|Wellingborough News, December 29th 1877, transcribed by Kay Collins
RUSHDEN SCHOOL BOARD—Dec 20. A special meeting of the above Board was held. Present: Messrs. W. Colson (in the chair), S. Knight, and R. O. Butcher.
The Chairman said that the meeting was called for the purpose of considering a, letter received from the Educational Department, informing the Board that if they required a loan during the financial year from April, 1878, to March, 1879, application must be made before the 31st inst., and it was for this meeting to decide if any application should be made for a loan, and for what amount. So long as they had no permanent schools the Board was a dead letter. The following correspondence was then read:—
Rushden, November 28th 1877
To the Secretary, Educational Department.—Sir,—With great reluctance we venture again to invite your attention to certain matters connected with our School Board. A letter from the Board to the Department was posted by our Clerk on the 18th of October last. This letter was not laid on the table of the Board until the 12th of November, no opportunity therefore having been given us of commenting on its contents previously to its being forwarded to the Department. Against the general tone and reasoning of that letter we beg respectfully to enter our protest. According to the last census, it was estimated that about 120 children were not attending any school. At the present date our Attendance Officer can only report 34 children of school age as not attending some school. On investigation, however, it was found that some of these returns had been given in error, and that of these 34 children, ten are actually on the books of the National School, and two on those of the Board Schools, thus reducing to 22 the number of children not attending school. Of this number even, some proportion may be unable to attend from illness or other causes. We trust that the Department will have the goodness to compare these figures with the assumed deficiency of accommodation on which some of the members of our School Board ground their demand for increased building. Some of the existing schools are not full, and probably afford room for about 80 more children,—We have, &c.,
R. O. BUTCHER
Members of the Rushden School Board.
Educational Department, 15th Dec. 1877
To J. Heygate, Esq., Clerk to the Rushden School Board. —Sir,—Since your Board would appear to desire to be furnished at once with copies of all communications referring to their proposals for the supply of public school accommodation, my Lords forward the above closed copy. The representations therein contained do not seem, however, to their Lordships very materially to affect the questions which have been under discussion. If (as stated in your letter of the 17th October) there are 674 children of school age in the district, and if from these be deducted 36 as being one-third of the half-timers found by your Board in the district, there will remain 638 children. Deducting one-eighth of these to represent unavoidable absence, your Board will have 559 children left; and further deducting from these to represent the richer classes, not (as is usual) a more considerable number, but merely the 16 children returned by you as attending non-elementary schools, you will have 543 children to be provided with, public school accommodation. Of these the National School would appear to provide for 320, and the Infant School lately re-opened in connection therewith for 90. Thus there would remain 133 children to be provided for by your Board; or, allowing for increase of population, your Board may say for 175 children. My Lords would be prepared to consider plans providing for this number in a school upon the opening of which the present temporary Board Schools should be closed.—I have,&c.,
Mr. Butcher said that the letter sent by himself and Mr. Sartoris was non-official, but they thought it was their duty to lay the facts on both sides before the Education Department.
Mr. Colson wished the members of the Board would say what they had to say at the Board. He believed that the letter from Messrs. Sartoris and Butcher, containing the attendance officer's report, was sent before the officer was appointed.
Mr. Butcher denied this, and upon reference to the minutes it was found that the officer was appointed on the 12th of November, and the letter of Messrs. Sartoris and Butcher was written on the 28th of November.
Mr. Colson said it was evident the writers of the letter did not take into account the number of children between the ages of three and five years, for whom the Board were bound to find accommodation, although they could not compel their attendance.
Mr. Colson said that this was of one those points that might have been satisfactorily adjusted if it had been discussed at a meeting of the Board, and that would be a much pleasanter way of conducting the business.
Mr. Butcher: If we object to anything here we should be out-voted, and then it would go to the Education Department as a unanimous resolution of the Board, whereas now they have both sides of the question laid before them.
Mr. Colson: To borrow of the Public Works Loan Commissioners is the cheapest and easiest way of repayment, as the repayment is spread over 50 years, at a low rate of interest.
Mr. Knight proposed that the Board make application to the Public Works Loan Commissioners before the 31st inst. for a loan of £1,500.
This was seconded by Mr. Colson and carried. Messrs. Colson and Knight voted for it; Mr. Butcher did not vote, but handed to the chairman a written protest which he wished entered on the minutes.
It was resolved that the Board Schools should close for the Christmas holidays until the 31st inst.
|Wellingborough News, 19th January 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins
RUSHDEN SCHOOL BOARD
On Monday evening the usual monthly meeting was held in the vestry hall. Present: Mr. W. Colson, in the chair; Mr. S. Knight, and Mr. R. O. Butcher.
The Clerk said the rate-collector had requested him to inform him as early as possible if a precept would be required, and if so for what amount, as he was making out a rate.—It was decided not to issue a precept this quarter.
The next business was to consider what steps shall be taken to obtain plans for the proposed new schools.
The Clerk suggested the necessity of the Board appointing an architect.
A letter was read from a gentleman, offering his services to the Board as architect.
