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Scottish Education - Schools and University
Chapter XXV - Fourth Period (1872 - 1908). Secondary Schools


WE have seen that while praiseworthy but only moderately successful attempts were made in the 17th and 18th centuries to establish schools in every parish, higher class and burgh schools were allowed to struggle on with such aid-often scanty enough - as the Church, the Common Good of burghs and private benefactions could supply. It was not till 1872 that they received their first help-a step-motherly one-from Government, in being allowed to participate in parliamentary grants for the erection, but not for the repair, of school buildings. In 1878 the favour was slightly extended by school-boards being "empowered to pay from the school-fund such other expenses for the promotion of efficient education as are not provided for in section 62 of the Act of 1872 [Education Act, 1878, Section 18.]." This proved a boon less generous than it at first seemed to be, for, according to the opinion of counsel, the only expenses covered by it were the fee paid to the examiners, and the payment of retiring allowances to the teachers of higher class schools, whom the school-board might think worthy of such recognition. Unfortunately the school-board's love for higher education was not strong enough to cast out their fear of the ratepayer, and as a rule few requests were made for the offered help, though the Department when reporting on deficient accommodation constantly reminded boards of their undue timidity in this respect. The effect of placing burgh and grammar schools under the management of school-boards has been various, depending to a great extent on local conditions. In a city so fully supplied as Edinburgh with institutions of the type of the Merchant Company, Heriot, and Fettes Colleges, a hard uphill fight was, for a considerable time, the fate of proprietary and private schools like the Edinburgh Academy, the Edinburgh Institution, Merchiston, and Loretto in furnishing secondary education. Much the same, but with less emphasis, may be said of other large towns like Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Dundee. In recent years the position of many has been improved. Dundee High School, which is not under the school-board, was very prosperous till the County Committee, by granting subventions to smaller schools in the neighbourhood, withdrew from the High School the support it had formerly received from surrounding districts. It also suffered from competition with the Harris and Morgan Academies. Glasgow High School however is believed to have profited by being placed under school-board management.

It was scarcely to be expected that burgh schools generally would reap substantial benefit from being placed under the management of school-boards, whose special province was stateaided schools, and whose power of assistance to burgh schools, which most required it, was limited in the way above mentioned. There was as yet neither rate nor grant for promoting the efficiency of these schools. The "view to promote the higher education of the country" as suggested by the Acts of 1872 and 1878 was so distant and undefined, as to be practically out of sight. The connection between the school-board and the burgh school was formal rather than real. The state-aided school was the child, the burgh school the step-child of the board. The one was cared for and sometimes unduly petted, the other neglected. The one was palatially housed, but for the other meaner provision was thought good enough. It is beyond question that, but for the grants which legislation in the end of the 19th century made available for higher education, many burgh schools must have ceased to exist.

The two acts above mentioned had done little to help them, because they could not. Some assistance was got in supply of buildings, but no money to enlarge or improve their staffs. It is further to be noted that attendance in the "preparatory department," which was the natural feeder of the secondary school, was, in many cases, reduced by the attraction of the superior premises and lower fees of the state-aided school. There was yet another circumstance unfavourable to the secondary school. Grants were offered to the primary school for individual passes in languages and mathematics. Some boards, from a praiseworthy desire to preserve the tradition of the old parish school for instruction beyond the `beggarly elements,' made more or less successful invasions into the province of the secondary schools, and to some extent interfered with their success.

In dealing with the secondary education of our third and fourth periods, it is impossible to avoid reference to the important share taken in it by the parish schools which, according to the report of the Assistant Commissioners of 1864, furnished more than half of the entrants to the university [Harvey and Sellar's Report of 1864, III, pp. 9, 10]. The extent to which this is true of the parish schools of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray, warrants their being considered as, to quite an appreciable extent, secondary schools. In many small burghs the schools originally, and for centuries, called "Grammar Schools" had assumed largely the character of parish schools and done mainly elementary work. On the other hand in large burghs they had developed into high schools or academies, and had fairly earned the title "secondary," but they had, as a rule, no system or organisation, and often no central source of authority [Third Report of Commission of 1875, p. 97.]. The masters were practically co-ordinate, each in his own department competing for the others' pupils, as if each department was a separate school. In some cases the head-master was invested with rectorial power, but did not choose to use it. From such a system, or want of system, the best results could not be expected. The Act of 1872 furnished a remedy for this by placing all the revenues of higher class schools in a common fund, and causing the fees to be paid to the treasurer of the board, and distributed among the teachers as the board should determine. Such schools, in small burghs which had no endowments, had only fees and the Common Good to depend on, whereas the parish teacher had his statutory salary, which, though far from munificent, was sufficient to attract men fit to train students for entering the university, then barred by no entrance examination. It is not surprising that, in these circumstances, the work done in the junior classes of the university was what should have been done in the secondary school. It is also probable that the existence of parish schools of this type dulled the edge of a desire for secondary schools proper. In the rural districts of the three counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray, the need of additional secondary schools was little felt. Throughout the rest of Scotland the circumstances were different. Graduate teachers were few, emoluments smaller, and few students went direct from parish schools to university.

The changes produced by the Act of 1872 through the system of payment by results, and more complete attention to the ordinary branches in what were formerly parish schools, made it difficult, and in many cases impossible, to give as much time to the higher subjects as formerly. The gap between the ordinary school and the university was in these circumstances very considerably widened. That the immemorial connection should be, as far as possible, maintained was felt to be a patriotic duty. In order to utilise the best brains of the country from whatever social class, it was necessary that higher class schools should be made accessible to all who could make a profitable use of them. A sentence of Lord Balfour's Paisley address in 1898 is worth quoting. "If Scotland is not to fall below her traditions, she must recognise that higher education is a matter of interest to all and not merely to a few, and that every school must bear a share in what is a connected work, viz. the construction of an educational highway from the infant class to the ultimate entry upon the business of life."

No one who has read that address can have a shadow of doubt as to the profound interest, the mastery of detail, the breadth of view, and the sense of responsibility, which characterise it throughout. It is the outcome of opinions gradually formed during years of devoted attention to, and yeoman service in, the cause of education by Lord Balfour, and of constant interchange of ideas between him and Sir Henry Craik. The anomalous position of secondary schools in the education field, as compared on the one hand with primary schools well supplied with grants, and on the other with the university and its large resources of various kinds, while secondary education-the natural connecting link between them-depended largely on fees and scanty endowments, had for years been before the eye of the educationist. The time had come for revising the wills of pious founders, and noting to what extent, under altered conditions, they were in keeping with the original intentions, and bearing satisfactory fruit.

