Clarke (1947)

Background notes

The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various sections:

Preface (page 6)

I The schools as they are (9)
II Home and school (17)
III Neighbourhood and school (30)
IV Employment and education (40)
V The young worker (57)
VI Health (66)
VII The moral factor (81)

Conclusions (87)

Appendix (95)

The text of the 1947 Clarke Report was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 7 May 2012.

The Clarke Report (1947)
School and Life

Report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England)

London: His Majesty's Stationery Office 1947
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

[title page]




Report of the
Central Advisory Council for Education

"Mankind is now in one of its
rare moods of shifting its outlook"



[page 3]

Prefatory Note

The Central Advisory Council for England was appointed by the Minister of Education under Section 4 of the Education Act, 1944, in December, 1944, and presented this first Report to my predecessor in January, 1947.

The problem with which it deals is obviously a crucial one in any country and at any time. It is crucial for us at the present moment in particular, for we are both recasting an educational system and at the same time rebuilding the fabric of our society. Unless our education and our social, industrial and commercial life are in gear, and unless we provide a proper balance in our schools between the needs of the child as a child and his needs as a growing individual and citizen, our increasing commitments on education will not produce full dividends.

In the 1944 Education Act these issues were faced and the broad lines of a new structure laid down. It is on this basis that planning is going rapidly ahead and we have already travelled some distance towards "implementing the Act".

Thanks are due to the Council who have devoted much thought and labour to devising practical suggestions, and it is in the hope that these will be widely and carefully studied that I have arranged for the publication of this Report.

[page 4]

Members of
The Central Advisory Council


MISS M. S. SMYLIE (H.M. Inspector), Secretary
MISS J. M. CRAFTER, Assistant Secretary

Originally members of the Council were also Sir Charles Darwin, K.B.E., M.C., F.R.S. and Miss M. E. Dodds. Sir Charles Darwin resigned from the Council in March 1946 owing to pressure of work, and in September 1946 Miss E. Dodds resigned on becoming a member of H.M. Inspectorate.

NOTE. The estimated gross cost of the preparation of this Report (including the expenses of the witnesses and members of the Council) is 1,353 19s. 5d., of which 704 0s. 0d. represents the cost of printing and publishing.

*Lieut.-Col. the Hon. N. A. S. Lytton-Milbanke was absent from the Council on active service until July 1946, and has attended one meeting of the Council only.

**Miss M. E. Reeves joined the Council in February 1946 after the death of Dr. A. W. Harrison.

[page 5]























[page 6]



THIS preface has two purposes: to state what the Council is, and to explain the shape of this Report.

The Council was appointed in December 1944 under the recent Education Act:

"There shall be two Central Advisory Councils for Education, one for England and the other for Wales and Monmouthshire, and it shall be the duty of those Councils to advise the Minister upon such matters connected with educational theory and practice as they think fit, and upon any questions referred to them by him ..."
An account of its proceedings has to be included in the Minister's annual report to Parliament.

The Council is the successor of the Consultative Committee, author of the Hadow and Spens Reports; but it differs from the Consultative Committee in being exclusively concerned with education in England, and is composed of men and women qualified to speak for different interests in the national life - industry, science, the churches - as well as education. A number of its members are also parents.

From the first we, the members of the Council, have been aware that the Council is not a body of specialists addressing specialists on education, but a group of people interested in education from various standpoints, and we have therefore attempted to address a wider audience than we believe the Consultative Committee had in mind.

By agreement with the Minister who appointed us we took the following terms of reference:

"The subject to which the Council proposes to address itself first is the transition from life at school to independent life. It will examine the content and methods of education in those schools from which the actual transition is made, and proceed to the influence of earlier education from the nursery school onwards, and at the other end of the scale to the special problems of part-time education. The general purpose of the enquiry will be an appreciation and criticism of existing education as a preparation for a useful and satisfying life."
The focus of the enquiry is therefore "the transition from school to independent life". Coming to the enquiry from so many different points of view, we felt that our first task must be to survey the field and establish among ourselves a common body of knowledge. This first Report is the result of that survey. In putting it forward we feel that the knowledge we have acquired may possibly be of assistance to others coming to think, perhaps for the first time, about education. One of the biggest social changes now taking place is that the people themselves are beginning to take charge of their schools.

[page 7]

The survey has led to some practical conclusions, a number of which, if they are to be of use at all, should be known at once. This sense of urgency also accounts largely for the shape of the present Report, and for the fact that no attempt has been made to give it a more uniform design. It is not expected that everyone embarking on the Report will want to read all the chapters: they cover very different ranges of our subject. The chapter on Health differs from the others in being a more technical survey of its field, giving rise therefore to a greater number of specific recommendations.

Quite early in our survey the contrast between what our predecessors in their reports indicated as desirable, and what is actually the state of many schools today, forced itself upon us. We felt that if the 1944 Act is to be carried into effect, the present condition of these schools must be known and faced. Chapter I offers, therefore, an account of the state of the schools in this country now. The succeeding chapters give the analyses and arguments on which the conclusions summarised at the end of the Report are based.

Throughout our survey we have had in mind the conception of a "complete and generous education" which inspires and gives unity of purpose to the Act of 1944. We agree with the opening words of the White Paper of 1943 on Educational Reconstruction:

"The Government's purpose in putting forward the reforms described in this Paper is to secure for children a happier childhood and a better start in life; to ensure a fuller measure of education and opportunity for young people and to provide means for all of developing the various talents with which they are endowed and so enriching the inheritance of the country whose citizens they are."
The touchstone that we also have brought to bear throughout has been the quality of the individual life, for there, and there alone, is to be found the final test of the educated man or woman.

One further thing we feel it is important to add. We are very conscious of the speed at which events move, and that what is said today may have a different relevance tomorrow. No one can forecast the changes that further scientific discovery may make in the structure of industry, and hence in modes of living. For ourselves we can only say that we hold the view that the national system of education, even under so comprehensive a measure as the recent Education Act, can no longer be thought of as fixed, even for a generation, and that, to do their work effectively in society, schools will need to have powers of growth and change unlike anything known in education hitherto.

*    *    *

We wish to express our thanks and appreciation to our witnesses and to the various organisations who submitted memoranda. We should like to record that many of the organisations consulted went to exceptional trouble on our behalf. We are also indebted to administrative officers of the Ministry of Education, and to H.M. Inspectors, for assistance given us in a more informal way on many occasions. The Council wish particularly to record their appreciation of the invaluable services of their Secretary, Miss M. S. Smylie, H.M.I., in the very considerable amount of work that has gone to

[page 8]

the preparation of this report, and of the loyal and resourceful help given by the Assistant Secretary, Miss J. M. Crafter, and by the Council's Clerk, Miss M. E. Forsyth.

A list of the witnesses and organisations consulted appears in an appendix. The list does not by any means include all those to whom the Council is indebted in various ways, and whom they also wish to thank. In general, the members of the Council have been greatly impressed by the response they have met.

Thanks are also due to all those who gave permission for photographs to be included. In particular, acknowledgement is made to: The Architectural Review; Messrs. Dell and Wainwright; W. Suschitzky; Barrett's Photo Press Ltd.; Newton, Chambers and Co., Ltd.; Fox Photos, Ltd.; The British Council.

[page 9]



This chapter is
a preamble to our main theme

As soon as we began to consider the subject of our reference - the transition from school to life - we realised that our suggestions would have to be related to the conditions in the schools as they are now. Therefore, as a first step, we tried to get a general view of how far the practice of education was in harmony with the theory as officially expressed. We tried to find out whether the conditions under which children are taught make it possible for teachers to educate them according to the suggestions issued to them, and the methods advocated during their training. The disparity which the facts reveal is so remarkable that we thought it well to draw attention to it before discussing our main theme.

The need for public support
to ensure that obsolete school conditions are remedied

In this chapter, therefore, we have noted some of the outstanding shortcomings in school provision, knowing that all concerned with education, either as teachers or administrators, have long been aware of them. We are not concerned here with how they have come about - the explanation would involve a long excursion into history - but with the practical issue as to whether it is feasible to establish a new educational order in a material environment often obsolete. On this point it is clear that a drastic overhaul of school premises and the introduction of overdue educational reforms must proceed together. While the fulfilment of the 1944 Act is the chief long-term remedy for the shortcomings noted in this chapter, it is important that there should also be a strong sense of urgency - a short-term attitude - to remedy as soon as possible the unsatisfactory conditions in which so many children spend their school days. Popular support should be aroused not only to give strong backing to the Act but also to make an end of obsolete school buildings.

The tendency for
educational reforms hitherto to benefit only a minority

Experience seems to show that it is important not to allow the short-term reform of bad conditions to be slowed down while long-term projects are being considered. The Education Act of 1902 led to the erection of many new secondary schools; the Fisher Act of 1918 and the Hadow Report provided the impetus for the establishment of some excellent "modern" schools; and the Education Act of 1936 brought proposals from the churches for more than 500 schools of modern or senior type, the building of which was interrupted by the war. All these reforms, however, were principally for the benefit of older pupils, leaving the majority of children in schools most of which were long out of date. The McNair Committee was thus fully justified in saying: "The truth is we have not yet emancipated ourselves from the tradition of educating our children on the cheap."

[page 10]

As well as additional
teachers, up-to-date buildings are essential

In presenting his Education Bill, Mr. R. A. Butler made a strong point of the fact that when he became President of the Board of Education he found accumulated on his desk many problems that had long demanded action. He did not reveal what his suspense basket contained, but it would not be rash to surmise that it included the reduction of classes to teachable size and the replacement of unhealthy and unsuitable school buildings.

The evil of large classes, which defeats so much of what we attempt in our schools, cannot be cured merely by providing more teachers, urgent though this need is. It means also providing more schools of modern design, with proper accommodation. Fisher was perhaps justified in commending his grant formula as giving "more to the Authority that puts its trust in flesh and blood than in bricks and mortar"; but it is a priority which can be overstressed. For there are a great many school buildings so unsatisfactory that they prevent a teacher, however devoted, from fulfilling his task as he now feels it should be done.

In providing schools
we still build for the few and neglect the many

Our new outlook on living makes it all the more important to replace obsolete schools which too often remind us of standards we no longer tolerate in housing. In providing schools we still build for the few and neglect the many. Between 1930 and 1936* on an average the capital expenditure per head approved for secondary schools in England and Wales (excluding direct grant schools) was four times that approved per head for elementary schools.

New knowledge about children
and new teaching methods have revolutionised school design

Our conception of the needs of childhood has undergone such a rapid change, that schools which not very long ago seemed tolerable as places of education have become hopelessly unsuitable for the work of teachers seeking to apply their new knowledge of child behaviour. The needs of young children as now understood make it imperative to have space for activity and for learning by doing; and young teachers, trained in modern methods, find themselves frustrated when seeking to apply them in gaunt, ill-planned schools with cramped playgrounds. Theory and practice inevitably show a divergence; but when we remember how much is spent on educating and training teachers, on child health, school meals and, above all, salaries - the major item of the budget - it is educationally wasteful to keep schools that have long ceased to be fit for their purpose.

The school as a place for
training in healthy living and in community life

Much that we say later about school health supports our contention here that school accommodation should be improved as soon as possible. Developments in medicine have been rapid in recent years as has also been

*i.e. from the first year in which figures for capital expenditure approved for secondary schools are available till 1936 when the Act of that year gave an impetus to reorganisation.

[page 11]

the growth of knowledge in psychology. Modern hygiene demands ample fresh air, good ventilation and heating, adequate lighting, hot and cold running water, efficient drainage, clear space between cloakroom pegs, towels for each pupil, and means of cooking and serving a good mid-day meal under pleasant conditions. Within a generation the emphasis on school as a mere "factory for literacy" has shifted, and we now regard it as a place where the young can learn to live as a happy community according to the best standards known to us.

It is important that
the primary school should not be overlooked

Primary schools* have had a particularly raw deal as a result of the partial application of the Hadow Report. There is still a great danger that their importance will be half-forgotten because of the continuing emphasis on secondary schools. In our view primary schools should be a great force for good socially, because they deal with a time in a child's life when the contact between home and school happens more naturally than at a later stage. The gap between a reasonable provision of primary schools and the existing provision is formidable, and at the pre-war rate of development would not have been bridged in a hundred years. Even with the impetus of the Butler Act and a wholehearted co-operation of the churches, however fortunate education is about priorities, half a century's unremitting efforts will be required before we can hope to have good primary schools for all.

Disparity of provision
in primary schools at present

At present districts vary tremendously. The new suburbs usually have good school buildings (with the additional advantages of good houses, books in the home and social family contacts). Most village primary schools were built in the past by church enterprise for the accommodation of pupils of all ages. They are seldom organised in separate stages, but consist sometimes of junior and infant children under a Head Mistress, though many continue as all-age schools unaffected as yet by Hadow reorganisation. In congested urban areas children are usually at school in a poor building; and even if the schools have been "reorganised", which is often not the case, children of primary age normally go on being taught in the same old building.

In areas where the homes are
crowded and poor there is all the more need for good school buildings

The homes in these crowded districts are often unsuitable for bringing up a young family, and good school buildings are, therefore, all the more necessary; there is seldom a bathroom in the home, playing spaces scarcely exist, and community life is often vague. There has, of course, been a certain amount of slum clearance since 1926, some of it the result of bombing, but there are still many bad, densely-housed areas and many of the schools in such districts are old and, owing to the war, extremely shabby.

*Primary education under the Education Act 1944 covers the period up to the age of 11 or 12, and comprises the junior, infant, and nursery stages, and special schools.

[page 12]

We need not stress how urgent it is to improve the lot of children in such neighbourhoods: what is needed is action. For it has long been held, and not by educators alone, that "the young should live in a wholesome climate and drink in good from every quarter, so that like a wind bringing health from healthy lands, some influence from noble works may from childhood upward constantly fall on ear and eye and insensibly draw them into sympathy and harmony with the beauty of reason."* The contrast between theory and practice reaches its extreme in the old barrack-like schools in streets in which there is not a tree or a blade of grass, or any vestige of natural beauty.

The inadequacy of
buildings in which juniors are taught

Though it has been difficult to obtain precise information, it would seem that more than half the classrooms for children of junior school age (7 to 11 or 12) are smaller than those stipulated by the Ministry. Again even in reorganised junior schools there is a serious shortage of the larger rooms - i.e., "the general activity rooms" referred to in the new Building Regulations of the Ministry; and in the majority of unreorganised schools there are no such rooms at all for the juniors. The moral of all this is that we may condemn bookish teaching as much as we like, but this is largely idle talk if there is not space in which the children can learn in ways that are active and practical. Again a good deal that we assert about worship, music or physical training is a mockery if there is not a good hall. The building regulations under the present Act prescribe for junior schools of four classes or more a hall of 1,800 square feet, a hall of 1,200 square feet for three-class schools, one of 1,000 square feet for two-class schools, and one of 2,400 square feet for the largest junior schools. How remote this standard is from being realised anyone will soon discover who makes a survey of the junior schools (or schools in which juniors are taught) in his neighbourhood. Moreover halls, even where they exist, are often by force of circumstances made to serve many purposes both in the day and in the evening, and therefore cannot fulfil their essential function as a focus of the corporate life of the school.

Accommodation for
infants is often unsuitable

In schools provided for infants there is often a complete contradiction between theory and practice. The schools that the little ones attend are too often housed in old buildings with high-up windows, bad ventilation, and scarcely any playground. Cloakroom and sanitary arrangements are out-of-date, and sometimes the schools, especially those in crowded areas, are large, and the nursery classes seem lost in them. Much idealism and humanitarian sentiment is bestowed on little children; but let anyone look at the schools in which infants and still younger children are so often brought up, in urban and rural areas alike, and they will find much to disturb them: for example, the look of the school, the appearance and comfort of classrooms, the placing of the windows, cloakroom, feeding and washing arrangements, arrangements for medical inspection and care, opportunity for play, equip-

*Plato, Republic.

[page 13]

ment and toys, size of classes and accommodation for staff. To put all this right will be a costly business, but we shall not get good citizenship at the school-leaving age if in the early stages of education we deny the children in these schools the advantages which the more privileged children accept as a natural state of things. Parents who send their children to private schools are often accused of snobbery, but it seems to us doubtful whether this is the only, or even the predominant, motive. When the conditions under which public education is given are unwholesome, parents who can afford it naturally seek an alternative.

The importance of the
small school unit for young children

The Ministry of Education in Pamphlet No.1, "The Nation's Schools", expresses the opinion that infant schools should not be large. "When hundreds of children", it observes, "are brought together in a large building they almost of necessity have to be marshalled and regimented." We agree, and would add that in our view it is highly undesirable to combine juniors and infants in one school unless the numbers are really small.

And the importance of small classes

Further, if it is important to ensure that schools for young children are not too large, it is even more necessary to secure that groups of children within the school are never more than thirty. Sympathetic relationship between teacher and pupil, only possible when classes are of reasonable size, is one of the principal keys to sound character training. We feel, therefore, that we must oppose the ruling that while classes for seniors should be restricted to thirty pupils, juniors or infants can be grouped in larger numbers. Regimentation, which has been so harmful a feature of education in the past, is bound to occur if classes exceed thirty; and the chance of creating thoughtful citizenship, essential in a free democracy, will be greatly diminished.

Individual methods
of teaching require reasonably small groups

As we have already noted, the size of classes depends not only on the recruitment of teachers but also on the accommodation. Sometimes, in order to avoid over-large classes, two teachers are employed in one room. This, however, is obviously unsatisfactory. The National Union of Teachers observes in the evidence which it has given us: "Local education authorities and the Ministry of Education have been reluctant to sanction the appointment of more teachers than there are classrooms, so that in spite of the decline in school population the position so far as accommodation is concerned is similar to that which appertained before the decline, i.e. favourable to mass instruction. In such conditions the 'chalk and talk' method of instruction by a teacher is the only possible method, however much we agree that this method leaves a lot to be desired as a process of education. Many teachers who have endeavoured to apply individual methods of teaching under such conditions have speedily relinquished the idea and given up the attempt. The individual method of teaching requires a small group of children with ample space and with no interference from other groups."

[page 14]

The value of social
training at the nursery school stage

Our evidence indicates that more and more people recognise that training, for membership of a democratic society should begin in early childhood; it cannot be left as a problem to be solved only in the later years of school life, and still less when the transition to employment has taken place. We note, for example, that the Trades Union Congress associate social training particularly with the education of children under five, and we look forward to interesting experiments in alternative methods of providing education at the nursery school stage. It is essential, however, that whatever form the experiments take - nursery schools, nursery wings attached to infant schools, schools on nursery lines for children up to the age of seven - the buildings should be designed for the purpose, and provide all the amenities necessary for good nursery school training.

Special need to guard against
over-crowding at the infant and nursery school
stages, where an increase in numbers may be expected

Where accommodation is short, central and local authorities alike are tempted to allow excessive numbers in schools, and worse still, in classes. In the next few years there is likely to be new pressure on accommodation for the younger children. In pre-war years, owing to the falling birthrate, there was often spare room in many infant schools, and it was frequently occupied by older children to ease pressure elsewhere. Then, during the war, came the drive for school meals, which still continues, and in the search for dining accommodation an infants' classroom, not in regular use, could be made to serve. Now, however, an increase of numbers at the infant and nursery stages is likely for two reasons. First, there is the large number of wartime marriages and a rising birthrate; secondly, there is the growing tendency to send children to school at the earliest possible age, because a number of mothers acquired the habit during the war of going out to work. It should, therefore, be strongly stressed now that if infant and nursery schools are over-full and the classes within them unduly large, they cannot fulfil their essential function of providing for the children a rich and happy environment.

The buildings shape the teaching

"Everyone", it has been said, "is at ten years old essentially what he is to be." We are sure that conditions at the primary stage affect the quality of the individual, not only when he enters the secondary school and when he leaves it to take up employment, but throughout his life. It is obvious that school premises very largely shape the education our children receive; and, although it is a hard saying, we see no hope of putting an end to mass teaching and regimented classes until schools, built for a period when education of that kind was thought appropriate for the majority, are dealt with in the same way as an obsolete battleship. When discussing the plans for the new House of Commons Mr. Churchill coined the phrase "We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us"; if that be true, an overhaul of our primary schools is urgently necessary.

[page 15]

Many secondary schools
under the new Act are secondary schools in name only

Most unfortunate of all are the children who never throughout their school life have the chance of attending a pleasant, well-equipped school. Many parents made the mistake of assuming that the new Education Act would somehow make good secondary schools for all immediately available. What has happened is that a number of schools have changed their name and are now designated secondary grammar, secondary technical or secondary modern. But as parents well know, they are the same schools; and in personnel, premises, and equipment many of them fall far short of the level formerly required of the secondary schools. Until good secondary schools are available for all, we cannot escape from the harmful competitive system whereby certain pupils are admitted to well-staffed, well-equipped schools, and the remainder treated as unsuccessful, and sent to schools which have merely changed their name. Some of these schools have good modern buildings; indeed the recently erected senior schools and junior technical schools are often pleasant and well-equipped, but they are relatively few. Unless, therefore, a nigh priority is given to school building, the majority of our children will for a long time to come be denied secondary education, in spite of the great expectations awakened when the Education Act was passed. There is, as a result of this disappointment, a real danger of cynicism.

Technical education: industry
should support it more strongly; equipment
should be up-to-date; the training of technical teachers should be
developed; the technical education of women and girls is behind the times.

Technical education illustrates a different type of "lag" between theory and practice. We deal with the subject of "Employment and Education" in another chapter, and here we wish only to draw attention to the need for a much closer relationship between the managers and workers in industry and our technical colleges and schools. For a real drive, and to obtain adequate priority, the parties responsible for education and for industry should work together closely, both nationally and regionally. The plant used for instruction should be modern, and although this plant is bound to be costly, we are convinced that to maintain the position of a great industrial and commercial nation there should be a new readiness to spend generously on premises and equipment. Every encouragement should be given to recent plans for training both full-time and part-time technical teachers. In the past much important technical education has been housed in dual-purpose* premises: the technical education of women particularly has suffered from this practice. The present provision of technical education for women and girls seems to reflect a narrow and discarded view of woman's place in our industrial and civic life.

Other instances of
divergence between theory and practice

There are, of course, other instances of divergence between modern views about education and the way be [we?] practise it, which will occur to anyone who thinks about it. But in this chapter we have confined ourselves mainly to

*e.g. Premises used full-time by schools during the day and part-time by technical classes during the evening.

[page 16]

school accommodation which, for reasons of history and finance, has never received energetic attention, and constitutes far too often a road-block across the path of advance. Even on this matter alone there is much more to be said. To give one example - we have not touched on the subject of school libraries, which in secondary schools should be developed as indicated in the Carnegie Report on "Libraries in Secondary Schools"; while in primary schools attention might well be given to the suggestions contained in a recent report on "School Libraries in Post-War Reconstruction".* We refer in Chapter II to the excessive use of schools for public meetings, and other activities not directed by the school.

Public opinion about
schools: the need for stronger support

Between the wars, whenever there was an economic crisis, education suffered through lack of popular support; it is essential that interest in the work of the schools should be stimulated, so that people do at least know what damage is done when cuts are suddenly imposed. We know from what local authorities have told us through their associations why programmes of reconstruction were not carried out in the past, and we have been impressed by what they say about the need for stronger public support. The Association of Municipal Corporations gives first place to this point in its account of the gap between theory and practice, remarking that "educational legislation usually has been legislation in advance of public opinion". Our evidence shows also that popular apathy has not only acted as a brake upon carrying out what the Acts laid down, but has helped to make education an easy target for economy drives. The Association of Directors and Secretaries for Education says that the delay in carrying out the Fisher Act programmes began with the depression after the first world war and was intensified by the effects of the Geddes axe and the economies demanded as a result of the financial crisis of 1930-31. "Apart from schools for new housing estates, little building work was undertaken until the ban on building was lifted in 1936. The purchase of many projected sites had also to be abandoned." Development plans are being prepared under the 1944 Act, and it is important to see that they do not suffer a set-back of this kind.

Signs of a growing
interest in school conditions

As we have noted, all who are concerned with the daily life of schools, whether as teachers or administrators, have long been aware of the lamentable gap between theory and practice. We were, therefore, not surprised to receive strong expressions of opinion about it from professional bodies. One interesting memorandum came from the Association of Teachers in Colleges and Departments of Education, showing how disturbed visiting lecturers were by the conditions which they found in some of the schools attended by their students for teaching practice - no halls, bad playgrounds, poor ventilation, and deplorable sanitary' arrangements. What, however, has encouraged us to hope that a public conscience is beginning to stir about bad school conditions is the evidence received from bodies not primarily concerned with

*Drawn up by a Joint Panel of the School Libraries Section of the Library Association and the School Library Association (1945).

