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The Commissioners acknowledge differences' amongst themselves. 'It must not be inferred that this (the voluntary system) is the only matter on which we differ. În a subject involving so many statements, so many inferences, so many general principles, and so many executive details, universal concurrence was not to be expected, and has not, in fact, been obtained.' (Rep. i. p. 299.) As if to make this quite certain, Mr. Senior, one of their number, has put out a volume of counter-proposals. But, making allowance for all this, we were quite at a loss for an adequate hypothesis on which to reconcile the facts which the Commissioners state with the conclusions which they draw from them, and the recommendations which they consequently promulgate, until we discovered from whence the plan which they propose really emanated. Its outline was, we thought, not unfamiliar to us; and, on turning to the Encyclopædia Britannica,' we found in its pages the scheme which the Commissioners have presented to Her Majesty as their own. It is not indeed in the same words, and there are a few modifications of detail; but essentially it is the same. Surely this is the oddest expedient that Royal Commissioners were ever driven to. Happily, as we have said, the valuable part of the Report, and what the country needed, is the information which it contains with regard to the present state of education. Otherwise the House of Commons might have well grudged the expense of the six thick volumes. The Encyclopædia Britannica' is a dear book, but it does not cost so much as the thousands spent on the Report; and it contains valuable and interesting articles on other subjects besides 'National Education.'



1. Educational districts must be formed. (Vol. xv. p. 826.)

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To show the great similarity between the schemes of the 'Encyclopædia Britannica' and of the Commissioners, we will place them in parallel columns:

Scheme of the Encyclopædia

2. An investigation must be made by Governmental authorities as to the educational wants of the district. (Ib.)

Scheme of the Commissioners.

1. Each county and each borough of 40,000 inhabitants is to be an educational district. (Rep. i. pp. 330, 545.)

2. 'An investigation must be made by a special Government inspector as to the educational wants of the district,' says Mr. Senior (Suggestions, p. 58). This proposal was rejected by the majority of Mr. Senior's colleagues, probably as not needing to be specified.

fails to persuade them to take their fair share of the burden, he begs from his friends, and even from strangers; and at last submits most meritoriously, and most generously, to bear not only his own proportion of the expense, but also that which ought to be borne by others. These observations apply chiefly to schools connected with the Church of England, to which denomination almost all the schools in rural districts belong.' (Rep., vol. i. p. 78.) 3. Existing

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3. Existing charitable endowments must be applied. (Ib., p. 547.)

4. A school-rate must be levied on the rateable property of the county or borough. (., pp. 345, 544.)

5. In each county or borough a Board of Education shall be appointed to make payments to schools which fulfil certain conditions, according to the number of children in average attendance after they have passed an elementary examination. (Ib., pp. 328, 544.)

6. This payment out of the rates, together with an additional grant of 2s. 6d. per child from the State, is to take the place of grants made to teachers, pupil-teachers, and managers. (Ib., pp. 328, 544.) It will not, we hope, supersede parish subscriptions.' (Ib., p. 343.)

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7. Inspectors are to have power of increasing or diminishing grants to schools. Ib., pp. 329, 547.)

8. Local management is not to be interfered with. (Ib., p. 340.)

9. A conscience-clause is not indefensible on the grounds of justice, and it may become the duty of the Committee of Council to enforce it. (Ib., p. 344.)

10. In the opinion of the majority there should be no report by the inspector on religious knowledge. (B., p. 348.)

It really appears to us that all that the Commissioners can call their own is an attempt to dovetail together the plan of the "Encyclopædia Britannica' and the existing system of the Committee of Council. But the attempt to combine the information of the Encyclopædia' with the Blue Books has not been successful. It has resulted in many inconsistencies. But there is no inconsistency in the writer in the Encyclopædia.' He utterly dislikes and repudiates the existing system. He thinks that the people should be educated 'through the people' (p. 815). He would contemplate the wants of the people, not through the peculiarities of any particular religious system, but by the light of reason and common sense as expressed by the spirit of the times' (Ibid.). He applauds 'the ease' with which the religious question is settled in Prussia, where, if there is a sufficiently large school, two masters are appointed belonging to different religious persuasions, and in small schools a conscience-clause is allowed. He acknowledges, however, with great naïveté, that 'whether this formal and governmental religious teaching has

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* See Remarks on some portions of the Report of the Royal Commissioners.'



had much real effect in cherishing the religious faith of the people is much to be doubted, if we may judge by the results; but no one can doubt the vast effect of the system as a whole in encouraging learning and raising up an immense body of highlyeducated men' (p. 817). He thinks that the Irish school plan comes far nearer to the idea of a real system of national education,' for no other reason than that 'a plan of operation has been laid down which compels the schools aided by Government to be open to all without distinction of religious creeds, and which confines the religious instruction to specific periods' (p. 325). He acknowledges that the stimulus given by the Government system of aid and inspection has been almost incalculable, and that the improvement in elementary schools is within the last ten years unprecedented. And yet,' he proceeds, with all this, the step which the Government has taken, when viewed in relation to a future complete system of national education, has been obviously a step in the wrong direction. No truly national system can by any possibility grow out of the present Minutes of Council unless they are greatly modified in their whole structure and tendency' (p. 826), chiefly because they are far too sectarian' in their tendency, and encourage denominationalism (p. 824).

