WOMEN WORKERS IN SEVEN PROFESSIONS
A SURVEY OF THEIR ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AND PROSPECTS
EDITED FOR THE STUDIES COMMITTEE OF THE FABIAN WOMEN'S GROUP
EDITH J. MORLEY
The task of collecting and editing the various essays of which this book is comprised, has not been altogether easy. Some literary defects and absence of unity are, by the nature of the scheme, inevitable: we hope these are counterbalanced by the collection of first-hand evidence from those in a position to speak authoritatively of the professions which they follow. Experientia docet, and those who desire to investigate the conditions of women's public work in various directions, as well as those who are hesitating in their choice of a career, may like carefully to weigh these opinions formed as a result of personal experience.
For other defects in selection, arrangement, proportion and the like, I am alone responsible. I have, from the first, been conscious that many people were better suited to the editorial task than myself—women with more knowledge of social and economic problems, and, perhaps, with more leisure. But at the moment no one seemed to be available, and I was persuaded to do what I could to carry out the wishes of the Studies Committee of the Fabian Women's Group. If I have in any measure succeeded, it is owing to the generous help and unvarying kindness I have received in all directions. In the first place, I would express my gratitude to the members of the Studies Committee, and more particularly to Mrs Charlotte Wilson, the fount and inspiration of the whole scheme, to Mrs Pember Reeves, and to Mrs Bernard Shaw. My indebtedness to all the contributors for their promptitude, patience, and courtesy, it is impossible to exaggerate. I hope it will not be thought invidious if I say that without Dr Murrell's sub-editorship of the Medical and Nursing Sections, and the unstinted and continual help of Dr O'Brien Harris, the book could not have appeared at all. The latter's paper on "Secondary School Teaching" has had the benefit of criticism and suggestions from one of the most notable Head-Mistresses of her day—Mrs Woodhouse, whose experience of work in the schools of the Girls' Public Day School Trust was kindly placed at the author's disposal. Similarly, some of the details mentioned in the section on "Acting," were kindly supplied by Mrs St John Ervine. Lastly—for it is impossible to mention all who have assisted—I wish to thank Miss Ellen Smith for her unsparing secretarial labours, and Miss M.G. Spencer and Miss Craig, of the Central Bureau for the Employment of Women, for the Table which appears at the end of Section I. This is unique as an exhaustive summary of a mass of information, hitherto not easily accessible to the general public.
EDITH J. MORLEY.
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, READING, December 1913.
PREFATORY NOTE. By the Editor
FOREWORDS. ON BEHALF OF THE STUDIES COMMITTEE OF THE FABIAN WOMEN'S GROUP
I. THE TEACHING PROFESSION
I. INTRODUCTION. By EDITH J. MORLEY, Oxford Honour School of English Language and Literature. Professor of English Language, University College, Reading. Fellow and Lecturer of University of London King's College for Women
II. WOMEN AT THE UNIVERSITIES AND UNIVERSITY TEACHING AS A PROFESSION. By EDITH J. MORLEY
III. SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHING. By (Mrs) M. O'BRIEN HARRIS, D.Sc., London, Hon. Member of Somerville College, Oxford. Headmistress of the County Secondary School, South Hackney
IV. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHING. By (Mrs) KATE DICE, C.T., Class Teacher in the service of the London County Council, Hon. Sec. of the Fabian Education Group
V. TEACHING IN SCHOOLS FOR THE MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY DEFECTIVE. By (Mrs) JESSIE E. THOMAS, C.T., Class Teacher at the London County Council School for Physically Defective Children, Turney Road, Dulwich
VI. THE TEACHING OF GYMNASTICS. By MARY HANKINSON, Hon. Sec. of the Ling Association. Diploma of the Dartford Physical Training College
VII. THE TEACHING OF DOMESTIC SUBJECTS. By (Mrs) MARGARET M'KILLOP, M.A. (Dublin). Oxford Honour Schools of Natural Science and of Mathematics Fellow and Tutor of University of London King's College for Women; and E. BEATRICE HOGG, first-class Diploma, National Training School of Cookery. Instructress, London County Council Probationary and Training Centres, Examiner in Domestic Subjects to the City and Guilds of London Institute, the Nautical School of Cookery, etc. Some time Hon. Sec. London Branch, Assistant Teachers of Domestic Subjects
TABLE I. SHOWING THE COST AND DURATION OF EDUCATION IN ARTS AND SCIENCE, AND THE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR WOMEN STUDENTS AT THE VARIOUS BRITISH UNIVERSITIES. Reprinted (with additions), by special permission, from the pamphlet, "Openings for University Women," published by the Central Bureau for the Employment of Women for the Students' Careers Association
TABLE II. SHOWING SOME ADDITIONAL POST-GRADUATE RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIPS IN ARTS AND SCIENCE AVAILABLE FOR WOMEN STUDENTS, AWARDED BY BODIES OTHER THAN UNIVERSITIES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM. Compiled (with additions) by special permission, from the "Report on the Opportunities for Post-Graduate Work open to Women" published by the Federation of University Women
II. THE MEDICAL PROFESSION INCLUDING DENTISTRY. Sub-Editor: CHRISTINE M. MURRELL, M.D., B.S., London, Assistant Medical Officer of Health (Special Schools) London County Council; Lecturer and Examiner on Adolescence, Health, First Aid, Infant Care, etc., London County Council and Battersea Polytechnic, Honorary Medical Officer, Paddington Creche, and for Infant Consultations, North Marylebone; late Medical Registrar and Electrician and late Resident House Physician, Royal Free Hospital
I. MEDICINE AND SURGERY. By the Sub-Editor
II. DENTAL SURGERY. By (Mrs) Eva M. HANDLEY READ, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., L.S.A., L.D.S. Dental Surgeon to the Royal Free Hospital, the Margaret M'Donald Baby Clinic, and the Cripple Hostel Camberwell
III. THE NURSING PROFESSION TOGETHER WITH MIDWIFERY AND MASSAGE. Sub-Editor: CHRISTINE M. MURRELL
PREFACE. By the Sub-Editor I. GENERAL SURVEY AND INTRODUCTION. By E.M. Musson. Matron of the General Hospital, Birmingham
II. NURSING IN GENERAL HOSPITALS. By E.M. MUSSON
III. NURSING IN PRIVATE HOMES AND Co—OPERATIONS. By GERTRUDE TOWNEND, Sister in her own Nursing Home; late Deputy-Sister, St. Bartholomew's Hospital; late Matron, Royal Ear Hospital, Dean Street
IV. NURSING IN POOR LAW INFIRMARIES. By ELEANOR C. BARTON, President of the Poor Law Infirmary Matrons' Association
V. NURSING IN FEVER HOSPITALS. By S.G. VILLIERS, Matron of the South-West Fever Hospital
VI. DISTRICT NURSING. By AMY HUGHES, General Superintendent of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses
VII. NURSING IN SCHOOLS AND NURSES AS INSPECTORS. By H.L. PEARSE
VIII. NURSING IN HOSPITALS FOR THE INSANE. By a Matron of one of them
IX. NURSING IN THE COLONIES. By A. FRICKER, Matron of the Colonial Hospital, Trinidad, under the Colonial Nursing Association
X. NURSING IN THE ARMY AND NAVY. By the Sub-Editor
XI. PRISON NURSING. By the Sub-Editor
XII. MIDWIFERY AS A PROFESSION FOR WOMEN (OTHER THAN DOCTORS). By ANNIE M'CALL, M.D., Senior Medical Officer and Lecturer, Clapham Maternity Hospital and School of Midwifery; late Lecturer in and Demonstrator of Operative Midwifery, London School of Medicine for Women; Examiner, Central Midwives' Board; Vice-Chairman of the Committee of the London County Council for the Supervision of Midwives in the County of London
XIII. MASSAGE. By EDITH M. TEMPLETON, Secretary of the Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses
IV. WOMEN AS SANITARY INSPECTORS AND HEALTH VISITORS. By (Mrs) F.J. GREENWOOD, Sanitary Inspector, Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury, late Chief Woman Inspector, Sheffield; Associate Royal Sanitary Institute; Certificate, Central Midwives' Board; Diploma, National Health Society
V. WOMEN IN THE CIVIL SERVICE
I. THE HIGHER GRADES: PRESENT POSITION AND PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE. By a Woman Civil Servant
II. THE LOWER GRADES AND THE PRESENT POSITION. By Another Woman Civil Servant
VI. WOMEN CLERKS AND SECRETARIES. By (Mrs) ELSPETH KEITH ROBERTSON SCOTT
VII. ACTING AS A PROFESSION FOR WOMEN. By LENA ASHWELL
APPENDIX I. SCHEME OF WORK OF THE FABIAN WOMEN'S GROUP
APPENDIX II. LATEST CENSUS RETURNS OF WOMEN WORKERS IN THE SEVEN PROFESSIONS CONSIDERED IN THIS BOOK
ON BEHALF OF THE STUDIES COMMITTEE OF THE FABIAN WOMEN'S GROUP
The present economic position of women bristles with anomalies. It is the outcome of long ages of semi-serfdom, when women toiled continuously to produce wealth, which, if they were married, they could enjoy only at the good pleasure of their lords,—ages when the work of most women was conditioned and subordinated by male dominance. Yet in those days the working housewife commanded the consideration always conceded to a bread-winner—even when dependent. In modern times women's economic position has been undermined by the helpless dependence engendered amongst the well-to-do by "parasitism" resulting from nineteenth-century luxury—to quote the striking word of Olive Schreiner. Similarly, dependence has been forced upon large sections of women-folk amongst the manual workers by the loss of their hold upon land and by the decay of home industries. Now a new force is at work: the revolt of the modern woman against parasitism and dependence in all their forms; her demand for freedom to work and to choose her sphere of work, as well as for the right to dispose of what she gains.
