United Schools Committee, 1874-87

As the result of the arguments about the Infants School in 1871-73, a new committee was formed to oversee all the schools (Infants, Girls and Boys) operating under the Education Act. This was to avoid the creation of a school board funded from the rates. Regular reports from the committee were published in early 1874, and some are given below. The Bicester Herald was a Liberal paper and sometimes reported things differently from the others, probably with material supplied by W.H. French (the probably identity of "Pro Bono Publico" in 1877). The Buckingham Express, also Liberal, gave a very full account of the first meeting in 1877.

Bucks Herald, 10 Jan

  A public meeting was held on the New Infants’ School-room on Friday week, to take into consideration the best means of carrying on the present schools of the town.  The meeting was attended by a large number of the tradesmen, and an amount of interest was manifested throughout the proceedings, which at times were very lively.

  The gentlemen present included the Rev. A. M. Preston, (vicar), Sir T. F. Fremantle, T. F. Fremantle, Esq., D. T. Willis, Esq.,  Dr. Newham, Merrick Lowndes, Esq., Mr. James King, Mr. R. W. Jones, Mr. W. H. French, Mr. G. [=E.] Braggins, Mr. J. Woodward, Mr. S. Syratt, Mr. H. Monk, Mr. J. Grace, Mr. J. Hathaway, Mr. W. Neal, Mr. Rand, (of Shipton), Mr. C. Treadwell, Mr. A. Barton, Mr. G. Jennings, Mr. T. Saving, Mr. J. Sear, &c.

  Dr. Newham presided, and in the course of his address said that according to the returns for the parish of Winslow, they were compelled to provide accommodation for 75 infants.  Some parishioners considered the school sufficient, but they were driven to the present enlargement, of which he hoped they would agree upon.  The Vicar had not been thoroughly and heartily supported in this work, and the result was the handing over of the schools to the Education Department.  Now the parishioners had a new room; he must also tell them that a mistress had been engaged, and would attend school duties in the course of ten or twelve days.  He need not tell them of the good Mr. Preston had effected in performing as he had done his duties aright.  Their Vicar had been the means of keeping the school going for many years, and the deficiencies in money which had often arisen were met by him, and their thanks were due to that gentleman.  (Hear, hear).  They now stood as it were at a crisis.  Mr. Preston had come to resign the treasurership of the schools into their hands.  The boys’ and girls’ school was in thorough working order, and a mistress had been engaged for the infants’ school.  The schools, as they were aware, had been carried on by voluntary subscriptions, and it was for them now to consider if that course should be pursued in the future. As to the Government grant, he must tell them the amount received by trustees was in accordance with the amount of voluntary subscriptions.  Supposing £50 was collected as voluntary subscriptions, they would be entitled to £50 from Government.  The committee of the present schools considered it incumbent upon them to do something in connection with the schools, and call all voices into the matter.  They had only two measures before them - one, the carrying on the schools as before by voluntary subscriptions, and the other, the election of a School Board to carry it on for them.  He hoped the trustees would sanction the transfer of the twenty boys, especially on the promise of giving them a thoroughly sound education, and that they might work amicably together, and believe the old proverb “If we help the trustees the trustees will help us.”  The question was: They had £90 to collect; should the present schools be carried on as usual, or go to the alternative of a School Board?

  Mr. Neal proposed, “That the school shall be jointly carried on by a committee with the present trustees added, and that such a committee being elected by the parishioners, shall be answerable for the necessary funds.”
  A long discussion ensued.
  Other resolutions and amendments, all of which tended to the amalgamation of the bodies as one committee, were put and withdrawn.
  The Chairman then put the first resolution to the meeting, which was carried.

  Mr. W. H. French proposed and Mr. Hathaway seconded, “That the committee shall consist of gentlemen, at present serving on the boys’ and girls’ school, and such other names as shall be deemed expedient at this meeting.”
  After further discussion.
  Sir Thomas Fremantle said he came there as a representative of the trustees of the boys’ school, and he was very pleased to see the way in which the tradesmen of Winslow had come forward to support measures concerning the education of the children.  He considered the voluntary system the more preferable of the two, and was glad to see them supporting it.  The only difficulty would be providing sufficient funds, and he thought that of very little importance as they had carried them on for many years.  He would like to say one word with regard to the amalgamation of the trustees and committee.  He did not think that the trustees of the other school should have anything to do in the management of that school.  As one of the trustees of the other schools it was his duty to see that the funds were well expended, and these of course would have to be handed over to the new committee.

  Mr. Monk said he was pleased to see Sir Thomas amongst them.  His offer, which was something like £42 per year, would be very acceptable.

  The proposition of Mr. W. H. French was then put by the chairman and carried.

  The Chairman asked the meeting to nominate gentlemen whom they thought fit to act as committee-men, and the following were proposed, seconded, and elected:- W. Selby Lowndes, Esq., jun., Mr. G. D. E. Wigley, Mr. W. George, Mr. W. H. French, Mr. Silvanus Jones. Mr. James King, Mr. H. Monk, Dr. Newham, Mr. T. P. Willis, Merrick Lowndes, Esq., Mr. Grant King, Thomas Fremantle, Esq., Mr. J. Woodward, Mr. W. Rand, Mr. J. L. French, Mr. J. French, jun., Mr. R. Gibbs, to act together with the present trustees, viz.,- The Vicar and Churchwardens, Messrs. E. W. S. Lowndes, D. T. Willis, S. B. Dudley, Dr. Wynter, G. Maydon, R. W. Jones, A. Barton, and W. Neal.

  Mr. James King proposed, and it was seconded, that Messrs. Willis and Willis be treasurers, and Mr. Grace proposed, and Mr. King seconded, that Dr. Newham be secretary.

  Sir Thomas Fremantle proposed a vote of thanks for the able manner in which Dr. Newham had filled the office of Chairman, which was duly seconded and acknowledged.
  A list of subscriptions received was then read, and the meeting separated.


Bucks Herald, 14 Feb

UNITED SCHOOLS COMMITTEE.

  The managers of the above schools met on Monday, January 19th, at the Bell Inn, and Mr. R. W. Jones was voted to the chair.

  Mr. Silvanus Jones proposed that notice should be given at each meeting of any resolutions to be brought forward; he certainly was surprised that at a meeting called to consider details and expenses such important resolutions should have been hastily passed as were passed at the previous meeting.  Had he known that a resolution excluding the vicar from giving religious instruction in the schools was to be discussed he should have attended.

  Dr. Newham said that notice was given of the different questions which were considered, but on correction from the meeting, he found himself to have been in error.

  The meeting then resolved to grant the use of the room in response to the applications of the Rev. A. M. Preston, Mr. J. L. French, and Mr. Bailey.

  Mr. W. H. French considered that the question which at present had been brought before the managers, it was not in their province to consider.  Their duty was to conduct the schools in the manner most likely to attract the children in large numbers, and to give them the best and most suitable education.  The Infant School had only just been started, and perhaps the managers need not be surprised that only 16 children attended while 70 still went to the Old School, but in the Girls’ School, while 54 names stood on the list, the average attendance had been 36, on that day it had only been 26; 17 girls were absent without leave and 11 with.  This was not satisfactory, and a cause should be found for such a state of things, and a remedy provided.  Some elder girls had just been removed by their parents from the school because the girls had been sent up to be educated with the boys and by the master during the absence of the mistress.  He considered that the managers ought to have been consulted on this point, before so improper a step was taken.

  Dr. Newham said it was only for a day or two.  The mistress left on Thursday on account of her father’s sudden illness, and returned on Saturday.  It was impossible to consult the managers, the time being insufficient.

