During demobilization the need of education in the Army would be greatly increased

Schools were still not back to normal.

Report of School Management Sub-committee, 18 January 1919

TEACHERS AND DEMOBILIZATION

The Board of Education have asked to be supplied with particulars as to the teachers in the County on Military Service, and state they will endeavour to secure their early release.

A subsequent letter, however, states that during demobilization the need of education in the Army would be greatly increased, and that it was now proposed that teachers now serving in the Army, if they so desire, might be re-enlisted for a period of one year after the cessation of hostilities. The Board of Education invite Authorities to consider how they can co-operate by holding open for teachers who re-engage the posts which now await them on their return.

The Sub-committee have pointed out to the Board of Education the difficulty experienced at the present time in carrying on owing to the number of Head Teachers on military service, and have urged on them the desirability of securing the release of these teachers as soon as possible. With this reservation, the Sub-committee recommend the [Education] Committee to accede to the request…

Report of Works Sub-committee of Education Committee, 18 January 1919

TEMPORARY BUILDINGS

The Board of Education have forwarded particulars of various types of temporary war buildings which might be suitable for use as temporary school buildings, and suggested that the Committee should communicate with the Secretary of the Lands and Buildings Reconstruction Committee, and ask to be informed when any of the buildings were coming up for disposal.

The Sub-committee have asked to be informed where any of these buildings can be seen.

Report of Bylaws and Attendance Sub-committee, 18 January 1919

SCHOOL MEDICAL SERVICE

Dr A Richmond has taken over the work of Acting School Medical Officer as from 1 January in place of Dr W Sisam.

The Sub-committee recommend that the Education Committee do place on record their appreciation of the work of Dr Sisam, show has during the last four years given his services as Acting School medical Officer without payment, in the absence of Dr G C Taylor on Military Service….

EPIDEMIC OF INFLUENZA

In November and December, the epidemic of influenza spread through the county and, with few exceptions, the schools were closed for periods of from a fortnight to six weeks on the advice of the Acting School Medical Officer. The percentage of attendance during the time the various schools were open was low, being in November 79 per cent….

Report of School Management Sub-committee, Berkshire County Council minutes (C/CL/C1/1/22)

Advertisements

Teachers over 45 years will not be called up for the present

The County Council continued to try to prevent all its male teachers from being called up to fight.

MILITARY SERVICE

The Board of Education have notified that, by arrangement with the Ministry of National Service, Teachers over 45 years on 1 January, 1918, will not be called up for the present. The age of protection for teachers in Grade II has been raised to 36 years on 1 January, 1918. At the present time the following arrangements are in operation as regards the protection of teachers:

Teachers in Grade III over 25 years of age on 1 January, 1918
Teachers in Grade II over 36 years of age on 1 January, 1918
All teachers over 45 years of age on 1 January, 1918

Since the last meeting, two Headmasters have been called to the colours, one leaves on 8 October; the calling up of another has been postponed till 31 October. The Board of Education have also recommended postponement in the case of the Headmaster of a large Mixed School in East Berks.

Berkshire County Council: Report of School Management Sub-committee, 12 October 1918 (C/CL/C1/1/21)

Special courses for discharged soldiers who wish to enter the teaching profession

Newbury welcomed former soldiers to the teaching profession.

Friday, September 27th, 1918

Teachers on Military Service

The Sub-committee much regret to report that Lieut. M. Rose, Hants Regiment, has died as a result of wounds received in action in France. Mr Rose was on the staff of the Newbury Boys’ Council School, and left to enter the army in June 1916. This school has now lost two of its masters in the war.

Training of Discharged Soldiers

A circular letter was received from the Board of Education, with reference to the establishment of special courses for discharged soldiers who wish to enter the teaching profession, and suggesting that applicants from each area should be medically examined by the School Medical Officer. The Sub-committee were informed that the Committeee’s School Medical Officer (Dr R. Hickman) had kindly offered to medically examine any candidate from this area without payment of the usual fee.