Mr. Knight proposed that the Board engage Mr. E. Sharman, to prepare plans and specifications for suitable schools, to accommodate 170 children, and master's house. He said that Mr. Sharman was well known, and of good standing in the neighbourhood. He had built several schools in the neighbourhood, which he thought had given great satisfaction, and he thought it would be better to have a master's house, as it would be a protection to the building, and would not entail much more expense, as the Board had to pay for a house for the master. Mr. Colson asked the Clerk how the Board would be placed if they spent more money than they had applied for.
The Clerk thought the Commissioners would not object to a little over the amount being drawn, but if they did, application could be made for another loan next December, and he thought it probable the schools would hardly be finished this year.
Mr. Colson seconded Mr. Knight's proposition. He thought Mr. Sharman would draw suitable plans. They wanted substantial buildings with as little ornamental work as possible, as they did not want to go to unnecessary expense.
Mr. Butcher, in answer to the chairman, said he did not think it required much of an architect to build a square school.
Mr, Knight's motion was carried, Mr. Butcher not voting.
The Clerk stated that it would be necessary for the Board to have an interview with Mr. Sharman and explain to him what accommodation is required, and whether for boys, girls, or infants.
Mr. Knight proposed, and Mr. Colson seconded, that a committee of the whole Board be appointed to confer with and instruct Mr. Sharman in carrying out the foregoing resolution.
The motion was carried, Mr. Butcher not voting.
A letter was read from Mr. Wood, asking for the appointment of a transfer pupil teacher in his third or fourth year, for the mixed school, as he had 107 scholars on the books, and often had from 80 to 90 in attendance. There were also a great many half-timers.
The Clerk did not think the Board would be able to procure a transfer pupil teacher. He knew other Boards that had tried and failed, and the teachers asked that in the interim two paid monitors should be, appointed.
The Master was called into the room, and, in answer to the Clerk, he said that there were transfer pupil teachers advertised sometimes, and, indeed, if he had been empowered he could have obtained one from the school he left last, but it was now too late. The average attendance last week was 67, but sometimes there were a great many more than at others, and he had to be prepared for the larger number. He was also compelled to have six classes, as he had six standards.
It was resolved that Mr. Wood be allowed to advertise for a transfer pupil teacher, and in the meantime he be allowed more than 4s. per week to pay monitors.
Mr. Wood also called attention to the requirements of the Education Department in reference to the child's attendance book, and said he found some of the parents objected to pay the 6d. for the certificate.
He was instructed to inform all those parents who wished to enter fresh scholars that they cannot be admitted without the certificate, and that one certificate did for the life of the child.
Mr. Thompson suggested that the Board should appoint Prudence Darnell as a candidate pupil teacher to the Infant School, where she was at present engaged as a paid monitress. Her parents wished her to become a candidate.
The subject was ordered to stand over until the next meeting.
A letter was read from Mr. Ward, asking why his son, who was a pupil teacher, had been dismissed. He saw in the paper that the Master had made complaints, and subsequently on being spoken to about the report he denied the accuracy of it.
It was explained to the satisfaction of the Board that the boy had been properly dismissed.
The Attendance Officer reported that most of the children whom he had reported to the last meeting had gone to school as half-timers.—Mrs. Twelvetree had requested the officer to ask the Board to allow her boy, who is 9 years of age, to attend as an half-timer.
The Officer was instructed to inform the mother that the Board had no power to allow half-time attendance under 10 years of age.
The Officer further reported that he had made 120 visits to children who attend school irregularly during the month, but as most of the parents had promised better attendance no action was taken.
The Officer was instructed to obtain the names of the absentees from Mrs. Wagstaff's school, as well as from the Board and National Schools.
|Wellingborough News, February 16th 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins
RUSHDEN SCHOOL BOARD - MONDAY LAST
Present: Messrs. G. Denton, in the chair; W. Colson, S. Knight, and R. 0. Butcher.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.
CLAIM BY A PUPIL TEACHER
A letter was read from G. C. Ward, claiming, in addition to £2 12s. 1d. for services as pupil teacher, one month's salary in lieu of notice.
The Clerk was instructed to pay the 10 week's salary due, and to inform Mr. Ward that the Board repudiated any further liability.
On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr Knight, Prudence Darnell was appointed a candidate pupil teacher in the infant school at a salary after the rate of £7 10s. per annum, the appointment to date from this meeting.
The Chairman, Mr. Colson and Mr. Knight vote for the motion, Mr. Butcher did not vote.
PROPOSED NEW SCHOOLS
The Committee appointed to confer with Mr Sharman as to his preparing plans for the proposed new schools reported that they had met Mr. Sharman, and asked him to prepare a sketch of the ground plan for the approval of the Board before he drew the plans.
Mr. Sharman had submitted a ground plan, which the committee produced, and which he thought, with one or two alterations in minor points, would be suitable. They suggested that the plans as produced be referred back to them for them to point out to Mr. Sharman the alterations proposed, and that they be empowered to instruct Mr. Sharman to prepare plans and specifications.
The report of the committee was adopted.
A circular from the Education Department relating to the children's Attendance Book and the certificates, were read.
The Attendance Officer reported that Robert Twelvetree was now attending as a whole-timer, at the Rushden National School. He also reported that he had visited Mrs. Wagstaff’s school, and that she was quite willing to give every information as to absentees, &c. In reference to the accommodation of her school she informed him that Mr. Sartoris had promised to build her a larger room. She had 34 scholars, and she was very particular about their regular attendance.