  Mr. W. H. French found the secretary to be in error.  On Monday the mistress gave notice that she must go home, and she only returned that day (Monday).

  Dr. Newham certainly had not thought the time so long, but he considered Mr. French’s remark amounted to a vote of censure on him, and he thought that they should take that form.

  Mr. W. H. French wished for nothing of the sort, but he considered it high time that the managers returned to their legitimate duty of increasing the efficiency of the schools.

  As no further business could be done that evening on account of the passing of Mr. S. Jones’s proposition, Mr. R. W. Jones gave notice that at the next meeting he should bring forward Mr. Preston’s application to give a Scripture lesson once a week to the boys of the school, when he hoped the committee would recall the determination to forbid the Vicar from instructing the children religiously.

  Mr. W. H. French gave notice of a motion “That this committee at once resume its sittings in the New Infant School.”

  There being no other notices of resolutions the meeting then came to a close. 


[report continues] The managers of the above schools met at the George Inn, on Friday, Jan. 30th, when Mr. Neale was voted to the chair.  The other members present were Messrs. R. W. Jones, T. P. Willis, W. George, S. Jones, Dr. Newham, J. Grace, W. H. French.- Mr. R. W. Jones proposed and Mr. W. H. French seconded, “That the offer of Mr. Preston to give a Scripture lesson to the boys be accepted.”- Carried.

  Mr. W. H. French proposed, and Mr. S. Jones seconded, “That this committee at once resume its sittings at the New Infant School.”  He considered it unseemly that the School board of Winslow should find it necessary to adjourn to a publichouse, and should be glad to see the meetings held at the proper place, the schoolroom.

  Mr. S. Jones seconded the proposition, and thought it unbusiness-like and contrary to the usual plan, for a board to meet at a publichouse, with a schoolroom so near.

  Mr. Neale, as chairman, said that all who came to his house were welcome, and those who chose to stop away were welcome to do so.

  On a show of hands, Messrs. R. W. Jones, W. H. French, and S. Jones supported the proposition, and Mr. Willis, Dr. Newham, Mr. Grace, and Mr. George opposed it.  So the next meeting was fixed for the Bell, and Dr. Newham, taking up Mr. French’s question, of how to increase the efficiency of attendance at the school, suggested that a circular be printed, reminding parents of the impending Agricultural Labour Bill, and calling for the co-operation of all classes in extending the usefulness of the schools.

  Mr. French was glad when he opened this question at the last meeting, to hear Mr. Neale offer a parish document, from which might be obtained the actual number of children in the place.

  Mr. Neal said that the list was in charge of the proper official, who, he doubted not, would be able to give an approximate account of the ages of the different families.

  After a few more words the circular was decided on, and the meeting came to an end.


Bicester Herald, 27 Feb

WINSLOW UNITED SCHOOLS SUB-COMMITTEE

Met on Friday, February 13, at the Bell Hotel, Winslow.  There were present:- Messrs. T. P. Willis, R. W. Jones, W. Neal, J. Grace, W. H. French, Silvanus Jones, W. George, and Dr. Newham.  Mr. W. Neal was appointed Chairman.

  The first business was the signing of agreements between the managers and the master and mistress, who both complained of a report which appeared in the papers to the effect that they had acted improperly in educating boys and girls together.  They considered they had acted in one form, though it was regretted that three valuable scholars had been lost through this action.

  Mr. W. H. French said- The words were mine.  I (not the paper) thought the step an improper one, and I am still of the same opinion.  I am not considering the legal position of the case ; but I consider that the parents showed a high and proper sense of decency in removing elder girls from such a position.  In saying this I make no implication on the master or mistress.

  Mr. Neal said- Mr. W. H. French proposes “That this committee at once resumes its sitting at the New Infant School.”  I think this notice of motion should be ignored.  The thing has so recently been settled that I consider it an act of great disrespect for Mr. French to bring it forward.

  Mr. W. H. French- I shall continue to bring it forward until I have induced a majority of the Board to consent to meet at the proper place, or till I am stopped by an express resolution of the committee.

  Mr. S. Jones- The notice is placed in due form, and I think, as Mr. French can be stopped by a resolution, he should be heard.

  Mr. Neal- But I want to stop him now.

  The meeting resolved that the resolution should be considered.

  Mr. W. H. French- I think we ought to give such a proof of earnestness as is involved in forgoing the comfort of a snug room for the sake of good taste and propriety.  The education question has been raised by legislation to the rank of an imperial one, and is not a thing to be contemptuously thrust aside for discussion in the nearest public-house.  That mode of dealing with the subject may have benefit for the middle of the last century, but not for this.  At the same time, I am not prepared to accept Mr. Neal’s invitation to stay away from these meetings, as given at last meeting.

  Mr. Neal- I gave no such invite.  I said all were welcome to use my room for this purpose.  Those who came to my house were welcome, and those who stayed away were equally welcome to do so.

  Mr. French- I am sorry to have misunderstood Mr. Neal’s words.

  Mr. Neal- You certainly did.  If you, gentlemen, think it best, I will put the resolution to the meeting.

  It was then proposed by Mr. W. H. French, and seconded by Mr. R. W. Jones. “That the committee at once resume its sittings in the New Infant Schools.”  Messrs. W. Jones, S. Jones, and W. H. French were in favour of using the school-room, and Messrs. Grace, Willis, and George, and Dr. Newham against.  The proposition was, consequently, lost.

  It was proposed by Mr. W. H. French, and seconded by Dr. Newham, “That two members of the committee act as visitors of the schools for each month, and that the visits be paid at any time, either morning or afternoon, as may be convenient to the visitors.”  The proposition was carried.

  The following arrangement for the coming four months received the sanctions of the committee, and was ordered to be posted up in the schools:- March- Dr. Newham, Mr. W. Neal; April- Mr. R. W. Jones, Mr. W. H. French; May- Mr. J. Grace, Mr. Silvanus Jones; June- Mr. T. P. Willis, Mr. W. George.

  Mr. Neal- I now propose “That the secretary send to the local papers the official minutes of these meetings,”” and I do so because of an isolated report which I find in a newspaper, which must have been sent by a member of the committee of so partial a character that, while I acquit the gentleman whose name appears most prominently thererin of any intention of self-glorification, I attribute it to the spleen of a disappointed partisan.

  Mr. S. jones- Your remarks seem so pointed, Mr. Neal, that I think you must have an inkling of who sent the report.

  Mr. Neal-  I have not the least idea.

  Mr. French- I shall propose as an amendment, “That reporters be invited to attend.”

  Mr. Neal- You cannot do it.  You can only give notice of such an amendment.

  Dr. Newham- I think that some latitude should be given to the secretary as to which minutes should be sent.

  Mr. W. H. French- I think all previous minutes should be sent, to give a correct idea of their connexion.

  It was proposed by Mr. W. Neal, and seconded by Mr. W. George, “That the official minutes of each meeting of the committee be sent by the secretary to the local papers.”  After some discussion, Mr. Neal’s proposition to publish only future minutes was carried by a majority.

