Past TimesEd

11th June 2004 at 01:00
75 years AGO

* JUNE 8, 1929 A history of the growth of inspection in England would make an interesting volume. The earlier elementary inspectors were mostly clergymen, being nominees of the various denominations, Anglican or Nonconformist. They contained in their ranks such outstanding clerics as Temple (later Archbishop of Canterbury) and laymen of the calibre of Matthew Arnold and Sir Joshua Fitch, who would more than have held their own with any inspector of today. Most had zeal, vision, and the true missionary spirit, though the introduction of payment by results sadly hampered and curtailed their energies... The inspector of today is largely reverting to the older conception of being less of an auditing clerk and more of an organiser...

He is, as has been said, not so much a "copper" but a co-operator.

50 years AGO

* JUNE 11, 1954 It is a pleasant thing after reading a lot of headlines about educational conferences (of which Whitsun has its quota) to go into a school. This is the way for the casual observer to remind himself of where teachers'

heartfelt interests lie. The necessary cries, when teachers' organisations meet, are of status, salaries, pensions and so on... Once teachers are inside their schools they have little else except their schools on their minds. It is of them that they are bursting to talk... Parents see it and respect it. Much nonsense is talked about the low esteem in which the profession is held, reflected in low salaries etc - one has heard it on many platforms. It is simply not true. Teachers are held in a high regard which the best of them have won by their own energy and devotion.

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