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National Union of Teachers
Rushden Echo & Argus, 27th January 1939, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Teachers
Alfred-street Headmaster Becomes President of N.U.T. Branch

At the annual meeting of the Rushden and District branch of the National Union of Teachers, held at Rushden on Thursday week, Mr. S. A. Lawrence, headmaster of the Rushden Alfred-street Schools, was elected president of the branch. Before the meeting members paid tribute to the memory of the late Miss F. Partridge, a former president of the branch, and the late Mr. A. D. Rawlings, former headmaster of the Raunds C of E school. The retiring president, Mr. F. W. Summerlin, welcomed his successor, and a vote of thanks was accorded Mr. Summerlin for his work during the year. Other officers elected were: Vice-president, Miss D. A. Furness, headmistress, Newton-road Infant School; hon. Secretary and treasurer; Mr. J. Allen, Newton-road School; auditors, Miss C. M. Watson and Mr. W. G. Dodge; secretary of the Benevolent and Orphans’ Fund, Miss D. A. Furness; press secretary, Mr. N. Lamford; committee, Miss Watson, Miss Hall, Messrs. O. L. Ash, E. T. Huke, R. W. Janes, E. F. Poole, W. A. E. Sherwood and Jarvis; delegates to County Association, N.U.T., Messrs. Ash, Summerlin, Sherwood and Allen; delegates to the annual conference of the Union at Llandudno at Easter, Miss F. E. Hall, of Raunds Junior C of E School, Messrs. Sherwood and Allen.

The meeting was addressed by Mr. W. J. Rodda, (a member of the National Executive) on the Northampton and County Teachers' Hospital Scheme. Mr. Rodda is a candidate for the vice-presidency of the N.U.T. In his annual report as secretary, Mr. Allen again mentioned with regret the passing of Miss Partridge and Mr. Rawlings, and also noted the retirement from service during the year of two members and former presidents of the Union branch, Messrs. J. W. Reynolds, C.C. and E. T. Huke. They wished these gentlemen health and happiness in their retirement, and they congratulated Mr. C. Clarke, B.Sc., on his appointment as headmaster of Woodford Halse Council School.

The membership of the Association remained, as last year at 106. Lectures on art and music during the year had been greatly appreciated and well attended.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 17th March, 1950, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Conditions in Schools - Address to Teachers

Conditions in schools to-day were dwelt on at length by Miss H. Foxworthy, headmistress of Rushden Alfred Street Infants’ School in her presidential address at the annual meeting of Rushden and District Association of the National Union of Teachers.

“The National Press had given publicity to conditions to be found in schools to-day,” she said, “and has emphasised the inadequate pay for those who endeavour to instil commonsense and learning into the minds of the children on whom depends the future greatness of our country. One paper,” continued Miss Foxworthy, “suggests that the Minister of Education should go forward with the proposal to increase immediately the salaries of all teachers, and if he does not, then it will be the duty of public opinion to force him to carry through the long overdue and necessary reform.”

After referring to the present day attitude of parents, Miss Foxworthy said that if classes were smaller the teacher would be able to give more individual attention to each child so that difficulties could be smoothed out and progress made. From the time a child entered the infant school he was, at the present time, expected to be one of 40.


“In the infant stage the foundation must be well and truly laid, and personal attention is very desirable for those who are away from home for the first time, often bewildered by the change from a one child home to the large number in the classroom. Such attention cannot be given by a teacher working with 40 or more.

“In the junior stage this foundation must be built on and developed so that each child is given the chance of achieving that standard necessary to take the A.S. Examination. The Secondary Modern Schools, who receive those who do not pass this ordeal, should have classes small enough to allow children to have experiences which will prepare them for their place in life, and their teaching should be of a practical nature.

“To bring about the reduction in the size of classes, more and more teachers are required; therefore the profession must be made more attractive and must present better prospects of advancement.”

Meagre Return

Referring to recruitment into the teaching profession, she said “Parents are no longer prepared to make the sacrifices and to wait four years after a son or daughter has taken the School Certificate for such a meagre return from taking up training for the profession. They would rather have them take up something with a shorter training and often better pay in the end.”

In conclusion, Miss Foxworthy said that all teachers should realise that the education of the child was indivisible, and could not be divided up into three or four watertight compartments. Each stage had to overlap the next and merge into it. Whether they were Infant, Junior, Secondary Modern, Technical or Grammar School teachers, whether they belonged to Assistant Mistress or Assistant Master Associations, or to the National Union of Teachers, they would have to co-operate as each one of them was important to the child at that particular stage at which they came into contact with it. It was only by co-operation that they would secure fair recognition.

Miss Foxworthy was installed in the office of president by Mr. H. J. Woodall, the retiring president. Mr. R. Williams, of Tennyson Road Boys’ Secondary Modern School, was elected vice-president. Delegates to the annual conference to be held at Brighton at Easter are Miss Foxworthy and Mr. W. Summerlin, secretary of the Association.

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