The Merchant Company of Edinburgh in the management of their Hospitals were pioneers in the movement for reform. The history of the Company, in connection with education, goes back to 1695, when the Merchant Maiden Hospital was founded for the board and education of the female children or grandchildren "of such who are or were merchant burgesses of Edinburgh, or ministers of Edinburgh, Canongate, Leith or West Church, or who have been Governors of, or benefactors to, the Hospital." After more than a hundred years the original building in Bristo Street was found to be insufficient, and in 1818 another was built in Lauriston, and after being occupied for about fifty years was sold to the Governors of George Watson's Hospital. At the same time the Hopetoun Rooms in Queen Street-now named the Edinburgh Ladies' College-were purchased by the Governors of the Merchant Maiden Hospital.

For a short time the Company discussed the question of reform, and in 1868 took energetic action. Professional skill was called in, and a report was given by Mr (afterwards Professor) Laurie, disapproving of the monastic system as being on both moral and intellectual grounds unwholesome. The report was approved by the Committee, who thought that, if its recommendations were adopted, they would form a basis for the reorganisation of similar institutions throughout Scotland. They were adopted, and led to the Act of 1869 for the better government of Hospitals and endowed institutions, which probably suggested, in the Act of 1878, the amendment dealing with burgh schools.

Considerations of space forbid more than a general account of the Company's action. The first step in the reform was a tentative one, as when 40 foundationers of George Watson's Hospital were sent as day scholars to the High School; but it is probably sufficient to state that, within a little more than a year after the Act of 1869 was passed, an additional Ladies' College was opened in George Square, and Provisional Orders were obtained, authorising the Governors to board out the foundationers, and convert all the Hospitals into day schools. They had five to deal with, the four most important being George Watson's and Daniel Stewart's for boys; the Edinburgh Ladies', and George Watson's for girls. The importance of the movement, so far as these colleges are concerned, may be gathered from the fact that, instead of educating about 400 foundationers, day scholars, and free scholars, there were enrolled during the first session 3400 pupils, all of whom, except 200 foundationers, were fee-paying. The attendance grew steadily, but, to meet the requirements of the Scotch Education Department, it is reduced to about 3500 in the four colleges, which are admirably staffed, and furnish every year to the university a large contingent of students, male and female, many of whom earn very high distinction. Besides the privileged class of pupils already mentioned, there are competitive foundations and bursaries in all the four colleges, giving free education and money awards ranging from 5 to 15 per annum. There are also university bursaries and other valuable prizes, for which there is always a keen and most satisfactory competition.

The schools, in addition to classical and literary culture, are well abreast of the time in science instruction, theoretical and experimental, so that under the present methods and curricula, the whole of a pupil's character receives a healthy catholic development. It is perhaps not too much to say that there are few if any schools in Great Britain which attract pupils from a wider area all over the world, or whose finished products are more widely and beneficially distributed in every civilised country, than the schools of the Merchant Company of Edinburgh.

The fifth above referred to - James Gillespie's - was originally a Hospital for indigent old men and women, and a 'Free School' for poor boys. The funds and trusts of the Hospital and Free School were united. Pensions were allotted to the Foundationers, and the building was converted into a day school, which was conducted with great success, first as a primary and latterly as a higher grade school till 1908, when it was taken over by the school-board.

The Heriot trustees attempted to follow suit in 1871; but, in deference to a representation by upwards of 300 Edinburgh teachers, who complained of the injury done to other schools in the city by the Merchant Company's provisional order, the Home Secretary declined to issue any others till further enquiry was made. Another and successful application was made in 1885. Since then the career of Heriot's School has been marked by the same success as those of the Merchant Company. From 180 pupils it has risen to 1100; its staff and management are all that could be wished. To an excellent training in ordinary subjects there is added advanced instruction in Latin, modern languages, and scientific technical subjects. From the technical department, which is fully equipped as a science school, students go every year to the university and complete their education with marked success. The daughters of beneficiaries are all carefully educated. Those who have desire and capacity to make a profitable use of higher education receive it in the higher class Ladies' Colleges of the Merchant Company.

That reform of the hospital system was felt to be necessary, on the ground of both efficiency and economy, is shown by the fact that important hospitals generally throughout Scotland applied, or proposed to apply, for provisional orders.

Acting under the terms of his will, the trustees of Allan Glen, master wright in Glasgow, established in 1853 a school in which was given gratuitously a good practical education to about 50 boys, "sons of tradesmen or persons in the industrial classes of society." In 1872 the building was added to and accommodation provided for 150 pupils. Four years later a momentous change took place. The trustees approached parliament in 1876 and obtained "Allan Glen's Institution Act," and the school became in 1878 a fee-paying secondary school, in which a liberal education and systematic instruction in the chemical, physical, and mechanical sciences, were provided for. Free scholarships and bursaries were founded. The curricula had been determined mainly with regard to the educational needs of industrial Glasgow, and the work commenced in 1878 was, so far as Scotland is concerned, of a pronouncedly pioneer character.

In 1887 the trustees of Allan Glen were absorbed into the body of governors of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College by the commissioners appointed under the "Educational Endowments (Scotland) Act 1882," and the organisation and aims of 1876 were confirmed. The rate of progress in amount and quality of science work overtaken is indicated by the payment of grants rising from 515 in 1880 to 2940 in 1907. That the training involved in exact science has no crippling effect on liberal and professional studies seems to be demonstrated by the fact that, during the past eleven years, former pupils of this school have been awarded 144 university degrees (a large number being honours) and a correspondingly large number of first prizes and medals. While a large number of the youths trained in this institution are finding careers in engineering, manufactures, and commerce, the professions of medicine and of teaching have received many most able recruits, and many are to be found in the employment of the state, in the civil and medical services of India, the inspection of factories, &c. During the current session (1907-8) there were on the roll over 700 pupils.

In Aberdeen, Robert Gordon's Hospital, which dates from 1732, was conducted on strictly monastic lines till 1881. Boys to the number of about 120 were received into the Hospital, maintained, and educated there, until they attained the age of 15 years. A sound general education was given including, at least latterly, Latin, French, and Mathematics. The subject of Latin was indeed specially enjoined in the Deed of Foundation. In 1881 a new provisional order was obtained, under which the Governors were empowered to convert the hospital buildings, wholly or partly, into a college or day school, "in which the chief subjects of instruction shall be the English Language and Literature, History and Geography, Modern Languages, Mathematics, and the elements of Physical and Natural Science." They were also empowered to admit fee-paying day scholars. The standard of admission is that required of pupils passing from the junior to the senior division of elementary schools  (Scotch code). The college as a day school includes three departments. (1) A primary department, with 160 pupils, ending with the qualifying examination; (2) an intermediate department, with 55o pupils, organised so as to meet the requirements of the intermediate certificate examinations, the curriculum including English, Mathematics, at least one foreign language, Science, Drawing; (3) a secondary department with 170 pupils, subdivided into classical and modern sides. The classical curriculum includes both Latin and Greek; the modern gives special place to modern languages, Mathematics, and Science.