The Chairman said he thought the officer should the parents that attendance at this school would not count for work
The Clerk thought the question for the Board was, is the education given at Mrs. Wastaff’s school efficient?
The Chairman did not think there was any doubt that it was.
The Officer was instructed to ask Mrs. Wagstaff if she kept a register of attendance.
The Officer ported that he had made 90 visits this month against 120 last month. There was a decided improvement in the regularity of attendance. He found several very bad cases, but the parents contributed their children's non-attendance to want of funds, owing to the shortness of work. He had reason to believe that their stories were true.
The Officer was instructed to tell those parents who cannot afford to pay their children's school that the Board, upon application to them, could if they saw reason for it, remit the fees.
The Officer replied that he believed the parents wanted their children, who ought to attend school, to remain at home to attend the infants.
|Wellingborough News, March 9th 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins
RUSHDEN SCHOOL BOARD
MR EDITOR -I think the ratepayers of Rushden did quite right in calling a meeting last week to discuss the question of the proposed site for the new Board Schools. The Board think of building them on a piece of ground belonging to Mr. Packwood, adjoining Mr. Colson's field. There appear to me to be very strong objections to this site. Firstly, it is a very low, flat situation. Secondly, it is not central. Thirdly, £960 per acre seems to me to be far more than it is worth. A piece of land has been offered near the Temperance Hall, at the rate of £600 per acre, and I venture an opinion that apart from the question of price it is a far more suitable situation, being high and dry, and nearer the centre of the village than the one before-mentioned. I earnestly wish that clear-headed men of business who when using their own money are circumspect, cautious, and economical, would apply the same principles when spending public money. The large ratepayers and especially the farmers, who although in a minority of representation will have to bear by far the larger share of the burden, are quite right in using every means in their power to prevent any needless expenditure and should not be daunted even though told in a high-minded way by a member of the Board that their meetings are informal. It is calculated that if the School Board carry out their plan, nearly £2,000 will be required, which surely is too great a sum to spend for the accommodation of 200 children. I think they would do well to reflect seriously before launching into this new expenditure as at the present time there is a good deal of distress in the district, and no one can say how soon the wave of bad trade may not reach Rushden when the increase of rates that must accrue will be felt to be a heavy burden —Yours truly,
|Wellingborough News, 16th March 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins
RUSHDEN SCHOOL BOARD - MONDAY LAST
Present: Mr. G. Denton (chairman), Messrs. W. Colson, S. Knight, R. O. Butcher, and J. Heygate (clerk). The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.
The Clerk reported that the accounts to Sept. 29th, 1877, had been audited and passed. He further asked if the Board wished to publish them in any other way than the Act compels, viz., a copy to be sent to the Education Department, and one to the overseers.
Mr. Colson: I suppose anyone can see a copy at the overseer's, or at the clerk's office?
Mr. Heygate: Yes, and any person can have a copy on payment of 6d.
The Board thought it was unnecessary to advertise the balance sheet, as this being the first year of the Board there were so few items in the accounts.
The Clerk reported he had written to Godfrey Ward, in accordance with the instructions of the Board, and had received no reply. He further reported the balance at the Bank was £21 12s. 9d.
A precept was issued for £60 to be paid on the 30th April next.
The Auditor expressed a wish that the school fees might be paid over to the clerk, instep of being kept by the master and deducted from his salary. The auditor did not wish to make this compulsory.
The Clerk: As I live at a distance the fees can only be paid in once a month. At Wellingborough and Wollaston they are paid in once a week.
THE SITE FOR THE NEW SCHOOLS
The Chairman said he had received the following letter from Mr. Skinner, offering the Board a piece of land belonging to his son. Mr. Skinner objected to the proposed site because it was so expensive:—
Rushden, March 11th, 1878
To the Chairman of the Rushden School Board, Sir,—I take the liberty of offering to your Board any quantity of the field belonging to me in Duke-street, at two shillings and threepence per square yard.
Mr. Colson: There is a resolution on the books to accept Mr. Packwood's offer; I think we ought to give up Mr. Packwood's offer if we entertain any other.
The Clerk: Mr. Packwood's offer was accepted subject to the approval of the Education Department.
Mr. Butcher: There is great dissatisfaction in the village about the site.
Mr. Colson: Mr. Packwood has received an offer of 6d. more a yard for his land. If we give it up we have to run the risk of getting inferior. There was a letter in the Wellingborough News last week calling us business-like men; we shall have a letter this week calling us the opposite of that.
Mr. Butcher: Mr. Rice offers his land to us.
Mr. Colson: There is no offer of his before the Board.
Mr. Knight: There is no road to it.
Mr. Butcher: I beg your pardon, there is.
Mr. Denton said with regard to the piece of land which belonged to the Church, he had had an interview with the Rector, and he did not think the Ecclesiastical Commissioners would sanction the sale, unless the money it fetched was invested in consols, to bring in as much per year as it did now.
The Clerk: If the Ecclesiastical Commissioners refuse to sanction the sale I think the Board will stand a very good chance of having to pay the costs out of their own pockets.
Mr. Colson: If Mr. Butcher will move a resolution that the Inspectors come down and visit this site, I will second it. I would rather he would move a resolution than that he should write up to the Education Department, as he has done before.
Mr. Butcher: You are making an assertion you can't prove.
