise, that if we “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The Rev. CANON MONEY.
I BELIEVE We all feel that this is a subject into which no bitterness, no prejudice, and no fanciful or impracticable theory should enter. The Aet of 1870 was passed, it has been said, to supplement, and not to overthrow, voluntary schools. That was a pledge by which I believe, the Educational Department will abide ; it is a pledge which, I believe, the people in this country will require to be strictly carried out. What is the duty of Churchmen in regard to that Act? It is to accept it loyally, and to help to carry it out with all the energy which they possess. It has beeu very truly said to-day that it is most important that you should take care in the selection of your masters and mistresses. If that he the case, how important is it that Churcb men should take care to place right men upon the School Boards. I do not believe that we have any reason to fear that our denominational schools will be overthrown. In my neighbourhood, in Greenwich, we have taken our part in carrying out this Act as managers of denominational schools, as Poor-law Guardians, and as managers of the School Board. What has been the result? It has been said that School Boards have the rates at their backs; but what, I ask, have the denominational schools in this country at their back? They have a strong deep religious feeling, which is increasing and strengthening, and this has been evidenced by the increase of subscriptions which bave been pouring into the treasury of our voluntary schools. Do not, then, let us hear of banding over these schools to the School Board; rather let us see that, remembering that the voluntary schools are on their trial, there is greater efficiency in every department, especially with regard to religious education. I wish to say one word with reference to pupil-teachers. I was preaching last night in a neighbouring church here against cruelty to animals, and I want to put in a plea especially for female pupil-teachers. I wish to urge at this time, when there is so great an anxiety to raise the standard of our schools, that they may not be overpressed ; if so, the consequence will be terrible; they will become pbysically, morally, and mentally overpowered, and these are to be the future mistresses of our schools. With regard to their religious training, in the diocese of Rochester there is a special examination in religious knowledge for pupil-teachers-an examination carried out with the greatest care and the greatest success. This examination has been held, for one part, in my own schools, and I can speak to the interest taken by the pupil-teachers themselves in it, and especially to the gratification with which they receive the prizes awarded to them. It has been already well said to-day that we are not merely to cram, but we are to train up those who are to be the future masters and mistresses of our schools. How is this to be done? In the first place, if you have a religious master and mistress, their example as well as their teaching will help you ; but if you have not, how much more important is it that the clergy and managers of the schools should themselves look to the formation of the character of these pupil-teachers. We must follow them, as it has been said, to their homes, see the books which they have there, see the house library formed ; and remember that our connection with them does not cease when the school is over, but that by personal influence, by advice, by sympathy in their many difficulties and trials, we may hope to train those whose duty it will be to train others.
Let us go away remembering that a mighty responsibility rests upon us in regard to this subject, to train those who shall be the hereafter fathers and mothers, or masters and mistresses, of the people of this great country.
As I have been a manager for voluntary schools for thirty-nine years, and also a manager of a School Board for five years, I have thought it right to say a few words; and after the excellent speeches which we have heard, I shall confine myself to a few remarks upon matters which have come under my own observation. I would first remark, that long before the Education Act came out in 1870, national education was really an established fact in this country. More than thirty years ago we had several excellent schools in the parish in which I live; and as the tree is known by its fruits, 'I may add that some gentlemen now occupying high social positions were educated in our national schools. I would also make a remark about the importanee of early religious education. I was glad that it was remarked upon by the second speaker to-day, because I think it is very much overlooked by many of us. About thirty-five years ago, in a Sunday school of which I was appointed superintendent, I established an infant class, which I found very benefieial; it was not only a feeder to the boys' school, but taking the children at four years old, they become afterwards some of the most zealous and best attendants, and many of them developed into excellent teachers. Some few years ago I was going out of one of our schools at about half-past nine in the morning, when I met a woman bringing her grandchildren to school ; she told me that she herself had received the little education she had in that infant school; it is now a girls' school, but we have an infant school attached to it. She told me that she had left school when she was six years old, but she could then repeat, although she was nearly seventy, the hymns, texts of Scripture, Psalms, which she had then learned ; and she told me what a consolation and comfort in times of siekness it had been to her that she had had this early training and religious instruction. She repeated to me two beautiful hymns, suitable for children, and also the twenty-third psalm. I asked her to do so, and she did it at once very readily. I have had the satisfaction, during the thirty-nine years that I have been superintendent of the school and member of the committee, of receiving many children of those who had themselves been pupils in the schools. I have bad two generations of them, and I can therefore bear testimony to the great importance of early sound religious education. I do hope that steps will be taken to induce the Government to grant some portion of the rates to existing voluntary schools. I was in the very painful position two years ago of being obliged to transfer our boys' school to the Sehool Board. I did not do this until, as bonorary treasurer, I advanced more than £400, but I made it a condition that we should have the use of the school on two evenings in the week and the whole of Sunday, and that we could claim it back again by giving twelve months' notice.