[page 17]

teaching. The National Federation of Women's Institutes, for example, complains about village schools in which children are getting their primary education, observing: "Where re-organisation has taken place, the junior school is usually housed in the building which has been the all-age village school. ... The premises are poor in lighting, heating, sanitation, accommodation for coats and shoes, and for school dinners; bad playground ..." Of urban schools, the National Union of Townswomen's Guilds says: "As regards building and plant generally there are very wide differences of standard - even amongst the 'provided' schools.* Too many have ugly, draughty buildings. antiquated desks. etc .. and forbidding playgrounds. ... So many schools are the most depressing places - dull and dreary - if not actually unhealthy."

To sum up we cannot do better than quote from a statement made to us by the Workers' Educational Association: "It is obvious that anyone knowing the educational system of this country from the special reports of the Board of Education Consultative Committee, from the pamphlets and circulars issued by the Board and the Ministry, including the Handbook of Suggestions for Teachers, and coming to this country with no other knowledge, would get a serious shock."

Finance and priorities

The cost of rebuilding and reconditioning the defective schools will be heavy. The problem of finance, though more apparent in times of crisis, has been a continuous factor in restricting development for a great many years. The Association of Education Committees is emphatic on this point, declaring that "for a substantial period of time there has been grave dissatisfaction on the part of local authorities about the financial arrangements." It further contends that "as a result regulations and statutes have consistently been in advance of practice". The County Councils Association puts money as a first need in any programme of reconstruction; and in fact all the associations of the local authorities are unanimous on this point. We agree with this view, and would add the need for a high priority for labour and materials, which brings us back to our repeated contention that the greatest need of all is a sense of urgency about improving the means of education throughout the whole system.



From home to community:
the interaction of home and school

The natural environment of a child, in early years especially, is his home. But from the age of five upwards almost every child becomes aware of school as part of his surroundings, and at a later stage, of that wider environment of the community in which he lives. One of the chief aims of education is to make him, by the time he leaves school, ready to play an eager part in that community, and to lead a useful and satisfying life. Meanwhile he

*i.e. Schools provided entirely by means of rates and taxes.

[page 18]

will find himself caught up in the interaction of home and school, with loyalties and standards which perhaps pull against each other, and later in the interaction of school and community.

Co-operation between teachers and parents

Most people now recognise how important it is for home and school to work together. This working together for the same thing should begin early, and the earlier the better. Parents should take the trouble to learn about the school and what it is trying to do for their children; in return the school must take into account how the child lives at home. ThThisls means the school having relations with, and accepting a duty towards, the parents of its pupils.

Co-operation is natural,
and usual, at the nursery school stage

Although the value of a good home life cannot be over-estimated, since in his earliest years all a child's interests centre in it, and impressions are made which will affect his whole life, parents can seldom supply all that a child needs. This is just where the good nursery school can fill the gap. A close relationship between home and school, desirable at every stage, is natural at the level of the nursery school, because children are still very dependent on their mothers, and through this dependence mothers are more vividly aware of their responsibility. The nursery school teacher also knows that she cannot be successful in her work unless she and the parents work in close union. Nursery schools are as a rule more generously staffed than others, and so there is more opportunity to give attention to each child. The good nursery school exemplifies in a natural way a feature that should be present all through: not only are the parents in almost daily touch with the life of the school, but the teachers have personal knowledge of the homes from which the children come. So valuable are the results, that as far as practicable, a nursery school should certainly be within reach of all who desire it.

To face children with
conflicting standards in home and school is very undesirable

Too few people realise that if the standards of living and the code of behaviour of home and school conflict, children may be unhappy, and be subject to painful tensions. A feeling of security will enable children to face situations as they arise, and help them to co-operate with others. It is not that the child must merely be sheltered. Home and school life should give children opportunity to achieve right standards in thought and action through persistence, experiment and hard adventure. Education is a continuous process, in school and out of it; at all stages parents and teachers should help make children feel confident.

As the child grows older contact
between home and school has still to be deliberately fostered

As a child grows older, he becomes more independent; and his attitude to school and home necessarily changes. But the relationship between school and home, though it also changes, should not grow weaker, as it frequently does. Close co-operation is no less important, though it may well take a different form; but it is less likely to exist unless positive efforts are made

[page 19]

to foster it. Parents may not feel the same need to keep in contact with teachers, and teachers with large classes have great difficulty in maintaining intimate knowledge of home circumstances. Medical inspection gives mothers the opportunity to continue their contacts with teachers and with the school in all that appertains to the physical health of their children, but apart from this there may be few points of contact.

Differences in standards and
outlook may become more serious for the children

Children themselves, as their experience grows, become more aware of any differences in standards that may exist between school and home. The school may demand more than the home in regard to punctuality, cleanliness, care of property, honesty, manners, cheerfulness and sensibility. Conversely, conditions in the home may sometimes in these and other ways set a higher standard than the school. Either side may consider the other unreasonable, and for the child there is the danger of a conflict of loyalties. Serious difficulties can arise from the work children do out of school, sometimes in employment and sometimes at home. It is true that in a good home there are opportunities for work which children delight in. But where children are asked to undertake exhausting household duties it is an entirely different matter, for they are frequently too tired to benefit from their life at school; in such cases co-operation between home and school is made difficult.

Parents and teachers
should have frequent opportunities for contact

One way to reduce such conflict and overstrain is to increase the opportunities of personal contact between teacher and parent, thereby creating a better understanding, and affording opportunity for joint discussion of matters affecting the children. Associations of parents and teachers, and parents' committees working in close co-operation with the school, have done much in this direction, especially where the parents are given the chance to enter into some of the school activities. In this way, parents are encouraged to take an interest in all that goes on in the school; its aims are explained, they meet other parents, and come to realise the world of knowledge and opportunity which is opening before their children.

The best kind of co-operation
comes if parents know about the day-to-day life of the school

Although such associations are of great value, the best kind of co-operation between home and school springs from the attitude shown in the day-to-day life of the school; for if a parent feels he is welcome, his confidence is won, and once his confidence is won he will support the teachers in what they are trying to do. It is in this way that the values which the school is setting before a child come to be understood in his home, and the better they are understood in the home the more will the child benefit from both home and school. Open days, parents' meetings, school plays and sports, medical inspections, personal consultations between heads and teachers, all play their part in strengthening the ties which ought to unite these two partners in the educational process. And when the time approaches for a child to enter

[page 20]

employment, by whatever channel his job is eventually found, the school, out of its experience of young people in general and of this young person in particular, will be in a position to give most valuable advice and help.

To enable the teacher to make these
contacts without loss of efficiency in other ways, staffing must be adequate

The good work which is being done by certain schools in this field of co-operation with parents is impressive, and it is important that there should be very much more of the same kind. But too much should not be asked of the teacher in too many fields; the schools must maintain the standard of their work as well as enlarge the scope of their activities. The amount of the teacher's "welfare work" has increased enormously in recent years, and there has been no lightening of his burden in other respects. The right remedy lies in the increase of staff, and reduction in the size of classes, in order to leave him the necessary time and energy to devote to the social needs of his pupils. Schools should be so organised and staffed that the teachers and especially, of course, the Head, are free from the many odds and ends of tasks that gather round the central duty of teaching, in order to be reasonably available to discuss with parents their own problems, and even their financial difficulties, as well as their children's progress.

Good co-operation depends
partly on having enough teachers, and on
providing good buildings. Neglect of the primary school must cease

Much necessarily depends on the rate of the recruitment and training of teachers and the provision of buildings to accommodate them. In improving the staffing and buildings all temptations to overlook the claims of the primary school must be resisted. As we have indicated in Chapter I, the number of pupils per teacher has been, and still in many schools is far too great, and the teacher often finds that premises and equipment are obsolete and ill-adapted to his needs. Yet both for parents and for children this is the stage when their attitude towards schooling may be determined for better or worse. While the children are possibly at a school closer to home than their later school will be, there is easier opportunity for co-operation, and there is much that can be done even in the face of the present difficulties.

Co-operation between home and
school about the maladjusted child is indispensable

Important as co-operation between school and home must be normally, it is obviously indispensable in times of special difficulty, and with the "difficult child". Frankness and candour between teachers and parents is vital before difficulties begin to occur; it too often happens that nothing is done until a child gets into trouble. In the interests of both home and school, facilities for child-guidance are important and should be more easily available; but for child-guidance to be an effective instrument it must have the confidence of the teacher and parents.

Where the homes are
limited the schools have the problem of
complementing the homes without setting up friction

Understanding between home and school is important, because even with the best will in the world, most parents cannot provide children with the

[page 21]

space they require and enough varied outlets for their energies. Where the home cannot provide these outlets it is even more important that the school should remedy the deficiency. A school should give a boy or girl opportunities for adventure, experiment, leisured reading and a full stretching of his or her capabilities. It has to be remembered, however, that the contrast between what the schools can provide, and what can be provided in the homes, creates problems that the parents and the teachers must together resolve.

Special ways in which
the school can supplement the home

In certain matters the school must go its own way, and can supplement the home, even the good home, as no other agency can. Camp schools, for instance, achieved in war-time some notable successes. It is to be hoped that the number may be increased, so that many children will have the opportunities of spending some months in new and delightful surroundings. We may have much to learn in this respect from the experience of Canada and the Scandinavian countries. It is good, too, for the child to see the homes of other people, whether through arrangements for reciprocal hospitality between town and country or city and town, such as some schools already enjoy, or through school journeys abroad. All these enterprises have the further advantage of enabling the teacher to get to know his charges. And there is one particular service on which recent experience has thrown a good deal of light. There are children, in themselves normal, who are handicapped because of their home circumstances. It is desirable that there should be residential accommodation, so that such children may live away from home while they are attending school.

Better leisure provision for children
of school age is a means of lessening juvenile delinquency

In its immediate neighbourhood the school may have an important part to play in the provision of playing fields, and of facilities for all the out-of-school activities the value of which is becoming more and more recognised. In particular, one way of combating juvenile misbehaviour and actual delinquency is to make better provision throughout the country for the leisure occupation of children of school age. Boys who lead a gangster life after school hours frequently do it because they have nowhere to do the things they want to do, no outlet for their urge towards adventure and experiment, no means of exerting their capabilities. In urban areas the great majority of children have no space, in the home, the community, or anywhere else, where they can indulge in their normal and proper activities; there is an urgent need for a great many more junior clubs, play and recreation centres, libraries and playrooms, in the charge of leaders who should be specially trained for the work, to give the children what they want after school hours and during holidays. Because schools may be the only available place for the purpose it does not follow that they are all suitable. Experiments should not be discouraged, but if they are to have any success it is essential that there should be a club leader, who, in consultation with the staff, can help the children to find what they need, and suggest ways of using the school buildings and playing fields for purposes quite different from those to which they are put during school time.

[page 22]

Social services provided
at school help parents to fulfil their responsibilities

The fear is frequently expressed that the schools are now usurping functions that really belong to the home, and that the responsibility of parents is being undermined. This certainly need not be the result; and in fact, careful examination of what is taking place shows that it is not happening. What is happening is that the mass of less well-to-do parents are being provided with something of the same services and aids to leisure that more fortunate parents have always regarded as normal; and there is ample evidence that when the schools do accept responsibility for the social welfare of the children, the parents' sense of responsibility is strengthened, and the insight and experience they acquire from seeing the teachers actually at work enable them to carry out their own share of the training and care with greater skill and understanding. Teachers concerned with the domestic crafts can especially help the home by setting good standards. But instruction in these crafts will not have an effect in the homes unless it is directed towards the whole art of home-making, and given with understanding of what the homes the children come from are really like.

Minimum standards
in the community: the communal meal

It is beyond doubt that in present circumstances the schools must assume a part in the life of the community not formerly required of them. For example, if minimum standards of nutrition are now to be set up, they must be established on a national scale. School feeding is, therefore, an accepted policy, and free meals constitute a part of the family allowances under the scheme for Social Security. Experience has demonstrated how children benefit from this policy, and the physical benefit is by no means all: the meals have also an educational importance in the school. A child can learn in this way, as he never can in the best of homes, how to behave in public as a member of a social community; and this is a valuable part of his education. Here again home and school are complementary rather than in conflict. The influence of the school meal is great, but if the conditions under which teachers and staff have to supervise them are bad, more harm than good is done. The Ministry is now pledged to improve the conditions, and should have all public support in doing so.

The school is a community
in which the child can learn to play his part

While a child is at school, he is learning to live as a member of a community, sharing in its activities and learning to accept responsibilities. He is also becoming conscious of the larger community of the town or neighbourhood in which he will soon play his part. Home and school most both of them help him to acquire a sense of citizenship and definite standards of conduct. By being introduced to the working of local and national government, and through the study of local conditions, for instance in regional surveys, he can learn about the community, and what he can do for it. The ideal way however of fostering in a child the right spirit is to provide him with opportunities of doing corporate service for other people. In some homes one of the effects of the war was to break down the

[page 23]

tradition that children do not help; when boys and girls enter employment they very often enjoy their jobs because they feel they now have real things to do for which they are personally responsible. And in the community life of the school itself it is important that services should be found which the children can render and enjoy rendering.

School and the wider community

The school can be a social centre for its neighbourhood. The staff are citizens with a position in the community, and a contribution to offer in local affairs. School halls are very much used for lectures, concerts, and social occasions, and the people are necessarily aware of the existence of the school whether they have children at it or not. This is to be welcomed in so far as it increases the school's influence for good in the community. But excessive or unwise use of school buildings by outside organisations can be harmful to the life of the school. Children must be able to leave things about in their classroom, whatever they happen to be engaged on at the time, as well as pictures and illustrations on their walls, and the school must be able to have the use of its own buildings after school hours if it wants them. Use of the school by the community cannot be wholly successful unless the school has been planned for the double purpose, and even the planning of buildings for such double use raises problems which are not easy to overcome. These problems must be faced and overcome if there is no possibility of other provision for social activities in the district where the school is.

The teacher as a
member of the community

A community stands to gain very much if the Head and staff of the school take an active part in its affairs, meeting parents and children in the normal activities of the neighbourhood; and it is generally felt that much is lost when teachers live at a distance from their work, as often happens in large towns, and increasingly in small villages. On the other hand, if a teacher is to be effective, he must be able to have a life of his own. It cannot be expected that he should devote it to the needs of the neighbourhood in which his school is placed to the exclusion of other interests. The teacher has his own point of view, which must be respected, and the right to organise his own life so as to give of his best. This is a problem for the teachers themselves to settle, and it is a well known fact that many of them, including some who live at a distance from their work, do in fact give unsparingly of their time and effort to local affairs.

Successful co-operation
is being carried out in widely different circumstances

What a good school can do for its neighbourhood in this way is best seen from some concrete examples, and in the appendix to this chapter accounts are given of what six schools of different types have been able to achieve, in areas selected because of their dissimilarity. There is good reason to believe that a great many schools all over the country are successfully establishing close relationships with parents and the community around them. and there can be little doubt that home and school alike

[page 24]

benefit from neighbourliness of this kind. The problem of establishing good liaison does not greatly differ between one school and another, or one area and another. The important thing is the personality of the teachers, and the willingness of parents to co-operate. Successful effort of this kind is a powerful instrument of educational progress.



The school concerned with this experiment is in a northern County Borough of 133,000 inhabitants and has a Junior Mixed Department of 400 children and an Infant Department of 300. The two Head Teachers, a man and a woman respectively, were appointed in January, 1939, and found themselves with 700 children ranging from 4½ to 11 years of age sharing a single crowded building, long since condemned, and with but one small common-room for use by both themselves and their staff. Exacting as the situation was it nevertheless provided some useful opportunities, and as one of the Head Teachers has said: "Our first experience of co-operation was gained in this staff room, where the two Departments learnt to work amicably together under very difficult conditions."

The first contacts with parents, all from the surrounding good working class district, were limited to casual meetings at registration, when mothers came to fetch young children from school or when they came with a particular question or even complaint. It was soon realised that the staff were hampered by their lack of knowledge of the home surroundings and background of the children and by the fact that some parents, ignorant of the aims and methods of the school, were not only unco-operative but actively antagonistic, so that there existed a conflict between home and school.

Deciding that this situation must be overcome the Head Teachers, aided by the staff members, laid plans to remedy it. The first step, in July, 1939, was the holding of an Open Day to which parents came to see the work of the school and to meet the teachers. In the evening of the same day a parents' meeting was held, to which both fathers and mothers came to hear plans for the building of a new school. So successful was the meeting that a plan to form a parents' association was developed, but the outbreak of war prevented the plan being put into operation. Evening meetings of parents were however held about once a term, at which experts in different branches of education spoke to the parents and answered questions.

The first social evening, held in 1942, was an outstanding success, and resulted in a direct request from the parents for the formation of a Parent-Teacher Association. A general meeting was held and a committee elected consisting of four staff members and nine parents. During the first year three social evenings, a discussion and six lectures were held. At the latter the speakers included a University Professor, one of H.M. Inspectors of Schools, an Assistant Medical Officer of Health and two Head Teachers. Audiences varied from 40 to 80, and the subjects included Educational Reconstruction, Vocational Guidance, Health, Nursery Schools and Education in Canada and Africa.

In the second year there were four lectures, four discussions and four social evenings, and a very interesting feature was the opening of a discussion on Religious Education in the Home by one of the parents. During this year mutual co-operation between parents and teachers not only became more intimate but it also developed along new lines. Groups of mothers helped with the children's school Christmas parties. An indoor parents' party was held and also a sports day. Voluntary help was given by many mothers to supplement the teachers' supervision of school meals. Small groups of parents came during school hours to see the material, apparatus and books used by the children and to be introduced to the new methods of teaching and training in the Infants' Department. Money was subscribed to buy things needed in the school, and the Nursery Class received many gifts of toys either made by parents or sent when they were no longer needed in the home.

This Parents' Association has grown and developed until it has become a vital part of the school community, though in the process dangers and difficulties had to be

[page 25]

faced. These were only overcome by the tact and firmness and the steadiness and balanced attitude of the general body of parents, which prevented the Association being used for purely social, political or sectional ends. Heavy demands were made on the time of Head Teachers and staff, but the results of contact with the parents were considered as of such value that staff attendance at meetings, though voluntary, was very frequent. The teachers gained a greater knowledge of the children's home background and of the parents' attitude towards their children. Parents, particularly fathers, became interested in new ideas and new methods, and the lectures and discussions were a real contribution to family education.

The school has come to be regarded as a social centre in the neighbourhood to which parents come for help and advice on many kinds of problems. For many of them the social evenings have enlivened otherwise drab lives. All of them have become anxious to share the responsibility for the schools which they help to maintain, and the growth of a relationship of mutual trust between parents and teachers has helped in the maintenance of a happy co-operative attitude within the school which gives to the children that sense of security which is so essential for healthy development.

Number of children: 450

Background and environment affecting the School:

(a) Work of parents. Average Wage 2 15s. at sawmills, flour mills, iron foundry, local fishing - established over many years. Majority very poor in 1938.

(b) History. Population 6,000, ancient town, very poor houses. Inter-marrying, little new blood brought into town over many years, resulting in static and stagnant outlook by many.

(c) Effect on educational outlook in 1938. Resulting from (a) and (b) above: estimated about 45 per cent of parents are keen; 45 per cent of parents are indifferent; 10 per cent of parents are suspicious and even hostile.

(d) Effect in educated outlook in 1946. Most men and women under 35 years have been in the Forces and many strangers have lived in or near the town during the war years. These facts, more money, together with the political activity of 1945 and 1946, have widened the parents' horizon, and there is the prospect of the 1938 inertia disappearing.

(e) Why is Education not valued by some parents?

(1) Possibly the right approach has not been made to them by the teachers, to secure their good will and interest.

(2) Some parents are ignorant of modern educational methods and judge education of today from their own school days.

(3) Some teachers are out of touch with the life of the worker. They live a life apart and their social contact is negligible. In fact many Head Teachers live miles from the school; home contact after school hours (the time when both mother and father are free) is impossible.

(f) What has been done to improve conditions under (e) above?
(1) The usual "open day" and sports day have been given. It was noticed that the parents from the better homes mostly attended.

(2) The Head Teacher, over the past few years, has sent to each parent, periodically, circular letters couched in friendly terms, informing them of the school's activities: e.g, National Savings, various charitable collections, etc. This effort has been well worth while and has led many parents to co-operate more.

(3) The war years offered many opportunities of gaining the good will of parents: care of children during air-raids, letting the anxious mothers see for themselves the provisions made for their children's safety; the Head Teacher had many opportunities of meeting the fathers on "common ground" when on duty at the Civil Defence Post, at allotment and poultry club meetings and the British Legion. Many happy contacts were made in this way.

[page 26]

(4) Running a war-time play centre earned us much good will from parents engaged on war-work - particularly from the poorer classes.

(5) Under the auspices of the Educational Fellowship, the Head Teacher gave a public lecture on "the work of the Primary School". Those keen on Education attended, but the majority of the parents were absent. It was considered that until the parents were "Education conscious" little benefit would be derived from this form of propaganda. This led to the following experiment:

It was decided to demonstrate the various types of school work before the parents, to show the methods employed, the aims and the scope of the work of each age-range in each subject. It was thought best to start with the more spectacular subjects, e.g. Music, Singing, Physical Training and Dancing.

In November, 1945. Music and Singing were demonstrated. Before each class did its work, a brief talk to the parents was given, outlining the methods employed, and why these were used. The parents thus knew what to look for, and were able to appreciate the reasons for each progressive step. In this way the work of the school in this subject from the age of 5-11 was unfolded. To make the parents feel that they were part of the demonstration, typed sheets of the words of well-known folk and national songs, carols and hymns were distributed and the music specialist conducted the parents' singing, led by the school choir. The experiment was considered successful, the hall was full to capacity (400), and a repeat was asked for.

In February, 1946. Physical Training was demonstrated on the same lines. A brief commentary was given before each age-group demonstrated the appropriate Board of Education table or appropriate dances. The value of correct posture, the gradual growth and control of the muscles, the relation between the physical and mental development and the value of rhythmic movements were pointed out, in order that the parents should know the purpose and aims of each exercise. This demonstration was linked up with the child's health; slogans, prominently displayed, brought to the parents' notice the need for good habits and routine in the home, fresh air, correct clothing, and so on. In a brief talk the parents were asked to co-operate by seeing that the work done in schools in forming good habits be insisted upon in the homes.

At the end of the demonstration the County's Physical Training Supervisor spoke to the parents on the value of Physical Training and its close relationship to health. This friendly talk to the parents by the County Supervisor was much appreciated. In the second demonstration it will be noted that a more direct appeal was made to the parents. A few days before the demonstration the parents were asked to make suitable clothing for the display; all did so, and many volunteered to make knickers and shorts out of the black-out material supplied by the school.

This second demonstration was repeated, and the Hall was packed during the evening in spite of the rain and snow which fell incessantly all day and night. The staff considered that the effort was justified in view of the wonderful response.

In early April it is hoped to run the third demonstration - Spoken English and Drama. Efforts are being made to include in the programme the whole range of methods used in training in speech-conversation, recitation, choral-verse speaking, story telling, narrative and ballet mimes, glove puppetry, playlets and a debate. Original plays have been written for this, and the parents will be asked to go on the platform and speak in numbers such as "In Town To-night", "I want to be an Actor". It is expected that the third proposed demonstration will do still more to get the parents interested.

Although no definite plans have been made to follow the April demonstration it is hoped to give (1) an art and craft display (2) to arrange an opening day so that parents may see the more formal subjects taught (3) to arrange for the parents to give a show to the children and (4) to form a parents' association.

Conclusion and Remarks

(1) It is essential to get as many children to take part as possible and if children are left out of one demonstration to give them an opportunity in the next. Do not push the best always.

[page 27]

(2) From the point of view of educating the public, displays have not the same value as a demonstration.

(3) Endeavour to get the parents to do as much as possible - "the giver is always more satisfied than the receiver".

(4) Afternoon shows have not the same effect as those in the evenings.

(5) In view of the fact that Head Teachers in consultation with parents will decide the type of Secondary School training the children shall receive, it seems very necessary that friendly contact should be made as much as possible throughout the children's Primary career.