The Chairman proposed that the question of the site be left to a committee of the whole Board, which was seconded by Mr. Knight.
Mr. Colson: Do you hold Mr. Packwood to his agreement? If you get a fresh site you will want fresh plans, and then the ratepayers will call out that we are running them to such an expense whereas it is the minority who are expensive.
The Chairman proposed that the committee meeting should be held tomorrow evening.
Mr. Butcher: What are you in such a hurry for?
The Chairman: Whilst we are delaying we are increasing the expenses.
Mr. Colson: What time, Mr. Butcher, shall we hold the meeting?
Mr. Butcher: It does not matter to me; I shall be out from 10 in the morning till 8 at night; you might as well settle it tonight.
Ultimately the consideration of the question was adjourned until Thursday evening, at 6 o'clock, the Chairman and Mr. Knight voting for this, and Mr. Butcher against it. Mr. Colson did not vote.
Mr. Butcher: It is no good. I'll lay 2 to 1 you have made up your minds on the site.
Mr. Colson: We have not necessarily.
Mr. Butcher: Next year there will be a 4s. rate; Mr. Skinner will have to pay £133, and you'll pay £8.
Mr. Colson: He is a very important person.
RE-APPOINTMENT OF SCHOOL ATTENDANCE OFFICER
The term of three months having expired for which the Attendance Officer was elected, it was necessary to re-elect him.
Mr. Colson asked Mr. Butcher if the present School Attendance Officer should be re-appointed.
Mr. Butcher: I don't care; it seems all a farce for me to come here at all.
On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr. Colson, it was resolved that the officer be re-elected, the engagement to be terminated by a month's notice on either side.
MRS. WAGSTAFF'S SCHOOL
The School Attendance Officer reported that he had visited Mrs. Wagstaff's school, to see her register, and found that she did not keep one. She, however, gave marks for good attendance, and prizes at the end of the year. The officer further reported that there were several children in the village who had not passed the standard, and their parents wanted them to be half-timers.
The Officer was instructed to see the parents, and tell them the children must go to school, or the parents must come and make a personal application for the Board to allow their children to be half-timers.
There was no other business before the Board of public interest.
Northampton Mercury Saturday March 16th 1878, transcribed by Susan Manton
School Board March 11th
Present Messrs G. Denton (in the chair), W. Colson, and S. Knight. The clerk reported that the auditor had audited the accounts for the year ending 29th September last and passed them but recommended that the school fees be paid to the treasurer and not kept as for the salaries of teachers. In answer to Mr. Colson, the Clerk said any person could see a copy of the Acts to the Overseers and also one at the office of the clerk and could demand a copy on payment of sixpence. It was not thought advisable to advertise the accounts. The Clerk reported that in accordance with the instructions of the Board he had written to Mr. Ward and had not received a reply. A precept for £60 was issued, and ordered to be paid in on the 30th April. The Chairman said he had an interview with Mr. G. Skinner and he objected to the new schools on account of the expense. His son, Mr. G.H. Skinner, offered a piece of land, near Duck Street, at 2s 3d per yard. He also said that Mr. Sartoris was willing to see the representative of Mr. Fitzwilliam, with a view to the purchase of a piece of land of him near the Temperance Hall. Mr. Colson thought that if they were going to re-open the question of the site for the schools they should first give up the site they had selected. The Clerk said there was a minute on the books accepting the site offered by Mr. Packwood and the Education Department had been notified of the selection. Mr. Butcher, who had arrived, said the question had never come before the Board since they had had authority to build. Mr. Colson said Mr. Packwood would be glad to be let off the bargain as he has been offered 6d a yard more for part of the ground than he asked the board. Mr. Butcher : There is a great dissatisfaction in the village bout the price. Mr. Colson: And so there will be if you have any other.
There was a meeting called to object to the site, but instead of doing that they passed a vote of confidence in the Board and a letter has appeared in the paper styling us business men. So let us, for the sake of our reputation, dispose of one site before we take up another.
The Chairman said there had not been any other site offered. Those that were talked about had not been offered.
Mr. Butcher said there seemed to have been a misunderstanding as some persons thought when the Board advertised for ground they would not be allowed to build, but now Mr. Rice had offered his land. Mr. Colson said it had not been offered. The Chairman: as to that we should want a piece of land belonging to the clerk to get it. He and Mrs. Wilkins had an interview with the rector and the latter gave it as his decided opinion that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners would not allow the land to be sold for a less sum than the money would realise if invested in consols. And if the Board took that it would make the cost as much as the other piece. The Clerk said the Board should be careful not to lay themselves open to litigation and if Mr. Butcher would propose that the inspector be invited to come down and look at the sites, he would second it, as he would rather have the business done at the meeting than say nothing there and write to the Education Department afterwards. Mr. Butcher: I do not want to write to the Education Department
Mr. Colson: You have done so.
Mr. Butcher: I know I have and I understand the farmers have something on hand now but what it is I do not know.
The Chairman proposed that a committee of the whole Board be appointed to decide on the site offered by Mr. Packwood and to consider whether any, and if so, what, other site was available.
Mr. Butcher: Why did they have to be in such haste?
The next meeting would be son enough as they had plenty of room for the scholars attending.
