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The Managers' Minute Books

                           

Ruislip Church of England School – 1812 – 1931

Bishop Winnington-Ingram CE School 1931 -

 

General Introduction

Managers Minute Book 1 (1864-1903)

Managers Minute Book 2 (1903-1955)  

      

General Introduction
There are two Minute Books relating to meetings of the Managers of the Ruislip Church of England School, later Bishop Winnington-Ingram CE School, housed at the London Metropolitan Archive (Acc/1035/001 and /002).  We have provided a complete transcript of the first book, covering the period 1864 to 1903, and the greater part of the second, dating from 1903 to 1955.

The creation of the Ruislip ‘National’ School in 1812 was recorded in the Parish Vestry Books (London Metropolitan Archive, DRO 19/C/01/001 – 5).  This school would have been funded by wealthy parishioners, probably with further financial assistance from the Church of England’s National Society. If these parishioners met regularly to oversee the school’s maintenance, no record appears to have survived until after the introduction of the ‘Revised Code’ of 1862.  This Code of the Committee of Council on Education introduced a series of grants that could be awarded directly to the school should it meet certain criteria, including a satisfactory annual inspection. The Revised Code did not stipulate the establishing of a board of Managers, their existence was implicitly expected (Preliminary Chapter, 10. Aid to maintain schools is given by grants to the managers… and 42 further references to their responsibilities). There was no written requirement that they should meet regularly or, so doing, minute their meetings. However, the requirements of the Revised Code of 1862 and its annual successors meant that if Managers were to gain maximum benefit from the grants on offer, they needed to maintain a firm grip on the quality of education provided and that the building in which it took place was appropriately maintained. It is within this expectation that we should understand that from 1864 the Managers felt it important both to meet regularly and to ensure their meetings were minuted.  

By contrast, the Education Act 1902, which brought about the second Minute Book, explicitly required each school to have a body of Managers (par. 6) and that a Minute Book was to be maintained (First Schedule, B Managers (8)).  

The records of Managers’ meetings after 1955 were not deposited with the London Metropolitan Archive. They are probably still extant and held by the current Governors of Bishop Winnington-Ingram CE Primary School. (There is a legal expectation that the principle set of signed minutes is to be retained permanently.) However, no attempt has been made to verify this nor to gain access to them.  

In providing a transcript of the two Minute Books, we preface each year’s meetings with an overview of the main material considered.  As a rule, we have not commented on individuals mentioned, though a number are well documented in either local or national historical resources.  For example, amongst the former Edwin Ewer, an active Manager throughout the whole period during which the first Minute Book was maintained, was part of a well-respected family of farmers (see ‘The Ewers – The last farmers in Ruislip?’, Eileen M. Bowlt, Journal of the Ruislip, Northwood and Eastcote Local History Society, (2006) 1-16, available through the RNELHS website), while the latter includes Lawrence James Baker of Haydon Hall, a Trustee of the London Stock Exchange and Liberal politician.  As ever, the publications of the RNELHS would be an invaluable starting point for further work on any area of the history of Ruislip.  

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Managers Minute Book 1 (1864-1903)
London Metropolitan Archive, Acc/1035/001  

Contents of the First Managers’ Minute Book [MMB1]

The book is without page numbers or foliation.  A hypothetical foliation has been adopted, starting immediately after the front cover and its verso.  

 I.            Front cover, label affixed (Mr Dixon-Smith, Manager and Correspondent during the late 1940s and early 1950s):

Church of England / Day School / Eastcote Road / Ruislip /
Minute Book of meeting of / Managers, 1864 – 1903  

 II.            Inside cover (verson):

 

School No. 3659

 

 

Dimensions of Rooms

Accommodation

 

1 – 52 x 19

178.5

 

2 – 19 x 19 

 

  

  

 

Infants

 

3 – 21½ x 18½

78

 

4 – 15 x 15 

Measurements are given in feet

  • Room 1 would correspond to the combined boys’ and girls’ rooms in the 1862 plan.

  • Room 2 would appear to correspond to one of the two side rooms (with gallery over)

  • Rooms 3 and 4 could relate to the other side room and the gallery space, alternatively it could be a reference to the school after the building was extended in 1883 (cf. meeting of 17th November 1883)

Mr Dixon-Smith has added the date (April 7 1952) and his initials in pencil at the top righthand corner. He also slipped in a typewritten note:  

The first church school in Ruislip was erected in Eastcote Road in 1862 on land given by the lords of the manor, King’s Collete, Cambridge, but the minute books of the school managers begin in 1864.  It is not known whether minutes were kept before then.

