IN 1856 a Royal Commission under the Duke of Newcastle was instructed to survey the elementary educational system that had grown up since the first national grant of £20,000 in 1833 was shared between the National Society and the British and Foreign Schools Society. The Newcastle Commission recommended in 1861 that in future Government grants should be paid only to those schools that were reported by Her Majesty’s Inspectors as efficient in the teaching of the basic subjects. A detailed schedule of work was laid down for each ‘standard’ or age-group by the Revised Code of the Education Department and on this children were examined by Her Majesty’s Inspectors on a given date each year and grants paid on the standards achieved. This, while seeking to ensure some evenness of standard in the battle against illiteracy, began the long history of oppression, hostility, and organized deception in elementary schools that continued till 1902 and after, although the Revised Code began to break up in 1895. The reverberations in the attitudes of teachers in elementary schools lasted until well into the twentieth century and the thought of any experimentation in state-supported schools during the period from 1862 was quite killed.1
KeywordsElementary School Corporal Punishment Royal Commission English Education Grammar School
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