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- PONTYPRIDD COUNTY SCHOOL.

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PONTYPRIDD COUNTY SCHOOL. GOVERNORS DIVIDED. ON THE SUBJECT OF CO-EDUCATION. PROS. AND CONS. OF A KNOTTY QUESTION. Mr James Roberts (chairman) presiding), a Opeciul meeting of the Governors of the Ponty- Pridd County School was held on Friday even- ing. when the attendance included Mrs Roberts- dosser, Rev T. Richards, Messrs James Rich- ards, H. S. Davies, William Jones, and W. R. Davies, with the clerk, Mr John Phillips, and the prineipal, Mr Rhvs Morgan, M.A. ACCOUNTS NOT AUDITED. Councillor W. R. Davies enquired if there was any system of audit in connection with the scheme. The Clerk: It is entirely in the hands of the Governors to appoint an auditor. Mr W. R. Davies: It is an extraordinary thing no provision was made for it. I think the County Governing Body should take it up, and that the audit should be made by them rather than the Governors audit tiheir own accounts. Councillor H. S. Davies: I quite agree, provi- ded each school will submit. There is no power to make them. Mr W. R. Davies: I cannot conceive of any Governors not desiring it. The Chairman: Oh, yes, some may be desir- ous of doing it with auditors of their own. I quite agree with you that there would be no harm in writing to suggest that we would be glad if they would appoint au auditor, that we would be willing to accept the auditor appointed by the County Governing Body ,and that they pay him or else we pay our own. (Laughter). Mr H. S. Davies: No doubt you will be re- quired to contribute a fee towards an auditor. Mr W. R. Davies: That would be perfectly fair. On the motion of Mr W. Jones, seconded by W. R. Davies, it was decided to ask the bounty Governing Body to appoint an auditor, the question of fee being left in abeyance. FINANCE. Prom the report of the Finance Committee, t appeared that the Governors' bank-books dis- fik>ged a credit balance of £ 601 5s 7d. OPEN SCHOLARSHIPS. The Principal, in his report, referred to the OrxjSti°n Scholarships. The Standing £ er Committee of the Technical Instruction *or County, he said, met the pose maS^rs ™ Cardiff on July 27th for the pur- discussing the best means of awarding Scholarships in the various schools. The Conference recommended that most of the ScholarshipS should be awarded, according to Section 94, on the result of the Central Board Examination, and that a general examination be held throughout the county for the awarding of the remainder, but that for the present year all the scholarships he awarded on the result of the Central Board examination. LANGUAGE MASTER. Mr Rhys Morgan reported that Mr A. E. L. Bud son, B.A. (Oxon.), had been appointed teacher of modern languages. tolSS LILY RICHARDS AND HER PUPILS. Mr Morgan also stated that seven pupils- „Ve 8an<i two boys—were presented- in July or the examination of the Joint Board of the Itoyal Academy of Music and the Royal College "Of London. Two were presented for the ele- certificate and five for the junior. AH t«ache" examiner complimented their jo themselves upon the very satisfac- Way jn had gone through tiheir work, Several members expressed their satisfaction results attained. PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT. Ithys Morgan asked that the Clerk might be Greeted to pay thv, sum of C3, the governors' Proportion for the use of the cricket field at nysangharad, and this was agreed to. The Chairman: Is it not possible to rent a touPle of acres for the boys. Mr Morgan: It would be desirable to get something for cricket and football combined. last year we got a football field for 21, out the farmer could not let it during the summer Season. The Chairman It would be very nice to secure a couple of acres for the boys. Mr H. S. Davies: The Porth School has been granted three acres, for fifteen shillings an acre, by Colonel Turberville. Mr Richards: The great difficulty is to gti Convenient land. Mr H. S. Davies enquired if there was not a clear piece in the Lan wootT. Mr Morgan replied that the best open piece to he found there would cost a great deal to lay out for cricket. Mr Roberts: Don't you think they would take to quoits? Mr Morgan: They ihave not done so yet. Mr Roberts: It would be splendid exercise for them. We could easily get ground for that. Mrs Roberts-Rosser: Croquet is quite a scien- tific game now; ft is played differently to what it was. The Chairman: Boys would require something more lively to develop their muscles. The matter was left in abeyance. DINING-ROOM AND GYMNASIUM. Plans were submitted, and the proposed ex- tensions to the school buildings in the way of a dining-room and a gymmsium. The Chairman: We were anxious to get the County Technical Committee to consider, at their meeting last week, our application in refer- ence to additional buildings here, but we were not fortified with plans. Attention was called to the fact that it was useless Mr H. S. Davies rising up at that meeting in support of our ap- plication oxiless the plana were there to assist him, so I took upon myself to ask Mr Evans hurriedly to get up those plans, so that the ques- tion now has been properly put before the com- I mittee, and I gather from tDe tiress that a sub- committee will visit the place to see the site. In reply to questions put him, Mr