The provisional order of 1881 also conferred powers on the Governors to carry on "day or evening classes for boys, girls, and adult persons in primary, secondary, mechanical, physical or such other subjects as the Governors may from time to time consider proper or necessary." In other words they were empowered to establish schemes of technical instruction. This power they made use of in establishing evening classes, and when, a few years later, they became managers of a new school of art founded and built by John Gray, engineer, Aberdeen, they were able to take over the whole of the work of the Mechanics' Institute, and carry on an extensive scheme of instruction in subjects of science, art, and technology in connection with the old Science and Art Department, South Kensington, and the City and Guilds of London Technical Institute. A further important development of technical instruction took place in 1893, when the Governors and the school-board entered into a joint scheme for the promotion of technical instruction.

The school-board took charge of all technical work that could be overtaken in elementary and intermediate continuation classes, while the Governors took charge of the more advanced work. For this purpose the day and evening classes of the School of Art and the evening classes of the college were constituted into a central institution. In the day classes of the School of Art the course of instruction extends over four years, and students who complete the course successfully are with the approval of the Scotch Education Department awarded the diploma of the school. There are 60 students in the day classes. In the evening classes of the college and the School of Art the courses are arranged to meet the requirements of the leading industries and crafts of the district, e.g. engineers, architects, builders, stone-cutters, wood-carvers, &c. The number of students is 700.

It is to be added that in all these changes the rights and privileges of the foundationers for whom the original trust made provision, are strictly conserved.

Not more than a passing reference is necessary or possible to such well-known institutions as the Edinburgh High School, whose history dates back to the beginning of the 12th century, the Edinburgh Academy, the Edinburgh Institution, Loretto, Merchiston, Glenalmond and Fettes College. They have all had a succession of Rectors generally of high educational reputation, and can point to long lists of distinguished pupils of which any school may be justly proud. Much the same may be said of similar institutions in Glasgow, the High School, the Academy, the Kelvinside Academy, Hutcheson's Educational Trust, Dollar Institution in Clackmannan, Montrose Academy in Forfarshire, and others in the north and south of Scotland. All have more or less broadened their curricula in keeping with the temper of the time in regard to instruction in science. In one respect Fettes College, opened in 1886, differs from all the others. By the trust deed of Sir William Fettes, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the trustees were allowed a large discretion as to the management of the bequest, and in view of the large number of Hospitals for the lower and middle classes, they decided that the children of the professional or upper middle class left insufficiently provided for were the proper objects for the benefits of the endowment. The number of the foundationers is 50, and the number of fee-paying scholars is from 170 to 180. There are no out-door or day pupils. Besides open scholarships varying in value from 30 to 60 there are 12 foundation scholarships for which only boys educated in state-aided schools or schools necessarily under government inspection can compete. The college is conducted on the lines of an English public school and has a very high reputation.

To deal in full detail with other kindred institutions would be tedious and unnecessary. Of the impulse given to the spread and depth of advanced work in classical, commercial, and technical education it is sufficient to say that it has been eminently vigorous and healthy. The dullness almost inseparable from life under monastic rules has been banished. A spirit of emulation has been infused into the work by the admission of outside pupils. The mixture of classes has been entirely salutary. The presence of the poor but able boy, for whom hard work and success were imperative, gave a spur to the son of the well-to-do merchant, who, having no such motive for application, might be tempted into comparative idleness. Competition for bursaries has been keen and the schools have flourished. Money however was still wanted. The Endowed Schools Commission of 1872 recommended that the bursary system should commence lower down, so as to connect the primary school with the secondary [Endowed Schools Commission, 1875. Third Report, p. 111.]. Throughout Scotland about /600o was available for bursary purposes for both primary and secondary education. About half that sum was destined for secondary schools. The majority of the bursaries were small, many doing little more than paying the school fees. Others of greater value were indifferently managed. The university bursaries were fewer and more valuable. Except in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, in the early sixties the majority were awarded by presentation, poverty being very often a condition. In many cases they were sought for their money value, from no educational aim, and given without competition simply as charitable doles to the importunate. Often the condition of going to the university was not fulfilled, the money wasted, and positive harm done. There were many exceptions who gained bursaries and some who highly distinguished themselves, but the administration was on the whole unsatisfactory, and the only genuine reform was to throw all bursaries open to competition. This was to a large extent done between twenty and thirty years later. What was wanted was a system of open bursaries leading from the primary to the secondary school, and thence to the university. Now that sound primary education is within the reach of rich and poor alike, there is generally no good reason for taking account of poverty in the award. The poor and the well-to-do boy start as a rule on equal terms except in one important respect, viz. that a well-to-do parent may provide private tuition for his son which will give him the advantage over the possibly cleverer poor boy. The secondary school and the university are not for the boy who is poor both in purse and brains. Let all bursaries be unrestricted, and a stimulus would be given to education over the whole of Scotland like that which the bursary competition in Aberdeen has given to the three Dick Bequest counties. The removal of all local restriction would doubtless bear hard on rural schools, which, though probably needing bursaries most, could not compete on equal terms with the best schools in university towns, but it would certainly be on the whole better if local restriction were less common than it is.

Zeal for higher education is not more indigenous in the Dick Bequest counties than elsewhere in Scotland. The rural character of the district, and the fewer openings into commercial life may to some extent account for the prominence given to university studies, but the difference in their educational position is mainly, perhaps entirely, due to the fact "that an education of better quality, stimulated by rewards adapted to varying degrees of merit, and judiciously organised, is ready to hand, and therefore taken advantage of. Custom has no doubt increased the demand, and this is precisely the result which every educationist would welcome as the desirable and legitimate outcome of efficient organisation [Scottish Review, May 1883, p. 14.]."

Act of 1878 insufficient

There was at this time (1882) a strong feeling among those interested in education, that something more than the Act of 1878 was required to remedy the anomalous and practically isolated position of secondary schools, so as to secure for the middle class a fair measure of educational justice. It was felt that the primary school satisfactorily met the wants of the poor man who had no higher ambition, and that it was no hardship for the rich man to send his son to expensive schools in England or elsewhere, but that insufficient provision was made for the poor or middle-class man of moderate means, who, though contributing largely to education rates, and aiming at higher education for his son, was obliged to be content with what could be got at a primary school. Most people will agree with the opinion that there can be no more fatal error than to contend that higher education is only for the well-to-do. It is evident that the governing class is being increasingly recruited from the middle class, and that it is politically desirable that the latter should by being well educated be fitted to contribute to the supply of wise legislation. Motives of high policy, as well as general fairness, had a large share in the education acts that followed.

