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Their property, amounting to at least £2,000,000 of investments and perhaps as much more in buildings and plant, is, except in a few instances, at the mercy of the governing body and trustees for the time being. Their income is expended by boards of directors or governors, usually “co-opted," or self-appointed, though nominally elected by the subscribers. Most of the management really rests with the medical staff and the paid officials. What is needed is :Creation of either a Hospitals Committee of the County Council
or a separately elected Hospitals Board, charged with the supervision, inspection, and audit of all London
medical charities. Systematic co-operation among existing institutions. Amalgamation of competing and unnecessary institutions, and
geographical redistribution where necessary: Provision of all new hospitals by the public authorities, instead
of as private speculations. A “grant in aid” from the rates, wherever necessary, accom
panied by public control. Ultimately, we must insist on the full acceptance of the principle of London itself
collectively undertaking the charge of London's sick, Meantime a Royal Commission to enquire into the whole hospital system would be the best means of setting reform on foot; and the London County Council should insist on the Government appointing one, and take care that it consists of members of democratic sympathies, able to get at the truth and not afraid to put an end to the barbaric individualism of the existing chaos.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF LONDON.
AFTER nearly twenty years of hard work done by the School Board, London is at present fairly provided with elementary schools.
Total number of Elementary Schools, Voluntary and Board (1888) 1,010 Average number of children on the rolls...
645,544 attendance in March 1889 (showing an increase of 17.413 over
(the average attendance of Mar.1888) 508,340 These figures include children between the ages of 3 and 13, belonging to the “ Elementary School Class."
BOARD SCHOOLS ONLY. Number of Schools
395 Average number of children between 3 & 13 on the rolls, 1889 434,895 attendance
342,421 Number of places provided
415,029 TEACHING STAFF. Number of Certificated Teachers : Men 2319
6898 Unclassed ex-Pupil Teachers
551 Pupil Teachers
9,140 Cost of Teaching Staff in 1889
£819,098 10s. Od. (Report of School Management Committee, 1888.)
It will be seen that the number of places provided exceeds the average attendance by 72,608; but, on the other hand, accommodation has to be found for 461 children below the age of three, and 18,539 above the age of thirteen (19,000 in all), not included in the table. Even when ample accommodation has been provided, new schools must continue to be built. The annual increase of population is estimated at about 60,000, for one-sixth of whom school places must be found. One new school a month will hardly suffice.
It should be added that the estimate of places provided includes a number-estimated in 1882 at 50,000—ãwhich are reckoned as available, but which, owing to various causes, are of no practical use. Among these causes are the following : School places in districts where there is an excess of School accommodation ; unused places in Roman Catholic, Jewish, or foreign Schools; unused places in Schools where the fees are too high for the generality of parents, etc.” The number of children scheduled in the spring of 1888 as belonging to the Elementary School class was 763,680. Of these, 166,295 were between the ages of three and five. The estimated accommodation needed was 610,944. (Report of Statistical Committee, 1889.)
A comparison of the two tables shews that the Voluntary Schools have 210,649 children on the rolls, with an average attendance of 165,919. The number of places provided in Voluntary Schools for the year ending March 1889 is not yet calculated ; but the following figures for 1888 shew the proportions then obtaining. Average number on rolls
628,801 Average attendance
490,927 Average number on Board School rolls
420,914 Average attendance at Board Schools
328,405 Average number on Voluntary School rolls
207,887 Average attendance at Voluntary Schools
162,522 Number of places provided in Board Schools
407,636 Voluntary Schools
262,022 Total number of places provided
669,658 The expenditure on the Board Schools in 1888 was as follows:
d. Salaries of Teachers
804,983 8 4 Books, apparatus and stationery
38,866 11 Furniture
15,378 1 1 Wages of school-keepers and cleaners
44,124 0 5 Rates and rents
64,515 0 7 Fuel and Light
21,302 5 3 Repairs ...
30,512 1 Pupil Teachers' Schools
11,138 5 + Sundries
£1,051,902 17 To meet this expenditure there was a total income from the Schools of £443,485 14s. 80., made up as follows:
d. Goveryment Grant
316,198 7 School Fees
121,110 Sundries (Science and Art Grants, etc.)
£143,485 14 8 (Account of Income and Expenditure, London School Board.)
4 1 1 6 3
Each child therefore averaged 19/7 per grants, and 7/5 per school fees, contributing £1 7s. Od. towards the total cost of its education, £3 4s. 1d., leaving a deficit of £1 17s. 1d. to be borne by the local rates.
The nation thus, by imperial or local taxation, pays £2 168. 8d. out of the £3 4s. 1d. spent on each child's yearly education.
In collecting the odd 7/5 the head teachers each spend from six to ten hours a week at clerical work; managers attend at each school once a week and with the head teachers spend from one to two hours in remitting fees; out of 341,425 children, 110,759 obtained remission in 1888-89; parents are put to an incalculable amount of trouble and annoyance; and an army of 268 visitors is employed to enforce attendance, whose services might be largely dispensed with were it not for the payment of fees. (The number of children obtaining remission is taken from the report of the Committee on Free Meals, July, 1889, and is derived from the school registers.)
In addition to the abolition of School Fees the following changes are imperatively needed :
PROVISION OF FREE MEALS.
The London School Board last winter appointed a Committee to enquire into the existing agencies for the provision of free or cheap meals to necessitous children. The figures obtained by them as regards Board Schools are as follows (only 3 per cent. of the Voluntary Schools have answered enquiries):–43,843 children attending school are in want of food. , In the year ending March 1889, 7,943 children received free breakfasts; 745 paid d. and 151 paid d.; 26,585 children received free dinners; 4,435 paid id.; and 8,567 paid d. Despite this, it is estimated that 24,739 children “do not obtain enough food." These statistics, the best that the School Board could obtain, are based on estimates framed for each school, and are not absolutely correct. But they probably much understate the need for additional sustenance
IMPROVEMENT OF EVENING SCHOOLS SYSTEM.