H. S. Da- vies stated what transpired at the meeting in reference to the application, and it appeared that Mr Oliver Jones had objected to the pro- posed dining-room, and had argued that ihe scholars could dine in the class-rooms. Another objection ma3e to the dining-room was that no provision was shewn for dividing the room, one part for the boys and the other for the girls. Mr Roberts: That could easily be made. The architect said the rooms had been so arranged as to permit of a partition being erected. Mr Roberts: I hope you will make it so that there can't be any peeping-holes, Mr Evans. (Laugher). Mr W. R. Davies: Have dining-rooms in other places been passed? Mr H. S. Davies: Yes, at Neath, Porth, and other places. We had a discussion as to passing Barry and Pontypridd, and I proposed that com- mittees be sent to each place to see the plans before passing them. Mr Jones objected, and because he lost he is going to bring the matter before the County Council. He wanted to pass Barry, but did not seem to agree to Pontypridd. Mr W. R. Davies: If the principle of a dining- room has been adopted in other schools, there is no earthly reason why we should give it up here, MIXED CLASSES. One of the chief items on the agenda, and a matter which gave rise to a very lengthy dis- cussion, was the iProposal to florm "mixed" classes, in which girls and boys would be taught together. For the information of the Governors the Clerk submitted a return shewing the nature of replies on the subject received from other intermediate schools. He had written to the clerks of a large number of schools asking "Are the scholars in your school taught in mixed classes?" And "Does the system prove satis- factory for teaching?" Out of 33 replies re. ceived, it appeared that in 2alkhools the classes were nearly all mixed, and the system proved satisfactory; in the remaining eight cases the system was not in vogue. Replying to STr W. R. Davies, the Clerk said these replies had not been received from the beadmasters, but the Clerks in every case. On being asked to "state his case" in support of fhe proposed change, Mr Rhys Morgan said: I know this matter has been before the country for some time, and is a very important one in Wales. I know, also, you are anxious to do the very best for the school, as I am myself. Therefore, I have not said a word to any of you about the evidence I had to bring before you, wishing it to be dis- cussed fairly and squarely and on its merits. I think the best thing I can do is to draw your notice first of all to the result of the Commis- sion on Secondary Education which was sum- moned for 1894. That committee met 45 times, and their sittings lasted for about a year and a half. It was made up of some of the most dis- tinguished and even-headed educationists of the day, seventeen in number, among them being Professor ebb and Claverhouse. They had various ways of ascertaining facts, and I pro- pose reading you some of the testimonies of the witnesses called, some from America, some from this country, and some from parts of Europe. Proceeding, Mr Morgan read extracts from the evidence of a large batch of witnesses, starting with those from America, all of whom spoke in unequivocal terms in favour of co-education. He was reading the evidence of Mrs Lucy M. Sal- mon, New York, when Mrs Rosser interposed with: Would it not be better to take the question on its merits? Why go to America for opinions? We are far in ad- vance of America in education. Mr Morgan: Oh, no, we are not. After finishing with the American witnesses, Mr Morgan read from the evidence of English educationists, all of whom favoured co-education, and then read the summary written by the Com- missioners, which shewed that the evidence ad- duced proved that th/b co-education system "worked well" throughout the country. He also quoted the opinion of the Master of Balliol and an article from the "Review of Reviews" strong- ly in favour of the system. Continuing, the speaker said: I do not wish to have mixed classes throughout the school at present. Not that I am not an advocate of mixed classes throughout, but perhaps it is wiser not to have so violent a change brought about at once. I I only propose we should have a senior class, which is really a class preparatory for matricu- lation, and the class preparatory for that. That r would be the two upper forms. At present there are some girls in advance and about eight or ten boys on a level with them. The object is to mix the classes where the boys and girls are likely to stay long enough for matriculation or some standard of reputation as scholars. The mixing of the lower forms I leave for the pre- sent. MRS ROBERTS-ROSSER WANTS TO SEPARATE THE SEXES. Mrs Roberts-Rosser expressed herself as being strongly opposed to the proposed change, and in the course of her remarks said:- (1) This school will better suit the needs of the neighbourhood if the boys and girls are taught separately, than if the classes are mixed. Pontypridd is an important centre, and a mining district, therefore it should most certainly have a separate school for the girls in the very near future. Smaller places than Pontypridd have already their Intermediate Schools for girls. I will mention a few places close to us: Penarth, Cowbridge, Gelligaer, Newport, Cardiff, and Abertravenny. The dual school system is