Finance, School Management and General Purposes Sub-committee of the Education Committee of Newbury Borough Council: minutes (N/AC1/2/9)

The Nation can be proud of its young sons and daughters

The Royal Family was impressed by the commitment shown by Berkshire children and their teachers to supporting the war.

The following copy letter received by the President of the Board of Education from the King’s Private Secretary has been forwarded to this Committee, and they have directed a copy to be sent to each Head Teacher of the schools in the county:

Windsor Castle

It has given the King and Queen much pleasure to visit recently Schools of various types, and thus gain an insight into the daily life of the rising generation at work and at play.

Their Majesties are aware of the magnificent response which the Educational Service throughout the County has made to the demands of the present time, not only in its contribution to the Fighting Forces, but also in the assistance which it has rendered in many kinds of important War Work.

Above all, they wish to express their admiration of the self-denial and devotion of the Teachers, who it is evident, while training the mind and body of their pupils, recognise the importance of the formation of character.

These visits have brought home to the King and Queen the keenness and patriotism of the Youth of the Country.

They realise the unselfish and hearty manner in which boys and girls, inspired by the example of their Teachers, have formed War Savings Associations; subscribed money for charitable purposes; and, by their handiwork, contributed to the personal needs and comforts of the Troops.

Their Majesties feel that the Nation can be proud of its young sons and daughters, whose example during this great War augurs well for the future of our race.

I am commanded to request you to convey to the School Authorities and Teachers the hearty congratulations of the King and Queen upon the admirable manner in which the Public Service of Education is being maintained, the progress of which Their Majesties will ever watch with interest and sympathy.

Believe me
Yours very truly
Stamfordham

Report of Berkshire Education Committee, 27 April 1918 (C/CL/C1/1/21)

Patriotic work which may be of great value to the nation

Instructions were issued for organising the collection of horse chestnuts for use in munitions.

Horse Chestnuts

The Board of Education has issued a circular letter conveying a request from the Minister of Munitions and Food Controller that the Schools should assist in the Collection of Horse Chestnuts.

Neither the teachers not the children are to be asked to do this work as part of their School work, and there is no proposal that the Government should pay for the nuts. Whatever is done will be patriotic work which may be of great value to the nation.

It has been found that, for certain processes, horse chestnuts can be used in place of grain and it is stated that for every “ton of hose-chestnuts which are harvested, half a ton of grain can be saved for human consumption.”

The chestnuts must be collected into heaps in convenient places, preferably under cover; exposure to the weather will not, however, damage the nuts provided the interior of the heap does not heat.

Before being deposited at the Collecting Station they should be freed from the outer green husk, the shells of the nuts being left intact, if the husks are not removed heating of the heap will certainly take place.

When the collection is complete information will be sent to the Director of Propellant Supplies, stating the estimated quantity of the collection, and the Ministry of Munitions will arrange to remove the nuts and forward them to the factories in the course of the winter.

The work will not commence til October, but in the meantime if owners of trees are inclined to invite children to collect the nuts it will be of great assistance if they will kindly inform the Vicar or the Schoolmaster, and also if they will state whether they can lend baskets or sacks for the purpose.

Particular trees will probably be assigned to particular children, so that the work may be done as far as possible without any sort of loss or damage.

Wargrave parish magazine, September 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

A substitute for certain industrial processes connected with the war

Newbury children were recruited to collect horse chestnuts for use in munitions – which would in turn release more food.

Friday, August 31st, 1917

Teacher on Military Service

The Sub-committee recommend that Mr G F Pyke, a Certificated Assistant Master on the staff at the Newbury CE Boys’ School, who has been on military service since March 31st last, be granted an allowance at the rate of £13 per annum whilst he is holding his present rank in the Army; such allowance to take effect as from April 1st, 1917.


Collection of Horse Chestnuts

A circular letter was received from the Board of Education intimating that the Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Munitions had asked for the assistance of Local Education Authorities in collecting this year’s crop of horse-chestnuts.