This is plain dealing and intelligible. We are heartily glad to have found the author of the Commissioners' scheme, because from him we learn what are the effects which are expected and hoped to be produced by it. Those who take up the suggestions of others at second-hand often do not see their full bearing, especially when they have been accepted as a compromise, and they of course fail to give their readers a clear notion of the results which are likely to ensue. In considering then the changes proposed by the Commissioners, we must recollect that the object with which they were originally proposed was to substitute the 'light of reason and common sense' and 'the spirit of the times,' for any particular religious system' (p. 815), to encourage learning,' in place of cherishing the religious faith of the people' (p. 817), 'to dispossess the present functionaries, both ecclesiastical and municipal, of the idea that they have some special claim to precedence,' 'such claim being fatal to any really national system' (p. 826), and to upset the existing system altogether, chiefly on the grounds of its sectarianism.'


There are four defects which the Commissioners have pointed out, as justifying and necessitating a change of system, and which Mr. Lowe relies upon as the vindication of a revised code. The first is a tendency to indefinite expense. (Rep. i. p. 543.) This is a vague charge. The Commissioners' estimate is that it would ultimately amount to 2,000,000l. It is thus formed: Sup

posing all the public schools, National, British, and Dissenting, were to be supplied with certificated teachers and pupilteachers, the whole expense would amount, they say, to 1,300,000Z. Add to these the private schools, and the sum would amount to 1,620,000l. Add to these an anticipated increase of scholars by 20 per cent., in consequence of an improved attendance, and it amounts to 1,800,000l. Add to this a capitation of 6s. on 800,000 children, and it amounts to nearly 2,100,000l. a year.'

Here it is assumed that for the development of the present system it is necessary that all public schools now unassisted should be brought under it. Supposing this true, the expenses would not amount to 1,300,000l., but to 1,100,0001. ;* but it is a false assumption. There will be always schools supported by individuals or bodies who will not choose to take a share of the public grant, and there are many schools which must be excluded by their size and numbers. These deductions will further reduce the sum of 1,100,000l. to 1,000,000l. Next, it is assumed that the scholars in all private schools must be provided for. This is on the hypothesis either that private schools will be aided, or that they will be swallowed up by the public schools. The first of these courses is proposed by the Commissioners, but it cannot take place under the present Minutes; the second is wholly inconceivable. All the feelings by which private schools are supported are as likely to exist ten years hence as now. The 320,000l., therefore, which are allowed on this head must be struck off. Thirdly, 20 per cent. is too large an increase to contemplate in consequence of an improved attendance; for the present number of scholars belonging to the poorer classes is (we use the Commissioners' figures) 2,213,694. Twenty per cent. added to this would raise the sum to 2,656,432. Add to these the 321,768 scholars who are estimated to belong to the higher classes, and we have a total of 2,973,200. But the whole number whose names ought to be on the books in order that all might receive some education is only 2,655,767' (p. 293). Therefore an increase of 10 per cent. is all that should have been calculated on. Thus the estimated 180,000l. must be reduced by one half, i.e. 90,0007.; but still this reduction would not be sufficient: the estimate is palpably too high, for if 2,213,694 children cost only 663,4357., it is plain that 221,369 additional children would not increase the sum by more than 66,3437. Lastly, the capitation grant is not


*This is a simple proportion sum. If 663,4351. is sufficient for 917,255 scholars, 1,549,312 children whose names are on the books of elementary day-schools would cost 1,120,6881.; but as numbers and expense do not progress in equal ratios, we may put it down at most as 1,100,000%.


estimated on the right numbers or at the right price. The Commissioners fix on 800,000 as the numbers likely to obtain the capitation grant, as being roughly one-third of the 2,300,000 children who are to be at school (p. 314). But these 2,300,000 include the boys and girls who will be at private schools where no capitation is paid. Subtract the 573,436 children attending private schools (p. 295), and the third of the remaining 1,726,564, instead of 800,000, is 575,521. Nor would the sum paid to this diminished third be 6s. per child, for to all girls and to all boys taught by mistresses (that is, to about two-thirds of the scholars) there is paid only 5s. per child, where the applicants are more than 50 only 5s. or 4s., and where above 100 only 4s. or 3s. The capitation grant, therefore, instead of amounting to 240,000., as estimated, would not exceed 150,000l. And the whole expense, instead of being 'nearly 2,100,000l.,' would be, on the basis supplied by the Commissioners themselves,

For teachers and general expenditure
For estimated increase of scholars
For capitation on 575,521 children

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This sum is strikingly near to that which Sir James Kay Shuttleworth has conjectured would be the highest point which the ultimate amount of the Parliamentary grant would reach :


£ 1,000,000 66,343 150,000


'The Public Grant,' he says, 'may, in a few years, increase, with corresponding results, to 1,000,000l. or 1,200,000l., making, in its progress, adequate provision for the education of youth from schoolage to manhood; but at that point, by well-devised antecedent expedients, its increase may not only be arrested, but this annual aid may be converted into an instrument, in the hands of skilful administrators, by which all the rest of the work may be done in the most apathetic as well as in the most earnest districts. That result attained, a new series of operations may commence, by which the charge of public education may be gradually transferred from the Consolidated Fund to the local sources of income, school pence, and subscriptions.'-(Letter to Earl Granville, on Commissioners' Report,

p. 7.)

The scheme by which the expenditure is to be arrested and reduced once more from 1,200,000l. to 750,0007. is set out in Sir James's Letter to Earl Granville on the Revised Code.' Already, we learn from Mr. Lingen's evidence in 1859, the buildinggrants which, 'during two or three years after 1853, when the rate of aid for buildings was raised, increased very much indeed,' have been, 'for the last two or three years, pretty well stationary.' -(Evidence, 567.) The last Report of the Committee of


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