Young Report (1920)

Notes on the text

The complete report is shown in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go to the various chapters.

Chapter I
Chapter II
The present position and how it arose
Chapter III
Main defects of present arrangements
Chapter IV
Effects of section 4(4) of the education act, 1918
Chapter V
The question of free secondary education
Chapter VI
Age of transfer, methods of selection, standards of admission
Chapter VII
Tenure, parents' agreements, and maintenance allowances
Chapter VIII
Proportion of free places in secondary schools
Chapter IX
The provision of secondary schools
Chapter X
Variety of type of school
Chapter XI
Transfer of responslblllty from school to local authority
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Questions affecting wales
Chapter XIV
Scholarships for technical education
Chapter XV
Summary of principal recommendations
Appendix I
Appendix II
List of witnesses

The 1920 Young Report was prepared for the web by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 31 December 2016.

Young Report (1920)
Report of the Departmental Committee on Scholarships and Free Places
London: HMSO

[title page]







Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty


To be purchased through any Bookseller or directly from
H.M. STATIONERY OFFICE at the following addresses:



[Cmd. 968.]

[page ii (unnumbered)]


Mr. E. HILTON YOUNG, D.S.O., D.S.C., M.P. (Chairman).




Miss E. R. CONWAY.


Captain F. W. GOLDSTONE.


Mr. R. T. JONES.


Major The Honourable W. G. A. ORMSBY-GORE, M.P.


Mr. T. J. REES.


Miss B. M. SPARKS.

Mr. H. E. MANN (Secretary).

On the resignation of Mr. C. J. PHILLIPS, Mr. A. F. BUTLER, O.B.E., H.M. Inspector of Schools, was appointed in February, 1920, to take his place.


The estimated gross cost of the preparation of the appended Report (including the expenses of the Departmental Committee) is £722. 17s. 5d., of which £96. 18. 6d. represents the gross cost of the printing and publishing of this Report.

[page iii (unnumbered)]


1. Terms of reference1


2. Method of inquiry; witnesses and statistics1
3. Meetings2
4. Membership2


5. Scholarships and free places in secondary schools2
6. General character of present situation2
7. Its historical explanation2
8. Local scholarship provision from 1895 to 19073
9. Circumstances of its development3
10. Board's free-place regulation, 1907 (Art. 20)3
11. Its purpose and effect4
12. Resulting increase of free places4
13. Numbers in 1918-194
14. Compliance with Board's regulation achieved in various ways4
15. "Free place" a term of art5


16. Present system has worked fairly well5
17. Its defects due mainly to division of responsibility5
18. Main defects6
19. A free place not always enough6
20. Cost of free places to schools uncertain6
21. Anomalies in selection of free-place pupils7
22. Difficulties arising when free-place pupils move to another school7
23. Defects incident to provision and type of schools7


24. Change resulting from operation of this section7
25. Its provisions8
26. Character of change involved8
27. "Capable of profiting"8
28. Difficulty of estimating number of free places required8
20. Number of children capable of profiting9
30. Ratios of secondary school places to population9
31. Schools auxiliary to normal secondary schools10
32. Immediate increase of free places required10
33 Transference of responsibility from schools to Local Authorities10

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34. Attendance at Public Elementary School cannot, be sole test of inability to pay fees11
35. Educational benefit implies adequate school life11
36. Free places in secondary schools the main problem11
37. Free secondary education to be first considered11


38. The State's responsibility for education12
30. Extent to which secondary education is now free12
40. Extent to which it will become free12
41. Question of making it wholly free arises naturally13
42. Analogy with the freeing of elementary schools13
43. Essential continuity of elementary and secondary education13
44. Advantage arising from recognition of this principle13
45. Abolition of fees might lead to development of inefficient private schools and accentuate social cleavage14
46. Those risks exaggerated14
47. Comparison with results of Article 2014
48. Risk of injury to schools of higher type14
40. Safeguards and advantages15
60. Safeguards against risk of lowering educational standard16
51. Advantage of the State accepting full financial responsibility15
52. Advantage in view of section 4(4)16
53. Estimate of cost16
54. Cost precludes freeing them as an immediate, but not as a prospective policy16


55. Certain features of present arrangements will continue17
56. Age of transfer should be 11 plus17
57. Reasons for this17
58. Cases where transfer later may be desirable18
59. Age of transfer to Junior Technical Schools18
60. Transfers from school to school18
61. Methods of selection already well developed18
62. Selection based solely on nomination is impracticable. A suggested alternative to formal examination19
63. The examination must test capacity rather than attainment. It should be written and oral 19
64. Written test to be confined to English and Arithmetic19
65. The part played by oral examination20
66. Danger of special preparation20
67. Psychological tests cannot, at present replace ordinary examination21
68. Tests for manual ability21
69. School record22
70. Conduct of free-place examination22
71. Qualifying standard23
72. Standard to have reference mainly to the work of the secondary school, and the First Examination23
73. Standard to be modified in particular cases23
74. Modification for rural and poor urban areas24
75. All children of 11 in elementary schools should be examined24
76. Reasons for this conclusion25

[page v]

77. Public Elementary School qualification should not be absolute25
78. Free places should be open to other children also, and such free places should count towards the percentage required26
79. Provision of internal free places not counting towards percentage26
80. Importance of making facilities known26
81. Value of systematic review of examination results27


82. Measures to ensure that free-place pupils profit27
83. Free-place awards should carry pupils to 16 at least27
84. Tenure should depend on industry and progress28
85. Methods of ensuring adequate school life28
86. Desirability of parents' agreements28
87. Statutory requirement not yet necessary29
88. Importance of maintenance allowances29
80. General principles of their award29
90. They should lighten financial burden but not remove all effort30
91. Meaning to be attached to maintenance allowance30
92. Maintenance allowances up to 1431
93. Maintenance allowances after 1431
94. Reasons for calculating them in relation to cost of living and not power of earning32
95. Large measure of variation desirable32
96. Methods for first allocation32
97. Later allocations33
98. Allowances in the form of boarding facilities33
99. Periodical review desirable33
100. Importance of securing co-operation of parents33


101. Suggested increase of free-place percentage to 4034
102. Considerations pointing to an increase34
103. Limiting conditions35


104. Present provision inadequate35
105. Number of pupils excluded36
106. Preparatory departments36
107. Their value educationally36
108. Arguments against them36
109. Not justified if older qualified children are excluded37


110. Greater variety of type desirable37
111. Varieties that may be developed37
112. Relation to larger public schools38

[page vi]



113. Transfer a natural step in view of 1918 Act38
114. Difficulties arising from school's responsibility38
115. Advantages of change39
116. Co-ordination between Authority and school39
117. Objections39
118. Measures to secure access to suitable schools irrespective of high fees40


119. An essential difficulty of present arrangement40
120. Difficulty has been lessened in practice41
121. Methods now employed, "following-up" and "adoption"41
122. Mutual arrangements will not solve the difficulty42
123. Suggested solution in section 4(4)42
124. Chain of responsibility for free-place pupils through the Authority to the Board42
125. Maintenance allowances42
126. Special case of soldiers' children43


127. Position in Wales different in some respects43
128. Difference in character of school provision43
129. Disadvantages of present arrangements less apparent44
130. Situation not wholly satisfactory44
131. Further provision of schools desirable44
132. Variety of type44
133. Maintenance allowances44
134. Methods of selection45
135. Free secondary education45


136. Free places in Junior Technical and similar schools to be on same footing as those in secondary schools45
137. Reasons for not treating further the question of other scholarships46


138. Summaries may be misleading47
139. Summary47
140. Conclusion49

Note by Sir Mark Collet
Note by Miss Sparks51
Note by Captain Goldstone, Miss Conway, Mr. Cholmeley and Mr. Richardson52
Note by Miss Fawcett55

APPENDIX I Statistics

APPENDIX II List of witnesses

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To the Right Honourable H. A. L. FISHER, M.P., President of the Board of Education.


1. In October last you directed us to inquire into the working of the existing arrangements (a) for the award by Local Education Authorities of scholarships tenable at secondary schools or institutions of higher education other than universities or institutions for the training of teachers; (b) for the provision of free places in secondary schools under the regulations of the Board of Education. You asked us, when we had done so, to make recommendations with a view to improving such arrangements and thereby rendering facilities for higher education more generally accessible and advantageous to all classes of the population, regard being had (inter alia) to the migration of pupils from one school or area to another.

We have now concluded our inquiry and have the honour to submit the result of it in the following Report.



2. The method of our inquiry has been the usual one. We have heard evidence from 66 individual witnesses, including administrative officers of the Board of Education and H.M. inspectors, officers of Local Education Authorities, teachers, and others, representing in all 30 organisations wholly or partly concerned with education. Of these organisations (exclusive of the Board) 4 were associations of representatives of Local Education Authorities, 5 were Local Education Authorities, 12 were associations of teachers, 4 were bodies directly concerned with education, and 4 were organisations connected with industry and labour, and concerned indirectly with education. To these witnesses we are much indebted for their full and illuminating evidence, and also to others not examined orally who have been good enough to give us their views in writing or to supply information. For our statistics we have drawn upon the services of the Board of Education, the Registrar-General, who has made an estimate of population by areas in accordance with the latest figures, and the Local Education Authorities for counties and county boroughs, to whom we addressed a questionnaire with regard to secondary school accommodation, maintenance allowances, and the provision of scholarships in technical schools.

[page 2]

To the officers also who were concerned in preparing these statistics for us at a busy time we wish to express our thanks.

3. We have met to hear evidence, or to discuss our conclusions and Report, on 17 occasions, and on each occasion usually for two consecutive days, or on 29 days in all.

4. The membership of our Committee has been modified since its establishment by the resignation of Mr. C. J. Phillips, H.M.I., and the appointment in his place of Mr. A. F. Butler, also one of H.M. Inspectors of Schools. During the absence of our Chairman in India on the Financial Relations Committee, Mr. E. K. Chambers presided at our meetings.



5. Before proceeding to the body of our Report, we think it well to indicate broadly the present situation with regard to scholarships and free places in grant-aided secondary schools. It is these scholarships and free places that, from their number and importance, have drawn our principal attention. We have dealt also, as the terms of reference directed, with scholarships in other educational institutions, but our paramount interest has lain with secondary schools, and it is to them that the following paragraphs apply.

6. The present situation is not simple. It is the product of various tendencies, and of various measures that have been taken from time to time without any very strict co-ordination. An observer studying the scholarship provision in English grant-aided secondary schools as a whole would discover that while roughly a third of the boys and girls attending them were exempt from fees, not all of those exempt owed their privilege to the same source. Many, he would learn, owed it to the endowment funds of school foundations administered under schemes providing for such exemptions, others, and these the majority, to funds provided by Local Education Authorities and administered in accordance with their scholarship schemes. He would then learn that most of these pupils were known technically as "free place" pupils, and that the annual admission of a certain number of such pupils, i.e. 26 per cent, in all but a few cases, of the total number of pupils admitted the year before, was an essential condition of the full measure of state aid to the school. To qualify as a "free place" pupil the child must have attended a Public Elementary School for a certain period previously. Having learnt this the observer would be in possession of the essential facts, but for a fuller understanding of the situation he would have to discover in outline how it arose.

7. The section in the Board's Report for 1911-12 called the "Passage from the Elementary to the Secondary School"

[page 3]

includes an admirable historical survey (pp. 7-17) of the steps taken in recent years to bring secondary education within the reach of the less well-to-do. As cardinal points in this survey the Report mentions the findings of the Royal Commission on Secondary Education in 1895, the Education Act, 1902, the change in the regulations for the training of pupil-teachers, 1905, and the regulations for secondary schools, 1907. It may be useful to recall the developments which they signify.

8. The period of 12 years from 1895 to 1907 is not important from the point of view of foundation scholarships. These, the earlier form of scholarship provision, remained as a legacy from the past, to be supplemented. and surrounded by newer growths from a different root. The importance of the period lies in the development of the provision made by Local Authorities. When the Royal Commission reported in 1895 the published figures indicated that the number of scholarships for the whole of England provided by Local Authorities and tenable at secondary schools was less than 2,500. Five years later this number had doubled; in 1900 it may be reckoned from the return made to Parliament [H.C. No. 335] that between 5,000 and 5,500 boys and girls from Public Elementary Schools were holding scholarships in secondary schools awarded by Local Authorities. By 1906 the number had more than doubled again (over 12,000), and if we include scholarships restricted to intending teachers more than quadrupled (over 23,500).

9. Into the reasons for this increase we need not enter in detail. The Education Act, 1902, by bringing secondary as well as elementary education within the purview of Local Authorities, provided the machinery necessary for giving effect to the Royal Commission's recommendations in the matter of scholarships; and the Board's encouragement of scholarship schemes, by their requirement, in 1905, that boys and girls intended for the teaching profession should, as a rule, receive a sound general education in a secondary school for three or four years, with school-fellows intended for other careers, was also effective in increasing the provision from this source.

10. The next important step came in 1907 with Article 20 of the Regulations for Secondary Schools, requiring, as one of the conditions of a higher rate of grant, that "in all schools where a fee is charged, arrangements must be made to the satisfaction of the Board for securing that a proportion of school places shall be open without payment of fee to scholars from Public Elementary Schools who apply for admission, subject to the applicants passing an entrance test of attainments and proficiency ... The proportion of school places will ordinarily be 25 per cent of the scholars admitted, ... the term 'Scholars from Public Elementary Schools' is held to mean boys or girls who have been for at least two years under

[page 4]

instruction in a Public Elementary School immediately before entering the Secondary School."

11. The step indicated by this new Article 20, the "free place" article, was important not so much for any immediate increase in the number of "free places" it produced, but for the principle it expressed and the system it implied. Foundation scholarships and Local Authority scholarships already existed, the new regulations proceeded to recognise them for a national purpose and to accept them as the basis of a system. It penetrated the mass of growing material with a unifying idea, and stimulated, while it controlled, future development. It took the individual school as the basis of allocation. Its aim was to make all grant-aided secondary schools equally accessible to those who could not afford, or could ill afford, to pay fees, and to avoid the segregation of holders of "free places" in particular schools. It intended that holders of "free places" should be put as far as possible on the same footing as fee-paying pupils.

12. The immediate effect of the new regulation was to raise the percentage of free pupils, from Public Elementary Schools, from 24 to more than 27 per cent of the number of pupils in grant-aided secondary schools. In the following four years the percentage increased to more than 32. In 1911-12 the total number of pupils receiving free tuition was 52,583, of whom 49,120 had been in Public Elementary Schools, and 88,009 owed their exemption from fees to the scholarship and free-place arrangements of Local Authorities. Since 1911-12 the percentage has varied slightly, and at the present time, and with nearly double the number of pupils, stands at about 30.

13. The figures for 1918-19 which have been supplied to us by the courtesy of the Board, indicate that in rather less than 1,000 (961) grant-aided secondary schools in England with some 246,000 pupils, the number of "free places" held amounted to 72,386, made up of 53,400 awarded by Local Authorities, 16,548 by school governors, and 2,378 by other endowments.

