|Wellingborough News, 18th January 1879, transcribed by Kay Collins
School Board On Monday evening a special meeting of the Board was summoned to meet at six o'clock, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. W. Colson, but only Messrs. Denton and Knight attending they could not form a quorum. The ordinary monthly meeting was called for the same evening at 6.30, but there not being a quorum no business was transacted. The members present regretted this should occur on this particular meeting, as the teachers' salaries were due and could not be paid.
|Wellingborough News, 15th February 1879, transcribed by Kay Collins
School Board At a special meeting of the School Board, held on Monday last, the Clerk reported that he had received authority from Messrs. Sartoris and Butcher to state that they did intend attending any more meetings of the Board, so that it would not be possible to form a quorum to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Colson. He (the Clerk) had received the following reply to a communication he had sent to the Education Department:
Education Department, 3rd February, 1879. Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 29th ultimo. I am directed to request that you will be good enough to direct the attention of the members who (as my Lords regret to learn from your letter) refuse to act or to attend at meetings of the Board, to the provisions of section 82 of the Elementary Education Act 1870 and that you will inquire of them whether they have any reason to allege why my Lords should not proceed as if the Board were in default. My Lords would be reluctant so to proceed, and they hope that the members in question will not put them to the necessity. I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant.
James Heygate Esq.,
Clerk to Rushden School Board, Wellingborough.
|Wellingborough News, 1st March 1879, transcribed by Kay Collins
EDUCATION AT RUSHDENUnder the heading of "The Educational Deadlock," the Northamptonshire Guardian thus writes about School Board affairs at Rushden:"The admixture of sectarianism and education is bearing evil fruit at Rushden as elsewhere. The attempt to take education out of the hands of a sect and place it in the hands of the nationthat is to make it national instead of denominationalhas been unfortunately obstructed by the halting provisions of Mr. Forster's Act. And hence we find in Rushden the educational conflict between the dominant sect and the people, ever since the establishment of the School Board, as before, is being carried out with a bitterness and determination, at least on the sectarian side, which does not promise well for the peace of the parish. We had always thought it the peculiar boast of Tories and Churchmen that they were pre-eminently loyal to the law, that they alone indeed were the only Simon Pures in the matter of loyalty to the Constitution. It is reserved for the Tories and Churchmen of Rushden to dissipate for ever that very plausible but shallow fiction. How else are we to interpret the disloyal spirit which they have infused into their connection with the local School Board? At the poll of the parish they were honestly beaten; at the election of the Board they were honestly beaten. Why in the name of common sense and common justice could they not accept their defeat like Englishmen, and loyally do their best by fair means to influence the operations of the Board in the direction of their views? Unfortunately for the parish, they appear to have accepted defeat with sullenness, and a dogged determination to do all they could to obstruct the work of the Board on which they were elected to serve. They seem to have been inspired by the spirit of the Irish obstructives; and as they could not have their own way they determined from the first to hamper and obstruct the Board in its work. And this in the professed interests of religious education! A pretty specimen of State Church piety truly! Messrs. Denton, Colson, and Knight (the Nonconformists and Liberals), were placed at the head of the poll, and Messrs. Sartoris (the Squire) and Butcher, the two Tory and Church candidates brought up the rear, their third colleague being left out in the cold by a "draw." The policy of Messrs. Sartoris and Butcher was early indicated by the very frank, if scarcely creditable, avowal "We are not in favour of a School Board, but are here simply to keep a check on you." Nobody objects to their being opposed to a School Board, but the parish once having decided in its favour, they were bound having been elected upon it, to loyally perform the duties devolving upon them as members of that Board. To submit themselves as candidates for election, and then, when elected, intimate by word and deed their determination to do all they could to obstruct the work which they were elected to do was simply an insult to the parish. It was a sectarian "dog-in-the-manger" policy, which refused to do the work itself, or to make way for others who would do it. This has been the unworthy spirit which has characterised Messrs. Sartoris and Butcher's connection with the Board all through. And now the lamentable death of Mr. Colson, the vice-chairman of the Board, has given them an opportunity of displaying the desperate character of their obstinacy, which ill becomes English gentlemen in public life. Beaten in fair fight they resort to simple obstruction; and have taken up a position in which it seems they are anxious to get the Education Department to over-ride the wishes of the parish as deliberately expressed at the ballot-box. As three members of the Board are necessary to form a quorum, Messrs. Sartoris and Butcher determined, with child-like capriciousness, to absent themselves from the Board altogether, so that the Board should be brought completely to a standstill, and that there should be no chance of electing another ratepayer to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Colson's death. The only motive assignable for this extraordinary conduct-which we trust the parish will duly noteis their hope that the Education Department may in some as yet unexplained way interfere in their favour, and so over-ride the decision of the parish. The time chosen, for this freak is exceedingly inopportune, inasmuch as the Board have just entered into arrangementsunder the sanction of the Departmentsfor the erection of hew schools to accommodate 190 children, and the refusal of Messrs. Sartoris and Butcher to do their duty blocks the whole business of the Board. We believe the contractor is proceeding with the work; but in any case the conduct of the recalcitrant members of the Board must be productive of much inconvenience, if it is not reducing the educational work of the parish into a farce."