 III.            fol. 1r, title:

Ruislip Church of England School
June 1864  

IV.            fols. 1v-63v,          Minutes

First set of minutes: fol.1v, June 1864 
(entered by Christopher Packe)

Final set of minutes: fol.63r, July 25th 1903
(entered by William A.G. Gray, not signed)  

The last meeting of the Managers was held to finalise certain matters before definitively handing over business to the reconstituted Managers under the terms of the Education Act 1902.

   V.            fols. 64r – 94v, void.

VI.            Miscellaneous

fol.95r, a list of Managers in 1878
fol.95v, void
fol. 96r, prayer for use before meetings
fol.96v, void

VII.            Back cover, both recto and verso, void.

 

Presentation of the Transcript

The meeting minutes are presented by calendar year. The early records suggest there was an attempt to hold monthly meetings.  From 1870 they were held less often.

Prior to each year’s minutes we present an overview of the main contents considered by the Managers.  

The book has no page or folio numbers.  We have supplied hypothetical foliation, beginning with the first page after the front cover as fol.1r and fol.1v.  We have prefaced the record of each meeting with a folio location citing the book and folio e.g. MMB1_9v.  

Each of the sets of minutes usually open with two or more of the following components: date, time, location, and those present. The location of meetings was included from around 1877, though not consistently.  The order and layout of the introductory material varied significantly according to the minute taker. We have not regularised the wording or order, but have placed the opening statement in bold, as this was usually presented as a heading. The items discussed then follow.  It would appear that the minutes were written up after the meeting by the Chairman, and in the first few years, signed by him on completion, rather than after approval at the following meeting.

In the original text capitalisation was irregular.  We have adopted capitals for nouns relating to roles (e.g. Manager, Master, etc.), headings or titles (e.g. Meeting of Managers) but elsewhere used lower case (e.g. schools rather than Schools). However, there are places where it felt appropriate to depart from this rule. Abbreviations have been expanded (e.g. ‘etc’ for ‘&c.’, ‘January’ for ‘Jan.’, ‘should’ for ‘shd’, ‘Middlesex County Council’ for ‘MCC’, and so on.). Material added to aid comprehension is in italics and inserted between arrowhead brackets e.g. ‘£50 <per annum>’. Occasionally words are uncertain.  A possibly reading has a question mark appended, e.g. ‘Also with Mr J. Blahen?’ (03/03/1899); where this has not been possible, we have placed a question mark within square brackets as a marker, e.g.  ‘Mr George [?] of Arckendale (11/02/1899).

Finally, where the manuscript has corrections, we have adopted the final reading and clear errors have been silently corrected.

Terminology

The following terms occur in the Minute Book and require a brief comment:

  • Monitor
    Monitors were more able older children employed to teach a group of younger pupils under the direction of a qualified teacher.  Introduced independently by Andrew Bell (Church of England ‘National’ schools) and Joseph Lancaster (non-denominational Christian ‘Lancastrian’ schools), there were slight variations between their two systems.  The Ruislip school would have adopted the practice of the National Society, which followed Bell’s methods.

  • Pupil Teacher
    A pupil teacher would be in paid apprenticeship to a school for a period of four years during which time there would be annual examinations.  Government regulations required the pupil teacher to receive one and a half hour’s instruction each day, usually delivered by the Master before the start of school or after its conclusion.  Being a competent Monitor often led to becoming a Pupil Teacher.

  • Assistant Teacher
    An Assistant Teacher was not necessarily a fully certificated teacher. In some cases it might be someone who gained a Queen’s Scholarship to proceed to a twelve month course leading to a ‘Government Certificate’. In this case, such a teacher would be fully qualified. Alternatively, it might someone who has completed a Pupil Teacher apprenticeship, and gained a post as ‘Assistant Teacher’ for two or more years, with an examination at the end of each year.

  • Master & Mistress
    The school required at least one fully Certificated teacher. This was invariably a man, the Master, who occupied the School House, oversaw the running of the school, taught a group of pupils, and provided the Pupil Teachers with their daily tuition. At Ruislip the post of Master included the expectation that he would be accompanied by a wife, who could also teach -  the Mistress. Amongst her duties would have been the teaching of needlework – a compulsory subject for girls at that time. 