The REV. CANON BARRY.
It is a commonplace remark that the present is a very critical time for voluntary schools. I believe it is also an exceedingly critieal time for the rival Board system. There is at the present moment a slight reaction against the educational enthusiasm of a few years ago. People are disappointed that the Boards have not done everything which was educationally needed, and they are beginning to be not a little frightened at the long bill which some School Boards have had to present. Under these circumstances, the School Board system is in a critical position, and the question is, What shall the Church do towards it? There is one thing which I trust the Church will not do that she will not lend herself in any degree to anti-educational reaction-- that she will not, under any circumstances, seek what I may call a base and hardly honest alliance with the advocates of economy at any price. What I trust she will do is to come forward, as she has done in days past in all great educational crises, and show that the strong hand of the State is not sufficient to sur. mount them without that higher and more spiritual influence which the Church has wielded and can wield again. First, there are many great questions before us, to one of which especially I have been rather surprised to hear no allusion to-day-that is, the necessity of providing some machinery of universal educational compulsion, not necessarily through the medium of the School Boards. I hope that the advocates of the Board system, and we who are supporters of the old Church system also, will work hand in hand to surmount these serious obstacles to educational success. Next, with regard to Sehool Boards at this time, I hope that we shall use them as far as we can; that we shall watch them vigilantly to see that they do not step beyond that place whieh the Education Act of 1870 assigns them; and that, as has been well said to-day, by putting upon them right and true men we shall try to rule them. I believe that the Church of England still has power to rule, and it would be fatal policy to surrender the School Board system-an accomplished fact which no man can possibly overthrow-into other and less trustworthy hands. But while I hope this, I also sincerely trust that the advice which was somewhat timidly given by my friend Mr Jackson to-day will not be acted upon, and that the Church will not surrender one single school that she can keep. I hear on all sides gloomy forebodings as to the future of voluntary schools ; I do not altogether share them. The experience of some six years of the School Board system has convinced me that, if the School Boards have enormous pecuniary and material advantages, on the other hand our voluntary system has advantages, less material, but not less real; and if we can but bring this fact home to the minds of Churchmen, they will see their duty, and will support our schools. As for telling us that the Church of England is not rieh enough, not public-spirited enough, and not earnest enough to do the work if it only sees that work to be necessary, I hold this a slander against the communion to which we belong. I am quite certain that schools which in the first place have unpriced and priceless voluntary labour at their command, which in the next place give a security for permanent religious education which the School Board system cannot seeure, and which, moreover, have at their back that authority which the Church has always exereised, have still a function to perform. Once let us convince Churchmen that there is this real function, and the Chureh will show again that what men of the world call impossibilities can be met by her, because she has power to do impossibilities, of which they do not, and cannot, dream.
Rev. Dr MARSHALL, Rector of St John Baptist, Hulme,
Although the subject before the meeting is pupil-teachers and Sehool Boards, I think an important point has not yet been touched upen. The importanee of the religious edueation of pupil-teachers cannot of course be exaggerated. It is of immediate and also of intermediate importance. It is of immediate importance because of the influence pupil-teachers exercise on the children of the school. Mr Kennedy laid stress on the teacher having a personal acquaintance with the children. Now, in large schools this becomes very difficult, if not altogether impossible, and therefore the importance of the influence of the pupil-teacher upon the children of their schools must not be lost sight of. But not only is it of immediate importance, but it is also of intermediate importance, because the pupil-teacher is the future teacher of our schools, and the revelations which Mr Kennedy bas made sbow us the immense consequence, not merely of religious instruction, but of religious education. Something has been said this morning upon the care the clergy ought to take of their pupil. teachers. I am bappy to think that in a large number of cases- I should be disposed to