  The committee have issued the following address
“To the inhabitants of the Parish of Winslow:-
WINSLOW UNITED SCHOOLS.
  “The committee of the above schools beg to inform the inhabitants, that schools for the education of boys, girls, and infants are now open under the Elementary Education Act, and with duly certified teachers.
  “The committee are sorry to find that the numbers in attendance at the schools are much below what they ought to be; and they appeal to every ratepayer to use his influence in persuading parents to give a good education to their children.
  “Employers of labour are much interested in this matter under the Agricultural Children’s Act, which comes into operation in January 1875.  By this Act it is ordered that no child whatever to be employed upon the land under the age of eight years.  Between the ages of eight and ten, the child must have registered 250 attendances at school during the year 1874 and 150 attendances if between the ages of ten and twelve.  The committee, therefore, trust that occupiers of land will assist them in procuring these attendances.
  “It is possible that, unless voluntary education is properly carried out, compulsory attendance at school will be adopted by Government, and, to avoid this, the committee hope that parents will hasten to take advantage of the school provided.
  “In the case where persons are in the receipt of permanent parish relief the fees of the children are paid by the Board of Guardians; but if such children do not attend properly at school, the guardians have power to suspend the relief of the parents.
“Finally- The committee wish it to be understood that they will not only provided a good education, but are unanimous in declaring that this educations shall be based on the solemn truths of the Bible.
“Winslow, February, 1874.”


Bicester Herald, 3 April

  WINSLOW UNITED SCHOOLS.- A meeting of the committee of these schools was held on Friday, March 20, when the following gentlemen were present- Messrs. T. P. Willis, Neal, Grace, R. W. Jones, W. H. French, S. Jones, George and Dr. Newham; Mr Neal in the chair.  The following is the only business allowed to come before the public: It was proposed by Mr. Grace, seconded by Mr. R. W. Jones, and agreed to without a division, “That when any resolution has been rejected by this committee, it shall not again be brought forward for six months.”  It was proposed by Mr. W. H. French “That the Rev. A. M. Preston take the place on this committee vacated by Mr. James King,” but the suggestion found no seconder, and after discussion, it was decided that the committee have no legal power to fill up vacancies in their body.  The motion, by Mr. W. H. French, “That reporters of the Press be allowed to attend the meetings,” not meeting with the views of any other member, was not seconded.  The report of the visitor’s which gave a favourable account of the working of the schools, was read, and when a considerable amount of routine business had been transacted, the meeting closed.  It appears from the above scanty report, furnished by the hon. sec, that Mr. French is the only member of the committee who is willing for a full report of the meetings of that body to come before the inhabitants of Winslow and the public.  It is a bad sign when the transactors of public business wish to do it privately.


Buckingham Advertiser, 21 Nov

WINSLOW UNITED SCHOOLS.

  The Committee have received the following reports from Her Majesty’s Inspector who visited the schools for the purpose of examination on the 9th July last.

  Great difficulty has been experienced in obtaining a mistress for the girls’ school, which has, consequently, been closed for three months; but the Committee have now secured the services of Miss Vipond, a highly qualified mistress, who will re-open the school in about a fortnight:-

  Boys’ school- “This school continues to be well disciplined and well taught, and the results of the examination are creditable throughout, the paper work especially neat, and (as a rule) accurate.”

  Girls’ school- “This school continues in a fair state of efficiency.  The first standard is somewhat week, but this may be accounted for by the want of a good infant school up to this time.  The arithmetic has apparently improved.”

  Infants’ school- “Miss Halstead has only been in charge of this newly-opened school since January.  It promises to do well under her management.”  


Buckingham Advertiser, 23 Jan 1875

WINSLOW UNITED SCHOOLS.

  Messrs. Willis and Willis’ account as treasurers for one year from the 1st January 1874, to the 31st December 1874.  Submitted to, and passed by general committee January 7th, 1875.

  Receipts- Voluntary subscription for year 1874, £91 12s. 6d.; Government grant to July, 1874, for the three schools, £68 16s; pence from children- girls, £8 7s. 9d.; ditto infants, £8 19s. 6½d.; ditto, boys, £23 4s. 8d.; home lesson books, ditto, 17s.8d.; from trustees of land at Kimble towards master’s salary, 1874, £42; total, £243 17s. 7½d.

  Expenditure – Boys’ school – Master’s salary year ending 1874, £70; cleaning, washing, registers, slates, books, ink, &c. as per book £3 9s. 4d.; repairs of school, £7 13s. 6d. half of the Government grant to master, £18 18s. Girls’ school – Mistress’s salary to July 1874, £29 12s. 3½d.; ditto 1st December to 31st December, 1874, £5 16s. 8d.; half Government grant to mistress, £10 11s.; cleaning, washing, &c., £1 12s. 9d.  Infant school – Salary of mistress, £60; cleaning, washing, &c., £4 12s. 11½d.; new school apparatus, books &c., £12 12s. 1d.  United schools – Printing £4 5s. 11d.; gas fitting, £2 2s. 6d.; Coals, £5 1s. 8d.; collector’s commission, £3; secretary for sundries as per book, £3 6s. 1d.; balance in treasurer’s hands £1 2s. 10½d.; total £243 17s. 7½d.

  Outstanding liabilities – United schools – Total, £23 0s. 8d.

  At the annual meeting of the general Committee held January 7th, 1875, the sub-committee, treasurers, and secretary were unanimously re-elected.  Mr. Henry Monk was appointed to the sub-committee in place of a member who has retired.

  Last year it was estimated by the honorary secretary that in order to carry on the schools upon the voluntary principle, subscriptions to the amount of £120 would be required.  It will be seen by the above balance sheet that this sum has not been realised.  Through the kindness of the treasurers, the committee are still able to keep the schools open, and they appeal for more help, or they will be compelled to relinquish their efforts.  In such case, a very heavy burden will fall upon the ratepayers, a burden much in excess of the sum at present asked for. –

William Neal, chairman.


Buckingham Advertiser, 26 Aug 1876

WINSLOW UNITED SCHOOLS,
  These schools continue their useful work with increased success; giving satisfaction to the committee who superintends them, to the subscribers who support them, and to the parents of the children educated in them.  The following reports have been recently received, and will, no doubt, be read with much interest.
  The committee have much reason to be proud of their work.  The order and discipline in the schools are all that could be desired, and the annual grants to the schools have increased from £7 5s. 2d. in 1871, to £89 in the present year.
GOVERNMENT INSPECTION.
  Boys’ School-National.- The school is progressing favourably.  The examination in elementary subjects has produced, upon the whole, good results, and the condition of the School is quite satisfactory.
  Girls’ School-Parochial.- This School is in good order as far as it goes.  There are very few names on the books, but those who are in attendance are well looked after.  The reading of the lower standards, and the arithmetic of the upper standards, are the two weak points.  The sewing is excellent.
  Infants’ School-Parochial.- This is a very efficient little infant school.  The first class are thoroughly drilled in the rudiments of the elementary subjects, and seem cheerful and well-cared for.
RELIGIOUS INSPECTION.
  Boys’ School.- This school is in a satisfactory state throughout; the answering of the boys is bright and intelligent, and their knowledge is good. – Prize, Frederick Lomas; commended, Roads and Kennings.
  Girls’ School.- The religious knowledge is very fair, some of the older girls answering with intelligence.  It would be advisable for them to learn more by heart.- Prize, Georgina Roads; commended, Fanny White, and Martha King.
  Infant School.- This school is in a satisfactory state; the children know much by heart, and for their age, the religious knowledge is good.- Signed: Edward M. Holmes, Local Diocesan Inspector.


Buckingham Express, 3 Feb 1877

EDUCATION MATTERS.