From what we can learn respecting the so-called deadlock in the working of the Rushden School Board, it appears to arise from the unwillingness of the existing minority of the Board to contribute in any way towards the election of a member who would be virtually the nominee of a majority committed to the extravagant and preposterous expenditure of £3000 for a school accommodating 195 children. We understand that the minority are, so far, free from factious opposition that they have signified through the clerk their willingness to effect a compromise by choosing some Nonconformist substantial ratepayer, of moderate views, who is not committed to schemes for burdening the parish with a debt which will require a heavy yearly rate for a long period to liquidate. We gather that the alleged deficiency of school accommodation amounts to room for 180 children, and the Education Department have allowed building for 195, against which apparent departure from their usual practice, as well as against the extravagant expenditure of £3000 for so small a number of children, the minority of the Board, as well as the leading rate payers, have more than once protested, and memorialized the Education Department. It is said that a leading member of Parliament has expressed willingness to bring the action of the Department with respect to the Rushden School Board expenditure before the House of Commons. We are glad to learn that these apparently chronic School Board Contentions are not interfering with practical education in Rushden, as we find on inquiry that both the National and Board Schools are in full and efficient work, though neither of the schools is full of scholars. It has been stated to us that although the National Schools have now more children than ever under education there yet exists in these schools, according to strict cubical measurement, vacant places sufficient to accommodate all the children at present in average attendance in all the public .schools in the place. If this be the case there seems little doubt that, apart from local prejudices and sectarian feelings, the majority of the ratepayers of Rushden would be justified in opposing the expenditure of £3,000 for a new school.
|Wellingborough News, 8th March 1879, transcribed by Kay Collins
Education At Rushden
SIR,-An able pleader, on putting his case before a jury, generally employs the most ingenious stratagems he can command to effect a victory for the side upon which he is retained. Upon reading the two articles headed "The Educational Deadlock," and "Squirearchical Notions," the thought arises whether similar methods were resorted to; and have they in any sense reflected credit upon the cause of true Liberalism, or added to the dignity of considering the advancement of education in our midst? The inartistic attempt to reduce the issues involved to mere personalities is a degradation of the whole affair. The minority allege that the principles of economy to which the majority were pledged have been violated. They contend that in the purchase of the site Earl Fitzwilliam offered for £200, a plot known as "Franklin's Gardens," with excellent frontage, and equal in area to the portion selected, known as "Packwood's Land," and for which nearly £500 was paid. The distance between the one spot and the other is inconsiderate. Again .................................. of the articles probably will not feel the pr... of these extravagancies, but the ratepayers have a right to resist either jobbery or waste. Many contend that £1,700 well laid out ought to have produced all that is necessary. The majority were elected pledged to economy, and their conduct is public property, and it is quite a new theory in Radical politics that a ratepayer, be he squire or clergyman, is disqualified for resisting a policy opposed to right principles. Are we to believe that the three gentlemen who constituted the majority were infallible? When the Legislature arranged for the education of children by other means than those existing pro tem, it did not legalize as a necessity rabid partizanship, and unwholesome stigmatising of the sincere men and women who have helped in the parish to inculcate some knowledge in the minds of the young; and I trust the day is far distant when the chief weapons of journalists will consist in working for the obloquy of their opponents, when the difference is mainly a question of procedure. Surely when a minority objects conscientiously to the conduct of the majority it is not binding upon the former to assist the latter in continuing what they deem to be a violation of the principles to which the majority were pledged. The work done by the majority is a fit subject for the ratepayers and electors to decide upon, and the anomaly of a representative body becoming in part self-elective is most confusing and contradictory. If the minority consider that jobbery and waste has been practised by the majority, it is monstrous to wish them to assist in its perpetuity. The whole question is one for the electors to decide by vote, and the retirement of the minority is a most fitting and becoming arrangement. Education as a paramount necessity claims our best efforts, and the real enemies of its progress are those who retard it, or encumber it with rabid clamour or burdensome expenditure in professing to secure it.
|Wellingborough News, 14th June 1879, transcribed by Kay Collins
Present: Messrs. G. Denton, in the chair; S. Knight, W. Wilkins, W. Claridge, J. Claridge, and J. Heygate (clerk).