14. This in outline is the position to-day irrespective of the imminent changes to be effected by the Education Act, 1918. In practically all areas for higher education there are scholarship schemes providing pupils with secondary education free of fees. In some schools, for example schools provided by the Authorities themselves, such pupils constitute the 25 per cent necessary to satisfy the Board's requirement. In other schools, not provided or maintained by Local Authorities, all the pupils counting towards the required 25 per cent may owe their exemption to foundation scholarships. In others again some may owe their exemption to the Local Authority, and some to the school foundation. In a certain limited number of cases free-place pupils owe their exemption to other local trusts, or to the mere remission of fees by the school authorities in

[page 5]

order to complete the required number. But for the purpose of the Board's "free place" requirement it is immaterial whether the free pupil owes his privilege to the Local Authority or to the school or to a pious benefactor of the past, and whether his exemption is called a "scholarship" or an "exhibition" or a "free place", provided that he has attended a Public Elementary School for the necessary period and that the Board's rules under the Article are otherwise satisfied.

15. "Free Place" is therefore a term of art applied to any exemption from fees awarded on admission under certain conditions for the purpose of compliance with the Board's requirement. In practice the varieties of "free place" that are found may be classified in three main groups according as the holder receives free tuition only, or free tuition with such further assistance as is implied by the cost of books, school subscriptions, and travelling expenses, or in addition an actual grant of money for maintenance purposes. Pupils whose fees are paid by such bodies as Co-operative Societies are not, of course, "free place" holders in the technical sense, though they do in fact add to the total number of pupils who obtain free schooling.



16. Notwithstanding the diverse elements of which it is the result, the present system has on the whole worked fairly well. When the "free place" regulation was first introduced in 1907, it met with some opposition and criticism. Local Authorities urged that it cut across their scholarship schemes, as indeed from one point of view it did. Others represented that attendance at a Public Elementary School was often useless as a test of inability to pay fees; others that the introduction of "free place" pupils would drive away boarders, and in some schools, day pupils as well. Many schools failed to understand the protection given by the regulations against the admission of pupils not fitted to profit by the school course. All these objections, however, have proved of smaller weight in practice than the critics assumed. Scholarship schemes and school schemes have been adjusted to fit in with the Board's requirement; many thousands of children who would otherwise never have done so, have been enabled to enter secondary schools, and the schools themselves have gained rather than lost. The successful working of the scheme as a whole is presumably another testimony to the national genius for making things work, if the end in view seems worth while, whether the groundwork is logical or not.

17. On. the other hand our inquiry has revealed to us that there are weak places in the present free place and scholarship system. They are the result partly of the imperfect co-ordination of responsibility as between the three partners, the schools

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the Local Authorities and the Board. Between the schools and the Board the responsibility for free places is direct; grant depends on fulfilment of the Board's requirement. But, except where the schools are Local Authority schools, there has been no responsibility in this respect between the Local Authorities and the Board, nor, in principle between the Local Authorities and the schools. Yet in practice the scholarship schemes of the Local Authorities, established and developed on their own initiative, do in fact provide three quarters of the total number of free places held in the schools.

18. We propose now to mention some of the main defects in the present arrangements that our evidence has brought out. With less important shortcomings we propose to deal when we come to consider possible reforms. We may say that in seeking a remedy for the defects of the present arrangements constant attention must now be given to the fundamental change in the general situation effected by the Education Act of 1918.

19. Perhaps the most serious defect of the present arrangements is that a free place is only a free place, and that so far as Article 20 is concerned, it is left purely to chance whether the pupil does or does not obtain any further financial help. The object of the regulation was to make the schools "fully accessible to children of all classes"; to give all children in the neighbourhood of a given secondary school a fair chance of admission whether able to pay fees or not. Obviously, however, it is not the case that exemption from fees alone will enable all parents to meet the incidental necessary costs of secondary education. For some parents the relief afforded by exemption from fees is sufficient to make possible for their children a full measure of secondary education; for others it is sufficient to make possible a much smaller measure. But there remain many, who, without more assistance than a free place gives, cannot face the cost, or who, if their child is admitted, are quite unable to keep him at school for an adequate period.

20. The financial burden on the school is uncertain. The Board's requirement takes the school as the unit, it requires something done and is not concerned with who pays for it. It is true that in their administration the Board have reduced the percentage required where considerations of school finance appeared to them to justify the reduction. Of the 112 schools receiving the higher grant but required to offer less than the normal 25 per cent of free places, about 70 are of this category. In 42 cases the percentage has been reduced for other reasons. It remains, however, generally true that the schools have to find the free places and that the Local Authority may or may not provide them. In some schools the financial burden is heavy. A financial burden falls on the school because no fees are received on account of the free places they award and partial fees only on account of some where the scholarship in itself does

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not cover the fee. Further, where the tenure of scholarships is limited to a period of years and the period expires before the end of school life, the cost of free tuition during the remainder of the school life usually falls on the school.

21. The present arrangements involve certain anomalies in the selection of pupils. It is clear that although an Authority awards a number of scholarships some schools in its area may be unable to complete the required percentage without recourse to a separate and independent selection. This in itself is a waste of energy and may result in the acceptance of pupils of less ability than some of those who were unable to obtain scholarships under the Authority's scheme.

22. The migration difficulty that has arisen in connection with the present arrangements is a point our terms of reference mention specifically. It has probably given more trouble to individuals and caused more hardship in proportion to the number of pupils involved, an effect especially noticeable during the war years, than any other difficulty connected with the free-place requirement. A child holding a free place, whose parents move, may or may not secure continuance of the free place at a new school. His chances are best when the transfer is from one maintained school to another, worst when it is from one non-maintained school to another. Certain Authorities have reciprocal arrangements, and some are prepared to continue a free place or scholarship once awarded by them irrespective of change of residence. The Authorities have already done much to mitigate the difficulty and reduce it to the smallest dimensions, but individual hardships continue to make themselves known. (Chapter XII).

23. In addition to defects in the arrangements themselves, the present system of scholarships and free places suffers, in our opinion, from an inadequate and unequal provision of secondary schools, and from lack of variety in the type of school available. (Chapters IX. and X.)



24. Present arrangements are, however, so vitally affected by the Education Act of 1918 now coming into operation that it would be futile to treat them as if the arrangements of the immediate future were to be on precisely the same basis. Section 4 (4) of the Act effects a revolution and looks forward to a new order. The scholarship and free-place system must be modified and developed in accordance with it. We, therefore, propose in the following paragraphs to deal with some of the aims and principles we consider involved in it before proceeding to the more practical questions of method and organisation.

[page 8]

25. "With a view", as the Act says in section 1, "to the establishment of a national system of public education available for all persons capable of profiting thereby" Local Authorities are required to submit schemes "showing the mode in which their duties and powers" are to be performed. Section 4 (4) provides that in such schemes "adequate provision shall be made in order to secure that children and young persons shall not be debarred from receiving the benefits of any form of education by which they are capable of profiting through inability to pay fees.

26. It is clear that just as in 1907 Article 20 of the secondary school regulations laid an obligation on schools to admit a certain proportion of pupils free of fees, so this section of the Act of 1918, pushes the school door open wider still. If a child is "capable of profiting" it is the duty of the Authority to make provision for its education, in accordance with the terms of the Act, whether the child's parents can pay fees or not. The wording of the Act suggests that the free-place arrangements can no longer be based on a limited percentage of school places, but should be based on the number of children "capable of profiting".

27. What does this phrase mean? We think that its meaning is broadly this:

We presume that a child capable of profiting by a secondary school course, for example, must be capable intellectually both as to attainments at the appropriate age and as to promise and capacity. His previous education must have been such as to enable him to take his place without difficulty in the new school, and his natural capacity must be of a kind to ensure that he will be likely to develop normally as he grows up in the school. He must also be capable from the point of view of character, in so far as he must be ready and willing to do the work to the satisfaction of the school authorities. He must, of course, be capable physically, and he must be able and willing to stay at the secondary school for the normal period; or his other capabilities will hardly ensure that he profits from the secondary school course in any real sense of the term.

28. What extent of free-place provision is this likely to require?

This, one of the first questions to arise, is one of the last to which we feel we can give any satisfactory answer. Ultimately it depends on the proportion of children estimated to be intellectually qualified for further education, then on the proportion of these to be accommodated in secondary schools, and, in practice, on the number of places in secondary schools, and the number of children whose parents desire further education for them. There are, however, some general conclusions that may help towards a solution.

[page 9]

29. Various views have been expressed to us with regard to the proportion of children intellectually capable of profiting by full time instruction up to 16 or beyond, but the balance of opinion inclines to the belief that practically all children, except the subnormal, are capable in this limited sense. It is certainly difficult, perhaps impossible, to define what proportion of children in this connection are to be considered subnormal, but it has been suggested to us in evidence that the proportion may be taken as one-quarter. Without accepting this suggestion as more than a convenient hypothesis it may be of advantage to show in actual figures what school provision such a proportion suggests. The number of children on the registers of Public Elementary Schools is nearly 6,000,000. Between the ages of 5 and 12 the number in any one 12-months age-group is between 600,000 and 700,000. If we reckon a 5-year course of full-time instruction - from 11 to 16 - the age-groups will total about 3,000,000; three-quarters of which suggests accommodation for 2,250,000 children apart from those who have not been at a Public Elementary School, and apart also from any provision for longer courses. The present number of pupils in grant-aided secondary schools in England and Wales is roughly 300,000.

30. Leaving this figure for the moment without comment, except to say that all further education to 16 is not necessarily given in secondary schools of the normal type, we may glance at the amount of secondary school provision of this type indicated by suggested ratios of such provision to population; in London, for instance, we understand that the present tendency is to accept 10 school places per 1,000 of population as a measure of minimum development for the time being, or about 45,000 school places on the 1911 census. This corresponds with the figure in Wales; in other areas referred to by our witnesses a similar proportion obtains. The population of England and Wales may be taken as 36,000,000. Ten per thousand on this gives 360,000 secondary school places, a total that is not greatly in excess of the number of pupils in grant-aided schools at present, and one likely soon to be reached in actual fact.* But there has been no suggestion that this ratio expresses more than a minimum, and we are inclined to think that 20 per 1,000, a figure mentioned to us in evidence, and not, we believe, inconsistent with the view now taken by many Authorities, is a better basis for reasonable development. On the estimated population this would mean 720,000 pupils in secondary schools, more than double the present number. Great as the effort would have to be to provide this accommodation, we doubt whether anything short of it can be contemplated as a satisfactory object of achievement.

31. On the face of it the discrepancy between this figure and even the 2,250,000 arrived at a priori (on a basis which is by no means comprehensive) is wide, but there

*See Table A.

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are, of course, many practical considerations that reduce it. In present legal and economic conditions it is clear that the total will be substantially reduced by the number who will not in fact be prepared to stay at school to 16. We contemplate that the provision of full-time instruction up to 16 years of age and beyond, in addition to the provision of secondary schools proper, will be buttressed and supplemented with other schools, including "central" and "intermediate" schools, junior technical, and similar schools, attended by an increasing number of pupils, who either on account of the character of their ability or for economic reasons are better suited by such types of further education. We understand that many Authorities are already making schemes on this basis and intend that between the ages of 11 and 12 the great majority of children not proceeding to secondary schools shall be grouped in other schools specially organised for the purpose. We hope that in course of time this development may lead to an increase in the demand for secondary education and a consequent increase in the provision of secondary schools proper. As a sense of the value of further education grows, so, we think, there will grow up also a more general recognition of the value of the longer training.

32. These considerations, however, bring us little nearer an answer to the practical administrative question, what immediate provision of free places will section 4 (4) necessitate? Perhaps we cannot say more than that we feel the present percentage must be increased. Though it is impossible to say what proportion of our 2,250,000 could not afford fees, or what proportion of these again could qualify on the competitive standard now made inevitable by the existing shortage of accommodation, and how far the parents of children composing this reduced total would accept a free place for them, we believe it to be practically certain that an immediate increase is very desirable. The events of the last five years have had a stirring effect, and our evidence suggests a greatly increased demand for education. The possibility of maintenance allowances, now being encouraged by the Board's regulations, will greatly increase the effectual demand. Later in our Report (para. 101) we return to this question, and suggest 40 per cent as an arbitrary and experimental figure, instead of the 25 per cent the Board's regulations now require. Holders of free places tend to stay at school longer than other pupils, and this percentage of free places awarded on admission would probably result after a few years in a larger proportion of free pupils in secondary schools than the percentage itself suggests.

33. An administrative provision that seems to us to arise naturally from the Local Authority's responsibility expressed in this section, as well as in other sections, of the Act, is the transference of financial responsibility for the provision of free places from the school, which has hitherto been the unit, to the Authority itself. A discussion of this question comes, we think, better in our Report (Chapter XI) as one of our proposals

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for the improvement of existing arrangements. Certain improvements are possible without this administrative change and may fairly be considered apart from it, but its adoption would in our view much facilitate them. The suggestion is supported by the evidence we have heard. It has a special bearing on the migration difficulty.

34. There are two further points of principle that seem to us relevant here in connection with section 4 (4). "Inability to pay fees" is not necessarily co-extensive with previous attendance at a Public Elementary School. We understand that attendance at a Public Elementary School as a qualification for a free place under Article 20 was accepted originally as the best practicable test of inability, and that a better one has never been suggested to the Board. Whether or not this qualification is continued, we think that, for the purposes of the Act, Local Authorities are called on to provide free places for children who have not been in Public Elementary Schools in cases where inability to pay fees at the secondary school can be shown, and that the Board should accept such free-place pupils as contributing towards any total percentage of free-place pupils that they may require as a condition of grant.

35. The second point has already been touched on, but is so important educationally that, at the risk of platitude, we wish to refer to it again. The "benefits of any form of education" and particularly of secondary education are dependent on school life of adequate length. Pupils who leave prematurely waste education. Money spent on pupils who leave a secondary school before 16 or 17 is largely thrown away. Without question the maximum value of education in many cases can only be obtained by prolonging the process to 18. We deal later (Chapter VII) with practical measures for the prevention of the waste involved in an unduly early leaving age.

36. It will be seen that in this section of our Report, and in other sections, we regard facilities for admission to secondary schools as our main problem. This is in accordance with the comparative importance we attach to secondary education. Civilisation seems to suffer at the present time from a lack of the broad and humanising ideas that form the basis of enlightened citizenship. We do not see where those ideas can be sown, or how they can develop to vigorous life, unless the greatest possible number of the intelligent children of the nation, whatever their means, secure liberal education during the period when their minds are most open to the influence of high and generous ideals, and are most powerfully affected by them.

37. Before, however, we come to questions of method and organisation applicable to the scholarship and free-place system, as we hope it may be in the immediate future, we feel bound to deal with a general question that has been forced upon our notice throughout the whole of our inquiry, the question of

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free secondary education. We deal with this question in the following chapter.



38. That the State has a responsibility for the provision to its citizens of the means of education is a principle which it is needless for us to discuss. We do not question that it is a sound principle, but whether it be sound or unsound, it has, at any rate, been accepted and acted upon to an extent that places it now outside the sphere of controversy. Since 1891 the State has provided for free elementary education: since 1918 it has undertaken to provide free part-time post-elementary education; it already meets by central and local grants the greater part of the cost of secondary education in grant-aided schools; and now that State responsibility has gone so far it appears to us both natural and desirable that it should go further. The present condition of affairs in the matter of secondary education is transitional, and it has anomalous features, as transitional states are wont to have, that are unsatisfactory in themselves, and are harmful to the interests both of good education and good administration.

