Committee of Council on Education

Background notes

Treasury Minute

29 August 1833: set out rules regarding the distribution of the 20,000 grant for education

Orders in Council

10 April 1839: created the Committee of the Privy Council on Education

3 June 1839: approved the Committee of Council on Education's report on the distribution of funds for public education

Minutes of the Committee of Council on Education

24 September 1839: regulations governing the appropriation of grants

25 August and 21 December 1846: appointment of inspectors; teachers' qualifications and pensions; education of pupil teachers and stipendiary monitors; support for Normal Schools

6 August 1851: grants to certificated teachers in training schools

23 July 1852: grants to assistant teachers in elementary schools

2 April 1853: grants for the support of schools

20 August 1853: Queen's Scholars, apprentices and certificated teachers

2 June 1856: admission of Queen's Scholars and annual examination of students in training colleges

4 May 1859: cancelled Section 9 in the Minute of 20 August 1853

Revised Code 1862

Revised Code: Minutes and Regulations of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education

Instructions to HMI: advice on the administration of the Revised Code

The papers of the Committee of Council on Education were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 30 April 2016.

Orders in Council 1839

As reprinted in Reports on Elementary Schools 1852-1882 by Matthew Arnold, edited by FS Marvin and published by HMSO in 1908.

Note that the page numbers shown here are from the book, not from the original documents.

[page 271]


At the Court at Buckingham Palace, 10th of April, 1839


The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

It is this day ordered by Her Majesty in Council that the Most Honourable Henry, Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord President of the Council; the Right Honourable John William, Viscount Duncannot, Lord Privy Seal; the Right Honourable Lord John Russell, one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State; and the Right Honourable Thomas Spring Rice, Chancellor of Her Majesty's Exchequer, be, and they are hereby appointed, a Committee to superintend the application of any sums voted by Parliament for the purpose of promoting public education.

(Signed) C.C. GREVILLE.


At the Court of Buckingham Palace, 3rd June, 1839


The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

Whereas there was this day read at the Board a Report from the Committee of Council appointed to superintend the application of any sums voted by Parliament for the purpose of promoting public education; which Report, dated 1st June, was in the words following, viz.:-

"Your Majesty having been pleased, by your Order in Council of 10th April, 1839, to appoint us a Committee of Council to superintend the application of any sums

[page 272]

voted by Parliament for the purpose of promoting Public Education; we the Lords of the said Committee, have this day met, and agreed humbly to present to your Majesty the following Report:-

"The Lords of the Committee recommend that the sum of Ten Thousand Pounds, granted by Parliament in 1835 towards the erection of normal or model schools, be given in equal proportions to the National Society and the British and Foreign School Society. That the remainder of the subsequent grants of the years 1837 and 1838, yet unappropriated and any grant that may be voted in the present year, be chiefly applied in aid of subscriptions for building, and, in particular cases, for the support of Schools connected with those societies; but that the rule hitherto adopted of making a grant to those places where the largest proportion is subscribed be not invariably adhered to, should application be made from very poor and populous districts, where subscriptions to a sufficient amount cannot be obtained.

"The Committee do not feel themselves precluded from making grants in particular cases which shall appear to them to call for the aid of the Government, although the applications may not come from either of the two mentioned societies.

"The Committee are of opinion that the most useful application of any sums voted by Parliament would consist in the employment of those moneys in the establishment of a normal school, under the direction of the State, and not placed under the management of a voluntary society. The Committee, however, experience so much difficulty in reconciling conflicting views respecting the provisions which they are desirous to make in furtherance of your Majesty's wish that the children and teachers instructed in this

[page 273]

school should be duly trained in the principles of the Christian religion, while the rights of conscience should be respected, that it is not in the power of the Committee to mature a plan for the accomplishment of this desire without further consideration; and they therefore postpone taking any steps for this purpose until greater concurrence of opinion is found to prevail.

"The Committee recommend that no further grant be made now or hereafter, for the establishment or support of normal schools, or of any other schools, unless the right of inspection be retained, in order to secure a conformity to the regulations and discipline established in the several schools, with such improvements as may from time to time be suggested by the Committee.

"A part of any grant voted in the present year may be usefully applied to the purposes of inspection and to the means of acquiring a complete knowledge of the present state of education in England and Wales."

Her Majesty, having taken the said Report into consideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council to approve thereof.

(Signed) C.C. GREVILLE.

Treasury Minute 1833 | Minutes of the Committee in Council 1839-1859