11. - The Council on 8th October, 1907 referred back to the Committee's recommendation for the discontinuance of the award of attendance medals, and instructed the Committee to report as to amending the rules for the award of medals, and as to the possibility of extending the medal system to non-provided schools. We have accordingly reconsidered the matter.
Correspondence has now been submitted to us (i.) from various groups of managers (a) recommending the abolition of the two days notice, (b) suggesting an increase in the number of absences to be allowed, (c) recommending that no child be deprived of a medal on account of absence through illness, (d) suggesting that the ninth medal should be a silver medal, (e) calling attention to the cases of Jewish schools, (f) recommending the application of the medal system to non-provided schools; (ii.) from parents with reference to the loss of medals on account of exclusion of children from school owing to infectious diseases at home; (iii.) from the managers of St. Leonard's N. (Wandsworth) , again urging that the council should assist them with respect to an account of £5 10s. for attendance medals supplied to the scholars, inasmuch as the attendance encouraged by these medals tends to increase the Government grant; (iv.) from the Woolwich Metropolitan Borough Council pointing out that outbreaks of scarlet fever and diphtheria have recently occurred in the district, expressing the opinion that infection is most often spread by children who have slight but obvious symptoms of the disease; that children often attend school when their health requires that they should be kept at home, in order to qualify for the attendance medal; and asking the Council to discontinue the practice of awarding such medals.
We now submit revised regulations for the award of medals. These regulations will, if approved, be applicable to both L.C.C. and non-provided schools. They relate to (.) the kinds of medals; (ii.) the exclusion of children from school under the regulations of the Council; and (iii.) the recognition of attendance made at other schools by those children who have been less than a year in their present schools.
With reference to the medals, it should be mentioned that a series of eleven medals has hitherto been awarded, as follows - First year, white metal, with white metal clasp; second year, white metal, with bronze clasp; third year, white medal, with gilt clasp; fourth year, bronze, with bronze clasp; fifth year, bronze, with gilt clasp; sixth year, bronze gilt, with white metal clasp; seventh year, bronze gilt, with bronze clasp; eighth year, bronze gilt, with gilt clasp; ninth year, bronze gilt, with orange ribbon and gilt clasp; eleventh year, silver medal; children gaining a tenth medal were also presented with a framed engraving. As a rule was made in 1898 by the late authority excluding all children below standard I. from receipt of medals, it appears that after 1908 it will be impossible for children to earn 11 medals in succession, i.e., medals for each year from 3 to 14, and as a rule not more eight medals will be possible, viz., from 6 to 14. We do nor propose to make any change in the medals up to the seventh, but we suggest that the eight and subsequent medals should be made of silver, and that the presentation of a framed engraving should be discontinued.
Under the existing regulations, children who have been absent from school suffering from infectious diseases or who have been excluded from school in consequence of the existence of infectious diseases in their homes, are disqualified for medals. On the other hand, if a part of a school is closed by order of the sanitary authority or the Council, the claim for a medal of any child so excluded is not affected. We are of the opinion that a regulation should be made providing that the exclusion of a child from school on account of illness for which he is excluded under the regulations of the Council shall not affect his claim for a medal. As regards the recognition of attendances at other schools the existing regulations state that a child who has been less than a year at the school and who has previously attended a L.C.C. school shall be entitled to a medal if he has attended at the two schools in accordance with the regulations. We suggest that this rule should be extended so as to include attendances at other public elementary schools both inside and outside the county provided that satisfactory evidence be given of the required attendances in such schools. The only other alteration we propose is that the ward of the medal should be subject to the head teacher being satisfied as to the child's industry in addition to his cleanliness, tidiness and good conduct throughout the year.