Mr. Colson again urged the Board to release Mr. Packwood from his engagement. The Clerk informed the Board that they could not decide upon any other site at that meeting as it was a question involving the outlay of money and could only be decided after due notice. He also stated that as Mr. E. Sharman had been instructed to prepare the plans, the Board should decide as soon as possible as if he got his plans ready, and the site was given up the plans would be useless.
Mr. Butcher: The plans will not cost much and if we can save £200 we should do it.
Mr. Colson: The minority are al the while talking of the Board increasing the expense.
Mr. Butcher: If the ground belonged to them I would not sell it if I could get double for it.
Mr. Colson: I know you would not as you don’t want the school built at all
Mr. Butcher: Nor more would you if you had to pay as much as farmers.
Mr. Knight seconded the Chairman’s proposition, amended so the committee would meet on Thursday instead of Tuesday. The motion was carried, the Chairman and Mr. Knight voting for, and Mr. Butcher against the motion. Mr. Colson did not vote.
The letter from Mr. Skinner, which the Chairman laid upon the table, offered a quantity of the field belonging to him in Duke Street, at 2s 3d per yard.
The Attendance Officer was re-elected, at an annual salary of £10, subject to one month’s notice on either side. Mr. Butcher then left saying as he left the room it was all a farce for him to attend. The Attendance Officer reported that Mrs. Wagstaff had informed him that she did not keep a regular register, but always gave prizes for regular attendance and therefore she knew how the scholars attended
The Officer reported several cases of children of eleven and twelve years having passed the required standard and that the parents wished the Board to allow them to attend as half timers. He was instructed to inform the parents that in all such cases they must make application to the Board.
|Wellingborough News, 13th April 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins
RUSHDEN SCHOOL BOARD - MONDAY LAST
Present: Mr. Geo. Denton, in the chair; Messrs. F. U. Sartoris, Butcher, Knight, Colson, and J. Heygate (clerk). The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.
PRIZES FOR SCHOLARS
Mr. Knight, in accordance with a notice given at a previous meeting, proposed. "That a sum not exceeding £2 be spent in the purchase of books for prizes for the scholars for regularity of attendance and progress." He thought some encouragement ought to be given to the children to apply themselves to their studies, and to be regular in their attendance at school.
The Clerk thought the prizes should take the form of books; he should not advise the Board to give prizes in money, as he should have some doubt as to the legality of that.
The Chairman did not think the amount would be badly spent in the way Mr. Knight desired, because it would encourage the children to try and get on. He seconded the resolution.
The proposition was carried.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE OFFICER's REPORT
The School Attendance Officer (Mr. Clark) reported that he had served three notices upon parents who had neglected to send their children regularly to school. A widow, with three children, who had only her own earnings to depend upon for the maintenance of herself and children, had applied to him for permission for one of her children, aged 8, to attend school as a half-timer.
The Clerk said the Board had no power to allow any child to attend school as a half-timer who had not reached the age of ten years.
The School Attendance Officer was instructed to watch the cases of irregularity in attendance at school on the part of children, and if they did not attend regularly in future to summon the parents before the Board.
The Chairman said it had been brought under the notice of the School Attendance Officer that Mr. Warren, schoolmaster, was refusing to give labour certificates to children unless they had passed the third standard.
The Clerk said the certificates necessary to enable a child to work in a factory was required to show only that the child had attended school a certain number of times in the week, and the teacher of every elementary school was bound to furnish such certificate. At Wellingborough, children of a proper age, who had made the requisite number of attendances at school, were allowed to attend as half-timers whether they had attained the third standard or not, but he advised the Board that if they wished to insist upon the attendance of such children during the whole of school hours they could do so. It was rather an important question, because the decision this Board arrived at now would rule their subsequent proceedings.
The Chairman said in the interests of the children it was essential that they should attend school regularly, and not be allowed to attend as half timers unless they were fairly well advanced in knowledge. Otherwise when the time arrived for them to leave school they would hardly have received any education at all.
The Clerk: You mean, if they have been attending school as half-timers for several years.
The Chairman: I think the officer had better try what he can do with moral suasion.
The School Attendance Officer: It doesn't have much effect upon some of them, Sir.
The Chairman: You might state that we have power to enforce the full attendance of children at school, but are reluctant to exercise it in cases where children have been industrious at school and gained a fair knowledge.
Mr. Sartoris doubted whether it would be wise for the reporters (there were three present) to publish this discussion, because it might lead the public to think that the Board were undecided as to the course they should pursue in enforcing the full attendance at school of the children whose cases they were now considering. The Chairman took a great deal of interest in the education of children, and he (Mr. Sartoris) would leave it to him to say whether the desultory conversation that had just taken place ought to be put before the public, or not.
The Chairman thought they might safely leave the matter of the publication of the Board's proceedings in the hands of the reporters.
Mr. Sartoris remarked that personally he should prefer a full report of the Board's proceedings.