This Church of England school is unreorganised and has 80 children on roll aged from 5 to 14 years. It is staffed by a qualified man Head Teacher, a qualified woman junior teacher and a supplementary woman teacher for the infants. Standing in rural surroundings in a north-country village, it was built in 1860, but despite its age it compares favourably with many of the village houses and has such amenities as running cold water from water mains, electric light and water-flush closets.

The relations between the staff, the parents and the children are well developed and friendly. The Head Teacher, resident in the village for six years, though not in a school house, has firmly established himself in the social organisation of the village. He is organist, choirmaster and church warden, secretary and treasurer of the Parochial Church Council and a member of several other village committees. On occasions he plays the organ in the village chapel, plays the piano for local dances and socials, and gives lectures to the Women's Institute and other organisations. The junior teacher, although a newcomer and resident in the village only for the week days, has joined the Women's Institute Choral Class and a Folk Dancing Class. The Infants' teacher, resident in the village but a native of a village some miles away, comes into contact with the adult population through her chapel activities, which include the organisation of a girls' club.

There is no organised parents' association, but the Head Teacher feels that he has the very full support of the parents and the local community in general. Evidence of this may be seen in the existence of a Men's Committee which organises the Annual Sports, in the Women's Tea Committee which takes charge of the catering for all school social affairs. The community organises and contributes to events relating to the well-being of the school.

Adults use the school in a variety of ways, particularly in connection with the Evening Institute, of which the Head Teacher is Organising Master, Classes in choral music, needlework, dressmaking and folk dancing are held on two evenings a week and are attended by about fifty members. These classes bring parents into very intimate contact with the school staff and undoubtedly foster interest in school affairs. The school is also used for a variety of other meetings when it is rented for the evening, but no social events, such as dances or whist drives are held. The school is also used once a week by the local mixed Youth Club which has about forty members, so that it can claim to have close contact with childhood, youth and maturity.

The provision of accommodation, instruction and other amenities by the school and staff for the local community has a social value to all the partners concerned, although the premises and furniture are not always suited to the needs of the adults, nor are they always respected by youth. The school also serves the community, and the larger society too, by participation in salvage and savings campaigns, and by collections and donations for charitable purposes. The provision of school meals and the opportunity to purchase vegetables from the school garden are not to be overlooked.

*Note. As reorganisation is carried out, this type of school will of course cease to exist. Meanwhile for the purpose of illustrating co-operation between teachers, parents and the local community in general, this example was included on its merits.

[page 28]


This school, opened as an Emergency Central School in 1940, lies in a highly urbanised London suburb. The difficulties it has had to face are best appreciated from the fact that of some 44,000 houses in the borough only about 400 are completely undamaged. War conditions, however, appear to have woven a very intimate connection between the school and the local community and to have acted as a stimulus to a wide series of interests extending far beyond local studies to international problems.

During the early history of the school bombing attacks made conditions so difficult that no attempt was made to develop a parent-teacher association. Parents and teachers, however, were in intimate contact in the many common causes thrust on them by the war, when they and members of the adult community in general worked together in the Rest Centre Service, the Londoners' Meals Service, the Home Guard, Civil Defence, Red Cross, Women's Voluntary Service, Service Canteens, First Aid Posts, nursing and other activities. From such contacts teachers became well informed about the community, parents got to know the teachers, and the public in general developed a sympathetic understanding of teachers and their work. Under such conditions there were many informal discussions about education which led to the formation of discussion groups and the calling of parents' meetings in which a lively and informed attitude was built up to such effect that not only were parents well prepared for the Education Act of 1944 but also so strongly imbued with ideas about education as to address resolutions to the Chief Education Officer.

These activities crystallised into the formation of a Parent-Teacher Association in 1945 with the Headmaster as Chairman, parents as Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer, and parents and teachers in equal numbers for the remainder of the Committee. The Association's aims are:

1. To serve the best educational interests of the child by bridging the gulf between home and school.
2. To keep parents informed of modern trends in education.
3. To help to create and keep alive a public opinion which recognises the responsibility of every citizen for the education of the nation's children.
Among problems posed by parents for discussion at the Association's meetings are the Aims of Education, Leisure-time Pursuits, Sex Education, Modern Trends in Educational Practice, Homework, Discipline, the New Education Act, School Societies, and the problem of what parents can do to improve educational conditions.

Parents have visited Open Days and Exhibitions, and it is hoped that in the future many will come to see a normal working school day and also, by a rota scheme, to have parents always present at the morning service.

The Headmaster is opposed to the idea of definite "office hours" for parental visits; instead he believes in the "ever open door", not only feeling that it will not be abused, but also knowing that many of the problems which arise, particularly those relating to adolescents, are of a kind which cannot wait for attention. The degree of confidence developed between parents and staff is such that the former do not hesitate to bring any kind of family problem for the latter to advise about. So frequently does this happen that the Headmaster considers that a Parents' Advice Bureau should be a normal part of a school. He considers that Parent-Teacher Associations have a big part to play in the future but that their development will be slow since parents (and public) are slow to appreciate the part they should play in Education - a situation much different from that in America and many parts of the Dominions where such Associations, by federation and an official journal, not only keep in touch with educational progress but make contributions to it from their joint experience. Such an Association he says "is not only an integral part of the life of any School; it is too the most potent factor in adult education".

In virtue of their knowledge of the parents the staff is well acquainted with the home life of the children and this knowledge is extended directly and indirectly by other means.

The pupils, with their social awareness stimulated by the general attitude of the School and by visitors representing many different kinds of organisation and from most parts of the world, are keenly alive to the demands of society. They have "adopted" two hospitals (one for disabled servicemen) and four ships. They contri-

[page 29]

buted to the Prisoner-of-War Parcels Fund, to funds in aid of Russia, China, Jugo-Slavia and India, made hundreds of woollen garments for the Merchant Navy, overseas relief and the Borough Civil Defence Units, and have now undertaken an extensive scheme for aiding the children of Europe. A rota of volunteers helped throughout the war in Day Nurseries after school hours and the older girls helped to look after younger children in Rest Centres during the flying bomb period. Both boys and girls undertook shopping and gardening for neighbours who were unable to do their own.

The local community, appreciating the efforts made, has never failed to support the school in a wide variety of ways, whenever help has been sought.


This school, located in the centre of a town of 58,000 inhabitants is some 100 years old. The building, lying on a very restricted site with no playing fields adjacent, has two floors but, as a result of modernisation and because it is not on a new housing estate, it rather faithfully reflects the standards of the homes from which the boys are largely drawn. In the town concerned, there are no less than four Grammar Schools, so that the local population is more than usually aware of educational problems and processes. It is of interest to note that the school described, in virtue of its well developed contacts with parents and the community, is treated with respect and affection.

The flourishing Parents' Association, with almost 800 members at present, was established 23 years ago and has become the prototype for many such associations both at home and abroad. Apart from the activities normal to such associations, contacts are made more intimate by the work of the children in their homes. Before the war, each House held tea-parties and "At Homes" for parents in order to foster a better understanding of mutual problems.

The contributions which the school makes to the affairs of the community around are many and varied, and range from the provision of accommodation to advanced cultural provisions. The local Technical Institute has the majority of its activities and its office in the school. The school provides accommodation for classes which are organised by the Workers' Educational Association and a University Extra-Mural Department. Not only do the local Symphony Orchestra and Music Society meet in the school regularly, but one of the staff is the conductor of the Orchestra of which the Headmaster is a playing member. Another member of the staff is the Borough Organist for official functions.

The school has made some interesting contributions to local academic studies. The School Museum, one of the finest local museums in the country, has a member of the teaching staff as Honorary Curator and is open to the general public, and has been used by members of various learned societies. A recent Borough survey by the Council of Social Service for the purpose of laying before the Town Council information on Town Planning was largely sponsored by the school and many boys took part in traffic and other surveys. The school library is available for many educational purposes,

During the war the school swimming bath has provided facilities for the three Services and the U.S. 8th Army Air Force for swimming instruction, with particular emphasis on R.E. training for amphibian operations and the R.A.F. dinghy and rescue services. Those facilities have helped to save hundreds of lives, a fact recognised by the handing over of a very large sum of money publicly raised as a contribution towards clearing the bath debt.


This school, in a county town of 50,000 inhabitants, serves both the town and surrounding rural areas, providing a technical education for girls.

Contacts between staff and the pupils in their homes are few, partly because the pupils are drawn from a large area and partly because occasion has not demanded the development of such contacts. Contacts between the teachers and the general adult population have been of the normal type which result from the use of the school premises as an Evening Institute and for meetings of a youth club.

[page 30]

There is no parents' association, but contact between school and parents is fostered by tea parties given in school by a form at a time. The parents are invited to arrive early and are taken round by their daughters to see the school at work. At the end of the afternoon parents, staff and pupils have tea together. It is the general staff opinion that the contacts made at such gatherings, which are neither large nor formal, are very valuable and personal, but it is realised that the growth in strength of the school will ultimately make such arrangements extremely difficult.

The school has been able to make happy personal contacts with individual members of the Governing body, the Local Authority, the Borough Council and with many representatives of industry and commerce in the town by means of lunch parties at the end of each term. About fifteen adults representing these bodies are invited to have lunch with the school. Pupils receive these guests who are entertained by the school for about half an hour before lunch, and then the guests sit at table with the pupils and the staff. This gives the adults an excellent opportunity to get to know pupils and staff personally, and the lunch is followed by "toasts" made by the pupils and answered by adults. On the whole, different people are invited each term, so that each year approximately fifty adults who are interested in education have the opportunity of spending several hours informally in school. They very frequently make a later visit to see the school at work.

In addition to the main lunch party, a small group of pupils learning Domestic Subjects prepares and serves a "family lunch" once or twice a week. Members of the adult community are invited to these lunches and thus make contact with the school.

From these friendly contacts there has grown up a desire to serve the school. Many employers are sufficiently interested to come regularly to the school to talk about the work in their office, factory, hospital or canteen, and school visits arranged to support these talks seem to have a more personal appeal when a previous social visit has been made to the school. Many staff managers in the town give opportunities to individual girls in the leaving form to spend a few hours per day, or week, in their offices for office practice and all the industrial and hospital canteens allow senior girls doing a catering course to have regular practice in their kitchens.

Town associations such as the Orchestral Society and Musical Society, are always willing to encourage the school by allowing pupils to attend rehearsals, or to attend concerts at reduced rates, and in consequence, individual members of the school give their loyal support to these associations.

In view of the many contacts which the pupils make with representative members of the community, it is not surprising that the pupils have become keenly conscious of community needs, and have taken steps to meet such needs. Friendly contacts are made with voluntary associations which are offered hospitality and accommodation in the school, and for whom the girls act as hostesses. Pupils in the Commercial Department render frequent and useful service to such associations by undertaking typing, duplicating and filing. In addition many of the senior girls give up some of their leisure and holiday time and undertake voluntary work in hospitals, nurseries and the like.



Any school is a
part of its environment

Our concern in this chapter is with the school, its setting, and its relation to that setting. For neither the school itself nor the young people who pass through it can ignore the neighbourhood in which they live. A school is always, wherever and whatever it is, part of a social unit, a context, an environment; and it cannot escape the consequences of its geographical situation.

[page 31]

It has therefore
a threefold duty: to explain its environment

It is sensible and right, therefore, that different environments should be taken into account in planning the curriculum of the schools which are in them. The first and rather obvious point is that what a school teaches should be connected with the environment. That is, the curriculum should be so designed as to interpret the environment to the boys and girls who are growing up in it. Many of them will live their lives in that environment, or something very like it, and the school's first duty is to help them to realise what lies around them in such away that it becomes an effective part of their knowledge.

To supply what is lacking in it,
and to resist the influences in the environment which are harmful

But the school has also a second duty, perhaps less obvious but certainly no less important: that is, to supply what is lacking in the environment. In other and more positive terms, parts of the curriculum should complete the environment so that the child's growth as a whole may be harmonious and well-balanced. The child brought up in a town should not be allowed to remain ignorant of the life and values of the countryside, or the village child of those of the city. The third duty, less easy to relate specifically to the school curriculum, but important to the whole way of life of the school, is that of resisting those influences in the environment which are harmful and which are capable of being in course of time removed.

"Urban" and "rural": the distinction
is made in order to bring out the special characteristics of each

In the attempt which follows to distinguish broadly between the two main types of environment in relation to the schools, "urban" and "rural" are spoken of in contrast with each other, not with the intention of adjudging either to be better or worse than the other, but simply to bring into relief the special features and qualities of each. It is increasingly difficult to draw a sharp distinction between town and country, and opportunities of experiencing both the urban and the rural are becoming more and more common. Yet it remains true that the words "urban" and "rural" stand for distinct ideas, each with its own meaning; and within these limits the words are both useful and easily understood.

The rural environment:
the dominant background of living things and seasonal change

First then it is the duty of a rural school, as indeed of any school, to interpret the environment in which it lives; and, granted an honest affection for the people and events of the countryside, there is a great deal which a wise interpreter can make clear. To begin with, there is a traditional and still to some extent stable background; instead of traffic and traffic lights, there are cattle and sheep, and contact with a wide range of living things. The abiding background is the procession of the seasons, seedtime and harvest, birth, growth and death: the ordered and continuous process of nature served indeed by man but independent of him.

[page 32]

The village as a social unit

For a child the structure of a village is still much easier to grasp than that of a town. Its outlines are simpler; the community is on a small enough scale to be fully understood; all its members can meet together at the parish meeting and will meet together for entertainment; despite cinema and radio the social life of the village still depends largely on the efforts of its inhabitants. As a unit of human society many villages also are still more or less complete communities. All kinds of people - doctor, farmer, shopkeeper, parson, blacksmith, labourer - are included, each having something to contribute to the common pool. It is comparatively easy for a child to understand and take part in this fairly simple social pattern. There is, moreover, greater scope for the ordinary individual both to play a significant part and to live a life of varied occupations. In country pursuits there are simple (and cheap) opportunities for excellence, and it is altogether easier in an intimate community such as the village to enter into the spirit of Chesterton's remark that "whatever is worth doing is worth doing badly", and to retain the satisfaction of being a performer, whether on the village green or cricket ground, or in the village hall.

The countryside
as a playground and a workshop

To the child himself the countryside is an enlargement of the home, a playing-field and a summer clubroom; when things go wrong in the family he can work off his troubles in the country and be quiet or noisy to his heart's content. There is endless scope for making and, if living things are not injured, for breaking. To dam up and release a stream does not call for the attentions of the police. But the importance of the surrounding fields is not mainly in their beauty (the countryman often has a gentle contempt for those who regard his country as "scenery"), the fresh-air, the scope for hobbies and sports; rather it is in the industry of which the fields are workshops, and the effect of being surrounded by growing crops and breeding animals. The countryman's environment is constantly changing, ripening, dying and being reborn. So much of mankind's experience has been in rural surroundings, so deeply is the lore of the country a part of our literature, that much of its imagery is alive only to someone with a knowledge of the country.

Interpretation: from the concrete
to the abstract. The starting-point is the study of nature

These then are some of the salient factors to be taken into account in the country, and teachers everywhere will think of others in planning to relate the school to its surroundings. Most important in those who undertake to interpret the surroundings is certainly a love of the country. But a vague affection is not enough. Frequently the approach to knowledge should be made from the particular to the general, from the concrete to the abstract. Instead of stating a theoretical or scientific principle and illustrating it by text-book examples, the teacher will start with a familiar object or fact and work back, through other and less familiar illustrations, to the underlying principle. It follows that he must not restrict himself to the schoolroom and the text-book, but must explore the village, the farms and the woodlands

[The following plates appeared between pages 32 and 33]

Monotony in Environment ... these are houses, not factory sheds

Permission from Barratt's Photo Press Ltd.

Recreation, but without a place for it

By courtesy of W. Suschitzky

A school for younger children

By courtesy of Dell and Wainwright.

Amenities for healthy living

By courtesy of Dell and Wainwright.

[page 33]

for material that naturally attracts the child's curiosity. The starting-point is the study of nature. Without experience of realities in the fields the teaching of the text-book is artificial and lacks all actuality. Events themselves, and the observation of actual processes, are what make demonstration the powerful device which at its best it can be.

Other first-hand studies in the country:
Mathematics and Mechanics, Geography and History

It scarcely need be said that though an approach of this kind is particularly appropriate in the country for the study of nature, it is quite as valid in other fields of learning. There is abundant material, in every part of the country, for the teaching of mathematics - fields and haystacks to measure, yields of crops to estimate; a range of machines from the spade and the wheel-barrow to the tractor, binder and milking machine, to illustrate mechanical principles. There is also scope everywhere in the country for teaching certain aspects of geography at first hand. Material for history varies from district to district. But from the parish church and its registers back to the earthworks on the hill and forward to the coming of the railway, "grid" and tractor, there exists in many places visible evidence of almost every phase of local history. Traces of the three-field system, old records of enclosures, the survival of commons and "pounds", and often a certain residue of traditional knowledge, make it relatively easy to deepen and enrich a child's experience of the present with some knowledge of the way the land was worked in the past.

Local crafts

It is more difficult to estimate what the local crafts may provide. Where there is a genuine tradition of craft work there is the basis for appreciating the relationship between form and function, material and means. But knowledge of a craft will not, unless its principles are taken beyond the craft, produce good taste. The traditional crafts originally showed fine taste in colour and form; but with the passing of old standards the countryman is just as likely to buy shoddy and tasteless furniture and fittings as the townsman is.

Teachers need training and facilities
to make direct experience the basis of their teaching

To teach through things and by observation places upon the teacher the onus of getting to know a particular environment well. It is not easy at present to find teachers whose education and training have equipped them to do this, and more especially in the country to carry out a course of science that is at once practical, varied and sufficiently systematic to form a useful basis for further knowledge. Such a course must consist largely of the study of the relationship of plant, animal and man (or preferably child) to his environment, and the inter-relationship of all three.

The theme "Man and his Ways of Living"
will give an integrated approach throughout the teaching

There is a further step to be taken by all teachers, namely in the direction of combining their specialist knowledge so that the environment is realised as a whole. The various resources of the countryside have been touched on

[page 34]

separately only to bring them into relief: the theme which will give unity to all the teaching is "man and his ways of living". In this, teachers of history and geography and of science have common ground on which they may, however humbly, help to build the bridge between the sciences and the subjects that are concerned with the human values that must govern any society.

The task of the rural modern school

The best of the rural modern schools have set themselves the threefold obligation of interpreting and complementing the environment. and of communicating standards that can apply in any civilised community. These schools have proved to be among the outstanding successes in educational developments of the past twenty years. Many of the schools are using the rich opportunities that always exist in the country for observation and for acquiring knowledge at first hand, and at the same time seeing to it that no side of their pupils' development is stunted because the facilities that can be had in the neighbourhood exclude some of the great fields of human experience and endeavour. The rural modern school has combined in a remarkable degree, in its short life, the best of what is traditional and what is new in education. By using the "organic" methods to which we have referred. it gives point to the training in traditional skills, and uses the familiar as a first step to the universal.

The universal aspect of knowledge:
the limitation of the rural community as a complete centre for education

It is still essential that a child should learn to figure and speak, to write and read his own tongue. He must be led to an awareness of the various aspects of human achievement - in crafts and industry, in social and political life, in art and literature. He must come to know something of neighbouring peoples and the make-up of the world at large. The disadvantages and shortcomings of the rural community as a complete centre for education become more obvious as he grows older. There is a meaning in "parochialism". A village offers small scope for exceptional talent; human contacts are restricted and may give no adequate measuring-rod for the world outside. Even with the advantages of modern communications, with circulating libraries and radio, life is a small community may still be isolated and limited. And there remains sometimes a stubborn clinging to tradition which stands in the way of legitimate changes in the familiar background. So the growing child must learn to look beyond the perhaps limited circle of his acquaintance and knowledge, to develop standards of criticism and self-criticism, to see further than his small self-sufficing world into the adventures of thought, imagination and experience which lie beyond its narrow horizon.

The complementary
and critical function of the school

This is the direction in which the rural modern school has to complement what exists in the immediate surroundings of its pupils. But there is the further function of the school - one of criticism - to acknowledge the shortcomings and deficiencies of rural life as it exists today. To take one instance only, the facts of rural sanitation should not be glossed over, and the picturesque made to excuse disgraceful houses. Modern knowledge and modern standards must be applied to rural as well as urban dwellings, so that they may be judged as places where lives can be lived happily and healthily.

[page 35]

The aim is a more all-round development

Above all, the aim is a more all-round, fuller and better-balanced development than can be reached by any child whose education is narrowly rural. This is the challenge to the rural school. All "reorganisation", all the concentration of children in secondary schools, whatever they are called, should be directed to this end. This is the aim which administrative machinery must serve, if the rural child is to make full use of the environment into which he is born.

With reorganisation
the loss of the personal influence formerly
exerted by the village teacher has to be guarded against

Yet the influence exerted in the past by the best teachers in the villages should not be lost. The schools still left in the villages will mostly be primary schools. The village school used to fulfil its purpose as the centre of common experience of its pupils while at school, and the chief agent of this purpose was the resident village teacher. There is a real danger that school, with the teacher as its head and inspiration, may no longer be the focus of the growing social awareness of the older boys and girls. It should be recognised by the teachers in rural modern secondary schools that this danger must be deliberately faced and overcome. It can be overcome if the secondary school teachers set themselves to know at first-hand not only the village environment from which their pupils are recruited, but also the people who live and work in the villages. Only in this way, indeed, can mutual confidence be established and maintained.

The urban school

No less than the school in a rural area, the school which serves an urban population has the same three obligations. It also, in its very different context, has the three-fold duty of interpreting and complementing its environment, and, if possible, of resisting influences which are harmful. Some broad assessment of the environment is, therefore, essential.

The urban environment:
the dominant background is man-made and man-controlled

In the towns of today it is easy to have varied contacts with human beings at one end of the scale and with things inanimate at the other, but relatively difficult to experience at first hand a wide range of living things. Civilisation rests on mechanism, and life is linked by communication - a relationship of speech and movement, and not as in the country one of organic growth. Variety in towns depends largely on the presence of a host of men and women, and of things man-made and man-controlled.

The special facilities of the town and city

For this reason opportunities for development in taste, in the ability to find one's own way among people and places, in making a right choice between various goods and pleasures, come more frequently and pointedly into the life of the town-dweller than into that of the country-man. The facilities of any town are many and varied, including cinemas, shops, greyhound-racing tracks, football matches and other exhibitions of sport. In London there is

[page 36]

almost unlimited scope for becoming acquainted with the great arts, particularly drama and painting, and provincial cities are comparatively rich in what they can offer through libraries and museums, and in the larger cities, theatres and concert-halls. If the smaller towns will set themselves to provide the buildings, to make their libraries spacious centres which people will go out of their way to visit and use; if they will make their museums places not stuffed with dead relics, but living and changing illustrations of various aspects of knowledge and achievement; if they will use the Arts Council to establish themselves as centres of art: then they too, can immeasurably enrich both the lives of their people, and the means available for their children's education.

Contact between people
produces what is highest in urban civilisation

Above all in the towns there are the people. Social qualities and intellectual awareness are born of the contact of mind with mind, and are refined by the constant exercise of discrimination, which at its highest produces what is best in all highly civilised communities. So important for the growth of knowledge is the opportunity for people to interchange ideas. that all great civilisations have been, without exception, urban, though never before so divorced from agrarian life as the great industrial cities of today.

First-hand experience
in an urban environment

In contrast to the country, then, the urban environment is dominated by man, and by the things he has himself made. But the principles for using the environment in education are the same as they are in the country, though the available material differs. If in interpreting this environment the approach is to be from the concrete to the abstract it is again the familiar surroundings that will provide the starting-place for knowledge. An arch, for example, is the introduction to one of the great leaps forward in human skill, and to the whole history of building from Egyptian pyramids, Greek temples and Roman aqueducts to the steel and concrete structures of today. The railway at the back of the house is a historic event, probably responsible for the fact that the house is there at all. The chairs, tables, cups and saucers, paint, bricks, glass, wood, are witnesses to a great inheritance of knowledge and an extremely complex man-made society.

The romance of industry
and commerce: knowledge of what has gone
to the making of things should breed respect for human endeavour

The fact that shops, even in these days, show goods from all over the world, is not merely a short entry to the teaching of geography but an epic of courage, endeavour and organisation. A ship docking is as romantic today as ever it was; the chimneys of a power station, the furnaces and retorts or a great works, are monuments both to the knowledge amassed by man, to his physical capacity to dominate his environment, and a warning of the spiritual effort which is needed if the physical environment he creates is not to dominate him. An approach made in this way, surveying the environment from the point of view of man as engineer, artist, adventurer, merchant, is probably the one that will yield the best results from the study of neighbourhood in towns. By visits outside the immediate neighbourhood, through books and pictures,

[page 37]

cinema and radio, it can be extended to include not only the past, but the great contributions made by mankind in all parts of the world. A boy or girl so initiated into the adventure of the human race, so made aware of the effort that has gone to the making of the simplest things around him, cannot easily choose to become a destroyer rather than a creator, someone who takes out of life more than he puts into it.

