The BWI Archives
1892 ~ The Government Inspection
The Government Inspection
- 1892 -
1862 had seen a change in the way that schools were to be supported by State funds. The ‘Revised Code’ of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education introduced an annual inspection of schools and testing of pupils (often referred to as ‘payment by results’). The results of these inspections determined the grant that would be payable to the Managers to support the running of the school along with money they could raise through local subscriptions from parishioners and ‘School Pence’ contributed by pupils’ families.
By 1892 the Inspection system had become highly complex, with the School Inspector controlling Grants payable not only for achievement in the three basic subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic, but also for a number of additional subjects taught as class-subjects (with each school being able to choose several from a list) and yet others taught to a more restricted group of pupils (again, being locally selected from a published list). The value of each Grant would be determined by the Inspector in terms of a value 'per pupil' and this would then be multiplied by the average attendance of the school pupils, or of the cohort being taught a specific subject, not the number of pupils actually on roll in the school. Also, 1892 had seen the introduction of free education, the weekly fee paid by parents replaced by yet another grant based on average pupil attendance.
For a number of years the monthly Parish Magazine gave an account of the annual Inspection Report.
The August edition carried the Inspector's Report:-
Report of School
School - The school has been honestly taught, with fair results.
Reading and writing fairly good; the latter might be better in the
Fourth Standard. Spelling and
composition are somewhat weak in the First Class.
Arithmetic also moderate. Only
six scholars above the Second Standard succeeded in getting more than two
sums right. Class work earns a
fair mark in both subjects. There
is evidence of work, but the results are not up to the highest mark.
Altogether, the work of the school is rather too mechanical.
I am satisfied that the scholars would be more attentive and take
more interest in their work if it addressed itself more to their
Class - Results fairly good considering the many drawbacks; but nearly
half the children were absent from inspection.
I see that of the fifty-six infants on the Register twenty are
between seven and eleven years of age.
recognised under Article 58
While the Vicar was aware of shortcomings in the school under the direction of Mr Garrett, he also felt that the Inspector, J. Armine Willis, in 1892, as in previous years, was being particularly harsh in his judgements. Challenging the Inspector in the past had proved futile, but all the same he felt it only sensible to point out to the parishioners in the September Parish Magazine why the Inspector's conclusions were not as secure as they might otherwise think:-
My Dear Parishioners,
In the Inspector’s Report of
the Infants’ Class, he remarks that “nearly half the children were
absent from inspection.” I
should like to qualify this to some extent by stating that there was an
outbreak of illness just before the examination and consequently many were
kept away. It is also very
melancholy to remember that two infants who were examined died within a week
of the inspection. Of the
fifty-six names on the Infant’s register, only thirteen were absent on the
day of examination, and many of these were children who had been recently
admitted to the School.
As regards the Grant, it amounts
to £91, as compared with £86 5s. 6d. in 1891.
In addition to the above there is the Drawing Grant, amounting to £3
7s. 6d., as compared with £2 15s. 11d. in 1891.
I must postpone my remarks as the result of the Fee Grant System
until another issue.
John Weller has resigned his
monitorship at the School, and Sarah Ellen Allday has been accepted as a
candidate on probation.
First uploaded: 19 April 2018