39. Apart from the provision of free places the education given in grant-aided secondary schools is already "free" to a larger extent than is popularly realised. There are three ordinary sources of school income, public money in the shape of a grant from the Board or the Local Authority, income from endowments, and fees. Many schools are not endowed, and there are a few schools where no fees are charged. But in the schools where fees are charged fees meet only a part of the cost. The last published statistics dealing with school finance* show that out of the total secondary school income of £2,663,661 the amount of £1,100,245 was contributed by fees. The burden on local and public funds amounted to £1,304,218.

40. When we remember further that in England 30 per cent of the pupils, and in Wales 42 per cent, pay no fees, the extent to which secondary education is already free is seen to be substantial. If our suggestion of an increase in the percentage of free places awarded on admission is accepted there is little doubt that just as the present 25 per cent rule has resulted in 30 per cent of free-place holders actually in the schools, because free pupils tend to stay longer at school than fee-paying pupils, so, after some years a higher percentage still will be reached, and to that extent secondary education will become free in a larger measure than it is to-day. Looking only to the terms of section 4 (4) of the Act, we cannot doubt that its effect must be to increase the number of free pupils in secondary schools whatever administrative steps may be taken to give effect to it.

*Statistics of Public Education, 1912-13, Part II., Cd, 8054.

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41. It is not unnatural therefore that the evidence we have heard should constantly have raised in some form the question whether, either as an ultimate or as a prospective policy, it may be desirable to contemplate dispensing with the payment of all fees in secondary schools, and substituting for the present system what is usually known as free secondary education. We are not sure that this aspect of the free-place problem was intended to be included in our terms of reference, but we feel that it is so intimately connected with the questions we have had under consideration thai we cannot ignore it in our Report.

42. The question arises all the more naturally in that the evolution of elementary schools offers a suggestive though not wholly analogous precedent. Elementary education has not always been free; it has become free since 1891. Further, the Act of 1918 makes provision for free part-time education continuing the education given by the elementary school.

43. It is true that the principle of compulsory attendance lies behind these types of free education, and supplies a definite basis for making them free. But to decline full financial responsibility for secondary education while accepting it for elementary and part-time post-elementary education is to emphasise an artificial and unsound distinction between the several stages of the educational process. Such a distinction seems to make the tacit assumption that school education is divisible into unrelated stages, that the first stage can be considered complete, and sufficient in itself, and that anything more than a part-time continuation is unessential and in the nature of a luxury. This is directly contrary to the weight of instructed opinion. The process of a good education is now generally regarded as one and indivisible throughout its successive stages. To a pupil capable of profiting by it secondary education is not unessential or a luxury, but a necessary and natural continuation of the elementary school course.

44. It is, we believe, on the clear recognition of this principle and on its consistent adoption in practice that the improvement of the educational system of the country in a large measure depends. Our present system neither recognises it clearly, nor adopts it consistently. At present the State by accepting financial responsibility for some stages of the educational process while it refuses that for other stages no less beneficial in appropriate cases, tends rather to give to the principle a direct negative. We are of opinion, therefore, that sooner or later the State should be prepared to recognise the essential continuity of education by accepting the same financial responsibility in respect of secondary education that it has already accepted in respect of other and no more necessary stages and forms, and that in the meanwhile all steps for the immediate improvement of the financial basis of our secondary system, particularly in the matter of scholarships and free places, should be taken with that end in view.

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45. Many, however, who would agree with these general considerations are doubtful whether the time is ripe for freeing the secondary schools. Some of our witnesses, for example, have urged that the effect of abolishing fees would be to drive a number of schools outside the national system, and have represented that the evil effects of this would be twofold. On the one hand the result might be to accentuate an undesirable segregation of social classes, and, on the other, many of these schools would be inefficient because they would be unable to command fees high enough to meet the cost of effective maintenance.

46. We recognise these possible dangers. With regard to the possibility that certain schools would be driven out of the national system, we think the extent of the danger may be exaggerated. The cost of maintaining a secondary school efficiently is now high and is likely to increase. It has to be remembered that in addition to the ordinary grants from public money the provisions of the Superannuation Act of 1918 are equivalent in effect to further, though indirect, grants from the State, and that it may become still more difficult for private schools to secure adequate staffing unless equivalent superannuation benefits are provided from their own resources. With regard to the possibility that the freeing of grant-aided secondary schools might result in a social cleavage we doubt whether enough weight has been attached to the importance of the distinction between some of these schools being free and all of them being free. There seems to be a feeling now that a school where fees are paid must be a better school than one that is free, and that the higher the fee the better the school, "better" being understood partly in an educational and partly in a social sense.

47. We doubt whether this feeling could long survive the freeing of all the schools now assisted from public funds. Similar apprehensions were felt when the admission of free-place pupils was first required in 1907 by Article 20, but the almost unanimous opinion expressed to us by competent witnesses who had experience of the change was that, within a very short time, the free-place pupils were absorbed into the system of the schools, and that so far from the parents of fee-paying pupils now having any objection to their presence, it is commonly recognised that the schools benefit thereby.

48. We have also had before us the objection that if fees were no longer paid, and the schools became wholly dependent on public money and endowments, there might he a tendency, in the interests of a false economy, to a general levelling down of the schools. At present there are some secondary schools that represent a more advanced type of education than others and are proportionately more expensive to staff and maintain. Would there not be a danger that, if fees disappeared, such schools would be reduced to the more ordinary level?

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49. We recognise this danger, and do not minimise it. As one of our most experienced witnesses has said, uniformity is, perhaps, the greatest danger in education. No policy of freeing the schools would, in our view, be satisfactory if it did not imply a scale of grant compensating in full for the loss of fees and enabling schools of various types to continue to exist at least as successfully as before. A liberal scale of grants administered in a generous educational spirit would be essential. There is, of course, always the possibility that the increased control due in practice to any increase of financial responsibility may in the interest of administrative convenience lead to too uniform a system. Is it, however, certain that the payment of fees does in itself act as a check on this tendency? We doubt whether it does. On the other hand the acceptance by the State of fuller financial responsibility would enable it to require from the schools, with increased authority, satisfactory standards and conditions, particularly in the matter of accommodation and teaching staff.

50. It was further contended by some that to free the secondary schools might result in a lowering of the standard of admission, and so lead to a general levelling down of the educational standard. We do not think, however, that in the present great excess of the demand for secondary education over the supply of accommodation there is any reason to apprehend such a result. As long as the demand exceeds the supply, there must be some element of competition in the arrangements for admission, and competition may be relied upon to maintain the standard. It is generally recognised that under present conditions, with their strong element of competition, a large proportion of pupils who are unable to win a scholarship or free place are nevertheless capable of profiting to the full by secondary education. Further, if the supply of accommodation increases in proportion to the demand it may be argued with force that there will on the whole be no harm, but rather the reverse, in the consequent widening of the sweep of the net cast to catch pupils for the secondary schools. We contemplate also, and it is indeed one of our recommendations, that a standard of admission should be laid down, and the observance of this will protect the secondary system from any such ill consequence as that suggested (paras. 71, 139).

51. There are, on the other hand, advantages in the ideal of free secondary education, to be set against the objections to which we have referred, that are obvious and important. The acceptance by the State of full financial responsibility would enable it, as we have said, to require from the schools, with increased authority, satisfactory standards and conditions. It would remove the reproach against the present method of financing secondary education, that it is based upon no fixed principle as to the distribution of the cost between the parent and the State. In doing so it would put an end to the fallacious

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notion in the minds of parents that by paying fees they are meeting the whole cost of their children's education, whereas in fact they are meeting only a part of it. The importance of this last consideration should not be underestimated. The fee-payer feels and sees the payment of fees; but payments made by the State on his behalf are made indirectly, and are not appreciated or seen. Fee-payers are tempted thereby to feel themselves entitled to more responsibility and influence in the sphere of secondary education than their contributions warrant. This is an unsatisfactory state of affairs, and the only complete remedy for it is for the State to complete the process, already far advanced, of freeing the secondary schools.

52. The simplification of the secondary school system, in relation to the free-place question, seems to us an important advantage. The view has been put to us that section 4 (4) of the Act, strictly interpreted, will be administratively impracticable if the practice of charging fees is maintained. Local Authorities would be called upon first to determine who were the children "capable of profiting" and then who among the parents of these children were unable to pay fees; and that this in practice would be an impossible task. Though we are not prepared to go as far as this, we cannot fail to see that an extension of the free-place system, such as we propose, reaches, at a great cost of energy, an end that could be reached in a simpler and easier way by abolishing fees. We do not contemplate that free schools would be open to any children who were not regarded as capable of profiting by the course provided, but we realise the difficulties and inconsistencies likely to be involved in discriminating between those who can and those who cannot pay fees.

53. The obvious practical difficulty in the way of freeing the secondary schools is the cost. The liability that would be imposed upon public funds at present by the abolition of fees, although in itself substantial, is not a large one compared with the total cost of all forms of education. The amount received in fees for pupils in grant-earning secondary schools during 1912-13 was £1,100,245.* No later figures are available, and in recent years fees have been raised to some extent in many schools. The figure given is, however, at least a rough measure of the extra expense to be cast upon public funds, in respect of the loss of existing fees, but not, of course, in respect of any such extension of post-elementary education as we have suggested in Chapter IV of this Report.

54. It has, however, been put to us that in view of the urgent need for national economy and the inadequacy of the funds available for general educational purposes this sum received in fees cannot at present be spared, and that public money is spent better at present in such ways, for instance, as aiding cleverer children and developing the much-needed alternative

*Perhaps £2,000,000 now, in view of larger numbers and raised fees.

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forms of post-elementary education, than it would be in relieving fee-paying parents. We admit that there is much force in the contention, and in the present state of the national budget are not prepared to recommend the freeing of the grant-aided secondary schools as an immediate policy. We do, however, feel that as a prospective policy, capable, we hope, of being made effective at a fairly early date, it is on the balance of advantage a desirable one.



55. Whatever administrative changes may take place there are some features of the present arrangements that must continue for some time to come. In the following paragraphs we propose to discuss them and to suggest improvements where it seems to us that improvement can be effected. The points to which we shall first direct our attention are the questions of the age of transfer to secondary schools, the standard of admission and the methods of selection; we propose then to pass to a discussion of the steps that seem to us practicable for increasing the length of school life.

56. On no point perhaps have we had greater unanimity of evidence than on the question of the right age for transfer from the elementary to the secondary school. Witnesses are agreed that the best age is 11 plus. In other words, children should move from the elementary to the secondary school between the ages of 11 and 12.

57. This conclusion, and we agree with it, is reached mainly on practical grounds, but is not controverted by any evidence we have heard based on the nature of child development. Indeed, it has been put to us that the age of 11 does mark a definite stage in the development of most children, and that from 11 to 13 the changes taking place are as a rule so critical that a boy of 13 is not only two years older than he was at 11 but even a different boy. On practical grounds of school organisation, however, there seems to us to be little doubt that 11 plus is the right age for transfer. Earlier a child has seldom sufficient command of his powers to be able to show readily what his ability and attainments are. By the age of 11 he should have sufficient facility in reading and writing, and sufficient concentration and logical power, to provide material for a reasonably correct judgment. At that age he is ready to begin a secondary school course. At 12 or 13 he will have lost a little time, time that in certain cases he can make up by more work, though at some inconvenience to school organisation; at 14 he will have lost so much that by comparison with his fellows he can make good in the new school only in very rare cases. These considerations assume that a system of selection will continue for some time to come, and that in the main the curricula of

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the elementary school and the secondary school will remain essentially unaltered. For the present it might be supposed that the elementary school likes to keep children as long as it can and the secondary school likes to get them as early as it can; but transfer from one school to the other between the ages of 11 and 12 is generally accepted by both schools as the most satisfactory solution in the interest of the children generally.

58. We do not, however, wish to be understood as laying down a rigid rule of universal application. We think that in some cases a child may well be transferred between the ages of 10 and 11 if his development is such as to warrant it and his parents so desire. We also think that there should be some provision for transfer up to the age of 13, to meet cases of accidental retardation caused by illness or other special circumstances. Hardship may even arise in individual cases if the door is finally shut then, and we think Authorities might reserve power to make occasional transfers for special reasons up to 14. It has been represented to us that children in rural areas are sometimes slightly later in their development than those from towns, and it may be desirable in defining the age limits of scholarship schemes to take this into consideration. It has also been represented to us that some awards should be reserved for children developing later than their fellows. We hesitate to suggest any definite percentage, and are inclined to think that good methods of selection will obviate the need of doing this.

59. With regard to the age of transfer to such schools as Junior Technical Schools we have little to say. Their character, and the relation of their organisation to the organisation of Public Elementary Schools, are such that transfer at a rather later age than we recommend for secondary schools, is customary and, we think, reasonable.

60. We have also considered the possibility, which we think scholarship schemes should include, of transfer from one type of school to another, as for instance, from central or other school to secondary or Junior Technical School or vice versa. Such transfers would, we anticipate, be occasional only. The opinion has been expressed to us that such transfers sometimes cause inconvenience to the new school. The possibility should, however, certainly be provided for to meet exceptional cases.

61. As long as children are selected for admission to secondary schools, and this we believe must be the case for many years, the methods of selection adopted are of obvious importance. The evidence we have heard suggests to us that much thought and pains have already been spent on perfecting the methods of selection. Scholarship and free-place examinations have, on the whole, been taken very seriously by Local Authorities and schools, and the existing methods of some Authorities seem to us to leave little to desire. There will always be mistakes. Witnesses have instanced cases of children not selected for

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free places who, when admitted to the school as fee paying pupils, have done better than those successful in gaining a free place. But good methods will reduce such mistakes to the inevitable minimum.

62. We agree with the tenor of the evidence we have heard in regarding some kind of formal test as necessary. We consider that a system of awards based solely on nomination is impracticable. Though it may be true that the primary school staff are in a position to estimate a boy's or girl's capacity more accurately than any examination can do, we doubt whether parents or teachers would always be happy about a system of nomination, quite apart from the question of variation of standard between school and school. The difficulty would not be removed if the staff of the secondary school co-operated. It has, however, been suggested to us that selection might be based not on any examination ad hoc but on a scrutiny by the secondary school authorities of recent examination scripts worked in the elementary school. The witness who made this suggestion thought that the head master of the secondary school concerned would be able from his inspection of the children's written work to pick out the most promising. If there were several secondary schools the scripts would be distributed in the first instance in accordance with the preferences of the candidates, and the scripts of those not selected by the school of their first choice would then be redistributed in accordance with their second choice, and so on, till all the places had been filled; the process being shortened in practice by the secondary school masters meeting and comparing notes. We think that in some areas this experiment might be worth trying. It has the tempting advantage of avoiding a special examination, and there is no reason why the evidence of the scripts should not be supplemented with evidence drawn from school records or oral examination (if and when required). But we think its usefulness would be limited to small areas.

63. No evidence we have heard has shaken our conviction that under existing conditions the advantages of a well-conducted examination out-balance its occasional mistakes. For the purpose of selecting children for secondary education its aim must be as far as possible to test capacity and promise rather than attainments. On this our witnesses are unanimous. It is impossible altogether to exclude in any examination the factor of attainments, for capacity is revealed through them. The important point is that the aim should be kept constantly in view, and the examination organised accordingly. We believe that it should comprise a written and an oral test. This is the form of examination usually adopted at the present time, and is the one recommended by almost all our witnesses. The written examination should be confined to English and Arithmetic.

