chapter  2
18 Pages

The Higher Grade Schools

More was needed, however, than a revision of out-of-date schemes and a reorganization of misapplied endowments. The costs of education were rising and the majority of the grammar schools were unable, on their endowments alone, to provide a good secondary education at a fee which the middle classes were prepared to pay. The Headmasters were consequently ready to accept the financial aid which the Government was prepared to make available for the development of technical education. In 1889 the Technical Instruction Act permitted the newly created County Councils and urban sanitary authorities to levy a penny rate in support of technical teaching. A year later the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act gave to the County Councils and County Borough Councils the money at first intended to compensate publicans

1 G. A. N. Lowndes, The Silent Social Ref/Diu/ion, pp. 5-6. 13

whose licences had not been renewed, and known popularly as 'whiskey money'. This money could be used to relieve the rates, or, at the option of the local authority, to further technical education. 'Technical' in this connection was interpreted widely, and included not only instruction in science and art, but in any other subjects which had been requested by a local authority and sanctioned by the Science and Art Department. As a consequence many County Councils used some of the money to aid the grammar schools of their locality. Such aid might take the form of scholarships, or of a grant towards the cost of a laboratory or scientific equipment.