Some urban schools
have begun to use their environments
successfully; but in general their difficulties are greater

A number of modern schools in urban areas are already using their special environment successfully in building up a suitable tradition of work. But the task of the teacher in the towns has its own peculiar difficulties. The assembly of knowledge needed to interpret the environment is far harder to come by, and will be, until industries set out to make themselves better appreciated by the non-technical, to make known the facts of their activities and development, and join in building up an understanding of the modern world which recognises the great inheritance of knowledge that has produced it. Nor have teachers' own education and training specifically prepared them to organise studies of this kind. Densely populated areas do not lend themselves to leisurely and persistent acquisition of knowledge at first hand: there are obstacles to roaming over a city or browsing in a factory. At present also teachers are deterred by having to apply beforehand for permission whenever they wish to take their pupils off school premises. Yet so often the starting place for fresh knowledge will be away from the school, and may be at a considerable distance. To explore an environment in any genuine sense of the term can only mean to go out into it, not once but many times.

The special difficulties of certain schools

Some schools are placed in an environment that makes their task especially difficult. It is a commonplace that the war has seen a great spread of interest in the arts, and in general the arts are beginning to be assigned a place and value throughout the community denied them by many previous generations in this country. It may, therefore, be worth while to consider for a moment what the visual arts gain or lose from the surroundings in which they are practised.

Some environments are
an impoverished background for the study of the visual arts

There is probably no environment under the sun that is entirely alien or inimical to art. Even so, there are places where anyone attempting the visual arts is much harder put to it to interpret significantly what he sees, and which can perhaps only yield to an artist capable of the adult emotions of compassion and irony. In the drearily repetitive industrial towns, and even in some of the new housing estates, there are whole areas governed by monotony; and along tracts of ribbon development such variety as there is has come about not by the deliberate planning of someone who is master of the rules of introducing variety, but in the absence of any plan at all. The materials employed in building have been used only because they were cheap; the use of them may be bogus and ill-informed, and dignity and

[page 38]

harmony entirely absent. There may be no single building, no church, no country house, within easy reach to recall the great traditions of classic, gothic and Georgian, no single structure - a viaduct it might be - to illustrate the dignity of functional building on the grand scale. There may be not a picture, or a piece of sculpture worth looking at, and nothing that boys and girls see in the shops or their homes that is not mass-produced and either crudely utilitarian or basely embellished (often both). In such areas the schools are faced with making an almost superhuman effort not only to initiate their pupils into the great arts, but to build up, by the constant process of awareness and discrimination, the good taste in little things that will help to direct the choice of quite simple possessions, and so build up a personal harmony in the homes.

The schools are beginning
to give art its due place; but cannot,
by themselves, correct the results of the neglect of art in the past

Teachers are showing an increasing awareness of the value of art as a medium of education. In schools where there is this awareness, the effect is unmistakable. Given sufficient scope, a good teacher and his pupils can turn even an old and ugly building into a quite attractive home for the school. What the school might do for the community, however, is limited and hindered by the conditions of "un-art" in which so many of its pupils grow up. Existing conditions are due fundamentally to past and present disregard for beauty and artistic creation as elements in a complete life. Until this is recognised and art is restored to its proper place in the life of the community, judgments affecting the look of the things people use, and the houses they live in, the whole aspect of a neighbourhood, indeed, will be made with a poor sense of appreciation.

The one-income type of
neighbourhood is a drawback to understanding society as a whole

A limitation of another kind occurs in certain neighbourhoods. It is difficult for the child brought up in a town amongst a one-income group to gain an understanding of the complex structure of society, and to acquire the habit of serving the community at large, or of valuing its members for the different contributions they are making to the good of the whole. In areas of this type there is a code, and there are often deep loyalties. There are present an unselfishness, neighbourliness and brotherly love, whether between a gang or shift of men at work, or between one woman and another during a crisis in the home. But it is a fact that schools in many areas are faced with building up a community sense in the absence of a community. A visit to see the town council at work will, of itself, do little to create appreciation of the human qualities that make for good or bad government, and of the ties that bind society as a whole. Unless the habit of working, and thinking, for the community is bred in the life of the school it is not likely to be bred outside.

The difficulties of
the school placed in a slum

Most serious of all there are areas where squalor and overcrowding - unrelieved even by outdoor space and scope - may make a mockery of family life. It is not difficult to see how much a school placed in an area with

[page 39]

poor homes will have to transcend its environment and create within itself a community of good living; or how much tact and human sympathy will be needed to keep such a community in right relationship with the homes.

The less desirable characteristics
of the urban environment generally. The mechanical
side of urbanism may produce a superficial sense of values

Apart from such special drawbacks, the urban environment as a whole has other characteristics which are quite as important to recognise and guard against. The size of the modern city, its dependence upon mechanical means for its survival, may promote a sense of values that is partial, and all too far removed from the primary sources of life to be healthy. Trams, trains, the delivery-van, the arrival of milk in bottles, the noisy streets, all accustom a young mind to a mechanical form of living. The more popular amusements show the same characteristic; they are mechanically produced in a commercialised atmosphere. This is not to say that the mechanical is in itself bad. The goodness or badness depends on the attitude towards it and the use made of it. But unless a child is bred in an atmosphere of discrimination it may well be that he sees only the less creditable side of this urban culture. The artificial is bad if it is regarded as real - still more if it is regarded as the whole of the real, Superficiality, the slick attitude and the ready-made judgment are lively dangers, especially among the immature and the half-educated. And there is a deeper danger still, the tension which is set up in the lives of many, especially girls, by the ever-rising demands of their own circle of acquaintances, and the growing dissatisfaction which results from inability to maintain or keep pace with the alleged progress, in clothes, manners, make-up, which their contemporaries affect.

The industrial town of today is the product of
an age which set itself to produce things rather than to cultivate people

The industrial town of today is also the product of an age in which science and the use of mechanical power developed far more quickly than human ability to grasp the outcome of the new knowledge. It busied itself with producing things, not with cultivating people, and producing them in such quantity that its goods swamped all markets and broke through the great tradition of culture that preceded it. It enormously increased the possessions and comforts of the many; but it also produced the vulgarity, meanness and squalor of the modern urban environment. It is one of the immense tasks of modern education to try to separate out what is worth preserving in the new civilisation from what must be discredited and replaced.

The urban school has its own problem to face
in complementing its surroundings and establishing right standards

The urban school has then its own problem to face in complementing its surroundings. Its synthesis will be of a different kind from that of the rural school because the elements in the given environment are different. But its objectives are the same: to establish standards and to see that its pupils are introduced to a satisfactory range of experience; and to build up within itself a way of living that is a silent criticism of what is unworthy

[page 40]

in the surroundings outside. On the new housing estates the problem of the school is not in some ways as formidable as it is in the older urban areas: the houses are likely to have gardens, and the school itself an "estate" and scope for leading the community in the discovery of a desirable way of living. It is also true that some new urban schools in the older townships are pleasant and attractive places; it is equally true that the majority of such schools are as unlovely and soulless as the streets in which they were built thirty or fifty or even seventy years ago.

Enriching the
experience of the urban school child

Yet if the poverty, drabness and monotony in which urban children so often live are to be relieved, colour, beauty, things living and growing must be brought into the urban school, by pictures, paint, gardens and any other possible means, so that to the man-made wealth of the town may be added the natural riches of the life of the country. And if environment is considered in its widest sense, then public parks, and gardens and seasonal camps can all be accounted a part of environment, and used to give children some insight into the basis of country life, and what the country might have to offer them in the way of experience and recreation, and as they grow older, quietude.

The aim again is
"wholeness" in education

As with the rural school the aim is to be found in the word "wholeness". Each of the two environments, urban and rural, has its contribution to make to the other. Not until what is valuable in the one is added to the other will the life of the growing child show that fullness and all-round development which is the ideal of education.



The change from school to employment

Though many boys and girls look forward to their new life at work with eagerness, and most, we are inclined to think, enter it without obvious shock, the change is a great one. It is, first of all, a change from a sheltered to an unsheltered (or at least a less sheltered) life. The child leaves the school-community, which he understands, for a different and wider community much of which must be strange to him. Standards of behaviour and speech which the school, and perhaps the home, imposed are no longer safeguarded; he (or she) is subjected to longer working hours, shorter holidays, many fewer chances for recreation, and a general narrowing of activities. He finds himself an insignificant part of a large organisation directed to purposes of which he may know little or nothing. Most of the people he is associated with are older than himself; the discipline he is subjected to is of a different kind; his work is circumscribed but has to be done promptly and according to instructions. At the same time - outside

[page 41]

working hours at any rate - he acquires a new independence with an income of his own; when juvenile workers are scarce, as they are now, and are likely to continue to be, he quickly realises that he may not be so unimportant as he seemed at first; and after two or three years his income may be larger compared with his needs and with his contribution to his maintenance than at any other period of his life. The change, therefore, is bound to be important.

The change varies with circumstances

It does not follow, however, that it need be a shock. School leavers usually have a fairly clear notion, derived from older brothers and sisters, or friends, or from observation of their surroundings, of what is involved. They are expecting to go to work, often eager to leave school for employment. The degree of shock or disturbance will vary with individual circumstances. For a country-bred boy going into farming, employment may clash less with the habits and interests of the home than school did; on the other hand school and home may have collaborated harmoniously in producing a happy environment with which most employments offer a sharp contrast. Comparatively few school-leavers take advantage of the opportunities to continue their education voluntarily in evening classes. This may be due partly to the fatigue of the day's work. But it does also suggest that, if any shock is experienced at the change from school to employment, it is not always because schooling has been found particularly attractive.

The adolescent
should be assisted to adjust himself

Though a child may be glad to escape from the real or imagined restraints of school, he may yet find entering industrial employment a disturbing experience. Every endeavour should be made, for the sake of both physical and mental health, to help the young worker to adjust himself or herself to the conditions of the new life, and to control those conditions so as to help a boy or girl to develop normally.

The personal attitude of those
responsible for his training is of the greatest importance

During the initial stage of employment the most important factor governing the happiness of the new recruit to industry or commerce will be the attitude towards him of the person with whom he is put to work. This will outweigh any general efforts a firm may make to render the transition easy. The behaviour of some men towards youths who are attached to them is so different from the way in which, one supposes, they would treat children of their own, as to emphasise how necessary it is to select carefully those who are to be given immediate responsibility for directing juvenile employees. At this age there is great natural enthusiasm for new experiences and response to opportunities, however petty, which offer status and prestige and enhance self-esteem. These qualities must be stimulated and satisfied as much as possible, for if they are thwarted and stultified by thoughtless and inconsiderate treatment at the beginning they may not reappear.

[page 42]

A boy or girl should be given
varied experience and an all round
appreciation of the concern of which he or she is a member

When the first excitement of the change from school to employment has passed - and a very important part of this excitement is the new sense of economic independence - the intelligent juvenile may find that he is inferior in skill or status or earning power to some in his own or other work groups, and this raises two matters of importance. One is that he should be given some insight into the organisation and purposes of the concern of which he is a new member, and of the significance of what he is first given to do. His interest and a sense of loyalty and pride will be aroused by learning something of the history and achievements of the industry and the concern in which he is engaged. This involves attention to a second point, namely that he should be given a varied experience before being assigned for a long spell to anyone of the firm's activities. The trend of industrial development is towards a breaking down of complex jobs into small operations, each requiring limited breadth of training. For many of these operations juvenile recruits are capable enough, and can soon learn the work; and there can be no doubt that many, girls particularly, are content to settle down to their first type of job. Yet few things can be more depressing to youthful enthusiasm, initiative and morale than staying too long in a single limited occupation, and it is of the greatest importance that employers should arrange for all their young workers to gain experience of a number of operations in as systematic a manner as conditions permit.

Learning rather than earning:
the employment of juveniles merely
as cheap labour can no longer be tolerated

The period of employment up to the age of eighteen must be regarded as primarily one of learning, though the fact that it is also a period of earning contributes to the growth of a sense of responsibility. The duties of foremen and others in charge of young workers need recognition and emphasis. A higher level of education is required in this supervisory class - an education which has regard to their important social function and not only to their technical ability. The employment of juveniles as cheap labour can no longer be tolerated; in the long run it has not been to the advantage of industry itself. Whether or not the individual is conscious of the effects of that policy on himself and reacts against it, it frustrates and may stultify his development to an extent which, in its own interests, industry cannot afford. The young workers, when they come to be employed as adults, may no longer require the all-round skill of their predecessors, but what they will require is a greater degree of adaptability to changes of industrial technique. Even if many have less scope for initiative, their work will require a more widespread sense of responsibility to the whole of which they are a part.

How far can the aims
of training for employment and education coincide?

The ability of the young workers to fit themselves into their new environment will be influenced by their education, and the needs of this new

[page 43]

environment will have had some influence in determining what kind of education it was they had. We have therefore to ask ourselves how far the needs of industry (using that word to cover all forms of money-making activity) prescribe the aims of education and how far, if the primary aims of education are given by other considerations, systematic education can serve the needs of industry, including of course agriculture, without departing from its own proper purpose.

(i) The Schools and Employment

The variety and frequent changes of
occupation make specific school training for employment impracticable

Schools can prepare their pupils for industry only to a very limited degree, because it is in practice almost impossible to do more and would be highly undesirable on the ground of educational principle. The practical objection to basing education on the needs of the scholar's future employment is the variety and frequent change of occupations, and rapidity of technical change. The Census classifies nearly 40,000 occupations, and, although these can be grouped into a limited number of industries and trades, the diversity of qualifications called for remains so wide that school-training could not possibly be adapted to produce them.

Tables at the end of the
chapter give the numbers employed,
and the proportion of juveniles, in various occupations

A broad grouping of this kind is given in three tables - based on the most recent Population Census available, for 1931 - attached to this chapter. In Table I are given the total figures of the population, classified by sex and whether they are married, and whether they are employed, which brings out the great difference between the two sexes in the amount of their life spent in industry. In Table II the more important occupations are put separately in two columns, classified again by sex. In the first group, A, are a number of occupations common to many industries and carried on in all or most localities; in the second, B, are more specialised occupations confined to industries producing an output far in excess of local needs, and providing the means by which every locality pays for whatever it draws from outside its borders - a large proportion of its goods. Table III illustrates the extent to which different branches of industry employ juvenile labour.

The second table suggests that a limited amount of specialised instruction for the purpose of employment (as much as would be required by the industries in the first group, and by the stable and permanent element in the second group) would be practicable in schools. It cannot, however, be assumed that even this degree of specialisation would be easy.

Changes in industrial requirements rule out
even a limited amount of specific school training for employment

There is the difficulty of the frequent change in occupations caused by alterations in the country's economic effort. In the present century agriculture and textiles have declined, the metal industries have enormously expanded; coal-mining grew very rapidly and has contracted as rapidly, while the building industries have done exactly the opposite; the new industries

[page 44]

created by the internal combustion engine and electro-technical developments have become of great importance, the service industries (distribution, transport, amusements, professions) have grown rapidly, though domestic service, if larger in 1931 than in 1921, was smaller than in 1911. The experience of the depressed areas between the wars shows how dangerous it would be to make education conform to the requirements of local industry. Again, the industries which produce for other than the local market affect those which depend on the prosperity of the neighbourhood. If a coalfield declines, the local shop-keepers and builders are worse off; if the mills in a textile village lose their foreign market and are unable to find a new outlet, the whole village is depressed; so that if the primary aim of education was to fit boys and girls for employment in local industries, children might be turned out into a world in which the employment they had been prepared for was no longer there, and they would have to seek employment in other places or in different industries.

It is also common for
young people themselves to change from their first employment

If it is difficult to forecast the general changes in industry, it is equally difficult to forecast the future of any individual. Probably a minority of people stay in the occupation they go into on leaving school*; even if they are not forced by the decline of the industry where they are first employed to make a change, they are quite likely to be drawn away by new developments. Many occupations call for a sturdy body or other personal qualifications which an adolescent does not possess; many again offer fairly high pay for a task which a youth can perform as well as an adult, but which does not lead to an adult's wage and a permanent career. Apart from promotion in the same industry, it is common for young people to change their occupation between the first job and settling down in industry.

The conclusion is that industry
should provide its own special training
which should complement the work of the schools

The difficulty of knowing what a child is going to do should not be exaggerated. Most school-leavers can choose only within a limited range - wide in the large towns where there are many industries, narrow in rural or mining areas. Freedom of choice is further limited by the wishes and status of parents, or by many occupations needing a general education carried to a higher age than fourteen or fifteen. But the variety of the demands for special skills and training is so great that it would be virtually impossible to meet them all. The conclusion to which we are led is that there are things to be known, skills which can be generally applied, and methods of putting knowledge together which are of value in many, if not all, occupations; and these a school system may well help to provide: but special training for special work must probably always be given by industry itself, though the school education may at some stage be of use to it.

*This can be inferred from the change in the percentage distribution of occupied persons between different industries and occupations at successive ages, and is confirmed by special enquiries. e.g, Disinherited Youth (Carnegie Trust) Ch. II; Scientific Vocational Guidance (City of Birmingham Education Committee) pages 25-37.

[page 45

The objectives of
education and employment differ

Even if the practical difficulties could be overcome, the principle of basing school-education primarily on the needs of industry is bad. The objects of education and employment are not the same. The object of education is men and women; industry aims at producing coal and textiles, breakfast cereals and cinema films, newspapers and cosmetics, and other economic goods. The object of employment is the product; in education it is the process that matters. In industry the worker is part of a process ending in goods; in education he is an end in himself. This means that the industrial organisation of which a worker forms a part will not be concerned with the claims of the whole man, which education develops, and it would be surprising if industry could ever supply a full education.

Under modern industrial conditions the routine character
of much work sets a strict limit to all-round development

There is nothing new in all this; there has always been a vast amount of work to be done which was dull or exhausting. New technical discovery is continuously reducing the strain; in agriculture as an obvious instance, the amount of repetition, the proportion of very heavy toil, and the amount of gangwork carried out under the eye of the foreman, have all declined. The flail gave way to the thresher a hundred years ago and the reaper replaced the sickle soon after. Today the manure-spreader, the milking machine and many other inventions are steadily reducing the back-breaking and the routine work, and, at the same time, demanding more intelligence from the worker. But it does not follow that technical advance makes industrial work more interesting. The creative element which makes work its own reward is only a small part of the whole: most work, now as always, has to be compensated by payment. Further, modern industry, by reducing hours and the physical strain of work, while if anything increasing its automatic or routine character, gives rise to a demand for leisure-interests, and to a need for education which will give scope for all-round development. At the same time it makes it economically possible to satisfy this need.

But the requirements of
education and industry may at points coincide

The educationalist, then, cannot look to industry to define the objects and content of education. Having asserted once for all that the purely educational aim must come first, we can safely turn to our second question, and consider how far industry's needs are compatible with an education directed in the first instance to the development of the child. If a part of formal education can serve a double purpose, both bringing out the student's aptitudes and powers and fitting him for a place in industry, it would obviously be folly not to take advantage of this. It will be clear from a number of considerations that this may be possible.

The basic skills acquired at
school are also needed in employment

Thus, at the highest level of formal education, it has always been accepted as proper that education should prepare for the professions. The faculties of Law, Theology and Medicine are as old as the faculty of Arts and older

[page 46]

than that of Science in our universities. There is sometimes a clash between the claims of the professions and those of scientific education; but in general it is accepted, on the basis of long experience, that if professional needs are broadly served their subject-matter is suitable for higher education. Similarly in the earlier stages much that is taught at school would still be taught if the object were mainly to train for industry. Elementary mathematics, the use of English, recording facts, some manual training, while called for in most occupations, would in any event be included at school. Early education is bound to contain a large amount of what might be called "instrumental studies" - of skills needed for further study. There is no stage at which these cannot be acquired in connection with "practical" work, which gives the learner an experience of mastering knowledge at first-hand. These skills are also required by industry - reading, writing, measurement, calculation, the clear use of language - and can be adapted to industry not only without educational loss, but often with increased interest: most students find a subject easier and more interesting if they realise where it leads to in practice.

Education has also a bearing on a
special need of industry - the need for a higher standard of design

Education has an obvious bearing on a special need of industry, the need for a higher standard of design in the applied arts. This need has been officially recognised as an important matter of public policy; both government and industry are now planning to contribute substantial sums of money in order to meet it. But the standard of industrial art is governed by the level of education and taste of the public, both as producers and consumers. Our deficiencies in this respect are due to something more fundamental than the lack of talented and experienced designers; for the supply of actual or potential talent in industrial art is probably well in excess of present demand. They are due fundamentally to past and present neglect of the need for beauty and of the desire to create beauty.

The importance to industry of attractive
schools and of good teachers of art and crafts needs to be stressed

Where homes, schools and factories are ugly, the level of industrial art must tend to be low. Improvement in these three common features of the urban landscape is the surest way to improve the whole standard of industrial design. Unfortunately, the school has too often been the last of the three to be improved, though often the one most in need of improvement. Ideally, the school should be one of the most attractive buildings in the town or village, and the user and exhibitor of the best contemporary design. There are a few shining examples. But even where this ideal cannot be achieved in our generation, much can be accomplished without enormous expense. For example, a little grass and garden for urban schools is not an expensive luxury. Good teachers in art and crafts will certainly create throughout the school a keen, critical and practical interest in design, dispelling the notion that art is a high-falutin' luxury unrelated to ordinary life. (The, notion, indeed, is more easily dispelled among young children than among teachers and parents.) The many valuable suggestions made by experts* concern-

*e.g. in the Ministry of Education Pamphlet No.6 on "Art Education", and in the useful review given in "The Visual Arts", Chapter VI, published by P.E.P., 1946.

[page 47

ing the function and technique of training in art and crafts as a part of al general education cannot be reviewed here; but the long term importance of such training to industry as well as to the life of the individual should certainly be stressed, and gifted teachers who can undertake this vital part. of education are particularly needed at present.

Education can, and should, also foster
certain qualities in demand by industry and agriculture

It is possible to take the matter even further. While schools cannot provide the special training for particular jobs which industry provides for itself, there are capacities and qualities, called for by industry, which education can well develop without any sacrifice of its own aims. The adaptability of industry depends on a much higher level of what we have called "instrumental studies" than the elementary schools could have aimed at, a level which can properly be aimed at in secondary education. To the three Rs, have now to be added the ability to understand complicated instructions, to read drawings, to use a slide rule, and to handle delicate instruments. While the old type of apprentice training is less required, there is, an equal if not greater need of workers who can take responsibility for a job - a more important distinction than manual skill. These may not have the skill of their predecessors, but have to be trusted with appliances and materials worth perhaps thousands of pounds. Again, certain qualities which are social as much as industrial are called for. Regular time-keeping becomes more important as processes are combined and the different parts of a concern depend more on one another; precision on the part of the worker goes with scientific equipment; persistence, speed and accuracy in an uninteresting job may be important. There is nothing uneducational in training for such qualities. Industry itself helps to produce them. But its success in taking full advantage of scientific and technological advance depends on a level of education among workers which industry by itself does not produce. In general the great need of modern industry is to have workers who are adaptable. Design, the study and testing of materials, construction of ever more elaborate and delicate equipment, cannot have their effect unless workers who are tending the machines, and those who supervise the processes, can adapt themselves to new ways. At the present time there is a special need of adaptability, since the country is turning over from war to peace, and will probably have to effect a great re-distribution of its workers among occupations in adjusting itself to lasting changes, due to the war, to the decline of old industries and the rise of new. The greatest thing which the schools can do for industry is to provide a good general education to as high an age as is practicable.

On the other hand, a technical
element in education may enhance the
interest of a subject for certain girls and boys

The principle, then, is clear. The aims of education are given by the purpose of man, which is to be more than an instrument of production. But production is a necessary part of man's activities, essential to social life; preparation for it is a proper object of education so long as it does not interfere with the prior claims of the full development of individual

[page 48]

personality. In many cases, as the higher professions show, this preparation can afford an adequate content for education. For many children a technical element, just because it is practical, may enhance the interest of a subject; for all classes of student there will be much of value for their after-career in industry, which will provide as good a medium as any for an entirely disinterested education. The danger to be avoided is that of subordinating the whole personality to a narrow conception of industry's needs; there is no objection on educational grounds to bringing into education anything of intrinsic interest by way of subject-matter or process that industry can provide. Nor need we do anything but welcome the fact that many of the normal objectives of education are essential also to a progressive industry.