64. The reasons for confining the written examination to English and Arithmetic are clear. We have been told by a

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psychologist who has made a special study of the problem that at the age of 11 or 12 these are the subjects that correlate most closely with general capacity. Common sense suggests that the limitation of the test to these two subjects minimises the risk of special preparation and prevents the examination from dominating the syllabus and methods of the primary school. English should always be understood to include composition, and the papers should be framed so as to test power of thought as well as of expression. In Arithmetic the questions should mainly, but not wholly, take the form of problems. If these conditions are observed we believe that the object of the test, to discover capacity rather than attainment, will be better fulfilled than by any other form of written test.*

65. Our witnesses are practically unanimous in thinking that an oral examination should form part of the selection test. It should. be subsidiary to the written examination, its main purpose to serve as a corrective. The objections brought against it are that it is laborious, slow, trying to candidates and exhausting to examiners, and seldom alters the results of the written test. In spite, however, of these objections the witnesses as a whole recommend it, wherever the practical difficulties are not so great as to be insuperable. They may be so in the rare cases where there are many candidates in a rural area. But it is not essential for purposes of selection that all candidates qualifying in the written test should be orally examined. Candidates who do well in the written test usually do well in the oral test, and where awards are made on a qualifying basis and the element of competition does not enter, the oral test may properly be confined to borderline cases widely interpreted. Where, however, competition is involved a larger proportion of candidates should be tested orally. Provided that the aim of the examination is kept in view, to estimate capacity rather than attainments, it is not essential to confine the oral test to English and Arithmetic. A witness who attached importance to oral examination said he believed capacity might best be estimated in a conversation roaming over any subjects the child could talk about. In any case an oral test must not be hurried, an average of 15 minutes for each candidate must be allowed. No examiner should deal with more than 20 candidates a day, even in co-operation with other examiners. A more rapid rate aggravates the handicap on nervous children and reduces the examiners to automata.

66. We believe that a written and oral test of this character will minimise the danger of special preparation. All schools

*An experienced witness offered four remarks on the technique of examinations, and emphasised them in the belief that some of the surprising results of examinations are due to their non-observance:(a) As a rule the question beginning "How" or "Why" is better than one that begins "Who" or "Where"; (b) the best questions involve the most trouble in setting and marking; (c) a good question is typical, not accidental; (d) the assessment of marks must not be mechanical.

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will probably be affected to varying extent by the requirements of such an examination. This can hardly be avoided; but a general test of capacity and intelligence can only be prepared for by training capacity and intelligence, and this is after all one of the main duties of schools.

67. We cannot pass from the subject of examinations without reference to psychological tests. The purpose of the examination we contemplate being to discover capacity apart from attainment, psychological tests would constitute the best method if they could be applied easily and give trustworthy results. At present applied psychology is in an experimental stage, and the validity of its methods is not yet sufficiently firmly established to justify their employment in the place of ordinary tests. No test of purely general ability has yet been discovered. The tests that appear to be most effective are those that involve reasoning about matters of common knowledge and general interest; for example, supplying synonyms or antonyms to a chosen list of words, finding a term which stands in the same relation to a given third term as a second term does to a given first ("analogies" test); filling in missing words in a mutilated argument so as to complete the sense ("completion" test); discovering inconsistencies in a narrative composed of self-contradictory statements ("absurdities" test); deducing conclusions from given premises ("syllogism" test). We are told that of these the last mentioned ("syllogism" test) had proved the most generally useful; that the so-called erasure test (crossing out a particular letter in a passage) had proved worthless, and that some of the Binet tests had not worked well as tests of reasoning, e.g. arranging weights in order, drawing from memory, defining abstract terms, uttering a number of words in a given time. Whether in the hands of examiners without special training the results of psychological tests could be relied on is a doubtful point. Probably an expert examiner is more to be trusted than a laboratory psychologist, and examiners with some degree of expertness are not uncommon. We understand that an experiment on a large scale in London strikingly confirmed the correctness of scholarship examination results.* We think, therefore, that though psychological tests deserve the most careful consideration as promising a useful auxiliary to other methods of selection when further developed, and though we should always welcome experiments in their use as a basis of further progress, they cannot at present supersede examinations of the ordinary type.

68. We may add that some witnesses have mentioned the desirability of including in the examination a test, if possible, of manual ability. It may sometimes be desirable to give children an opportunity of demonstrating special skill in this direction, particularly in selecting children for admission to

*See Mr. Cyril Burt's monograph on "Educational Ability", published by the London County Council, 1917.

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Junior Technical Schools, but in view of the difficulty both of devising a suitable test and of the time and labour involved in applying it where such a test has been employed, we doubt whether it can be recommended generally. School record and oral examination may, perhaps, be expected to supply its place for the present.

69. There is more diversity among our witnesses on the value of school records in connection with scholarship awards than on any other point bearing on selection tests. Generally, however, they think such records should be referred to, if only for borderline cases and for the purposes of the oral examination. Differences of standard and the personal equation of teachers are obviously disturbing factors in assessing the value of school records. It has been suggested to us that if the judgment of a candidate's capacity is expressed in marks by the head teacher of the primary school the marks awarded may be standardised as between schools by reference to the average mark obtained by the batch of candidates from each school at the written examination. Where a number of candidates enter from the same school the head teacher may usefully be asked to place them in order of merit.

70. With regard to the conduct of scholarship or free-place examinations, we contemplate their passing almost wholly into the hands of the Local Authorities and being taken by much larger numbers of candidates than hitherto. Some form of delegation will therefore probably be required. At the top we suggest a committee appointed by the Authority, consisting of members of the education committee and officials, heads of secondary and elementary schools and H.M. Inspectors. With this committee would lie the responsibility, under the Authority, of conducting the examination. They would arrange for the setting of the written tests and pass them, and arrange for the marking of the papers, either by specially appointed external examiners, or possibly by the heads of the elementary schools presenting candidates, in accordance with their instructions. They would also be called upon to arrange for the oral examination. At this the head of the secondary school concerned should always be present, and a representative of the head teachers of the elementary schools. An examiner appointed by the Authority, often one of their officers, should attend for all or part of the time to see that a reasonably uniform standard is maintained. The committee would be responsible for final standardisation and the decision of doubtful cases, and the preparation of the list of successful candidates. In large areas it will probably soon be advisable to establish subsidiary or local committees, where this has not already been done, to whom the main committee would delegate such duties as the arrangements for the marking of scripts and oral examinations. Such local committees might consist of the headmaster and headmistress of two secondary schools respectively with the

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headmaster and headmistress of two elementary schools and, for purposes of oral examination, an officer of the Authority. It is a matter for the Authority's discretion whether all or some of the members be drawn from another part of the area. As experience grows it may become possible for the local committees to take over the setting of papers, subject to the main committee's approval, or for the local committees to arrange for each elementary school to set its own papers. These steps will follow more easily as secondary school accommodation increases and comes to meet the full extent of the demand, for the examination will then lose its element of competition and become a qualifying test.

71. The question of qualifying standard seems to call for consideration, in connection with methods of selection. We gather that where the provision of secondary school accommodation is nearly commensurate with the demand, the standard for free-place holders and fee-paying pupils is practically the same. Where, however, the demand exceeds the supply, competition may become acute, and this question disappears. What we aim at now is some indication of a minimum standard that may become generally accepted as a norm throughout the country. It is desirable that in all areas capacity for profiting by a secondary school course should mean roughly the same thing.

72. As already stated, we think this standard should be fixed in relation to capacity, not attainment, and that capacity should be considered with reference to the work of the secondary school, provided that the work of the pupil in the elementary school and the class reached should always be considered as supplying strong, and perhaps the best, evidence as to whether the standard is attained or not. It is true that in this country the attainment of pupils in elementary schools has come to be classified in stages represented by the "standards" of an obsolete code. Although the degree of attainment represented by any "standard" may be tolerably well understood, for the purpose of proceeding to further education the qualification must be based rather on promise and capacity than on actual attainment. Consciously or unconsciously this has been the principle determining scholarship standard hitherto. The tradition of the standards of existing secondary schools has a reality of its own, though they may be difficult to define. With regard to these the most definite suggestion put to us is that qualifying standard should be understood to mean promise of passing a First Examination at the normal age, between 16 and 17. Most of our witnesses have agreed to the reasonableness of this suggestion. In practice it means that ordinarily no child can be considered qualified for admission unless he is fit to enter a form the average age of which is nearest his own.

73. Some considerations bearing on the modification of standard for individual cases also arise. Our witnesses agree that, in the examination, excellence in one of the subjects, English

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and Arithmetic, should be allowed to compensate for inferior work in the other. This is a common practice, and we understand that its justice has been proved in cases where examining bodies have reviewed the secondary school work of candidates to whose examination results the principle has been applied.

74. A further modification is the allowance to be made for the type of locality and the school from which the candidate comes. We have said that we regard the requirements of the secondary school as setting the standard, but to insist on a rigid standard would be unjust to many candidates from small rural or poor urban schools that cannot offer the same advantages as others more favourably circumstanced. In a large area of varied character such candidates are at a disadvantage. If scholarships are awarded on a qualifying basis, and if the aim of the test is consistently directed to finding capacity, the disadvantage is much diminished, but not wholly eliminated. In some areas with a limited number of scholarships an attempt to meet the difficulty has been made by reserving a certain number of scholarships for special districts or schools. Another plan is to determine which schools deserve special treatment and to make an allowance of a percentage of marks to candidates from these schools. Probably the second plan is the better, for it allows more latitude in dealing with individual cases. Oral examination and school record supply a further opportunity or making the necessary correction. It is doubtful, however, whether any formal system of examination will do justice to children from very small rural schools as they exist at present. Possibly such schools might be better dealt with by a method similar to that already mentioned in paragraph 62 above, i.e. by an examination of the candidate's work supplemented by an oral test.

75. After considering the arguments for and against, we have come to the conclusion that all boys and girls in elementary schools who have reached the age of 11 should be examined for scholarship purposes, with the exception of those who, at the age of 11, have failed to reach a place in the school corresponding to that reached by their contemporaries. We should also regard as eligible any children of 10 whose attainment corresponded to the average attainment of children of 11, if the parent desired the child to take the examination and the school raised no objection. Our main reason for this opinion is that the country cannot afford to miss intelligent children. The evidence leads us to think that at present it probably does because they do not take the examination. One of our witnesses, the chairman of an education committee, remarked that what struck him, in his experience, was not the lack of ability but the dearth of candidates. It has also been represented to us that in some areas certain schools, not necessarily the best, continue to provide successful candidates while others provide no candidates. This is due, we think, partly to the ignorance, apathy, or selfishness

[page 25]

of some parents; partly to the absence or insufficiency of maintenance allowances, and partly to the mere absence of a tradition or habit of scholarship winning in the school. Whatever the reasons, the impression left on us by the evidence is that at present a great many excellent fish slip past the net.

76. We understand that a small but rapidly increasing number of Authorities have adopted this method, which appears also to be in accord with the spirit of the Act of 1918. A review of the capacities of all children in an age-group is the natural means of ascertaining which children are capable of profiting by further education of various types. It does, of course, add to the burden of examination, but where this burden proves insupportable we see no reason why an Authority should not institute a preliminary qualifying test of a simple kind to eliminate the hopeless cases. Tho only objection that has been brought against it, by some teachers, is that it would reintroduce into the primary schools the evils of a general external examination, and would lead to a loss of teaching freedom and to invidious comparisons between teachers and schools. This view when pressed at all has been strongly pressed, but it is not the view of all who have given evidence. Though we recognise the evils that have arisen and must arise from the imposition of any general external examination embracing a large part of the curriculum and intended to serve as material for estimating the schools' or the teachers' efficiency, we do not feel that an examination of the kind we recommend, and for the purpose we have in view, is likely to produce these results. The examination we have in mind is intended to discover not a pupil's attainments, but his capacity. It is confined to a test of the most general character in two subjects, English and Arithmetic. Its purpose and character divide it so clearly from the kind of examination some teachers remember and justly fear that we do not think its adoption is likely to be followed by a recrudescence of the old evils. We contemplate that the teachers themselves should take a large part in conducting it. If there are risks we think them outbalanced by the advantages of the arrangement. We imagine that parents in difficult circumstances or apathetic or ignorant are much more likely to consider favourably the possibility of giving their child the advantage of secondary education if the school authorities can come to them and say, "he has done so well in the scholarship examination that we offer him a scholarship; it is for you to decide whether you can arrange for him to take it and to stay at school while he holds it".

77. In dealing with principles implied in section 4 (4) of the Act of 1918 we referred to its effect on the Board's present requirement that to qualify for a free place a pupil must have been for two years previously in continuous attendance at a Public Elementary School (para. 34). This qualification can no longer be absolute. Its original purpose was to serve as a practical test of poverty, and, though it has been criticised, no

[page 26]

better test, we believe, has ever been suggested to the Board. Admittedly it is not, and never has been, a perfect test of poverty. The evidence we have heard has constantly found fault with it, and its retention as an absolute qualification has not been advocated even by witnesses whose sympathies were wholly with the less well-to-do. It has been the general view that all children are national assets, and that secondary education should be open to all capable of profiting by it, whether they have attended a Public Elementary School or not.

78. A number of witnesses have suggested that this qualification for a free place should be abolished and an income limit substituted. In some scholarship schemes an income limit is already imposed. But in view of the difficulty and labour involved in assessing incomes and of interpreting the figures when obtained in relation to need, we are not inclined to suggest that the Public Elementary School qualification should be wholly abolished and its place taken in all cases by an income qualification. For practical purposes we think that the Public Elementary School qualification should remain, but that the Board's free-place requirements should also be met by cases of exemption from fees where pupils had not previously attended such a school. There is a consensus of evidence in support of this. For such free places an income limit, or proof of need following inquiry into family circumstances, would be necessary. The number of children in whose cases need could be shown and who had enjoyed a previous education elsewhere than in a Public Elementary School is not likely to be considerable.

79. It seems appropriate to say here that we recommend provision also for exemption from fees (with the addition where necessary of maintenance allowances) for pupils already in the secondary school, and above the normal scholarship age of 11 to 12, whose family circumstances alter in such a way, for example, by the death of the father, as to make it impracticable for them to remain in the school as fee-paying pupils. Such cases would be dealt with not by examination, but on the recommendation of the school authorities. It is also desirable that exemptions, with additional assistance if necessary, should be provided for some pupils who cannot otherwise remain after the age of 16, and whose performance in the First Examination justified the award. Neither category would reckon as free places in the sense of the Board's regulations.

80. Whether all the children of a given age-group take the scholarship examination or not, and more especially if they do not, it is important that the facilities available and the advantages of further education should be made known to all parents. We understand that some Authorities send letters or circulars to all parents whose children are near scholarship age. A responsibility also rests with the teaching staff of the elementary schools to make the possibilities known and to encourage

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candidates. Some Authorities arrange for meetings of all parents whose children obtain a scholarship with a view to determining the school at which it is to be held and to enlisting their support and sympathy. When this is possible it, has great advantages. It has been represented to us that the co-operation of the parents is one of the most important factors in the success of a scholarship scheme, and even that favourable home influence might sometimes be fairly regarded as a decisive element in a doubtful case. The provisions of the Act of 1918 with regard to parents' views and the steps that are being taken to give effect to them will, we hope, tend to spread a wider knowledge of the facilities offered and a juster appreciation of their value.

