University and Educational Intelligence


    THE proposals of the Government with respect to education in England and Wales were described in the House of Commons by Mr. Balfour on Monday and after a discussion, leave was given for the introduction of the Government Education Bill. It is proposed that in future there shall be one authority for education, primary, secondary, and technical; and that this authority, being responsible for a heavy cost to the ratepayers, shall be the rating authority for the district. Explaining the broad outlines of the measure, Mr. Balfour stated that the education authority will be the county council in counties and the borough council in county boroughs. They will work through committees appointed under schemes which will have to be approved by the Education Department. A majority of a committee at least is to be appointed by the council. The other members are to be nominated, and to be persons experienced in education. Wales, which has a secondary education authority already, is to be permitted either to retain that authority or to substitute for it the authority proposed in the Bill. With regard to secondary education, the provisions of the measure are practically identical with those embodied in the Bill of last year. County councils and borough councils are to have a 2d. rate to work upon, and as in many places that will be insufficient, power will be given to have that limit raised by provisional order. Boroughs already possess a certain, jurisdiction over technical education, and have a rate of 1d. to work upon. It is not proposed to deprive any borough with a population above 10,000, or any urban district with a population above 20,000, of that jurisdiction. The councils of these boroughs and urban districts may, if they choose, become the absolute authority over primary education. They would retain their existing powers over technical education, and would become the authority for secondary education concurrently with the county council. But whether the schools in a district are voluntary or rate erected, the local educational authority created by the Bill will in future be the absolute master over all secular education. London is excluded from the operation of the Bill. The adoption of the elementary education portion of the measure would, for a time, be optional.

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    University and Educational Intelligence . Nature 65, 501–502 (1902).

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