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CARDIFF SCHOOL BOARD. A Question of Grants. A monthly meeting of the above body was held at the Town-hall on Thursday, Mr Lewis Williams presiding, and there being also present the Revs. C. J. Thompson, Vincent Sanlez, G. A. Jones; Messrs J. Cory, J. Gunn, T. Rees; and Drs Edwards and Wallace. GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE SCHOOL GRANTS. The report of this committee stated that in the last Government schedule of grant to Severn-road board school a sum of J695 3s was shown to have been deducted from the gross grant earned by the school under article 114 of the new code. In calculating last month the 2-5ths payable to the teachers, the sum withheld by the Government was, with the sanction of this committee, first de- ducted, and the teachers were paid 2-5ths of the residue only. The committee, on re-consideration, were of opinion that it would not be fair to the teachers who had worked well during the year, and obtained the "excellent" grant, to subject them to a loss for which they were not responsible, and it was therefore resolved to recommend that they should receive two-fifths of the full grant. Applications from candidates to fill vacancies of the teachers were examined, and it was resolved to invite the following to attend the board meeting :—Wm. George Powell (Bargoed), Samuel Davies (Fochriw), Wm. James Hole (Canton), Dan Burn (Roath), James Davies (Blaina), and J. D. K. C. Davies (Cwmavon).-A letter, dated 19th December, from the Great Western Railway Company, was read. The company ask the board to sell them a small corner of the Wood-street playground, about 24! square yards in extent, for the purpose of improving at the turn a new road proposed to be made from the bridge at the end of Wood-street to the railway station.— It was resolved to recommend the board to com- ply with this request. In consequence of objec- tions made by residents and owners of property in Romilly-road to the proposed site, the com- mittee agreed to recommend the board to adopt another site in Pembroke-road, or near thereto, subject, however, to the following conditions :— That the owners consent to sell without a provi- sional order, and that all necessary roads and sewers be first made. After seeing the candidates for the vacant teacherships, the board appointed the following: Messrs Powell, Hole, J. Davies, and J. D. K. C. Davies. The report of the committee was adopted. TH HIGHER GRADE SCHOOL. The higher grade school committee suggested in a report that the following should be subjects of instruction in the higher grade school:—Boys chemistry, mechanics, animal physiology, physics, (i) sound, light, and heat, (ii) magnetism and elec- tricity girls botany, animal physiology, and domestic economy. The CHAIRMAN mentioned, with respect to the opening of the school by Mr Mundella, that he had received a letter from Lord Aberdare, whose guest the right hon. gentleman would be, stating that Mr iVIundella would visit Cardiff on Tues day, the 13th inst., to open the school in the afternoon, and address a public meeting in the Public hall. Queen street, in the evening. Intimations of the exact time at which the ceremony would take place—ne thought about 2,50-would be sent out, and he hopud all the members of the board would attend. The opening of the school, he thought, would be formal, and that Mr Mundella would reserve him- self for the evening. The Mayor was very anxious that the town should show its appreciation of Mr Mundelln's efforts on behalf of education, and he had decided to give a banquet on Wednesday afternoon, to which members of the school board were co be invited. The report was adopted. SCHOOL GRANTS. f The Rev. C. J. THOMPSON, in accordance with notice, called attention to the 114th clause of the new code of the Education Act, which he called a fining clause. A school might earn a large grant as the result of good management and great efficiency on the part of its teachers, but ac- cording to this clause the grant must not exceed the greater of two definite amounts. One was the capitation giant of 17s 6d on the average attendance. If the grant made by a school was in excess of that, then it was knocked off, but there was a saving' clause-that if the income of the school, minus the grant received, was equal in amount to, or greater than, the amount earned, then the whole grant might be received. This pressed very hard on all schools, he said. The Severu-road School had been mulcted, after the last inspection, in a sum of £ 95 on the grant earned, the result of which was a loss to the management of the school whilst it led to some- thing like a misunderstanding between the board and its teachers. Inasmuch as the government grant was intended to encourage good work in a school, and to support the school every school, he contended was entitled to the full amount of what it earned. The clause seemed to him to put a premium upon inefficiency, extravagant expenditure, and acted as a dis- couragement. He moved This board present a memorial to the Education Department setting forth tha hardships resulting from the operation of clause 114- of the new code, aud praying for its repeal or such a modification of its existing pro- visions as will allow an efficient school to receive in full the grant it earns in examination." The CHAIRMAN asked Mr Thompson whether it would not serve his purpose to oppose that motion upon the effect of the change on the Severn-road school. Mr THOMAS