It appears that a considerable quantity of grain is at present being used in certain industrial processes connected with the war, and that in order to set this grain free for food, experiments have been made to discover a substitute. This substitute has been found in the horse-chestnut, and it is stated that for every ton of chestnuts which are harvested, half a ton of grain can be saved for human consumption.

The secretary was asked to make the necessary arrangements with the schools for the older boys and girls to assist in collecting the horse-chestnuts in the borough and neighbourhood, and to communicate with owners of property with the view to permission being granted to parties of children to collect the nuts on their premises.

The Sub-committee have made the following arrangements for the temporary storage of the chestnuts:

(a) for children collecting north of Newbury Water Bridge: at Mr J Stradling’s premises (The Newbury Coach and Motor Works), London Road.

(b) for children collecting south of Newbury Water Bridge: the playshed of the Council Boys’ School, Station Road.

Minutes of Finance, School Management and General Purposes Sub-committee of the Education Committee, Newbury Borough Council (N/AC1/2/8)

Air raid precautions

The Government circulated schools with instructions on how to respond to an air raid.

13th July 1917
A copy of a memorandum dealing with ‘Precautions in Air Raids’ received from the Board of Education was received from Mr Pugh. A plan of action in accordance with the suggestions in the memorandum was drawn up and sent to Mr Pugh.

Emmer Green CE School log book (R/ES8/3, p. 132)

Impress upon the children the urgent need for the prevention of waste in food

Schools in Newbury were struggling thanks to the war.

Thursday, May 24th, 1917

Resignation of Teachers

Mr G H Keen, an assistant master at the Council Boys’ School, had been called up for military service on May 18th, and it is recommended that his appointment be kept open for him.

The secretary was instructed to press for the release from military service of one of the Authority’s teachers who since his enlistment had been medically classified as low as C3, and in the event of this teacher being discharged from the Army to appoint him temporarily to the Council Boys’ School.

It may be mentioned that there were eight Assistant Masters in the service of the Local Education Authority before the war; but now there are only two in the whole of the Borough Schools, and one of these is filling the position temporarily….

Food Economy

A letter was received from the Board of Education calling attention to the urgent need for economy in food and especially for saving in bread, and stating that information had reached the Food Controller that there was waste among the children who brought their midday meal to school. The Sub-committee were informed that the matter had been brought to the notice of the Authority’s Head Teachers, and that they had been asked to impress upon the children the urgent need for the prevention of waste in food.

The Sub-committee were also informed that “Empire Day”, Thursday May 24th, was made the occasion in the Borough Schools for giving the children a special lesson on the subject of Food Economy, and also that copies of the recent Proclamation of the King were distributed in the schools.

The Sub-committee considered the question of providing a Public Kitchen for the use of children who bring their midday meal to school, and the secretary was instructed to ascertain the number of these children in the Borough Schools, and to submit a report on the matter to the next meeting….

Finance, School Management and General Purposes Sub-committee of the Newbury Borough Education Committee (N/AC1/2/8)

Schoolboys should guard their tongues and pens

Anxiety about lurking spies was at fever pitch. It is hard to imagine what military secrets Maidenhead schoolboys may have had to spill.

January 19th 1917
In accordance with the Circular of the Board of Education lessons have been given to the boys in the importance of guarding their tongues and pens so as to avoid leakage of information to the enemy.

Maidenhead Gordon Road Boys School log book (C/EL/107/1)

Seven headmasters saved from conscription (for the present)

With the implementation of conscription, additional pressure was placed on the educational system with teachers, ancillary staff and older students potentially at risk.

Higher Education Sub-committee

SCHOLARSHIPS AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, READING

The Sub-committee have approved the postponement until after the war of the scholarship of Ernest H Austin, who has been called up for Military Service.

School Management Sub-committee

Staffing

The Board of Education, by arrangement with the Army Council, have agreed to postpone the embodiment of seven Head Masters for the present. In the case of three Head Masters and one Assistant, who are not certified for general service, the Committee also understand that they will not be called up without further reference to the Board of Education.

