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self-governed, even if the resulting organization be not so efficient as it would have been if the staff had planned it. One prescription only is to be made, and that is a thing as self-evident as it is fundamental, viz., that the amount of the money subscription must be approved, and regulations that are both fool-and-rascal-proof must be made for the keeping and auditing of accounts. In this matter no laxity may be tolerated. Other forms of laxities are not likely to occur, unless we specifically forbid them. As the little boy said in Punch: When I mustn't do a thing, I simply must." Unless we are prepared to rely on an inherent sense of decency in our pupils, better leave school societies altogether alone.
It need scarcely be said that much of the work in school societies is helping the academic work of the school. Just as in scouting the boys teach themselves map-reading and save us the trouble of doing it in class, so in the literary society, in the school journal and the debating society, they are teaching themselves English composition and the philatelists are teaching themselves geography. But that is all a form of by-product; the chief thing they learn in the social activities of their own devising is citizenship. When we set ourselves to teach citizenship in set class-work, practically all we teach has value, but it is deferred value." The knowledge gleaned is kept in cold storage until the age of 21 (later in the case of women and undergraduates). But the school societies are the laboratory in which the young citizens train each other in citizenship. Some bid us set up George Junior republics in our schools. There is no need. We have all the apparatus of civic activity ready to hand, in the school societies during term, in the school camps and treks during the holiday. Hic Rhodus, hic salta. Here the citizen prentice, by the usual process of trial and error, gets his bearings for the larger world. Here he learns the fundamental principles on which men live together. Here he recognizes that there are other qualities beside those of the athlete and the scholar, which make notable contribution to the school life. Here quite as much as in games he learns to find his place in that mutual education which is the incessant occupation of men who live in civilized groups, and which keeps alive the soul of a nation.
There are influences at work to-day in Great Britain (and not in Great Britain only) which tend to degrade the secondary school into a mere examination workshop, turning out matriculated students as Detroit turns out motor cars. The school societies are youth's answer to that sinister tendency. And the teacher who takes the wide view of his office welcomes in them a factor which supplements the prescribed curriculum of studies where it is weak, strengthens it where it is strong, and conduces to that education of the whole man to which we have paid lip-service for the past forty years.
De Quincey draws an interesting picture of a group of sixth-form boys at Manchester Grammar School in the first year of the nineteenth century, sitting together under the chairmanship of one of their own number, discussing English literature. Manchester Grammar School was fortunate amongst schools of those days in possessing a library. It was probably in the library that those weekly meetings were held. It was in those meetings that classical boys taught themselves English. We can imagine how De Quincey would introduce his school fellows to Wordsworth and impart to them something of his own love for him. He tells us himself how these Manchester boys impressed him after his experiences of Eton, with the width of their reading and the practical common-sense begotten of contact with the hard facts of a business centre. And that scene, which may still be seen to-day, recalls vividly another reading circle in George Grote's room at the London Bank, where a young group of utilitarians met to study and discuss the great books of their day. John Stuart Mill tells us in his autobiography what he owed to them, and another member of that circle, William Ellis, does the same. An experience such
as this is of more value than many lectures. From the rub of mind against mind with our contemporaries we learn more readily than we learn from the cathedra. I speak from my own experience, and my experience came to me in the dormitory after talking was supposed to have stopped by order. The sixth-form boy in the next bed was the present editor of Punch. I like, too, the name we had at Rugby for our literary society. It was Eranos. It is the spirit of the picnic which makes a literary society flourish. The literary society is necessarily, if not exactly highbrow, at any rate select. But the debating society must be different. One does not learn public speaking in speaking to a group. The debate should be open to the whole school. This gives the speakers the chance to learn that rapport with their audience which makes speaking effective. It is true that throwing open the debating society would seem to limit the number of subjects. 