The Educational Endowments (Scotland) Act of 1882 which had for its object the reorganisation of endowments, which were not satisfactorily serving their original purpose, increased the attention that was being paid to higher education. It is no longer in force, but the commissioners appointed under it framed a number of useful schemes which were utilised in subsequent legislation.

It was however with the reorganisation of the Scotch Education Department in 1885 and the appointment of Mr (now Sir Henry) Craik as secretary, that secondary education became the subject of earnest and general interest, and entered on a career of reform which has been pursued with unflagging zeal to the present day. Previous to that time the Department concerned itself with only the fringe of higher education in the form of specific subjects in the primary schools. In the report for 1886 there was for the first time a distinct reference to higher class schools, especially endowed schools, and their inspection by the Department. This inspection was compulsory in terms of the Educational Endowments Act of 1882. The report of 1886 says that this will form one of the most important functions of the Department, and that the most careful consideration will be given to the future development of the system. Whatever difference of opinion may exist as to minor details of administration, it must be frankly admitted that this promise has been faithfully kept with singleness of aim and sincerity of purpose. From this time secondary education has in the annual report a distinct place, and sympathetic consideration for the adverse circumstances against which many higher schools had to struggle, - short and irregular attendance, inadequate staff, unsatisfactory buildings, antiquated methods, languidness of local voluntary effort, &c.

The inspection of secondary schools commenced in 1886, and in 1888 the institution of the Leaving certificate examination was definitely carried out by Sir Henry Craik. It was felt that no development of specific subjects could furnish a sound secondary education. It was a bold and has proved to be a most successful experiment. It has undergone, as was to be expected, a good many changes in examination details, and doubtless others suggested by experience will follow. A summary of the steps by which it has reached its present position may not be out of place.

The opinion of school-boards was asked as to the subjects which should be embraced in it, the standard which should be aimed at and the most suitable time for holding it. In short the co-operation of those acquainted with the wants and possibilities of their several districts was requested and utilised. The universities also were consulted as to how the examination might be made adequately testing, and so workably elastic, as not to impose undesirable restraint on the individuality of schools. It may be said generally that excellent results have followed its institution, and that no pains have been spared to make it a success. "In view of the strong representations made in favour of the issue of Leaving Certificates, not in single subjects, but in groups, it was in 1900 decided as a preliminary experiment to begin by issuing such grouped certificates, in addition to any issued in single subjects. These group certificates are issued to those candidates who have received higher instruction for not less than four years in some recognised school, and who have obtained, during that period, certificates of the higher grade, or in honours, in at least four subjects, of which one must be English, one an ancient or a modern foreign language, and one mathematics or, in the case of girls, higher arithmetic. Two certificates of the lower grade are, for the present, accepted in lieu of the fourth certificate of the higher grade, and a Leaving Certificate in science may replace a certificate of the higher grade in an ancient or a modern foreign language [Report on Secondary Education, 1901, p. 289.]." As the result of consultation, changes have been made from year to year. Among these we find the introduction in 1902 of the intermediate certificate, which is meant to meet the case of pupils who cannot remain long enough at school to gain the Leaving certificate proper, which indicates a completed secondary course of instruction, and four years' attendance at a recognised school.

While there is considerable freedom of choice, every candidate must have had specific training in either language or science. The holder of a Leaving certificate is prepared for entering upon university study. The intermediate certificate implies fitness for commencing literary, commercial or technical study or the curriculum for junior students who represent the pupil-teachers of former days. The minimum age for the former is 17, for the latter 15. "The fundamental conditions of issue ought, therefore, to be - that the course of education to whose completion it testifies, is sound, judged by educational principles; that it has a clear aim and purpose; and that, in each subject of the course, the instruction is given by teachers of proved competency. Upon the observance of these principles my Lords now propose to insist [Circular 389, 1906.]." One cannot but admire the provision made in this circular against the risk of a chance verdict on the result of examination papers, by giving "substantial weight to the opinion of the various teachers through whose hands a pupil may have passed," just as in dealing with the qualifying examination for supplementary courses the teacher's opinion about the pupil is taken into account, and in the training of students a record is kept of their work, school history and general fitness. The teachers of intermediate and secondary schools are invited to assume a proper share of responsibility for the certificates to be awarded. The deliberate judgment of the teachers as to the proficiency of candidates will be considered before an intermediate certificate is awarded or withheld.

Provision is also made for the issue of specialised courses for candidates for the army, the conditions to be fulfilled being, that the candidates must be pupils of approved schools, must be not less than 17 years of age, must have gained the intermediate certificate, and have afterwards attended for not less than one session a school having a definitely planned curriculum previously submitted to and approved by the department [Circular 392, 1906.].

The development of specialised certificates-technical and commercial - in 1906 has not been so great as was expected. There has been a distinct increase in the number of candidates for the technical certificate, and fair success in gaining it. The account given of the commercial certificate is, so far, unsatisfactory. "Of eleven candidates, drawn from three schools, no fewer than ten failed to satisfy the conditions proposed by the managers and approved by the department [Report on Secondary Education, 1906, p. 897.]." Commercial certificates should mark the successful conclusion of a curriculum specially suited for lads who propose to enter on a business career, and are not less than 16 years of age. This certificate is to be given only to pupils in schools which have a regularly organised commercial department. The proposal of a commercial certificate doubtless owes its origin to the dissatisfaction often expressed with the defective education of merchant's apprentices. This dissatisfaction will continue, and ought not to cause either surprise or complaint. As long as merchants take, as apprentices, lads of from 13 to 14 years of age, they have themselves to blame. The evil will be cured if they will refuse such young boys, and not grudge paying a little more for older ones.

Though the Leaving certificate scheme is not yet perfect, the reports of examiners show that teaching in schools has been very beneficially influenced by it. This was certain to result from the careful examination of the papers, and the suggestions made upon them year after year. While all subjects passed under review, and were commented on with a view to removal of weaknesses, English and modern languages especially on their literary side have been, more frequently than others, unfavourably criticised. Later reports however bear that in them also there is distinct improvement. In modern languages oral examination as a test of pronunciation has been added as an element in pass or failure, and is quite as essential in assessing merit in them, as laboratory and experimental work is in scientific subjects.