Six years ago some women of the Fabian Society, deeply stirred by the tremendous social import of this movement, banded themselves together to unravel the tangled skein of women's economic subjection and to discover how its knots were tied. The first step was to get women to speak out, to analyse their own difficulties and hindrances as matters boldly to be faced. Whatever the truth may turn out to be with regard to natural and inevitable differences of faculty between men and women, it is at least certain that difference of sex, like any other persistent condition of individual existence, implies some difference of outlook. The woman's own standpoint—that is the first essential in understanding her position, economic or other: the trouble is that she has but recently begun to realise that she inevitably has a standpoint, which is not that of her husband, or her brother, or of the men with whom she works, or even that which these persons imagine must naturally be hers. Her point of view is her own, and it is essential to social progress that she shall both recognise this fact and make it understood.
The aim of the Fabian Women's Group was to elicit women's own thoughts and feelings on their economic position, and to this end we invited women of experience and expert knowledge, from various quarters and of many types of thought, to discourse of what they best knew to audiences of women. After the lectures, the questions raised were discussed in all their bearings by women speaking amongst women without diffidence or prejudice. In this manner the physical disabilities of women as workers have been explained clearly by women doctors, and carefully and frankly weighed and considered; the part taken by women in producing the wealth of this country in past times has been set forth by students of economic history, and much scattered material of great value unearthed, and for the first time brought together concerning a subject hitherto deemed negligible by the male historian. Lastly, women employed in or closely connected with each leading occupation or group of occupations to-day—from the professions to the sweated industries—are being asked to describe and to discuss with us the economic conditions they have directly experienced or observed.
It is hoped in time to complete and shape for publication all the material accumulated during these six years. We make a beginning with this book of essays on the economic position of women in seven of the leading professions at present open to them. Some of the papers appear almost in the form in which they were first read to the group and its women visitors: when the original lectures did not fully cover the ground, they have been revised, altered, expanded, or re-written, or essays by new writers have been substituted for those originally presented. Thus the papers on "Teaching in Secondary Schools" by Dr O'Brien Harris and that on "Teaching in Elementary Schools" by Mrs Dice, take the place of an address on "The Life of a Teacher," by Miss Drummond, President of the Incorporated Association of Assistant Mistresses. This paper was withdrawn at the writer's request, but many valuable points from her lecture, which she generously placed at the disposal of the Editor, have been embodied. The other papers in the Education Section are all new. Similarly, in the section which deals with the profession of Nursing, Miss Hughes' paper on "District-Nursing" is the only one which is based on a lecture given to the group; the other articles are all supplementary. Together, we believe they form a unique and almost exhaustive description of the profession.
That the volume might be made as useful as possible, the same method has been followed throughout. The paper and discussion at the group meeting have formed the nucleus from which a thorough treatment of the subject has been developed.
We hope and believe that this book may help to arouse deeper interest in the vigour and energy with which professional women are now striving to make good their economic position; that it may serve to enlist active sympathy with their struggle against the special difficulties and hindrances which beset them, and make plain the value to society of the work they can do. We also believe that the information here brought together may be useful in helping young women to choose and prepare for their life-work.
No pains have been spared to make the book as accurate as possible, and to bring it in every case up to date.
It should be clearly emphasised that each contributor to this volume has expressed her own opinions freely and independently, and that the writers have been selected because they are leading members of their respective professions, not because they represent a particular school of thought. We have endeavoured to get our material from the most authoritative quarters, irrespective of the personal views of those who have supplied it. All the writers have given generously of their time and labour in order that they might contribute to an investigation of profound social and national importance—the clear presentation of the economic position of women as it appears to women themselves. Widely different as are the professional interests and divergent the opinions of the writers of these essays, no one can, as we think, read consecutively the various sections of the book without arriving at the conclusion that, on certain fundamental questions, there is substantial agreement among them. Almost all, as a result of their professional experience, definitely express the conviction that women need economic independence and political emancipation: nowhere is there any hint of opposition to either of these ideals. The writers are unanimous in their insistence upon the importance—to men as well as to women—of equal pay for equal work, irrespective of sex. Wherever the subject of the employment of married women is mentioned—and it crops up in most of the papers—there is adverse comment on the economically unsound, unjust, and racially dangerous tendency in many salaried professions to enforce upon women resignation on marriage. It is clear that professional women are beginning to show resentment at the attempt to force celibacy upon them: they feel themselves insulted and wronged as human beings when, being physically and mentally fit, they are not permitted to judge for themselves in this matter. Apart from their righteous indignation, it may be suggested that, even from the ratepayers' point of view, the normal disabilities of motherhood, with the consequent leave of absence, would probably in the long run be less expensive than the dismissal, at the zenith of their powers, of experienced workers, who have to be replaced by younger and less efficient women. It is, moreover, a truism that the best work is produced by the most contented worker. A fundamentally happy woman, continually strengthened and refreshed by affectionate companionship, is obviously better able to endure the strain of professional work than her unmarried sister, who at best, is deprived of the normal joys of fully—developed womanhood. The action of Central and Local Authorities and of other employers who make marriage a disability for their women employees, is alluded to by our contributors with an indignation, the more striking for the studied calm with which it is expressed.
The future as foreshadowed in these papers seems to us bright with hope. In spite of difficulties, opposition, rebuffs, and prejudice, professional women workers are slowly but surely advancing in status and in recognition. They are gaining courage to train themselves to claim positions of responsibility and command, and to refuse, if occasion arises, to be subordinated, on the ground of their womanhood, to men less able than themselves. They are learning by experience,—many have already learned,—the need for co-operation and loyalty to one another. While they are thus gaining new and valuable qualities, they have never lost, in spite of many hardships, the peculiar joy and lofty idealism in work which are, in part, a reaction from ages of economic and personal dependence.
[Footnote 1: For an analysis of the whole scheme of work of the Fabian Women's Group, see Appendix I.]
[Footnote 2: In Western Australia the following Amendment, 340A., to the Criminal Code has passed the third reading in the Legislative Assembly, and is expected to pass the Legislative Council before this book appears:—
(1) Any person, who, either as principal or agent—(a) Makes or enters into or enforces or seeks to enforce any rule, order, regulation, contract, agreement or arrangement in restraint of or with intent to restrain, prevent or hinder the marriage of any person (N.B. A woman is a "person" in Western Australia) who is in his employment or in the employment of his principal, and is of the age of twenty-one years or upwards; or
(b) Dismisses or threatens to dismiss any person from his employment or the employment of his principal, or alters or threatens to alter, any such person's position to the prejudice of such person by reason of the fact that such person has married or intends to marry, or with a view to restrain, prevent, or hinder such person from getting married;
is guilty of an offence, and is liable to imprisonment for three months, or to a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds.
(2) The provisions of this section shall apply to corporations so far as they are capable of being applied.]
WOMEN WORKERS IN SEVEN PROFESSIONS
THE TEACHING PROFESSION
"All stood thus far Upon equal ground: that we were brothers all In honour, as in one community."
Until recently, girls who desired to earn their livelihood drifted naturally into teaching, which was often the last refuge of the destitute. Even nowadays, it is taken too much for granted that some form of teaching is the obvious opening for educated women, who aspire to economic independence. But, thanks to various causes and developments, it is now almost universally recognised that teaching is a profession, and one which can be entered only by candidates, who are properly equipped and trained. In a book such as this, it may then be assumed that the elderly governess, driven to teach by poverty and lack of friends, with no qualifications but gentility, good manners, good principles, and a humble mind, is a figure which is mercifully becoming less and less common. It is still necessary, however, to insist on the fact that brains and education and training are not by themselves sufficient to produce a successful teacher. Quite literally, teaching is a "calling" as well as a profession: the true candidate must have a vocation; she must mount her rostrum or enter her class-room with a full conviction of the importance of her mission, and of her desire to undertake it. This earnest purpose should not, however, destroy her sense of humour and of proportion; it is possible to take oneself and one's daily routine of work too seriously, a fault which does not tend to impress their importance on a scoffing world. No girl should become a teacher because she does not know how else to gain her living. The profession is lamentably overstocked with mediocrities, lacking enthusiasm and vigour, drifting more and more hopelessly from one post to another. But there is plenty of room for keen and competent women, eager to learn and to teach, and this is true of all branches of the profession. No work can well be more thankless, more full of drudgery and of disappointment than that of a teacher who has missed her vocation. Few lives can be more full of happy work and wide interests than those of teachers who rejoice in their calling.