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.
From the schedule just received by the Board it was stated that out of the 108 scholars who presented themselves, 107 passed in reading, 101 in writing, and 96 in arithmetic.
On the motion of Mr. Wilkins, the seal of the Board was affixed to the second instalment of the loan obtained for building the school. The Messrs. Claridge did not vote.
A cheque for £300 was drawn on the architect's certificate, for payment to the contractor.
The expenses incurred by the pupil teachers’ journey to Northampton, for their examination were ordered to be paid.
The Clerk read a communication from Mr. Sharman, in which he stated that he did not think the stove pipe from the Board-room should run through the roof of the school, as the Board had previously decided.
The Clerk; There is no doubt that hot water pipes would have been best.
Mr. J, Claridge was of a similar opinion.
The Chairman said Mr. Sharman was not in favour of them,
Mr Knight: I give notice that at the next meeting I shall move that a sum, not exceeding £3, be expended in providing prizes for the children.
The Chairman: It was £2 last year, was it not?
Mr. Knight: But the school has increased; I do not bind myself to £3. I say a sum not exceeding that amount.
The Chairman: I think if you were to say £2, any member might supplement it at the next meeting, and then there would be no objection to it.
Mr. Wilkins asked the Clerk if there were any savings banks in connection with the Wellingborough Board Schools. On being answered in the negative Mr. Wilkins proposed that at the next meeting arrangements be made for providing savings backs in connection with the Rushden schools.
The Clerk said Mr. Woods, the Inspector, had taken the matter up very strongly, and no doubt he would be very happy to give any information. Mr. Wilkins thought there was a society in London, who dealt with the question.
The Chairman: Perhaps you will obtain information by the next meeting?
Mr. Wilkins: Yes, I will, I think it very desirable that habits of thrift should be encouraged among children.
The Chairman read a letter from the Chairman of the Souldrop School Board, calling the Board's attention to some children in this district supposed to go to the Souldrop school who were not doing so.
The Attendance Officer said he had made inquiries and the children had since gone to Souldrop school.
The Clerk was requested to acknowledge the letter, and the Attendance Officer was directed to obtain the attendance from the Souldrop schools, the same as the others.
School Attendance Officer's Report
The Attendance Officer reported that another lad, 11 years of age, living at the Lodges, was not attending school. His mother said the boy was at work for Mr. Dearlove, and Mr. Dearlove said that as the lad had made the requisite number of attendances during the previous years he was exempt.
The officer was directed to see Mr. Dearlove, and inform him that unless the lad had passed the 4th standard he must be sent to school, according to the bye-laws.
The Officer reported that in the cases of York, Chettle, and Wooding, the attendance had been better. Chettle had attended regularly as a half-timer, but the others had been irregular.The officer was instructed to again call on the parents.
There was no other business, and the Board adjourned, after an unusually short sitting.
|Wellingborough News, 1st November 1879, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden School Board Supper
On Saturday evening last, the Rushden School Board gave a supper to the whole of the men who had taken part in the erection of the new schools. In addition to the workmen there were present the whole of the members of the Board, the contractors (Messrs. Foskett, Sparrow Bros., and Lewis), and a few friends, making a company of about 60, who sat down to a capital repast, provided in the new schools.
After supper, the Chairman of the Board, Mr. G. Denton, opened the proceedings by expressing the pleasure it afforded him to meet them in their new schools. He was pleased, to see the work had been so well done by the contractors; that was not only his opinion, but the opinion of the architect as well; and he had very great pleasure in proposing the health of the contractors, coupled with the name of Mr. Foskett. All present were aware that some of the members of the Board had very strong opinions in reference to alcoholic drinks, and consequently the toasts would have to be drunk in nothing stronger than tea or coffee, a good supply of which was at their disposal.