THE SITE OF THE NEW BOARD SCHOOLS
The Chairman said the School Site Committee had met once or twice to consider the question of a site for the new schools, and the first time they met they invited a number of parishioners to meet the committee and confer with them as to the matters they were appointed to consider—whether they should accept Mr. Packwood's site, or endeavour to get a better one. A number of gentlemen met the committee, and they had a long conversation, in the course of which a site belonging to the Hon. Charles Fitzwilliam was mentioned as being very eligible, and it was decided that Mr. Sartoris should ask the Hon. Chas. Fitzwilliam if he would sell it, and if so to name the price. Mr. Sartoris thereupon wrote to the Hon. C. Fitzwilliam, and the following reply, addressed to the Chairman of the Rushden School Board, had been received:—
Alwalton, Peterborough, 5th April, 1878
SIR,—On the Hon. C. W. Fitzwilliam's behalf, I beg to offer a plot of ground for School Board purposes to the extent of half an acre, in the garden now in the occupation of George Wilmot, with a frontage to the street, but reserving a roadway on the south side for the use of the property; the price for the land to be at the rate of £400 per acre. Will you kindly communicate the Board's decision to me at Wentbridge, Pontefract.—Believe me, sir, yours faithfully,
The Committee had considered the matter again that evening, and had decided to offer Mr. Hadyn Packwood £450. He had communicated their decision to Mr. Packwood, and had received the following answer:—
SIR,—In reply to yours, I beg to state that, rather than the Board School should not be within easy reach of children, I will accept your offer, viz., £450 for the site.— Yours faithfully,
The Chairman moved that the report of the Committee, recommending the purchase of Mr. Packwood's site, be adopted.
Mr. Knight seconded the proposition.
Mr. Sartoris regretted extremely the course the Board seemed likely to commit itself to as one which probably would elicit from the public very adverse criticism, and possibly unpleasant suggestions as to the motives which induced the Board to come to this determination. He would not take up the time of the meeting longer except to move the following amendment:-
"That this Board do accept of the Hon. C. Fitzwilliam's offer of a plot of land adjoining the main street; which, in respect of health and convenience of access, appears to be superior to any site hitherto suggested for the erection of School Board buildings, and which being offered at a very considerably less price than the cost of the other piece of land under consideration (situated on lower ground and in proximity to the Gas Works), combines with other advantages the consideration of further economy to which the Board stands pledged."
Mr. Butcher seconded the amendment.
Mr. Knight said the Hon. C. Fitzwilliam's land being copyhold would cost a lot of money to enfranchise; then, it would require drainage; and further, its situation was undesirable.
Mr. Sartoris observed that Mr. Packwood's land would cost £150 or £200 more than that of the Hon. C. Fitzwilliam's.
Mr. Knight: I question whether it is a matter of money, it is a matter of policy; they want to put us out of the way; we have had proof of that.
The Chairman: It is a matter upon which people have their opinions.
Mr Knight: And they have a right to express them. A man's a man and no more, whether he be rich or poor; that's my principle.
The resolution and the amendment were then put to the meeting, and the former was carried by the casting vote of the Chairman.
Mr. Sartoris and Mr. Butcher then retired from the room.
The Chairman proposed that the Clerk should be instructed to acknowledge the Hon. C. Fitz-william's letter, and to state that although the Board could not accept his offer, they considered it a very handsome one.
The proposition was not seconded.
There was no other business before the Board.
Northampton Mercury May 11th 1878, transcribed by Susan Manton
On Friday week a special meeting was held to receive letters from the Educational Department and plans of the new school building from Mr. Sharman.
Present: Messrs. G. Denton (in the chair), W. C. Colson, S. Knight and R. O. Butcher. Mr. Cumin wrote from Whitehall:- “I am directed to furnish you with the enclosed copy of communication, which my Lords have received with reference to a site, said to have been recently accepted by the School Board for their new school. I am to invite the observations of the Board upon the objections urged against the proposed site, and to request that you will send in a plan of it drawn to scale, and showing its extent, boundaries and abuttals, together with a rough sketch map of the district, showing the position of the site in relation to the chief centre and population, as well as to the existing schools. I am to remind you that my Lords cannot advise the Public Works Loan Commissioners to accommodate your Board with a loan towards the completion of the work in hand till they shall have first approved the site, as well as the plans, specifications and estimate of the buildings.”
The letter referred to in the foregoing was from Messrs. Mason, Wyldes, and Skinner and was as follows.
“We, the undersigned, at the request of a body of ratepayers, representing a very large proportion of the rateable value of this parish, respectfully beg their Lordships not to sanction, without further inquiry, the site of a new school, recently accepted by the Rushden School Board. We base our request upon the following facts:-
- the proposed site is within a very few minutes walk of two existing national schools, is on low lying land, and at a considerable distance from that quarter of the parish, where extension of the population may most probably be expected. We emphatically protest against an expenditure which tends to accumulate school accommodation where it is not chiefly required.
- the proposed site was recently purchased by a member of the School Board and was only a very few weeks ago transferred to his son-in-law. The price to be paid for it is exorbitant, for, though recently reduced, it remains at the rate of £800 per acre. At a recent meeting of the Board the proposed site was selected only by the recent proprietor voting for it. Another and cheaper, and, as it appears to us, more eligible, site was offered to the Board, and rejected, for reasons we deem frivolous. We, therefore request their Lordships not to sanction, without further inquiry respecting the relative advantages of the sites offered, the proposed needless and extravagant expenditure of parish money. We have the honour to enclose, for the further information of their Lordships, a report of the proceedings at the last meeting of the Board, together with a letter (marked private) from the Hon. C. Fitzwilliam M.P., a proprietor and ratepayer of the parish, who kindly offered a suitable school site at less than half the money the Board proposed to pay.
