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THE NEW EDUCATION CODE.

HOW TO GET CHILDREN TO SCHOOL.

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HOW TO GET CHILDREN TO SCHOOL. AT the Board of Education the other day, the Duke of DEVONSHIRE, with Sir JOHN GoRST and Sir GEORGE KEKEWICH, received a deputation from the National Union of Teachers, who drew attention to the serious irregularity of attendance in public ele- mentary schools. fr. MARSHALL JACKMAN pointed out that about 15 per cent. of the children were "regular irregulars," and he suggested that inspectors should be appointed t,9 to see that local authorities did their duty. Dr.. T. J. MACNAMARA said that, roughly speaking, one-fifth of the pupils attended atrociously, and he thought compulsion should be concentrated on thriftless, drunken parents, whose children, who needed the schools most, and for whom they were intended, got the least benefit from them. The Duke said the proportion of children who stayed away from school for avoidable causes was one in 16. The Bill now before the House proposed some alterations in the direction recommended by the deputation, and he trusted that nothing would prevent that Bill being passed into law. The Department would also urge its inspectors to do all in their power to impress upon the authorities-school attendance committees, magistrates, and others—that the law should be more carefully and strictly administered than it appeared to have been in the past. He trusted that the publicity given to the question would stimulate the interest, not only of com- mittees and magistrates,, but also of the parents. The children who were sytematic- ally irregular were not the only sufferers. Their school-fellows suffered from the impaired discipline and efficiency of the schools. When children who had been absent did come to school, the masters were unwilling to send them into a lower class- which was what he thought they ought to do-from dread of the active hostility of parents, who did not like the children retarded in their progress towards the standard admitting of exemption from compulsory attendance. So the regular attendants at school were kept waiting until the irregular attendants caught up to them, and therefore the parents of the former were among the sufferers. A great many small offences against the law-pretty thefts, larcenies, rowdyism, etc.—were kept in eheck far more by the influence of public opinion than by the action of policemen and magistrates. Respectable people perceived that they themselves were interested in discountenancing and suppressing the wrong-doing. But the parent who sent his children regularly to school, remarked, when he saw that his neighbour was doing the reverse, Well, it is his affair and has nothing to do with me." That was a great mistake. The conscientious parent was directly interested, and it was most desirable he should realise that, because he could in many ways bring to bear an influence which would directly diminish irregular attendance, and strengthan the hands of the authorities whose duty it was to check it. It is to be hoped that one effect of the deputation and the Duke's remarks will be to stimulate the interest, not only of magistrates and school attendance Committees, but of the parents themselves in this important question. {

DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.

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