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A special meeting of the Committe was held yesterday evening. There were present—Mr St. Hill (in the chair), and Messrs Felton, Orr, and Hodder. The following report from the Inspector of Schools for the district was read : Education office, Christchurch, June 30,1881. T. Inglis, Esq, Chairman of Board. Sir,—l have the honor to state that, in accordance with instructions from the secretary, I held a special examination of the Ashburton school on the ioth,nth, and I2th of Ma. They following is my report :—The numerical strength of the school is as follows : Boys on the registers, 192; girls, 231 ; total number of scholars, 423, being a decrease of 24 in the numbers last reported. The average daily attendance for the quarter was 265, and for the week previous to my visit, 269. The total ’number present during the examination was 350, of which it is intended to present 233 in standards at the next annual examination. Out of : the number present, I found that 168 children were under instruction in the new infant school taught by the mistress and two pupil-teachers ; the remaining 182 were in the main school, taught by the head master,, second master, assistant mistress anji four pupil-teachers. Surely this is an unequal division of labour and space, and speaks very badly for the organising powers of the teacher-in-charge. On the days of my inspection the rooms in the new building were inconveniently crowded, whereas there

was sufficient accommodation in the old for double the number present then. The 51 scholars preparing for the first standard should be removed to the main school The staff is certainly sufficiently numerous for a school haying an average attendance of 265. The new building, which was erected for the pur- . pose of relieving the main school of all children below the first standard, and thus affording class-room accommodation is not a very suitable 1 one. More attention has been paid to appearance {how the building looks from the street) than to the comfort of the pupils and teachers. lam afraid that unless something is done before the summer to improve the ventilation and . protect the windows from the rays of the sun, the rooms will be found very uncomfortable. The mistress complains bitterly of the gallery, and I do not wonder at it. There is only one gangway, and the spaces between the seats are so narrow, that It is a matter of considerable difficulty to get the children on and off. Taking into consideration the fact that but very few 01 the scholars, who failed in October last, are ■ even now capable of passing in all the essential subjects required by the regulations, I have determined to make the present a progress rather than a pass examination. I do not mean to say that there has been no improvement since Hast examined. The papers > of the fourth and fifth standards are more careful and accurate than formerly, and the results in spelling, arithmetic, and grammar, aie, on the whole, creditable. The written answers to my questions on geography and history were most disappointing. The scholars presented in the second and third standards (failed last year) are still very backward, and it will requirt at least five months’ hard work to bring th<* majority of them up to the required proficiency. The average attendance is a very poor percentage of the number enrolled, and the regular attendants, judging by the standard scdedules, do not much exceed one-third the number on the roll. Punctuality is not well observed either by teachers or pupils. It does not look well to see teachers leisurely walking up to the gate after the bell has rung. In every well-conducted school the’ teachers should be in their * places at least ten minutes before the opening to see that everything is ready, and, when the bell rings, to be prepared to go out into the playground for the purpose of arranging their classes fbr entry. Now that there are two . rooms available as class-rooms, the time-tables should be revised. It would be quite possible ' for me, by going further into details, to expose . : other weak points in the administration, but I shall say no more than that my experience . has convinced me that the school is beyond the orsnising and managing capacity of the pre- . sent head master. I cannot close this report without stating that it is to me at oil times a very disagreeable duty to report unfavorably of a teacher, and it is particularly so in the present Instance. Mr Stott has always treated me with the greatest possible courtesy, and has . been ever ready to render me all the assistance ‘ ; in his power. I believe him to be thoroughly - upright nad painstaking, and he has proved

himself a good class teacher. —lam, &c., W. L. Edge, Inspector of Schools. A letter was also read from Mr Stott, resigning his appointment, the resignation to take effect at Christmas next. On the resolution of Mr Felton, seconded by Mr Hodder, it was resolved (the Chairman dissenting)—“ That the Committee, after considering the special report of June 30th, forwarded by Mr Edge, request the Board to consider the desirability of dispensing with Mr Stott’s services on September Ist next, and that three months’ salary be paid to him from the present date in lieu of three month’s notice, consequent upon the Board not having forwarded the Inspector’s report at an earlier date.” The Education Board wrote stating that Msss Stewart must send in her resignation to the Board as well as to the Committee. The letter also stated that the salary would be about LIOB, less ten per cent. It was resolved to advertise for a mistress for the infant school. The Committee then adjourned.

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Bibliographic details

ASHBURTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 407, 28 July 1881

Word Count

ASHBURTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 407, 28 July 1881

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