'The pleasures of anticipation versus the pleasures of retrospect " will draw a very meagre house. But such subjects are more fitly assigned to the literary society. In the debating society the topics should be live topics, otherwise the speaking will not be live. We must not be afraid of politics. When there is a general election in the country, there should be a general election in the school. It is not a bad idea to have a multiple constituency and thus give to future citizens a chance of testing out the transferable vote and learning that proportional representation, whether good or bad, is at any rate a practical working proposition. Whatever is being discussed among men should be discussed by the debating society. At least so I would have written ten years ago, before such subjects as birth control were openly argued in the presence of children. Some good headmasters, governed by their fears, give instructions to steer clear of all controversial topics, But it is just the controversial topic which puts reality into the wordy warfare. Granted that feelings are deeply stirred, are they not also deeply stirred in a boxing bout, and is it not a great part of the value of boxing that it trains a man to control his temper under provocation? "Votes for Women" will always draw a house. In a co-education school any subject that puts girls against boys is a stimulus to eloquence. That Mr. Lloyd George is the only hope of saving England," That education cuts off the supply of necessary manual workers,' ‚""That betting is immoral and should not be sanctioned by the legislation, even to an extent of taxation,' ""That the alcholic habit is harder on England than the income tax,' That there should be no differentiation on the ground of colour as between one British subject and another,' "That socialism is the best way to get rid of the dole,' That emigration provides no cure for unemployment,' 'That modern art is both inexpressive and inexpressible," "That the ban on Sunday games should be removed,' That the conservative party has done more for the working classes than the liberals,” "That a man does more good to his fellows as a member of the town council than as an M.P.," That civilization is a failure,' ""That the Caucasian is played out,' "That the sooner we adopt Fascism, the better,' That classical education should be scrapped "all these are highly provocative propositions. For that reason they are likely to lead to good debates,
A few points may be noted. First, the proposition should always be phrased in terms of attack. I once attended a full-dress debate in which the motion was "That trade unions have justified their existence through the benefits they have secured for the working classes." It was a tame affair. One might as well have moved that St. Paul's Cathedral is in its right place where it is and should not be removed. The motion must always have the note of challenge; the glove must be thrown down. Otherwise one has a put-up fight and no one puts any heart into it. If the other side had moved "that trades unions are tyrannical and economically disastrous," then the gloves would have been off and the wigs would have been on the green.
The most sensational school debate I ever attended was on a coal strike of the bygone days. A miner had been asked to come in and put the case of the 'coalies.' It was the first time the boys of the opulent classes there gathered had heard the question argued from within. The newspapers, of course, had been full of the strike, but the papers these boys read argued the question from the capitalist point of view. The miner's home was as unknown to them as Tierra del Fuego. A debating society's business is to open up new points of view, to knock windows into the mind."
Subjects which to senior folk seem played out, may be as fresh to the young generation as they were to us. Ghosts" are regarded as a hardy annual. But they are an excellent topic for debate, especially when the secretary of the society announces the topic on the notice-board with the words "DE GOSTIBUS EST DISPUTANDUM."
The debating team has now become a feature of university life, and the inter-university debates do something to help mutual understanding between nations. But it is over thirty years since Rugby made the first move in this direction by inviting Cheltenham to send down a team of debaters at the same time as their football XV. This was in the best line of Greek tradition, which combined with the Olympic Pentathlon the contests in music and rhapsody and song.
When I was at Toronto, I was invited by the Upper Canada College to attend a meeting of the Babel Society." I took my tongue in both hands and went. Nothing I saw in Canadian schools was a greater surprise. I had been told that French was a lost cause in Canadian schools, at any rate the Ontario boy would not condescend to twist his tongue in such a way that any French-speaking Canadian would be able to understand what he said. But here was a group of the senior boys spending the evening together speaking nothing but French. The president opened the proceedings in French; the secretary read the minutes in French; the first speaker gave an account of the holiday camp in French and was followed by others who gave some holiday reminiscences in French; we were regaled with tartines, gâteaux et café à la Paris." The whole thing was, I was going to say, taken seriously, but "serious is not the word to describe the hilarity and bonhomie that pervaded all the proceedings.