81. Before concluding this section of our Report on methods of selection we think it worth while to suggest that Local Education Authorities should systematically review their examination methods in the light of the after careers in the secondary school of successful and unsuccessful candidates. It would be very helpful if the results of such investigations could be made more generally known than is now the case.



82. We proceed to consider what steps can be taken administratively to secure that pupils admitted to a school without fee on the ground that they are capable of profiting do, in fact, profit by the course. We propose to deal in order with the questions of the tenure of scholarships or free places, parents' agreements, and maintenance allowances.

83. All these questions relate to the need we have already emphasised of an adequate school-life. Shortness of school life is a great hindrance to educational progress and a serious waste of public money. From the evidence put before us we gather that many scholarships are still tenable, at any rate in the first instance, for three or four years. It is true that if the holder of such a scholarship is to count towards the Board's free-place requirement he must be exempt from fees as long as he remains in the school; but the suggestion conveyed by a limited tenure is against his remaining after the period of the scholarship expires. Our witnesses point out that where such a scholarship covers not only an exemption from fees but also an allowance the temptation to leave the school when it expires is strong. If he remains, the cost of defraying his fees often falls upon the school. We feel, therefore, that no scholarships should be awarded which do not carry the holder forward for at least the number of years necessary to bring him to 16 or 17. It is of capital importance that public opinion should be accustomed to the idea that the value of secondary

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education is bound up with the length of the school course, and that 16 is not the normal but the minimum leaving-age. Those who cannot look forward to a school life as long as this should not go to a secondary school.*

84. In this connection we have also considered the difficulty that arises when pupils holding free places presume on their security and fail to satisfy the school authorities in their industry and progress. Tho evidence we have heard suggests that this difficulty is not unknown. The Board's free-place rules stipulate that a free-place pupil cannot be removed from the school except in circumstances that would lead to the removal of a fee-paying pupil. There are some schools where the authorities have taken power to require the withdrawal of any pupil who, in their opinion, is not able or not willing to benefit properly by the course. Here the difficulty is lessened. There is, however, a feeling that some further powers than they have at present should be at the disposal of school authorities for dealing with unsatisfactory cases short of expulsion from the school. In the case of fee-paying pupils parents are anxious, it is said, to get value for their money, and may apply pressure or withdraw a child if his progress or industry is unsatisfactory. The same considerations do not apply to pupils for whom no fees are paid. In the interest of the school and of public economy it is desirable that the awarding authorities should be in the same position towards the free-place holder as the parent is towards the fee-paying pupil.

86. There appear to be three methods of ensuring in most cases an adequate school life. The first of these is the encouragement of entry at the normal age, as already defined in our Report (para. 50), the second is the institution of "parents' agreements", and the third, maintenance allowances.

86. We understand from the evidence put before us that already in some areas parents of scholarship holders are required to enter into an agreement to keep the scholar at school up to a certain age, and usually to the end of the school year in which 16 is reached. Agreements of this kind are said to be effective. The penalty for breach varies, but is normally payment of at least a year's school fees. The usefulness of such an agreement lies rather in its moral than its legal force, and where it has been tried it is said to have proved useful on this basis. In more than one area such an agreement is required from all parents, and we think that if it is instituted for pupils exempt from fees it should also be instituted for all others. In grant-aided schools even the fee-paying pupil is not paying the whole cost of his education by any means, and the difference between him and a free-place holder is one of degree rather than kind. Any pupil withdrawn prematurely wastes public money. With regard to the administration of such agreements it is

*The Board's Circular 1164, of June 1920, deals with this important question of adequate school life.

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obvious that the Authority must exercise a wide discretion, but administered with good sense, as it ordinarily would be, an agreement might, we think, be adopted much more generally, if not universally. It should include an assurance from the parents that they will give every encouragement to the scholar to take full advantage of the opportunities offered and that they intend to keep him at school at least until the end of the school year in which he attains the age of 16. Several witnesses have suggested to us that the provision of the Act exempting from attendance at continuation schools all children who have received full-time education of an approved character up to the age of 16 will have an early effect on the number of children remaining in secondary schools to that age. We think this not improbable, especially in view of the possible raising of the leaving age in elementary schools in some areas to 15. The provision greatly facilitates the institution of some such agreement as we propose. All our evidence has favoured the proposal.

87. A suggestion carrying the same idea rather further has also been before us. It has been suggested that the time is ripe for a statutory obligation binding a parent whose child is admitted to a secondary school, whether as a fee-paying or as a free pupil, to keep him at school for a certain period, or up to a certain age. Such a provision would make statutory the requirement aimed at in parents' agreements. Some of our witnesses have approved this suggestion, on the understanding that Authorities were empowered to administer it with discretion; but others, though agreeing with the desirability of the object in view, have doubted whether it could not more easily be reached by means of agreements, and have been shy of recourse to statute until the other method had been tried. We are inclined to think that for the present this is the better line, and recommend that Authorities should institute parents' agreements, leaving the State to introduce a statutory requirement later if necessary, when local administration has accustomed the country to the aim in view.

88. We are influenced in this opinion by the incomplete development at the present time of the arrangements for maintenance allowances. A statutory obligation to keep children at school seems to imply a more fully developed system of maintenance allowances than exists at present. That such a development will take place is certain from the new provision of grants to Local Authorities in aid of such expenditure. We wish to emphasise the importance of such a development, and to indicate what seem to us some of the main principles of a satisfactory system.*

89. It appears to be generally acknowledged that even the freeing of all secondary schools would not make them accessible to all children capable of profiting by the facilities offered.

*For statistics of present provision, see Tables E 1, 2, 3, 4.

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The same condition must be recognised as applying to such exemptions from fees as are available for individuals under the arrangements we contemplate for the immediate future. As first principles, we suggest that the object of maintenance allowances is to make free places fully effective by lightening the financial burden of secondary schooling, without altogether removing the effort we think it desirable parents should feel. Nor should maintenance allowances be estimated on a basis of full compensation for wages. Subject to these explanations we think maintenance allowances should be available in all necessary cases where pupils are exempt from fees.

90. It has continually been represented to us in evidence that, without more assistance than a free place gives, some children cannot take up a free place, and that others, who can take one up, cannot afford to remain at school long enough to derive full benefit from the course. At the same time it is represented that unless some effort is felt by parents they are inclined to undervalue the education their children receive. It has also been stated, we think truly, that the knowledge that their parents are making an effort reacts favourably on the children's work. With regard to the value attached to something paid for, all experienced witness from one area instanced a school in an artisan neighbourhood that had increased its numbers before the War from 170 to 700 after the imposition of a three-guinea fee. This is perhaps, a special case, and we do not know what other factors may have been at work, but we believe the principle it suggests is sometimes useful. With regard to the attitude of the children, it has justly been pointed out to us by a working man that they cannot be expected to see the value of education as their parents may, and that if no compensation is offered them they tend to resist or revolt. This applies no doubt more to the later years of school life, but must be borne in mind from the beginning. It is essential that the free-place pupil should be put on an equality, as far as school activities, widely interpreted, are concerned, with the fee-paying pupil.

91. Before discussing the question further we think it desirable to say what we understand by the term maintenance allowance. In their regulations for grant in respect of maintenance allowances the Board have already laid down rules excluding "tuition fees or other charges made by the schools or institutions in respect of the pupil's education". They add: "No payment of the Local Education Authority of tuition fees or of charges for the use of books, stationery, &c., which do not become the property of the pupil may be included". We shall assume, therefore, for practical convenience that "maintenance allowance" applies to any cost connected with the pupil's board, lodging, transport, clothing, and the necessary incidental expenses of secondary schooling such as games, school subscriptions, or other school activities or requirements, that are not in any particular case covered by the tuition fee or school charges.

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It would, of course, be of service from an administrative point of view if "tuition fee" always covered the same things, and a "scholarship" were clearly divided into the elements of "tuition fee covered" and "other allowance". At present the situation is confused by the existence of "scholarships" that are merely exemptions from fees, "scholarships" that imply an annual sum either more or less than the "tuition fee", and "scholarships" of one or other of these two kind, holders of which may be eligible for further assistance under the name of "maintenance allowances". We propose to speak of a "free place" or "exemption " as meaning remission of fee, and to regard further assistance as "maintenance allowance" ignoring the existence of mixed scholarships, and of some slight variation in the items covered by fees. The present confusion of nomenclature is much to be regretted, and we are of opinion that for the future some such simple terms as these should be generally adopted by the Board, the Local Authorities, and the schools.

92. The main provision for maintenance allowances should begin at 14. Up to that age at least children must remain at school in any case. But some provision should exist for children transferred to secondary schools to cover the period from 11 to 14, that is from the beginning of their secondary school life. As a rule such provision should be confined to the necessary incidental expenses of secondary education. It would include travelling expenses, train fares, tram or bus fares, bicycle money, school subscriptions, school dinners, special school dress, purchase of books, and, indeed, any item of incidental expense necessary to put the free pupil on an equality with the fee-paying pupil in respect of educational benefits to be derived from the school course. Such assistance should be available, but it need not be given except in cases where it is judged necessary, and then either in whole or part as the circumstances of the case suggest. The Authority should also take power to make special further allowances in exceptional cases where it might prove impossible even with this assistance for a promising child to accept a free place. Wherever possible the allowance should be in kind rather than in money, as, for instance, with school dinners. In some rural areas the allowance would take the form of the cost or part cost of boarding.

93. It seems to be generally agreed that, before 14, maintenance allowances should, as a rule, be confined, as suggested, to exceptional cases and necessary incidental expenses. From 14 onwards, however, and more so as the pupil advances in age, the provision for maintenance allowances should become more generous, partly because the cost of a boy's or girl's board and lodging, clothing, and recreation increases, and partly because as the educational advantage of the schooling grows, so also do the economic value of the child and the consequent temptation in hard times for a poor family to put the child to work. We think, therefore, that from 14 onwards the same provision should be available as in the case of younger children, and be accorded

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on rather easier terms, and should be supplemented by a provision of money allowances to meet expenses falling outside the pupil's school needs. Such allowances should be given where necessary and in accordance with need, but with a natural tendency to increase yearly.

94. They should be calculated, as we have said, in relation to cost of living, and not to power of earning. From the evidence we have heard on this point we are convinced that, apart from the enormous cost the acceptance of the latter principle would involve, the former is the more reasonable basis. Education has a value in itself that cannot be reckoned in money, and it also has an economic value that can be so reckoned inasmuch as the better educated can usually command better remuneration. A boy or girl who benefits from a secondary school course gets both these benefits in some measure. It is difficult to argue that, in addition, some compensation is to be expected for wages that might have been earned if these benefits were not being secured. The fair purpose of maintenance allowances after the wage-earning age begins is to turn the balance of advantage in favour of the pupil's remaining at school, but not to do more. In practice this may be equivalent to some compensation for wages, but the practice does not invalidate the principle. There will remain a few parents who will still grasp at the immediate small and concrete gain and sacrifice the larger possibilities. We hope that the gradual enlightenment of public opinion will reduce their number to a minimum.

95. We feel that a system allowing the very largest measure of variation to meet individual cases is the most economical and the most beneficial. But we recognise its administrative difficulties. We should like to see Authorities adopt maxima and minima scales, and publish them with an explanation of the general principles on which they proposed to deal with individual cases. In view of the wide differences that may exist in the circumstances of families with the same nominal income we are doubtful how far income limits can usefully be laid down. The question seems to resolve itself into what is practicable administratively, but where possible we should like to see the awarding of maintenance allowances in the hands of a committee acting confidentially and with the fullest possible information before them as to the circumstances of each case. On a point of detailed administration we consider that payments should not be made to parents through the children.

96. The actual working out of a system rests, of course, with the Authorities. Assistance over and above exemption from fees, should, we think, always be available on application in case of need, but should not attach necessarily to a free place, as it does at present in practice in the case of some "scholarships". If, as we suggest, all children are examined and parents notified of the success of their child, the way then appears to be opened for informing them of the further assistance available.

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It is at this stage that information as to family circumstances may most conveniently be obtained. The issue of a form for particulars of income, size of family, calls upon income and other special circumstances should enable the Authority, after the observations of the elementary school head master or head mistress have been obtained, to settle the bulk of the applications and refer the residue of doubtful cases to such a committee as we suggest. The onus of proof of need should lie with the parents. An interview may be necessary in some cases.

97. Application for assistance beginning later should, we propose, be made by parents either independently of the school authorities, or at their suggestion. The particulars included on a form similar to the one mentioned above should pass through the hands of the head master or head mistress for observations before being considered by the Authority and their committee. It is particularly important that at the age of about 14, and again at the age of about 16, the school authorities should ascertain whether parents understand what facilities are available, in order that children may not be withdrawn in ignorance, or their educational progress handicapped by needless material difficulties. Where an agreement with parents is in operation it is not likely that they will be unaware of arrangements enabling them to keep it, for such arrangements will have been brought to their knowledge when the agreement was signed. Changes in family circumstances have, however, to be taken into account.

98. There is one form of "maintenance allowance" that deserves separate treatment. In rural areas children are deterred or precluded from attending secondary schools by long train journeys or the difficulty of finding suitable lodgings. Our witnesses, speaking with knowledge of conditions in rural areas, have held that the number of such children is considerable, and suggested that to meet their case more help is needed towards the cost of boarding, either in the form of boarding allowances or of the provision of hostels or both. With these suggestions we agree.

99. We think too that a periodical review of the cases where assistance has been given is very desirable in the interests of economy, having regard to the changes of family circumstances that may take place. Where assistance has been provided, parents should give an assurance that they will inform the Authority of any change for the better in the circumstances of the family.

100. In the whole matter of maintenance allowances we are impressed with the importance of enlisting the interest and confidence of parents, and of sympathetic administration. It is essential that the facilities offered and the principles affecting them should be made familiar, and that the educational object of lengthening school life and avoiding waste of public money should be kept constantly in view.

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101. In an earlier section of our Report (paragraph 32) dealing with the implications of section 4 (4) of the Act of 1918 we suggested provisionally that the present 25 per cent of free places in secondary schools might be increased to 40. It may be useful to support this recommendation with a statement of the considerations that incline us to it. We confess that the actual figure is largely a guess, but the factors are so uncertain and changing that, though we feel some increase is necessary, we lay no weight on the actual percentage, and suggest it only with a view to the practical purposes of administration. We desire to add to the recommendation the proviso that a child entering for the free-place examination and reaching the standard required should, we think, be given preference in admission as a fee-paying pupil, if, owing to his parents' means, he is not eligible for a free place. The recommendation should also be read in the light of paragraphs 34 and 78 above. We propose to deal later (Chapter XI) with a further administrative change widening the area on which the percentage is calculated, and our suggestion must ultimately be understood in connection with that proposal.

