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Extensions at Regent Street Polytechnic and the Northern Polytechnic were begun and work was continued on the new building for the Hackney Technical Institute. Morley College was transferred to a reconstructed building in the Westminster Bridge Road.
139. In the provinces an extension of the Ascroft Street Technical School, Oldham, was begun and the Technical Institute at Erith was enlarged. The Society of Merchant Venturers, Bristol, acquired a large factory and an extensive adjacent site. The factory has been reconstructed and certain buildings added, and the whole of the premises have been planned for carrying on various trade classes, provision being made for the various branches of the building trade, including painting and decorating, the printing trades, including the work of compositors, lithographers, monotype and linotype operators and for the boot and shoe trade. The speed with which these alterations were carried out is noteworthy, the adapted premises having been ready for partial occupation within two months of the beginning of the work.
140. Mention should be made of the excellent new day continuation school premises provided at Street, Somerset, by a local firm of boot and shoe manufacturers.
141. New Types of Instruction.-Throughout the history of technical education the schools have usually acted on the assumption that their main task was to give students a knowledge of the principles of workshop and factory practices, and to teach them how these principles are applied. Further, a very large proportion of the students have gone to the technical school in the hope that by the exercise of diligence and ability there they might fit themselves for advancement in industry or commerce.
142. While both these factors remain, there are signs that the school authorities are taking wider views as to the functions which they ought to perform. In one direction they are beginning to provide instruction for the less ambitious recruits to industry and commerce who see no clear prospect before them of rising to responsible posts, but are willing to work hard at making themselves more skilful in doing the actual daily work by which they earn their living. In another direction the schools are now providing instruction which is without any vocational interest, but is likely to increase the selfreliance of the student, to develop in him habits of industry and concentration, and to broaden his general outlook.
143. Thus at Leeds and in London there have been classes for the junior employées of retail stores engaged in selling textile and other goods. At Leicester classes have been held for shop assistants and those engaged in the wholesale and retail distribution of boots
and shoes. In London, Leeds, Brierley Hill and other centres. classes have been arranged for butchers' assistants and apprentices. These classes were started on the initiation of the trade itself which has been willing in each case to provide the necessary equipment either by gift or by loan. Members of local Trade Associations take a very keen interest in the classes, some of their members occasionally giving expert demonstration or providing meat for practice. The students, as a rule, prepare for the National Diploma for Meat Traders issued by the National Federation of Meat Traders Associations, to whose interest and support much of the credit for the recent developments is due. At the Leicester Technical College there have been successful classes in "Smoke Abatement." Those in attendance included stokers, boiler attendants, and sanitary inspectors. In every case the fees have been paid by the employers. A course of instruction for coopers has been carried on at Burton-onTrent, its initiation being due to the interest taken by the trade union concerned.
144. There have been interesting developments in London. For example, one new junior technical school is for boys intending to enter the boot and shoe industry; another is for boys who are to be hairdressers; and full-time trade courses in hairdressing and photography have been opened for girls over 16 who have completed a secondary school course. Five new men's (junior) evening. institutes have been opened for boys of 14 to 18 in unskilled occupations to whom technical classes make little appeal. The instruction given in these schools is of a less formal kind than that given in the ordinary evening institutes, and consists largely of gymnastics, the pursuit of hobbies and wood and metal work. The schools which by the end of April, 1926, had already enrolled over 2,500 students will attempt to do for boys engaged in unskilled work what is already being done for adult men in the London Men's Institutes.
145. National Certificates. During the year under review the Board came to an agreement with the Institution of Naval Architects and the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights under which the National Certificate system was extended so as to provide for shipbuilding apprentices. So far as can be foreseen it is not likely that the system will be further extended in the immediate future.
146. On page 42 of our last Report we showed the working of these schemes. The figures there given included particulars for the three schools in Wales in which these schemes have been adopted.
147. It is evident from these figures that the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering schemes are serving the needs of very substantial numbers of part-time students. These schemes have certainly encouraged the development of a more advanced stage of evening study. Part-time teaching of chemistry in association with the related studies of physics and mathematics which are essential for the attainment of the National Certificate standard is less widely extended. Nearly one half of all the candidates for ordinary certificates entered from four schools (Liverpool, Manchester, Salford and Bradford) and the first two of these provided 33 of the 51 candidates for higher certificates.