- P.S. It may be remarked that the Board demands a site of half an acre for a school for 175 children, the number suggested by the Department, whereas the National School, standing on one rood of ground, supplies ample accommodation for school and recreation for upwards of 300 children. The demands of the Board, therefore, appear unreasonable, both as to price and as to extent of ground required.”
- Some discussion ensued as to framing a reply. Mr. Butcher thought the letter, before it was sent to other members, did not think that was necessary, but if Mr. Butcher desired it, they had no objection to the Clerk writing a letter and submitting it to the Board at the next ordinary meeting. The Board suggested a letter to the Clerk, and it was resolved that the letter, the plans, and the application for the loan, should be forwarded to the Educational Department.
On the proposition of the Chairman, seconded by Mr. Knight, it was decided to employ Mr. F. Sharman to prepare plans. Mr. Colson said he did not object, only the time was going on, and the expenses would be greater. The other party caused all the expense, and saddled I on the Board. The plans were not to hand from the architect and meeting adjourned.
|Wellingborough News, 11th May 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins
SCHOOL BOARD—FRIDAY, MAY 3rd
Present: Mr. C. Denton, in the chair; Messrs. W. Colson, S. Knight, and R. 0. Butcher.
This was a special meeting to consider a communication from the Education Department, and to receive plans of the new school buildings from Mr. E. Sharman, architect, Wellingborough. The following letter was read:
To the Clerk of Rushden School Board.
SIR,—I am directed to furnish you with the enclosed copy of a communication which my lords have received with reference to a site said to have been recently accepted by the School Board for their new school. I am to invite the observations of the Board upon the objections urged against the proposed site, and to request that you will send in a plan of it, drawn to scale, and showing its extent, boundaries, and abuttals, together with a roughly sketched map of the district, showing the position of the site in relation to the chief centre of population, as well as to the existing schools. I am to remind you that my lords cannot advise the Public Works Loan Commissioners to accommodate your Board with a loan toward the completion of the work in hand, till they shall have first approved the site, as well as the plan, specifications, and estimate of the buildings.—I have the honour to be, sir,
Your obedient servant,
The following letter from Messrs. W. Mason, Wyldes, and Skinner was also read:—
Rushden, Higham Ferrers, April 15th, 1878.
To the Secretary, Educational Department, Whitehall. — Sir, We, the undersigned, at the request of a body of ratepayers, representing a very large proportion of the rateable value of this parish, respectfully beg their Lordships not to sanction, without further inquiry, the site for a new school recently accepted by the Rushden School Board. We request upon the following. (1). The proposed site is within a very few minutes walk of two existing National Schools, is on low lying land, at a considerable distance from that quarter of the parish where extension of population can most probably be expected. We emphatically protest against an expenditure which tends to accumulate school accommodation where it is not chiefly required. (2). The proposed site was recently purchased by a member of the School Board, and was only a very few weeks ago transferred to his son-in-law. The price to be paid for it is exorbitant, for though recently reduced, remains at the rate of £860 an acre. At a recent meeting of the Board the proposed site was selected only by the recent proprietor voting for it. Another, and cheaper, and as appears to us more eligible site was offered to the Board, and rejected for reasons we deem frivolous. We, therefore request their lordships not to sanction, without further inquiry respecting the relative advantages of the sites offered, the needless and extravagant expenditure of parish money, have the honour to enclose for the further information of their hardships, a report of the proceedings at the last meeting of the Rushden School Board, together with a letter marked private, from the Hon. C. Fitzwilliam, M.P., a proprietor and ratepayer of the parish, who kindly offered suitable school site at less than half the money, the School Board proposed to pay. We have the honour to be, your obedient servants, (Signed),
P.S.—It may he remarked that the School Board demands a site of half an acre, for a school for 175 children, the number suggested by the Department, whereas the National School, standing on one rood of ground, supplies ample accommodation for school and recitation ground for upwards of 300 children. The demand of the Board, therefore appears unreasonable both as to price and as to extent of ground required. Enclosure from letter from Hon. Charles Fitzwilliam respecting sites.
Some discussion ensued as to framing a draft reply to the Education Department.
Mr Butcher thought the letter, before it was sent to the Department, should be submitted to the Board.
The other members did not think that was necessary, but if Mr. Butcher desired it they had no objection to the clerk writing a letter and submitting it for approval to the Board at the next ordinary meeting.
On the proposition of the Chairman, seconded by Mr. Knight, it was decided to employ Mr. E. Sharman to prepare plans as required by the Department.
Mr. Colson said he did not object, only he thought they should do all they could to save expense.
The plans were not to hand from the architect, and the meeting adjourned.
|Wellingborough News, 18th May 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins
SCHOOL BOARD - MONDAY LAST
Present: Messrs. G. Denton (in the chair), W. Colson, S. Knight, and R. O. Butcher.
The minutes of the previous meeting having been read and confirmed,
The Chairman read a letter from the clerk stating that the term for which he was engaged by the Board had expired, and that it was necessary to appoint a clerk to the Board. He solicited re-appointment, and asked for an increased salary.
The Earl's Barton and Irthlingborough Boards each paid their clerk £25 a year, and as the work was as heavy at Rushden he asked the Board for a salary of £25 a year. Mr. Colson proposed that Mr. Heygate be reappointed clerk to the Board, at a salary of £25 per annum.