Use of relevant material from
industry and agriculture is of particular
importance at the later stages of full-time education

The principle thus laid down has a particular relevance to the later stages of full-time education. The system is already established of transferring children for the post-primary years of school to some form of secondary school according to their differing aptitudes. While the traditional curriculum and methods of the older endowed schools may continue to meet the needs of many, the majority of children will be attending secondary schools which do not belong to this tradition. The end to be aimed at in these schools should be as purely educational as that of the grammar schools; but industry may well suggest something both of subject and of method, which will help rather than hinder their efforts. And in all schools it should be recognised that much of our language must always be minted afresh to include new knowledge and experience; improvement in written English is likely to result from giving boys arid girls more first-hand knowledge than the schools have so far given them, and for this acquaintance with industry may be very valuable.

The value of the practical element

There are also in all types of secondary schools many children whose interest can best be excited and sustained by an element of practical use in what they are learning. Calculations which are meaningless in themselves come to life when they are needed for a problem in construction, or agriculture, or navigation. Local industries may provide valuable educational material just because they are local, and present homely examples of the application of science, and other systematic studies, to actual problems. This utilitarian appeal is not to be despised; it is linked with the desire to create. It is not merely the utility of the toys, small pieces of furniture, or garden implements, which gives the satisfaction boys derive from a well-run workshop, but the feeling that they have created something. The importance of design in many industries should also add to the interest of the teaching of Art.

And of learning by doing

Again many people learn more readily by using their hands, or their powers of observation, than from reading books or listening to other people talking. They must be taught to read and to use books if they are to fit into a modern community; but as means of education there should also be

[the following plates appeared between pages 48 and 49]

A school for older children

By courtesy of the Architectural Review.

As it should be. Good furniture and equipment

By courtesy of the British Council.

A club. Youth studies town planning

By courtesy of Fox Photos Ltd.

Absorbed in acquiring technical knowledge

By courtesy of Newton, Chambers and Co. Ltd.

[page 49]

room, in the later stages of full-time schooling and afterwards, for practice in, for instance, the use of tools, of the lathe, or the potter's wheel; room too for the development and refinement of the pupil's interest in natural history, or gardening, in some hobby, or even in some local industry. We have had evidence that opportunities for such work afforded by a modern school in a rural area have a high educational value for many pupils, a value independent of any influence the work may have in preparing them for employment in agriculture or making them want to seek such work.

The study of local industry for the purpose
of choosing a job can also be made a valuable educational experience

At the same time it is a desirable objective in the later years of school life to prepare boys or girls for independent life in the wider community, of which industry is an important part. Some introduction to the scope and working of local industry and agriculture will help them to choose their employment; it can be made interesting in itself and illuminating as an approach to the study of society.

These questions of curriculum have, we know, been the subject of expert report by our predecessors.* We do not wish to go over ground already worked, and refer to them only to insist on the importance for our own enquiry of the educational value of much that helps the school child towards later employment. We have no sympathy with proposals which would result in the schools turning out narrow specialists; we do claim a place, in the later stages of education, for interests which may have a vocational importance but are also likely to appeal to and stimulate minds which find dull the traditional studies of English secondary education.

Consideration should
be given to training in adaptability

Before leaving the question of what can be done in the schools, two aspects of employment already referred to - the need for adaptability and the fact that much work is routine work - require further comment. Adaptability is not easy to define: but it implies a training in the powers of observation and deduction, an alert mind, and willingness to tackle something new; and in the practical field, manual dexterity. How these qualities are to be developed we do not attempt to lay down; they are not necessarily produced by training in anyone craft; but they seem to call for the kind of education given by handling tools and instruments in a variety of novel situations, probably through making something the pupil himself wants to make.

And to education for leisure,
as a compensation for routine industrial work

The deadening routine of much industrial work makes it important to see that people have compensating interests and activities. We might reasonably look to education to provide an attractive introduction to the arts, to the chief branches of liberal studies, and to creative leisure occupations and healthy outdoor pursuits. The large amount of money spent on gambling and purely passive forms of recreation by industrial workers implies the failure of education, perhaps in the past inevitable. This, however, may be more the concern of further education, and of the relation of further education to industry.

*The Secondary School: Report of the Consultative Committee, H.M.S.O. 1938. (The Spens Report.)

[page 50]

(ii) Further Education and Employment

Further education and industry. The aim of
all-round development still holds good at this stage

In the past there has been the broad practical distinction that continued education was voluntary, and therefore far from universal. In future there will be some compulsory continued education at county colleges. The nature of this education is defined in the Act (43.1) as "such further education, including physical, practical and vocational, as will enable (the pupils) to develop their various aptitudes and capabilities and will prepare them for the responsibilities of citizenship." It is clear that, although some teaching will be practical and vocational, the object of this further education is identical with that of full-time schooling. The principles we have already discussed will apply with equal force. The county colleges should aim at continuing what has been begun at earlier stages. Their object is the all-round development of the pupil; but there will be the same reasons for taking advantage of any appeal which either the methods or the subject-matter of industry has for their pupils, to link their work in the college with their occupation outside.

The needs of industry for specific
training are met by vocational classes, which
should have close links with the work of the county colleges

The most direct link in industry must, however, be with the specifically vocational classes, however provided. These are the response which the educational system properly makes to the special needs of industry. They are no substitute for liberal education; on the other hand, they do not clash with it, and may very well be co-ordinated with it in such a way that both perform their purpose more effectively. However specific their vocational purpose, they can be scientific in approach, concentrating on fundamental elements in the crafts or processes they teach, and giving wide education in methods of tackling work. In this way they will meet the general manual and science teaching of the county college. Similarly, by including some treatment of the social organisation and outer relations of the industries they train for, they will fit in with the county college's aim of preparing its students for their responsibilities as citizens. It will be inevitable in many cases, and convenient and desirable in most, to carry on some voluntary vocational education in the same buildings as, or in buildings next to, the county colleges. This reflects the community of aim. The vocational classes will necessarily have a closer connection with industry, and their curriculum may be more narrowly practical; but, as we have already pointed out, the practical application of an intellectual process may have a high educational value, so that similar studies will be included in non-vocational schools. Moreover a proportion of those who attend technical schools and classes have no vocational object in view, but are cultivating tastes or fitting themselves for leisure occupations which carry their reward in themselves.

Compulsory further education should
provide opportunities for consolidating and extending general education

Turning from these general considerations, we would now draw attention to certain practical consequences for industry of extending general educa-

[page 51]

tion beyond the school-leaving age. The compulsory (and therefore universal) attendance will provide an opportunity for detecting and remedying some of the failures of the earlier education. Industry requires a staff with a certain minimum of educational acquirements, and the standard required is constantly rising; yet there are still quite a number of entrants to industry who lack these qualifications, and even are illiterate. The only satisfactory remedy, it may be, is an improvement of primary education; but pending the necessary reforms, further education has a useful supplementary function to perform in teaching reading, writing, etc., if former schooling has not succeeded in doing so effectively.

The purpose of works schools is different;
but their experience should be studied in making plans for county colleges

Just as in planning its work the county college should know what is being done in vocational classes, so it should know what is being done in works schools. Some of these have been in existence for years, and the suggestion has been made that they should be recognised as doing the work of further education. We do not agree. We recognise the good work that has been done in some of them; but their aims are more related to the needs of the particular works and industry rather than to the wider purpose of the county college. Ideally there is room for both the county college and the works school, the first to continue the general development of the student, the second to ease the transition from school, and to supplement the general education by specific preparation for the new job. Few firms, however, even in manufacturing industry, are large enough to maintain works schools; some important branches of economic life consist of small dispersed firms, as for example, retail distribution, agriculture, and building, to mention only the largest; so that it would be difficult to make exceptions to the rule of universal compulsory attendance. Nevertheless the experience of works schools should be studied in making plans for county colleges, and the two brought into as close co-operation as practicable.

Attendance at the county college: the day
a week versus the block period. Possible advantages of the block period

Attendance at county colleges creates an administrative problem. It would suit the convenience of most highly organised large-scale factories best, if their workers attended continuously for eight weeks once a year, or for four weeks twice a year, rather than one day a week or two half-days a week. The task of organising juvenile labour, if a different group disappeared every day of the week, would be very difficult; on the other hand it would be comparatively easy to arrange to release a group for two months or a month. The Act permits the latter arrangement. Moreover, it is likely to be made for certain boys and girls independently of industry's convenience; in sparsely populated agricultural areas it is difficult to see how otherwise the Act could be carried out. There is another possible advantage to be set against the disadvantages of the break between further education and primary and secondary education which the block period arrangement would involve. If the teacher is given a group of students for a continuous period of two months, or even one, especially in a boarding school, he can frame his plans accordingly; there would be a gain in concentration to set against the loss of continuity.

[page 52]

Advantages of the day-a-week. Some
combination of the day-a-week with the block period may be desirable

On the other hand, one of the most valued social objectives of compulsory further education is to continue the influence of school into adolescence, the age when the student enters upon employment and much else as well. The habits which full-time schooling should have given - of interest in and application to studies, of discipline and social behaviour - are more likely to disappear if there is a complete breach in educational life, lasting for months. Compulsory attendance at a county college will also make it possible to supervise the health of boys and girls during adolescence - a very important point. Supervision is more difficult to arrange if the students are dispersed at school-leaving age, and re-assembled only at intervals of six months or a year, though it is certainly not impossible. Experiments should be made with both arrangements, or possibly some combination of the two, and the results compared.

Certain training can only be
carried out through employers, and it is
important that their attitude should be an educational one

Attendance at the county colleges will, it is hoped, do much to carry over into employment the ideals and loyalties of a school community; but much can be done only in the works. The young worker must learn how technical matters fit in with the purpose of his firm and industry; how these contribute to his new environment and experience; how processes are carried out and related to each other; how instruction is fitted in with work done in the ordinary course of production; these and the mutual comprehension by learners and supervisors of each other's wants and intentions, all point to the need of an educational attitude on the part of employers towards new entrants. Most firms are too small to maintain works schools; nevertheless it is possible for the smallest employer to adopt a sympathetic attitude to the educational needs of adolescent workers; if he does, he may be able to devise some co-operative arrangement with other small employers for providing the right training (including a sufficient variety of technical experience) for his young workers, or, without this, himself to ensure that they are helped to understand their new environment and to fit themselves to a satisfactory life in it.

Training in industry: works schools
are no substitute for county colleges.
Employers should concentrate on the specific training of their recruits

We came to the conclusion that the works school, important as it is in its own sphere, was no substitute for the county college because there is a danger, even under the most broadminded industrial management, of too limited a view of interests and of loyalties. It would be better for industry in general to concentrate on the perfecting of its arrangements for the reception, practical training and upgrading of its recruits, than to attempt to perform a function for which it is not well suited. The relative merits and deficiencies in these respects of different firms will be acutely commented upon when groups of juveniles meet together, and the comparisons will be reflected in the ease or difficulty with which firms attract young recruits.

[page 53]

Present importance of
higher technical training, particularly in engineering

In contrast with the restricted skill which will be required of most workers, those who are to be responsible for devising, developing, and organising and carrying out the manufacture of new tools of production will need wider and more lengthy education and training. Our future national prosperity and security rest largely on what this group achieves, and not least upon the skill and resource of our engineering craftsmen. It is to be hoped that the new system of secondary education will ensure a broader assessment of individual talents, and that it will lead, in particular, to a better selection of potential craftsmen, and help this class to attract the public recognition its services warrant.

The value of all-round training

The interesting suggestion has been made that no apprentice under eighteen years of age should work under a system of payment by results, on the grounds that this is likely to detract from the educative value of his experience. The provision of an all-round training at this particular level, which is the object aimed at, could - and would only be intended to - cater for a small proportion of juveniles; but besides being sound educationally it would help to prevent the wastage which might otherwise occur among these craftsmen who are so vitally important to industry.

Two new factors influencing recruitment: the extension
of the Juvenile Employment Service, including vocational guidance

We are encouraged by two new factors in employment to hope that employers generally will take the view of their responsibilities which we have suggested is necessary. The first is the system of juvenile employment guidance developed by local education authorities and the local agencies of the employment division of the Ministry of Labour. At present the provision for guidance throughout the country varies enormously; in some areas the service, including a well-developed system of vocational guidance, functions in a comprehensive way; in others it can scarcely be said to function at all. It is now to be extended to all large urban areas, and adapted to the needs of rural areas. We have had evidence of the working of the system under favourable conditions, and are convinced that it makes it much easier than before to fit boys and girls into jobs in a way that meets both their needs and the needs of the community. We know how difficult it is to ensure openings for diversely gifted people in areas of sparse population or great local concentration on particular industries, such as mining. But the great majority of the population is to be found in areas in which a wide range of alternative occupations is within reach of any part of the area, and it should not be beyond the capacity of the country to arrange for transfer of juveniles when the alternative is their restriction to an uncongenial local industry. The subject has been reviewed by an authoritative committee under the chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, and it is unnecessary for us to go over the ground of their Report again.* We would only stress how important it is to have, first, an adequate staff of persons trained in modern methods of studying vocational aptitudes and requirements; secondly, good

*Report of the Committee on the Juvenile Employment Service. H.M.S.O. 1945. (The Ince Report.)

[page 54]

arrangements for keeping in touch with young workers after they have left school, so that guidance can be afforded them not only on their first choice of employment, but on each subsequent change until they are settled in an occupation in which as adults they can remain contented. This would involve a grading of employments and discrimination against purely "dead-end" occupations.*

And the approaching
shortage of juvenile workers

The other factor is the approaching shortage of juvenile workers. The Ince Committee quotes an estimate that within ten years the supply of workers under eighteen available for employment will be reduced to approximately half what it is today, by the raising of the school-leaving age and the introduction of compulsory further education at a time when the low birthrate of the 'thirties is beginning to have its effect. This shrinking in the number available will compel a more considerate use of juvenile workers. Those employers who co-operate with the Juvenile Employment Service and offer new entrants a comprehensive training leading to a permanent career, will not only attract the best of the workers available, but alone will be able to satisfy their own requirements; while employers who disregard the long-term interests of new entrants and treat them merely as cheap labour will meet with difficulties in staffing which they had no experience of before the war. The competition for juvenile labour will take place not only between firms but also between industries. Cases will recur in which an industry is short of recruits, but will invoke the assistance of public authorities to secure them; the reason for its difficulties may be that the conditions or prospects which it offers recruits are not good enough compared with other industries. The authorities, in such a case, may properly draw the attention of school-leavers to the openings offered; but it is important that they should exercise no pressure to accept them. The function of the Juvenile Employment service is guidance not direction.

*It has been pointed out to us that the same headings should be used by the "job analysis" experts as those recommended for general use in schools and juvenile employment offices.

[page 55]

Tables, based on the 1931 Census, showing the numbers employed, and the proportion of juveniles, in various occupations

Occupied and Unoccupied Population

Distribution of Workers in Chief Occupational Groups

[page 56]

Relative Importance of Juveniles in Chief Occupational Groups

[page 57]



Leaving school and going
to work means a new, independent life

A boy who goes out from school to work is going "out" in a metaphorical sense as well as a literal one. Up to that point in his life the groups or societies to which he has belonged may be called "compulsory" ones. That is to say, he has had no choice about belonging or not belonging to them. Without any free choice on his part he was born into a family, the fundamental social unit; without any free choice on his part he was sent to school and submitted to the influences of the fundamental educational unit. And all the time there has been, as the background of his life, the never-ceasing daily pressure of the physical and social environment in which he lives, of the newspaper, radio and cinema. In all these contexts he himself has been the person influenced, played upon by these forces whether he likes it or not, living essentially within a framework of the unavoidable.

The freedom of
choice that goes with wage earning

Now, as he goes out to work, a major change comes into his life. It is, of course, true that during his working hours he is under compulsion, he must do his job, he must carry out instructions, he must arrive at a stated time and stay until another stated time. But he now begins, in a sense which was not possible in his previous experience, to be an independent person. Fundamentally the difference is an economic one, symbolised by his pay-packet. He is a wage-earner. So he enjoys rights which he could not have before, and which he is usually not slow to claim. Inside his family his status is strikingly changed; and he naturally regards himself as a different being from the schoolboy of yesterday. Especially, in spite of the compulsory framework of his daily job, he now claims the freedom of choice outside his working hours to which he thinks his economic independence entitles him. Much more than hitherto he has time and money of his own, to spend as he will, at his own free choice.

Young people should be prepared
for the change in ways other than academic or technical

It is not to be expected that a change so big, both from the economic and from the social point of view, can be gone through without difficulty. This new freedom is often a heady drink, and some young heads cannot take it. The aggressiveness and self-assertiveness so often seen in the newly emancipated (and often no more than a form of whistling to keep one's courage up in unfamiliar surroundings) are symptoms of a maladjustment which it is the community's business to diagnose, and then to cure. It is not enough to prepare the young people scholastically, technically, vocationally, for their work in the world while neglecting to prepare them socially, personally and emotionally. For this will lead to tension, dissatisfaction and discontent, and finally, either disillusioned apathy, or breakdown and revolt. To prepare boys and girls for the revolution in their personal lives is no less an educational problem than it is to make them into efficient bank clerks, engineers or builders.

[page 58]

The education of the
adolescent means providing social opportunity

Thus the education of the adolescent means not only training him to be useful but also enlarging his knowledge of the world. To do this means giving him proper opportunity to widen his circle of friends and learn to get on with all kinds of people. The most significant activities of most people are those they share with others; they learn through the stimulus of other minds, they discover their own powers as they work with others, they grow in stature as persons as they find a place of value within a social group.

A sense of personal worth
built up both at work and in social groups

A child is usually taken for granted, and therefore mostly takes himself for granted, in the relationship of home and school. Now he grows less sure of himself as he begins to wonder what kind of a figure he will cut in the eyes of the world. This mood may come upon him slowly - with a girl probably more quickly - but sooner or later he will find the need to make new kinds of friends, to establish himself as a person who counts in a world that will give him no special consideration but judge him on his own merits, and in the light of these new experiences to re-think his whole attitude to his family. This new sense of personal worth and significance has to be built up mainly on the two experiences of achievement in work, and of "finding himself" as someone who counts in social groupings of his own choosing.

A good family makes social
opportunities for young people, but the conditions may be lacking

A good family, of course, provides its own contacts for young people going out into society. On the one hand the young are introduced to the groups to which the family belongs - whether church, institute, or sports club; and on the other the home itself is the place where they can bring their friends and develop companionship. Either way a young boy or girl is making his or her experiments in a situation where older people are there to give guidance, even though it is by no means always taken. But there are many who do not get this easy and gradual introduction to social life, because the family life is not embedded in a social community; and often also because the homes either cannot, or do not, welcome their friends. Restrictions on family life may be imposed by sheer practical limitations of house-space; but the isolated family unit occurs in the dormitory suburb and new housing estate. In a mass society the individual tends to be swamped, as one unit in a shifting crowd, and the chances are against the formation of stable social groups in which the young can discover themselves as they discover other people.

It is genuinely important, therefore, for him
to have the experience of belonging to a stable social group

It is, then, genuinely important for boys and girls when they have left school to have a chance to join (or to form) a social group, with a "room of their own" in which to meet; opportunity within it to enjoy what may be called the flavour of individuals, and to develop lasting friendships with either or both sexes: the stimulus of group activity, of working and playing,

[page 59]

arguing and laughing together; opportunity to work out their own plans and training in how to manage the affairs of their own society; the leadership of maturer people prepared to assist them in discovering what it feels like to be grown-up. It is often said that one of the most valuable elements in a university experience is the informal education which goes on through the arguments of friends and the deliberations of societies. Something approaching this sort of experience is needed for many more.

Varied opportunities for
joining groups and communities should be provided

The essence of the problem is to provide the opportunities for boys and girls to belong to groups and communities which they can of their own free will join or not join, and which having joined, they can leave of their own free choice. Voluntary membership is the essential feature. For, otherwise the youngster is back in the world of "compulsory" groups like the family and the school. Further, this free choice by the individual boy and girl must be safeguarded by deliberate restriction of policy to "providing the opportunities". It would be wrong to compel all young people to belong to such voluntary groups; indeed, the position has only to be stated in that form to demonstrate the absurdity of compulsion. Rather, the provision of opportunities must be of such wide scope, and the opportunities provided must be of such variety and of such high quality that the youngsters are genuinely attracted both to join and to stay. On that level, if it is ever reached, the free choice of boys and girls will be both safeguarded and satisfied. Within these conditions, what have we to show?

The "voluntary" youth organisations have
a good record: they have given very many boys and girls
opportunity to develop interests in common outside their compulsory activities

For more than half a century now devoted men and women have been labouring to provide just these opportunities. Such organisations as the Boys' Brigade, the Scouts and Guides, boys' clubs and girls' clubs, have a long and magnificent record of work in this field. They have provided for hundreds of thousands of boys and girls just the chance they needed to get together with their contemporaries in the prosecution of interests held in common. Those interests might be of an athletic, social or informally educational kind. Whatever the activities might be in detail, their point was that they should be voluntarily undertaken and complementary to the normal compulsory activities of the members.

And to learn the lessons of self-government

A third characteristic gradually and naturally developed - one which has come to be recognised as a mark of the worth of the society which encourages it - that there should be the fullest opportunity for the group of young people to manage their own affairs. In no other way can the lessons of self-government be so effectively learnt. Whether in a Scout patrol or in a girls' club dramatic group the lessons of mutual tolerance and corporate responsibility impress themselves in a way which in the "compulsory" society they never can. So these freely chosen groups have made a very substantial contribution to the fuller life of their members, and to a growing realisation of the duties and obligations of citizenship.

[page 60]

Developments of the Youth Service
from 1939. Action by the State: Circular 1486

But present circumstances demand more than can be offered by such organisations as those we have mentioned. (They are known, generically, as the "voluntary organisations", and without pausing to discuss the ambiguities of that description we are content to use it as a technical term in our present discussion). In the early days of the war it was recognised by the (then) Board of Education that the State had a responsibility for young people outside their hours of school or work. Accordingly, in 1939, the State for the first time explicitly made its influence felt in this sphere. Up to that time the voluntary organisations were almost alone in this work; if it was to be extended and regarded as a national responsibility there was plainly need for greater provision, in men, money and materials, than the resources the voluntary organisations could command. So the Board's Circular 1486 (The Service of Youth) issued in that year was a genuine new departure.

Circular 1486 made it the duty of L.E.A.s to
assist voluntary organisations, and, where needed, to provide clubs themselves

It is therefore the more important to be clear about what it did and what it did not do. It did not attempt to impose a rigid policy or a tidy administrative pattern on the work which was being done. Neither state control nor a standardised uniformity was either assured or desired. On the contrary, variety and spontaneity were encouraged. Circular 1486 laid on the local education authorities two obligations: first, they were to further, financially and in every other way, the work of the voluntary organisations in their areas; secondly, if after every help and support had been given to the voluntary organisations the provision still proved inadequate, they were themselves to enter this field, as, so to speak, retail providers, and open youth clubs of their own. From this it is clear that the Board recognised voluntary organisations as its agents in this field, and public money was to go to help the work of individual clubs, groups, associations and branches in the localities. But the Board also enjoined local education authorities themselves to make provision where this proved to be necessary.

It is increasingly recognised that
provision of leisure activities is a part of
education and is the responsibility of education authorities

Three major consequences have followed during the years since 1939, although two of them perhaps concern the administrative frame rather than what was done within it. First, it is now explicitly recognised - and increasingly so as time goes on - that this provision for the leisure-time activities of young people is a responsibility of the local education authorities. That is to say, the work of the clubs and other agencies is brought under the aegis of the statutory bodies responsible for education. The Act of 1944 has finally recognised leisure-time occupations* as being just as much a part of education as the teaching of history and arithmetic in schools. This is

*"... it shall be the duty of every local education authority to secure the provision for their area of adequate facilities for leisure-time occupation, in such organised cultural training and recreative activities as are suited to their requirements, for any persons over compulsory school age who are able and willing to profit by the facilities provided for that purpose." Education Act, 1944. §41 (b).

[page 61]

a notable extension of the official connotation of the word "education"; and it is an indirect but no less sincere tribute to the work hitherto done by the voluntary organisations.

