2 JUNE 1939, Page 19

Rural Bias The best attempt that I know of to

impart the rural bias to schoolchildren is being made in a secondary school at Burford in Oxfordshire. Parallel forms are arranged for all boys between fourteen and sixteen, which is the usual leaving age. The boys may choose to which side they will belong. One stresses craftsmanship, the other letters. The craftsmen learn such subjects as biology ; and learn enough chemistry to be able to analyse soils. They do a great deal with their hands ; and it is, I think, a well-established fact, that nothing is so valuable for success on the land as a degree of engineering skill. I examined a poultry shed or two and a byre that the boys had made, and they seemed to be excellent examples of the carpenter's work. The Oxfordshire schools in general teach a good deal of craftsmanship to both boys and girls ; and it is delightful to watch them at work in metal as well as in wood or leather or stuff ; but this experiment at Burford is more definitely proven work, and is likely perhaps to be accepted as a model.

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