only suitable in thinly populated districts, where the funds are low, and the number of pupils small. (2) It is argued, as a reason for mixing the classes, that the presence of the girls has a refin- ing influence on the boys, but we must bear in mind that the presence of the boys has a ten- dency to do away with the modesty and gentle- ness of the girls, and especially so at the critical age of 11 to 17, at which they attend these schools. They are really neither girls nor women, but of that particular age when they need the influence and guidance of a superior and well cultured woman. Were the students older or younger, and the boys drawn from ex- emplary homes, there would not be so much ob. jection. But these schools are open to any boy, whatever his bringing up, and (home influence may be, who is able to pay the requisite fees or else gain a scholarship or bursary. Many parents not sufficiently well to do to pay the fees charged at private adventure schools,would only be too glad to avail themselves of these schools in order to educate their children. Parents whose children have a careful and refined bring- ing up. Then, there are others, who would choose sending them here because of superior educational advantages, but if the classes are mixed, they would certainly hesitate to seize the opportunity. I am not speaking from prejudice against mixed classes, but from experience. I have been engaged in teaching in an agricultural neighbourhood and in a town, and also in a manufacturing district, and my objections are founded upon what I actually saw and heard from the boys and girls in those respective schools. I may say, too, I speak of voluntary schools, and they were mixed owing to want of funds to carry them on the other way. We all know there is a tendency just now to experi. ment with mixed classes, but surely the moral tone of the school should not be sacrified in order to make experiments. Besides, what in- ducement is there for girls to go in for degrees and superior training if they are incapable of teaching their own sex, without the supervision of the masters. We shall have nothing to offer 'hese capable mistresses who are now taking their training, but subordinate positions, if all schools are conducted on mixed lines. They will be nothing but drudges at the bottom of the schools. Besides, no woman in the capacity of an assistant can wield the same influence over the girls as she could as their head; neither do girls feel they have a mistress when the latter I only holds an assistantship—her influence on the girls is entirely lost. I may mention cook- ery, laundry work, needlework, and domestic economy, drill, and card board modelling, etc., The teaching of these subjects to the girls, if the classes are mixed, would entail the breaking up of the classes, and so interfere with the dis- cipline of the school. As I have already said, I see no reason at all for mixed classes, but in rural districts, when the expense of maintenance and the smallness of the number of pupils are to be considered, The best way to judge of the right of this question is to put it to ourselves. Would we like our little girls to sit side by side with the roughest boy which might succeed to an entrance here? Personally, I would not entertain the idea for a moment; therefore, I will certainly not vote for placing anybody else's little girl in a position I could not place my own child. I see from the papers that the Merthyr headmaster has brought up the same subject, but not one of the governors there proposed it. I trust, gentlemen, that you will make a like stand here, and bear in mind that the moral tone of the school is at stake. I will now quote the opinion of an expert on the subject. In quest of further light on the question of co-education, a question now much to the fore, a representative of the "South Wales Daily News" has been favoured with an instructive interview dealing with some of the chief aspects of the problem by Miss E. P. Hughes, M.A., Principal of the Cambridge Training College. Miss Hughes was seen at Barry, where she is paying a visit to her brother, and is varying social enjoyments with interesting addresses on educational matters having a special valuj for Wales. Affirming, in reply to the reporter's first in- quiry, a strong belief in the value of "mixed education," Miss Hughes declared the ADVANTAGES resulting from the system, when the conditions were favourable, to be enormous. "Men and women teachers" (she continued) '"look at every- thing from a slightly different standpoint, and I think therefore it is most educative to girls and boys to have both standpoints brought be- fore them. As a result of this I think the boys would gain as much as the girls, but at first the girls would be chiefly advantaged. I consider it an incalculable advantage to the children to be educated together; they learn a good deal from one another. When, however, people discuss mixed education they so often forget, I think,the two parts of it-the mixed staff and the mixed classes. It is important to have both." "It is the absence of both, is it not, in our Welsh Intermediate schools that has led you to appeal for a modification of the system in the schools named?" MISS HUGHES'S POSITION. "My position is this: I believe thoroughly in mixed education. I think it is altogether good; but you cannot