  The Education question at Winslow has of late been the occasion of much feeling and interest, and was the occasion of an interesting gathering in the Infant school-room on Tuesday evening last.  [Three circulars, representing different views were distributed prior to the event:
Thomas Newham invited the subscribers to elect the Sub-committee, Treasurers and Honorary Secretary.
Winslow United Schools declared the Sub-committee would resign its powers at the meeting and invited ratepayers to attend.
The Working Men of Winslow invited the entire town with children at the schools to attend and vote.
]

  It was proposed by Mr. W. Neale and seconded by Mr. W. H. French that Mr. J. [=Henry] Monk be Chairman. Mr. Monk took the Chair. Mr Neale was door–keeper. Mr Leonard [=Lewis] Clarke, one of the delegates of the National Agricultural Labourers Union was present, Mr Neale told him, “This is a meeting for subscribers only and you have no right here, Mr. Clarke.”
  [Mr. Clarke appealed to Mr. Willis, claimed his right to attend, but was thwarted by Dr. Newham who told him only subscribers were invited. After an altercation with the Chairman, Mr. Clarke agreed to leave, commenting:
I had not been to a public house drinking before I came here, so I am not so noisy as some of you.
but stated that he protested against the proceedings, and more would be heard of him.

  Mr. Monk praised the Sub-committee, commented that Inspectors recently had been satisfied, and the schools were in receipt of a good Government Grant. He defended the religious teaching of the schools.
  He continued with a personal attack on Mr. French, and continued with a discussion with Mr. Savin (?T.B. Saving) about Mr. Savin’s daughter who had been punished, unjustly in the opinion of her father. Mr. Monk stated that Mr. Savin had withdrawn his objection to the punishment, Mr. Savin denied this, Mr. Monk told him the matter was closed.
  At this point, many parents tried to join the meeting, Mr. Neale found it difficult to keep them out
.]

  Dr. Newham then proposed “That the functions of the late general committee be merged in the general body of subscribers.”
  Mr. J. L. French jun., seconded this proposition which was carried, after which T. P. Willis, Esq., said he considered it very desirable they should define what they meant by a subscriber?
  Dr. Wynter said he knew that some persons were under the impression that if they sent their children to school, and paid the fees, they were subscribers, and therefore had a right to be present at that meeting.
  Dr. Newham said those who thought that, were evidently in error.  A subscriber was one who gave a certain sum voluntarily without the thought of receiving any benefit therefrom.  Parents who paid their children’s pence had far more back in return than the worth of their money.
  Mr. Parrett said he would move that a subscriber mean anyone subscribing one shilling and upwards per annum.  Mr. Neal had pleasure in seconding this proposal.
  As an amendment Mr. J. Grace moved that a subscriber should be one who paid not less than two and sixpence per annum.  This amendment was seconded by Mr. Sirett, and was put to the meeting by the Chairman, as was also the original motion.  The show of hands being considerably in favour of the original motion, it was declared carried.

  [Mr. Matthews proposed re-electing the present committee, seconded by George Ingram.] (Meyrick Selby-Lowndes, Esq., T. P. Willis, Esq., Dr. Newham, and Messrs. Monk, Neale, S. Jones, W. George, J. Grace, and G. D. E. Wigley). Mr. W. H. French suggested an amendment, that the new Committee be elected separately, by a show of hands, and that the number be thirteen. Mr. J. Walker seconded the amendment, and Mr. R. Jones supported it.
  [There was considerable discussion regarding the number and make-up of the Sub-committee, and the venue of the meetings. The Chairman wished the current members to be re-elected. Various people suggested the pros and cons of new blood and experience, the maximum numbers suggested for the committee were 9, 12 and 13. T. P. Willis made very clear that he would not support any Clergyman or Minister on the committee.]
  The chairman then put the amendment, and twenty-one hands were held up in its favour.  The original motion of that the old Committee be re-elected received forty votes, and was therefore declared carried amid many tokens of approval.

  Mr. Parrett then proposed and Mr. S. Jones, seconded, and it was resolved that the meetings of the Committee be in the future held in one of the School-Rooms [instead of The Bell].
  Mr. Hathaway then moved, and Mr. John Grace, seconded and resolved that Messrs. Willis and Willis be re-elected treasurers.
  Mr Savin said he would propose that, during the term of office of the Committee then elected, the Word of God be read pure and simple by the children, and no explanation be given by the teachers.  He had no fault whatever to find with the secular teaching given in the Schools, for he believed it to be good.
  Mr. J. Walker, said, he had great pleasure in seconding Mr. Savin’s proposition.
  [The Chairman suggested three cheers for Dr. Newham which were given, and Mr. Parrett then tried to bring the meeting back to Mr. Savin’s proposal. At this point, Mr. Neale told the meeting that as door-keeper he had not be paying much attention to the proceedings. He said he had £50 towards £61 that they were in debt, and thought he would find people to make up the remainder. In answer to Mr. Savin, he (Mr. Neale) would say when the Committee did anything wrong in the way of teaching, and would call them to book.
  Dr. Newham then expressed his gratitude to the people present and went on to explain at some length the background to the teaching of religion in the schools which he described as "undenominational" even though he was a "high Churchman" himself, and how it earned a grant of £50 from the Diocesan Board of Oxford. He vigorously  defended the teaching. There was a little discussion on this.
  Mr, J. East asked how long the committee was elected for and was told 12 months.
]
  On the motion of Mr. J. Grace, seconded by Meryick Selby-Lowndes, Esq., Dr. Newham was unanimously re-elected Honorary Secretary.  A vote of thanks was then proposed to the Chairman by Mr. Parrett, and seconded by Mr. J. Grace, and carried unanimously.
  [Various people made summaries of the meeting – Mr. Francis, Mr. G. D. E. Wigley and Mr. Monk. The meeting then broke up.]


Buckingham Express, 7 July 1877

WINSLOW UNITED SCHOOLS.
To the Editor of the Buckingham Express.

  SIR.- You were good enough in January last, to give an excellent report of the meetings of the subscribers to our Schools.  The religious teaching given in the schools was a prominent topic in several of the speeches, and, personally, I was referred to more than once in a critical spirit.  In justice to me, I beg the insertion of this communication.  I do not write officially, but I wish to shew your readers in this town, how earnestly our committee (consisting exclusively of laymen) have worked to instruct our children in the great principles of Christianity, and how ably we have been assisted by our Teachers.
  Thanking you in anticipation, for your courtesy,
                                         I remain,
                                               Your obedient servant,
                                                           THOMAS NEWHAM, M.D.
Winslow, July 4th, 1877.
Winslow Schools for Boys, Girls, and Infants.
Examined by the Diocesan Inspector, Rev. E. M. Holmes, Rector of Marsh Gibbon and Rural Dean, July 3rd, 1877.
  BOYS.- Ages from 7 to 13.  In writing and viva were.- Bible subjects:- The offering up of Isaac; Jacob’s Dream; Moses and the burning bush; Account of the Ascension of Our Lord; The day of Pentecost; The death of Stephen; Jesus raising Lazarus, and other miracles; Thorough knowledge of the books of Genesis, Exodus, St. Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles.  The Lord’s Prayer; The Apostles’ Creed; The Ten Commandments; The duty to God and to our neighbour, with scriptural proofs.
  GIRLS.- 7 to 13.- Bible subjects:- Account of the Tabernacle, the Passover, Mount Sinai and the delivery of the Law; Manna in the Wilderness; The water delivery of the Rock; Passage of the Red Sea; Joseph’s Dream; Joseph’s conduct to his brethren; Thorough knowledge of the life of Christ, books of Genesis and Exodus, and also of the Lord’s Prayer, Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, The Two Duties, and the explanation of the Lord’s Prayer.
  INFANTS.- Ages 3 to 7.  Viva Voce.- Portions of the Holy Scripture committed to memory:- Isaiah 53; Psalms 23, 51, 91, 103; Romans 12; Sermon on the Mount; Prodigal Son, and various texts.- Old Testament.- Creation, Fall, Flood, Patriarchs, Journeyings of Israelites.- New Testament:- The Birth and Death of Our Lord; His miracles; The importance of truth illustrated  from Bible, (Gehazi, Annanise and Sapphira).- Hymns A.& M. 160, 190, 142, 368, 18, 201. (Sung.) The Apostles’ Creed, with Scripture proofs of; God the Father as Creator; God the Son as Redeemer; God the Holy Ghost as Sactifier.
  Hymns are taught and sung in Boys and Girls School and the report of the Inspector will be favourable in each school.