Co-operation between the voluntary
organisations and the L.E.A. youth committees

Secondly, there has grown up a new relationship between the voluntary organisations and the statutory bodies charged with educational responsibility, the local education authorities. They are not rivals but partners. There have been many responsible pronouncements, both from the side of the voluntary organisations and from the side of the statutory bodies, which make this partnership an acknowledged policy and have helped to make it a practical fact. Youth committees exist in the areas of all local education authorities, and on them there is generally a majority of representatives of the voluntary organisations. The youth committee supervises and advises upon the carrying out of the policy laid down by the Act; and through it any agency can make known its needs and will acknowledge its duties. There is no standardisation, regimentation or uniformity; different areas demand different forms of treatment: nobody would expect that the arrangements which were successful in a thickly populated urban area would be appropriate in a rural county.

In general it has been successful,
and has created a new form of partnership in providing a social service

The essence of the policy is that local people, with first-hand knowledge of the local needs, should determine what local plans should be, what share of the work the voluntary organisations on the one hand and the education authorities on the other should each undertake, and what degree of differentiation of function should be encouraged. This novel procedure has worked extremely well in the vast majority of places, although in some parts of the country it has been accepted with reluctance, and has been correspondingly less successful. But it must be remembered that the relationship is a new one, unfamiliar to both parties; and as it becomes more familiar the comparatively few remaining roughnesses will no doubt be smoothed out, without loss of spontaneity on either side and without loss of dignity on the part of either partner. The governing question should always be "What is best for the young people we are here to serve?"

In general L.E.A.s provide mixed clubs,
voluntary organisations separate clubs for boys and girls

The third consequence is a more practical one. Most of the clubs run by voluntary organisations are for either girls or boys, but not for both together. The vast majority of the youth clubs which have been opened by the local education authorities are mixed clubs catering for both girls and boys. The need has been felt, and almost without deliberate intention it has been naturally and spontaneously met, so that it now seems an obvious development. It has not escaped criticism. But with sensible leadership and suitable accommodation which allows opportunity for separate activities for the two sexes as well as combined ones for both, there is no doubt that it does provide what is the fundamental need, natural

[page 62]

and spontaneous companionship for boys and girls. Is it better that they should meet in the atmosphere of a mixed club or meet at the street-corner or the dance-hall?

The mixed club
certainly has a place in the Youth Service

If the fundamental concept is kept in mind of a voluntary community, that is, to complement the life of those who have hitherto spent their time in a "compulsory" framework, it can hardly be doubted that the mixed club provides for many what a one-sex group could not. It will, of course, be true always that many, both girls and boys, will prefer the companionship of their own sex, and will not want their activities interfered with by the presence of the other. Here, as elsewhere, the aim is not standardisation or uniformity but variety and diversity.

The special problems
of the Youth Service at present

A good many problems remain. One is the age-range of the Youth Service. At present those who benefit from its provisions are boys and girls from fourteen to eighteen years of age, since fourteen is the school-leaving age and eighteen is the age of liability for military service. But these are not wholly relevant grounds for fixing the age-limits to be applied to a genuine Youth Service; and they are almost certain to be changed in the near future, with the raising of the school-leaving age to fifteen (and, ultimately, to sixteen) and the age of military service to something at any rate higher than eighteen. Of recent years, and for reasons which in their day were good ones, there has been considerable concentration of attention on the fourteen to eighteen age-group. They had in the past been neglected; and they were for the most part the young people most in need of the "alternative community" provided by the spontaneous groupings to which we have referred.

But the fact that many juvenile offenders are of
school age suggests that similar provision is needed for younger children

But this emphasis on a particular and limited range of years has correspondingly diverted attention from the years before and the years after them. If there is need for these "voluntary" communities for the fourteen to eighteen year old there is a similar, if not so urgent, need for the youngster of the earlier teens. Juvenile delinquency is an unpleasant phenomenon, and without subscribing to the most alarmist views, we are yet bound to be exercised by its recent growth; and it must not be forgotten that very many juvenile offenders are of school age.

And just now young people over 18 - especially
those coming out of the forces - show a special need for community life

At the other end of the age-range of the Youth Service there is also a problem. The young men and women in the Forces, and the slightly older men and women coming out of the Forces, badly need just this kind of voluntary society. They have found, while they were in uniform, a real satisfaction in a community life new to almost all of them. When they come out, what they miss is the companionship of others of their

[page 63]

own age and the sense of belonging to a community - not in the "compulsory" sense of being part of a military machine, but in the "voluntary" sense which springs from their membership of a mess or of an even less defined group of friends. If they do not find, on their return to civilian life, something of the same kind, they will miss one of the most valuable results of their term in the Forces. In many ways their problem is fundamentally the same as that of the boy or girl going out from school to work - the problem of adjustment to a new form of society, and that without the compulsion of being under orders. Adjustment from military life to "civvy street" is at bottom the same as adjustment from school to work.

The problem of meeting
the needs of all within the 14-18 age group

Among boys and girls primarily catered for in youth clubs, that is, those from school-leaving age up to the age of eighteen, another difficulty arises. The eighteen-year-old does not take kindly to being included within the same group as the fourteen-year-old; and there seems to be a broad general agreement that the fourteens to sixteens belong to one general stage of development and the sixteens to eighteens to another. There is the further complication that on the whole, girls at this stage mature earlier than boys, and the development of boys and girls during adolescence follows a rather different course. They therefore cannot always be provided for together because of their different needs. There are however many interests they may share in common. More thinking is needed on these points, and a more profound discrimination than a classification by years of age needs to be applied.

The danger of treating "youth" in isolation.
Boys and girls of 14-18 should not be completely
shut off from the adult world. The value of community centres

The recent concentration of attention on the fourteen to eighteen age-group has its dangers. It may result in segregating these young people from the rest of the community - in shutting them off from its normal activities in a special isolation-box of their own. That can be neither to their advantage nor to the profit of the community; for the whole object of these youth activities is that they should form a bridge from childhood to the life of the adult community as a whole. That is why clubs, Scouts, Guides and similar organisations must not become ends in themselves. They exist as means, whereby their members may the more naturally and organically grow into full adult citizenship. For these reasons many think that the ideal arrangement is that youth activities should take place within the same building as the social activities of adults, either at centres, on the Peckham model, where the family is the member-unit, or at least in conjunction with community centres. There are practical difficulties about this: that neither the young nor the old like having their (very different) forms of enjoyment interfered with by the presence of the other, and that youth activities cannot mark time until community centres exist wherever a club would be needed. But by some means or other it must be ensured that the age-group for which the Youth Service provides shall naturally and automatically move on into adult citizenship in the fullest sense. To keep it in isolation and then let it fend for itself is a denial of the principles for which the service exists.

[page 64]

The problem of staffing and premises; the
importance of training sufficient youth leaders of the
right quality. There must be professional standards and status

There is still an urgent problem of leadership and premises for youth activities. The McNair Report dealt with the recruitment and training of youth leaders, as well as of teachers. It would be rash to lay down any detailed specification of the qualities required in a youth leader; experience already shows how diverse are the qualities which make for success in different situations. It can at least be said that we do not want leaders in any "führer" sense, and that any artificiality or affectation in a youth leader is likely to be fatal. This is not the place for a detailed discussion of the problems involved. Voluntary and part-time workers are wanted as much as professional and full-time leaders, and the supply of the latter will never be adequate in quantity and quality until there are recognised professional standards, salaries and safeguards.

Premises: the Youth Service needs good,
well-planned buildings; but improvisation is necessary now and has its uses

As to premises, many authorities are contemplating generous provision for the future in county colleges, youth centres and so forth; but this is the day of improvisation, and of clubs in converted huts and shops. Today there must be improvisation, if the present generation is not to miss all opportunity, and in the initial stages, improvisation has its uses, as a stimulus to resourcefulness. But the experience of the Forces was that for good informal activities pleasant buildings, good furniture and the amenities of civilised living were essential to good results. This experience cannot be lightly disregarded. There can be no question that the Youth Service needs well-planned, dignified and tasteful buildings, just as the schools do. The two ideas of improvised buildings and buildings designed for the purpose should not compete against each other. Whatever the buildings, it is necessary that the club should have a sense of proprietorship, and the feeling that they are a home and a habitation, not merely accommodation made available.

The nature of the service a good club tries
to provide; its value may lie more in the general
experience gained by the members than in the set activities provided

Youth organisations follow many different patterns, but at bottom all such groups have the same significance for the adolescent: "This is our show" - that is, this is the society of our choosing and our making. When one sees an active club in full swing - with hard-hitting discussion, or a fast game of table-tennis, or flamboyant dramatics, or the absorbing business of constructing a model railway, all going forward with verve and concentration - it is quite obvious that doing things together is a most stimulating business. Club programmes are important, and much experimental work still needs to be done on them, but the way you do things in club, and the relations you establish with other people through doing things together are quite as important as what you do. The educational value of a club must be measured not only by its formal programme but by, for instance, the friendships formed, the training given in social arts (of which dancing is one of the most important to the young), the opportunity to practise being hosts and hostesses, the realisation, born of bitter experience, that to carry through

[page 65]

a club plan successfully effort and thorough organisation are needed. Here boys and girls may learn that each member is responsible to the whole unit. The failure of anyone to arrive in time for a rehearsal, to look after the billiard-cue, even to turn out the light, inconveniences everybody.

Especially a club can provide
experience in conducting corporate business

It is essential that all members should have a share, however small, in the government of the club; for this purpose they must have the opportunity of learning about committee procedure, the responsibilities of office, the formulation of policy and balancing the budget. For the practice of these arts of government small clubs have great advantages, and it is hoped there will always be many such clubs. It must be recognised, however, that the practical problem to be faced requires that many clubs must be large. In such clubs it should be emphasised that their organisation must permit of sub-division, so as to provide in them opportunities of the same kind as are naturally found in small clubs.

The Youth Service and the county colleges:
the former remains in essence voluntary while the latter will be compulsory

County colleges and their work will not be discussed here. But it is clear that county colleges, if they develop along the lines that some intend, could do a great deal of the work which at present falls on the Youth Service, not simply in the provision of leisure-time activities but in the whole matter of easing the younger worker into the working world. For if a boy is to be at a county college for a day out of the working week, there will be two or three years in which he partakes of the life of both employment and education. The fundamental difference between Youth Service and county college is that the former is in essence voluntary, while the latter will be compulsory: that difference will remain. Until the shape of the county college is more clearly defined it is idle to speculate further. But the fact that county colleges are to be instituted should not have the effect of subtly paralysing those who are concerned with making the present Youth Service an effective means of providing for boys and girls who are now growing up.

It is society's responsibility to provide
not only education in school, but also scope
for the wider social and personal needs of young people

In sum, society has a responsibility which it must discharge to boys and girls who are going out from school to work. They have personal and social needs which in present circumstances can best be met by providing them with opportunities for voluntary and self-chosen groupings for the pursuit of activities they wish to undertake together. The new conception of partnership between voluntary organisations and local education authorities has brought new strength to both partners in this work. And the explicit recognition that this whole field is in the fullest sense educational has given to the official connotation of the word "education" an added richness and depth which we must not lose. Those responsibilities now recognised are a challenge which for the sake of each succeeding generation society as a whole cannot ignore - and cannot, without peril to itself, refuse to meet.

[page 66]



The improved health of
children: value of the School Health Service

Children in this country are physically much healthier than they were in the last century. The School Health Service has done much to bring this about, although when it began its work the worst effects of the industrial revolution had already been to some extent reduced. In the thirty-nine years which have since passed, the death rate of children has been halved; there has been a steady improvement, so that children today are appreciably taller and stronger, and despite the setback during the war, much cleaner in their persons and habits; many diseases, then very common, including tuberculosis, rickets, skin diseases and infections of the middle ear have been rapidly disappearing; deformities have become less common and with early treatment less severe; and many children who would have been prevented by ill-health from taking part in various activities both in and out of school are now able to enjoy them fully.

Despite the improvements the
standard achieved is still far from the modern ideal

Parents and teachers have come to show a much greater interest and sense of responsibility in this matter. The effect of bringing together the doctor, school health visitor, teacher and parent to discuss the health of the child has been to make them dissatisfied with a low standard of health and has convinced them that much ill-health is preventable. Some of the progress has been due to the increasing attention paid to physical training, which has changed from the static drill of the last generation to an education in movement designed to cultivate "poise, strength, mobility and agility". The gain has certainly been considerable: but it must be realised that standards change, and that, in terms of positive health,* the health and physique of children today is quite as far removed from the present ideal, as the state of affairs in the last century was from that of today. Lack of space, of gymnasia and physical training rooms, and of apparatus, still greatly handicaps effective training.

The origins of the School
Medical Service. The first practical step was to provide inspection

The School Medical Service started in November, 1907. The necessity for such a service had long been recognised. In 1861 Sir Edwin Chadwick had said: "A special sanitary service applicable to schools is needed for the correction of common evils of their construction, and the protection of the health of the children therein." Later on public opinion was startled by the low standard of physical fitness among recruits during the Boer War, and in 1904 the Duke of Devonshire's Committee on Physical Deterioration recommended a complete service of medical inspection. It was made clear, when establishing such a service for schools, that the aims were to enable the child to take advantage of the system of state education, to ensure the health of the coming generation by caring for the present one, and

*As discussed in the recent White Paper on a National Health Service.

[page 67]

finally, to provide health supervision. To carry out the aims, it was necessary "first to improve the health conditions, both personal and in regard to environment, of the children of the nation. A consideration of the gravity of the need led to the conclusion that medical inspection of school children is not only reasonable but necessary as a first practical step towards remedy. Without such inspection we not only lack data, but we fail to begin at the beginning in any measure of reform."* It is still agreed that the health of children must be supervised, and any defect discovered; but it may well be thought that this one side of the work has been too much considered to be all the work, and that other beneficial sides of the service have been virtually excluded.

The increased scope of the medical inspection

To a large extent the School Medical Service is the same today as that introduced by the Act of 1907: its basis is still three examinations of each child during school life, with re-examination and special examination as required. There have been great advances made in the way in which the work is carried out. Special examinations take place more often, and are more thorough, so that extra attention can be given to children found by the school doctor to need observation, and to those referred to him by teachers, parents and school attendance officers. The number of special examinations now almost equals the number of routine inspections; and whereas formerly medical inspection was successful chiefly in detecting early illness, latterly the aim has been to provide a complete audit of a child's health.

Increase in the provision of treatment:
some authorities have already gone beyond statutory requirements

Treatment also has received increasing attention, but it was not compulsory until the 1918 Act,** and has never been interpreted as applying to more than a small number of ailments.*** But many authorities, by going beyond the minimum of requirements laid down, have provided a most efficient and complete service, and have set a standard of treatment which has prepared the way for raising the standard generally.

The next step: to make the service comprehensive

The history of the School Medical Service has been one of "organic development" and expansion. This development was particularly rapid during the fifteen years preceding the war of 1939. The more "positive" outlook in health matters generally demands a further step in the development of the service: designed to meet one set of circumstances, it must now expand and adapt itself to others. The need is for a service which will give attention to the whole development of boys and girls in sickness and in health, at school and at home. Inspection thus becomes but a part of a much wider whole.

*Board of Education Circular No. 576, November, 1907.

**Grant Regulation No. 19 introduced under the 1918 Act.

***Eyes and teeth, minor ailments, and chronic tonsillitis and adenoids.

[page 68]

The necessary aims for such a service

Though considerable expansion is necessary, its rate must be controlled by seeing that the high standard established in many parts of the service is secured throughout. The aims of the service today should be to ensure:

(i) more comprehensive supervision of children in the schools,
(ii) more and better facilities for treatment in hospitals and clinics,
(iii) the universal maintenance of adequate and continuous child health records,
(iv) an extension of health supervision on similar lines over the early years of employment.
(v) sound and effective teaching of Health in and through the schools.
(vi) suitable provision for all "handicapped" children,
(vii) instruction for teachers of a kind that will enable them to co-operate most satisfactorily with the School Health Service.
(i) The Supervision of Health in Schools

The supervision of health in the school must
be comprehensive and continuous, and should aim at fostering positive health

The supervision of health in school must fulfil three conditions. It should be comprehensive, and continuous, and aim at fostering positive health. First then, medical inspection must be sufficiently thorough to ensure that nothing of importance is overlooked. The school doctor and nurse should have time to inform themselves about the whole life of the child so as to arrive at a full appraisal of his well-being. Detailed enquiries, apart from their value in themselves, should be of very great assistance to parents; through their expert knowledge, doctor and nurse can help parents to carry out the responsibility they feel towards their children.

Comprehensive medical inspection

There must, therefore, be time for the doctor to consult with both teacher and parent, and a three-party conference of teacher, parent and doctor often brings to light aspects of a child's life which otherwise might remain unnoticed. Furthermore, school doctors and nurses should study children in the classroom or at play, where observation often tells them much that a formal medical inspection, however thorough, cannot always reveal. To inspect in this way means spending more time on each child.

Continuous supervision

Secondly, health supervision must be continuous, so that it can at once be seen if any child is not so healthy as he should be, and arrangements can be made for special examination. At present the most notorious "gaps" occur immediately before and after the age of compulsory school attendance, in the health services for children between two and five, and after the age of fourteen. The Act of 1944, by raising the school leaving age to fifteen, and later sixteen, and by extending the School Health Service to county colleges, will, as it is put into effect, close the gap at the adolescent stage; and at the other end, as the supply of nursery schools is increased, so will the number of young children coming within the School Health Service be increased. Meanwhile for children between the ages of five and fourteen

[page 69]

the present three formal medical inspections during school life, supplemented as they are by valuable special examinations, and occasional visits of a school nurse, do not make the supervision anything but spasmodic. This defect in the system should be remedied. Visits to schools of professional staff should take place more often. Doctors and nurses should be associated with particular schools, so that they can get to know them intimately. and come to be regarded as friends of the school who can advise parents and teachers. The schools, and all who are concerned with the child, must respond by becoming more "health conscious". The teacher, the parent and the school attendance officer should accept it as part of their responsibility to bring to the notice of the school medical department any children who do not thrive.

The need is to
establish a "health" service in the schools

Thirdly, the cumulative effect of a "Child Health Service" should be to instil ideals of positive health. The following comments of the Workers' Educational Association express well this point of view:

"What is wanted is a school health service, positive in conception and thoroughly co-ordinated. As a young engineer puts it 'the service is at present inadequate for the schools of poorer people ... The greatest need of all is not greater medical service but better health services in the form of wholesale extension of school playing fields, swimming pools, fresh milk, fruit, meals. etc.' Another member, a post-office engineering worker, says 'the prevalent idea of health as absence of disease is wrong. There is failure to teach children to reach a higher standard of health by natural means, sleep, fresh air, balanced diet.'"

And to teach "positive health"

This idea of a positive approach to health as distinct from absence of disease, although increasingly understood, is not at present current enough in the schools. It can certainly be best established during school life. But special training of doctors, nurses and teachers is essential, in order that it shall pervade the whole of the work and life of the school. The condition of the school buildings is most important, as is the providing of modern facilities for meals and for activities such as swimming and games. Stress is laid upon this elsewhere.

Difficulties in the way of establishing such a service
with the known shortage of doctors: choice lies between better or
more, medical inspections. The quality of the inspections should be improved

In creating a comprehensive Child Health Service we are at once faced with difficulties. More staff will be needed. In particular, if inspections are to be longer, more doctors will be needed. In face of the known shortage of doctors this raises the question whether it is practicable to increase the number of inspections. There are those who wish to see a yearly medical inspection; this view is expressed by the National Union of Teachers, the National Federation of Class Teachers, the Workers' Educational Association and others. There seems, then, to be a general desire for more thorough and continuous supervision of health. But it is not possible now to increase

[page 70]

substantially the number of inspections and at the same time greatly to extend their scope. A full and comprehensive examination of the type advocated could not at present be made every year, and the choice must lie between an increase in quantity or improvement in quality. Despite the known gaps in the existing service, and with full appreciation of the fact that some increase in the number of formal inspections is necessary, we believe that the greatest need now is for an improvement in quality. Further, the introduction of some form of continuous supervision, as is suggested below, may be as effective as would be annual formal inspections. When more doctors are available the matter should be further reviewed.

The function of the nurse in
supervising children's health. The work
of the school nurse and health visitor should be amalgamated

The shortage of doctors must also make effective supervision difficult. Nonetheless the ideal of continuous supervision is important. To realise it in practice it will be necessary in the first place to extend the range of the nurse's work. It is already a part of the work of the school nurse to follow up children in need of treatment in their homes; this side of her work is of the greatest value and should be continued and developed. On the other hand much greater use could be made of the health visitor in school.* The first step should, therefore, be to amalgamate the work of the health visitor under the maternity and child welfare authority with that of the school nurse under the education authority. The same nurse will then be both school nurse and health visitor, and will be concerned with the same children both in and out of school. Her influence will be exerted not only at school but also in the home, where many believe that health is best controlled. Her visits to schools should be frequent; weekly, that is, or at an even shorter interval, depending to some extent on the size of the school. In the school she can be made responsible for a number of semi-medical tasks which now fall to the teacher: routine eye-testing, for example. She should be trained to keep proper records of her work, including such details as the weights and heights of children, recorded at short intervals.

The nurse must have a
limited area. More nurses will be needed

If the nurse is to carry out work of this kind, performing her dual function of a school nurse - health visitor effectively, she must have a fairly small area, and a substantial increase in the number of nurses will be needed. While the present shortage lasts this increase may not be practicable, and auxiliary helpers may have to be employed to assist nurses with their routine work in schools. But there is no doubt that if their scope is defined and extended in this way nurses should be invaluable in singling out children in need of special examination, and in co-operating with teachers, school attendance officers and parents, who must also play their part in making supervision continuous.

*The Association of Teachers in Colleges and Departments of Education recommends the "appointment of a school nurse for each school who shall also act as health visitor in the homes".

[page 71]

A further difficulty: the School Health Service
does not at present offer a satisfactory career. School medical officers
should, by their qualifications and experience, rank as specialists in child health

A further difficulty to be overcome in improving the quality of the service lies in the limited prospects which the career of school doctor offers. In fulfilling the conditions outlined, the training and outlook of the medical men and women in the service will be of paramount importance. In its present form the service does not give the doctor a sufficiently full professional life; it is almost completely divorced from treatment in hospital, the most vital centre of children's medicine and also from other forms of clinical work such as that undertaken in general practice. School medical officers should spend part of their time in a children's hospital, or in some equivalent children's work, preferably of a specialist sort, and they should be required to hold a special qualification in children's medicine, so that their training and work will qualify them to rank as specialists in child health. It is, indeed, most important that the work of the School Health Service should be so organised that it will provide doctors with a career in itself, and not, as is often the case, constitute a stepping stone to an administrative career, or become a backwater without hope of advancement.*

There should be senior posts for child health
officers carrying special duties and responsibilities

There should be senior posts for child health officers employed whole-time by the local authority. These officers could devote their time to more specialised duties; they could be given a limited range of schools over which to exercise general supervision, and be made responsible for directing the work of the nurses whose dual function is outlined above. A most important part of the work of the child health officer would be the careful consideration of all handicapped children, and of the arrangements for them. Greatly increased responsibilities have been placed on local authorities to ascertain and deal with handicapped children of different categories, and the advice of a specialist officer upon the many problems which will arise should be invaluable. The child health officer would also have important clinical functions, for he would be required to see all cases referred for special examination, and to advise upon the adjustments made in school for children not so severely handicapped that they have to be sent to special schools.

*In this connection the Association of County Medical Officers recommends:

"(a) That Medical Officers employed in the general work of the Child Health Service should, as soon as practicable, be required to hold the Diploma in Child Health, or an equivalent special qualification.
(b) That their work in connection with medical inspections, health education, and clinics, should be varied by the allocation of other duties, and by association with the work of local hospitals wherever practicable.
(c) That except for those proposing to take up a public health career the Diploma of Public Health should not be regarded as essential, and the Child Health Service should be regarded as a career in itself, just as the Tuberculosis Service is, and not as a mere stepping stone to an administrative career.
(d) That if the Child Health Service is to be complete, comprehensive and fully effective, it must include the whole field of health education in relation to the child, and also the treatment services in hospitals, voluntary and municipal, in clinics and in institutions for handicapped children.
(e) That if in the future it proves practicable to employ general practitioners in the School Medical Service, it is desirable that they should hold a Diploma in Child Health, or have special post-graduate experience. As part-time officers they would carry out their work under the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of their employing authority."

[page 72]

These duties should be combined with work in the infant welfare service and in hospital.