With regard to both ancient and modern languages, while there is considerable room for improvement in respect of accuracy, taste, and literary appreciation, the movement is on the whole clearly a forward one. In science the examination is chiefly oral and practical, and the method, being new, is somewhat imperfectly understood by both pupils and teachers. More attention should be given to theory and the discussion of principles in connection with demonstration experiments in the laboratory. In these respects however gratifying progress is also reported.

There may be room for different opinions as to whether the anomalous and comparatively unaided condition of burgh schools of forty years ago has been completely rectified, but there can be no doubt about the very substantial advance that has been made in higher education by the conversion of monastic hospitals into public day schools, and eleemosynary doles into bursaries for open competition. Thanks to the legislation of the last quarter of a century, funds have been made available by means of which better buildings, more complete equipments, and a larger staff of teachers have been supplied. Science has taken a prominent place in education fairly in keeping with the ever-widening area of scientific pursuits, and the consequently increasing demand for skilled workers in scientific investigation. Many schools, whose very existence was in danger, have got a new lease of life, and to higher education, literary and scientific alike, a vigorous impulse has been communicated, from which excellent results may be confidently expected. The condition of the burgh school, though not yet quite satisfactory, has at any rate been greatly ameliorated. Much of this beneficent change is due to the zeal of the Education Department, from the judicious use they have on the whole made of the funds at their disposal.

One cannot read the reports on secondary education, since Sir Henry Craik took it in hand in 1885, without seeing that they show a continuous record of warm interest in the subject, and a masterly grasp of all its details. They represent twenty years of eminently successful work. Difficulties have been courageously faced and to a most gratifying extent overcome. The hindrances were by no means small. Conflicting interests of existing schools had to be dealt with; languid local effort stimulated; undue timidity of school-boards in availing themselves of the offers made to them banished; misuse of funds by too many Town Councils and secondary committees checked; deficient staffs strengthened; unsatisfactory buildings renovated; and antiquated methods changed. Year after year, attention was directed to all these points. Suggestions for adapting bursars from state-aided schools to the curriculum of higher class schools were proposed; encouragement was given to honest effort; and judicious criticisms on weaknesses were offered in a kindly spirit. The measure of success which has attended Sir Henry's efforts is something of which he may be proud, and for which Scotland should be grateful. Commencing as he did in 1886 with the inspection of 31 secondary and preparatory schools, in 1906 the number had risen to 109. It is not a small matter that in 1903 the candidates for Leaving certificates numbered 19,509. This however was not maintained, for in 1904 the number had fallen to 19,090. No figures are published for the three subsequent years, but in 1908 we find only 10,827. This considerable decrease is to be accounted for by the abolition of lower arithmetic as a separate paper and the ruling out of schools presenting candidates in lower English and lower arithmetic only. It is worthy of note that more than a dozen university and professional authorities had already accepted the certificate in place of the preliminary examination for the university.

In Dr Struthers' report on secondary education in 1906 mention is made of this rapid development in the inspection of secondary schools during the previous quarter of a century, more than half of 109 schools being either under public management or endowed schools, while the remainder were under private management [Report on Secondary Education for 1906, p. 893.]. In his report for the previous year he had directed attention to the improper use, in some cases, of higher grade schools in which pupils were enrolled who had neither the education necessary for the curriculum, nor the intention of completing the three years' attendance contemplated. It is pointed out that it is the obvious duty of the managers of both secondary and higher grade schools to work in the direction of co-operation; that, in districts where no secondary school was available, the managers of higher grade schools should advance their curriculum beyond that of an intermediate centre as far as possible in the direction of a secondary school.

In the meantime the new regulations for the training of teachers have furnished for higher grade schools work which was probably not contemplated at the time they were instituted. They furnished a three years' curriculum which had for its aim the award of the intermediate certificate, and was therefore suitable for intending junior students. This point once gained, accepted junior students would, as a rule, get their training as teachers in secondary schools, many of which are fully equipped for the purpose, or in higher grade schools approved by the Department as suitable centres for the training of junior students. The new system is as yet only on its trial, and some years must pass before its efficiency can be tested ; but it is feared by many that the small amount of time that is proposed to be devoted to, or can be secured for, practically handling a class and the acquisition of good method, will, except in the case of the born teacher, be barely sufficient for effective work.

In 1887 the Technical Schools (Scotland) Act was passed. This was the first measure directly framed for giving substantial help to higher schools. Technical education however was not defined ; was imperfectly and variously understood; contributions to its promotion were only permissive, and the act was practically a dead letter. It was amended by acts in 1890 and 1892.

The Technical Acts had their origin in legislation about the reduction of licences and a tax on beer and spirits. The details are complicated. It is sufficient, so far as their educational aspect is concerned, to state that the portion of revenue from this source that fell to Scotland after police superannuation, relief of fees in state-aided schools, pleuro-pneumonia, and sanitary inspection had been provided for, was permissively to be devoted to the purposes of technical education in such manner as Town and County Councils and police commissioners might determine. It appears from a return laid before parliament that in 1892 the contribution to this purpose was 25,301, rather more than half of what was available.

The origin of the Equivalent Grant was different. It came to Scotland as an equivalent to a grant made to England in 1888 as the proceeds of probate and other duties. In England this was given to local authorities for relief of taxation. A considerable portion of Scotland's share of the same duties was devoted to the relief of school fees. By the Elementary Education Act of 1891 for England it was enacted that, out of moneys provided by parliament, a grant should be given in aid of the cost of elementary education. Scotland, on the principle of equivalents, put in a corresponding claim, but, as relief of fees had been already secured in Scotland by section 22 of the Local Government Act of 1889, the new grant of 60,000 was destined for making better provision for secondary education in urban and rural districts under minutes of the Department submitted to parliament.

That the object of the grant was the stimulation of higher education especially in burgh schools cannot be questioned. We find Lord Balfour of Burleigh in his speech at Paisley in 1898 saying: "Now let us see what was the natural object of this grant. It certainly ought to have meant that the burgh and higher schools in Scotland should be enabled to hold their own. They had no parliamentary grants. They were placed under the school-boards, but they have had no such parliamentary aid as was given to other schools. Now out of this fund surely help should be given to them."

In connection with this grant a memorandum was presented to Parliament on April 12th, 1892, which aroused great interest and much hostile criticism. Effective distribution of the grant was far from a simple matter. The interests of a great variety of schools, some charging fees of 3, others up to 15 or more, had to be considered. Little more than a guess was possible as to the number of additional pupils who, under its stimulus, might be induced to take up secondary education, but it was thought probable that the addition would be considerable. With, as was proposed, a capitation grant of 3, increased attendance, and an average fee not exceeding 3, the burgh schools whose fees were 4 or 5 would have fared excellently, but those hitherto charging from 10 to 15 would have been ruined. Another hindrance to approval of the memorandum was the proposal that the income from local resources should not be less than 3 a head. There are few things more unlikely than that school-boards would contribute 3 a head for pupils in secondary schools, in which they had so far shown but a languid interest, limited power and a loose connection.

