22 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 35

There is a tendency at the moment to underrate our

educational progress and to clamour for the speeding up of the machine, regardless of costs or consequences. Those who are impatient would do well to read Mr. J. G. Legge's, little book, The Rising Tide : An Epic in Education (Basil Blackwell. 3s. 6d.). Mr. Legge, who used to be Director of Education at Liverpool; describes the remarkable advance in secondary and higher education that has been made since Mr. Balfour's memorable Education Act of 1902. He praises the elementary school teachers whose devoted labours- have raised the standard of teaching so that children of eleven are now on the average as proficient as Children of -fourtecri, used to be, with the result that eleven is now the ideal age at which children likely to profit can be drafted from the elementary to the secondary school. The poorest child, if he has talent, finds the way made easy. Over a third or the pupils in secondary schools have free places, and the, quahty of the work done is rapidly improving. Mr. Legge criticizes with some asperity certain heads of public schools- who dislike the modern educational system. Yet it may be observed that, when a crank or a political partisan tries to ride roughshod over a' competent schoolmaster, as has some- times happened, the system cannot yield the best results.