Evening Classes are held in the Board Schools during the winter months. To these, 16,320 pupils were admitted in the 1887-88 session. The weekly average number on the rolls was 9,077, with an average attendance of 5,805. The chief reform needed is the rearrangement of the subjects taught, so as to attract those who desire to continue their education : at present the pupils are presented for examination in Standards III. to VII.; and all subjects outside those taught in these Standards are additional.” Shorthand, drawing, and French at least should form part of the regular curriculum. The Recreative Classes, carried on by the Recreative Evening Schools Associations, and the Advanced Classes held for the South Kensington, and the City and Guilds of London Technical Institute Examinations, should be largely extended, and brought under Board control. Only 1,765 pupils were in average attendance at these classes in the 1887-88 session, 967 being presented for examination. About 80,000 children leave the London Elementary Schools every year; less than 10,000 of these attend at the Board's Evening Classes to continue the very imperfect education they have received.
GRADING OF SCHOOLS. A serious difficulty in the way of the more intelligent children is the small number of scholars in the 7th and ex-7th Standard, and the little attention that can be bestowed on them. There are only 7,348 of these children in the School Boards; and it is highly desirable that these should be drafted into schools at which special attention should be paid to them. The Board has the matter now
der consideration; and schools in each division are to be marked for this work. What is sorely needed is the opening of Secondary Schools in which education could be continued, open without charge to all who have passed through the Elementary. The state of Secondary, Technical and Evening Education in the Metropolis is a weltering chaos of uncoordinated individualism, as to which even statistics are unattainable.
PUBLIC TRAINING COLLEGES.
All the existing Training Colleges are denominational, entrance being barred by dogmatic
tests. There is great
need of the establishment of an unsectarian Training College for London, under public management, so as to bring the training of the teachers into line with the teaching in the schools, and increase the supply of properly trained instructors.
THE HOUSING OF THE PEOPLE. FEW
persons realize the extent of the need for the better housing of London's poor. Of the 1,000,000 Londoners estimated by Mr. Booth to be in poverty (see p. 5), practically none are housed as well as
a prudent man provides for his horse. These 200,000 families, earning not more than a guinea a week (see p.5), and that often irregularly, pay from 3s. to 7s. per week for filthy slum tenements of which a large proportion are absolutely
“ unfit for habitation,” even according to the lax standards of existing sanitary officers. *
London needs the rebuilding of at least 400,000 rooms to house its poorest citizens, at the minimum of two decent rooms per family, not to speak of the ideal of
THREE ROOMS AND A SCULLERY, which should be our ultimate goal.
How much has been done towards this work ? Not a single Vestry * See “ The Housing of the Working Classes,” by J. Theodore Dodd. (National Press Agency; 1d.)
ever exercised its powers of building dwellings. The only public body in London which has followed Liverpool, Glasgow, and other provincial towns in this matter is the City Corporation, which has built blocks in Farringdon Road and Petticoat Lane (Middlesex Street). The blocks in Farringdon Road were built with the special object of accommodating the persons connected with the City's markets. £1,716 was received as rent in 1886-7 (House of Commons Return, No. 423 of 1888, p. 38), representing the payment for about 150 rooms. The other experiment is of greater importance. The Commissioners of Sewers of the City of London cleared about one acre in Golden Lane and about two acres in Petticoat Lane, under the Artisans' Dwellings Acts.
The Golden Lane site was agreed to be sold to the Regent's Canal City and Docks Railway Company. On the Petticoat Lane site the Commissioners have themselves erected dwellings. In April, 1888, 240 tenements had been let and 923 persons were in occupation. (House of Lords Return, 1888,275). The rents received in 1886 were £3,072 (House of Commons Return No. 423, p. 14). No other public authority in London has yet erected any dwellings. The Trustees of the magni. ficent donation (£500,000, in 1862, 1866, 1869 and 1872) of the late George Peabody have done something towards the housing of the more regularly employed London workers. At the end of 1887 the Trustees had provided 5,014 separate dwellings ; 74 of four rooms, 1,782 of three rooms, 2,351 of two rooms, and 807 of one room. The average rent charged is about 4s. 9d. per dwelling, or 2s. 2d. per room, including free use of conveniences of all kinds. The net income of the fund in 1887 was £24,902, and the fund itself at the end of that year amounted to £935,570 (see Report for 1887, in Times, 28th February, 1888), besides about £300,000 borrowed from the Government.
The County Council has now hesitatingly resolved to build at Hughes Fields, Deptford. But there is as yet no sign of resolute endeavor on the part of any local authority adequately to cope with the great problem. Scarcely yet is it admitted that London has any concern in the matter.
Over £1,500,000 was, however, spent by the late Metropolitan Board of Works in compensating the owners of property in 22 areas, comprising nearly 59 acres, condemned as unfit for habitation under the “Torrens Acts” and “Lord Cross's Acts" (Report of Metropolitan Board of Works for 1888, p. 47). Instead of the re-housing of the displaced poor by some public authority, we have had these cleared areas let at rents much below the market value to philananthropic and other capitalists, who have erected 344 blocks of dwellings, accommodating 38,231 persons, ibid, p. 48). To get this small number re-housed by private enterprise has, therefore, cost the people of London a subsidy of over £39 for each person, leaving still the whole property of the land and buildings in private hands.
The private capitalists thus subsidized comprise 11 Joint Stock Companies, in addition to individual speculators. Some of the statistics of the companies are given below :