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ASHBURTON BOROUGH SCHOOL, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2073, 26 February 1889
ASHBURTON BOROUGH SCHOOL
A mooting of houaeholdara of the Ash burton School Uia'rlot was held at the Borough Sohool last evening to elect six ooembeca of (he Committee, that number having resigned consequent upon the Board of Education's aci'on m preoetng Us resolve m regard to (he headmesbership.
Me Gldoon Scott, tbe late Chairman of the Committee, was voted to ttie chair.
Fhe Chairman read the advertisement calling tha meeting tied specifying the business to be traMßacted Ho Gubmitted a report of tha work done by the Uommlitse dariog its term of office, which vra . a3 f o lowa : — " On behalf of the Oommltfcae 1 bog to submit a balance Bheet for the last vine montho, Bhowlog receipts to the amonut of £746 U 6d, and payments am .acting to £754 19b 7<3, leaving a credit b-lanoe at this date of £23 17a 3d. The only speoUl expenditure was the item of £21 10a for re-roofing the caretaker's hou&e and aondry repairs to the school chambers, which was sptoUlly defrayed by tha Board, There was notniog la connection with the school, during the above period, that oalla for comment or explanation on my part, with the exception of the difference of opinion entertained by the Board and the Committee with regard to the headmaster. The sabjeot, having been sufficiently aired already, requires small explanation from me, Snffiolent, therefore, for me to say that m conaeqaenoe of a somewhat adverse report upon the state of the sabool by the. Inspectors, on the occasion of thair last examination, the Board insisted upon the removal of the headmaster, bat m which decision the Committee coald not oonour ; heuoo tbe resignation of myself and five other; committeemen. The Committee oould not see Its way to agree to the removal of the headmaster, as it, from its own observations, as well as from the assurance of the parents attending the school, was of opinion that the headmaster was cot at fault, but had proved himself to its satis* ftotlon, an exoellent teaoher, and a very competent man for tbe position held by him. It does not follow that Inspectors' opinions as to the state of a school are alwayd Infallible, bot even supposing them to be . true In thei* statements ss to tbe state of the aohool, I beg to point out that iaat year Mr Kaeen #as without a saoond master, and also bad three old pupil teachers supplanted by young inexperienoed ones. GIDEOH SOOTT, Chairman.
The members of Committee who had resigned were Messrs G. Soott (Chairman), B, J. Paul, R Elston, A. Oook, W. T. Kingston and J. Steele. The Oli Airman called for nominations for the vaoant seats.
The following gentlemen were proposed: Messrs Gideon Scott, J . Mao Lean Dunn, W. J. Silcook, K. Blstoo, A. Cook, E. J. Pant, F. Bonnlngton, J. R. Steele, J. Meddlns, D. Mtotarlane, Jas. Baker:
Dr Tweed thought that before the election was proceeded with the candidates should give an expression of their views* This election was being run on a distinct Issue — the retention or otherwise of the headmaster.
The Chairman thought it was hardly neoessary for him to explain the views held by himself, or the four other members of the old Committee, because theio were well known- He would call on the new candidates if the meeting so chose.
Mr D. Williamson did not agree with Dr Tweed. Ab far as the headmaster was concerned that matter had been done with, and Mr Koeen'a resignation had gone m to the Board.
The Chairman Bald that Mr Williamson was under a misapprehension. The matter's resignation had not gone m to the .Board, bat only to the Committee. He had persuaded the master to defer sending m his resignation to the Board till after the present election. Mr Williamson: Then the whole, matter will bo fought out again. Tne Qh&lrmao : Yes. Mr Most fanoled the householders hid btea cal fti th »c to give an expression of opinion, and nothing else. The resignation of the Committee had been brought about by what they considered was- ill* treatment of the headmaster and whtoh endangered the efficiency of the school m oooeeqaence. Many of those present m the room had scon come funny things m connection with the school as to the way In which masters had btea elbowed out. One of the beat movers they had ever had had been turned out m oouaequenoe of a ittle private feeling. That matter had now been done with, but the Bucoeas which they had B9en had attended that master elsewhere, cow showed them the mistake that had been made, and they should be careful lest that mistake were repeated. The Board m Carlstcharch was too far away to know the real state of the sohool and things had oooutred w hioh seemed to show that the Board was not always actuated by the simplest of motives. Some time ago the Board sent the names of several applicants for a teaohership to the aommitiee of the school Interested to make a selection. The committee selected a name, but the Board would not aooept it. What sort of treatment was that If committees were tp be only dummies, the sqoner they were done away with the better. As far as he* was concerned bo bad no hesitation m saying that he would vote for the old Committee at a protest Against the Board's action.