The School Health Service
and the specialist in child health

The development of a specialist service for child health in hospitals and clinics should be closely associated with the school service. It would add to both the efficiency and attractiveness of the service if authorities could appoint hospital specialists in children's medicine for part-time work as consultants. They would be invaluable in advising on the more unusual types of disease occurring from time to time in a large school population, and in helping to bring about a close working arrangement between the school and hospital services.

The same doctors and nurses
should serve both M. and C.W. and education authorities

For the sake of continuity within the School Health Service itself, it is most important that the maternity and child welfare and education authorities in all areas should employ the same medical staff as well as the same nursing staff.

Salaries of school medical staff

Reorganisation of the work of school medical officers must inevitably lead to reconsidering their salaries. There should be an improvement in the prospects to which an able doctor can look forward if he adopts the School Health Service as a career. It is understood that this is now being considered.

The need for better
accommodation for school medical work

Finally, evidence from many different sources indicates the great need for better accommodation in school for medical inspections; the existing standards which limit the building of medical rooms to schools with over 300 pupils need urgently to be revised. The services outlined above cannot be properly conducted without space and privacy, and this calls for special provision to be made in every school.

(ii) The Provision of Treatment

Provision for comprehensive treatment, other than
treatment that can be carried out at home, is now compulsory

The 1944 Act has made possible the provision of treatment for all conditions, medical and surgical. The obligation is laid upon local education authorities by Section 48 (3) of the Act to ensure that facilities for free, full treatment, other than treatment at home, are made available for all children on the school rolls. This is as great an advance on the present position as the original step of providing a system of medical inspection for all was on the "laissez-faire" outlook of the 19th century. To inspect all children was a first logical step; to make these inspections sufficiently frequent to ensure that all abnormal conditions are found at an early stage, and to give full treatment without regard to financial circumstances. is the second. It is to be hoped the 1944 Act will be fully implemented.

[page 73]

The School Health Service and the
National Health Service: some forms of
treatment will still have to be provided by the education authority

Most forms of treatment will presumably come under the National Health Service; but there will be some services, such as those for the handicapped children, which must necessarily be within the province of the local education authority. In this connection the Association of County Medical Officers recommends:

"(a) That the School Medical Service should form part of a wider organisation to be known as the Child Health Service which will deal with the well-being of the child and adolescent in health and in sickness. This Service must in turn form part of a National Health Service.
(b) That there must be full co-ordination between the administration of the environmental public health work of the area and the administration of the Child Health Service of the same area."
(iii) Maintenance and use of complete and continuous records of Health


(iv) Health Supervision during the early years of Employment

Health records are at present incomplete
and often not available to the many agencies concerned

It is a great weakness in the present system that health records are so incomplete, and are rarely available to all the many agencies who have a part to play in the care of the child both in school life and during the years of adolescence after leaving school. There is no complete account kept of even the major incidents in the child's health record, and there is little or no co-ordination among those concerned.

In particular the information
accumulated by the school doctor is rarely
available to those who deal with the health of the post-school child

While at school the child may be cared for by the family doctor, by one or possibly several hospitals, and by the medical service of the local educational authority. Each may have vital information which is not passed to the others. When a boy leaves school the family doctor and the hospitals continue to look after him in times of illness, and as he takes up work three other agencies may be concerned with his health: the juvenile employment committee, who advise him about suitable employment, the certifying factory surgeon, who has to examine him if he enters certain types of employment,* and the medical officer of the factory or works if he joins a firm large enough to employ its own doctor. Yet information which the medical department of the local authority has accumulated over the years of school life is rarely available to either the juvenile employment committee, the factory

*Mainly trades which make or mend. A large proportion of children, e.g. those entering the distributive trades, building, transport, agriculture and domestic service, are not so examined.

[page 74]

surgeon,* the works' doctor, the hospital or the family doctor; and the family doctor's information, even information covering the present gap in medical provision between the ages of fourteen and sixteen, is again available to no one. If the boy leaves his first employment, a common occurrence, the certifying surgeon who is required to make the examination of fitness at the next place where employment is sought, remains without the information gained at the previous examination, unless both factories happen to be in his own area.

Though rightly regarded as
confidential, medical information is at
present withheld to an extent that is detrimental to the child

The situation is confused, and is complicated by the fact that information obtained by a doctor in the course of his profession is regarded, and rightly regarded, as confidential. It is clear, however, that at the present time the withholding of such information from other agencies also concerned with the supervision of adolescents, notably the Juvenile Employment Service, is disadvantageous to the child, and is carried further than necessary.

Moreover the statutory examination
of fitness for employment is purely "protective"

It is also unfortunate that the statutory examination of fitness to enter employment should be purely "protective". If the young recruit is found unfit for a particular industry, nothing is done as a result of the examination to remedy his (or her) disability.

The chief need is to create machinery for
maintaining a complete and continuous record of health

It is clear that the chief need is to create machinery for maintaining a complete record of health, and for using such records to the fullest extent possible in preventing ill-health, and promoting positive health in the school child and adolescent. It seems clear then, that when the child enters school, pre-school records should pass, as indeed they often do, from the maternity and child welfare authority to the education authority; and that hospitals should supply records of children admitted and discharged, with information about the treatment given, and recommendations for future care and supervision. The information must be confidential and should be sent to the school medical officer. This will enable him to take account of all relevant details of a child's health, and also to provide supervision through the nurse. We believe that satisfactory arrangements of this kind have been made in some areas, and it is hoped that hospitals and school medical officers elsewhere will recognise the great advantage of adopting the practice.

The examination for entry into
employment should be extended to all boys and girls

It is evident that when a boy or girl leaves school a thorough medical examination is necessary before he or she is committed to a particular type of work; the stage of entry into employment should, therefore, be regarded as one of the stages when a full examination is carried out. In our view

*The certifying factory surgeon may require the medical department of the local education authority to supply information.

[page 75]

the justification for confining the examination to certain types of employment no longer exists. It should be extended to all boys and girls, including those who remain at school full-time beyond the age of compulsory attendance, and should be part of the whole scheme which aims at maintaining positive health in the school child and adolescent. Like any other examination it should be followed by treatment and supervision of all who are found to be unfit, and special arrangements are needed to ensure that such boys and girls are advised of kinds of work which are suited to their physical condition.

And should be
transferred to the School Health Service

County colleges are essential to the proper treatment, supervision and guidance of adolescents, since in the extension of the School Health Service to all boys and girls up to the age of eighteen, lies the opportunity to fulfil the ideals we have in mind. As the colleges come into existence some definite action to shape the health service for adolescents will be unavoidable. In order that the examination of fitness to enter industry should take its proper place in the health service, the statutory examination now carried out by the factory surgeon for certain employments should be transferred to the School Health Service, which will of course be extended to the county colleges as they are established. The school medical officer engaged on such work must have special knowledge of factory work and factory conditions; and like the present certifying factory surgeon, who is now generally a medical practitioner in the district, be acquainted with the varying industrial conditions in his area. This work could well be done by the child health officer whose appointment is suggested earlier.

Relevant information about a child's health
must be available to the committees advising juveniles on employment

The findings of the examination on entry into employment as well as relevant information accumulated while a boy or girl is at school must be made available to juvenile employment officers. The committees advising juveniles entering employment cannot do their work adequately unless they are suitably informed on medical matters. This fact has to be faced. There is much to be said for attaching to each juvenile employment office a medical officer, who, with the information contained in the previous records at his disposal, could give the suitable medical advice.

The work of the Juvenile Employment
Service should be carried out by the education
authority, and as far as possible at the county college

We are entirely in agreement with the view expressed in the Report of the Committee on Juvenile Employment Service* that the service "should be closely associated with the county colleges". It should be added that in our opinion the work of juvenile guidance should always be carried out by the education authority, and as far as possible at the county colleges.

*cf. the Ince Report, p. 28, par. 126 and p. 48, par. 226.

[page 76]

Information accumulated by the education
authority should be passed on to the family doctor and works' doctor

Finally, when the education authority's responsibilities cease, the family doctor is the proper recipient of the information contained in the health record of individual boys and girls, and the record cards should be at his disposal; and if a boy or girl takes employment with a firm large enough to have a medical officer, the school record must be available to him also.

(v) The Teaching of Health in and through the Schools

Various influences have already much
improved the standard of hygiene among children today

As early as 1906 the Regulations for training teachers in training colleges said: "The students ought to have an adequate knowledge of school hygiene ... they should be acquainted with the rules of personal health, and so far as possible, with the physiological principles upon which these are based." This early appreciation of healthy living has had its influence on the teaching profession, and on the steady growth of understanding by successive generations of children of the meaning and importance of health. Many other influences have been at work, not least among them the impression created in the child's mind from regular inspections by school doctors and nurses. The improved outlook of parents who themselves have benefited by state education has also been a powerful factor.

But there is still much to be learned about
the art of healthy living, and much that has to be taught in the schools

Despite the many improvements, most people have still much to learn. There will be times and occasions for specific teaching in the schools;* but the end in view will not be met by a course of lessons dealing with hygiene as an isolated subject, and little good will be done so long as the school buildings make it impossible for the principles of hygiene and the rules of personal health to be observed. During the past quarter of a century, there has been some real progress in the design of suitable school buildings, but less progress when it came to the actual building.

Poor school buildings
make training in healthy living difficult

Schools that are overcrowded, poorly ventilated, dimly-lit and without washing facilities, up-to-date sanitary arrangements, dining-halls, gymnasia or adequate space for outdoor recreation, wherever they remain, do not teach children by example that the basis of health is organised living, with attention to cleanliness of the body, clothing, and surroundings. Poor conditions in the schools suggest rather that the way of living seen by many

*In this connection the Society of Medical Officers of Health recommends:

"(a) That there should be at least one teacher in every department specially interested in hygiene. Every education authority should have specialist teachers who are qualified and responsible for the teaching of hygiene ...
(b) That there should be Inspectors specially qualified to encourage and supervise the teaching of hygiene.
(c) That at parent-teacher meetings every opportunity should be made to interest the parents in the hygiene of the school and in its application in the home."
We are in general agreement with this, provided (again) that "specialist" treatment of hygiene does not come to mean merely "subject" treatment.

[page 77]

in their own homes is the better way. The art of healthy living largely depends upon habit formation, and obsolete school buildings place great obstacles in the way of teachers who seek to change the habits of the young. At the same time, although it is difficult for teachers to make their training fully effective until school buildings are brought up to the standard of the new Building Regulations,* they can do much to set a good standard of hygiene in the schools, and to see that their pupils live up to it in practice.**

The value of the School Meals Service

One of the habits upon which health depends is that of proper feeding. This involves not only taking an adequate and well-planned meal, but deriving full value from the school dining-room as a social institution. The need for school meals was recognised even before that of school inspection, but although authorities had statutory powers as far back as 1906, the progress up to 1939 in providing school meals to any but necessitous children, or sometimes to those attending school from a distance, was negligible; and it was not until the war that the Government adopted a comprehensive policy for the extension of the School Meals Service. The numbers now taking a mid-day meal at school amount to more than 40 per cent of the school population, and though this is still well below the figure aimed at, competent authorities now generally recognise that the school meal is a valuable institution.

The benefit to children of even one well-planned meal a day has been so startlingly demonstrated that it can only be hoped that before long all children at school will be provided with a mid-day meal. prepared by competent cooks, and supervised by those who have an expert knowledge of diet.

The service of the meal

In the matter of the service of the meals there is much less cause for satisfaction. Many of the present arrangements are improvised, and with the numbers now taking the meal, may be in some ways even worse than when handfuls of children brought a meal with them and ate it in the classroom or playground. To be properly conducted a meal must be eaten in a hall or room set apart for the purpose, and the school must accept responsibility for training the young in the dining-room as in the classrooms. As the conditions are now in many schools this is a hard saying; but as proper amenities are provided it should be possible for the mid-day meal to become a social function in all schools.

Social education. The aim should be the planning
of a comprehensive course which would make separate instruction in sex unnecessary

There is a branch of health teaching which is often referred to as social education. It is concerned with the life of the future citizen, especially with the technique of living in the home and community, and with the relationships that arise in the family and between one person and another in

*Regulations Prescribing Standards for School Premises, 1945.

**The communal towel is a grave source of infection in schools, and a very poor object lesson for the teaching of hygiene. Some solution of this difficult problem - such, for example, as the air dryer - is urgently needed.

[page 78]

society. The teaching of hygiene, in its widest sense, has an obvious place in such education, and so has instruction in Homemaking, and Mothercraft. Whether or not it should include sex instruction as a separate item of the curriculum for boys and girls at school, and if so at what age, is far more controversial. There are two parts to the question: the scientific explanation of the facts of reproduction, and the ethical side, which is a much more difficult problem. The first is a part of the knowledge of the body as a whole, and from the earliest such knowledge should be given in answer to the questions that arise quite naturally from children's desire to have explained to them the "how" and "why" of everything they become aware of. There is also a need for more systematic teaching. It should be possible to devise a comprehensive course for boys and girls, beginning with simple studies of the body and all its functions, and directed later to the study of health in the home and in the community. If, as a part of the whole study of living, the course includes reproduction, boys and girls will come to know, and accept, this function of their bodies, and separate sex instruction will be unnecessary. This is the end to be aimed at. But for a time at any rate such instruction may be needed by some boys and girls at school, and careful attention should be paid to giving it in the right way. When the county colleges are in operation there will be opportunity to investigate the whole question more thoroughly, and this should certainly be done.

The use of films in social education

As an aid to social education generally, mention may be made of the use of films. Good films on such topics as care of the baby, preparation of foods, the value of breast-feeding, the care of the feet, have already been made, and films illustrating various aspects of healthy living should be of particular value at the stage of further education.

The school health service
has a part to play in organised research

There is still a great deal to be learned about common disabilities among school children, such as defects of posture and sight. Much else that very closely concerns school health, such as the elimination of dust-borne infections, and the sterilisation of air, awaits careful scientific investigation; a good deal of accepted health practice is based on very slender evidence. In this, as in many other directions, there is need for more research, and also for more co-operation between the many agencies engaged in the service of health. Departments of Preventive Medicine, Medical Faculties of Universities, the School Health Service and hospital services have now a joint field that is not at present being effectively cultivated.

(vi) Special Provision for "Handicapped" Children

Early efforts to provide for
handicapped children. The Act of 1944
imposes the duty of dealing with every kind of disability

Special educational treatment for handicapped children was first provided by voluntary effort, and more than half the existing residential schools are still run by voluntary bodies. Great credit is due to the many agencies that have made a study of the complicated problem of dealing with handi-

[page 79]

capped children, and have developed schemes for their special treatment; and to persons such as Dr. Bishop Harman, whose enterprise and foresight developed the treatment of the partially-sighted in the early part of this century. Such pioneering efforts have made the public see the need for special provision for a variety of different disabilities; and for certain serious types of disability provision had already been made compulsory before the institution of the School Medical Service: for the blind and deaf, that is, in 1893, and for the mentally defective and epileptic in 1899. But the growth of understanding of what is needed has been slow; and behind the provision of special education for handicapped pupils has always lain the belief that a small fraction of the total school population (possibly not more than 5 or 6 per cent) should not receive preferential treatment before the lot of the many has been alleviated. Only under the recent Education Act has the duty of ascertaining, and providing treatment for, the less obvious handicaps been imposed.

For most kinds of disability the arrangements
are very incomplete. Practical experiment is needed
to evolve the best arrangements for the partially deaf and the partially-sighted

Today the ascertainment of the blind and deaf is, generally speaking, efficient, and more complete and suitable provision is made for the blind and deaf both in special institutions and otherwise, than for the partially-sighted, the partially deaf, the delicate, the epileptic, the rheumatic, the physically handicapped, the educationally subnormal and the maladjusted, for whom the arrangements are very incomplete. The measures for finding out children who are partially-sighted, or partially deaf, to an extent which affects their ability to profit by normal education, are wholly unsatisfactory; boys and girls who are so discovered represent only a proportion of those needing special attention. And even for those boys and girls who are ascertained to be partially-sighted, or partially deaf, the existing facilities are inadequate. The time has arrived for a number of deliberate experiments, and until genuine attempts are made to deal in practice with the great problems which attend upon the education of a child whose fundamental senses are defective, more deliberations will be of little avail.

The shortage of accommodation in special schools

For epileptics the provision is so poor that children placed on the waiting list for the few institutions that exist may wait for as long as two years for admission. The delicate child for whom convalescent home, and day and residential open-air schools, are needed is still fortunate if he receives such attention; for England and Wales together there are less than 5,000 places in residential open-air schools. There is a great shortage of places for educationally subnormal children. Special schools for rheumatic children, often in need of prolonged rest in bed, but not requiring continuous treatment in hospital, are still a rarity; these children often either attend school by day to their great physical disadvantage, or at times remain away from school with grave disadvantage to their educational progress. Places for the physically handicapped (cripples), particularly the severe cases with paralysis, for whom an ordinary school is quite unsuitable, are also insufficient. The maladjusted children who are in need of understanding and treatment, whether in special clinics or at the hands of the school teacher in the ordinary school, or as is most desirable in many cases in special schools, have so far

[page 80]

had insufficient attention from education authorities. Lastly there are many children who show a combination of these disabilities, and there is a great lack of special schools for children with more than one defect.

The time has now come to make the
provision complete. Less severe disabilities can
be overcome by suitable adjustments in the school

There can be no doubt that the education provided for handicapped children is generally speaking much below what is needed, and this is serious both for the individual child suffering from the disability, and often for the other children in contact with him. The time has now come to provide what the findings of the past forty years have shown to be necessary. The Society of Medical Officers of Health makes the following comment:

"The requirements of the Education Act with regard to handicapped children have tremendous possibilities. All classes of handicapped children will need not only careful selection by the school medical officer, in conjunction with the teachers, but also observation by him in conjunction with the specialist, and the skilful blending of medical treatment with educational guidance. The number of special schools, day and residential, hospitals and convalescent homes will be greatly increased as at the present time for most conditions they are grossly inadequate in number. In addition much more attention will be required for these handicapped children retained in the ordinary schools."
Teachers should be enabled to deal suitably
with the less severely handicapped children in school

Many children, notwithstanding their disability, can continue to be educated in the ordinary way, if some adjustments are made in school to enable them to overcome their special difficulties. Obvious examples are children with slight defects of sight and hearing who, given an advantageous place in the classroom, can quite well keep up with their own group. Such children are far better left in the ordinary schools; but special account has to be taken of them by the teachers, and suitable adjustments made. In the course of their training teachers should be given the knowledge which will fit them to deal appropriately with the handicapped children who remain in the ordinary schools. It should also be recognised that teachers have an important part to play in bringing handicapped children to the notice of the school doctor.

(vii) The teacher and the School Health Service

Teachers should understand what is meant
by "positive health" and know about the work of the health service

Finally, it should be emphasised that the School Health Service demands much of the teacher. The idea of positive health has little chance of general acceptance until teachers have themselves understood and adopted it and are prepared to teach it. Again, teachers have in the past often been insufficiently instructed in the details of the working of the health service, and thus have been unable to co-operate with the school doctor and nurse to the extent that is desirable.

Specific instruction of a kind that will enable teachers to contribute most effectively to the success of the health service should be extended, wherever possible, to teachers in active practice.

[page 81]



This chapter contains the Council's attempt to deal with an aspect of our main subject which most of us regard as vital to it, but on which there is a wide divergence of conviction. As the attempt proceeded we realised that this divergence coloured both our interpretation of history and our estimate of the present situation. The result, therefore, does not fully satisfy any member of the Council. Indeed a number of members have strong reservations, but felt that to express them as individual statements would be out of place. At the same time it was felt that the Council was not justified in avoiding altogether a problem which daily confronts all those who have to do with the bringing up of children. We would ask, therefore, that this section of the Report be regarded not as an attempt to prescribe, but as an effort by people whose own views considerably diverge, to analyse the factors in the present situation with which they, like others, are faced.

Education has always
been related to the needs of society

Anyone eager for the growth of education is faced by the difficulty of deciding what sort of society we are educating for. Education cannot be carried on in a void; it is part of a general culture, a common way of living. It has always, for obvious reasons, been to a high degree vocational, lending itself to the progressive needs of society. Thus very early in our civilisation the country required people who could read and write; then it wanted those who could do accounts and understand the law; lately the demand has been for technically trained men and women.

But within the social framework the
object of education is always to teach man, as man, how to live

But always, within this framework, we have expected schools to indicate, indeed, to drive home, the moral values without which no society can exist; a set of customs, a pattern of recognised behaviour, a way of life in regard to which the purely practical things are merely means. After all, the object of education is to teach man how to live as an individual and in a community: the part religion has always played in our schools is proof enough of that.

The change of ideals in this century

During the last hundred years ideals have changed a good deal; latterly our notion of how man should live, what he should aim at being, has been challenged by other notions from outside our country, notions which have been echoed within it. These currents of opinion, which seriously threaten civilisation itself, and of which two shattering wars are the symptom, run very deep and go far back into history.

The change in ideas is more marked
on account of the acceleration of technical change

But it is only in recent history that the change in ideas has become marked, because the change in moral outlook has been made much quicker by the rapid changes in our industrial methods and our social structure. About a hundred and fifty years ago our tools, which for thousands of years had remained practically the same, were revolutionised by the use of new sources of power; populations increased enormously; there was a great

[page 82]

drift to the towns. We began to enter a phase of civilisation that was new - not because change itself was going on, there was nothing new in that - but because the rate of change was so rapid. It is this bewildering speed of change which made, and still makes, our moral as well as our physical adjustments extremely difficult.

The individual in a machine-age society

Men and women seem, even to themselves, to be more and more becoming cogs in some huge impersonal machine, so that the ordinary man finds it increasingly difficult to discover either a purpose in his work or a meaning in his existence. As far as he can judge, the value of the individual, his own value, seems to be declining; yet the whole of our civilisation for some centuries has ever more clearly insisted on the value of a person as such: that, indeed, has been the whole meaning of our democratic development. Our professions seem to fly in the face of facts, and this contradiction is one of the main sources of a widespread sense of frustration.

The breakdown, since the
Middle Ages, of a common framework of belief

It is evident also that large numbers of men and women no longer feel that they share common beliefs, or are agreed on any set of permitted actions based on those beliefs; and this process has been going on increasingly for about four hundred years. From the time that Christianity first spread in Europe, men on the whole thought and acted on the basis of a broadly accepted idea of what life was about. They saw man's place and destiny as part of a divine plan and felt that man's conduct was subject to moral laws which were part of God's will. They might keep or break the laws, but they recognised that observance or breach of these laws was something more than a matter of private taste or social convention.

The search for something
to take the place of the former acceptances

This framework of religious belief, together with the moral authority which it carried, have now largely disappeared; and now, without a generally accepted standard by which to test their own views and conduct, men are apt to feel an undue strain. This is not to imply that a mere uniformity of belief or practice based upon convention or tradition can ever be a proper substitute for freedom in thought and choice. It is simply to affirm the commonplace that individual thinking and living in any epoch depend upon the comparatively stable framework, social, cultural and religious, which is part of its inheritance. When this framework becomes insecure, men have to look again into its foundations and may even look for something new to take its place. That is obviously happening at the present time in the attempts which are being made to find a basis for moral standards in "the good of the community" or "the progressive development of scientific enlightenment". Whether these can provide the required foundation is a matter for honest difference of opinion. What is really urgent is that the individual should not be left indefinitely without the support which he needs. For to leave him without it is to open the door either to moral irresponsibility or to acute moral tension. This is par-

[page 83]

ticularly true of the young. As things stand they are being asked to shoulder what is at their age an unfair measure of responsibility in moral choice. The engine is being raced when it ought to be undergoing a careful "running-in".

The present confusion

Thus the characteristic feature of the present situation is a greatly increased moral perplexity and confusion; and it is essential that there should be an understanding of the different ways in which this affects people. The first and most obvious is that a great number no longer feel sure that the division between right and wrong which they were brought up on was always a strictly moral one; they are inclined to think that it was to some extent drawn according to social or class conventions, influenced by a false emphasis on the rights of property as against the rights of personality. They feel that a more honest moral judgment might well mean revising some of our traditional standards. More dangerous still: the fact that men find it hard always to tell what is right and what is wrong may lead them into a doubt as to whether there is any absolute distinction between the two.

The need for clear thinking

There is need of clear and honest thinking if an accurate estimate is to be made of the actual moral situation. There are those who criticise the old standards because they want to see a better type of conduct, more freely chosen, and for the right reasons. This is based on a genuinely moral feeling, and must be given its full value. But on the other hand, care must be taken not to allow the use of such criticism to excuse irresponsibility. Because it is difficult to decide, that is no argument for giving up the attempt, or for refusing to commit one's self to any definite position or way of behaving.