The school with its keen corporate life was well ahead of the college in publishing a magazine. In 1786 Eton published The Microcosm." Among the editors were George Canning and John Hookham Frere. There were other early ventures, but the older school magazines depended solely on their literary quality. They aped the Edinburgh and Blackwood's and the literary reviews of the period. Not until they widened their appeal by combining with literary matter the chronicling of school news did they attain to stability. The " Salopian" started in 1860, the Eton College Chronicle" in 1863; others followed in the same decade and have gone on continuously since that date. The cheapening of printing helped. It is a pity to dissociate school news from literary matter. Ventures which have been solely literary have never been long-lived. On the other hand it is a pity also to have nothing but the small beer chronicle of games and other school activities. I have before me five school magazines of this year's date. One consists entirely of school news; one combines school news with old boys news; one adds an article on the theory of backplay in the Rugby football game; one preludes a devastating detail of school news with one article; another with a poem of eight lines ; another has an editorial to usher in the school news, indeed it never appears to stray into any attempt at literature unless a master dies or a headmaster is promoted to a bishopric. These are all so-called "leading schools," but I am glad to note that county schools, secondary schools in the boroughs, and grammar schools declare to follow
their Philistine lead, they show interest in literature and sometimes rise to quite good illustrative work in black and white.
In a large school it will often happen that a particular class, or some other special group with some special interest, will blossom out into a magazine. The ambition of the young author to don the robes of immortality," as Lord Dufferin hath it, by appearing in print is not to be discouraged; but such ventures depend on the keenness of one or two individuals and not infrequently on a printing press that is paternal or, at any rate, avuncular. They are short-lived.
It is now a frequent thing for the old boys' association to make the school magazine its organ. Such an arrangement helps to link on the old boys to the present, and the present to the past. It also gives stability to the magazine and widens the appeal of the advertiser.
Our own College has a different arrangement, possible only in a small community. The one morning daily newspaper reserves for us a column every week, and different students are told off to supply the copy. This plan approves itself in a community to which university education is a new thing. It keeps the university in the public eye and enables the public to understand what it aims at and how it sets itself to achieve that aim. It gives the university a ready means of explaining itself, as it develops, to the community which it serves. Strictly speaking, this does not fall under the heading of school societies, but, inasmuch as secondary education is a new thing in so many small townships in the Old Country, a similar arrangement might commend itself to some of the new foundations there. And, in any case, all schoolmasters feel the lack of some easy and natural way of informing public opinion of the changes constantly taking place in our educational methods, and enabling citizens to think intelligently about them.
It is a mistake to suppose that schoolboys are not interested in Einstein. There is no discovery of modern science which escapes them. Sir William Bragg's Christmas lectures prove that. The scientific society, or as it is occasionally called, "the philosophic society," is to the school what the Royal Society is to London. There is nothing from the resolution of the electron to the measurement of Arcturus' waist, from the infinitely small to the infinitely vast, which does not interest them. As regards internal combustion engines and wireless, the knowledge of our middle school thicks" is both extensive and peculiar. It may be altogether beyond those of us who were bred up on Greek Iambics, but that is no reason why we should not let youth have its head. Our present year positively pullulates with centenaries of scientists, including that of the domestic lucifer match. Let none of them lack the sacred bard.
One of the happiest features at Rugby School in the seventies and eighties was the association of the scientific societies with such men as Arthur Sidgwick, Canon J. M. Wilson, Dr. J. S. Philpotts, and F. D. Maurice. It shows that men of classical training are not ruled out from these spontaneous scientific activities of the school. Still more will they be ready to link themselves up with any historical or archaeological society. Many a Rugby boy owes his interest in Gothic architecture and church brasses to Matthew Bloxam. Several schools have done useful work in carrying out regional surveys on the lines suggested by Prof. Patrick Geddes. Such a project provides a splendid synthesis for the work of various school societies, and links the work closely on to the class-work in geography, history, geology, biology, English, and economics. It will start with the physical conditions of soil and climate (many schools keep valuable weather records); it will go on to the survey of natural products and manufactures; it will include observation of historical survival in archaeological remains, architecture, local customs and dances, dialectic forms and old songs and sayings; it will deal with questions of health, mortality, labour conditions and organizations,
the growth of co-operation, the effects of drink and gambling on the social life, the work done in the Great War, the different activities, whether governmental or otherwise, in education, social life, religion, sport. It will provide a full inventory of the local flora and fauna. The task is ambitious, but the higher and broader the aim, the more it will appeal to adolescence.