Yet there is need to call attention to certain drawbacks which are common to all branches of the profession. As a class, teachers are badly paid, and many are overworked. The physical and mental strain is inevitably severe: in many cases this is unnecessarily increased by red-tape regulations that involve loss of time and temper and an amount of clerical work, which serves no useful purpose. Teachers need to concentrate their energies on essentials: of these the life intellectual is the most important, and this, however elementary the standard of work demanded in class. No one can teach freshly unless she is at the same time learning, and widening her own mental horizon. Too many forms to fill up, too many complicated registers to keep, too many meetings to attend—these things stultify the mind and crush the spirit. They are not a necessary accompaniment of State or municipal control, though sometimes under present conditions it is hard to believe that they are not the inevitable concomitants of official regulations. Anything which tends to make teachers' lives more narrow, is opposed to the cause of education. This truth should be instilled into all official bosoms. Wherever the State or the local authority intervenes, wherever public money has been granted, there regular inspection obviously becomes inevitable, but the multiplication of inspectors, each representing a different authority, is not necessary or sensible. At present, in all grant-aided institutions, whatever their status, inspectors do not cease from troubling, and teachers as well as administrative officers, though weary, find no rest. This is as detrimental to the pupil as to the teacher, for it lowers the intellectual standard by substituting form for matter and the letter for the spirit. Thus the inspector of an art-school who enquires only about what are officially termed "student-hours," and not at all about the work therein accomplished, does not make for artistic efficiency either in teacher or taught. Yet this instance is of very recent occurrence, and there are countless parallel cases. No wonder the Universities demand freedom from State control; no wonder Training Colleges and subsidised secondary as well as elementary schools groan under its tender mercies. The present forms taken by this control are mostly obnoxious to all practical educationists. They arise from lack of trust in the teaching profession on the part of administrators—a mistrust which it is of primary importance to allay by increased efficiency, independence, and organisation. Nationalisation of the schools is necessary, if a real highway of education is to be established: it must be obtained without irritating conditions which make freedom, experiment, and progress too often impossible. The task before the teaching profession is to retain full scope for initiative and experiment, whilst working loyally under a public body. This should be specially the work of the socialist teacher, while the socialist administrator and legislator must see that their side of the work leaves full room for individuality.
In the following section it is obviously impossible adequately to consider all branches of the teaching profession, and it has therefore been thought the wisest course to select the leading varieties of work in which women teachers are engaged and to treat them in some detail. The writers of the various articles express their own points of view, gained by practical first-hand experience of the work they describe. Allowance must, perhaps, in some cases be made for personal enthusiasm, or for the depression that arises from thwarted efforts and unfulfilled ideals. At any rate no attempt has been made to co-ordinate the papers or to give them any particular tendency. As a result, certain deductions may be made with some confidence. Women teachers of experience are convinced of the manifold attractions of their profession, and at the same time are alive to its disadvantages as well as to its possibilities. Alike in University, secondary school, and elementary school there is the joy of service, and the power to train,
"To riper growth the mind and will.
"And what delights can equal those That stir the spirit's inner deeps, When one that loves, but knows not, reaps A truth from one that loves and knows?"
Of all teachers, perhaps she who elects to work in an elementary school is in this respect most fortunate and most rich in opportunities, since, to many of her children, she is the one bright spot in their lives, the one person who endeavours to understand and to stimulate them to the effort which all normal children enjoy. For her, too, particularly if her work lies in a poor district, there is the opportunity, if she care to take it, for all kinds of social interests. There will, of course, be much to sadden her in such experiences, but at least they will add a sense of reality to her teaching which will keep her in close touch with life. She will find that there are compensations for hard work and red-tape regulations, even for low remuneration and slowness of promotion. Nor must it be forgotten that, inadequate as is her salary, it contrasts not unfavourably with that of other occupations for women, e.g. clerkships and the Civil Service, in which the work is in itself less attractive. As compared with the assistant mistress in a secondary school, her lot is not altogether unenviable. If she has shorter holidays, larger classes, and at the worst, but by no means inevitably, a lower stipend, these facts must be counterbalanced by remembering that she has comparatively few corrections, much less homework, and no pressure of external examining bodies, that her tenure is far less insecure, and that her training and education have been to a very large extent borne by the State or by local authorities.
The following table gives the approximate cost of College education for elementary teachers-in-training. If it be compared with the expenses that have to be met by other students from private sources (vide p. 7, or, in greater detail, pp. 82 et seq.), it will be seen that the elementary teacher begins her career with a substantial subsidy from the State.
The following is a typical table of annual cost at a University College which provides for two-year and for three-year students. The training is obtainable at slightly lower cost to students in some other colleges.
Grants by Board of Fees payable by students Education to College. to College.
Tuition. Maintenance. Tuition. Maintenance.
Women students L13 L20 L12 From L12 to in residence L22 according to accommodation. (It is to be noted that the Government maintenance grant for men students in residence is L40, which can be made practically to cover expenses.)
Women students L13 L20 L12 ... living at home (paid to student)
Men students receive L25 maintenance grant.
Apparently the Government policy, as evidenced by its maintenance grants, is to discourage women students from entering residential colleges. Yet it is a well-known fact that the wear and tear involved in living at home is far greater than at college—especially for women—and the educational advantages correspondingly fewer than those resulting from residence.
County Councils frequently provide "free places" at local colleges, together, in some cases, with supplementary bursaries for maintenance. Non-resident students—e.g., in London—seldom have any out-of-pocket expenses for their actual education. Nor must it be forgotten that education up to college age is free to junior county scholars and to bursars, who also receive small grants towards maintenance.
College Fees for other than Elementary Teachers-in-Training
Oxford and Cambridge Colleges From L90 to L105 a year for a minimum of 3 years (of 24 weeks).
Other Residential Universities and Colleges From L52 to L90 or L110 a year for a minimum of 3 years (of 30 to 35 weeks).
Non-residential Colleges From L20 to L55 a year for a minimum of 3 years. (The cost of maintenance must be reckoned at about L40 a year, as a minimum.)
Students who desire to do advanced work will need at least one, and probably two, additional years at the University, while all women who intend to teach in schools ought also to spend one year in training.
A large number of County Councils provide "senior" scholarships to cover or partially to cover college fees. In some counties only one or two such scholarships are given annually, and there is severe competition: in others they are comparatively easy to obtain, though there are never enough for all candidates who desire a University education. Most of these scholarships are not renewable for a fourth year of training—an extremely short-sighted policy on the part of the authorities.
At practically every University, entrance or other scholarships and exhibitions are awarded annually. Competition for these is usually very severe, and they are extremely difficult to gain. At Oxford and Cambridge only quite exceptional candidates can hope to secure scholarships at the women's colleges. Moreover, scholarships seldom cover the complete cost of maintenance and tuition; at Oxford and Cambridge they never do so.
Most secondary teachers, then, must incur liabilities varying from L60 to L350, apart from school, holiday, and personal expenses, before they obtain their first degree. On the other hand, a graduate with good testimonials can very often obtain her professional training at comparatively small cost by means of a bursary: with luck, she may get maintenance as well as free tuition. Every year, however, as training is more widely recognised as essential, the proportion of scholarships available becomes smaller. With the advent of the new Teachers' Register, which makes training indispensable after 1918, girls will more and more often be obliged to find means to pay for their own training. At present it is often possible to borrow for this purpose from loan societies specially formed to meet the needs of women preparing to enter professions.
The training for kindergarten and lower-form mistresses is less expensive, arduous, and lengthy. Students are required to give evidence of having received a good secondary education; they can then take their First Froebel Certificate after one year, and their Higher Froebel Certificate after about two years' training. The cost of such training varies from L30 to L58 non-resident; L120 to L150 resident. If they elect to go to the House of Education at Ambleside, the training is for two years, and is specially suited to those who wish to teach in private families. The cost amounts to L90 a year, including residence, which is obligatory.
Kindergarten assistant-mistresses usually obtain from L90 to L100 salary for part-day work, while for whole-day work the rate is the same as that of their colleagues. Mistresses in charge of a large kindergarten department often receive additions to their stipend if they are willing to train student-mistresses for Froebel examinations.
The Ambleside students usually teach small private classes, or accept posts as resident governesses in families. Their remuneration varies in accordance with the work done, but it is usually about the same as that received by kindergarten and lower-form mistresses.
The stipends of other secondary teachers are considered in the article by Dr O'Brien Harris (see p. 32). It should be noted that in good private schools where the standard of teaching is equally high, the salaries are approximately on the same scale as in public schools. But private schools vary enormously in standing. When they are inferior, the teachers are paid miserable pittances, and are often worth no more than they receive. Such schools, however, are rapidly decreasing in number, since they cannot survive competition with public State-aided schools. The best private schools, on the other hand, supply a real need, and, as a large proportion of their pupils do not enter for public examinations, it is possible in them, to make valuable experiments which could not easily be tried in larger subsidised institutions.
