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moment to the educational relation of Elementary and Secondary as bearing on this.
To certain pupils, the majority, elementary instruction is an end in itself; it is all the day school education they can hope to get: school days are over at the age of fourteen. To certain other pupils, however, the select minority, the aristocracy of intellect, it is but the first stage in an extended course. No distinct line can be drawn between the two classes, nor can a clearly marked division be established where the Elementary course of a pupil who is to continue his studies passes into the Secondary. The Elementary School, in its compulsory stage, trenches on the sphere of the Secondary; the Secondary, on the other hand, desires to secure its pupils long before the age of fourteen. The transitional period is at present set down as twelve to fourteen, it might be a little earlier; it has given rise to the greatest practical difficulties in the curriculum of the Elementary School in recent years, " et adhuc sub judice Us est ".
The difficulty is familiar to all concerned in any way with the management of Elementary Schools. There is a certain necessary curricuhim,, popularly known as "standard" work, which every pupil has to take, about the merits of which there is no question. It occupies the average pupil up to about the age of twelve. Of the pupils over twelve there are two classes: the many, who are to quit school at fourteen; the few, who are to continue at studies till the age of sixteen, or it may be further. Are the educational requirements of the two classes identical, or ought a separate curriculum to be provided for either? Not seldom the special aptitude shown during the transition period determines the prolongation of the study. If a Secondary course is to be taken up, the sooner after twelve it is done the better; even twelve is late enough. The Secondary School wishes to catch its pupils young; naturally the Elementary School wishes to retain them as long as it can. Transplanting is dangerous, and especially so unless there is to be thrie given to obtain a firm root in the new soil. Better allow pupils to remain till fourteen at the Elementary School than remove them to the Secondary if they are to leave it at fourteen. Better get the pupils to Secondary studies at twelve if they are to take a moderately complete Secondary course. The practical solution has not yet been found, but this at least is certain, that the difficulty will be enormously aggravated if there are independent, and to some extent rival, bodies managing the two sets of schools. On this ground the argument for a single governing body becomes of the very strongest.
There remains now to consider whether the element of distance ought to be allowed predominant weight, or how it stands in regard to educational efficiency, grading and co-operation. The Elementary School is the popular school and should be in touch with the people. Very good; ergo it must be subject to popular control, it must be managed by the people. We shall see by-and-by what this may mean. The Secondary School is remote from the people in a "centre," it does not concern the people so very much, it may be managed by any far-away body that will take the trouble and that will provide the means. So the argument shapes itself.
I have endeavoured to show that this idea of popular and non-popular schools is a delusion. The local community, we have seen, must have the management of its schools if the most is to be made of them. But what justification is there for separating the grades of schools? The community cannot be allowed to shirk the responsibility of managing and maintaining its Secondary Schools any more than its Elementary : they are just as much a national concern as the other. That they are not compulsory may be a compliment to the general intelligence of the nation, which may be expected to recognise their value and place, but is no ground for their neglect.
But to return. In seeking a solution of the problem of management we have still to see what conclusion is warranted by the facts regarding the local position of Secondary Schools in town and county respectively. In town the location presents no difficulty whatever. The Secondary School is, to all intents and purposes, as near the homes of the pupils as the Elementary. A pupil of fifteen years of age will have no greater difficulty in finding his way to the Secondary School distant, say, a couple of miles than the child of eight or ten in traversing a fourth of the distance, all the more as the latter has to make the journey twice a day, the former usually only once. The Secondary pupil has increased power of locomotion which in part removes the' difficulty of reaching a school somewhat more remote than would be suitable for children of more tender years. A large town can easily maintain one Secondary School, probably more than one; it can easily provide a complete graded course of training up to the University independently of any external body.
The governing body, too, in a city can be in equally close touch with all grades of Education. Distance presents no obstacle. The Burgh or Grammar School, or College or Institute, or Technical School is quite as easy of access as the Elementary Schools, and there are in the local body which manages Elementary Education, no less fully than there would be in a separate authority, the local touch and local interest which are so desirable to ensure a solid basis for the school and to maintain activity and efficiency in its work.