  •  The ‘Revised Code’ and the Annual Report
    There are many references in the Minute Book to an ‘annual report’.  1862 had seen a change in the way that schools were being supported by State funds.  The ‘Revised Code’ introduced by 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 (cf. 17th March 1877, also copies of the Parish Magazine in the 1890s that itemised individual levels of contribution); and ‘School Pence’ contributed by pupils’ families (see, for example 15th June1878).  Clearly the annual report was of great interest to the Managers and lead to issues between them and the School Master on a number of occasions. 

    The Revised Code also required the keeping of a Log Book; a transcript of the Inspector's annual report needed to be entered into the Log Book. Individual sections of the Code were identified as ‘articles’. As the ‘Code’ appeared to have been revised annually, references either in the Managers’ Minute Book or in the school’s Log Book – especially in relation to the employment of staff and to school size - do not necessarily relate to the 1862 version of the Code.  

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Managers Minute Book 2 (1903-1955)
London Metropolitan Archive, Acc/1035/002

In 1903 there were still thirty folios left unused in the Managers’ Minute Book begun in 1864 (Managers’ Minute Book 1).  However, the previous year had seen the passing of the Education Act, 1902. This created ‘Local Education Authorities’ (LEAs) with significant powers over the schools in their areas - both those provided and fully funded by the state, and those which, while not provided by the state, yet provided public education funded in part by the state. As the Ruislip School’s Managers’ Minute book started in 1864 under the impact of the Revised Code of 1862 shows, the Managers had almost absolute control over every aspect of the school.  From 1903 much of their autonomy was lost to the new Middlesex County Council Local Education Authority.  The Ruislip Managers were reconstituted under new regulations and marked the change with a new Minute Book from June 30th 1903.  There remained a ‘tying of lose ends’ by the old Management Body, whose final meeting was held on July 25th 1903, the minutes of which were recorded in the old book.

     

Contents of the Second Managers’ Minute Book [MMB2]

I.            Front cover, titled ‘Minute Book’, above, label affixed (Mr Dixon-Smith, Manager and
         Correspondent during the late 1940s and early 1950s):  

Minute Book
Bishop Winnington Ingram School opened 1931 and replaced the old school erected in 1862 & known as Ruislip C of E School
The minute Book covered a period from 30 June 1903 to 10 May 1955

 II.            Front End Papers, marbled
         Verso, a printer’s label: Shaw & Sons ‘Poor law Printers’ and ‘Local Government
         Publishers’, 1903 with the serial number 7342.
           Recto, void

 

 III.            Verso immediately preceding the main title page, capacity data manually entered:

School Number 3659. 53
Mixed School accommodates – 168
Infant                                 -    71  
                                                 239   October 1 1903

Reduced 26th January (1904?)  
Mixed <School accommodates>  133
Infants                                           66
                                                    199

 

IV.            Recto: Title page, not completed
          Verso, void  

 V.             Recto
          Extract from the Education Act 1902 setting out the requirements of  Managers:

EDUCATION ACT, 1902
First Schedule. B Managers.

1. A body of managers may choose their chairman, except in cases where there is an ex‑officio chairman, and regulate their quorum and proceedings in such manner as they think fit, subject, in the case of the managers of a school provided by the local education authority, to any directions of that authority.

Provided that the quorum shall not be less than three, or one-third of the whole number of managers, whichever is the greater.

2. Every question at a meeting of a body of managers shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the managers present and voting on the question, and, in case of an equal division of votes, the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.

3. The proceedings of a body of managers shall not be invalidated by any vacancy in their number, or by any defect in the election, appointment or qualification of any manager.

4. The body of managers of a school provided by the local education authority shall deal with such matters, relating to the management of the school, and subject to such conditions and restrictions, as the local education authority determine.

5. A manager of a school not provided by the local education authority, appointed by that authority or by the minor local authority, shall be removable by the authority by whom he is appointed, and any such manager may resign his office.

6. The body of managers shall hold a meeting at least once in every three months.

7. Any two managers may convene a meeting of the body of managers.

8. The minutes of the proceedings of every body of managers shall be kept in a book provided for that purpose.

9. A minute or the proceedings of a body of managers, signed at the same or the next ensuing meeting by a person describing himself as, or appearing to be, chairman of the meeting at which the minute is signed, shall be received in evidence without further proof.

10. The minutes of a body of managers shall be open to inspection by the local education authority.

11. Until the contrary is proved, a body of managers shall be deemed to be duly constituted and to have power to deal with the matters referred to in their minutes.