In consequence of the general opposition encountered by the memorandum, a parliamentary committee was appointed, with Lord Elgin for president, "to inquire into the means by which the grant may be so distributed as best to promote the efficiency of secondary education, and to open its advantages to the largest number, and, in particular, to consider whether, and, if so, with what modifications, it is expedient to follow the lines of the proposals embodied in the memorandum laid before Parliament; or whether it would be expedient to establish county committees, either adopting the Welsh Intermediate Education Act of 1889, or some other constitution specially suited to Scotland."

The committee conceiving, no doubt correctly, that it was beyond the scope of their enquiry to give a complete account of existing provisions for secondary education, say in their report : " We have thought it better to restrict ourselves to taking sufficient evidence to enable us, in the first place, to elicit the views of qualified persons in regard to certain points raised by the memorandum, and, in the second place, to give an opportunity to public bodies, who felt their interests involved, to explain the representations with which they had favoured us [Report of Committee on Secondary Education, 1892, p. 1.]."

They report the opinion as practically unanimous that an average fee of 3 would impose a serious loss on many schools; that they entirely agree with the principle that localities should contribute, but that to enforce a rule of 3 a head would not in every case work fairly; and they add: "We are inclined to think that the object aimed at might be attained in a more convenient manner, if it was laid down, that the locality must in all cases provide suitable buildings from funds other than this grant, and that payment of the grant should depend on the supply of a fully adequate staff, and on a satisfactory report as to the curriculum and efficiency of the school [Report of Committee on Secondary Education, 1892, p. 2]." Among other suggestions they recommend a grant of from 120 to 200 to burgh schools, and the appointment of county committees "for defined purposes of consultation and advice [Ibid, p. 7.]."

The minute based on the report, though it greatly improved the memorandum, was strongly opposed in Parliament and withdrawn. Lord Balfour believed the opposition was due to its being "thought that too much power was given to the Department and too little to the localities."

County and burgh committees were appointed [For each county and for each of the burghs of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Leith, and for the parish of Govan there shall be a committee on secondary education. Minute of May 1893], and a circular was issued to them asking them to state their views upon a system of distribution of the grant. Sir George Trevelyan, then Secretary for Scotland, "wishes it to be understood, that the system on which the opinion of your committee is asked is one under which the local committee would construct a scheme guided by its own independent judgment as to the requirements of the locality [Circular 152 of Scotch Education Department, March 1, 1893]." It would serve no purpose to give the answers in detail. Suffice it to state that the schemes proposed by the county committees were characterised by marvellous variety, and in many cases by bad economy; that 15 accepted the responsibility of formulating schemes; and 24 preferred the scheme in the amended minute of January 1893, which the Department had issued and withdrawn. It is certainly remarkable and matter for regret, that the Department, finding the majority of the committees on the whole favourable to their amended scheme, did not adopt it rather than that of the minority.

It is obvious from a perusal of the Department's reports since 1892, that this has been to them matter for regret. Over and over again reference is made to the dissipation of the equivalent grant in small sums and for objects that are in no real sense furthering higher education. While something is to be said in defence of grants being paid to state-aided schools in many districts in which there are no secondary schools proper, and where many would not obtain higher education except at the schools in their neighbourhood in which a considerable amount of secondary work was done, there are many cases for which the same defence cannot be made. The heads of the Department had done all they could to check unsatisfactory use of funds clearly meant for secondary education, but their power had been limited by the unfortunate decision which allowed burgh and county committees, whose functions were meant to be consultative and advisory, to take upon themselves the much more difficult task of organising educational schemes. It cannot be denied that the Equivalent grant, through the judicious, action of many burgh and county committees, has given a healthy impulse to secondary education, but there has been in many cases regrettable and inevitable waste. A grant distinctly meant for the benefit of schools which are not in receipt of parliamentary grants has been, to a considerable extent, frittered away on state-aided schools doing little or no genuinely secondary work, and, being in receipt of both grants and rates, not requiring additional stimulation. Lord Balfour in the speech already referred to put the case very clearly. "The Department has, no doubt, to approve the schemes; but the initiative lay with each locality, and it was obviously impossible for the Department to insist upon any uniform scheme, or to modify local proposals to such an extent, as would make the allocation according to the various needs of each county. The result of this was, as had been foreseen, that the tendency arose to distribute the money in small sums over too many schools. The distribution among counties having been based on population, the same principle followed the distribution amongst the various districts. No common standard was adopted, and, as a consequence, the most inadequate attempts to give higher education were often rewarded with a grant on the same terms as really valid secondary provision, towards which much local effort had been devoted. The Department has done what was in its power to counteract this dissipating tendency." These attempts however were in many cases successfully resisted, the committees choosing in terms of their appointment "to be guided: by their own independent judgment."

From the repeated references in the annual reports to this dissipation of grants, it seems tolerably clear, that the leaving to county councils the formation of schemes for promoting higher education was felt by the Department as a drag on its wheels. It is at any rate safe to say that, under its management, lessons in swimming, ambulance work, and training of a fife band, however useful in themselves, would not have been regarded as furthering the cause of higher education, as they actually were, by some county committees.

Undeterred by the self-assertive attitude of several county committees, the Department continued to show unabated interest in secondary education. In a circular of 10th June, 1897, addressed to secondary education committees, they say that, while desiring to preserve what has always been a distinctive feature in Scottish education-provision of a certain amount of secondary instruction in the ordinary school-they think there ought to be a careful selection of the schools to which higher departments should be attached, and such addition to the staff as will make the higher work real, and yet not interfere with the primary instruction. They further suggest that " such higher work should not be promoted to the injury of, or in such a way as to enter into undue competition with, any efficient higher class school, which may be available and suitable [Circular letter 10th June, 1897, p. 157. ]." In 1899, when higher grade schools appear in the code for the first time, the character proposed to be given to them is similar to that sketched in the circular just quoted. They are to be of two kinds, predominantly higher grade (science) and higher grade (commercial) schools. Meanwhile the Act of 1901, making 14 the age up to which pupils who have no professional aims must remain at school, made preparation for the profitable employment of the years from 12 to 14 imperative, in the establishment of supplementary courses, the aim and character of which have been already referred to.