102. The three factors to be taken into account in arriving at a percentage, irrespective of the provision of secondary schools, are ability in relation to standard, that is the proportion of children capable of profiting, economic capacity of parents, or the proportion of parents who can, with or without such assistance as is available, maintain their children at school for an adequate period if they receive some financial help, and third, the desire for secondary education. All these factors lead us to think that an increase is necessary. Our witnesses have represented that the number of normal children and of those above normal is a high proportion of the child population. It is said that inspectors familiar with Public Elementary Schools regard 25 per cent of the children as a rule above normal, 50 per cent normal, and 25 per cent below normal. An educational psychologist who gave evidence put the proportion of normal and above normal at between 60 and 70 per cent. Of this number all might continue their education with profit up to 16 in appropriate schools, but not all would necessarily find a secondary school course, as usually understood, the form of further education best suited to their capacities. We do not wish to imply that 25 per cent of the children in Public Elementary Schools are incapable of profiting by some form of further education up to 15. With this question, however, we need not deal more particularly since our immediate purpose is with secondary schools as at present understood. The estimates we have had of the proportion of children in elementary schools at 11 years old who could be reasonably regarded as likely to reach the standard of a First Examination in a secondary

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school at the normal age of 16 to 17 has varied from about a third to about a half. With regard to what we have called economic capacity, the extension of the system of maintenance allowances will increase the number of children whose parents will be able to bear the expenses of secondary education, and the present tendency towards a wider distribution of wealth may have a similar effect. Our evidence has also indicated to us that there is a real and growing desire for further education, not only for the economic advantages it may secure, but also for its own sake as enhancing the value of life.

103. We regard the proportion of a third to a half just referred to as a minimum that may well be exceeded. In any case the existing provision of free places in secondary schools appears to us inadequate in relation to this minimum, and we conclude, therefore, that there is a case for increasing their number. From the figures supplied to us by Local Authorities, and summarised at the end of this Report, it appears that the number of free-place candidates in England who were not awarded free-places, but whom the school authorities would have been ready to admit at the beginning of the school year 1919-20 last autumn, had free places been available, was about 8,700.* The number of free places actually filled was about 20,000. As a limiting condition we have the inadequacy of the present provision of secondary schools. With regard to this limit imposed by the existing provision of schools, where the pressure on existing accommodation is great it would, we believe, often be possible to admit a much larger proportion of free-place pupils without any lowering of standard, but only to the exclusion of fee-paying pupils of at least equal ability. The fact that the parents of a pupil can afford to pay fees for him should not diminish the possibility of securing his admission. It is to be remembered that the parents of fee-paying pupils contribute at least as much to the cost of education through rates and taxes as the parents of free-place pupils.



104. Whether or not our recommendation for an increase in the percentage of free places is accepted there can, we think, be no doubt that the provision of secondary schools must be enlarged. Our witnesses agree that nearly all these schools are now full or overfull, and that many candidates for admission have recently had to be turned away from the doors, not because they were not qualified but because there was no room for them. On this point we have attempted to secure figures showing the extent of this unfilled demand area by area as it existed at the beginning of the school year 1919-20. The results of this inquiry are briefly as follows.

*But see the reservations suggested in the note to Table D.

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105. It would appear that at the beginning of the school year 1919-20, last autumn, about 9,000 boys and girls were excluded from grant-aided secondary schools in England as fee-paying pupils for want of accommodation, the number of boys being rather larger than the number of girls, and the total from the county areas being rather larger than that from the county boroughs. The population of the county areas is nearly twice that of the county borough areas. In the statistical tables included at the end of this Report the figures are given in a summarised form for the groups of areas of both types. For reasons given in the notes added to these statistics* we think the figures, admittedly approximate at the best, can only be accepted with reserve; but they are sufficient to support the view expressed in evidence that the existing secondary school accommodation is insufficient to meet the existing demand.

106. The great expense of building will, unfortunately, delay for some time the provision of new schools, and we have also to reckon with the inadequacy of the supply of qualified men and women to staff the new schools. This vital question is outside our province. Its importance is familiar. But the delay that must occur has drawn our attention to the accommodation provided by preparatory departments attached in some cases to secondary schools, and we have considered whether their continuance can be justified, having regard to the pressure of candidates for admission to secondary schools who are of full secondary school age.

107. The educational arguments for preparatory departments are clear. Children attending them are confined to those whose further education in the secondary school is intended, and the preparatory course can, therefore, be organised to that single end. Classes are smaller than in Public Elementary Schools, and the staff may be chosen for the special object in view. Children admitted at an early age to what is, in effect, a part of the secondary school enjoy a longer period of school life, and help materially to strengthen and consolidate the school spirit and tradition. It will for some time be useless to expect that all parents will be prepared to send their children to Public Elementary Schools. If preparatory departments are abolished, the children who would have come to them will, in all probability, attend private schools of doubtful, and almost certainly decreasing, efficiency outside the national system.

108. The case against preparatory departments is equally clear. If they are not self-supporting through fees they may be regarded as unfairly privileged in comparison with Public Elementary Schools, though this objection may be met by raising fees. But they do occupy accommodation that in times of pressure might be put to greater use if available for capable

*Table D. and Note.

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children of 11 excluded at present for want of it. In 1914 there were rather more than 6,000 boys and 6,000 girls in grant-earning secondary schools under the age of 10.*

109. We have had some difficulty in arriving at a conclusion on this question. The educational advantages have been strongly represented to us in evidence, but, though with hesitation, we feel bound to recommend that so far as preparatory departments occupy accommodation to the exclusion of qualified candidates for admission at 11 they are not justified and should be discontinued.



110. In addition to a further provision of schools we think that a greater variety of type is also desirable. This is a point that is already recognised, and it is one that lies rather on the fringes of our reference. It has, however, been often before us in evidence and seems sufficiently relevant to deserve notice. The secondary school of the normal type provides a form of liberal education that if continued to 18, and especially if followed by study at a university, constitutes what is usually accepted as the most generally valuable kind of post-elementary education. But it is not so for all, either on account of a natural capacity interested more in things than in thoughts, or best developed by dealing with things rather than books, or on account of circumstances determining leaving age, or, again, on account of the character of future occupation. The question for Local Authorities under the Act of 1918 is not so much that every child admitted to a post-elementary school must be fitted to profit by the course it offers, but that all normal children must be provided with the form of further education best suited to their ability. It follows, therefore, that exemption from fees must be provided not only in secondary schools but also in other schools of such types as may be established, or developed, in accordance with educational experience and the available facilities, to meet the needs of children of different characteristics.

111. What these varieties should be is not a matter we are called on to consider in detail. The evidence we have heard has suggested that an increase in the number of free places at normal secondary schools cannot in itself be all that is required. Certain witnesses have incidentally mentioned variant types that are contemplated or are being developed. There seems, for instance, to be ground for considering whether in rural areas further efforts should not be made to connect secondary school work with the interests and needs of those who are likely to spend their lives in some occupation on the land. For girls, experienced witnesses have suggested a classification of schools into those adapted more particularly

*For later figures, see Table A.

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for pupils whose future will lie in the direction of an occupation mainly intellectual, such as teaching; for others whose future will probably be found in commercial life, and for those who are likely to find their main occupation in home interests. Individual experiments will gradually evolve useful varieties. As children can be gathered more and more into separate schools at the age of 11 or 12, the sorts of curriculum giving the greatest educational advantage will gradually emerge. The principle we wish to indicate is that the normal secondary school is not necessarily the best school for all children from the age of 11. We leave to the future and to others the determination of actual variant types.

112. One witness, a public school head master, made a valuable suggestion on the question of fitting the larger non-local public schools into any scheme for the increase of facilities. He wished that some of the most celebrated schools would take a few able boys at say 13 or 14 who would not otherwise have had any opportunity of going to them, and that the experiment should be made in a spirit of enterprise and adventure where both parties must co-operate. Such places would not, and could not, be won in open competition, and at first the boys could not be expected to take a high place. He thought such a scheme might well be undertaken and that the cost, if not met from public money, could be found from the value of scholarships surrendered by scholars who did not need the money.



113. We have already alluded to an administrative change that arises naturally from previous developments of the scholarship and free-place system, and follows as an almost necessary consequence of the Act of 1918. Hitherto responsibility for providing free places has rested with the school. We think that this responsibility should now be shifted to the Local Education Authority, subject to the requirement that the school shall reserve a minimum number of places, to be arranged in agreement with the Local Authority and approved by the Board of Education.

114. Many of the difficulties and drawbacks of the present arrangements seem to originate in the school's responsibility. In some schools the financial burden is heavy, in others it is comparatively light, in others again the whole cost of free places is met by the Authority. In many schools the burden is uncertain, as for instance in cases where the holder of a scholarship awarded by the Local Authority remains in the school after the scholarship has expired, and the cost of his fees falls on the school as a "free place" pupil in the meaning of the Board's regulations. As long as the school is responsible separate scholarship or free-place examinations are inevitable in cases where the Authority's scholars do not fill all the places needed to satisfy the percentage

[page 39]

rule. With separate examinations there are always likely to be differences of standard, with their resulting anomalies, and a waste of energy.

115. These difficulties would disappear if the provision of all free places in the schools of an area were the Authority's responsibility. It would then be for the Authority to hold general examinations and award free places in the schools. Approximately the same standard would be secured over the whole area. The Authority would be in a position to estimate the character and needs of the area as a whole and to provide accordingly. The administration of free places, and of most of the further assistance for "maintenance", would be in the same hands. The finance of the schools would be simplified and rendered more certain. Variation of the percentage of free places in schools would be facilitated. The migration difficulty would be relieved.

116. We anticipate that where school schemes provide, as they ordinarily do, for exemptions from fees, and the schools have been in the habit of satisfying the Board's free-place requirements wholly or partly by means of such exemptions, arrangements will be entered into between the Authority and the school or schools for the examination of candidates and the award of exemptions in connection, as a rule, with the Authority's free-place examination. Similarly, where the cost of a free place is now met by local endowment other than a school foundation, we hope that arrangements will be entered into between the trustees and the Authority for the award to be made in connection with the area examination. In one area mentioned in the evidence small local endowments are in fact utilised for maintenance allowance purposes in consultation with the Authority. What proportion of the free places needed will still be paid for out of endowment in the case of any particular school is a matter for arrangement between the Authority and the school. The point of principle remains, that the Authority should be financially responsible to the Board for the provision of free places in the area whatever help towards that provision is made possible by the existence of endowments. At present the responsibility is the school's, while the Authority may help, and does help the school in many cases, to fulfil the obligation. The change we propose reverses this: the financial responsibility will be the Authority's, while in fact the school endowment funds would in certain cases help the Authority to discharge it. Such responsibility as remained with the school would, so far as the Board are concerned, be confined to the reserving of a certain number of school places for free-place pupils. It would be for the Authority to arrange with the school how these free places were to be paid for.

117. Our witnesses who have considered the point have all been favourably disposed to this suggestion, but certain objections have been put to us. It has been thought that any system of area administration might result in limiting

[page 40]

more than at present the parent's liberty of choice in choosing a school. We agree that this may be so in certain urban areas where transport facilities make a number of schools equally convenient. The objection can only be mitigated by inviting candidates to express a preference and taking those preferences into account as far as possible when making awards. A similar objection is that pooling may infringe on a school's duty to its locality. We are not sure how far this argument has weight. A school may also have its duty to the area as a whole.

118. A more serious difficulty has also been proposed to us. The cost of a free place in all schools in an area is not necessarily the same. Would there not be a tendency, it is argued, in some areas to economise public money by sending scholars to schools where fees are low and withholding them from schools where fees are high? We doubt whether in practice this would be a real danger, and think it might sufficiently be guarded against by such conditions for grant as the Board would lay down. A satisfactory distribution can be made a condition of the deficiency grant. The distribution of free places among the schools of the area would, we suppose, be submitted to the Board for approval either annually or from time to time. If our suggestion of an increase of the percentage to 40 is accepted we think that this might be calculated on the total number of admissions in the area. For the purpose of this calculation boys and girls should be reckoned as separate categories. The percentage required in individual schools may vary, but the percentage of places to be reserved for pupils exempt from fees should be settled beforehand in the case of each school and approved by the Board. We think also that a school not provided by a Local Authority should not be required, without its consent, to reserve a percentage of free places which is higher than the average of free places recognised over the whole area. From the percentage approved no departure should be allowed without the Board's previous approval.



110. We pass now to consider the migration difficulty and its solution. As we have already noticed, and as the mention of this specific difficulty in our terms of reference implies, it is a defect in the present arrangements that has given rise to a disproportionate amount of trouble. But it is a real defect, and it points to the essential weakness of present arrangements - the individual responsibility of schools to the Board for the provision of free places, and the uncertain, partial, and voluntarily assumed, responsibility of the Authorities to schools in their areas, but not to the Board, for filling some of the free places by means of scholarships. The schools have no recognised responsibilities towards each other in the matter,

[page 41]

nor in principle have the Authorities. In a single area working arrangements are practicable, and the essential weakness of the system is partly overcome, though not eradicated. As soon, however, as a pupil moves from one area to another the want of a common responsibility is at once manifest. The system that works in practice for a single area will not work for the country as a whole.

120. This is not to say that the Authorities have in practice failed to recognise the hardship of individual cases and done much to relieve them. Their funds and powers are not limited in the same way as those of a school. Even if it had the funds a school foundation has no power to continue payments to a pupil who has moved elsewhere. A free place awarded in a school is the school's affair in view of the Board's regulation and stops at that. A free place in a school awarded by the Authority is an arrangement between the Authority and the school, and, strictly, carries no responsibility for the education of the child in any other school. But by arrangements between themselves, and by voluntarily accepting a responsibility towards their own scholars, and even towards pupils holding free places awarded by schools, many Authorities have in fact done much to relieve the difficulty.

121. The evidence we have heard indicates the two methods that have been employed, the method of "following-up" and the method of "adoption". "Following-up" means that the Authority awarding a free place or scholarship in the first instance takes upon itself the responsibility for continuing it if the recipient migrates to another area. "Adoption" implies that the Authority into whose area the migrant comes undertakes to provide him with advantages more or less equivalent to those he had enjoyed. It is clear that no Authority can be expected to act on both methods, to follow-up and to adopt. Neither method is satisfactory from the point of view of free places in non-maintained schools, for they are wholly left to the Authority's good-will in either case. The arguments for and against the two methods seem to be pretty equally divided, and some Authorities have employed one and some the other. For following-up, it is urged that if an Authority awards a scholarship the liability for it continuance is not really affected by the school at which it is held, and that it is fairer to limit the Authority's liability in this way than to lay upon it the quite uncertain liability of adopting the products, be they many or few, of another's scheme. It is pointed out that the stream of migration more often sets from the rural to the urban area than vice versa, and that the urban authorities must suffer unduly if they accept the principle of adoption. On the other hand it is not satisfactory to continue payments at a distance, and as fees and scholarships vary adjustments are constantly needed to secure smooth and economical working.

[page 42]

122. We do not think it is necessary to argue the pros and cons of these methods at length. Both have been adopted and both in their fashion have worked. Many witnesses have frankly said that what is needed is not one method or the other, but a uniform method, and have suggested that Authorities would probably be willing to accept either if the Board would declare definitely for one or the other. They have suggested that as the free place requirement is the Board's, grant should be so modified as to carry the expense of a migrant's free place in the new area. We have also heard witnesses who thought a solution of the difficulty would be found in an extension of the reciprocal arrangements already entered into between many Authorities for the adoption of each other's migrants, and who have pointed to the arrangements made in Wales between schools on this basis. Others, however, have doubted this, and we agree with them. Unity is not reached by adding any particular number of nines after the decimal point.