In boarding-schools, the conditions do not markedly differ from those obtaining in day-schools. The chief danger is lest the teachers should suffer from the strain of supervision-duties in addition to their work in school. But in the better schools this is avoided by the appointment of house-mistresses, the teaching staff living apart from the girls, either in lodgings or in a hostel of their own. When they "live in," the value of their board for the school terms is usually reckoned at about L40 a year, which is deducted from the ordinary salary of an assistant. The cost of living in a mistresses' house is usually higher, but there are many counterbalancing advantages, the chief of which is complete freedom when school duties are over.
It would not be surprising if all women who have incurred the heavy expenses of preparation for a teaching career, were dissatisfied with the very small return they may expect by way of salary. Certainly if we judged by the standard of payment, the profession might well appear unimportant. Men and women alike receive inadequate remuneration in all its branches, but, as in other callings, women are worse paid than men. One might imagine that the training of girls was less arduous or less important than that of boys, since no one suggests that women teachers are less conscientious or less competent than their male colleagues. Now that at every stage co-education of the sexes is becoming less unusual, it is wise policy in the interests of men as well as of women, to make the standard of remuneration depend, not on the sex of the worker, but on the quality of the work. Otherwise men will gradually be driven from the profession, as is already the tendency in the United States of America and, to some extent, in elementary teaching in this country. Needless to say, the women's salaries need levelling up: it would be hopeless policy to reduce the men's maxima to those of the women. In many secondary schools and in at any rate some elementary ones, there is too great a discrepancy between the salary of the head and that of the assistants. Here again, teachers might endeavour to arrive at some united expression of opinion. All would probably agree that the profession should be entered for the sake of the work itself, and not on the remote chance of becoming a head-mistress. But while the difference in salary is very great, it is inevitable that ambitious teachers must aspire to headships, even though they be better suited to class work.
Finally, it may be repeated, that with all its drawbacks, the teaching profession has much to recommend it to those who desire to make it their life-work. It is not suited to all comers: it makes heavy demands on mind and body and heart; it gives little material return. But it gives other returns in generous measure. For teachers it is less difficult than for most people to preserve their faith in human nature, less impossible, even in the midst of daily routine, to believe in the dignity of labour, and to illuminate it with the light of enthusiasm and aspiration.
"... whether we be young or old Our destiny, our being's heart and home, Is with infinitude, and only there; With hope it is, hope that can never die, Effort, and expectation and desire, And something evermore about to be."
[Footnote 1: The ideal inspector is, of course, a help and not a hindrance to the teacher, acting as a propagator of new ideas and bringing into touch with one another, workers who are widely separated. But the reach of most inspectors far exceeds their grasp.]
[Footnote 2: See table at end of section, p. 82.]
WOMEN AT THE UNIVERSITIES AND UNIVERSITY TEACHING AS A PROFESSION
When a girl is about to leave school at the age of seventeen or eighteen, she is often as little able to determine what profession she wishes to adopt, as is her brother in similar case. If she is intelligent, well-trained and eager to study, her natural impulse is to go to college, and to get there, it is still usually the line of least resistance to say that she wishes to become a teacher. When there are pecuniary difficulties in the way, the decision must be taken still earlier. The unfortunate child in the elementary school used to be compelled to make her choice at the age of twelve or thirteen, often to find later on, when the first barriers of pupil-teaching and King's Scholarship were surmounted, that she was not really suited to her profession or that continued study was uncongenial. Even now, when the system is different and better, children are bound too early by a contract they find it hard to break. It cannot be too often insisted that every intelligent child who is worthy of a junior or senior scholarship, is not therefore of necessity predestined to the profession of teaching—a profession so arduous, so full of drudgery and of disappointment that it should be entered by those only who are sure of their mission, and full of the spirit that makes learning and teaching a lasting joy.
There should be other paths from elementary and secondary school to the University than that which leads to the teacher's platform.
Moreover, granted that the desire to teach is a real one, and that the girl has aptitude, it ought still to be unnecessary to choose a particular branch of the profession before she has become an under-graduate. A University career means, among other things, the discovery of new powers, new interests, and opportunities; sometimes it brings with it the painful conviction that aspiration has outstripped capacity. The bright girl who has excelled at school, may find that she is unfitted for independent honour work: she is not necessarily worse on that account, but she must substitute some other plan for her ambition to become a "specialist." The slow plodder who could never trust her memory at school, may, at College, discover unsuspected powers of investigation and co-ordination which mark her out for some branch of higher study. The University, the first contact with a more independent and larger life, is the "testing-place for young souls": students should enter its portals as free women, the world all before them where to choose. In many cases not until the first degree is taken, has the proper time come to determine finally the profession which is to be adopted. This is the ideal—for most people admittedly a far away one at present. But even now, the would-be teacher should not be asked to decide earlier than this on the particular branch of the profession which she is to enter. The average pass graduate will do best to fit herself as an all-round form mistress: there should be no reason to determine in what type of school, elementary or secondary. The training required should be the same if the classes were, as they ought to be, of manageable size, and the equipment in both types of institution equally good. Teachers in both kinds of school would benefit if the present absurd division between them ceased to exist. Children under fourteen require similar discipline whatever their social status: even if the subjects taught are to differ somewhat—a matter which is controversial and need not be discussed here—the teachers need similar training and the same kind and amount of academic education. Until these are secured, there can be no real equality of opportunity for the elementary school child: only the very best intellects in the class of 60 can hope to compete with the average individually educated child in the form of 20 or 30—and this is true whatever the merits and enthusiasm of the teacher.
Some girls will welcome the larger opportunities for social service which are open to the elementary school-teacher: others will prefer and be better suited to the conditions of the secondary school. Clearly, the student, whose expenses have been defrayed by the Government on condition that she enters its service, must fulfil her undertaking: but that should not in itself limit her to one type of school in these days of grant-aided institutions. The new four-year course makes it possible for her, as for independent students, to train in the year subsequent to taking a degree—an essential reform if the old over-strain and rush are to be avoided. It is generally accepted, and in girls' secondary schools commonly acted upon, that professional training for one year after graduation, is indispensable. The teacher is born, not made, but she needs help if she is to avoid mistakes equally disastrous to herself and her pupils: she requires some knowledge of child-character, some acquaintance with the history and theory of education, some leisure to formulate, some opportunity to consider the aims as well as the methods of her teaching. We have, perhaps, passed beyond the stage when it is necessary further to discuss the value and effect of training. It is still desirable to emphasise the fact that the untrained woman teacher finds it increasingly difficult to obtain satisfactory and well-paid school posts. Girls should endeavour by every means in their power to secure this fourth year at college, which is essential to their competency and to security of employment. It would also be well to impress on county councils that their work is but half done if they continue to refuse a renewal of scholarships for training to those who have taken a degree.
Students who have graduated with honours will have to decide before they begin to train, whether they wish to become specialist teachers and whether they have sufficient intellectual capacity to do so. Generally speaking, a student who has obtained third-class honours will do better to prepare herself for ordinary form work; she is not likely to obtain control of the teaching of her own subject in a first-rate school, though doubtless she will often get the opportunity to take some classes under the direction of the specialists. Graduates in high honours will usually desire to devote themselves mainly to the subject in which they have proved their ability, and their training must be adapted to their end. Modern language or English specialists will need practical training in phonetics, for example: mathematicians require to study modern methods of teaching their subject, and so forth. The best training colleges, of course, provide for such cases; in this respect, University training-departments have the advantage over others, since they can secure the services of experts for the discussion of their own subjects.
There remains, lastly, the case of the student who, while definitely desiring to teach, wishes at the same time to go on with her own work, to undertake research or advanced or independent study. Such an one will aim at a University or College appointment, in the hope of pursuing her own work under congenial conditions. At Oxford and Cambridge a woman is, at this stage and always, definitely at a disadvantage by reason of her sex. For her there are scarcely any fellowships or post-graduate scholarships, and too often the promising scholar is caught up in the whirl of teaching for her daily bread at the very moment when it is most necessary for her to have leisure and ease of mind. Few things are more required in women's education at the moment than liberal endowments for post-graduate study. The comparatively new Federation of University Women Graduates has done good work by making a list of the opportunities available for women graduates, either by open competition or otherwise, at the various Universities and elsewhere: it has also founded, and twice awarded, an annual fellowship for a woman who has already published a distinguished contribution to learning. But much more is needed in this direction if women are to have the same chances as men to qualify themselves for the higher university appointments. At almost all the new Universities men and women are nominally alike eligible for every teaching post. In practice, women are rarely if ever selected for the higher positions. Sex prejudice undoubtedly counts for something in this result. It may be assumed that, with two candidates of equal merit, preference will certainly be given to the man: indeed, it is certain that a woman must be exceptionally qualified and far more distinguished than her male competitors to stand a chance of a professorial appointment even in the most liberal of co-education universities—Manchester, for example, where the conditions are exceptionally good. This fact should not deter fully qualified women from applying for professorial chairs. The power of suggestion is very great, and it is well to accustom appointment committees to the consideration of women's claims: in time it may appear less strange to choose a strong woman candidate than to reject her in favour of a less qualified male applicant.