Mr. Foskett, in responding, was pleased to be present that evening, and to hear that the work of erecting the schools had been carried out to the satisfaction of the Board. He was glad also that, not withstanding difficulties, the Board had been able to erect schools, and he hoped now a good, sound education would be given to the children of the parish. Some said that the School Board rates were very high, but he believed that, as a rule, where the Education Rate was high, the Poor Rate was low, and he hoped they would live to see that the case in Rushden.
The Chairman next gave "The health of the sub-contractors, Messrs. Sparrow, Laughton, and Lewis".
Mr. Sparrow and Mr. Laughton replied in appropriate terms.
Mr. Knight bore testimony to the able way in which the schools had been built, and expressed his satisfaction that at this meeting, to celebrate their completion, no intoxicating drinks were allowed to be drunk. He then proposed "The health of the workmen," coupled with the name of his cousin and namesake, Mr. 0. Knight, who responded.
In responding to the toast of his health, the Master of the Schools (Mr. Wood) said although the gentlemen who had spoken might be pleased to see the Schools completed, yet he was sure nobody felt the advantage of them so much as the teachers and scholars.
Mr. J. Willmott, in proposing "The health of the members of the Board," spoke in praise of the Education Act, and of the benefit it conferred on the country.
The toast was responded to by the Chairman, and the remainder of the evening was spent in a social manner.
Songs and recitations were given by Messrs. Walker, Clarke, and several other friends, and the proceedings were brought to a close by the singing of the National Anthem.
|Wellingborough News, 8th November 1879, transcribed by Kay Collins
School BoardMONDAY LAST
On Monday evening, the members of this Board held their usual monthly meeting, Mr. G. Denton presiding, and all the members being present.
The indentures of Miss Bull were duly signed by herself, her father, and the Board. She was to receive £10 for the first year, and to rise £2 10s. each succeeding year.
Mr. Darnell attended the meeting, and was informed by the Chairman that the Board had rescinded the minute of September 8th, and passed another, whereby his daughter was to have £12 10s. for the first two years, and then rise £2 10s. per year afterwards.
Mr. Darnell, in a speech which occupied some time, said he did not think it fair towards his daughter, considering the time she had been in the school, and asked the Board to allow him until the next meeting to consider the matter.
This the Board consented to do.
The Attendance officer reported several cases of irregular attendance of children at school.
Mrs. Elsdown and Mrs. Bayes appeared before the Board, and were ordered to send their children regularly to school.
Mr. W. Claridge moved that, considering the house that had been provided for the master and mistress, their salary should be reduced from £170 to £150 per year. He thought that £150 and the house was quite enough, as he valued the house at £25 per year. He had made inquiries, and he found that at Wollaston they had 100 more children on the books, and the same salary was given.
This was seconded by Mr. John Claridge, who said he believed they had been allowing the master £10 a-year for house rent, and had that been on the minutes he should not have seconded the resolution.
The Clerk assured Mr. Claridge that although it was not on the minutes, it was passed at a meeting that he was to be paid £10 for his house rent, as he (the Clerk) asked at the time if a house could be obtained for £10.
Mr. Wilkins moved as an amendment that they reduce the salary to the extent of £10, which they have hitherto allowed for house rent.
This was seconded by Mr. Knight, who had had as much to do with the engagement of Mr. and Mrs. Wood as anybody, and they were engaged at the lowest salary they would accept, and were promised a rise if the school increased, and he was proud to say it had increased. Two months ago the master and mistress applied for a rise of £10 each, and they were given £5 each only, in consideration of their having the house they now occupy. He had made inquiries, and he found that they were the lowest paid in the neighbourhood, and he did not believe in underpaying good servants.
Mr. J. Claridge said he did not believe in underpaying good servants, but he thought that, seeing Wollaston had an average attendance of 45 more children at their school, a reasonable reduction should be made.
The Chairman asked if they thought the services of Mr. and Mrs. Wood were worth the salary paid to them, according to the payment made to other masters, and if the master and mistress were to give up, could their places be filled for the same money? He was not in favour either of the proposition or amendment, as he thought a £5 reduction would have been plenty.
On the amendment being put, it was carried. The Board resolved to meet on the fourth Monday in every month to deal with cases of irregular attendance.
Mr. Wilkins reported that 172 accounts had been opened in the Penny Bank, and that on the average about two thirds of the depositors pay something every week. The bank had been started about three months, and the total deposits amounted to £24 18s. This sum had been deposited in the Post Office Savings Bank.