consider any system of the kind apart from the conditions under which it is carried out. The system has been adopted too abruptly in our Intermediate schools, which have suffered in consequence." "Dealing for the moment with the general advantages of co-education, apart from its operation in Welsh Intermediate schools, what do you consider to be the chief arguments to be advanced in favour of it?" "I think it is a tremendous advantage that men and women, who have to live together and work together, should learn to live together and work together in school as children. A male teacher has a great many advantages which the woman teacher does not at present possess, and he can, dosome things better than we can, and h3 ac ndo some things better than we can, and it would be a distinct gain to the girls to have the man's point of view introduced. I think that girls are inclined to overwork; I don't think they take so much interest in games as boys, and the freer life the boys have lived will teach them in mixed classes some things girls should learn through them. In America a woman realises for the first time in her life that she is not placed at a disadvantage because she is a woman, and in that free country where practically everything is open to men and women alike, and women have much more freedom than they have here, I believe mixed education has teen introduced with excellent results.Perhaps I slould add that in some of the most prosperous and richer communities in the States there is a reaction against the system, but I do not think the reaction is likely to last long or spread wide. In the case of Finland I have just heard from a lady in that country, a daughter of one of the political leaders, the question of mixed education having of late been much discussed there; and she says: —'Each mixed school has a head-master and a headmistress, neither of them being super- ior or subordinate onfe to the other. They share all power and all responsibility equally. Of course, there must be a distribution of work be- tween them, but I think that is decided by voluntary agreement. AU dasses, except the gymnastic class, are mixed, and the system seems to work well.' That lady is not a teacher herself, but in answer to an inquiry she has focussed public opinion and reproduced it in her letter to me." THE CO-EDUCATION OF PUPIL TEACHERS. "Do you not think that the system could be best introduced in this country by the co-educa- tion first of all of your pupil teachers?" "That is a point I should like to speak on. I was appointed a member on the Departmental Committee that considered the question of pupil teachers, and the point you have raised was very much discussed among us. My own opin- ion is that in some cases the conditions are not favourable. It seems, for instance, undesirable, after boys and girls have been brought up in separate schools "until they are 13 or 14 years of age, to abruptly introduce the principle of co-education, unless under careful supervision. But a mixed staff, even in the respect under no- tice, is desirable, and one of the mistakes of our system of pupil teachers' centres is that of the insufficient number of women teachers." "To be effective, therefore, the system must first of all prevail in our ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS?" "We are ripe for mixed education there, and its presence in our elementary schools shhould precede its introduction to the secondary schools There is, in the first place very little difference between elementary schools for boys and girls; and, secondly, the education and training of men and women teachers for service in elementary schools is almost identical." "While believing in co-education under proper environments, you are of opinion, however, that it has been too suddenly adopted in our Inter- mediate schools?" THE SYSTEM IN INTERMEDIATE SCHOOLS. "That is my position. I have visited many of the schools, and I know some of the teachers and the children, as well as governors; and from wfcat I have gathered I am certainly of opinion that in many of the schools girls are at present receiving a less efficient education because the mixed system has been abruptly introduced. In our dual schools the head teacher appointed has been in every case a man, and the same fact ob- tains in Deference to the mixed schools, and, as a rule, he knows practically nothing about girls' education. In elementary education in Wales and England there is very little difference be- tween the education of girls and boys, but the difference in England between the secondary education of boys and girls is very marked in- deed." You believe that for a time we should go back, in respect of our inter-colleges, to separate classes?" "Having regard to the difficulties that have arisen, and will arise, I think the only plan at present is to RETURN TO SEPARATE SCHOOLS. I would however permit the headmaster and headmistress to introduce the mixed system tentatively whenever both agreed that a favour- able opportunity had arrived. It has been said that Mr Owen, the inspector of the Welsh Inter- mediate schools, has approved of the mixed edu- cation carried on, believing that it has an ad- vantage in every case. I do not knew whether it is Mr Owen's opinion. Even if it is, it does not alter my point. I know Mr Owen; but 1 do not think he has ever studied