Up to 1904 inclusive, the requirements and function of the higher grade school were practically unchanged. The attendance must cover at least three years and the staff must be adequate. In the code of 1905 (art. 139) it is provided that " Pupils who have completed a three years' course according to the approved scheme, and have qualified for the award of an intermediate certificate, except as regards the requirement of a pass on the higher grade standard in some subject of the course, may either continue their studies on the lines of their previous general course, or may receive an education which is either predominantly scientific and technical, or predominantly commercial, or is specially suited for girls (household management course)." The steadily widening area of the educational field made absolutely imperative the erection of schools in which experimental science and drawing should occupy a more prominent place than in the secondary schools of the past. That they were really wanted is shown by the fact that between 1900 and 1906 the number of such schools rose from 31 to 141, of which 127 are public schools, and 14 are schools under voluntary management. At first, as might be expected, mistakes were made. It is quite clear that it was not understood that higher grade schools were not intended for pupils who meant to spend in them two years or so, but for pupils whose attendance is to continue up to 15 or 16, and who wish to have a "well-balanced course of general education" suitable for the requirements of pupils leaving school at that age, or for pupils who remain till 17 or 18, and wish to devote two or three years to specialised study-literary, scientific, technical or commercial [Circular 389, section 2.]. The curriculum has for its basis such subjects as go to the making of a sound liberal education, to which are added subjects predominantly commercial or scientific according to the aim in view. The subjects which must be embraced in both courses are English, history, geography, higher arithmetic, and drawing. Pupils taking the higher grade science course must take the additional subjects-mathematics, experimental science, and, as a rule, some form of manual work. Those who take the higher grade commercial course must take the additional subjects-one or more modern languages, book-keeping, shorthand, and knowledge of commercial products. A large discretion was left to managers in submitting courses of instruction for both boys and girls, subject to approval by the Department. This is beyond question educationally sound. Had the pupils' aim been a professional education, through the study of such subjects as have the university as their goal, they ought at the age of I z to have entered classes in a fully equipped secondary school.

There are now few districts in Scotland in or near to which there is not a higher grade school. We have in this, as in the unquestionably healthy impulse given to advanced instruction generally, a most gratifying proof of the progress with which the movement towards secondary education commenced by Sir Henry Craik in 1885 has been carried out, and advanced by Dr Struthers who succeeded him in 1904.

But it is not in secondary education alone that, since 1898, the educational area has been widened, liberalised, and raised. In the ordinary subjects the attempts that have been made to give to attainments intelligence and permanence ; to develop the whole of a child's nature; to make, morally and physically, a good citizen; to fit him not only to earn his living but to enjoy his life, have been eminently successful. Similar improvements mark such changes in the regulations for the intermediate certificate that it "becomes the natural passport which secures admission to the various specialised courses whose institution has been sanctioned in previous years." Another is the discontinuance in 1907 of `honours grade' in the Leaving certificate for two reasons, (1) that the `group system' has made it unnecessary, and (2) that its tendency was towards overpressure.

The Department, dissatisfied with the administration by the town and county councils of the funds at their disposal for the promotion of technical education, provided for an extended representation of such local authorities as were willing to entrust the administration to the secondary committees. The distribution of the Residue grant by local authorities was voluntary, and up to this time largely misapplied. The act requires that, for instruction in subjects other than those specified in the science and art directory, the sanction of the Department must be got. This sanction had rarely if ever been applied for. A large part of the funds had been expended for purposes which had little if any connection with science or art, and on elementary instruction for which sufficient provision was made by local rates and parliamentary grants. The extended representation was entirely salutary. Except where the town and county councils entrusted the administration to the secondary committees, science and art have got little help from the Residue grant.

As to the distribution of the 60,000 set apart for secondary education by the Education and Local Taxation Account (Scotland) Act of 1892 a fairly typical example maybe given. For the year ended March 31st, 1900, 4700 was expended on the inspection of higher class public schools, and on the cost of holding the Leaving certificate examination. Of the remaining 55,300 about 35,000 was paid in direct subsidies in nearly equal amounts to higher class schools and secondary departments of state-aided schools, the greater part of the remainder being allocated for capitation grants and bursaries.

Sir Henry Craik in his report for 1899 refers to the further funds placed at the disposal of the Department by the Local Taxation Account (Scotland) Act of 1898 for the benefit of higher class schools. He thinks these schools are the proper recipients of such aid, especially as the claims of scientific teaching are rapidly advancing, and the supply of adequate apparatus and properly qualified teachers can hardly be met by unaided local effort [Report on Secondary Education, 1899, p. 259.]. This help is the more welcome because the transference of science and art administration to the Scotch Education Department has led to an important development of the Leaving certificate examination by including in it some science subjects.

At this time the administration of the grants for science and art was sadly wanting in organisation. The subjects were taught in a desultory way, much like specific subjects, and without definite aim, except that of earning grants. It was necessary to distinguish between science and art subjects as parts of a regular curriculum, and isolated subjects in which lads who had left school were interested or which they hoped to find useful. For the former the day school, for the latter the evening continuation school was the proper place. It was also thought that science teaching should include experimental investigation of fundamental principles in the laboratory, and practical applications of them. Later on, effect was given to this system.

In the distribution of the further funds above mentioned a small fixed sum was by the minute of April 27, 1899, awarded to the schools approved as recipients. This sum was increased according to the number of pupils over 12 years of age in average attendance and to the proportion which the expenditure on higher class schools from the rates bore to the total valuation of the district. In 1901 the maximum and minimum grants for each school were fixed at 750 and 300, and were to be devoted to improvement of staff and equipment, and were exclusively for the benefit of higher class schools, secondary or technical, that were not in receipt of grants under the Scotch code [Report on Secondary Education, 1901, p.,285.]. While liberty of suggestion is given to school managers, the department must be satisfied that the money shall be expended in such a way as to increase the efficiency of the school. Among other permissible objects of expenditure is the payment of the expenses of teachers going to France or Germany with a view to more thorough knowledge of these languages. By another clause of the minute any residue is put aside for the establishment of a central fund from which new, or the extension of existing, buildings may be supplied. Between 1901 and 1904 about 19,000 was expended from this fund on technical institutions in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Leith.

Under a minute of May 30, 1903, further funds for the encouragement of the teaching of science and art were furnished to the amount of nearly 14,000. There has been on the whole gratifying progress in science teaching. A healthy impulse has been given to it in schools by the acceptance of science in lieu of dynamics in the university preliminary examination.