Oxfordshire Telegraph, 12 Sep 1877

SCHOOL MATTERS AT WINSLOW.
To the Editor of the Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire Courier.

  SIR.- Since the agitation of last year in reference to the advisability of continuing the voluntary system of carrying on the schools in this town and of making a requisition for a School Board, the cry of a better style of management, and of a sounder basis regarding religious instruction, has never been silenced.
  As is well known the committee were re-elected, and the system of raising the necessary funds by voluntary contributions decided upon, so far so good; but has this loose way of controlling the greatest local question of the day succeeded in the manner for which the Elementary Education Act was penned?  Certainly not. The Act enacts that religious instruction is not prohibited, but the use of “formularies,” of a particular denomination, is entirely derogatory to the meaning of the law, and it is rumoured that, at the advent of the new governess to the girls school, certain “ceremonies” also crept in, which, to parents, who wish to train their children to no particular sect, might produce some sort of apprehension as to whether their intentions were carried out.  According to the Act of 1876 there should be appointed by the guardians, a school attendance committee, whose power is nearly equal to that of a School Board in enforcing attendance of children at school, whose duty it is to “make known in a popular form the important clauses of the Education Act,” whose sphere it is to regulate the working hours of children over eight years of age. But none of these excellent provisions seem to have received the slightest attention from this committee, when they are the great objects for which legislation has been called to amend the old state of affairs when the education of the working classes was entrusted to the vicar of the parish.  Whose great aim was to teach them nothing but to “submit themselves to their Spiritual Pastors and Masters.”  Surely this state of things must soon be rectified, or the rising generation of the town of Winslow will grow up ignorant and uncultivated to be the laughing stock of the neighbouring villages.  But how is it to be altered?  Nothing but the determined administration of a Board, elected by the parishioners, can end their struggle satisfactorily.  The working man of the present day knows that, in order to give his children a place in ordinary society, he must first give them education; he knows that the universities, the colleges, and the government offices can no longer be closed against them; he knows that the man with the most brains is preferable to the idiotic son of a country gentleman with none at all.  How then is it to be wondered at that he should be content to watch his children grow up mere ciphers in the world to what they might have been with the advantages of a sound education imparted in the Board School.  But what is the first step to gain these grand social reforms?  The formation of a School Board is the only alternative by which the masses can gain the greatest boon ever bestowed, and the way to obtain it is by a requisition of the same, signed by 50 ratepayers of the parish, to the Clerk of the Union, who shall be bound to convene a public meeting for the purpose of voting on the question.  Let us hope that the time is not far distant [see the unsuccessful proposal for a School Board in 1885] when Winslow shall figure prominently in throwing off a tyrannical party control, and by upholding the noble standard of free education under the administration of parents themselves.
                                           I am, Sir, sincerely yours,
                                                                   PRO BONO PUBLICO.
Winslow, September 10, 1877.


At a subscribers' meeting on 4 Jan 1878 (Buckingham Advertiser, 12 Jan), the accounts for 1877 were presented showing income of £366,. The retiring Committee was re-elected, with Dr Newham as secretary. It was claimed that a (voluntary) 4d rate was sufficient.

However, there was much ill-feeling over the conduct of the 1877 meeting, and an extensive correspondence developed in the Liberal Oxfordshire Telegraph, which began to have a special section called the Winslow Standard. It lasted from 23 Jan to 22 May. It was mainly carried on by the proponents of a School Board, and the Committee refused to be drawn in although some people spoke for them.


Buckingham Advertiser, 18 Jan 1879

The controversy seems to have died down by the end of 1878, partly because of the schools' improved finances, and also probably because the correspondence of the Liberal local press was dominated by internal warfare in the National Agricultural Labourers Union.

Dr. Newham’s Report for the Year ending Dec. 31, 1878.
  Another year has rolled away, completing the fifth of the management of the Voluntary Schools of Winslow, under the present system.  In calling the attention of the subscribers to the balance sheet, I cannot but congratulate them on the soundness of our finances, and upon the signs of progress in the schools, proved by the best of all tests – the Government Grant, and the children’s pence.  It will be seen that we commenced the year 1878 with a balance of £16 2s. 10d.: a sum of £24 12s. 4½d. now standing to our credit for the ensuing year.  By a slight reduction of some subscriptions (due I believe to the unusually heavy rates for the past year), and by the removal or decease of some subscribers, the voluntary subscriptions are somewhat less than last year; but in the main, the parish has been true and loyal to the voluntary system of education.  The Government Grant has increased from £90 4s. to £105 1s.; and the children’s pence from £63 4s. 11d. to £68 3s. 9d.  The increase in grant is not altogether due to the larger number of children examined, but chiefly to the improvement in the standard of requirements.  For the first time we have received a grant for excellent needlework in the Girls’ School, and both in this school and the Infants’ School, this work was much praised by Her Majesty’s Inspector.  It will also be satisfactory to the subscribers to know that the schools are free from debt.  Every account has been paid, and although some considerable outlay has been made upon books, furniture and appliances, the sum expended will not be required again for some years; and indeed, I can point with just pride to the completeness of the buildings and furniture, which are not to be excelled for usefulness and solidity.  The increase in the number of scholars is shewn by the fact that while the highest average attendance in the quarter ending December, 1877, in all the schools was 149, in the same quarter in 1878 it amounted to 168.  Watching as I do, the state of the schools from week to week, I have frequently to express my regret at the very irregular attendance of many of the children, and more especially in the Girls’ School.  Parents keep their children from school for the most trivial of reasons, the result being – increased work for the mistress, and a backward state of knowledge.   For this the schools are blamed, and most unjustly.  The girls distinguished by their good attendance are always best in the examination, and I am sure that parents will see their reward in the progress of their children if they will but second the efforts of the committee by striving to diminish this irregularity.  The reports, both of Her Majesty’s Inspector and the Diocesan Inspector of Religious Education, have been made public, and need only be referred to here, to point out that they are satisfactory.  I shall be supported by the committee in the assertion that our teachers have faithfully performed their duties.  Firmness and kindness are doing their work.  The order in the schools is improving every year, and I am pleased to say, with an almost entire absence of corporal punishment.  Not a single complaint of any kind has been before the committee during the past year.  For my own part, I am grateful to the committee for the harmonious manner in which we have worked together.  I am grateful for the support they give me in the performance of my duty, which to me is a labour of love and for which I am amply repaid by the undoubted progress of the schools.
THOMAS NEWHAM, M.D., Hon. Sec. of Schools.


Bucks Herald, 4 Oct 1879: report of Oxford Diocesan Conference, discussing co-operation between Anglicans and Nonconformists in education

  Dr. Newham seconded the resolution, in so doing giving some details of the difficulties experienced in Winslow.  Some years ago, the vicar did not think himself called upon to take the requirements of the Educational Act upon himself.  In consequence a committee was formed to do so, and the first difficulty they experienced, was that great bugbear of modern life, the religious difficulty.  By-and bye it was determined that the religious educations should consist of the first part of the catechism, but subsequently a trouble arose about ritualism and other matters, which resulted in pecuniary difficulties.  An eminent Dissenting minister said - “Doctor, why you be going straight to Rome, you teach the Church Catechism.”  Ultimately they came to the conclusions to continue upon the Voluntary Principle, which had succeeded; they had wiped off a previous debt, had a balance in hand, and an increased amount of Government grants.  He contended that they should treat Dissenters as sensible men, who only wanted to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  If they trusted to the common sense of Englishmen he believed they could get rid of the School Board difficulty.