Two other forms of school society I have left to the end, not because they are unimportant, but because I have no sure ground of successful experience on which to deal with them. The League of Nations usually finds a place in the class instruction, and it is a regular subject for school lectures. But it should be also a subject of self-activity. In many girls' schools it has become such through the formation of a junior branch. These keep up interest in the work of the League by (1) the performance of pageants, (2) arranging interchange of correspondence with pupils in foreign schools, (3) helping in local demonstrations, (4) taking part in essay compositions, (5) holding of a model
assembly in which each constituent nation is represented by one or more members of the branch. All this is excellent, but I have the feeling that if there were more for the limbs to do and less for the jaw, it would go better, in a boys' school, at any rate. No society can flourish on gush." The same holds with regard to religion. The religious instinct is the deepest of all. It also craves corporate expression. School prayers do not suffice. There must be self-expression as well as receptivity, service as well as worship, doing as well as meditation. The Scripture Union provides a daily lectionary for Bible reading. The Student Christian Movement provides summer holiday camps. The Crusaders hold meetings on Sunday afternoons, not usually in the school building. None of these quite correspond to a school society. The solution is not yet in sight. It may be from the schools of the Foreign Mission field that we shall get the light and leading. There is something at Krishnagar which, to my mind, comes nearer than anything else to what we seek.
The Education of the Adolescent
THE REPORT AND ITS BEARING ON A RURAL AREA
T is a welcome sign of the times that the important report by the Consultative Committee on the "Education of the Adolescent" should have received so much notice, not only in the newspapers, which more particularly deal with educational problems and with the interests of those engaged in teaching, but also in what may be called the "lay" press-including an important monthly review. Moreover, just two months after the date of the prefatory note-signed by the Secretary to the Board of Education in December, 1926-the report was the subject of debate in the House of Commons on the following motion: "That this House welcomes the report of the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education on the education of the adolescent and calls on the Government at once to take all the legislative and administrative action necessary to secure a universal system of postprimary education on the lines recommended by the Committee."
Although this was met by an amendment, set out below, which was to follow the word welcomes in the motion, viz :-" the fact that the general trend of the report of the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education on the education of the adolescent is in accordance with the policy of His Majesty's Government and with the programmes of the Local Education Authorities, and hopes that the Committee's recommendation will assist the Board and the authorities in taking all practicable steps to develop a system of post-primary education for children over eleven," it was evident that the general sense of the House of Commons concurs with the findings of the Committee, even though there is obvious disagreement about the possibility or desirability of introducing legislation in the immediate future to compel all children to remain at school up to the age of fifteen.
It was this proposal in the Report which was the principal subject of debate. But to those, both inside and outside the House of Commons, employed in the national or local administration of education, it must be clear that other powers than a law lengthening the period of school life are needed, both by the Board of Education and by Local Education Authorities, if anything approaching the fulfilment of the suggestions contained in the Report is to be accomplished, more especially in counties where the great majority of schools are small village schools.
The illustrations given below of action already taken are from such an area; from these it will be gathered that some suggestions are in conformity with the trend of
Local Authorities' policy, as is pointed out in the report itself, and as has been stated frequently, not only in the House of Commons debate but also on other occasions. These illustrations will also show that, while the trend of policy is to adopt the separation of elementary school children into departments for children under eleven and over eleven years of age, circumstances often compel Authorities to organize departments which provide for the continuous education of children from seven plus to fourteen plus. It is therefore almost certain that areas will eventually have examples of schools organized in exact conformity with the Report of the majority of the members, together with not a few others which are in conformity with the dissident notes attached to the Report by individual members of the Committee, who are not convinced that the wholesale transfer of all children at the age of eleven plus is desirable or necessary. Moreover, the illustrations will show that, at least in many a rural area, the magnitude of the task involved in the application of the findings of the Report justifies the reservations made by three of the Committee as to the speed with which its suggestions can be put into force.