123. Though it has not yet everywhere been recognised we think the terms of section 4 (4) of the Act of 1918 really give the principle of solution. This section has already, we hold, given statutory approval to the principle of adoption. In schemes under the Act "adequate provision shall be made in order to secure that children and young persons shall not be debarred from receiving the benefits of any form of education by which they are capable of profiting through inability to pay fees". A child holding a free place in one area has established a claim of "capacity to profit" and does not abrogate it on migration to another. Unless therefore the circumstances of his parents are so improved by the change that they can no longer show "inability to pay fees" we think his claim to a free place continues to hold good, and that the Authority of the new area must adopt him.

124. It seems to us that this obligation on the new Authority is irrespective of the source from which the migrant has drawn his free place in the old area, and remains the same whether his free place was awarded by the school or by the Authority. But if our recommendation is accepted, and the responsibility for the provision of free places is transferred from the schools to the Authorities of each area, the system then becomes homogeneous, so far as free places are concerned, throughout the country, and the chain of responsibility for the child through the Authority to the Board, as representing the State, will be simple and continuous. If further, as we contemplate, the grant is adjusted correspondingly in respect of free places, assistance will be rendered to Authorities in accordance with the free places they provide, and Authorities adopting more migrants than others will receive proportionately more grant.

125. In this connection, however, there is an important distinction to be made between a free place or exemption from fees and such additional assistance as we have grouped under

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the term "maintenance allowance". The terms of the section of the Act to which we have referred above limit the obligation to exemption from fees. At present most "scholarships" cover more than the school fees, and this surplus, which we call "maintenance", must be regarded as something not definitely covered by the requirements of the section. As this is the case we think it must be left to each Authority to decide when it adopts a migrant what assistance, if any, over and above exemption from fees is to be afforded. The migrant will not carry the right to all the same financial advantages he has had, but he should be given the right to have his case considered by the new Authority. Parents often move to better themselves, and some review will therefore be necessary in the new area even in regard to exemption from fees. It will be reasonable and convenient to consider at the same time whether if a free place is justified any further aid is needed and can be given. Similarly a migrant who in the old area received financial benefit, over and above his exemption from fees, from a foundation, not necessarily a school foundation, will not carry the right to equivalent benefit in the new area.

126. We may add that a special case of the migration difficulty arises with children of serving soldiers who obtain scholarships or free places in civilian secondary schools, and whose parents are then moved by military order to another area. In so far as our suggestions for the solution of the migration difficulty will not meet this special case, we think it is one that may properly be considered by the military authorities, primarily responsible for the education of soldiers' children, with a view to their meeting it, where it arises, by such arrangements as the circumstances of the case require in order that such children may be at no disadvantage in comparison with others.



127. What has been said in previous sections of this Report applies generally to Wales as well as to England, but conditions in the smaller country are different in some respects and justify certain supplementary and modifying statements.

128. Out of 122 secondary schools recognised by the Board with some 25,000 pupils (ten times less than the number in England), just over 100 schools with some 18,000 pupils are regulated by county and county borough schemes under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act. Though, technically, endowed schools, with small endowments and low fees, their main income is derived from State grant and rate aid, and they are consequently in effect provided schools. The exemptions from fees allowed by their schemes reduce to a minimum the

[page 44]

need for provision of scholarships by Local Authorities. With one exception all the grant-aided schools offer the full 25 per cent of free places. Practically all the pupils in Welsh secondary schools come from the Public Elementary Schools. The duration of school life is slightly shorter on the average than in England, but the percentage of free pupils in the schools is higher.

129. Conditions in the smaller country are therefore more homogeneous. There is less variety in the character and administration of the schools, and less diversity of social circumstances among the pupils. In Wales, according to one witness, there is no social difficulty in education and no middle class. Similarity of type and administration, and the comparative smallness of the number of schools reduce the migration difficulty to a minimum. It becomes a domestic problem that can be met by mutual arrangement, as indeed to a great extent it is. Generally the present system may be said to work easily, and with fewer disadvantages than in England.

130. The evidence we have heard has, however, called attention to some aspects of the present situation which are not wholly satisfactory, in regard to methods of selection, the provision of schools, and maintenance allowances.

131. With regard to the provision of schools we have few remarks to make. A Departmental Committee now sitting is inquiring into the question of secondary education in Wales. It may, however, be well to note the impression our evidence conveys that further provision of secondary, or post-elementary, schools is needed in Wales as well as in England. In the industrial areas of the north and south it seems probable that the desire for further education and the requirements of the Act of 1918 will necessitate a provision of post-elementary schools and classes for children up to 16, or 18, equivalent to about double the present provision, if the demand is to be adequately met. In the agricultural and less populated area lying between the industrial districts, the existing provision may be more nearly adequate. It has been represented to us that in Wales as well as in England there is a need of a wider variety of type in the post-elementary schools, and that schools, affording a further education of a liberalised practical character should be developed as alternative to the normal secondary school.

132. We have heard in evidence that in the larger towns there is usually severe competition for free places. Some of the children who are unsuccessful no doubt enter secondary schools as fee-paying pupils, but of the rest our evidence leads us to think that many might find a form of education better suited to their capacities in the variant types of post-elementary school we have mentioned.

138. With regard to maintenance allowances our witnesses from Wales have not all been agreed, but on the whole we

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take it as certain that some increase in the provision of maintenance allowances is desirable, especially in the industrial and urban areas. The point has been emphasised by those representing the teachers, who hold that in spite of low fees and free places all the best material does not yet come to the secondary schools, the main difficulty being the inadequate provision of maintenance allowances. In this connection it has been suggested to us that in the rural areas where population is scattered and transport not easy, any funds available for maintenance purposes would be best spent in providing hostel or boarding accommodation, and that there were cases where this was a very definite need.

134. Dealing with the method of selecting free-place pupils on the results of external examinations an eminent witness stated that it was universally condemned, though tolerated as a necessary evil. He suggested the method of selection we have already described (para. 62) consisting in the scrutiny by the secondary school authorities or ordinary examination scripts worked in the elementary school, and supplemented when necessary by interview or oral test. He stated that from his experience in Wales the method was a practicable one and would abolish the present evils of external examination. Failing the adoption of such a method the suggestions we have made in the section of our report on methods of selection generally (Chapter VI) seem to us as applicable to Wales as to England. It is obviously desirable that any method of selection should enlist the services and sympathetic experience of the teachers in both elementary and secondary schools. With regard to the age of transfer we agree with those witnesses who hold that there is no sufficient reason why in Wales it should be later than in England. Possibly the closer connection that exists in Wales between elementary and secondary schools diminishes the disadvantages of transfer after the age of 12, but no convincing reason has been stated to us for foregoing the advantage generally believed by our witnesses to accrue when the transfer is effected before that age.

135. We may add that in Wales the step from what now exists to free secondary education would be an even shorter and easier one than in England. Some schools are already free, and all fees are low. The number of free pupils is already high. In 1918-19 it was over 42 per cent.



136. Our terms of reference extend our inquiry to cover the working of the existing arrangements for the award by Local Education Authorities of scholarships tenable at institutions of higher education other than universities or institutions for the training of teachers, but this we feel to be subsidiary to the question of scholarships and free places in

[page 46]

secondary schools. We have already said that we consider the scholarship and free place system in the secondary schools our main question, having regard to the number of children affected and the national importance of secondary education. Under this term we include for our purpose not only the normal secondary schools, and such variant types as are being, or may be, developed, but also Junior Technical and similar schools, distinguished administratively from the others, but in one aspect at least alternative to them. These schools have, indeed, a two-fold aspect. They can be regarded as alternative to the normal secondary school in so far as they are related, or intended to be related, to a special type of capacity, and they can also be regarded as looking towards a different kind of career, the conditions of which affect leaving age and through that the curriculum. The normal secondary school offers a more generalised and intellectual form of post-elementary education with a later leaving age; the other schools a more specialised and practical form with an earlier leaving age. But we see no reason why all should not be considered to be in the same category for the purpose of scholarships and free places, nor why a certain percentage of free places, with or without maintenance allowances, as in the case of normal secondary schools, should not be provided for in the schemes of Local Authorities and required by the Board's regulations.

137. Except, however, for a mention of these schools we do not feel justified in including in the present Report any proposals touching the arrangements for scholarships and free places in the other institutions of higher education covered by our terms of reference. To do so must prolong our inquiries. It has seemed to us that any usefulness our Report may have would be largely wasted if its issue were further delayed. Following the Act of 1918, Local Authorities have already made progress with their schemes. It will soon be too late for them to consider any new document. But the nature of the problem offered by the system of scholarships in institutions of post-secondary education appears to us so different from that which we have considered in our Report, that, though we have heard some evidence on particular aspects of it, we are not prepared to discuss it authoritatively or to make recommendations. The relation that secondary education bears to the national life is generally accepted. Though it may not be fully developed, it is a discovered country. But technical education represents a debatable country, with limits not yet very clearly defined lying upon the borders of secondary and university education. Technical education is of many forms, and raises questions of principle affecting its relation to national interests. To have made ourselves acquainted with the main developments in this wide field, and to have considered the general questions of principle involved in any suggestions for modification or improvement, would have necessitated a much longer inquiry and would have postponed for many months the issue of our Report. We

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have come to the conclusion, therefore, that we shall serve the interests of education best by limiting our Report to what is, in our view, much the most urgent part of the question under consideration, and by holding over for consideration, either by this Committee or by some other Committee, the part of our reference that, in view of its complexity and importance, we have not had the opportunity of considering adequately. We understand that one form of technical education, that dealing with agriculture, is definitely held to be outside our province.



138. We append a summary of our recommendations on the principal points dealt with in this Report. We think it convenient to bring the main points together in a summary, observing, however, that any summary is liable to misinterpretation if it is read in whole or in part by itself and without the explanations and qualifications that a summary must omit. Our main conclusions then are as follows:

139. We think it desirable -

(1) That the financial responsibility for the provision of free places should be transferred from the schools to the Local Education Authorities, each school being required to reserve an approved minimum number of vacancies (paras. 33, 113-8).

(2) That the percentage of free places calculated on admissions should be raised from 25 to 40 for each area generally, and normally for each school (paras. 32, 101-3).

(3) That the provision of secondary schools should be increased so as to provide at least 20 school places for each thousand of population (paras. 30, 104, 105, 131).

(4) That variation in the type of secondary schools with a minimum leaving age of 16 should be encouraged, and that secondary schools should be supplemented by others of various types with a maximum leaving age of 16 (paras. 31, 110-12, 131, 132).

(5) That the provision of free places should be a condition of grant not only in normal secondary schools but in all schools alternative to them (para. 136).

(6) That qualification for admission as a free-place pupil should normally be determined by a written test, in English and Arithmetic, followed by an oral examination (with reference to school record), designed to test capacity and promise rather than attainment; all pupils in Public Elementary Schools between 11 and 12 at the date of examination being examined (paras. 62-6, 69, 75, 76, 134).

(7) That, as a rule, the free-place examination should be common to the whole area (paras, 70, 115-18).

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(8) That all available steps should be taken to make the existing facilities known to parents and to enlist their co-operation (paras. 80, 100).

(9) That the standard of admission to a secondary school for all pupils should be determined by reference to the standard of a First Examination taken at the normal age, provided that the work of the pupil in the elementary school, and the class reached, should always be regarded as supplying strong, and perhaps the best, evidence as to whether the standard is attained or not (paras. 50, 71-4).

(10) That free-place pupils should normally be admitted to secondary schools not later than between the ages of 11 and 12 (paras. 56-8, 134).

(11) That where the demand exceeds the supply, preference in admission should be given to qualified candidates between 11 and 12, and accommodation occupied by younger pupils should be made available as far as possible for pupils of 11 years of age and over (paras. 106-9).

(12) That Public Elementary School pupils otherwise qualified should continue as at present to be eligible for free places on admission (paras. 34, 77, 78).

(13) That pupils not previously educated in Public Elementary Schools who can show inability to pay fees should also be eligible for free places on admission, and that free places held by them should count towards the required percentage of free-place pupils (paras, 34, 77, 78).

(14) That all free places in secondary schools should be awarded for the full school course; tenure being subject to satisfactory reports of progress, industry, and conduct from time to time (paras. 83, 84).

(15) That school authorities should secure from parents of free-place pupils, and also from other pupils, an agreement to keep the pupil at school up to the age of 16 at least (para. 86).

(16) That free places should be awarded, when necessary, to pupils already in the school and above the normal age of award, such free places not to reckon towards the required percentage (para. 79).

(17) That as far as possible free-place pupils should be enabled to take equal advantage of the school facilities with other pupils by means, where necessary, of maintenance allowances (paras. 89, 90, 133).

(18) That maintenance allowances, that is, assistance from public money in addition to a free place, should be available for all free-place pupils who show need, from the age of 11, and should normally increase with age (paras. 80, 90, 92, 93).

(19) That the main provision for maintenance allowances should begin at the age of 14 (para. 92).

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(20) That maintenance allowances should be calculated in relation to cost of living and not to power of earning (paras. 89, 94).

(21) That in rural areas assistance should be provided towards the cost of boarding in the form of boarding allowances or hostel accommodation (paras. 98, 1:33).

(22) That a free-place pupil who migrates to another area should be entitled to a free place in that area and to consideration of his case by the new Authority in the event of his claiming further assistance (paras. 123-6).

(23) That the discontinuance of all fees in secondary schools should be regarded as a prospective policy to be carried out as soon as the conditions of national finance allow (paras. 38-54).

140. In conclusion, we wish to express our warm appreciation of the services of our secretary, Mr. H. E. Mann, of the Board of Education. His wide and accurate knowledge of the subject matter of our inquiry, and his ability in procuring and arranging a varied mass of useful evidence, personal and statistical, have been of the greatest possible benefit to us.
We have the honour to be, Sir,
    Your obedient Servants,
H. E. MANN (Secretary).
    22nd July, 1920.

*Subject to reservation in Note, p. 52.
†Subject to reservations in Notes, pp. 50, 51.
‡Subject to reservation in Note, p. 55.
§Subject to reservation in Note. p. 51.

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I regret being unable to concur with my colleagues' conclusions in Chapter V of this Report as to the freeing of grant-aided secondary schools at a fairly early date.

Such a policy appears to me to be beyond all reasonable demand and to be contrary to the spirit of the Education Act 1918.

That Act definitely removes the poverty bar and opens the way for all to receive secondary education, provided only that they are capable of profiting thereby. The machinery required is already in existence, and can be extended to give effect to section 4 (4) of the Act and to provide for the necessary maintenance allowances at less cost and disturbance than would be entailed by the abolition of fees. This machinery must, in any case, be maintained, if only for the purpose of deciding who is and who is not "capable of profiting" by secondary education.

The Act appears to consider that the child, as an asset of the State, is to be assisted at the public expense in such degree only as his capacities and financial situation warrant. This makes no artificial distinction as between one stage of education and another, but does legitimately distinguish as between the period when the State must accept full liability, and the period when such liability ceases. The State may well decide that a definite minimum degree of education shall be required of every citizen, for the safeguarding of the State itself. This, however, is not to say that, having gone so far, it must of necessity, as argued in Chapter V, (38) and (44), proceed to free all further forms of education. Such a conclusion makes light of many objections, some of which are recognised, it is true, in the Report, e.g., the lowering of the educational standard in the schools, the segregation of social classes (only now beginning to amalgamate) the encouragement of an inferior type of fee-paying secondary school less open to public control than those accepting State or rate aid, and takes no account of the (possibly old-fashioned) theory that those who can afford to pay for non-compulsory services should not expect to receive them free of cost.