The nature of the
traditional ideal under Christendom

Whether this diagnosis of the situation is right or not, it is of the first importance to examine again the tradition which grew up in England, a tradition which is part of the heritage of European civilisation. It was in part the result of forces which were beyond men's control. But it was also largely the result of intention and will, as vital traditions always are. Men knew what they wanted to be, and what they wanted their society to be like, and in their vision of these things they were deeply influenced by the values of what they called "Christendom". There was a tradition of a certain type of character, the "God-fearing" man - honest, just, brave, charitable, merciful. The customs of society, the institutions it threw up, were shaped, in part at least, by the desire to make it possible for men and women to be just that. Out of this there grew a sense of moral responsibility. Men knew that they were answerable to God or to their fellow-men, or to both, for trying to maintain and to hand on a humane way of living. The intention was never more than partial, and the achievement was imperfect; but what is significant is that there was a real element of deliberate intention in it.

[page 84]

What is the ideal to be today?

The real question, then, which confronts our generation, and especially all those concerned with education, is: What kind of person do we want the child to grow into? What kind of beings would parents wish the school to help their children to become? Both want, first of all, to see children grow up with strong healthy characters, independent, reliable, able to cope with the responsibilities of life. They want children who will both carry on and critically reshape the way of life which in this country we have built up for ourselves.

The child as a moral being is moulded by society

Children learn from what grown-ups say and do, and from the kind of life they see led around them; they are moulded by the influence of home, of school, and society. All three are part of our English tradition, part of what we love, and have so lately fought for. The child when born is outwardly just a young animal; what makes him different from other animals, what he is taught as he grows older, is that "memory, merit, and noble works are proper to men", in short that he has a moral being as well as a body. The shape that his moral being takes depends upon what he sees and hears, what he is told, what he is asked or made to do, and all that far from simple tissue of customs in which he finds himself caught.

An accepted ideal
of behaviour still exists in society

Our customs, the way we behave and the way we look at things, have, as already suggested, been hammered out through ages of experience. Everybody expects men and women to have, and each individual aims at having, certain moral qualities, some of them belonging to man as an individual, and some belonging to man as a member of the society which gives him opportunities, but which expects certain duties in return. These are the foundations of our way of life; they imply certain ideas about our country, about our homes, about behaviour, and about social responsibility. It is the business of education, by teaching, by example, by preserving and renewing and adapting customs, to see that these ideas take firm root in the minds of the young, without impairing their freedom of thought; in our civilisation men must be able to judge for themselves what is good and what is evil, and be able to choose the good.

The tradition has various sources

On what grounds are they to choose the good? This is where some points of real difficulty occur. The "tradition" has been spoken of, but when it comes to be examined it appears that it is a fabric into which a number of different strands have been woven. There is, too, a further complication. For in the course of history, especially in the last three or four hundred years, the strands have drawn apart; so that today the different influences which have shaped our common life seem to pull against each other, and men are in doubt as to what they ought to preserve and develop, or what the relations of the various parts should be.

The "classical" tradition

Over a period of centuries European culture flowed from two main sources. There was the great classical culture, with its literature and art, inherited

[page 85]

from the civilisation of Greece and Rome. These dwelt upon the dignity or man, upon his duty to live 'humanely', upon courage, self-control, and loyalty; they contributed to our idea of man's worth, and from these we drew also much that has shaped our institutions, the ideas of justice, order, and law.

The Christian tradition

The second main source is the Hebrew-Christian tradition which comes to us through the Bible, and in the history of the Christian Church. It was this tradition which, by absorbing and assimilating much of the classical culture, and by supplying a new purpose and a renewed sense of direction, provided the impetus which has carried European civilisation forward to our own day. One might say that its essence lies in its insistence upon the reality of God as determining factor in man's understanding of his life.

The rise of the scientific tradition

But within the last three or four centuries, and at a rate rapidly increasing in the last hundred years, both these ancient traditions have been challenged by the enormous growth of the experimental sciences, which have in many ways revolutionised both our life and our thought. There is no need to emphasise here the material benefits man enjoys as a result of discovery and invention, nor the tremendous changes made in man's ideas of the universe and of himself by modern scientific ideas of space, by the theory of evolution, and by explorations into the nature of man's mind. Nor is there need to stress the contribution made to the ideals of integrity of thought, exactness of reasoning, and devotion to new truth. One result, however, has been that for a large number of men and women science has been enthroned as the authority and hope for man's future; for them, science has displaced God, and the scientific tradition has eclipsed both the Christian and the classical lights.

The result is a divergence
of view about the basic sources of belief

Thus when one comes to consider the basic convictions on which the teaching of moral standards is to rest, there is a real divergence of view. To many, the Christian beliefs which in the past supported our moral teaching no longer make sense, although the moral values still make a strong appeal. To insist upon the beliefs appears an affront to the intellectual integrity of such men and women. On the other hand we are faced with an equally sincere assertion that if our moral standards are to be maintained it is essential to preserve Christian beliefs. This is the situation described in some of our earlier paragraphs.

All three sources should
be given due place in education

There is no quick and easy solution of the problem; what must be assured is that children are given the opportunity to see the value of the various threads which made up our tradition, and absorb, as part of their moral inheritance, the virtues of each. A historical sense, and fairness of intellectual judgment demand that due place be given in our education to all three elements. Above all we must insist that whatever choice is made must be a matter which allows for the exercise of intellectual and moral freedom. The beliefs must be honestly held, the way of life freely chosen.

[page 86]

Education has also the task of
adapting the tradition to changed circumstances

It must not be thought that the stress laid upon tradition means simply pointing men back to the past, or suggesting that a tradition is something to be followed blindly. A tradition, to be any use, must be living; it is not kept alive by an attitude of reverent conservatism, but by constant examination, criticism, re-interpretation and development. A vital tradition must be lived into, perhaps moulded and made richer by experiment. The educational system of our country, indeed the whole country, must face the challenge imposed by the need to adapt our tradition to changed circumstances. It is evident that this makes the educational task as it faces us now different in form from that which would face a society built upon a universally accepted belief, or code of conduct.

The tradition has constantly
to be evaluated in new circumstances, and renewed

Moreover it is plain that under the conditions of our emerging civilisation, account will have to be taken of other codes of conduct resting upon different beliefs, expressing different scales of moral values. Some are older than our own, others newer and backed by powerful forces. One cannot but hope that the British tradition of life and conduct will not only continue to operate strongly among ourselves, but also influence other peoples in a greater or less degree. Yet if we are to continue as free people, rival codes are bound to find adherents in our own country: and though this need not lead to open conflict, it makes it all the more clear that our tradition cannot operate automatically. It must always be borne in mind that no moral standard will run, so to speak, of its own accord: it has constantly to be thought about, to be consciously lived up to. It requires, in fact, a continual social and personal effort.

But our more complex
society requires fresh access of moral energy

Two strong reasons can be added why the old codes of thought and behaviour need to be looked at afresh. The first is that our technical advance, making organised life so much more complex, demands new things from our moral resources. Failure to rise to the demand may look like moral decline, but does not prove that it exists. Moral resources which may be enough for a simpler age are not enough for our own much more complex one. New demands upon the moral capacity of man can be met only by a fresh accession of moral energy.

And the code has to
include loyalties wider than purely national

Secondly, it must be taken into account that our code has now to be applied over a far wider area. The answer to the question, "Who is my neighbour?" has become enormously wider. To talk of "world citizenship" may or may not be premature; but it is certainly not premature to reconsider our code in relation to the larger sphere, since any conception of "world citizenship" British people arrive at must be strongly coloured by the prevailing code.

[page 87]

The quality of the individual life
depends upon freedom. Education must fortify freedom

The reason why such stress has been laid on the need for a clearly conceived code of moral duty is that the central concern through the whole of this report is the quality of the individual life. Here the ultimate problem is to guarantee, as far as may be the conditions of positive freedom, that is, freedom not only from restrictions, but freedom to do and to choose. But are the conditions of today favourable to the maintenance and growth of positive freedom? There are some tendencies which suggest the answer "yes"; but there are others, perhaps even stronger, which not only obstruct this positive freedom, but which may even, in insidious ways, stifle the very desire for freedom. Against such a danger, education can and must provide the necessary fortifying influences. Perhaps, at this point in our history, this is its hardest task: and if it is whole-heartedly accepted it will mean not only the surrender, perhaps the painful surrender, both in school and out, of some carefully cherished traditions, but a considerable revision of certain attitudes and practices current in the outer world.

The solution is not here. It can only be
found through patient and honest statement and discussion

The preceding paragraphs will have illustrated a fact which is familiar enough to all who are concerned with the upbringing of the young, that the task of giving moral and religious guidance is one of great difficulty. The solution must be sought by the patient and honest statement and discussion of divergent views by those who sincerely hold them. It is a long term, not a short term, problem.



It was impossible to deal with our subject - the transition from school to life - in a practical way without some study of actual school conditions. The evidence collected on this point left no doubt that there cannot be a substantial advance in education until:

(a) the number of pupils per teacher has been reduced to a point which makes modern methods of education possible in all schools;
(b) unhealthy and unsuitable school buildings have been replaced.
The two problems are closely related, but as (a) has been fully explored by the McNair Committee we concentrated on (b). Our investigation shows that a great many schools are obsolete and should be replaced as soon as possible. This leads to the next conclusion, namely:
(c) improvement of unsatisfactory school buildings should not wait for the completion of long-term projects.

[page 88]

Developments in the past have tended to benefit a limited number of older children, and primary schools have had a raw deal. As the earlier stages of education are an important influence in shaping both society and individual character:

(d) more attention should be paid to primary schools. i.e., the nursery, infant and junior stages; the practice of authorising larger classes for infants and juniors than are authorised for seniors should be discontinued. Schools for young children should be kept small.
Many schools now classified as "secondary" under the Education Act (1944) are such in name only, and fall far short of requirements in staffing, premises, and equipment. The majority of children will continue to be denied adequate secondary education, and the harmful struggle for admission to the relatively few well-provided schools will persist until:
(e) good secondary schools are available for all.
In technical education there should be:
(f) intimate relationship with managers, foremen and other workers in industry; willingness to spend on premises and plant on a much higher scale; the inclusion of adequate provision for women and girls.
Obsolete schools cannot be replaced and new secondary schools provided without heavy capital expenditure. The postponement of necessary projects in the past has been largely due to the apathy of public opinion. The strongest public support is essential if all schools are to be brought up to standards appropriate to a modern society. Thus:
(g) priority should receive urgent consideration, and existing financial arrangements with local authorities be revised at the earliest possible date:
(h) vigorous efforts should be made to stimulate a widespread interest in education.

Only by close co-operation with each other can parents and teachers do their best for children, and avoid the frictions that arise from different standards in home and school.

Co-operation can be secured only by the deliberate effort of both parents and teachers, especially during the day-to-day life of the school, as well as through associations and otherwise.

There are certain ways in which the school can meet children's needs as even the good home cannot: e.g. through nursery schools, through playing fields, camps, visits and journeys abroad:

(a) a nursery school should be within reach of every parent who desires it, wherever this is practicable;
(b) school camps, visits, and journeys abroad should be promoted;
(c) for normal children whose home circumstances are difficult or unhappy, generous residential facilities should be provided during the school term;
(d) much more should be done to provide adequately for the activities of children under fourteen out of school hours. Properly trained leaders must be provided, and if school premises are to be used, they must be suitable.

[page 89]

Today the schools have to assume a larger part in the life of the community than has hitherto been required of them, e.g. in providing certain social services, such as school meals.

Services so provided are not meant to lessen the parents' responsibility; nor, in general, do they do so. What the schools do for the children enables parents better to carry out their own share in the care and training of children.

(e) The part the schools now have to play as social agents in the community should be recognised. The staff of schools should be increased so that teachers can fulfil their wider functions effectively without loss to their other work.


Every school should take account of its environment. Particularly a school should (1) explain its environment, (2) compensate as far as possible for its deficiencies, (3) establish standards by which it can be judged.

To do this means:

(a) sizing up the environment as a whole;
(b) acquiring the knowledge needed to explain it;
(c) developing a technique for using the environment to give children firsthand experience;
(d) planning the school course so that children can, while they are at school, experience something of what is lacking in the environment: e.g. a town child can be taken to camp in the country;
(e) making the school itself a place where children have educative experiences they might otherwise lack: e.g. a place rich in whatever of colour and variety good taste can introduce.
The approach to knowledge on more frequent occasions from the concrete to the abstract - beginning, that is, with knowledge about things at first hand - not only gives environment its proper place in the field of learning, but also conforms to good current practice:
(f) the training of teachers should fully prepare them to organise local studies;
(g) schools should have a wide discretion to arrange for their work to take place off school premises.
The theme "man and his ways of living" will give unity to the study of environment. "Wholeness" should be the dominating idea in planning the experience that the schools can give children.


The main conclusion is that the purely educational aim comes first, and that the schools should not attempt to prepare their pupils for particular types of employment.

Nevertheless, the educational system can serve the needs of industry, and the chief benefit it can confer is to carry the general education of all as far as practicable.

[page 90]

(i) The Schools and Employment

Industry benefits, and so does education, if:

(a) children acquire at school the maximum degree of skill of which they are genuinely capable in Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and use of English;
(b) some of the instrumental skills called for in industry, such as the reading of graphs and the use of the slide rule, are included in the later stages of the curriculum;
(c) full use is made of any facts about industry (including agriculture) likely to interest boys and girls, especially towards the end of the school course;
(d) concrete examples from local industry and common occupations are used in teaching;
(e) handicrafts are linked with local crafts and industries;
(f) children learn to appreciate good industrial design, and to prefer well-designed goods.
Of particular value in employment are the personal qualities that a sound general education develops: a sense of responsibility, initiative, adaptability, persistence and accuracy.

(ii) Further Education and Employment

Further education is particularly needed to "compensate" the effects of the routine work performed by a large proportion of workers.

In the development of compulsory further education:

(a) experiment should be encouraged and watched;
(b) the course at a county college should not be devoted to training for specific employment;
(c) works schools have a valuable function of their own, but they should not be regarded as substitutes for county colleges.
The Council supports the general trend of the recommendations of the recent Report on the Juvenile Employment Service, particularly the recommendation on vocational guidance:
(d) local education authorities should exercise their powers of administering or continuing to administer the Juvenile Employment Service, and the work of the Service should, as far as possible, be carried out at the county colleges;
(e) the schools should make information about a boy or girl available to the Juvenile Employment Service in the form in which it will be of the greatest use for guidance into employment.
In the present situation it is strongly in the interest of employers to see that their young recruits are given not merely a sound initiation into the process they are to engage in, but a sympathetic introduction to the world of employment as a whole.

The training of skilled craftsmen will be of particular importance in view of the needs of British industry in the immediate future. It is essential that training arrangements should be such as to ensure adequate variety of experience for young recruits.

[page 91]


In attempting to meet the needs of young workers through the Youth Service, education authorities and voluntary organisations have evolved a new form of partnership for providing a social service.

Principles and methods are still being worked out. But two principles in particular seem now to be established; first, that membership of clubs and similar organisations must be voluntary, and second, that the young people must be given all possible responsibility in carrying on the activities of their clubs.

The clubs themselves show a healthy variety of organisation and method.

Important lines of advance are:

(a) extension of the present age-range both upwards and downwards, so as to meet the proved social needs of many now falling outside its limits;
(b) the development of a form of relationship between youth clubs and community centres for adults, which will most satisfactorily meet the needs and preferences of each;
(c) further experiment with "mixed" clubs, and with affiliation between clubs for boys and for girls;
(d) recruitment and training of "youth leaders" to meet a wide variety of needs and conditions, and to set standards likely to attract suitable men and women to the service;
(e) provision of attractive premises, and good facilities for friendly intercourse, and for the pursuit of a diversity of interests.

Since the last century the health of the children in this country has very much improved, largely because of the School Health Service. Today the aim should be to secure a high standard throughout the service, and in particular to ensure:

(i) more comprehensive supervision of children in the schools,
(ii) more and better facilities for treatment in hospitals and clinics,
(iii) the universal maintenance of adequate and continuous child health records,
(iv) an extension of health supervision on similar lines over the early years of employment,
(v) sound and effective teaching of Health in and through the schools.
(vi) suitable provision for all "handicapped" children,
(vii) instruction for teachers of a kind that will enable them to co-operate satisfactorily with the School Health Service.
The prevailing idea in the School Health Service should be "positive health" as distinct from absence of disease. It should govern the attitude towards health of all concerned with the care of children.

[page 92]

(i) Improving the supervision of Health in the Schools

(a) While the known shortage of doctors exists there must be a deliberate choice between increasing the number, or improving the quality, of medical inspections. The quality of medical inspections should be improved. The time allotted should be increased to allow doctors to make inspections more thorough, to observe children in normal conditions, and to consult with parents and teachers.

(b) At the same time as far as possible the number of visits to schools by doctors and nurses should be increased, and greater use made of the school nurse in arranging for continuous supervision.

(c) There should be a considerable increase in the staffs of doctors and nurses in the School Health Service.

(d) The School Health Service should be made to provide a satisfactory career for a medical officer.

1. All medical officers entering the Service should be required to hold a special qualification in children's medicine, and to undertake some duties in the treatment and care of children in specialist clinics, hospitals or other institutions.
2. There should be senior clinical posts for more highly qualified and experienced officers, with a wider range of work and responsibilities, and with a salary appropriate to the high quality of the work demanded.
(e) The hospital children's specialist (the paediatrician) should be brought into the service as a consultant on the more unusual types of disease.

(f) The same medical and nursing staff should serve both the maternity and child welfare and education authorities.

(g) The work of the school nurse and of the health visitor should be amalgamated. The combined work should be so organised that nurses can, with the co-operation of parents and teachers, carry out effective supervision of children's health.

If necessary, auxiliary helpers should be appointed to assist nurses with their routine work in schools.

(h) Proper accommodation for medical inspection must be provided in all schools. The existing standards, prescribing a medical room only for schools with over 300 pupils, should be revised.

(ii) Treatment

(a) Local education authorities should press forward with their arrangements for providing treatment in accordance with the 1944 Education Act, keeping in close consultation with others concerned with providing treatment.

(iii) Health records

(a) The School Health Service should have at its disposal information obtained (1) by the maternity and child welfare service, (2) by family doctors and (3) by hospitals.

[page 93]

(b) The family doctor and the works' doctor should have access to the accumulated information about children while at school and when they leave the care of the School Health Service.
(c) In order that guidance may be effectively given in relation to health and physical capacity (see (iv) (a)), the Juvenile Employment Service should have all relevant information about health.
(iv) The supervision of Health during the early years of employment
(a) Medical examination upon entry into employment should be the rule for all boys and girls up to the age of eighteen entering employment, and should lead to treatment, supervision and guidance for all children found to be unfit.
(b) To give effect to this the duty of making such an examination should be transferred to the School Health Service which should also be responsible for treatment and supervision.
(c) (see Chapter IV, Conclusions (ii), (d).)
(v) The teaching of Health in and through the schools
(a) Hygiene and the requirements of healthy living should be treated as part of a wide course in social education.
(b) Sex education should not be treated as a separate subject. The course in social education should, throughout, be sufficiently comprehensive to make unnecessary separate sex instruction for adolescents.
(c) Parents and teachers should be encouraged and enabled to acquaint themselves with up-to-date views on such matters as methods of preventing infection and what is meant by "positive health".
(d) In schools not likely to be housed in up-to-date buildings within a short interval, all practical improvements should be carried out which do not call for large-scale structural alterations.
(e) The School Health Service should play an active part in research, in close co-operation with other bodies, such as the departments of universities, engaged in research upon children's health.
(vi) Provision for "handicapped" children

Effect should be given with the least possible delay to the provisions of the 1944 Education Act concerning handicapped children.

(a) Immediate improvements are possible in the following directions:
1. the ascertainment of handicapped children,
2. carrying out experiments in the normal education of children whose defects are partial.
(b) The shortage of accommodation for all types of handicapped children, excepting the blind and the deaf, is so serious that it calls urgently for remedy.
(c) In the course of their training teachers should be given the knowledge which will fit them to deal appropriately with the handicapped children who remain in the ordinary schools.

[page 94]

(vii) The teacher and the School Health Service

(a) Students in training, and practising teachers, should acquire an understanding of what is meant by "positive health". This should make them alert to detect signs of ill-health or disability in children, so that they can bring to the notice of the doctor at the earliest possible stage any of their pupils who may require special examination. Teachers and students should also be adequately informed about the working of the School Health Service.

This chapter should not be read as an attempt to prescribe, but as an effort made by people whose own views differ widely to arrive at all estimate of the situation, and in this way to face the difficulties confronting those who have to put moral values before children and justify them.

Rapid social changes bring bewilderment; despite assertions of the value of the individual, ordinary life seems less and less to give reality to the idea.

The break-up of commonly accepted beliefs and standards increases the confusion; extra strain is, therefore, thrown upon the individual. Although there is still widespread acceptance of the traditional virtues, there is variety of opinion about the grounds for recommending them to the young.

The impact of scientific thought upon the older classical and Christian tradition has been the chief cause of the moral perplexities of our day.

A living tradition is always being thought out afresh. The educational task is to mobilise fresh moral resources to meet increasing demands, as well as to maintain good standards. The essence of the task is to develop the sense of personal responsibility, and to strengthen the individual's instinct for freedom against influences that tend to stifle it.


F. CLARKE (Chairman)
M. S. SMYLIE (Secretary)

December, 1946.

[page 95]



Ministry of Education (Inspectorate)

Sir M. P. Roseveare
    Senior Chief Inspector
Miss D. M. Hammonds
    Chief Inspector
Mr. E. J. W. Jackson, M.C.
    Chief Inspector
Mr. C. A. Richardson
    Chief Inspector
Mr. H. J. Shelley, O.B.E.
    Chief Inspector
Miss F. M. Tann
    Chief Inspector

Mr. R. H. Charles, C.B.E.
    Formerly Chief Inspector for Secondary Education

Mr. W. Elliott, C.B.E.
    Formerly Chief Inspector for Technical Education

Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education

Sir Wilson Jameson, KC.B., M.D., F.R.C.P.
    Chief Medical Officer

Ministry of Education

Dr. J. E. A. Underwood, M.B.
    Senior Medical Officer
Mr. J. Lumsden
    Staff Inspector of Special Schools

Ministry of Labour and National Service

Mr. H. M. D. Parker
Mr. R. J. T. Card
Miss F. I. Taylor, O.B.E.
    Senior Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories
Dr. Stuart Horner
    Medical Inspector

Ministry of Fuel and Power

Dr. T. W. Howell
    Deputy Chief Mines Medical Officer

Sir Peter Innes
    Chief Education Officer, Birmingham

Society of Medical Officers of Health

Dr. A. A. E. Newth
    School Medical Officer, City of Nottingham
Dr. J. D. Kershaw
    Medical Officer of Health and School Medical Officer for the Borough of Accrington

Association of County Medical Officers of Health

Dr. Wyndham Parker
    County Medical Officer of the Worcestershire County Council

[page 96]

Association of Assistant Mistresses in Secondary Schools.
Association of British Chambers of Commerce.
Association of County Medical Officers of Health.
Association of Directors and Secretaries for Education.
Association of Education Committees.
Association of Head Mistresses.
Association of Head Mistresses of Recognised Independent Schools.
Association of Municipal Corporations.
Association of Principals of Technical Institutions.
Association of Teachers in Colleges and Departments of Education.
Association of Teachers in Technical Institutions.
British Association for Commercial and Industrial Education.
British Psychological Society.
County Councils' Association.
English New Education Fellowship.
Federation of British Industries.
Headmasters' Conference.
Incorporated Association of Assistant Masters in Secondary Schools.
Incorporated Association of Head Masters.
Industrial Welfare Society.
National Association of Head Teachers.
National Association of Inspectors of Schools and Educational Organisers.
National Association of Juvenile Employment and Welfare Officers.
National Federation of Class Teachers.
National Federation of Women's Institutes.
National Institute of Industrial Psychology.
National Organisation of Parent-Teacher Associations.
National Union of Teachers.
National Union of Townswomen's Guilds.
Trades Union Congress.
Society of Medical Officers of Health.
*Standing Joint Committee of Working Women's Organisations.
Youth Leaders' Association.
Workers' Educational Association.

*Incorporating Co-operative Women's Guild.