Buckingham Express, 24 Jan 1880

SCHOOL REPORT.
  At the Annual Meeting of the Subscribers held on Thursday, January 8th, 1880, at the Infant School,- Mr. Henry Monk in the Chair,- the following Balance Sheet was presented by the Treasurer, T. P. Willis, Esq.,
  The Treasurer’s Account from 1st January, 1879 to 31st December, 1879.

 
£
s
d
By Balance in hand, January, 1879.
24
12
By Voluntary Subscriptions
128
12
9
By Government Grant for the three Schools
111
5
0
By Pence from Children - Boys
29
11
0
By                   Ditto          -Girls
29
3
6
By                   Ditto          -Infants
12
8
9
By Trustees of land at Kimble
42
0
0
By Cash for use of Boys’ School
15
0
 
----------------------------------

Total

378
8

BOYS’ SCHOOL

To Master’s Salary for 1879
70
0
0
To Half Government Grant to him
24
17
6
To Him for Instructing Pupil Teacher
5
0
0
To Pupil Teacher’s Salary
18
15
0
To Cleaning, Washing, Books, &c. as per his book
6
18
10
To Land Tax
3

GIRLS’ SCHOOL

To Mistress’ Salary for 1879
60
0
0
To Monitress’ ditto
12
0
To Nelson & Young for Harmonium
8
8
0
To Cleaning, Washing, &c. as per her book
6
12
0

INFANT SCHOOL

To Mistress’s Salary for 1879
60
0
0
To Half Government Grant to her
14
9
0
To Monitress’ Salary
9
14
0
To Land Tax
3
To Cleaning, Washing, &c. as per her book
5
9
5

UNITED SCHOOL

To Commission on Subscriptions collected
5
0
0
To Coals and Gas
10
8
8
To Books, Printing, &c
8
18
10
To Repairs, Furniture, &c
36
3
6
To Secretary’s expenses (returned to funds)
1
11
6
Balance in hand 1st January, 1880
25
5
9
At the Meeting the accounts were passed, the Committee, Treasurer and Secretary elected.
Total
378
8

The following are the names of the Committee: G. R. Greaves, Esq., Messrs. Neal, Parrett, H. Monk, W. George, John Grace, James East, Meyrick Selby Lowndes Esq., and Dr. Newham, (Hon Secretary) T. P. Willis, Esq., (Treasurer) is an ex-office member of the Committee.

  Dr. Newham, the Hon. Secretary, in his report says “The expenditure for the year is somewhat larger.  The Committee have been compelled to drain the Boys’ School, to repair the inside, and to re-lay the gas.  The average expenditure for five years under this head, has been £9 15s.; but this year it has amounted to £36 3s. 6d. Notwithstanding this extra call upon the funds, the balance in hand exceeds that of last year.  Any remarks upon the financial condition of the schools would be incomplete without an expression of satisfaction that our Treasurer, while resigning his seat on the Committee still gives us his hearty support and services.  During a considerable portion of the last six years he has been a true friend to the schools, and had it not been for his public spirit in advancing money, the schools could not possibly have continued their good work.


Bucks Herald, 14 Jan 1882

  PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS.- The annual meeting of the subscribers to those schools was held in the Infant School on Friday, January 6th, Mr. H. Monk in the Chair.  Dr. Newham, the hon. Secretary, read the report for the last year, from which it appeared that the schools were in a very prosperous condition, that about 200 scholars were attending, and the income from all sources amounted to £384 17s., and the Committee had a balance in hand of £70 16s. 10d. towards the current expenses for the next six months.  Mr. James King proposed, and Mr. C. Colgrove seconded, that the accounts be passed, which was carried.  Mr. T. P. Willis stated that if each ratepayer would subscribe his due share, then a voluntary rate of 3d. in the £ would be sufficient to carry on the schools for the ensuing year.  On the proposition of Mr. C. Colgrove, seconded by Mr. James King, the Committee were re-appointed with the exception of Mr. E. Parrott who resigned, and Mr. Joseph Loffler was elected in his stead.  It was moved by Mr. James King, “That the Schools Committee be instructed to grant the use of the Infant school for the purpose of holding meetings relative to the repairs of the Churchyard Fence at such times that it does not interfere with the education of the children.”  This was seconded by Mr. Thos. Saving and carried.  Mr Neal proposed a vote of thanks to their worthy and indefatigable secretary, which was seconded by G. R. Greaves, Esq., and carried unanimously.  The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the chairman.

Bucks Herald, 2 Sep 1882

  THE WINSLOW NATIONAL SCHOOLS.- The following is the report of H.M. Inspector, received 27th ult.: - “Boy’s School (Master Mr. Starkins).  The order is good, and there is a sensible and satisfactory improvement in the percentage of passes in the elementary subjects, and writing and spelling are the strongest features.  The Reading is not so good as it should be, many of the boys barely passing in this subject.  Girls’ School (Mistress, Miss Fisher.)  The efficiency of this department is being well maintained.  The general results of the examination are better than might have been expected considering the number of ignorant and neglected girls that were examined, recent importations to the school.  The closing of the Vicar’s school, alluded to in my report on the Infant’s department, will no doubt affect these schools injuriously at first; but in the end the result will be much in favour of the cause of education in the district.- Infants’ School (Mistress, Miss Halstead).  The school has recently been inundated by children from the Vicar’s School, now closed, where they had evidently been taught nothing.  It has not been possible at present to get these children up to the mark, and their ignorance is very apparent; but time will remedy this deficiency.  The condition of this school generally is quite satisfactory.”  In publishing this report, Dr. Newham, the hon. Secretary to the schools, remarks that it may be interesting to the subscribers and to all interested in the education of the children, to know something of the progress of the schools since the year 1874 when they came under the present management.  In 1874 the number of children in attendance was considerably less than 100.  Now, the number is nearly 280.  In 1874 the grant received from government was £68:16.  !n 1882 it is £137:12; the total amount received from government has been £882:2:6.  In 1874 the children’s pence only amounted to £39; in 1882 the amount was £78.  The receipts under this head show a total of £487.  The endowment of the Boys’ School has brought in £336.  The total cost of the schools has been £2,675:3.  It will thus be seen that voluntary effort has succeeded in raising the large sum of £970:0:6, a result in no way discreditable to our little town.  The schools are in good order, the building sound, and the committee have much improved them in every detail.


Buckingham Advertiser, 28 July 1883

  SCHOOL FESTIVAL.- The treat to the Parochial Schools, which bid fair to become an annual one, was held on Wednesday, July 25, in the Flower Show Ground, one of the show tents being utilised for the tea.  The number present were- 83 boys, under the charge of Mr. Starkins, 110 girls, under Miss Fisher, 110 infants, under Miss Halstead, and 10 from the Workhouse under Miss Minter.  The ladies assisting at the tea were- Mrs. T. P. Willis, Mrs. Hamilton, Mrs. Loffler, Mrs. Hawley, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. J. East, Miss Vaisey, the Misses Newham, Misses Dockray, and Miss Roads, and the gentlemen included the Vicar, Rev. C. K. Baily, Mr. T. P. Willis, Mr. George R. Greaves, Mr. M. S. Lowndes, Mr. H. Bullock, Mr. Vaisey, Mr. W. George, and Mr. W. Saving.  In the evening a variety of sports and games were provided, useful prizes of clothing, &c, being given under supervision of Mrs. T. P. Willis.  The funds for the festival (which is entirely independent of any Sunday School) were collected by Mr. Thomas Saving, nearly everyone in the town contributing and amounted to £10 7s 6d.