Mr. Knight seconded the proposition, and proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Heygate, for the way in which he had performed his duties.
An expression of the thanks of the Board was added to the resolution re-appointing Mr. Heygate, and carried.
Mr. Butcher did not vote.
WANT OF PUPIL TEACHERS
The Chairman called attention to the unsatisfactory way in which the Board had been obliged to carry on the schools, owing to the want of efficient pupil teachers. He proposed that Miss Bland be engaged in the Board schools for one month, with a view to her becoming an assistant teacher, the salary to be fixed at a subsequent meeting. The Inspector was expected shortly to visit the schools, and his opinion could be taken as to Miss Eland's qualifications.
Mr. Knight seconded the proposition, which was carried. Mr. Butcher did not vote.
THE NEW SCHOOLS
In answer to the Chairman, Mr. Heygate said that Mr. Sharman had not sent the plans of the proposed schools.
The Chairman said Mr. Sharman had been over and he said he would inform Mr. Heygate when the plans were ready.
Mr. Heygate said he had not been informed
The Clerk laid upon the table a draft letter of the Education Department, but as the plans were not before the meeting it was decided not to discuss the letter until the plans were produced, and then the plans, the letter, and a sketch plan of the village, could all be sent together to the Education Department.
It was decided to hold another meeting of the Board as soon as the plans were ready.
A letter was read from Mr. Wood, asking for advice, as he said there were six children attending school who had not paid their fees for the past four weeks; their parents could not afford to pay.
The Board decided that if the parents did not pay the fees Mr. Wood should send the children away from the school, and then the parents must attend the Board, if they had any application to make.
The meeting afterwards separated.
|Wellingborough News, 22nd June 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins
SCHOOL BOARD—FRIDAY, JUNE 14TH
Present: Mr. G. Denton (in the chair); Messrs. W. Colson, S. Knight, and R. 0. Butcher.
Letters were read from Mr. and Mrs. Wood, the master and mistress, each asking for an advance of salary to the extent of £10 a year. Mrs. Wood stated that her school had doubled in numbers since she had been mistress.
The matter was ordered to stand over until the report of the examination had been received.
The next business was the appointment of an assistant-mistress for the mixed school.
The Chairman was of opinion that it would be for the advantage of the school for the Board to appoint Miss Bland as assistant mistress.
The Clerk thought that Miss Bland could not be appointed as assistant-mistress until she had passed the necessary examination.
The Chairman stated that the matter had been mentioned to Mr. Currie, her Majesty's Inspector, and he had raised no objection to it.
In reply to a question, the Chairman said he thought Miss Bland would require £30 per annum, and it was ultimately decided that Miss Bland should be appointed for another month, the question of her salary being left open.
THE INFANT SCHOOL
The report of the Committee appointed to provide for the Infant School was presented.
On the motion of Mr. Knight, seconded by Mr. Colson, it was resolved "That the Board take the room on Mr. Pendered's property, in the occupation of the Rev. J. T. Barker, at a rent of £15 per year, including all rates; also that the committee be empowered to arrange for the cleaning and furnishing of the same; the tenancy to commence on Monday next."
It was stated by the Chairman that Mr. Currie had inspected the two sites, at the request of the Education Department.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE OFFICER'S REPORT—PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN
The School Attendance Officer reported that he had served eight notices upon persons to attend the Board, who had neglected to send their children to school regularly. One child had missed 28 times out of 60, and two had missed 19 times out of 40. When he asked the parents why they did not send their children regularly to school, they complained of the school being a long distance off, of illness, and of shortness of work.
The Chairman said there was no ground for complaint of shortness of work at Rushden.
The officer was instructed to watch the cases he had reported, and if no improvement was noticeable to make a further report to the Board.
Mrs. Desborough attended the Board, and asked for permission for her daughter Ellen to attend school as a half-timer; she was greatly in need of her services at home to look after the younger children.
The Chairman said the child was not sufficiently educated to become a half-timer, she not having passed the 3rd standard, and the Board therefore, however much they might sympathise with the mother, had no power to grant her request.
The School Attendance Officer said the other children belonging to Mrs. Desborough who attended school attended regularly.
The Chairman advised Mrs. Desborough to send her child to school for another month, in which time, with perseverance, she might possibly qualify herself to become a half-timer.
James York, also appeared before the Board to explain why his two boys did not attend school regularly. One boy did not attend at all, and the other, who had not yet reached the proper age at which boys could leave school and go to work, was employed by Mr. Laughton.
The School Attendance Officer was instructed to inform Mr. Laughton that he was liable to a penalty of £2 for employing a child, contrary to the Act.
York said his wife was ill, and kept one of the boys at home to attend to her, and when she sent him to school he did not go. Did the Board want him (the speaker) to stay at home to see that the boys went to school regularly?
The Chairman said York must take some means to secure the proper attendance of his boys at school, otherwise he would be summoned before the magistrates.
York said he had to work hard for his living; he went to work when he was eight years old, and was he to bring his boys up in idleness? No, he would rather be hanged, for he could only die once. He should not send his boys to school, and the Board might have him; he wanted a rest.
The Board, without coming to a decision as to what should be done with York, then separated.