LOSS OF TWO GREAT PERSONALITIES
CAN THEIR PLACE BE FILLED? Some Problems and Suggestions
By Our Educational Correspondent
The Catholic community and the Catholic Education Council have suffered two severe losses by the deaths of Mr. F. R. Blundell and Mr. W. O'Dea. Both were staunch upholders and supporters by voice and pen of Catholic schools. Great leaders were they and one wonders where are those on whom their mantles will fall.
That there are men imbued by the same spirit is shown by the recent happenings at Carlisle.
Notice had been given of a proposal to provide a new public elementary school at Currock in accordance with Section 29 of the Education Act (1921) in which would be given religious instruction in accordance with Catholic Doctrine.
The Education Committee of the local education authority recommended that an appeal be lodged with the Board of Education against the erection of the Catholic school on the ground that it would interfere with the authority's scheme of reorganisation. This, although opposed by Dr. G. Sheehan and Mr. F. A. Finn, was carried brig votes to 5.
If Once You Don't Succeed . . .
The Education Committee's minutes were submitted to the City Council and at the meeting Dr. Sheehan proposed as an amendment to the Education Committee's recommendation " that a school for Roman Catholic children be approved."
His staunch advocacy bore fruit and his motion was agreed to.
A recent happening at Norwich calls for some comment. At present the only Catholic school in the city is an unreorganised one in premises quite unsuited to modern senior school conditions.
The authority approached the managers who showed that they were willing to cooperate with the authority and before the passing of the Act secured a site for tit( proposed school.
The estimated cost 'of providing the school and adapting the house included it the site is £5,970 and the authority hay( decided, subject to the approval of th( Board of Education, to make a grant o 50 per cent. of that amount, no grant be ing made in respect of the acquisition o the site.
The existing premises will be adapt& for use as primary and infant departments The question that arises here is Is sucl an agreement valid since no contributio, is to be made with regard to the cost o, the site?
Section 8 (5) of the Education Ac states: "A grant .. . shall be not less that one half . . . of the amount of the cost o. carrying the proposals."
Can the Board of Education approve o such a scheme? Again, in this case, al( Norwich Authority have agreed that thi head teacher and half of the staff shall bt " reserved " teachers, i.e., in this instance these teachers will be the ones who art responsible for the giving of the instruc tion in accordance" with the teachings o the Catholic Church.
Is it wise on the part of the authorit3 not to allow 100 per cent. Catholi( teachers? Is it good for the education o the children that the teaching staff is no united with regard to the fundamenta characteristic of the school?
Again one wonders what will happer during the absence of either a " reserved' or " unreserved " teacher member of du staff. If the teacher be an unreserves teacher, the head teacher presumably can not give the " syllabus " instruction Would it not be better to supply all Catho lie teachers and allow that where an un reserved teacher's services are required, di( children be given simple Bible instructim devoid of any creed or formulary?
Simple Bible Instruction
This would lead to better organisation fo any teacher would be able to take any clas instead of being limited to a particula section of the school.
There are many teachers at the presen moment who are Catholics and who tend in provided schools. All are praised fo the conscientious way in which they instruc the children in simple Bible teaching. It fact, I know of an instance where one suet teacher when about to leave to take up an other post, received a request from a non Catholic colleague for her notes of lesson for her guidance because the lessons gives were so good.