In this modern world in which we live, technology is playing an increasingly important part in directing the course of the nation, and the responsibility for this task will and can only lie with those who have been educated for careers in science and administration. Therein lies the charge on teachers to prepare the younger generation for the years ahead, and in the exposť which follows we will give a complete analysis of recent educational statistics.
TABLE 1. Shows the achievements of school leavers in the G.C.E. in the year 1961/1962.
TABLE 2. We hear a good deal about the lengthening span, of school life. The following table shows trends and also differences among varying groups of school. The numbers refer to thousands of pupils and concern the year 1961/62.
TABLE 3. Shows the number of candidates from various types of school taking the G.C.E. examination.
TABLE 4. Shows the number and percentage of passes at "O" Level. The national figure for boys is shown against those of the school.
TABLE 5. This table shows the percentage of boys leaving school who had certain specified qualifications. A comparison is made with the figures for our own school.
THE EXPANSION OF EDUCATION
The number of Secondary Schools in England and Wales in 1963 was 5,981 which were divided as follows:
Division as to sexes gives us this table:-
1372 schools were for boys only.
Primary schools in the same period numbered 23,083 of which more than 604 were very old-fashioned and dated. 13,803 had less than 200 pupils.
Size of Classes
The average size of classes in the various systems are listed in Column A; the number of pupils allotted to each teacher are listed in Column B.
Numbers: Of the 5891 Secondary Schools only 22 schools had in excess of 1500 pupils; 4601 did not exceed 300 pupils.
TABLE 6. Shows the number of children of school-leaving age who stayed on at school beyond their sixteenth birthday between the years 1952-1960.
Note: Slightly more boys than girls stayed on at school after 16.
Cost of Education
For the overall picture, the educational bill in the year 1962/63 totalled £1,198,700 which was 4.8% of the national product, which was gross, before tax - £23,974,000,000. In 1952/53 the bill was very much smaller even having regard to the value of the pound - £436,700; while it also represented a smaller percentage of the gross national product.
The 1962/63 bill includes, of course, all building and teachers' salaries, but excludes meals and milk provisions, pensions and H.M. Inspectorate. Meals and milk accounted for £77,700,000; the cost of school milk alone was £11,949,000 and although many think that this sum should not be spent, the Government which abolished free school milk would incur the wrath of Britain's mothers! The sum of £26,673,000 was spent in the same year on pensions and lump sums on retirement totalled £6,205,000; H.M. Inspectorate, which many boys might consider a luxury in the educational framework in which we are at present interested, cost £3,456,000!!!
The size of classes and of schools bear a direct relation to the money expended on Education and the problem in the future lies in the growing size of schools to house the ever-increasing population. This, together with the place of the pupil in an educational society, is the subject matter of the next section.
The Right Size
A major topic when education is discussed is the optimum size of schools and classes. This is especially true of the policy of our present Government which favours the Comprehensive School system. But in theory, whatever the size of the school, a workable class number should be created. The "jackpot" question is, of course, what is this number? The most significant psychological consideration is one that allows a free choice in the matter - a pupil must be in conditions which will allow him or her to feel that he or she (we do not want to be considered biased in this) is an accepted or acceptable member of society. The pupil must experience a sense of security and support and, conversely, must have opportunities for some service to the school, for developing and expressing feelings of loyalty.
These conditions can be created in a school of any size. It is arguable, of course, that it is easier to obtain this in a relatively small school - the principal argument put forward by those who object to large schools - but past experience has shown that whatever the size of a school, an atmosphere can be created, indeed should be created, which is conducive to the full and healthy emotional development of the pupils concerned.
Perhaps second in the list of priorities is the schools obligation to satisfy as completely as possible each pupilís intellectual and academic needs - interpreting these needs as broadly as possible. There must, therefore, be a wide range of subjects; this requires a large staff and if they are to be employed as effectively and economically as possible, they must be teaching a sizeable body of pupils. In this modern day and age, it is becoming increasingly recognisable that a Grammar School of fewer than 750 pupils is no longer a viable concern. A school smaller than this can no longer satisfy the varied needs of its pupils and may be employing an uneconomic number of staff.
In summarising this article one must say, in all fairness, that the argument put forward is one that looks into the future, though not the distant future. It would seem that if a suitable forward-looking education policy is put into effect, a school of a thousand or more pupils will, before long, be the norm.
We, the authors of the above work (with the assistance of Robbins, Newsome and others) hope that you have found our article useful and informative and that it does not bear too many characteristics of the unprofessional journalist. We feel that it is a change from the usual cavalcade of sports reports, unfunny jokes, etc., which generally make up a school magazine. We hope that you have also noticed that our school statistics compare favourably with the national average - often exceed them - an achievement of which we are proud. Nor are we making these comments under a veil of anonymity. We sign ourselves - N. Cowie, M. Heath, W. Stone, P. Linkie.
|| Poems & Other Writings | 1963/64 Magazine Index | HOME ||