From Seniority to Merit
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From Seniority to Merit book
For a half-century schools were the target for reform, and quite rightly too, the achievement was brilliant. But the reformers were as always too single-minded. Up till the Hitler war and for some years after, education determined prospects for promotion almost as much as it does in modern times. The manual worker who left school at the minimum age ordinarily remained a manual worker for life, the farthest he could go being to charge-hand and foreman, or, if he was lucky, by another route to general secretary of a trade union. Industry surrendered to teachers the function of selecting recruits for management with a good enough grace when it saw that surrender was essential to survival. When intelligent public opinion as a whole recognized that efficiency must be raised, in the general interest of mankind as well as of the part of it inhabiting these islands, the claims of youth could not be denied.