The BWI Archives

1895 ~ The Government Inspection


Ruislip Church of England School

The Government Inspection

- 1895 -  

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 1895 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).  

In the July edition of the Parish Magazine the Vicar identified that the Drawing Examination had taken place, with pleasing results, and Her Majesty's Inspector had paid his annual visit, though the Report had not yet arrived :-

from the Vicar’s Monthly letter

“… The Drawing Report for the School is just to hand, as is again classed as “Good.”  This entitles the School to a grant of eighteen-pence per head on the number of boys examined.  The annual examination by H.M. Inspector took place on June 6th, but his report has not yet reached me. …”

The Inspector's Report was finally published in the August edition of the Parish Magazine.  It suggests that while there were some overall improvements in the quality of education, older children, in particular, were not progressing as well as they could.  There were distinct improvements in the Infants, due no doubt to the arrival of Miss Fitt in October 1894.

H.M. Inspector’s Report on Schools

Mixed School.  
The school is doing fairly. The elementary work in the First, Second and Third Standards is satisfactory, in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Standards, writing, spelling and composition are not strong, and the arithmetic is very weak and wanting in intelligence, especially in principles of number and quantity are evidently not grasped, and the same appeared on the questioning in mental arithmetic.  Class work only fair, intelligence is wanting, and the same observation applies to the matter read. The school serves a very scattered district, parts of which are rather remote from civilising influences, and therefore calls for some leniency of treatment; but I think a higher tone might be inculcated, and a higher standard of excellence aimed at, especially among the boys.  Two boys on the schedule, Nos. 53 and 54, were entirely unaccounted for.  

Infants’ Class.  The class is under good discipline, and shows more liveliness and response than has been sometimes the case here.  Phrasing in reading, word-building, and mental arithmetic will require attention.  The amount of suitable occupations is very meagre, and should be enlarged.  A set of Primers, and of object and number cards, are needed; also a desk for teacher. The group of desks in use for the infants is rather awkwardly long, and interferes with the proper use of the gallery.   

“B. Weller has passed fairly, but should attend to hand-writing and spelling.  P.E. Fitt is recognised under Article 68 of the Code, and J.E. Garrett is continued under that Article.”



First uploaded: 23 April 2018