It must be confessed, however, that the case does not at present often arise. The girl who has had a brilliant undergraduate career, and who has real capacity for advanced study, exists in her hundreds. But in almost every case when she is not financially independent, at best after an interval of preparation for her M.A., she accepts a junior lectureship or demonstratorship, and from that time onwards is swallowed up in the vortex of teaching and routine work. Often she makes heroic efforts and succeeds in producing independent results, but, so far, to nothing like the extent that would be commensurate with the promise of her undergraduate achievement. Generally she is too conscientious about detail, too interested in her students individually and collectively, to secure sufficient time for her own studies.
If a lecturer be known to teach between twenty and thirty hours a week, it is tolerably, though not entirely, safe to assume that it is a woman who is so foolish. In so doing, she is destroying her chances of advancement—intellectual and professional—and is laying her whole sex open to the charge of being unsuited to university work except in its lower branches.
It is certain that the number of University appointments open to women is on the increase, and that there is no present likelihood that the demand for qualified women will remain stationary. On the other hand, the necessary qualifications, personal as well as intellectual, are high; the work is hard, though attractive, and it is in every respect undesirable that those whose talents can better be exerted in other branches of the profession should endeavour to obtain College posts. Roughly speaking such openings are of four kinds :—
(1) Administrative posts. These are usually the reward of long and successful service in junior appointments. The heads of the various women's University Colleges are often, but by no means invariably, well paid, and may look forward to a salary ranging from L400 to L1,000. Such posts are obviously few in number and entail hard work and grave responsibility. They necessarily preclude much time for research, or even for teaching. The corresponding, but much less responsible, influential, and well-paid position in a co-educational University is that of Dean or Tutor of Women Students. This post is usually, and should always be held by a woman of senior academic standing, whose position in the class-room or laboratory commands as much respect as her authority outside. The Dean or Tutor is responsible for the welfare and discipline of all women students, and is nowadays usually a member of the Senate or academic governing body. Sometimes she is also Warden of a Women's Hostel, but this is obviously undesirable if there be more than one Hall of Residence, lest she may appear to favour her own students at the expense of the others.
(2) Professorial posts and Staff Lectureships. These are almost entirely confined to Women's Colleges, though there are a very few exceptions to this rule. The University of London has established University Professorships and Readerships at the various constituent Women's Colleges. One of the former and several of the latter are held by women who have been appointed after open competition. In addition, a woman, Mrs Knowles, holds a University Readership at the co-educational London School of Economics. There are also one or two women professors at the newer Universities, but these as a rule retain their positions by right of past service in a struggling institution, not as a result of open competition, when University status had been attained and reasonable stipends were offered to new-comers. The National University of Ireland has, however, appointed several women professors at its various constituent Colleges.
Salaries probably range from L300 to L700, the better paid posts as yet very seldom falling to women.
(3) Lectureships, assistant lectureships, and demonstratorships. These are usually open to women in practice as well as in theory, though much depends on the personal idiosyncrasy of the head of the department, and on the importance of the post and the salary offered. But since it is, unhappily, often easy to secure an able woman for the same stipend as that which must be offered to an inexperienced man, fresh from college, difficulties are not, as a rule, placed in the way of such appointments. The salary begins at about L150 (sometimes less), and rises normally to about L200 or L250. A few senior and independent lectureships are better remunerated.
(4) Closely allied with University work is the work of training teachers. In Training-Colleges, and in University training-departments there is a constant demand for lecturers and mistresses of method. These posts, which are remunerated on about the same scale as other University lectureships, are well suited to those whose interest lies mainly in purely educational matters. Girls who have obtained good degrees, but who do not wish to devote themselves entirely to scholarship, will find here an attractive and ever-extending sphere of influence. Lecturers in Training-Colleges must, of course, themselves hold a University teaching-diploma: they should have school experience of various kinds, and they must be enthusiastic in the cause of training and of teaching. For competent and broad-minded women there are many openings in this branch of the profession, and there is much scope for independent and original work in many directions. The training of teachers, as well as actual teaching, is of the nature of scientific, experimental, and observational work. Lecturers in Training-Colleges most of all, but to a large extent teachers of every degree, must be students of psychology and of human nature. Mistresses of Method are well aware that the ideal type of training has not yet been evolved: they are seeking new ways of carrying on their work and experimenting with new methods at the same time as they are guiding others along paths already familiar to themselves. This absence of finality, characteristic of the teaching profession as a whole, and constituting one of its chief attractions, is especially noticeable in all work connected with the training of teachers.
Senior appointments at all properly constituted Universities are of life tenure—nominally until the age of sixty-five, though probably earlier retirement will be made possible. They are made by the Council, which usually entrusts the election either to the Senate or to a committee, on which are representatives of both the Council and the Senate. Unfortunately this procedure is not universal, and the teachers are not invariably consulted in their official capacity. Junior appointments, while subject to ratification by the Council, are usually made in the first instance by the head of the department concerned, usually, but not invariably, after consultation with the Dean of the Faculty or the Vice-Chancellor. They are sometimes of three years' tenure with or without possible extension, sometimes subject merely to terminal notice on either side.
In the last four or five years contributory pension schemes for the professorial body and for permanent assistants in receipt of a specified income (usually L250 or L200 and upwards) have been compulsorily established at all British Universities in receipt of a Government grant. In June 1913, the Advisory Committee on the Distribution of Exchequer Grants to Universities and University Colleges laid on the table of the House of Commons a scheme which came into force on 29th September, and is compulsory on every member of the staff entering a University after that date at a salary of L300 or upwards. Members appointed at salaries of between L200 and L300 have the option of joining the scheme, while those appointed at salaries of between L160 and L200 may join with the consent of the institution. Members of existing schemes are entitled to join under similar conditions. Special facilities are given for the transference of policies from one University to another, since the view is taken that the teachers in all the Universities constitute a profession comparable with the Civil Service, and that transference from one University to another should not be accompanied by a financial penalty any more than is transference from one Government office to another.
A competent girl who can bide her time can usually get a footing in some University. Her future advancement will depend on her value to the institution, on her original writing and research even more than on her teaching, work on committees and influence with the students. Largely, too, it will depend on her tact and popularity with her colleagues: to a very considerable extent it still rests also on conditions over which she has no control, and which are part and parcel of the slow recognition of a woman's right to compete on equal terms with men.
It seems, as far as can be judged, that future opportunities are likely to occur when the right candidates for posts are there in sufficient numbers to make their exclusion on the ground of sex, already seldom explicitly stated, impossible or inexpedient. Meanwhile it is probable that individual women will continue, in some cases, to suffer injustice, while in others, by virtue of their unquestionable attainments and strength of personality, they may attain the positions they desire. Slow progress is not altogether bad for the ultimate cause of women at the Universities: nothing could injure that cause so much as mistakes at the initial stage. An important appointment given to the wrong woman, or to one in any respect inferior to her colleagues, would be used as an argument against further experiment for many years.
University women teachers can best help to secure equality of opportunity by rendering themselves indispensable members of the body corporate. In their case much is required of those to whom little is given. Above all they must avoid the temptation to live entirely in the absorbing interests of the present: they must remember that it is the business of a University to make contributions to learning as well as to teach. Secondly, they must insist on equality of payment and status when there is any disposition, overt or acknowledged, to differentiate on the score of sex. It is not right to yield on these points, for an important principle is at stake. On the other hand the time and place for insistence must be wisely selected, and any claim made must be incontrovertible on the score of justice and practicability. Lastly, women on committees and elsewhere are not justified in keeping unduly in the background. When they have something worth contributing to the discussion, it is not modesty but lack of business capacity, which makes them silent. "Mauvaise honte" is as much out of place as undue pertinacity. Women who are unwilling or unable to assert themselves when necessary, are not in place at a co-educational University. Most women, however, will derive intellectual stimulus from the free interchange of opinion, possible only when both sexes are working happily together, with common interests and common aims.
If relatively too much space in this article has been given to women's work at mixed Universities, the excuse lies ready to hand. In Women's Colleges there is, of course, no sex bar, and the way lies clear from the bottom to the top of the ladder. Conditions of appointment, tenure, and work do not greatly differ from those described, except in so far as the stipends tend to be lower, especially for more responsible posts, when these are ordinarily occupied by women. It is a sign of the times that in at least one Women's College in a mixed University, it has been recently necessary to rule that posts are open to men as well as to women, unless it is specially stated to the contrary. Thus, when the power is theirs, women also may be unwisely tempted to erect a new form of sex barrier. To do so would be to play into the hands of those enemies who are always raising the voice against equal pay for equal work. The most suitable candidate for a post is the one who should be selected, irrespective of sex. It is this principle that women are endeavouring to establish. They must do so by scrupulous fairness when the power is theirs: by making themselves indisputably most fitted, when they are knocking at the closed door.
One further topic needs discussion in this section—the continued employment of married women in University posts. At present there is no universal rule, and every case has to be judged on its merits. Every lecturer who marries, can and ought to help to form the precedent that continuance of professional work is a matter for her own decision and is not one that concerns governing bodies. Already a good many women, mothers as well as wives, have set the good example and have established their own position, sometimes without question, sometimes as the result of a difficult struggle. It is clear that Universities, with their long vacations, and with their established recognition of long absences for specified purposes, have less ground than most employers to raise difficulties for married women. Thus the holder of an A.K. scholarship may travel for a year, in order, by the wise provision of the founder, to enlarge his or her mind and bring back new experience to University organisation, research, and teaching. The woman who fulfils the claims of sex, and to do so journeys into the realm where life and death struggle for victory, cannot thereby be unfitted for the profession for which she has qualified. Enlargement of mind and new experience will help her too, in the daily routine. It is for her alone to decide whether new claims and old can be reconciled. If in practice in an individual case they cannot, then and only then has the University or College a right to interfere, and on no other ground than that the work suffers. Since women workers are as a rule only too conscientious, this contingency is unlikely often to arise.
