22 SEPTEMBER 1944, Page 2

Administering of the Education Act

The new Education Act comes into operation on April 1st, 1945, and much spadework has to be done to provide for the administra- tive machinery. One part of this is the subject of a circular just issued to the local education authorities, which, under the Act, will be County Councils and County Borough Councils only. The municipal borough and urban district councils, hitherto responsible for elementary education in their districts, will cease to be authori- ties under the new system. For the main policy governing all the schools only the larger councils will henceforward be responsible, but it is an essential part of the design that local persons with local knowledge should play a part in the service of. education, and for that reason the Act provides for the setting up of divisional execu- tives. In some cases Borough or Urban District Councils may themselves be the divisional executives, but in other suitable areas they will be constituted from representatives of local authorities and nominated persons with special experience or knowledge of local conditions. A wide field of highly important functions will be allotted to the executives, whose personal interest in the courses of study, the health of the children, the provision of accommodation and the co-ordination of elementary and secondary schooling should help to give life to the practical work of education. The framers of the Act realised that success depends on much more than machi- nery ; it can only be achieved with the service of human beings who watch with personal interest what is going on in the schools. A system comprising a great variety of schools for children of all ages can only be administered in large areas, but will not be complete unless it is also studied from the viewpoint of every small town and every school.