By-Laws and Attendance Committee

ATTENDANCE OFFICERS

The following have been called up for Military Service:
Mr E J Hale from 22 May
Mr E Hunt from 10 June
Mr M O Scown from 15 June…

The Sub-committee have made temporary arrangements for Mrs Scown to act as Attendance Officer for part of the Windsor District, and the remainder of her husband’s district has been assigned to the Easthampstead District.

Two other Officers of military age (Mr Edwards and Mr Barton), both of whom had attested under the Group System, have not yet been called up.

Berkshire County Council: Education sub-committee reports, 15 July 1916 (C/CL/C1/1/19)

No Whitsun holiday

Children in Aldermaston had their holiday dates changed. It had been customary for there to be a week’s break in Whitsun Week, which was always at Pentecost (seven weeks after Easter). The Monday of that week was a general bank holiday.

9th June 1916.
Owing to the War, and in obedience to the wish of the Board of Education there will be no Whitsun holidays, an extra week will be added to the summer holiday.

Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 56)

Playing at soldiers

Berkshire Education Committee was interested in national proposals for a scheme to train teenage boys not yet old enough to join the armed forces. A committee comprising councillor and chair of the committee, H G Willink and Messrs Mansfield and Childs of Reading University reported back. Their main concern was that the men most suitable for running such a programme were away at war, but they also felt that younger boys should not be militarised. Another big issue was the connection between social class and officer status.

Report of Cadet Training Sub-committee to the Education Committee

First report of the Special Sub-committee appointed on 29 April 1916 by the Berks Education Committee to consider the Lord Mayor of London’s “Scheme for the National Organisation of Cadet Training”.

We have met and considered this Scheme; and have also had before us a detailed Scheme of the Essex Education Committee “for the formation and organisation of Cadet Units”.

While not prepared to recommend either Scheme in its entirety, for reasons which will appear, we desire to express our appreciation of the aim underlying both, and to state that in our opinion there is need for some well-considered system by which lads below 18 years of age may not only gain the benefits of discipline but may also undergo a training which will exercise and develop their intelligence. We are convinced that this is essential if the youth of the country is to be adequately prepared either for future naval or military service or to be efficient and useful citizens of the Empire.

The Lord Mayor’s proposals fall under two heads, viz:

1. The establishment of a “National Cadet Council”, with certain relations to other authorities and with a quasi-subordinate system of City and County Cadet Committees…

2. The early introduction of a uniform system of training, upon lines following generally those of the Australian Cadet Scheme (which is established by law) but on a voluntary instead of a compulsory basis.

Under such a Scheme, lads above elementary school age and under 18 would be organised as Senior Cadets, who would receive a minimum of training in Physical Drill, Company (and some Battalion) Drill, Field Training, and Musketry. Boys from 12 to (say) 14, or Junior Cadets, would undergo a training which could only be called military in the sense of being preparation for military work. It would consist of Physical Exercises and Marching Drill, together with any two of the following: Miniature Rifle Shooting, Swimming, Organised Games, and First Aid. Senior Cadets to have a simple uniform, but Juniors none.
As regards the relations with existing formations – OT Corps would not come under the Council at all, the Boys’ Brigade, Church Lads’ Brigade, and YMCA, as well as the Boy Scouts, would remain separate, but close communication between them and the Council would be encouraged; and no objection is raised to lads or boys passing to or from them and Cadet Units, or even belonging to one of them and to a Cadet Unit also.

Note: The Essex Scheme, which contains no reference to the Lord Mayor’s proposals, invites “the co-operation of District Educational Sub-committees, School Managers, Teachers and others, with a view to the formation of Cadet Units”, the membership age to be from that of leaving the elementary school till 19, but no admission after 18….

The Scheme … lays down an elaborate curriculum of instruction, to be given in connection with the Evening Continuation Schools…

One further point may be noted. The Australian lad of 14 receives a “Record Book” in which his military history is entered up to the age of 26 years, and individuals unable to produce a Record Book with a clean service sheet are debarred from any service under the Commonwealth Government. There would, however, appear to be insuperable difficulties in the way of including this valuable feature in any voluntary Scheme, at any rate before the system was in practically universal operation.