[Footnote 1: Her local authority may, however, have claims upon her, if she has promised to teach in an elementary school.]
[Footnote 2: Trained teachers only, men and women, will be admitted to the new Register.]
[Footnote 3: See tables at the end of this section, pp. 82 to 136.]
[Footnote 4: On the Continent even in Germany, and in the U.S.A. several women have been elected to University chairs.]
[Footnote 5: Dr Benson, Staff Lecturer at Royal Holloway College, was raised to the status of University Professor of Botany in 1912 without open competition; Dr Spurgeon was appointed to the new University Chair of English Literature, tenable at Bedford College as from 1st September 1913, after open competition. These professorships are the only two held by women at the University of London but there are several women Readers.]
SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHING
The girls' secondary day schools of this country, largely built up in the first place by the individual pioneer work of broad-minded women during the last thirty years of the nineteenth century, are now in most cases coming, if not under State control, at least into the sphere of State influence. These women educationists in some cases worked on old foundations, in others obtained from guilds or governors a share for girls' education of funds previously allocated to various benefactions or to the education of boys only. Private enterprise, individual or, as in the case of the Girls' Public Day School Company, collective, added schools in most important towns.
Thus by the beginning of the twentieth century there was provision for a large number of girls of the middle class up to eighteen years of age, in schools which as High Schools were analogous to the Grammar Schools for boys dating to a corresponding burst of educational activity rather more than three centuries earlier. Dependent on the fees of their pupils or on special funds or endowments, these schools could not, for the classes unable to pay a fee, adequately supplement the elementary schools of the country, which provide for such children education at most up to fourteen or fifteen years of age. The Education Act of 1902, therefore, placed education beyond this age in the hands of local authorities, the Board of Education supplementing the rates by grants for secondary education—so that publicly owned schools have been started by municipalities and County Councils, while other institutions receive grants on certain conditions.
Schools of all the types mentioned and a few others, providing education at least from ten to sixteen (or eighteen) years of age, are known as secondary schools, and it is to work in them that this article refers. Various as may be their origins, and different their aims, the teachers in them form a fairly homogeneous group, with definite points in common, resulting from the requirements of the Board of Education for the earning of the grant now paid to most of these schools, or for the register in force for a short time—as well as from the co-ordinating influence of membership of the Headmistresses' or the Assistant Mistresses' Associations and other professional and educational bodies, and of educational literature from the publications of the Board of Education downwards.
It would be well if for this, as for other parts of educational work, people of middle age, or in fact all whose school days lie in the past, would dismiss their ideas gained from schools of even the end of the nineteenth century, and realise that the daily life of a school to-day is, in most cases, very different from that which they have in their minds. The time-table and the class-room work may not appear dissimilar to the casual observer, but a difference there is, nevertheless. The chief alteration, however, is that a girl's education is increasingly carried on by many agencies other than these. In the school society rather than in the class-room lesson, at net-ball and hockey rather than in the drill lesson, on the school stage or in the school choir she learns, rather than is taught, her most valuable lessons. Examinations still exist, it is true; but these come later in a girl's school life, and are more frequently based on the school curriculum and held in the school than used to be the case.
What does all this new life mean in the work of the teacher and her preparation for it?
Miss Drummond, President of the Incorporated Association of Assistant Mistresses, spoke thus on the subject:—
"In a lesson in a good school there is most often a happy give and take between the teacher and the class. The teacher guides, but every girl is called on to take her part and put forward individual effort. The homework is no longer mere memorizing from some dry little manual, but requires thought and gives scope for originality. The whole results in a rigorous mental discipline, real stimulus to power of original thought, eager enthusiasm in learning.... It means an enormously increased demand upon the teacher." Again, "it must not be thought, however, that the work of the school is limited to lesson hours. We aim not only at giving a definite intellectual equipment but at producing independence and self-reliance together with that public spirit which enables a girl quite simply and without self-consciousness to take her part in the life of a community."
Besides games, which may be organised by a special mistress (see p. 59) or by ordinary members of the school staff,
"there are nearly always several societies, run again by the girls as far as possible, but almost always with the inspiration and sympathy of some mistress at the back of them. Thus there are social guilds of various kinds. These vary from mere working parties for philanthropic purposes to large organisations which embrace a number of activities.... Of something the same kind are the archaeological and scientific, the literary and debating societies.... These societies are among the most interesting and important parts of the work of a teacher, as they are also among the most exacting. Games and societies together tend to lengthen the hours of a school day, but even on leaving school, her work is not finished. There are always corrections to be done.... Still this is not all if lessons are to be kept as alive and stimulating as they should be. First and foremost, it is absolutely essential that the teacher should not be jaded. She must get relaxation, she must mix with other people and exchange ideas, she must go about and keep in touch with all kinds of activities. But at the same time she has to read in her own subject, she has to keep up with modern methods of teaching, she has to think out her various lessons."
Just as the headmaster of a public school often seeks for a cricketer rather than a classical scholar for his staff, so the headmistress thinks not only of academic attainments but seeks for an assistant who can keep going a school society or a magazine (while leaving it in the hands of the girls), who enjoys acting and stage management, who can take responsibility for a dozen girls on a week's school journey (the nearest approach to camping out—and experience of this would perhaps be a recommendation!). She wants some one not merely to teach or manage or discipline girls, but a woman who can share the life of the girls, or at least understand it well enough to let them live it.
Not that the intellectual side is unimportant. A University degree is normally required in an assistant and this involves a three or four years' course of considerable expense (see p. 7). An honours degree is often essential—always, nowadays, in the case of a headmistress. Whilst well-trained foreigners hold an important place in some schools, modern languages are more frequently taught by an Englishwoman who has lived abroad rather than by a foreign governess; even English, happily, is no longer entrusted to any one not specially qualified. As will be seen from the article on domestic work, the graduate in chemistry has in this a promising field, while the botanist or zoologist and the geologist have the basis on which to specialise in nature-study or geography. This, however, usually comes after the preliminary general academic training. It is well to keep up a many-sided interest apart from bread-and-butter subjects, not only in view of demands that may be made on one, but because the intellectual woman will best qualify by developing her own powers as far as possible. If of the right calibre, she can afterwards readily take up even a new subject and make it her own. A good secondary school needs that some of its mistresses should have the habits and tastes of the scholar who loves work for its own sake, or rather for the sake of truth. A woman with strong well-trained intellectual power need not fear the competition of even the capable woman of action indicated in the preceding paragraph. Both qualifications may, in fact, exist in the same person.
The woman with brains is indeed needed in the schools. The work of women's education was but begun by the illustrious pioneers to whom reference has already been made. There are to-day many new problems to solve, new difficulties caused by the very success of the older generation. On the one hand it was necessary that women should at first, by following the same lines as men, prove their powers on common ground; now they must find whether there are special fields for them, and how, if these exist, they may best be occupied. They need no longer be afraid to emphasise what was good in the old-fashioned education of girls. Might not, for example, elocution and caligraphy with advantage re-appear as good reading aloud and beautiful penmanship? just as physical training carries on the lessons of deportment and the Domestic Science course revives the lessons of the still-room, the kitchen, and the store. On the other hand, under the existing pressure to relieve the burden of childhood, women must see to it that the mothers of the coming generation are not sacrificed to the earliest stages of the lives of their children that are to be. The motherhood of women and their home-making powers are indeed to be developed, but not at the expense of their own lives and their citizenship. Women educators, then, must take what is good in boys' education, what has been good in girls', and must utilise both. This work is great, and it is specially difficult because legislation and administration are almost entirely in the hands of men. Now men are apt to take for granted either that girls should be treated just like boys, or that they are entirely different and are to be brought up on different lines; and women who see the truth there is in both of these propositions are hindered alike by the men who hold the one and those who hold the other.
The pioneer girls' schools of the nineteenth century did much experimental work and established the right of individual initiative and a distinct line of work for each school. Perhaps special gratitude is due in respect of this to the governing body of the Girls' Public Day School Trust, since its schools were numerous enough soon to create a tradition requiring for their Headmistresses great initiatory power and considerable freedom.
"This freedom," writes a recently retired Headmistress of thirty-six years' standing (Mrs Woodhouse, late of Clapham High School), "was of the greatest value as leading to differentiation of type and character of school. It ensured a spirit of joy in work for the whole staff; for the Headmistress and her band of like-minded colleagues were co-workers in experiments towards development and sharers in the realisation of ideals. The vitality thus secured has been appreciated at its true value by His Majesty's Inspectors when in recent years they have come into touch with these schools, and as far as my experience goes, they have left such initiative untouched."