REES, who seconded Mr Thomp- son's motion, felt very strongly on this matter, and thought the arrangement imposed by the clause most unwarranted. There was one satis- iaction, and that was that the Education Act as well as the code were tentative in their character, and he thought that possibly a. strung representation as to the injustice and impolicy of the clause might lead to its alteration. It was quite out of harmony with the Education Act aud its intention. It was not a pleasant thing bv any means for a board or school management to contemplate earning £ 1 Os lOd for every pupil presented, and then to receive only 17s 6d. He regarded it, in tue words of Mr Thompson, as putting a premium UDon inefficient teaching. The CHAIRMAN thought Mr Thompson would recollect that there was a discussion in the House on this clause, and that the idea was to maintain and increase the efficiency of the schools. He thought it was a part of the compact made when Air Gladstone was asked to give an extra 25 per cent. to the voluntary schools. He knew it was shown at that time that the clause was a safeguard, and referred principally to the voluntary schools. The cJau\e had come into force since the voluntary schools obtained an increase of 25 per cent., and the view then taken by the education advisers in the House was that without such a clause many of the schools would be dependent solely upon the children's pence, and what could be got from the Government grant, and that unless there \Va, a qualification such as this, efforts would not be made by managers of the so-called voluntary schools to get up subscriptions. As far as they were concerned lie thought the reason course taken with respect to the Severn-roadB School was indicated clearly it they referred to the Government Inspector's report upon it last year aud this. It seated last year. The staff would bear strengthening Tt frirf s ,i the boys' school. This year the There have been vacancies m the staff were not promptly and propedy filled up. was (the chairman) took it that the IHth clause was intended to keep up the efficiency of the Js' the department thought that otherwis might secure the grant by merely Reaching tue three B's. He again suggested thau J sou should deal with the Severn-road bcnooi o ltSMr RKES thought the remarks of the chairman called for nis attention, as those which referred. to the staff at Severn-road School reflected upon hUD. The CHAIRMAN It is not a reflection upon y°Mr GUNN said it would not be creditable to them as a board, and it would not be justice to the ratepayers to punish people who had worked so admirably as the Severn-road teachers, There might be cases in which it was necessary to keep the teaching staff up to a standard of efficiency by such a clause as this, but in the present case the circumstances were wholly, different, if Mr Thompson would confine his resolution to the particular case of the Severn-road School he would support it, but he thought it would be r ith°r cut of the province of the ooard to expre. an opinion upon the working of the clause else- where, as they were not familiar with it. Mr REES said Mr Greig's school was referred to as being somewhat understaffed. According to the inspector's report, he found there was an average attendance of 297 boys there were occa- sionally to be found in tnat school about 305 boys possibly. Now, so long as the board provided a staff which the department demanded as a mum, what could the department say ? He, prepared to say tha* the board had gone a, i way beyond this. He gave particulars of 0 teaching staff, and said that 360 boys were pro- vided for, which was a long way oe- yond the Education Department minimum Then why should they be charged with keeping a low staff? 'With respect to tue girl's school be granted that there might have been times when the staff hinged on the minimum, but it could not be helped when teacners were ill and stayed away. Teachers were not kept 011 a shelf labelled and ready for us\ Aotwithstand- ing all this, charges oucu j-k brought in the inspector's report were more. He said they were all nonsense, and that they were made by men who wanted to justify their existence. In the course of some other remarks, it was mentioned that the Severn-road School was the most successful in Wales, it having passed 100 per cent., and obtained the highest possible errant. The Rev. C. J. THOMPSON remarked that there were four fining clauses, and that if the Severn- road Board School had been fined for inefficiency of the staff, it would have been fined, not under clause 114, but under another clause, and, there- fore, the remarks of the chairman with respect to the inspector's report did not apply. After some other discussion, and an amend- ment having been proposed by the chairman and duly seconded by Mr Gunn, the Rev. C. J, Thompson so altered his resolution as to meet the views of the proposer of the amendment, and the resolution which was adopted-read as follows "This board having hadjbefore it the last report on the Severn-road School (according to which that school suffers a deduction of £ 951 and clause 114- of the code, and having considered the question generally, present a memorial to the Education Department setting forth the hardships resulting from such clause, and praying either for its repeal or for such a modification of its existing provisions as will allow an efficient school to receive in full tbo grant it earns in examination.' IV There was no other business of public interest.