Taking the Scheme as its stands, we are of opinion, in regard to the first “head”, that the establishment of some such central consultative body as the proposed “National Cadet Council” is desirable, provided that its functions are in the first instance confined to inquiry, ventilation and discussion; and do not extend to an immediate setting-up of a definite new Scheme, still less to its actual bringing into action.

We give due weight to the objection that the absence on active service, or the employment on other war work at home or abroad, of so many of the men best fitted to construct or introduce a system of such importance is a serious obstacle to arriving at a satisfactory decision upon the best lines for it. But we also feel strongly that the present united spirit of patriotism in public opinion ought to be utilized before reaction sets in, as may very likely be the case when the end of the war comes into sight…

The important point to bear in mind is that no new Scheme can be satisfactory which will not fit into a general plan for National Training for Home Defence, or which will in any way prejudge the question whether such training is to be on a voluntary or compulsory basis….

There are certain points which to us seem fairly clear, and which may be worth stating, if only to elicit discussion.
(more…)

More useful at school than in the army

The headmaster of the church primary school in Warfield looked likely to escape military service, as he was not fit enough to go to the front.

10th May 1916

I was attested for military duty at Bracknell on December 10 and reported myself at Reading Barracks on May 6. The military doctor placed me in category 11 Field Service at Home. A letter from the Berkshire Education Committee received this morning says that the recruiting officer will not call me up without reference to the Board of Education Whitehall. It is the opinion of the military authorities that I am more useful at school than I would be if taken for Field Service at Home.

Warfield CE School log book (C/EL26/3, p. 342)

Emergency arrangements for schools

Berkshire Education Committee received the reports of several of its sub-committees on 15 January, and heard how the war was affecting schools.

Higher Education Sub-committee

SECONDARY SCHOOLS: ENLISTMENT OF ASSISTANT MASTERS
The one remaining Assistant Master at the Wallingford County Grammar School has been attested and placed in Army Reserve B. At the Windsor County Boys’ School, Mr F Morrow has left to join HM Army, and Mr Hawtin has been attested under the Group System.

MAIDENHEAD TECHNCIAL INSTITUTE
A letter was received from the Board of Education on 4th January inclosing a letter from the Army Council stating that “the premises in question are required in connexion with a Voluntary Hospital, the administrators of which will be responsible for the payment of the necessary expenses”.

The Board expressed the hope that the premises would be made available accordingly.

This requisition was considered on 8 January and the following resolution was passed:

The Higher Education Sub-committee hereby authorises and directs the Governors of the Maidenhead Technical Institute to carry on the work of the Institute elsewhere and to hand the building over to the Maidenhead Branch of the Red Cross Society without delay.

TRAINING OF WOMEN: CLERICAL AND COMMERCIAL EMPLOYMENT
The Sub-committee have considered the letter from the Home Office (referred to the Committee by the County Council) with reference to the suggestions of the Clerical and Commercial Employment Committee.
The Sub-committee recommend that the demand for such classes in the larger centres of population in the county be ascertained by advertisement; and that if sufficient names be obtained classes be formed provided that it is possible to secure qualified teachers and that the classes can be self-supporting.

School Management Sub-committee

TEACHING STAFF
In addition to the 44 teachers who have already enlisted, 27 teachers have been attested and placed in Army Reserve B. Only three teachers are affected by the calling up of Groups 2 to 9.

AMALGAMATION OF SCHOOLS DURING THE PERIOD OF THE WAR
The Managers of the Thatcham CE Schools will not consent to the Committee’s suggestion that the Infants’ School should be closed, and that both Mixed and Infants should be taken in the Mixed School.
The Managers of Cookham Dean Schools have accepted a proposal for the temporary amalgamation of their two departments under the Headmistress of the Junior Mixed School and the consent of the Board of Education has been obtained on the understanding that the matter will be subject to reconsideration should the arrangement be found to be unsatisfactory in practice.