The principal task which the Report puts before Education Authorities is a huge re-organization of the elementary schools into primary departments, concerned with children up to the age of eleven plus, and postprimary departments for those over this age. These departments are to replace those which exist at presente.g., schools arranged in three departments (infants', boys', and girls'), in two departments (infants' and mixed), or in one department, where children of all ages from five years, and often from three plus, to fourteen are in one building under one head teacher. Some existing organizations of children into infants, juniors, and seniorswhether in two departments or three-are in accordance with the suggestions, if the age limit of juniors be eleven plus. But other organizations, though somewhat similar, differ from the suggestions, for the dividing line between juniors and seniors may sometimes be ten plus, or even nine plus.
There is clear evidence in the Report that the administrative difficulties of implementing the proposals were present in the minds of the Committee, and that it was realized that the grading of children in suitable classes, that are at once homogeneous and large enough, is a fundamental process. But it would have shown a fuller appreciation of the difficulties in a rural area if the latter
point had been stressed much more than is the case in the Report.
When it is realized that, even in a rural area which contains some seven or eight country towns, the number of elementary schools with less than 100 scholars of all ages in attendance may be 241 out of a total of 309, it should be evident that the fundamental aim of a Local Education Authority must be the segregation of children in far fewer schools before the reorganization suggested by the Committee is possible. Moreover the minimum number of children in a post-primary department should be from 90 to 105; i.e., three classes, from eleven plus to 14 plus, of 30 to 35 each; in a primary department approximately 100 infants to seven plus, and from 120 to 140 children, from seven plus to eleven plus, in four classes. This organization would be still more effective if the post primary departments were double the size. Such segregation of children ought to affect those below the age of eleven as well as those above it. For it would be calamitous if the greater attention which is now being given to the children of eleven plus should react in such a way as to lessen and not to increase the effectiveness of the training and teaching of those below this age. The primary schools which remain would gain by losing the children of eleven plus, for at present it is unusual to find a certificated teacher, other than the head teacher, in schools with 100 children of all ages from three to fourteen. If the older children were removed, the highest class of younger ones would then gain, for they would be taught by the head teacher. If, in addition, reorganization of junior departments were carried out so as to produce larger and homogeneous classes, teachers of higher status than those usually employed could be provided for lower classes.
The labour and patience needed to bring about such segregation as will admit of suitable organization will be evident from the following illustrations :
1. In the list of schools issued by the Board of Education in the year 1912, at A—————, a small country town, there were a Church of England School in three departmentsboys', girls', infants'-with average attendance of some 80 to 90 each, and an undenominational school, also in three departments-boys', girls', infants'-with average attendance of some 30 to 40 in each. No department could be closed-without the consent of the managers-as at each department the number in attendance was over 30, and, though there were defects in each, not one of the five separate buildings was of such a character as to be condemned.
The only procedure open to the Local Education Authority was to attempt by negotiation to induce the managers to agree to a reorganization which would deal with all the children in the six departments. This procedure was adopted, and the first of many meetings, followed by innumerable communications, was held in 1913. By November, 1920, agreement was reached, and in March, 1923, after the reconstruction and enlargement of a transferred building, the scholars were re-arranged in accordance with the suggestions of the present Report, viz., primary-but in two departments, an Undenominational Infants' and a Church of England Junior-and post-primary-in a Council Senior School for the children of eleven plus. One of the buildings was abandoned for school purposes, another is now used as a centre for instruction in domestic subjects and in handicraft, and the third, when transferred to the Authority, reconstructed and enlarged, has, as has already been stated, become the Council post-primary department. The buildings, apart from the three referred to above, are used for Infants and Juniors.
