« AnteriorContinuar »
and two householders of the parish in which he last resided. Parish clerks are declared eligible as schoolmasters; but the officiating minister of the district is ineligible.
2. The persons paying school rate, and the authorized agents of such as are absent, and have 100l. a year in the parish, are to meet, after a month's notice, in the schoolhouse, and choose a master; the senior church-warden presiding, determining all disputes as to votes, reading the certificates, and other testimonials of the candidates ; having a casting vote in case of equaality, and reporting to the officiating minister the name of the person elected. The minister is then to examine him and his certificate, and to notify to the church-warden his approval or rejection. If he rejects, a new election is to take place; if he approves, the election is complete. Where, upon application, 'the premises of the private school are either given over for nothing, or for less than their value, to the parish, the justices may order the former master to be continued, if duly qualified, and if approved by the minister : but all future vacancies are to be filled up in the manner already pointed out.
3. The Ordinary may visit all the Parish Schools within his diocese, either in person, or by the Dean within his deanery, the Chancellor within the diocese, or the Archdeacon within the diocese or his archdeaconry, where it is divided. And the actual Visitor may remove the master, or may superannuate him, after fifteen years service, with a pension equal to two-thirds of his salary, subject to an appeal to the Metropolitan, if the Ordinary visits, or to the Ordinary, if any other person is the ac'tual visitor. The Ordinary is to report yearly the state of the schools in his diocese in the returns required by the Residence Acts, 43 & 57 Geo. III.; and the officiating minister is to have access at all times to the schools in his parish, for the purpose of examining them.,
III. The Third Branch relating to the Scholars, subdivides itself into two parts--their admission and tuition.
1. The minister, with the advice of the church-wardens, is to fix the rate of quarter pence as often as the place of master is vacant; and that rate is not to exceed fourpence, nor be less than one penny a week. The children of paupers are in all cases to pay a penny; and the minister, with the advice of the officers, may recommend any very poor child to be admitted without paying. No distinction whatever is to be made in the treatment of the children, and if the master teaches at extra hours, or extra learning, he is to agree as be pleases with the parties.
2. The minister on each vacancy is to fix the hours of teaching, not exceeding eight, nor less than six hours a day; and the times of vacation, not exceeding twice a year, and a fortnight each time, or one month if taken at one time. Reading, writing and accounts are to be taught in each school; and the master may hire an usher to assist him, with the minister's approbation. The Bible is to be taught, and no other religious book. No book whatever is to be taught without the minister's consent; and he may direct such passages of Scripture as he thinks fit to be taught among others selected by the master. No religious worship is to be used excepų such as may consist in saying or reading the Lord's Prayer, or other portions of Scripture. The Church catechism is to be taught one half day in the week, and, if the minister directs it, also on the Sunday evening; and the scholars are to attend the parish church, with the master, or with those having care of them, once every Sunday. But if any parent or other person having care of a child, notifies to the master that he desires the child not to attend the parish church or the school meetings when the Catechism is taught, the master is strictly commanded not to punish, rebuke, admonish, or otherwise molest the child for his absence. • IV. When we consider the state of old endowments, the defects in their constitution or in their management present themselves in different classes. Some foundations are in abeyance for want of trustees, who have either died out altogether, or been reduced below the quorum appointed to fill up vacancies. In others, the property of the Institution is ill managed with a view to revenue, or security, or convenience, from want of powers in the managers to deal with it. In many, the funds actually enjoyed are applied in a manner little calculated to accomplish the objects of the foundation, and in not a few, those objects have failed in whole or in part, through changes in the state of society generally, or in the circumstances of the neighbourhood, so as to leave the whole, or a part of the funds, unapplied. To provide the general means of remedying all these defects, with out the necessity of applying to Parliament in each case, is the object of the Fourth Branch of the Plan; which accordingly subdivides itself into four parts, beside a fifth, intended to check or to prevent any abuse in the application of the remedy itself. Thus these five subdivisions relate to the failure of trustees—the improved administration of funds—the improved application of funds—the failure of objects and the checks upon the misuse of the four preceding remedies. The Bill relates only to endowa ments connected with education; but its provisions are equally applicable to all charities whatever; and it will most probably be extended to them, when it has been adopted with respect to · education.
1. Where the number of the trustees has been reduced below the quorum, the remaining trustees are allowed to fill up the vacancies; where all are gone, the special visitor, if there be one, may name; where there is none, the founder's heir may name; where he can't be found, the clerk of the peace may hold the legal estate, if above five pounds a year; and any three commissioners of charity abuses, if under five pounds.
2. Trustees are allowed to sell, mortgage, pledge, or exchange, for repairs, or for improvement of the revenue or property; the price being always paid into the hands of the county receiver, or accountant-general, who are only to pay it over upon an order from a court of equity, or from the charity commissioners, and to pay it back to the purchaser, if the sale is not allowed. A declaratory clause is added against trustees being parties to any such transactions, or to any lease of the trust-property.