The danger resulting from the progress made in education during the twentieth century is that secondary schools, coming as nearly all now do under the cognizance if not the control of the Board of Education, may become too much office-managed and State-regulated, thus losing life in routine. The task of resisting this, of working loyally with local and central government departments, and yet of keeping the school a living organism and not merely a moving machine is one requiring by no means ordinary ability. Is there not here a call to women of the highest power and academic standing?
It is true that the direct facing of these wider problems does not fall to the lot of the assistant mistress in her earlier years. But the ambitious aspirant to a profession looks to the possibility of a judgeship or bishopric in choosing his life-work. The capable woman then will look at all the possibilities in the teaching profession. Long before she is Headmistress she will have made her mark in her school—for not only the numerous activities mentioned but also the organisation of ordinary school work require initiative and self-reliance. The head of a large school is only too glad to hand over to a competent assistant the organisation of her own department and its co-ordination with other school activities.
Just because there are now openings in other branches of work for women of the highest power, those of this type should give teaching some consideration. Since it has ceased to be the only avenue for trained and educated women, it is no longer so crowded with them, and as in other callings, there is plenty of room at the top.
In addition to a degree, the qualification of training is a strong recommendation. It involves, as a rule, a year after graduation, in special colleges such as exist in Oxford, Cambridge, or London, or in the Secondary Training Department of one or other of the local Universities. The expense varies, usually meaning a fee of about L10 to L30 in addition to cost of living; so that a fairly expensive year intervenes between graduation and the commencement of a salary. Alternatives to a training-college course have been recently suggested by the Board of Education, and may shortly be available. During the training period the intending teacher must, if this is not already determined, decide on the special branch for which she wishes to prepare, according to her qualifications and the needs of schools. If actual teaching experience can first be obtained for two or three years, it enables earning to begin at once and greatly increases the value of the training taken subsequently.
The secondary teacher thus spends from three to five years in academic and professional training; and in accordance with current economic ideas should receive a salary proportionate to the outlay involved. The scheme of salaries approved by the Assistant Mistresses' Association in January 1912 suggests L120 as the initial minimum salary (non-residential) for a mistress with degree and training, rising in ten years to L220 in ordinary cases, to L250 where "positions of special responsibility" are occupied. L100 to L180 is suggested for non-graduates. "These salaries are higher than those provided by the Girls' Public Day School Trust, and other governing bodies outside the London County Council. In most cases L120 to L130 a year may be taken as a fair average for an assistant mistress." Headmistresses' salaries vary from L200 to, at least in one exceptional case, L1,500. They often depend in part on capitation fees. The Headmistresses' Association considers that the minimum should be L300.
In secondary schools as in other grades of educational work the salaries of women are lower than those of men, as may be illustrated by the London County Council scale of salaries.
Men: Assistants . . L150-L300 (or L350) Heads . . L400-L600 (or L800)
Women: Assistants . . L120-L220 (or L250) Heads . . L300-L450 (or L600)
The difference between the salaries of heads and assistants is in many cases greater than is desirable. Things being as they are, it is well that there should be some prizes to attract ability into the profession. On the other hand, a woman, whose best work is that of an assistant, should not be tempted to give it up for the salary of a headmistress. The assistant has the opportunity for closer and more personal touch with her girls, being intimately responsible for a smaller number; she has also better opportunities for working out the teaching of her subject and improving its technique. Education would gain if more of the ablest teachers, specially successful in one or other of these directions, were left in a position to continue this work, instead of feeling obliged to substitute for it the perhaps uncongenial task of organisation on a large scale, and that contact with visitors, organisers, inspectors, committees, and the public, which occupies the time of the heads of schools. The truth of this is, I am told, better appreciated in Germany than in this country.
Since local authorities took over the work, secondary teachers have gained considerably both as regards salaries and tenure. They are now, as a rule, better paid than elementary teachers, which was not always the case before 1902.
The tenure of the teacher varies in different schools. It is now less common than formerly for the appointment and dismissal of the staff to be entirely in the hands of the Headmistress; and assistants are thus safe-guarded against possible unfair and arbitrary action. The Headmistress, however, has almost invariably a preponderating voice in the selection of her staff—as is right if the school is to be a living organism, not merely one of a series of machines with interchangeable parts; but the power of dismissal, if in her hands, is usually safe-guarded by the right of appeal to the appointing body—local authority or board of governors as the case may be. This right of appeal should be universal, and formal agreements should in all cases be made. (A model form of agreement has been drawn up by the Association of Assistant Mistresses.)
Pensions are not generally provided for secondary teachers; but a national pension scheme for them is under consideration, and there is hope that it will not be long delayed.
The poorer members of the teaching profession come under the National Health Insurance Act and are provided for by the University, Secondary and Technical Teachers' Insurance Society which already numbers eleven thousand members. This society also offers, in its Dividend Section, to those not compulsorily insured the opportunity for voluntary insurance against sickness. Association among secondary teachers has been considerably furthered by the desire to qualify for membership in the Insurance Society.
The distinctive associations for secondary mistresses are the Headmistresses' Association and the Association of Assistant Mistresses in Public Secondary Schools. These are concerned with general educational as well as professional problems, and their opinion is sought at times by the Board of Education with regard to proposed regulations. Each of them is represented on the recently established Registration Council, which has just reported (November 1913).
Membership of the Teachers' Guild of Great Britain and Ireland, of the College of Preceptors, and of the National Union of Teachers is also open to secondary teachers. In the last-named they may join hands with the great body of elementary teachers; in the first two organisations with private teachers also. There are also associations for teachers of certain subjects, the Ling Association and the Association of Teachers of Domestic Subjects. Membership of such bodies as the Historical, Geographical and various Scientific Associations is valuable because not confined to teachers.
Though the President of the Association of Assistant Mistresses has said that "there would be a strong feeling against definite organisation for the purpose of forcing up rates of remuneration," yet that body has investigated the scales of pay offered by local authorities, and writes in protest when posts are advertised at low rates.
Under present conditions the principle of general equality of income, not yet being considered as a serious proposition, it is surely economically right for the teaching profession to claim remuneration sufficient to give it a status corresponding to the worth and dignity of its work. Above all, women not entirely dependent on their earnings, and therefore in a position to resist under-payment, should not act as blacklegs and keep down the rate for others dependent for a livelihood on their occupation.
Under-payment for teachers means a narrower, more anxious life than should be theirs who are to live in the strongly electric atmosphere of a body of girls and young women and yet keep a calm serenity of spirit—a life less full than is essential for those who have to give at all times freely of their best.
Similarly, in order that the fullest possible life may be open to the woman teacher, it seems desirable that continuance in the profession after marriage should be more usual than it is. Again, from the point of view of the pupils this is desirable. Mrs Humphrey Ward is not the only opponent of women's suffrage to state that the atmosphere of girls' schools suffers from the preponderating spinster element. Suffragists may for once join hands with her and urge that the married woman is in some ways better suited for young people than her unmarried colleague. Often the most valuable years of a woman's life are lost to the school by her enforced retirement at marriage. She gives to it her younger, less experienced years, when she knows less of the world, less of the problems of the household, less of the outlook of the parents. It must be remembered that the parents' point of view is important if there is to be right co-operation between home and school. To the teacher-mother there will come an altogether new power of understanding, which should ultimately compensate the school for broken time during the earlier years of the life of her children. Provision for absence in these cases might well render more possible provision for a "rest-term" or a Wanderjahr, such as should be possible to all mistresses at intervals in their teaching career. Mistresses are not as a rule aware that under most existing agreements they may claim to continue their work after marriage. They would in a large number of cases be rendering a service to girls' education by doing so. Many secondary teachers will welcome the idea that they need not abandon either the career they have chosen or the prospect of their fullest development as women. The teaching profession would thus retain many valuable members now lost to it on marriage, and the ranks of married women be recruited by many well suited to be the mothers of citizens.
The career of teaching adolescent girls gives to those following it, in the daily routine, many experiences which others seek for in leisure hours. The woman among girls has the privilege of handing on to them the keys to the intellectual treasuries where she has enriched herself, of setting their feet in the paths which have led her to fruitful fields. She may watch over the birth and growth of the reasoning powers of her pupils and guide them to their intellectual victories, initiating them into the great fellowship of workers for truth. It is interesting but it is not easy work. We have seen that the material recompense of the teacher is not great, and if she looks for other return she will too often be disappointed. And yet there is compensation. Here as elsewhere he that saveth his life shall lose it; but he that loseth his life shall indeed find it.
[Footnote 1: "A secondary school ... is a school which provides a progressive course of general education suitable for pupils of an age-range at least as wide as from twelve to seventeen" (Board of Education, Circular 826).]
[Footnote 2: Lecture on "The Life of a Teacher" given to the Fabian, Women's Group, 1912.]
[Footnote 3: Miss I.M. Drummond, loc, cit.]
[Footnote 4: By the Conditions of Registration issued November 1913, one year's training will be required for all entering the profession after the end of 1918.]
[Footnote 5: Miss I.M. Drummond loc. cit. For example, a science graduate with special qualifications in geography, three years' experience, and a training diploma has recently been appointed to a leading London High School at a salary of L110, with no agreement for yearly or other augmentation. [EDITOR].]