This suitable reorganization of the scholars in ten successive grades or classes and in three departments has not only been beneficial educationally, but even with allowance for annual charges on the capital expenditure,
and for a staff which is, on the whole, of higher status, has also proved less expensive than the organization which existed previously. Nevertheless the Senior department, if the needs of the whole of the immediate neighbourhood had been met, should have been about double the size, with five or six classes instead of three. But to have aimed at this complete scheme would certainly have led to entire failure, for the decapitation of another Church of England school in the town and of two others—a Church of England school and a Council school-in a large village less than two miles away, the closure of one of these two schools and of another village school within two miles in another direction, would have been involved. Arrangements have been made for distinctive denominational religious instruction for those scholars whose parents wish them to receive it.
2. In another small country town, B- —, attempts at reorganization of the four Church of England schools were made in 1913, but it was only after the passage of the Education Act of 1918 that, by the use of the section which is now known as 34 in the Education Act of 1921, this reorganization was enforced.
Here also the reorganization is incomplete, for it has as yet proved impossible to reach agreement (as there are Council, Church of England, and Undenominational schools in the little town) whereby all the scholars of eleven plus could be suitably provided for in one of the six existing buildings. The age at which the children in the schools already reorganized are separated, does not accord with the suggestion in the Report; if, and when, the reorganization is completed, it will be possible to have three or four primary and one post-primary departments in the town, and at a less cost.
Other examples, differing in details in almost every instance, might be given of similar changes, some of which were effected more easily. But two of this type must suffice, in order that other types may be described.
3. In the same administrative area many small schoolseach with less than 30 children in attendance-have been declared unnecessary" and closed. But in practically all cases closure has been effected in opposition to the wishes of managers and parents. Though it is only very rarely that the children of eleven plus in these village schools are transferred to schools which are post-primary in the sense used in the Report, all of them are moved to schools where there is better grading of scholars and where a larger number of class teachers is employed.
But the obstacles which have to be overcome are evident from the published letter of the President of the Board of Education to a member of Parliament, who had sent protests against the closure of one such school. In this letter the President says: Parliament has given the Board the duty of deciding in cases of dispute whether an elementary school is necessary or not; but Parliament has also laid it down that in coming to such a decision the Board shall take three factors into consideration-the interests of secular instruction, the wishes of the parents, and the economy of the rates. One of the main problems of rural elementary education is the problem how children in rural areas can be given the advantages of proper grading in school according to their age and abilities. Such grading is impossible in a very small school. The first instinct of parents in small parishes is to insist that they must have a school, so to speak, at their doors, and this is the feeling that usually finds expression when any proposal is made to close an existing school. On the other hand, there is a strong and growing feeling among rural populations that their children are not getting as good a chance as town children, and the very parent who objects to the closing of his village school will be the first to grumble if he thinks his child is at a disadvantage as compared with children in larger parishes or in a neighbouring small town. Our practically invariable experience is that once a reorganization has been carried out, the parents are soon ready to
admit that their children are better off under the new arrangements," and adds in reference to the particular case: "There seems to be no doubt that the County Council are right in believing that the children will secure considerable educational advantage by transfer to a larger school, while, at the same time, the transfer will result in a material saving of expenditure on teachers' salaries."
The concluding part of the letter was then summarized as follows: "Although he realized to the full all the disadvantages of closing small village schools, he was very reluctant to put obstacles in the way of schemes deliberately adopted by the Local Authority, and in this particular case he was satisfied that he would not be justified, under the powers given him by Parliament, in withholding approval.”
4. Another line of effort for improved organization is the decapitation of small schools under section 34 of the Education Act of 1921-i.e., the transfer of children of ten plus or eleven plus to other schools. The aim of such transfer is the same as in the closure of the smallest schools, and the proposals have to encounter and overcome the same obstacles. A curious illustration of the limitations in applying section 34 of the Education Act of 1921 is of interest, and shows the need for the enlargement of Local Education Authorities' powers. It is now proposed to transfer to the Local Education Authority a school which since its erection-now many years ago-has been a nonprovided school. But if this transfer be made, reorganization in connexion with neighbouring schools cannot be effected, for these adjacent schools are non-provided and of the same denominational character as the one which it is proposed to transfer. More extensive powers of reorganization would enable the Central and Local Authorities to approach more nearly the system which the Committee recommends.