          Verso - void

 

VI.            Alphabetic index – void

 

VII.          p.1- 238,      Minutes,  pp.107-8 left void

First set of minutes: p.1, June 30th 1903 
(entered by William A.G. Gray)

Final set of minutes: p.238, May 10th 1955
(entered by W. Dixon-Smith, signed by R.D. Grange Bennett)

 

VIII.            Miscellaneous
               pp.239-40, matter relating to the school’s western boundary
               p.240, pasted in, copy of the County Council of Middlesex Education Committee
            ‘Rules of Management of Voluntary Aided Primary Schools made by the 
            Middlesex County Council Pursuant to the Education Act, 1944
’, 10 pages

 

IX.            Miscellaneous
            p.241, void
          p.242, pasted in. copy of ‘Instrument of Management made by the 
          Minister of Education under Section 17(2) of the Education Act, 1944
’, 4 pages

 

   X.            Back end papers, marbled, void

 

XI.            Back cover

 

XII.            Spine: unlabled

When seen (3/05/2018) the section from p.174 onwards was tied to the back cover with ribbon.

 

Presentation of the Transcript  

The meeting minutes are presented by calendar year. Most years have minutes of Managers’ meetings, though their overall lack of regularity ran counter to item 6 of the responsibilities of Managers given in the 1902 Act cited above!  

There was a significant gap in recorded meetings during World War II and years that followed immediately after, with regular minutes not being re-established until the end of 1948.  This was during the Chairmanship of Rev. E.C. Mortimer.  W. Dixon Smith returned to Ruislip as Manager after the war.  On becoming the Managers’ Correspondent in December 1948, he added a note to p.174 to explain the lacunae:  

The Vicar, Rev. E.C. Mortimer was Correspondent during this period & apparently any records he kept were on scraps of paper & were not retained by him.  Most of this period I did not serve as Manager, but when I returned as one of the Foundation Managers I pointed out that it was irregular to go on in the way. & the Correspondent to commence using the proper book provided for the purpose.

I thought it necessary to place this on record.

Prior to each year’s minutes we present an overview of the main contents.  

The main section of the book was paginated. The minutes of each meeting are prefaced with an indication of their location within the book by citing the book and the pages i.e. the meeting of October 31st 1903 is on MMB2_2-3 -  pages 2 and 3 in the second Managers’ Minute Book.  

Irrespective of variations in the order and layout of introductory material for meetings, we have adopted a uniform approach: date (in the order month, day, year), time if given; location; members present, usually on two lines with any clergy (usually acting as Chairman) listed on one line, other Managers on the other. We have placed the opening statement in bold, as this was usually presented as a heading. The items discussed then follow.  Unlike the first Managers’ Minute Book, while the minutes were usually written up by the Chairman they were not signed until approved at the following meeting.  At certain periods others took the minutes (Miss Marion Cornwall-Jones during the 1920s and Thomas Wilkinson during the 1930s) and this situation was permanent from 1948 when W. Dixon Smith became ‘Correspondent’.  

The layout of minutes changed from December 7th 1904 when side headings were added for each of the separate items discussed. We have adapted our layout accordingly.  

When Dixon Smith took over the minuting the records of discussions became very detailed. While the minutes are transcribed complete up to 1948, from that date, we have provided subheadings but omitted the detailed content to which they relate unless this bares directly on the functioning of the school as an educational institution.  

In the original text capitalisation is irregular.  We have adopted capitals for nouns relating to roles (e.g. Manager, Master, etc.), headings or titles (e.g. Meeting of Managers) but elsewhere used lower case (e.g. schools rather than Schools). However, there are places where we have felt it appropriate to depart from this rule. Abbreviations have been expanded (e.g. ‘etc’ for ‘&c.’, ‘January’ for ‘Jan.’, ‘should’ for ‘shd’, ‘Middlesex County Council’ for ‘MCC’, and so on.). Material added to aid comprehension is in italics and inserted between arrowhead brackets, e.g. ‘<Middlesex> Education Committee’.  Further clarification in the form of comment is given in italics within rounded brackets, e.g. ‘To meet this he (i.e. the Vicar) had in hand £21.19.5’ (31/01/1914) . Occasionally words are uncertain.  A possibly reading has a question mark appended, e.g. ‘& to entertain? the Diocesan Director’ (23/05/1927); where this has not been possible, we have placed a question mark within square brackets as a marker, e.g.  ‘& that [?] effects. (04/12/1909).  

Finally, where the manuscript has corrections, we have adopted the final reading and clear errors have been silently corrected.

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First uploaded: 8 April 2018
Last revised: 23 July 2021