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small and dwindling. Now, as the former are in no way concerned by this proposal, we may leave them on one side, and the question narrows itself down to this: Is the liberty at present enjoyed by preparatory teachers sufficiently valuable to be worth the manifold evils of the reigning confusion, and if so how would it compare with that which would still be retained by them under the new system? The answer is simple enough. In so far as the liberty of a teacher is hampered by a rigid examination to that extent exactly is he hampered now. But there is one significant difference between things as they are and as they would be. At present the Preparatory School master's work is narrowly prescribed for him by authorities over whom he has no sort of control, and in whose counsels he has no share. Under the new system the scheme of examinations for which he would work would be one which he himself has had some indirect share in framing. Which does he prefer? It is true that this description of the present position is not exhaustive. It is not one examination but an indefinite number which he has now to keep before him, and an aggregate of subjects which shows an alarming tendency to increase. So that there is a species of liberty which he enjoys more perhaps under the present system than under any that may take its place. As long as the present high standard of classics continues he has a considerable liberty of choice before him with reference to the numerous "modern" subjects, for while it is obviously certain that he can't teach an elementary knowledge of them all thoroughly, it is a matter entirely at his own discretion which of them he ignores or scamps, and to what extent. The liberty in short which he still enjoys is merely that of choosing in what particulars the mental training he offers is to be imperfect. The constraint under which he works is that which compels him to acquiesce in grave imperfection, when easy and certain improvements are within his reach, the hope of attaining which depends on counsels in which he has no voice. It can hardly be said that the liberty which is said to be imperilled is a very precious possession.

Neither again is the alarm about boys being turned out on one pattern a whit more substantial. The proposal is that certain subjects should be chosen, and a certain limit fixed to each. There the rigid uniformity ends; and it has to be observed that under the present condition of things the obnoxious fact of limitation already exists. There is a point in unseen translation beyond which no papers ever go; and if Greek Iambics were suddenly set it would be felt that the examination had become an absurdity. The indictment against the present system is not that there are limits, but that the limits are arbitrary and variable, and that the addition of five or six subjects to the examination has made no difference in the standard of those that were there before. It is difficult to believe that the reform of this evil can have any relation whatever to the "one pattern" argument. Indeed, the two subjects, if carefully thought about, are seen to be separated by an almost

infinite gulf. An examination by ceasing to be a chaos is not at once endowed with any power to stunt individuality.

The question doubtless demands a good deal of thought and discussion, and it is in view of such discussion that it has seemed well to point out the absolute irrelevance of two topics which are sure to be introduced, and which, if introduced, will turn the discussion into a controversy probably acrimonious, and certainly barren.





Most of the Public Schools offer scholarships which are competed for by boys at Preparatory Schools or by the younger boys already in the schools.


Winchester, Eton, and Westminster provide in each case a separate house (called the College) for their 70 scholars, the fees for these scholars at Winchester are £21 per annum and at Eton £20 10s.


The ordinary fees for a boy at Winchester are £126 per annum, and at Eton £136 10s.

At the other public schools, amounts varying from £100 per annum to £20 per annum, in some cases for two years, in others for the whole school course, are deducted from the fees. In no other schools than Winchester, Eton, and Westminster do the scholars live separately from the other boys, they are distributed among the various houses.

These scholarships are provided by endowments, but in some cases the housemasters are obliged to take a certain number of scholars at reduced fees.


The object in view is to attract clever boys, and the examination on which the scholars are elected is regulated with this end. Whatever may have been the original purpose of the endowments out of which these scholarships are provided, they are practically employed at the present time as a means of obtaining a supply of boys who will do their Public School credit by obtaining University or Army distinctions. At a few schools, notably at Marlborough, the Scholarships go chiefly to boys already in the school. In this case it must either be assumed that a preference is shown for boys already in the school or that these boys are so prepared as to have a better chance than outsiders in the particular examination, or that the teaching of young boys in the lower form is better than at Preparatory Schools. The fact may be naturally used as an inducement to parents to send boys young to Marlborough instead of to a Preparatory School.


At Winchester and Eton and many other Public Schools, the examination is chiefly conducted by outside examiners. At Rugby and Marlborough a committee of masters sit and look over the papers and decide the elections. All schools demand a certificate of moral character before electing a boy to a Scholarship; but beyond this no information as to character or attainments on the part of those who have had the previous training of the candidates has any weight. Winchester, Eton, and Rugby publish the names only of the scholars-elect without mentioning the schools they come from. Almost all the other schools publish the names of the Preparatory Schools from which the successful candidates come.


The mode of examination and of election on the results of examination vary very much at the different schools.


There are two principles of selection which are typified best perhaps at Winchester and at Rugby.

One is (a) that of electing on an aggregate of marks obtained on papers in Classics, English (History, Geography, and Divinity), Mathematics, and French; this is the case at Winchester. The other (b) that of election for special merit in a particular subject, with or without easy qualifying papers on one or more of the other subjects. This is the system at Rugby.

In the (a) system papers are set in the four subjects mentioned above up to such a standard that only good boys will get any appreciable marks for any paper. In this way a smattering or superficial knowledge is made useless. The "all round" good boy will beat the boy who is only good at one subject, even though the latter may be somewhat better in that subject than the other boy. This system encourages teaching at the Preparatory Schools in the four subjects mentioned, and discourages dropping some subjects to specialise in one.

In the (b) system the election is either for Classics, or for Mathematics, or for Modern Languages. In this the inducement is to get boys up to a very easy pass standard in Classics or French, and to give extra time and attention to Mathematics or to spend as much time as possible on Classics, teaching merely up to a pass standard in French and Mathematics, or to work mainly at Modern Languages and obtaining a pass standard in classics and mathematics.

In many cases there is no qualifying examination at all in the other subjects, and the election is made purely for excellence in the one particular subject.

In other cases the qualifying examination is a farce, and a boy who has spent practically all his time on Classics is not disqualified because he has not been taught any Euclid or Algebra; nor is the boy who has done a good paper in Conic Sections and Trigonometry rejected because his Latin Grammar is weak.

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