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BARRY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING.

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Baa BARRY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING. The customary fortnightly meeting of the Barry School Board was held at the Cadoxton Board Schools on Monday afternoon at two o'clock. There were present Mr. John Lowdon (chairman), Dr. O'Donnell, Rev. J. Price, and Messrs. E. F. Blackmore. Oliver Jenkins, and W. H. Lewis (ilerk).—The Chairman brought up the question of organising central classes for the teachers for the purposes of making the teachers more pro- ficient in their work. The Board had neglected this in the past, but it was their duty to take the matter up. The minimum hours for the instruc- tion were five per week. It was a shame to the Board that their record in this matter had been so bad.-After a long discussion it was decided that the Chairman, Mr. Blackmore. and Rev. J. Price be appointed a committee, with the headmasters, to formulate a scheme.-On the application of Mr. Higman, headmaster of the Holton Schools, it was decided unanimously to grant the use of the school to Mr. Higman two evenings per week for the purpose of teaching some of the children subjects which were not permissible during- school hours. — The Chairman said the next business on the agenda was to consider the advisability of appointing an additional attendance officer. The report of the attendance officer on the subject had been considered by the Board, and circulated amongst the members. His (the chairman's) view from the first had been that in a district like theirs, -scattered as it was—half the people coming and going as they did—one man would not be able to keep°the schoools full as thev ought to be. It was a matter of very serious consequence now. because a great portion of their income depended upon the attendance at the schools. The school accommoda- tion had been very much below what it ought to be. so that they knew there had been for the last two years numbers of children who had been running wild. It would be difficult now to get them to attend school, and for twelve months at least it would be exceedingly difficult to keep them in school.—The Rev. J. Price said he noticed that the attendance officer had stated that the population in this district which one officer had to deal with was greater than one attendance officer had under his jurisdiction in Cardiff. However, he maintained that it was just the reverse.-The Chairman, dur- ing some further discussion, said that if the board were going to have large grants it would be neces- sary to have another officer.—Mr. Oliver Jenkins pointed out that Mr. Seig was asking for another officer before he really knew what the work was.— Rev. J. Price Hear, hear.—The Chairman main- tained that if the members were looking at it from a financial point of view, even then b the board would be gainers, as regular attendance meant in- creased revenue. Certainly he would not recom- mend that the additional officer's salary should be more than £ <>0.—Mr. E. F. Blackmore thought it was premature to appoint another officer, as the new one had only just entered on his duties, and consequently hardly knew what the work was. He also pointed out that as a board they had only just raised the position from that of £ 25 for a person who only devoted part of his time to the work. to a salary of £ §0 to a person who devoted the whole of his time to the duties. He thought it would be well for them to wait six months at least, and see how matters worked in the meantime. As a mat- ter of fact they did not really know yet what one man could do. He did not believe even now that they would have accommodation for all the child- ren of school age in the district, and whose absence they would have to wink at because there would be no room.—Dr. O'Donnell said the manner in which the work had been done, and the way in which the work was to be done. would admit of no comparison. — The Chairman agreed, and said that practically the work had not yet been done at all.—Mr. Blackmore pointed out that the census of the children which Mr. Seig was preparing would be done by the end of January, so that he would then be enabled to devote his time to the school attendance work.—The Chair- man If the Board does its duty, every child in that census ought to be hunted up properly and continually. It means an immense amount of clerical work if it is to be done as it should be. I say that we are going to make money by ap- pointing another attendance omcer,—Eventually it was decided, on the motion of the Rev. J. Price. seconded by Mr. 0. Jenkins, to defer further con- sideration of the question until the census is com- pleted. The following applied for the vacancy of caretakers for the Holton-road Schools Mr and Mrs. Wilson, 38, High-street, Barry and Mr. and Mrs. J. Diamond, Barry-road, Cadoxton. The former couple were unanimously appointed.- After a long discussion, in the course of which all the members present joined, it was unanimously decided to accede to the request of a deputation of ministers which waited upon the Board at their previous meeting, to allow a thoroughly qualified lecturer from the Sunday School Union to address the children after school hours on the physiologi- cal aspect of temperance. Attendance at the lectures on the part of the children will be purely optional.—Mr. A. Seig, the school attendance officer. reported on the progress of his census work as follows :—Number of families in 638 houses (where there were children). 702 children under three years of age, 545 children between three &nd 13 years, 1,234 total children, 1,779; number of children not attending school between three and five years, 229 between three and 13, 274 total, 503 number of houses empty and approach- ing completion, 275. Mr. Seig asked whether he was to continue with the census, or proceed with some of the attendance work, and said the amount of work was simply bewildering. if it had to be done.-The Chairman, in corroborating this, said the district was a most exceptional one some of the members seemed not to grasp that fact.—Mr. Price moved that the census be proceeded with. and that visiting for the present be done by Mr. Grimths.—Mr. Blackmore seconded, and it was agreed to.—Mr. Blackmore drew attention to the report of an interview with Mr. Seig. which had appeared in a contemporary, and in which the attendance officer had said that he strongly denounced the practice on the part of masters in many districts in replacing backward pupils in standards which they had already passed in. and said he had known of many cases in which children had thus been examined two or three times in succession in the same standards. This system, he urged, was decidedly injurious, for it -only meant the maintenance of the personal repu- tation and interests of the teachers at the expense of the education of the children, and he hoped the practice would never be introduced into the Barry and Cadoxton district." He (Mr. Blackmore) de- sired to ask if that was a correct report, and if so, whether Mr. Seig had any particular reason for making the remark he did. For his part he thought p I the words used were ill-advised. Mr. Seig had just come into the district, and he did not yet know the teachers. Either it was entirely irrele- vant matter or it could very fairly be taken as a sort of covert warning. It was quite possible that some persons reading it might think that the Board's teachers had been adopting unfair measures. -The Chairman said he did not think so.—Mr. Seig, who said he did not know that what he had said to the reporter was to have been put in the paper, said the matter had arisen in conversaion because that very week, in the South Wales Star, a report had appeared to the effect that the Ystrad School Board had been compelled to condemn certain teachers be- cause they had done so. The conversation was most casual, and he did not think that it was going into print.—The matter shortly afterwards dropped.—The Architect (Mr. G. Thomas) reported that the Holton-road new schools wouU be ready for opening by the 11th inst.-It was decided to circulate handbills letting the parents know that the sehools would be opened, and announcing that the schools would be open for inspection between two and four o'clock on Saturday afternoon noxt. —Mr. Blackmore and the Rev. J. Price were deputed to formulate a scheme for the religious examinations in the schools at Easter.—A couple of clocks for the Holton-road schools were ordered to be obtained from Mr. F. J. Greener. Vere-street. Cadoxton.—The following cheques were ordered to be paid :—Mr. W. Symonds. on account of the Holton schools contract, £ 1,000 Messrs. Seward and Thomas, on account of architects' commission, £ 200 Messrs. J. Phillips and Co., Cadoxton, iron- mongery, £ 4 7s. 8d.—Thi; was the principal business.

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