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.lie New Ball and the School…

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lie New Ball and the School Question at Gwespyr: The Two Alternatives. To the Editor of the Prestatyn Weekly." Dear Sir,âLet bygones be bygones Let tocrit-ainations cease On or after 1st January, 1908, only one public elementary school will be recognised In the Gwespyr neighbourhood.. This will be entirely under public control "-there will not be a single privately appoint- ed manager. The nchoo.1 will receive state aId and rate aid. No other school will deceive a penny from the state (in grants) nor from the County Council (in rates). The teachers will be appointed by the County Council upon the recommendation of the body of public managers. The teaching staff will most likely belong to the Christian foith, although the Bill declares that no religious tests will be imposed upon teachers. At least one member of the staff must profess Christianity, else how can Bibtical teaching be imparted and religious exercises be con- ducted ? It will be compulsory to impart re- ligious instruction, although it will not be compulsory on any individual teacher to im- part that instruction, nor will it be compul- sory upon the children to receive it. At any rate, although part of the staff toust of necessity belong to the Christian c, fftith, no question will ba asked of their creed whether they subscribe to Roman Catholicism. Anglicanism, Calvinism, Armenianisiii or any other "ism." As has been suggested, religious Instruction will be imparted between 1) and 10 morning. This will consist of simple Biblical teaching alid simple religious exercises (such as on'ei'- ^g opening and closing prayers, and singing a hymn). The character of the' religious Caching will be upon the lines of the present County Council syllabus, which has been drawn up by good and pious men of every Christian creed, lioraau Catholics, Anglicans, and Nonconformists. Secular instruction will not begin until 10 o'clock, and the register will not be made QP until then. Parents, by declaring a con- scientious objection to the religious instruction Dlay withhold their children from school Until 10 o'clock. Jewish and unbelieving parents, if there happen to be any in oar midst, will probably avail themselves of this provision (the con- science clause). Now, coming to the local bearing of the subject, it remains to be asked "Where will the above school be situated ?" and Does it really matter where it will be situated so long as the above provisions are carried out ?" THE Two ALTERNATIVES. The Two Alternatives are of course (1) The Talacrc School Buildings; (2) New School Buildings at Gwespyr. Mr Birrell describes School Buildiiigs as (1) very good," (2) "not quite so good," (&) bad," (4) very bad." Now both the above alternatives may be classed among the very good." So far there is no choice between the two. Of course the New School Building would be more central, which would be a consideration for infants, and the younger children, but the Talacre buildings are not so far off after all, and the difference in distance would hardly justify increased; expense. Wherein would be the real difference, if any ? Would the difference be of any real foment ? Let us inquire into the matter a little further. (1) The Talacre School buildings. âThese are privately owned, and may, therefore, be withdrawn from educational use, or may be kept on as a private school, in which case they would not receive a penny of public money by way of rates or grants. But, of course, that does not concern us. What concerns us is that the County Council and the owners (or trustees) may strike a bargain. The County Council would obtain the use of the building for five days, and work from nine to five, and would secure full con- trol over them during that time. The council would, however, have to pay a certain occupation rent (if insisted npon), and, moreover, would have to maintain the fabric and keep the building in proper repair. The owners on the other hand could have the use of the buildings in the evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays if they desired. They could further stipulate for certain facilities, that is, that Roman Catholic teach- ing should be imparted on two mornings a week, in a room a-part for Catholic children, whose parents desire it, and probably by Father Dumphy, or whoever 11 happened to hold office for the time being. This denominational instruction would be imparted during the hour the biblical teaching Was being imparted to other children. During the other three mornings of the week the Catholic children would probably join the Protestant children in reviewing simple biblical teaching. (2) The new School Buildings at Gwespyr. If these were decided upon, the County Council would borrow money, and would get 60 years (by the new Bill) to repay the money. The religions- instruction would be confined to simple Biblical; teaching apd simple religious exercises, and no facilities for denominational teaching would be allowed. It remains for the County Council, the public managers, to be elected, and the public opiuion of the neighbourhood behind them, to adopt one of these alteraatives. Which will they adopt ?âI am, yourg etc. EXPECTANT.

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