Dr Tweed's proposal that the candidates ihonjd express their views was put In the form of a motion, eeoonded by Mr H. Zander, »rd cabled by about thirty to five
In aooordanoe with Dr Tweed's motion the candidates were called upon to express their views,
Mr Dunn considered Mr Eneen one of the belt masters they ever had at the Bohool, and If an opportunity occurred he wonld do his best to retain Mr Kneen, Mr Silcock said that the faot of allowing himself to be nominated was a proteot ■gainst the aotlon of the late Committee, which had aoted In a obildish manner. If the Lower House of Parliament were to resign beoause the Upper Chamber threw oat a measure, what wonld be thought of their oonduot 1 They might rest as far as Mr Koeen was coaoerned, for m his oplniop that matter was vow quite out of the hands of the Committee- It was absurd for the Committee to try and override a power above them. V*hy did they not bow as gentlemen should do to the deolslon of a superior body 1 Mr Paul rose to a point of order. He objected to the Inuendo that the late Committee had aoted Id a obildish or nnßentlemanfy way, Mr Siloook said that personally he hid nothing against Mr Koeen. He was known as a good teaoher, bat was not successful In getting passes. Be agreed that the ohlldren were thoroughly well grounded, but If they did not paBB what nip was that,
Mr Bonnington was In favor of the retention of Mr Kneen, of whom he had the highest opinion.
Mr Meddlnga was alao In favor of the retention of Mr Kaeen
Mr Maofarlane considered that if they loat Mr Kneen they would be losing a very good master, and he would do hia utmost to retain him.
Mr Btker was quite In acoord. with the late Committee, and would strive to retain Mr Kneen,
Mr Paul said that he did not wlah to deny Mr Slloook the right to prqtest against the action of the late Committee, bat he denied bin} the right of saying that aotlon was childish or ungentleoianly. He was not on the Committee at the time, but he understood that the Inspectors gave a report at variance with the opinions they had exprei|)d to members of the Committee. The Committee subsequently garrled a reeqlmlou by its (a one fa (nyo|
of retaining tin headmaster, partly on the strength of their knowledge that the children were not being crammed by a lot of book learning that ninety out of a hundred of them wonld forget a fortnight after the examination, but were being Intelligently taught, and they also knew that the discipline of the school was batter than it had been for years past. Tho Board declined to reconsider their decision^ but were the Committee not justified In sticking to their ground * If after having twlca passed a resolution the Committee had gone bsck, then their oondnO' might have been characterised as childish. The opinion of the C imjuittee was arrived at after mature consideration, and that opinion was that it was not advisable that a change should take plaoe In the headmastership, If a ohange were jnade the school would be thrown baok at leaat twelve months.
Mr S'loook said that if he used the word " ungontlemanly " he wished to withdraw it and to apologise to the late members of the Committee. If he used the word "childish" be did so adviaedly as he thought tha matter of the headmaatershlp had been settled and tb« master could not be retained;
The Chairman : I beg to differ ; I think he can, and I will prove It to yon some of these days. We will go to a higher authority than the Board of Education.
Mr Craigbead thought that as the one dissentient on the Committee he oho old give some explanation to the meeting. When the master came, the first examlnatlou was a bad one, bat this was laid to the blame of the former management. The next examination was also a bad one, and the Board gave the master six months probation to recover himself, and nnder the spur the master secured a good report, whioh he also did »t the next examination. Bat now that the spar was off the master again got a bad report. If any of them had a servant that did not give satisfaction they got rid of him, .and if the master did not fulfil the duties he was there to fu'fil they should get another. If every* I thing was going on smoothly why did their attendance fall off, and that of the Hampstead school Inorease.
Mr Bisßett said that tha reason he had sent his children to Hampstead was that he d|d not relish the Idea of their being taught by an Indefinite number of masters while at sohool. The Ashburton school had an unpleasant notoriety In this direction, and so he had sent his children to Hamostead. He had every confidence m Mr Kneen as a teacher.
Mr Nelson Intended voting for the old Committee, and he hoped everyone m the room would do the same.
The eleotion was then proceeded with, Messrs W. B. Moss and 0. Braddell being appointed scrutineers. The result was as follows : —
W. J. &Uo>.ok , 57 Gideon Scott , ... 42 J Meddlus .. 38 ft. Elston 33 J. MoLean Dann ... ... 32 E. J. Paul 30 , A. Cook ... ... ... 25 J, R. Steele ... ... 21 F. Bonnington ... ... 17 Jas Baker ... ... ... 17 D. Maofarlane 14 The Chairman declared Messrs Siloook, Scott, Msddlns, Elston, Dann, and Paul to be eleoted.
The meeting then dosed with the oastomary compliment to the chair.
At a meeting of the Committee held subsequently Mr Gideon Scott was elected Chairman. The Committee decided to record Its vote m favor of Messrs Saundera, Wynn-Wiiliams and Westenra for the vacant seats on the Board of Education.
ASHBURTON BOROUGH SCHOOL, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2073, 26 February 1889
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