3. Managers of endowed grammar schools are declared to have power to bargain with masters already appointed for teaching reading, writing and accounts, beside grammar; to appoint masters, on future vacancies, with the condition of their so teaching; to bargain with existing masters, or prescribe a condition to the future masters to teach more than the numbers or classes limited by the foundation, and to take a limited number: of boarders, or none at all. Managers of charities are empowered to confine them to teaching, where the numbers appointed to be clothed, or boarded, or lodged, cannot be so maintained ; and the provisions of the Mortmain Act are prospectively extended to personal estates given or left for clothing, boarding, or dodging children. Managers of education funds, where no school is built, are empowered to apply them in aid of parish schools, fulfilling the purposes of the endowment; and where children of one parish are appointed to be educated in another, the managers are empowered to educate them at the schools of their own parish. Managers of endowed schools are empowered to make applications, as in Branch I., to put them on the footing of parish schools; the master to be appointed as in Branch II. Where the funds are insufficient to afford their full salary, and. where they are sufficient, the masters to be always appointed as directed in the endowment, subject only to the qualification, and to the approbation of the Ordinary; but in all other respects, the school is to be subject to the regulations of these acts, except that the visitation shall be in the special visitor, if there be one.
4. Where the object of an endowment has failed in whole or part, the managers may propound a scheme, either to a court of equity, or to the charity commissioners, for applying the whole
and not the deficienhe whole sache
funds, or the unapplied surplus, in providing parish schools; the scheme to be approved by those tribunals, either wholly, or with such alterations as the propounders may assent to. They may direct the planting of schools; and, if the fund is inadequate to provide the whole salaries, application may be made to supply the deficiency, as in Branch I., with the same consents and notices. If the fund is sufficient to pay the whole salary of any school, the appointment of master may be directed to be always as directed in the endowment, subject to the approbation of the Ordinary; and to his visitation, as in Branch II., except where there is a special visitor; in which case, he shall both approve and visit.
5. Nothing under this Fourth Branch can be done without three months notice on the church-doors and schoolhouse, if any school is concerned; and a memorandum of whatever is done must be filed by the clerk of the peace one month afterwards, and open to all for a shilling fee. Any two persons whatever may petition, either before or within two months after any thing is done, under the 52 Geo. III., unless it has been done by the Justices, or a court of equity, or the Charity Commissioners; and the court may prohibit or rescind. Wherever there is a Special Visitor, his consent must be had; and where there is none, that of either the Ordinary or Metropolitan. Where ever any school is built, or endowed, or aided out of any fund, the donor's name, and dates of the foundation and improvement, are to be carved upon the building. Scotland, Ireland, and the Universities, and great public schools, are excepted from both acts.
The plan of which we have now given a faithful sketch, affords much matter of remark, and is quite certain to produce some controversy. Upon its various details, and even upon the leading principles which have regulated its construction, we shall at present forbear to comment; and shall confine our attention, in ihe little that remains of this article, to the portion of it which is likely to create the most difference of opinion--we mean, the connexion between the proposed Establishment for National Education, and the existing Church Establishment. Nor shall we now go through even the whole of this subject; for although it is possible that some persons may object to the principle of leaving the parish schools open to Dissenters, by excluding, for the most part, such religious instruction as would prevent any conscientious sectary from sending his children there, yet we can hardly anticipate any considerable stress being laid upon so unjust and intolerant a doctrine in the present day. If the whole community is to pay for the school, to the whole community it should in all reason and fairness be open; and surely no rational or liberal member of the Church would contend for such an arrangement as should increase the burthens already borne by Dissenters in support of an Establishment, from the benefits of which they are necssarily excluded-burthens justified by their absolute necessity in regard to the Established Church, but for that reason to be carried no further than the necessity prescribes. It is rather from an opposite quarter that we anticipate some objections; we mean from the Dissenters, who appear already to have conceived an alarm, and who, we cannot help thinking, have been misled in the notions they have formed of the measure. Perhaps many of the most liberal among that most respectable class of men, may be convinced of the mistakes under which they have laboured, by attending to the foregoing analysis of the measure. But we shall, with the utmost deference, and the most sincere good-will towards the whole body, proceed to submit a few additional remarks upon this interesting topic, in order still further to remove the existing misapprehensions.
First of all, it is to be observed, that the Plan in question professedly and openly connects itself with the Church Establishment; it avows and claims this alliance; so that they make no discovery, and still less detect any hidden design in its construction, who charge it with such a connexion, or maintain that its tendency is to give the clergy an influence upon the education of youth. But let us only attend to the strong reasons which exist for this arrangement. When a new system is to be established of so extensive a description, it is most natural to wish that it should be engrafted upon one already existing, and which has been coeval with the existence of the Government. N thing can tend more to give solidity and permanence to the fabric we are rearing, than building it on such a foundation. Again, the new system is to be local in all its arrangements, and to have its seat in the particular districts of the country. Would any man reject the known and ancient division of the kingdom into parishes and chapelries, in order to subdivide it anew, by cutting it into squares, like some of the most speculative reformers, or splitting it into little compartments, with a pond or maypole in each, as the French divided their country into larger departments, by rivers and mountains ? The parochial division, moreover, is analogous to the one required in its object; the one refers to the neighbourhood of the church, and the residence of the parson; the other to the position of the schoolhouse and dwelling of the master. To take the ecclesiastical distribution of the country, therefore, was quite a mat