An Integrated System of Education
Front Our Educational Correspondent Many of the schools which fall outside the range of the free public educational scheme are suffering greatly owing to the dislocation caused by the war.
In some eases the schools themselves have been uprooted and replanted in alien surroundings and in buildings not designed as school premises.
In other cases parents have suffered diminution of income and are unable to afford the standard scale of fees.
It is likely that changes brought about by the war may jeopardise the existence of many of these preparatory and public schools, especially those which have no reserves of cash, endowments, and properties which will serve to carry them through the lean times or enable them to effect an actual reorganisation.
One thing is certain. They can have no hope of any Government assistance.
PUT ITS OWN HOUSE IN ORDER Mr Kenneth Lindsay, Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, made this clear in an address to the annual conference of the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools just be fore Christmas.
In the course of his speech he said that " a class system, based primarily on wealth, however excellent in other respects, must live to itself." No Government, he said, could adopt more than a friendly attitude to it. It must be subject to booms and slumps like any other aspect of private enterprise. It must cut its costs and put its own house in order.
That is a very clear warning that the Board is fully cognisant of the position now and as it may develop.
Mr Lindsay did not confine his address solely to the problems of the preparatory and public schools. He stressed the importance of thinking out in war-time the better organisation of our whole educational system.
Evacuation had taught us some useful .essone, and careful note should be made of them now. Preparatory and public schools formed a segregated stream alongside the main national system, and were of great value both educationally and traditionally.
UNIFIED SYSTEM " We must, however, think," he continued, " in terms of a unified system with much greater variety within it than exists at present." Some form of residential education in the countryside was good for a much larger number than at present afford it.
Selected schools as centres of experiment, as examples of high quality achievement, as places where carefully selected boys and girls might with advantage pursue special lines of instruction formed a valuable adjunct to a national system.
Perhaps out of the war we might catch the broader vision of a more integrated system with day continuation schools for all children and appropriate Secondary education for those most likely to profit by it.
Mr Lindsay has shown marked ability in his post as Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Education. He has conducted his affairs with tact and competence and has shown himself ready to consider and discuss any question connected with education and its progress quite apart from the purely administrative matters which must be the main concern of his post.
His reference to a unified or integrated system appears to indicate that he would be prepared to ensure the progress of our educational plan by going back to the Catholic system which prevailed in preReformation Europe and which provided not only secondary education, but university training " for those most likely to profit by it."