[Footnote 6: The practice of the Girl's Public Day School Trust, largely followed by other governing bodies, is to give the Head the right of nomination, and of dismissal during the probationary period subject to the veto, rarely exercised, of the Committee.]
[Footnote 7: Miss I.M. Drummond loc. cit.]
[Footnote 8: This is surely a better solution than that proposed in the November 1913, Educational Supplement to the Times. The suggestion is there made that the "conventual system" prevailing in some girls' boarding-schools should be changed by having Headmasters instead of Headmistresses. The writer apparently fails to realise that one of the greatest difficulties in co-educational schools is to attract the right sort of mistress, because there is no prospect that she may ultimately attain a headship. The same danger will inevitably arise in any schools which introduce Headmasters. If the masculine element is desirable, and we agree that this may well be so, the obvious course is either to have some male assistants, or to have married house-mistresses, on the analogy of the married house-master at boys' schools. A still better solution, in our opinion, is co-education, with pupils of both sexes, a mixed staff, and a joint Headmaster and Headmistress. In many of the new County and Municipal Secondary Schools this innovation has been successfully adopted, though the Senior Mistress is unfortunately in all cases definitely subordinate to the Headmaster. [EDITOR.]]
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHING
Progressive women to-day resent the social system which requires them to be economically dependent upon others. They realise that social service needs labour of a highly skilled variety, and they therefore demand, on the one hand, training for their work as a guarantee of their efficiency in its performance, and, on the other hand, monetary payment and security of tenure as guarantees to them of economic independence. As a natural corollary to woman's lack of political power, there are no spheres of professional work in which prevailing conditions are in these respects completely satisfactory. Perhaps the teaching service in the State schools comes nearest to complying with progressive demands: at any rate Government recognises the need for training, and, to a large extent, meets its cost; a salary, more or less adequate, is paid in return for the teaching given, and security of tenure is, with few exceptions, assured. Again, the work done in the State schools is now generally and rightly regarded as of first-rate importance to the community, and therefore as meriting national gratitude in the form of Government superannuation. Popular prejudice against compulsory education, once so strong, may now be said to have disappeared, and the work of the pioneers who endeavoured to create a public opinion in its favour, has borne fruit. To-day the parents' attitude towards the teacher is normally one of friendly co-operation and respect, with the result that the latter is fast becoming a powerful factor in shaping and influencing the democracy. The school is extending its influence in every sphere which touches on the social, physical, intellectual, and spiritual well-being of the people. Activities which, until recently, were associated only with institutions distinctly religious in character, are now regularly connected with the work of primary schools. Thus the teacher has every opportunity for the exercise of public spirit, within school and without. He is daily confronted with the problem of evolving and developing an educated democracy, which will demand and obtain proper conditions of life.
The nature of the work asked of the teachers in primary schools, has led to insistence by the State on the necessity for their professional training, as well as for their academic proficiency. These requirements have met with the counter-demand on the part of the teachers in State schools, for State registration. When this Register, now in process of creation, has become an accomplished fact, one of the chief remaining obstacles to the progress of the teaching service will be removed.
It is now time to turn to the conditions of training, service, and remuneration prevailing in English and Welsh elementary schools. The Scotch service differs in some respects, while the state of primary education and the position of elementary teachers in Ireland are altogether worse than in Great Britain.
The Board of Education recognises the following grades of men and women teachers in public elementary schools: pupil teachers, bursars and student teachers, uncertificated teachers, and certificated teachers. Women, over eighteen years of age, who have been vaccinated, may, without any other qualifications, be engaged as supplementary teachers, although the Board cannot entertain any application for the recognition of men in this capacity. A supplementary teacher may teach (I) infants' classes, that is to say, classes in which the majority of the scholars are under eight years of age, or (2) the lowest class of older scholars in a school or department in a rural parish, if the average attendance in the school does not exceed 100.
The number of supplementary teachers employed in the schools of England and Wales in the year 1910-11 was 14,454.
If we turn to uncertificated teachers, we find that during the year 1909-10 there were 45,549 employed in the schools of England and Wales, and that this number was increased by 182 during the year 1910-11. Of the uncertificated teachers of England in the year 1910-11, 5,106 were men and 35,222 were women.
The vast majority of rural schools have only one certificated teacher on the staff, and in hundreds of rural schools the head teacher is not certificated.
The following statistics with regard to certificated teachers have been taken from the published return of the Board of Education, 1910-11:— England. Wales. Men. Women. Men. Women.
Trained 22,134 30,410 2,260 1810 Untrained 9,060 33,121 539 1598
These figures show that of men teachers, 70 per cent. in England and 81 per cent. in Wales are trained, while of women teachers only 46 per cent. in England and 51 per cent. in Wales are trained.
These statistics are indicative of the urgent need for total abolition of uncertificated and supplementary teachers, since the recognition of these grades offers a direct incentive to girls just to bridge over the period between leaving school and getting married, without qualifying even for what ought to be regarded as the lowest ranks of the profession. This fact is at once realised, when one contrasts the percentage of women teachers who are untrained, viz., 54 per cent, in England, 49 per cent, in Wales, with the corresponding figures for men teachers, viz., 30 per cent, in England and 29 per cent, in Wales.
Every candidate for teachership, who has passed through a Training College, is required by the Board of Education to serve in a recognised school—a woman for five out of the first eight years after leaving College; a man for seven out of the first ten years after leaving College—or pay the whole or part of the Government grant in respect of College training. But, notwithstanding this agreement, enforceable under Act of Parliament, the Board of Education neither takes steps to find employment for such candidates in the State schools of the country, nor admits any responsibility on its part for the conditions under which teachers are employed. By the Education Act of 1902, local authorities, of which there are 318, were made chiefly responsible for the work of education, and it is these local authorities who lay down the conditions of appointment.
This refusal by the Board of Education of responsibility for appointments and conditions of appointment to teaching posts, leaves it for local authorities to fix scales of salaries, and to decide such questions as, for example, whether married women teachers shall be employed. The grave effect of this state of things on the economic interests of the teachers of the country cannot be too much emphasised, having regard to the fact that local authorities are bodies composed mainly of men elected on a rate-saving principle.
The salaries paid to bursars and student teachers are insufficient to cover charges for maintenance, clothes, books, etc. Speaking generally, a quite substantial sum must also be found during each year of the collegiate course, for college expenses and for board and lodging during vacations, so that a candidate's parents must hold themselves financially responsible for her during the various stages of her training, except in so far as the cost is covered by scholarship and maintenance grants. Women candidates are in this respect far worse off than their male colleagues, as, at every stage of their training, they receive a smaller maintenance grant. At a residential college, while men receive L40, women receive L20; at a non-residential college the grant for men is L25, for women L20. As the whole supply of teachers for each year leaves the Training Colleges in July, it follows that many of these must wait for varying periods before finding employment: during these periods the burden of maintenance must again be borne by the parents. The need for legislation in the economic interests of teachers is borne out by the fact that highly trained students of good character are unable to find employment, even at low salaries. Of 4,384 teachers who left the training colleges in July 1908, at least 1,226 were, three months later, without employment, and 259 were known to be without employment even twelve months later; whilst of the 4,386 students who left the Training Colleges in July 1909, 1,528 were still without employment in October 1909. These figures are for both sexes, but by far the larger number of teachers are women.
These facts explain why it is that local authorities, bent on keeping down the rates, have been enabled to obtain the services of certificated teachers at the scale of salaries which they advertise for uncertificated teachers: in fact many fully qualified certificated teachers have been forced to work for a rate of payment lower than that received by an unskilled labourer; a natural corollary to this condition of things is that many would-be teachers refuse to expend time and money on training.
This state of affairs has had one other effect which is of vital importance when the economic position of women teachers is being considered, namely, that local authorities, in order to appease the popular outcry against this apparently overstocked market, have been led to sanction regulations for the compulsory retirement of women teachers on marriage. Happily the London County Council has not succumbed to this temptation, and there are other equally enlightened authorities. But constant watchfulness is needed in order to prevent retrogression in this matter. Young teachers, anxiously awaiting promotion, sometimes foolishly resist the appointment or retention of married women. This is a suicidal policy, to be resisted at all costs, both in the interests of the teachers and of the children. Salaries are bound to remain low, while women are forced to consider their profession in the light of a stop-gap until marriage, and not as a life-work. Moreover, there are real dangers in entrusting girls' education entirely to unmarried women. The salaries of assistant teachers vary very considerably. In no single instance is a woman teacher paid the same rate of salary as a man of the same professional status. This is true even when the work is identical in character, as is the case in mixed schools and pupil teachers' centres. One of the results of this inequality of payment is that women teachers are often employed to teach the lower classes in boys' schools, and some rural schools are staffed entirely by women, not because the woman teacher is deemed more suitable for the work, but because her labour is cheaper; hence the need, in the teaching profession, for recognition of the principle of "equal pay for equal work." Without it, the status of the woman becomes lower than that of the man, inferior or unqualified women are appointed, and men are driven from the profession. Only when there is equality of pay can there be security that the best candidate will be appointed, irrespective of sex.