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The Post-Entry Training of the Administrative Class

  • Geoffrey Kingdon Fry

Abstract

In view of the non-vocational nature of the university studies normally taken by its direct entrants, it might have been thought that the Administrative Class would place great emphasis on formal post-entry training for its Assistant Principals, and that it would also make provision for such training for higher administration later on in such entrants’ careers. But, although the Administrative Class had become a largely self-contained and self-governing profession by 1920, the traditional outlook in its ranks towards formal post-entry training has always been unfavourable, and has remained so until very recently, despite the increased, and increasing, complexity of the duties assigned to the class. This attitude was eloquently summarised by Sir Stanley Leathes when he said in 1923:

Indeed I was never trained myself as a Public Servant, except for a brief period of six weeks. I dropped my pilot as soon as I was allowed to do so, and learned my job by doing it. My training from that point has been continued on the Montessori system. I have played with my bricks on the floor until I believe that I partly understood their nature and properties. As for the qualifications neccssary and desirable for a Civil Servant I should quote the time-honoured maxim ‘non multa sed multum’, and bid him learn all about something rather than a little about many things. But my own practice throughout life has been exactly the opposite: my own training has been all that it should not have been; it happens to suit not only my temperament but my office; but I am a warning, by no means an example; and I should never preach my heresies.2

Keywords

Civil Servant Public Administration Working Party Oral Examination Staff College 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Maurice Dean, ‘The Public Servant and the Study of Public Administration’, in Public Administration (1962) p. 23.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    David Hubback, ‘The Treasury’s Role in Civil Service Training’, in Public Administration (1957) p. 102.Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    C. H. Sisson, The Spirit of British Administration (1959) p. 37.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    William A. Robson, ‘The Present State of Teaching and Research in Public Administration’, in Public Administration (1961) p. 220.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    Sir Maurice Dean, ‘The Public Servant and the Study of Public Administration’, in Public Administration (1962) pp. 22–3.Google Scholar
  6. 1.
    C. H. Sisson, The Spirit of British Administration (1959) p. 34.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© G. K. Fry 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Kingdon Fry
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsUK

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