Up to 1901 there had been two sets of technical classes-one under the provisions of the code for evening schools, the other under the provisions of the science and art directory. These classes were conducted on a plan which did not sufficiently differentiate the work done in the two classes, and which involved risk of duplication of grants. To remedy this a uniform set of regulations was drawn up in the continuation class code, taking cognisance of all forms of technical instruction from the elementary to the higher work in selected central institutions, which may be called industrial universities. The conditions on which these grants are paid in respect of premises, equipment, time-tables, regulation of classes, and qualification of teachers give ample security against duplication of grants and for sound scientific instruction.

In 1906 there were ten central institutions, viz. :

I. Aberdeen and North of Scotland College of Agriculture.

II. Aberdeen Gordon's College and Gray's School of Art.

III. Dundee Technical Institute.

IV. Edinburgh and East of Scotland College of Agriculture.

V. Edinburgh Heriot-Watt College.

VI. Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College.

VII. Glasgow Athenaeum Commercial College.

VIII. Glasgow School of Art.

IX. Leith Nautical College.

X. The West of Scotland Agricultural College (including Kilmarnock Dairy School).

To these must now be added the recently-erected Edinburgh College of Art.

Continuation Classes

Prior to the passing of the Education (Scotland) Act of 1872 there were comparatively few evening schools in Scotland. Their existence, as a rule, was very intermittent, and the instruction they gave of a very elementary nature. In session 1873-4-the transition year from the regime of the churches to that of the school-boards-only 3209 pupils were presented for examination in all the evening schools of Scotland. It will scarcely be credited that of these 1134 were presented in Standard I, the meagre requirements of which 270 failed to pass. Only 63 were presented in Standard VI.

As soon as the school-boards got into working order progress began to be made: but it was not until session 1886-7 that scholars in evening schools ceased to be presented in Standards I and II. In that year 6885 evening scholars were examined; 2063 being in Standard VI, exactly 2000 more than in 1873-4. Shortly thereafter specific subjects were included in the evening school curriculum, and in 1893 evening schools under the fostering care of the Department came to have a code of their own, and to be known as continuation classes.

A great development took place. In 1897-8 over 95,000 pupils were enrolled, but the average attendance scarcely reached 52,000. The number enrolled in 1906-7 was over 100,000, which is very satisfactory when it is remembered that in the intervening year the limit for compulsory attendance at school had been raised from 13 to 14 years of age.

Four divisions in continuation classes are recognised by the department.

Division I consists of pupils no longer compelled to attend school, who wish to complete their general elementary education.

Division II is open to pupils over 16, or to pupils under 16 who give satisfactory evidence of their fitness to profit by specialized elementary instruction in one or more of a large number of subjects such as English, languages, mathematics, scientific and commercial subjects, cookery and laundry work.

Division III includes classes for advanced specialised instruction, which may take the form of commercial and literary courses, or of instruction in any crafts, industries, and occupations, as art and art crafts, engineering, naval architecture, navigation, textile and chemical industries, women's industries, agriculture and rural industries, and many others.

Division IV seems more recreative than educational. Under it are included physical exercises, military drill, wood-carving, vocal music, and fancy needlework.

Continuation classes need not meet in the evening, when drowsy pupils are least able to profit by instruction, and weary teachers least able to give it. They may be held at any hour of the day, and are open to all pupils who have left school, there being no upward limit of age. The best work is done in Divisions II and III, in which also there is by far the largest attendance.

It is to be regretted that there are hardly any continuation classes in purely agricultural districts, and that all over the country the percentage of pupils from 14 to 16 years of age attending such classes is very small. It must be borne in mind that distances from school are often great, and that farming work is hard and not favourable to continuation school work. On the other hand it is matter for congratulation that substantial progress has been achieved, that under the Education (Scotland) Act, 1908, school-boards have new powers to enforce attendance, that an effort is being made to have the pupils trained in a well balanced curriculum instead of taking single subjects, and that by a system of bursaries the department is aiming at linking on continuation classes to the great central institutions to which reference has been already made, and which, in the form of agricultural, technical, art or commercial colleges, are to be found in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Govan, and other large centres throughout the country. The interest that some employers are taking in the attendance of their apprentices at continuation classes, is a valuable example which it may be anticipated will be widely copied. Were this interest general, youths of 14 to 17 would attend continuation classes as naturally as those under 14 attend a day school, and the more capable or the more eager would take full advantage of the splendidly equipped central institutions established or being established in our land.

In the report for 1904 attention is directed to the serious danger of over-pressure which is steadily increasing. It is impossible to condemn too strongly the over-pressure which must result from spending five or six hours in the preparation of home-lessons. The strain implied in this is much beyond what the average boy or girl can stand. If, which is probable, keen competition for university bursaries is the cause, it is difficult to suggest a remedy except in the common-sense of parents and teachers. Bursaries gained on these terms cost far too much. It is probably in connection with bursaries that over-pressure is caused. The ambitious boy must get the bursary, and to get it he must work for it. A comparison of the Leaving certificate examination papers of a dozen years ago with those of to-day shows an almost astounding increase of difficulty. The Department have recognised this and endeavoured to prevent over-pressure by fixing 15 and 17 as the ages for the intermediate and leaving certificates respectively, with which it is impossible to find fault. The increased difficulty has reasonably kept pace with the distinct advance in education all round.

While the skilful and initiative enterprise of the Department are worthy of the heartiest approval, and their educational theories are sound and healthily progressive, it is impossible to ignore the existence among teachers and managers of a feeling that their zeal is in some respects characterised by undue haste ; that changes inherently and unquestionably good are followed by others also good and probably better, but separated from the former by intervals somewhat too short for their results to be fairly estimated. Whatever room there may be for differences of opinion as to this, there can be none about the general movement being one of steady and striking progress. A comparison of secondary education now, with its condition thirty years ago, warrants a verdict of unanimous approval in every direction-school architecture, ventilation, furniture, organisation, conversion of hospitals into fee-paying schools, an increase of specialist teachers and inspectors, of Higher Grade Schools, and greatly improved character of the instruction. The traditional method of teaching classics has been largely and beneficially altered ; a living language is now seldom taught as a dead tongue ; and Mathematics has become both more practical and more interesting. While Science and Art arc essential in the curriculum of any school claiming the grant, the teacher will not be tempted to give them undue prominence, because the grant will depend on the whole work of the school, and so check the evil of over-pressure. In every subject there is earnest and skilful striving after the best methods.

The heartiest recognition must be accorded to the fact that, since 1885, the sound development of an excellent scheme has been kept steadily in view, with the result that the Department have now, thanks partly to the stimulative influence of the Leaving certificate, and largely also to the application of the Scotland (Education) Fund, established a beneficent regulation and supervision of secondary education, such as Scotland has never had till now, and for which she ought to be and is grateful.


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