148. Short Courses for Teachers.-The Board, as in previous years, provided during the year under review a number of short courses of instruction for teachers engaged in schools working under the Regulations for Technical Schools. Courses of this kind were started, nearly 60 years ago, by the Science and Art Department to serve two distinct purposes. The first was to enable the teachers in attendance" to acquire for the benefit of their students a knowledge of the latest progress in those educational subjects which affect the schools"; the second was to "instruct the teachers in the art of teaching and making their experiments, etc." At that time the subjects selected were necessarily those commonly studied in the schools, that is, pure science and subjects closely related to building and engineering; the instruction was given at the Royal College of Science by members of the staff of that institution during three weeks in July or early August.
149. With the development of the technical school and the widening of its curriculum much greater elasticity has been given to the arrangement. The subjects of instruction during this year for example have been Engineering Science, Electrical Engineering, Building subjects, Painting and Decorating, Commercial subjects, Textiles, English, Cookery, Dressmaking, and for teachers in continuation schools Elementary Mathematics and Science. In selecting the subjects, the Board have always considered carefully whether the instruction could more properly be provided by them or by local education authorities, and have followed the plan of making only such provision as can be given more conveniently or more economically by them than by local education authorities. The Board are, however, of opinion that the present system of organising and conducting classes for teachers through Your Majesty's Inspectors is not capable of much greater extension under existing conditions.
150. It is now customary to provide courses of three types :— (a) Full-time-lasting for a period of two weeks at the end of
(b) Week-end-lasting from a Friday evening until the following Monday morning.
(c) Part-time-lasting from 10 to 12 weeks with one meeting each week.
Of these, the full-time courses are generally more convenient for teachers devoting their whole time to teaching, while the weekend and part-time courses meet more suitably the needs of the very large proportion of technical teachers whose main occupation is not teaching but some work in industry or commerce. Some fulltime teachers find it convenient, however, to attend the shorter courses and a few part-time teachers are sufficiently free to be able to attend the full-time courses. The arrangements made during the year have been as follows:
151. The decision to hold any particular course is always made after inquiry from Your Majesty's Inspectors in different parts of the country, since they are well acquainted with local needs and are able to make estimates of the number and types of teachers who may be expected to attend and to follow with profit to themselves and with advantage to their students the courses of instruction provided for them.
152. In each course, whatever the subject, it has to be decided whether stress is to be laid upon increasing the range of the student's knowledge of the subject or upon increasing his skill as a teacher of the subject. In the full-time courses and in the part-time courses which extend over several weeks, both aims are kept in view. In the week-end courses emphasis is normally laid upon the discussion of methods with a view to increasing practical skill, rather than upon a wider acquaintance with the subject to be taught. It is, of course, true that in some cases one aim may be much more important than the other, but in all cases both are present.
153. Experience has shown the paramount importance of arranging for the teachers attending any continuous course to have ample leisure and opportunities as long as the course lasts for the exchange of views, opinions and knowledge. It is fortunate that through the kindness of the authorities of various colleges, it has been possible for teachers attending full-time courses to spend a fortnight together living in the same building, and associating with other teachers, with Your Majesty's Inspectors and with the other lecturers and tutors engaged. Thus the teachers taking the fulltime courses in engineering have had rooms in Oriel College, Oxford, the teachers of commercial subjects in Trinity College, Cambridge, and the teachers of textiles, building, and painting and decorating in Westminster Training College. It is gratifying to record that men of high standing in industry and commerce have shown considerable interest in the courses and have been willing, often at some inconvenience to themselves, to address the teachers on topics of which they have a thorough knowledge. It is also of interest to note that it is usual at the beginning of every course for the teachers in attendance to elect various committees and to establish cricket and other clubs. The keen desire of the teachers and their zeal to co-operate for the common good are remarkable.
154. The following observations relate to the different full-time and week-end courses carried on during the year :