We are of the opinion that the revised regulations should come into force as from the commencement of the educational year 1907-8, and that they should be applied to non-provided schools as from the same date. We recommend -
(a) That the regulations set out in article 173 of the provisional school management code be repealed, and that the subjoined regulations in regard to the award of attendance medals to children attending L.C.C. and non-provided schools be substituted therefor; and that the Council be recommended accordingly -
(i.) Qualification for medals - A medal is awarded to every child (with the exception of those children in infants' departments who at the close of the educational year are below standard I.) who has attended punctually on every occasion on which the school has been open during the educational year, provided that absence on not more than four half-days or two whole days in a year shall not debar any child from receiving a medal if at least two days' written notice of such absence has been sent to the head teacher by the parent or guardian of the child.
(ii.) Kinds of medals - The first three medals awarded to the same child will be of white metal, the fourth and fifth of bronze, the sixth and seventh of gilded bronze, and the eighth and subsequent medal or medals, of silver.
(iii.) Definition of punctual attendance - By punctual attendance is meant attendance at school at 9 o'clock in the morning and 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
(iv.) Registration, and errors in registers - The following method of distinctively marking attendances is to be adopted in all schools, viz. -
(a) Punctual attendances - The roll is to be called at exactly 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the name of each child present is to be marked in red ink.
(b) Late attendances - the roll is to be called again at the time of closing the register, and the name of each child who has entered the school since the first marking is to be marked in black ink.
(c) Errors in register - There must be no erasures in the registers; any error must be corrected by a footnote which must be dated.
(v.) Attendance at examinations - Punctual attendance at a special class in connection with the school or at a recognised examination for educational purposes is equivalent to a punctual attendance at the ordinary school, but proof of such attendance must be furnished.
(vi.) Partial closing of school - The closure of part of a school by order of the sanitary authority or the Council shall not affect the claim for a medal of any child thereby.
(vii.) Exclusion owing to illness - The exclusion under the regulations of the Council, of a child from school on account of illness, shall not affect the claim for a medal of any child so excluded.
(viii.) Promotions from infants' departments - A child promoted from the infants' department to a senior department must be credited with any punctual attendances made in the infants' department in the same educational year.
(ix.) Leaving before end of session - If a child, who has received a red mark for punctual attendance is obliged by any sudden or unforeseen cause (in which case the sanction of the head teacher must be obtained), or to attend an examination, to leave the school before the session is over, with the sanction of the head teacher, his red mark shall count towards a medal, although he fail to make the number of attendances required under article 43 of the code of regulations for public elementary schools.
(x.) (a) Attendance at other schools - A child who has been less than a year at school and who has previously attended another public elementary school, shall be entitled to a medal, if such child has attended at the other school or schools in accordance with the regulations, provided that satisfactory evidence be given of the required attendance in such schools. The term "other school or schools" includes public elementary schools whether inside or outside the county.
(b) Head teachers requisitioning medals under this regulation must forward with the requisition certificate from the head teacher of the school or schools which the child has attended, in each case as to the attendance and punctuality of the child for the necessary period.
(xi.) Award of medals subject to good conduct, etc. - No child may receive a medal who has not satisfied the head teacher as to his (or her) cleanliness, tidiness, industry and good conduct throughout the year.
(xii.) Requisitions for medals - A requisition form in duplicate for each department will be forwarded to schools before the summer holidays. To facilitate an early supply one copy of the medal requisition form must be forwarded to the executive officer on the day on which the schools close for the summer holidays. This copy will be returned to the school with the medals, and is to be preserved by the head teacher. The other copy of the requisition form is to verified by the managers as soon as possible, and then forwarded to the executive officer. No medals will be supplied until the verified copy of the requisition form has been received. Requisitions are to be prepared from the attendance registers, and must contain the names of the children and the standards they were in at the end of the year. In making out requisitions for medals, it is necessary that the head teacher should verify the claims for second and subsequent medals by reference to the previous requisition form. The names of the scholars should be written clearly, or where possible, typewritten.
(b) That the revised regulations referred to in resolution (a) do come into force as from the commencement of the educational year, 1907-8; and that the Council be recommended accordingly.
(c) That the decision of the Council with reference to attendance medals be communicated to the persons from whom representations on the subject have been received.