5. A final example from the experience of a borough will show how proposals to reorganize are opposed and delayed for a considerable time, even though such proposals are within the statutory powers of the Local Education Authority.
In this case there are six non-provided schools of one denomination with children of all ages from three plus to fourteen plus in attendance. Two of the schools it is proposed to utilize respectively for boys and girls of eleven plus-i.e., to form post-primary schools as suggested in the Report-while the remaining four schools would continue as primary schools and departments. But though this proposal was first made more than a year ago, the final stage in controversy has not yet been reached, owing to difficulties with bodies other than the Board of Education and the Local Education Authorities.
From consideration of the instances given above, it seems evident that if, in a rural area, advance towards either a complete or partial re-organization on the lines embodied in the Report is to be made within a reasonable period, the following changes are essential.
(a) The outlook of the parents in the villages who send their children to the elementary schools should be modified. They should be prepared to endure the children's absence from home for the morning and afternoon sessions of the school, as do those who send their children at eleven plus to the secondary schools.
In these days of motor transport-by which large numbers of children can be conveyed to schools at a distance-and when Local Education Authorities are, in some instances, alive to the need for canteen arrangements for, and supervision of the scholars at the midday interval, this change of outlook should not be impossible.
(b) Managers should realize that the organization of schools must not be conditioned by the existence or needs of the parochial system of the Church.
(c) The Board of Education and the Local Education Authorities should have enlarged powers of closing any
school which can be shown to be redundant under a scheme of reorganization.
For the last of these legislation will be necessary, unless concordats can be established between Local Education Authorities and bodies which will control the attitude of managers of individual schools. It must be admitted that the latter alternative is unlikely. But somehow or other a Local Education Authority must acquire power to carry out improvements or enlargements of such buildings as are sufficiently well placed for a thorough reorganization of the schools, and for use if, and when, the school life of children in elementary schools is extended to the age of fifteen. Experience often shows that, within the existing limits of school age, the expenditure needed for building and for stronger staffs in reorganized schools would be more than covered by economies on the existing system. In such areas as have been under consideration, it is a widely held opinion that the raising of the school age to 15 would be folly unless, and until, reorganization of existing schools generally, on the lines of the Report, is made possible.
CANCER. The popular dread of cancer, coupled with-and partly due to our lack of knowledge of this disease, is good reason for commending two articles on the subject by Dr. William Cramer in the April and May issues of The Nineteenth Century to the attention of our readers. In his first article, Dr. Cramer sketches briefly the past history of the attack by doctors and surgeons on cancer. In his second contribution, he deals in non-technical language with recent research and states plainly the present position. The starting point of modern investigations on cancer was the discovery that it could be produced experimentally in animals. Most diseases can be grouped in one of two classes: (1) those due to germs," which are contagious or infectious; (2) those due to change or damage in a definite organ and arise de novo in each individual, such as Bright's disease or diabetes. Cancer is outside both groups; it arises de novo in each individual, and although it can affect any vertebrate, it cannot be transmitted from one species to another. The first step towards the origin of cancer was made by the late Prof. J. Fibiger, of Copenhagen, who was able to show that cancer of the stomach in rats can be related to the Then irritation set up by the presence of a minute worm. Yamagiwa and Ichikawa succeeded in producing skin cancer by the continued application of a chemical irritant, namely tar. These and similar investigations on cancer among mule-spinners, chimney sweeps, shale oil workers, and others, showed that chronic irritation, although not the actual cause, definitely induces cancer. At some point, the normal cell throws off all inhibitions and becomes a cancer cell. The work of Gye and Barnard effects a sort of compromise between the rival theories of Cancer an extrinsic or/and an intrinsic final cause of cancer. virus by itself does not produce cancer. By chronic irritation the cell is able to produce some accessory factor which enables the cancer virus to become effective. This theory is still under investigation, but it has the merit that it explains all the essential features of cancer and opens up a wide field for further investigation with the view of discovering methods of detection, prevention, and cure of cancer.