EMERGENCY ARRANGEMENTS FOR STAFFING
The Board of Education have announced that, in view of the enlistment in response to His Majesty’s appeal of a further number of teachers, the Board rely on Local Education Authorities, after consulting HM Inspector, to make the best arrangements possible for maintaining the schools at a satisfactory level of efficiency. If this is done, they will exercise a wide discretion in the payment of grants. The Board hope that authorities will do all they can to provide temporary substitutes for assistants who have joined the forces. They will, however, expect every effort to be made to provide a properly qualified Head Teacher in each school; but may, in exceptional cases, e.g. small or remote schools, agree to recognise a teacher not fully qualified.

These departures must be regarded as for the period of the war only.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES
A letter has been received from the Educational Supply Association stating that, owing to the very considerably increased cost of articles, they must take advantage of the force majeure clause of their contract. A letter has also been received from Messrs Charles & Son (Kindergarten Materials) asking for an increase of 12 ½ per cent on their contract prices.

By-laws and Attendance Sub-committee

MORTIMER ST JOHN’S SCHOOL
The Sub-committee have considered a suggestion from the School management Sub-committee that this school might be closed for the period of the war. The Managers have agreed to offer no opposition to the proposal… The children would attend St Mary’s Infants’ School.

Agricultural Instruction Committee report [also to the Education Committee]

TRAINING OF WOMEN
The Committee have received a recommendation from the Berkshire War Agricultural Committee that a grant not exceeding £50 be made to the Berkshire Committee on Women and Farm Labour for the training of women in farm work.

A communication has also been received from the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries calling attention to the importance of training women for work on the land, and inviting the co-operation of the Committee in providing such instruction as is required.

It is according recommended that a sum not exceeding £50 be granted to the Berkshire Committee on Women and Farm Labour during the current financial year for the purposes of training women on the lines set out for the organisation by the circular letter of the Board of Agriculture of 29 November, 1915, and for the organisation by that Committee of meetings, where desirable, with the object of forming a register of women capable of undertaking some agricultural work and of farmers willing to employ them.

Reports to Berkshire Education Committee (C/CL/C1/1/19)

Health and domestic arrangements permitting, married women teachers to keep their jobs

The reports of various sub-committees to Berkshire Education Committee on 16 October 1915 show various effects of the war on everyday life. One was the opportunity for women teachers to stay in employment after they got married; normally they would have been forced to resign as it was expected that they would be starting a family.

Higher Education Sub-committee

MAIDENHEAD TECHNICAL INSTITUTE

In reply to a letter from the Board of Education, enclosing a letter from the Army Council, the Sub-committee have adopted the following resolution:

In view of the statement of the Army Council that more hospital accommodation is required, no obstacle will be interposed by this Sub-committee to the use of the Maidenhead Technical Institute provided that:

No other available premises, such as the Maidenhead Modern School, are deemed top be suitable.

A formal requisition is received from the War Department.

Formal guarantees are given with respect to care of the fabric and repayment of expense incidental to the removal of the Classes.

School Management Sub-committee

TEACHING STAFF

The number of teachers on Military Service up to 25th September was 41, and it is recorded, with regret, that of these three have been killed: Mr W H S Berry, Mr H W Thornton, Mr R P Cowles. A letter of condolence has been sent in each case to their parents.

The Sub-committee have approved the continuance on the staff after their marriage of several female teachers, provided that their health and domestic arrangements do not interfere with their school work.

AMALGAMATION OF SCHOOLS DURING THE PERIOD OF THE WAR

The Managers of the North Moreton School will not consent to a temporary transfer of their school to the South Moreton Council School under their own Head Teacher.

No definite replies have been received from the Managers of the Sonning, Thatcham and Hurst Schools as to the proposals of the Sub-committee.

Berkshire Education Committee minutes (C/CL/C1/1/18)