The BWI Archives

1898 ~ Inspections


Ruislip Church of England School
The Diocesan and Government Inspections
- 1898 -

Both the School Log Book and the Parish Magazine reproduced the outcomes of the 1898 Diocesan and Government Inspections. We reproduce here those found in the Parish Magazine

March 1898


The Annual Diocesan Inspection of the Schools will take place on Monday, March 7th

June 1898  

Diocesan Inspector's Report

The following is the Report of the Inspector after examining the school children in Religious Knowledge:-

“A good examination was again passed.  I was much pleased with the spirit of the answering of many of the children in Division I., and the work has evidently been taught with pains and zeal.  The Old Testament knowledge is intelligent; that of the New might be more general.

“In division II. Very creditable work has been done, though, owing to recent changes, the knowledge is not grasped enough, and there are many who do not answer; the class is a difficult one to teach, and the teacher deserves praise for what she has done.

“Division III. Has been very earnestly taught, the answering is orderly and reverent.  The girls did much better than the boys.  Pains should be taken to get correct pronunciation of words; far too much was attempted for the children to remember.  The same amount of care on a smaller syllabus would easily have produced excellent results.

“The result of each Division as a whole was 
– Division I. and II., Good; III. Very good.

March 12th, 1898

“Bernard Reynolds, Inspector”


The publication of the Government Inspection Report in the Parish Magazine appeared in September.  The Vicar expressed some criticism of the Report; he found it too brief.  By this, he meant that it failed to fully develop and celebrate the school's evident success: 

September 1898  

The Vicar’s Letter …

The Government Inspector’s Report on our Schools is published this month.  It could scarcely be less scanty than it is, and is dull and cheerless, considering the high standard of excellence which the School has attained during the past School year. This is the first year in which I have known the School obtain the highest grant in all possible subjects – a result which surely calls for congratulations, and is in the main due to two causes: first, the extraordinary fine weather which prevailed especially throughout the winter months, and well nigh through the whole year, whereby children were enabled to attend School with regularity and without excuse, for the weather is undoubtedly a great factor in connection with School attendance in a Parish such as ours, where the bulk of the children live a long way from the School. Then, in the second place, there was the energy of the teaching staff, which, coupled with the regular attendance of the children, brought about such a good result for, as you already know, there was an increase of twenty children in the average attendance through the year, and an increase in the Grant of £27 9s. 9d.  This is a record in the history of the School and I do not think we can ever expect quite such a good all-round result again without an increase in population.  It seems only fair to add that an increased income brings with it a corresponding increase in expenditure, and that the teachers are now receiving higher salaries than have ever been paid before. There ought, therefore, to be good results.  For the present they have been obtained, but we must take care to keep them.  There are several matters affecting the well-being of the School which require attention from the Managers, whose anxieties, in these days of high pressure and increasing demands, seem to have no end; but, if there are difficulties ahead, we must do our best to meet them as we have hitherto done, and thus hope for continual success to our Schools.    

H.M. Inspector’s Annual Report on School

Mixed School. – “The instruction is ably given and with good results.  Lessons on objects need more developments in the matter of use of actual objects.  Some complaint is made of the effluvia from the earth closets; probably from insufficient use of earth.  It would be desirable to remove them further from the Schoolroom.”  

Infants’ Class. – The infants are doing well, but need more staff to do justice to them during the full time.  In needlework great attention must be paid to position drill, to which special inquiries will be directed in ensuring visits.

“The average attendance of the infants must not be allowed to exceed forty-five

“P.E. Fitt is continued under Article 68 of the Code.  

“J. A. Willis”

While we might agree with the Vicar about the formal report being 'scanty ... dull and cheerless, considering the high standard of excellence which the School has attained' this does not give the Inspector appropriate credit.  We don't find a record of Mr Willis' first visit in 1898, but he did visit on May 23rd and made the following record in the Log Book: 

1898 May 23rd     Second visit  Art 84. b.

I cordially endorse the entry made by Mr. Healing at his visit (p.190).  I have inspected the attainment of Standard I in a<rithmetic?> and object work; the Geography of Standard II & III; the object work in Standard III; the Reading Recitation and English of Standard IV – VI; and can speak well of the whole tone of the work.  The object work will need development by enforcing attention to actual objects which the children should handle and observe.  The Geography work in Standard III spoke for very good teaching in that subject. I hope Mr Ratcliffe will be successful in his crusade against the low tone of voice, which many of the children bring up from the Infant room.

I am glad to learn that the children read a large amount for themselves.

The Infants are usefully taught.  Miss Fitt has considerable natural gifts in the way of teaching, &, with the help & guidance of Mr Ratcliffe’s experience, may develop those gifts very highly.  I shall look to Mr Ratcliffe for assistance in this matter.  The babies class formed since Easter would be the better for more play less work.  They need to learn to understand & obey directions more than to know the names of letters.  A loose alphabet would be desirable.  The desks should be placed at right angles to the window facing the wooden partition.

Mr Willis then set out the set works to be undertaken in the year to come and would form the focus of the follow year's inspection . 

While there are useful suggestions given, and as with the formal published report it is short, the Inspector's report above is very positive both with regard to the work being undertaken and of the quality of the school's staff.



First uploaded: 29 December 2020
Last updated: 09 February 2021