Moreover, the State has, in fact, only freed such education as is compulsory. The overwhelming preponderance of evidence heard by the Committee has been against compulsory secondary education. If, then, the State were to recognise one (non-compulsory) service as free, it would have admitted a dangerous principle, which might easily be extended to other services, e.g., the provision of housing, food, transport, medical service, &c.

The fees paid in 1912-13 by pupils in grant-aided secondary schools (Chapter V, (39)) amounted to £1,100,245 out of a total revenue from all sources of £2,663,661. At that date in England and Wales there were in attendance 174,423 full-time scholars

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(Board's Statistics of Public Education, 1912-13, Part I., p. 99). In October 1919 the number on the roll was 301,441 (Board's Report, 1918-19, pp. 43, 47), an increase of about 73 per cent, which, on the same basis, would add another £803,000 per annum, giving a total of about £1,900,000 a year derived from fees. No computation has been made of the loss which would be incurred were the numbers increased (and fees remitted) to the extent recommended in this Report, nor has account been taken of the numbers of pupils in schools not now receiving grant, but which will, owing to rising salary scales and other expenses, be forced to apply for it, and will get it. How many times this figure of £1,900,000 would have then to be multiplied cannot be determined with certainty, but it could hardly be less than four times.

To forgo so large a sum, derived entirely from persons willing and able to pay fees and who receive direct benefit therefrom, and to place this burden on the shoulders of the tax and rate payers, already fretful and suspicious of extravagance, would be unwise, from both the economic and political standpoints.

This would be true in any case, but emphatically so at the present time when there is an acute financial crisis, which shows no sign of ending at any "fairly early date".

To provide teaching staff, equipment, and buildings in which to accommodate those to whom the Act of 1918 has given the right to secondary education, is the vital matter. To do this, all available financial resources must be strained to the utmost. To sacrifice available money and to run the grave risk of alienating public opinion under these circumstances, is not a policy to which I can subscribe.



Whilst I wish to express my general agreement with the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee, there is this point with which I cannot entirely concur. I refer here to the suggestion in paragraph 109 that existing preparatory departments attached to secondary schools, so far as they occupy accommodation to the exclusion of older pupils, are not justified and should be discontinued.

In my opinion the best method of building up a strong national system of education is based upon the adoption of a constructive policy, rather than one of destruction. It has been pointed out by witnesses representative of the teaching profession and also of His Majesty's Inspectorate that these departments have a very real educational value - they may fairly be said to represent the form of education for young children which experts would wish to see afforded to all the children of the land. This being so,

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it seems that, unless the abolition of existing preparatory departments can be shown to be the main way by which increased secondary school accommodation can be provided, such a course as is indicated is, at the very least, of doubtful permanent use to the nation.

The pressure on secondary school accommodation is or should be only temporary and the provision of additional places obtained by abolishing these departments would, I believe, bear but a small relation to the number of preparatory school children now accommodated. It is doubtful whether any school closing its junior department could take anything like the same number of children of 11 plus. The problems of organisation in a secondary school would preclude this, and thus the gain numerically would be much less than might appear at first sight.

For these reasons I feel it undesirable that a temporary need should be met by the permanent destruction of that which is of real and lasting benefit to the community.


I agree with the above note.



1. We are in general agreement with the Committee in the recommendations they have made, especially for the establishment of free secondary education, and the extension of facilities in various types of post-primary schools. We emphatically dissent, however, from the proposal that the system of external individual examination should be reintroduced in elementary schools for practically all children at about the age of 11 (para. 75). The fact that it is suggested the examination should be confined to the subjects of English and Arithmetic may reduce to some extent the evils which would attend a general reintroduction of a discredited system, but we are of opinion that the necessity for the proposal has not been shown, and we are apprehensive that its adoption may impose uneducational restrictions on the teachers in elementary schools, and place a premium again on cramming and other forms of special preparation for the individual examination which is recommended.

2. If any doubt is entertained as to the efficiency of the teaching in certain elementary schools from which scholarship

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candidates are not numerous, the remedy lies in a strengthening of the teaching staffs and an improvement in the methods of inspection, and not in the imposition on all schools of a system of individual examination which was abolished after a bitter experience of its devastating effects. It is contended that the examination proposed is necessary to ensure that no children shall slip past the scholarship net. In our opinion very little evidence was forthcoming which warrants the assumption, that, under the present competitive system, the holding of an individual examination of all children of scholarship age would secure this desirable result. Secondary schools are already crowded, and there are probably at least 15,000 children in the country qualified by attainments on existing standards who cannot secure admission on any terms. It appears to us to be a blunder of the first magnitude to suggest the reintroduction of a general external individual examination, about which opinions are so acutely divided, the immediate result of which would be merely to increase the number of children for whom no accommodation is available.

3. The witnesses who appeared on behalf of the teachers in the schools mainly concerned were unanimously opposed to the change. In the face of the opposition of a great majority of such teachers, it would appear to us to be unwise to reintroduce in every public elementary school a type of examination which is bound to affect adversely the maintenance of intelligent teaching.

4. We think it desirable to recall some of the reasons which led to the abolition of the system of external individual examination in public elementary schools:

(a) It gave the children a distaste for learning and a dislike for school, whilst it often acted as a deterrent to the continuation of studies in after-life.

(b) It led to overpressure, to cram, and to the useless acquisition of facts which were largely forgotten immediately after examination, and almost wholly forgotten after the children left school.

(c) It led to the introduction of a system of teaching which admirably prepared the children for passing sets of examination tests, but sacrificed their true educational development; for it encouraged the use of methods of teaching highly successful in producing mere examination results, but admittedly uneducational in their character and injurious to the development of the children's faculties. Further, to a deplorable extent, it discouraged originality and variety of method and stifled healthy initiative alike in children, teachers, and Inspectors.

(d) It cramped the curriculum, and gave undue importance to subjects which could be mechanically treated and conveniently scheduled to show examination results. This necessarily entailed the sacrifice of other subjects of equal or greater educational value.

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(e) It led to the detention of children for the purpose of cramming for examinations; and, by encroachments on the time for recreation and physical exercise, caused in that way also great injury to the health of all concerned.
Mr. E. G. A. Holmes, formerly Chief Inspector of Elementary Schools under the Board of Education, in giving evidence before the Rural Education Conference in 1912, summed up his principal objections to external individual examinations as follows:
(a) They diverted the teacher's mind from the proper business of education, which was the development of all the child's faculties.

(b) Success in results that can be weighed and measured can be got by mechanical methods, without stimulating intelligence at all.

(c) They produce a lack of life in the children.

(d) They made it necessary for the teachers always to sacrifice the brighter to the more backward children.

5. We think these objections would apply to the type of individual examination recommended by the majority of the members of the Committee, and that a change so fundamental should not be reintroduced in the national system of education without fuller enquiry. We consider, further, that the terms of reference to the Committee have been somewhat strained in making a recommendation of this magnitude without that adequate and prolonged enquiry which should precede a change so momentous as that now proposed. In our opinion an external individual examination is not an essential part of any scheme for the admission of children to secondary schools. It has been brought to our notice that in the County of Durham, the selection of pupils for higher standard schools is based on the results of an internal examination in the contributory elementary schools. All pupils over the age of 11, classified not lower than the old standard 5, are examined, the head teachers of each school being responsible for setting the questions, marking the papers, and preparing the reports on each candidate.

6. We recognise that the very inadequate provision of various types of secondary schools renders it necessary to make provision at present for some form of selective test on a competitive basis. We hold strongly the view, however, that the ideal test for admission to a secondary school is the satisfactory completion of the normal course in the primary school, the standard of attainment in which should be ascertained mainly by inspection, including the examination of the school records and scripts of the children.


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I have signed the report as I am in general agreement with its conclusions. I could have wished, however, that, in all recommendations relating to secondary school accommodation or the number of free places required, the principle had been more clearly laid down that the number of children "Capable of profiting" by higher education must be the governing factor.

I agree with the recommendation in paragraph 72 that promise of reaching the standard of a recognised first examination by the normal age should be the standard of "capability of profiting", and I have agreed to the recommendations of 20 per thousand of the population for secondary school places and 40 per cent of free places, as being reasonably in accordance with this standard, and on the understanding that Local Education Authorities shall not be required to provide places for pupils who do not reach this standard.

In this connection I desire to say that I consider the estimate in paragraph 103 that one half or one third of the children in public elementary schools could reach the standard contemplated is, under present circumstances, very far in excess of the truth.


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The geographical areas forming the divisions into which the following tables are divided are as follows:

N. Division
N.E. Division
Yorkshire, East Riding.
Yorkshire, North Riding.
Yorkshire, West Riding.

N. W. Division

W.C. Division

E.C. Division
Soke of Peterborough.

E. Division
Ely, Isle of.
Lincoln, Holland.
Lincoln, Kesteven.
Lincoln, Lindsey.
Suffolk East.
Suffolk West.

S.E. Division
Sussex, East.
Sussex, West.
Wight, Isle of.

S.W. Division
Isles of Scilly.

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Board of Education

Honble. W. N. BRUCE, C.B., Principal Assistant Secretary, Secondary Branch (now Second Secretary).
Mr. W. C. FLETCHER, H.M.I., Chief Inspector, Secondary Branch.
Mr. T. W. PHILLIPS, H.M. Inspector, Secondary Branch.
Mr. D. A. MACNAUGHTON, H.M. Inspector, Secondary Branch.
Sir ALFRED T. DAVIES, K.B.E., C.B., Permanent Secretary, Welsh Department.
Mr. J. L. CASSON, Assistant Secretary, Welsh Department.
Sir OWEN M. EDW.A.RDS, H.M.I., Chief Inspector, Welsh Department.
Mr. W. R. DAVIES, C.B., Principal Assistant Secretary, Technological Branch.
Sir EDMUND B. PHIPPS, C.B., Principal Assistant Secretary, Elementary Branch.
Mr. H. M. RICHARDS, H.M.I., Chief Inspector, Elementary Branch.

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County Councils' Association

Mr. AUSTIN KEEN, Secretary to tile Education Committee, Cambridgeshire.
Mr. H. A. POWELL, Chairman, Surrey Education Committee.

Association of Directors and Secretaries for Education

Mr. W. A. BROCKINGTON, O.B.E., Chairman of the Association; Director of Education for Leicestershire.
Mr. C. G. WATKINS, Vice-Chairman elect of the Association; Secretary to the Education Committee, Bucks.

Association of Education Committees

Mr. B. S. GOTT. Secretary to the Education Committee, Middlesex.
Mr. K. E. T. WILKINSON, Chairman, City of York Education Committee.

Federation of Education Committee (Wales and Monmouth)

Mr. T. BOTTING, Joint Honorary Secretary of the Association; Director of Education, Aberdare.

Local Education Authority Officials

Mr. A. C. BOYDE, Director of Education, Darlington.
Mr. H. FARRANDS, Director of Education, Southend-on-Sea.
Mr. JAMES GRAHAM, Director of Education, Leeds.
Mr. ARTHUR LEWIS, Director of Education, West Bromwich.
Mr. W. H. PENDLEBURY, Secretary for Higher Education, Shropshire.

National Union of Teachers

Miss J. F. WOOD, President.
Mr. C. T. WING, Chairman, Education Committee.

Incorporated Association of Headmasters

Mr. W, H. BARBER, Headmaster, Boys' Modern School, Leeds.
Mr. W. A. KNIGHT, Headmaster, Sexey's School, Bruton.
Mr. W. JENKYN THOMAS, Headmaster, Hackney Downs School; Joint Honorary Secretary of the Association.

Association of Head Mistresses

Miss TOOKE, Head Mistress, Rutherford College Girls' School (Chairman of Scholarships Sub-Committee of the Association).
Miss M. S. YOUNG, Head Mistress, Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham School for Girls.

Headmasters' Conference

Mr. W. W. VAUGHAN, Master of Wellington College.

Association of Assistant Masters in Secondary Schools

Mr. G. D. DUNKERLEY, Organising Secretary of the Association.
Mr. E. HOTHAM, Municipal Secondary School, Ipswich.
Mr. A. J. JOSLIN, Municipal Secondary School, Oldham.
Mr. W. F. WITTON, St. Olave's and St. Saviour's Grammar School, Bermondsey.

Association of Assistant Mistresses

Miss MARSHALL, Clapham High School.
Miss MUNCASTER, County High School for Girls, Leytonstone.
Mrs. GORDON WlLSON, Aigburth Vale High School, Liverpool.

Conference of Catholic Colleges

Rev. J. A. MORAN, Headmaster, St. Mary's College, Middlesbrough.
Rev. IGNATIUS C. SCOLES, Headmaster, St. Ignatius College, Stamford Ilill.

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Welsh County Schools Association

Miss COLLIN, High School for Girls, Cardiff.
Miss VIVIAN, Intermediate School, Newport, Monmouth.
Mr. D. R. O. PRYTHERCH, Intermediate School, Penygroes, Carnarvon.
Mr. D. E. WILLIAMS, Intermediate School, Gowerton, Glamorgan, Honorary Secretary to the Association.

Association of Technical Institutions

Mr. T. Luxton, Principal, Municipal Technical College, Hull.
Dr. W. E. SUMPNER, Principal, Municipal Technical School, Birmingham.

Association of Teachers in Technical Institutions

Mr. E. L. RHEAD, Head of Department of Metallurgy, The College of Technology, Manchester.
Mr. J. WILSON, Head of Chemistry Department, Battersea Polytechnic.

Principals of London Polytechnics

Mr. A. F. HOGG, Principal, Woolwich Polytechnic.
Mr. S. SKINNER, Principal, South Western Polytechnic, Chelsea.

Association of Principals of Technical Institutions in the North of England

Dr. B. PRENTICE, Principal, Royal Technical Institute, Salford.
Mr. J. SCHOLES HAGUE, Principal, Municipal Technical School, Liverpool.

Army Council

Lieut. CONOLLY, Inspector of Army Schools.

Workers' Educational Association

Mr. J. M. MACTAVISH, General Secretary.

British Association

Mr. DOUGLAS BERRIDGE, Secretary of the Free Place Committee, 1918, of the British Association.

Joint Scholarships Board

Mr. D. T. COWAN, Chairman of the Board; Director of Education, Hampshire.
Mr. EVAN W. SMALL, Chief Examiner for the Board.
Miss G. PERRIE WILLIAMS, D.Lit., Secretary to the Board.

Labour Party

Mr. H. A. GRIMSHAW, Honorary Secretary of the Labour Party Advisory Committee on Education.

Federation of British Industries


Co-operative Union

Mr. F. HALL, Advisor of Studios.
Miss J. P. ADAMS, Member of Central Education Committee.

Bradford Trades and Labour Council

Alderman M. CONWAY, Member of the Bradford Education Committee.

Individual Witnesses

Mr. CYRIL BURT, Psychologist, London County Council.
Mr. C. W. H. GREAVES, Headmaster, Knaresborough Rural Secondary School.
Mr. H. WOOLDRIDGE, Reading Town Council.