girls' education in England; and it is exceedingly likely he does not know much about it." "Do the schemes in the various counties per- mit of a tentative adopfion of co-education de- termined by arrangement between the head teachers?" "No, they do not; but they can, I believe, be changed. First of all, the local governors have to agree on the matter, and then it is sent on to the County Governing Body, who have power to petition the Charity Commissioners to sanc- tion the required changes, and tmdee the circum- stances they would probably give ft." "You object, do you not, to mixed education In our intermediate schools for the present, because the MALE AND FEMALE TEACHERS have not an equal chance?" "In appointing teachers, regard haS to be paid not only to academical distinction, but to teach- ing experience and power of personality, and I think that in the majority of cases the male applicant would be appointed. As a matter of fact, however, our dual schools have grown up to be something contrary to what was expected. We meant fwo separate schools in one building, with a headmaster and a headmistress, using a common rooin and a common library, and inter- changing members of their staff, and if they thought fit, mixing any of the classes as was considered advisable. The Charity Commission- ers, however, insisted on a single head, who of course was a man; and he takes the fees and all power has practically passed into his hands. Th", working of this arrangement has, t under- sand, given rise 'to a great feeling of discontent amcng many of the parents. Some of the child. ren have been already withdrawn and sent to schools in England, parents feeling that WOMAN'S INFLUENCE IN OUR INTER- MEDIATE SCHOOLS is not strong enough. Another difficulty has been that a considerable number of teachers in our intermediate schools have come from the elementary schools, having taken their degrees after leaving. I am a tremendous democrat, and I haven't one atom of feeling against the elementary teacher as such. In fact, I belong to the N.U.T., but I do think it a pity, now that we are starting our secondary education in Wales, that we should have a considerable con- tingent of elementary teachers appointed to ser- vice in these schools, because their ideals and traditions are not exactly the same AS those of secondary teachers in England. I am afraid there is no chance that a good English teacher from a girls' high school in England will come to our Welsh Intermediate schools for girls, for she will be placed in a subordinate position to a man, who probably knows nothing about girls' secondary education, and sometimes not much of secondary education for boys in England. Some of the enthusists have therefore lost heart, but we are merely PASSING THOUGH A CRISIS, and I don't despair at all. Proceeding, Miss Hughes remarked, "It is an almost invariable rule in Scotland also to have a man at the head, and the result is that their secondary schools for girls at the present mo- meat are not to be compared with the secondary schools for girls in England. Good Scotch- women teachers are continually coming to Eng- land because they say tnere is no opening for them in Scotland, which has been an advantage to England and Wales, but a dead loss to Scot- land; and I am hoping that the bright young Welsh girls who are taking their degrees in our Welsh University Colleges won't feel that they must go over to England to teach because there is no chance for them to obtain a headmistress- ship in Wales." Having thinked Miss Hughes for so full an expression of opinion, the representative with drew. Mr Morgan: Mrs Rosser speaks of two heads. I recognise there is a difficulty in having a head- mistress. Miss Evans and I have polled to- gether wonderfully well, and I think she bears testimony to the fact that her freedom is greater than that of any head in the county. In the event of the proposal being adopted the per- sonal supervision of the girls would still be in the hands of the headmistress. Miss Hughes throws her case away completely; she is as illogical as she is eloquent. (Laughter). Her great point is that she is an enthusiast for mixed education, but her greater point is that if it became general the headmistresses would have no room to get positions. After &,long argument as to the fairness or unfairness of qualified women teachers being put in positions subservient to men, Mr H. S. Davies said: This is mixing two questions. The question of the headship of the school is not to be discussed now, but the ques- tion is: Which is the better for the children, whether to be mixed or not? The matter was again discussed at great length, and Mrs "Rosser proposed as an amend- ment that the matter be first of all submitted to the parents. Mr James Richards said that while he entirely agreed with Mrs Rosser's arguments against the suggested change, he thought that the, Governors should be able to arrive at a decision without reference to the parents, He could not, there- fore, support the amendment. On being put to the meeting, the proposal was carried, there voting in its favour the Rev T. Richards, Mr H. S. Davies, Mr W. Jones, and Mr W. R. Davies-four. There were against the motion Mrs Rosser, Mr Roberts, and Mr Richards—three. The resolution was therefore adopted.

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