Buckingham Advertiser, 28th July 1883

WINSLOW SCHOOL TREAT.
To the Editor of the “Buckingham Advertiser.”

  SIR.- Perhaps some of your Winslow readers can furnish replies to the following questions:-
  First.  Whether the fund for giving the children of the Winslow United Schools an annual gala-day is not raised by public subscription of all classes and creed ?
  Second.  That being the case, why the Vicar appeared on Thursday last, as marshall and director of the children, to the marked exclusion of other denominations ?
  Third.  Whether a single Dissenter was properly and respectfully invited to the tea, or to take any part in the proceedings ?
  Fourth.  Whether all subscribers, without distinction, are wished to take part in this treat ?
  Fifth.  If it be so, why some public announcement to that effect was not made ?
  Sixth.  Whether the originator of the idea, a Non-conformist, who in spite of discouragement from quarters whence better things might have been expected, raised the necessary funds, has ever received the thanks of anyone ?
  Seventh.  Whether Non-conformists are likely in future to subscribe to a movement in which their self is plainly frowned upon ?
  Eight.  Whether the Schools will not benefit in future years, and the enjoyment of the children be promoted, by an equal and fair invitation to all the ministers and teachers of religion, as well as all the friends of education to bear a part in this way, thus making it a worthy predecessor to our town’s holiday – the Flower Show ?
                                                                                 ENQUIRER.

Buckingham Advertiser, 9 Sep 1883

  The following is H.M. Inspector’s report:- Boys’ School: “The school has come out well upon the whole, in examination.  A good deal of the work is carefully and accurately done, and the order is good.  The fourth standard is the weakest, both in point of technical knowledge and general intelligence.”- Girls’ School: “The condition of the school is very creditable to Miss Fisher.  Overcrowded as it is, with no class-room, and with many of the girls recent importations from the ill-taught ‘Vicar’s school’ now closed, the percentage of passes reached in examination is a high one.  The girls are well-behaved; and the quality and style of the work is very good.  Something must be done and at once, about his overcrowding.  The present state of affairs cannot be tolerated.”- Infant School: “The general condition of the school is very fair, but not more than very fair, even after making allowance for the recent influx of ignorant children from the ‘Vicar’s school’ alluded to in my report on the girl’s department.  The addition of the new class-room is an admirable one, and cannot but tell with effect upon the well being of the school. I therefore hope that the merit grant ‘good’ will be more fairly earned next year, should ‘excellent’ not be reached. But to do this, I shall look for more perfect discipline, more general and intelligent answering and a more varied and interesting time table.”
  The nett grant is as follows:- Boys, good; girls, excellent; infants, good.  There is an increase of grant of £37, over any previous year.


Proposed School Board (events in 1885)

Inspection report 1885


Bucks Herald, 9 Jan 1886

  ANNUAL SCHOOL MEETING.- The yearly meeting of the subscribers to the three Schools was held on Friday, Jan. 1, and unlike its predecessor passed off very quietly.  The attendance included Mr. G. R. Greaves, who was called to the chair, Messrs. Willis, Wigley, Monk, Neal, James King, Bullock, Rev. H. A. D. Hamilton, &c.- The Chairman opened the proceedings by submitting the statement of accounts, which he considered to be very satisfactory, as they had a balance in hand of £12 more than last year, notwithstanding a loss of children’s pence through measles and other causes, which had also affected the Government Grant.- Mr. Neal proposed that the accounts (which showed a balance of £53) should be printed and circulated amongst the subscribers.- This was seconded by Mr. Warr.  Mr. C. Colgrove then proposed the re-election of the Committee as they stood, which Mr. Hillyer seconded.  Mr. Saving objected, not to any member of the Committee, but to the principle of electing them in a body, and proposed that the committee be elected singly.- This was seconded by Mr. Parrett, who said the Committee had been elected seriatim for the last year or two, and he thought it would be best to continue to do so.- Mr. Wigley thought it would be best as far as possible to re-elect the old members.  They were chosen under peculiar circumstances, and had worked exceedingly well together.  He would therefore suggest that while the names should be put seriatim, no fresh names should be proposed.- On the question being put to the meeting it was agreed by a majority of two to elect the old committee en masse.- A discussion then ensued with regard to persons who did not pay their share of the voluntary rate.  Mr. Willis stating that if all paid, a 3d. rate would be sufficient instead of a 4d. one.- Mr. Wigley suggested that in the printed subscription list it should be shown in another column what the subscription would amount at 4d. in the £.- Mr. Neal thought before doing this it would be better for a deputation to wait on the defaulters.- Ultimately Messrs. Neal, Wigley, and Hillyer were asked to form a deputation, and the meeting closed with the usual compliment to the Chairman.


Buckingham Advertiser, 15 Jan 1887

  The annual meeting of the subscribers to the Winslow parish schools was held in the Infants’ school on Friday, the 7th inst.  The attendance which was very small, included Mr. G. R. Greaves, Mr. T. P. Willis, Mr. Wigley, Mr. H. Bullock, Mr. Monk, Mr. Neal, Mr. James King, Mr. Hathaway, Mr. Midgley, Mr. Saving, the Rev. H. A. Douglas-Hamilton (Vicar), &c., &c.  Mr. Greaves was selected chairman on the proposition of Mr. Wigley, and opened the meeting by reading the statement of accounts.  These showed that the committee had a balance at bank of £25 12/8 as compared with £53 18/4, and he said that this was caused partly by the loss of the subscription usually given by the late Mr. Lowndes, and by £14 less Government Grant, which they hoped to remedy another year, for the fact of the matter was that they had so many children in the infant school that two could not possibly attend to them, so they had put on one more teacher and hoped that would remedy it.  He might say that the subscriptions had come up very well, they had only two refusals.-

Mr. W. Neal proposed that the accounts be passed.  At the same time he thought it was necessary to take some notice of a statement which appeared in the public prints with regard to the Trustees of the land at Kimble [i.e. the Rogers School Trust].  It was stated that the money was being misapplied instead of being spent on the schools.  [This refers to comments made by Captain Verney at a Liberal meeting and taken up by Winslow Liberals: read more] He contended that the gentleman who made that statement was under a very great mistake.  There were twenty scholars educated free, and very great credit was due to the trustees for spending the money so economically.  He thought the gentleman must know better for he had been on the Board himself and was acquainted with the working of the thing.  The children were selected quite irrespective of any sectarianism, one portion being selected with reference to the largeness of families, and the other because of their learning, so that it was like a little scholarship for them.  He thought it was nothing but right that the matter should be inquired into as the trustees were not there to represent themselves.- Mr. T. P. Willis said it was quite right what Mr. Neal had said - the property only produced £12 10/- per quarter, and of that there was land tax and tithe leaving £47 or £48 per year.  There was a little balance a year or two ago, and Mr. Reader having inspected the premises advised certain repairs which were executed.  The accounts were produced by him at every Lady Day Vestry, and were signed by Lord Cottesloe and other trustees, and sent up to the Commissioners.  It was quite wrong to make such statements in the public papers without foundation.- Mr. H. Bullock seconded the passing of the accounts.- Mr. Saving rose to remark that Mr. Neal seemed to be addressing himself to him in particular.- Mr. Neal denied that this was so.-

The Chairman said the next business was to elect a Committee for the year,- the old committee were Messrs. Greaves, Willis, Lowndes, Wigley, Monk, King, W. George, James East, G. George, Rev. H. A. D. Hamilton, and Rev. J. Riordan, of whom Mr. W. George had died.- Mr. Hathaway proposed the re-appointment of the ten members of the old committee, and Mr. Wigley proposed Mr. Joseph Loffler in the place of the late Mr. George, - both of which were carried without opposition.

The Vicar said in the interests of the subscribers he should like to speak about a letter signed “anti-humbug” which appeared in one of the papers [presumably the North Bucks Flying Post], drawing attention to the cramming of the catechism and other church “rubbish” down the children to the detriment of Nonconformists.  He thought it was nothing but right the subscribers should know that everything was done in accordance with the rules drawn up by the committee.  He, although he considered he had a perfect right to do so, never went into the schools to give lessons at all.  Such teaching as he liked to give to the Church children was given at church during the hour allowed by Government.  Therefore “Anti-humbug” was a thorough humbug.- Mr. Monk said it was of no use taking any notice of anonymous paragraphs in the papers…

[Some comments were made regarding the guardians, Mr. Saving said] he would say a few words on a matter that touched him deeply, although he had not meant to say anything.  The guardians of the parish used to allow the poor 3/- per week in the winter and 2/6 in the summer, but now it seemed summer all the year round for they only got 2/6.  He thought it was the feeling all round that it ought to be 3/-.  When a poor widow had paid 2/- a week rent that only left her 6d.- The Vicar said they ought not to pay 2/- for rent. –Mr. Saving said if they only paid 1/- that would leave them 1/6.- Mr. Monk said perhaps Mr. Saving did not know quite so much about the ins and outs of the thing as he did.  They were higher than either Buckingham or Aylesbury, or Newport Pagnell, and were censured by the Inspector for being more liberal than other places.- Mr. T. P. Willis confirmed this.- The meeting then closed with the vote of thanks to the chairman.


Buckingham Advertiser, 9 July 1887

  The latest topic of conversation in Winslow is the action of the School Committee.  Owing to the decreasing number of the children in the Workhouse (only six of school age), the Guardians at length came to the decision that they would do without a schoolmistress, and send the children to the parish schools, thus saving the ratepayers’ pockets about £1 a-week.  The children were accordingly sent to Winslow schools, where they were promptly ejected by a member of the Committee.
  The question however, seems to have been settled in the affirmative, Mr. Monk, Chairman of the Board of Guardians, escorting the children to school on Thursday morning.

Buckingham Advertiser, 23 July 1887

WINSLOW SCHOOLS.
(To the Editor of the Buckingham Advertiser and North Bucks Free Press.)
  SIR,- In your last issue you refer to the latest and chief topic of conversation in Winslow: namely, the action of the Schools Committee.  It is a matter that is causing most profound distrust in everything connected with the management of thee schools, and this last nice piece of business, this medal ejectment, by a committee man [this appears to refer to George George, the only member of the committee likely to have had children at the school], who may think he has acted cleverly and that it is the right thing for the subscribers to these schools to provide an education for his family for a mere bagatelle, and to be debarred from using these schools, for the benefit of those legally entitled, that is the half dozen children from the Union Workhouse.  These are a galling sore to the sensitive feelings of one person, that these little ones shall be permitted to come to the same form as his own children is more than he can fairly bear, but the remedy is in his own hands if he does not like what we, as guardians of these children, are doing, and are determined to do, being legally empowered to use these schools.  Why, then, can he remove his children without the slightest risk of our sending our School Attendance Officer after his children.  He is at perfect liberty to make a little more space for these children whose pecuniary means are a bar and hindrance to their obtaining an education enjoyed by those whom an All-wise Providence has placed under more favourable circumstances than these orphaned children.  We, as Guardians of the Poor, are also guardians of the rates, and what, I would ask, is so reasonable as our endeavour to avoid an uncalled-for, an unnecessary expense to the ratepayers as the action we have concluded to adopt in sending these few small children to the schools of the town as by law allowed?  Schools, partly supported by Government funds are, and ought to be, at the use of all …. And this leads me now to what most of us in Winslow have long forseen has been pushing itself to the front - the question of new schools under School Board management.  The necessity so apparent cannot be longer shelved or delayed.  I believe it is the wish of every ratepayer in Winslow imbued with the spirit of liberty that we shall no longer be subjected to this reign of pretentious superiority … [We need] to build and erect some good substantial schools, so that we may no longer be held in subjection to this hydraheaded tyranny… We, as men, are strong to do this work if we put our strength to it, and though we would not willingly wound any man in the truth, we will not wound the truth for great or small; and should we have to suffer some little in our pockets, we will take good heed, with God’s help, our consciences shall not suffer…
                                                            Yours, &c.,
                                                                        SILVANUS JONES.
  Winslow, July 12th, 1887

Buckingham Advertiser, 30 July 1887

Winslow National Schools.
  Alluding to a letter published by us last week, a correspondent informs that the real facts of the case are as follows:-  The schools are under the control of the managing Committee, consisting of G. R. Greaves, Esq. (Chairman), The Vicar, M. S. Lowndes, Esq., Mr. Geo. George, Mr. H. Monk, and Mr. J. King; and Rev. J. Riordan, T. P. Willis Esq., Mr. G. D. E. Wigley, and Mr. Jas. East, with Mr. Midgley (secretary and correspondent).  This Committee was asked by the Board of Guardians to consider the advisability of receiving the Workhouse children into these schools.  A meeting was called for this purpose on the 6th of June, when the question was duly considered.  In the discussion, one member argued very forcibly that there was not sufficient room in the infants’ class room to admit of the reception of the infants from the Workhouse; another member suggested that the children should be boarded out, as in the Buckingham Union, whereby they would become scholars the same as the town children, and thereby throw off all distinction of pauperism.  The next question arising was that of whether the school committee were really compelled to admit to the schools this number of extra children from the Workhouse, as if this was allowed other children not altogether belonging to the parish might be sent, and as there are 17 parishes in the district it would be impossible to accommodate them.  Another argument was to the effect that if the Workhouse children were admitted they were liable to be removed at any time, probably to the detriment of the teachers and the government grant.  Upon these grounds a proposition was made that the Workhouse children be not admitted to the schools.  To this a negative amendment was moved.  The proposer and seconder voted for the amendment, and three voted for the proposition, which was carried.  There were only six members present, and one did not vote.  In direct opposition to this decision of the schools committee, the Board of Guardians resolved to send the children, and on the 4th of July they were sent without any notice being given to the Committee.  They were also sent without the necessary fees.  The children were sent back to the Workhouse and a note was also sent to the master (Mr. Minter) stating that a resolution had been passed by the schools’ committee refusing admission to the children, and that it was on these grounds the children were sent back.  Directions were now given to the secretary to at once call a special meeting of the Schools Committee for the question to be re-considered; but previous to this meeting being called, a special meeting of the Board of Guardians was called, with the result that the children were marshalled to the schools as stated in the letter we published last week.  Since then a meeting of the School Committee has been called, and the question now awaits the decision of the Education Department as to whether the School Committee are compelled to receive the children or not.  Our correspondent adds that such are the facts of the case.  He says, however, that it does not appear to be so much a question as to the welfare of the children at the Workhouse, as that of endeavouring to force a School Board on the town, a matter that has been repeatedly tried at, but happily till the present has failed.


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Copyright 8 April, 2021