THE FAWCETT SCHOOLS.
On Friday last the annual meeting of benefactors and subscribers of the above schools was held in the boys' schoolroom, West Walls. The Rev T. J. COOPER presided, and amongst those present were Mr. W. I. R. CROWDER, Mr. W. BROWNE, Mr. C. B. HODGSON, Mr. M. DONALD, Miss HALTON, Mrs COOPER, and Mr. COTTERILL, master. -- The Chairman read the report for the year. It first referred to the satisfactory result of the Government Inspector's examination. During the past year the average attendance of scholars was 348; in 1875 the number was 332; and in 1874, 343. The teaching staff had been little changed. The attendance at the Sunday schools continued to improve; the sick club carried out its work as heretofore; and the ladies' committee had been doing much good by co-operating with the teachers in improving the needlework in the school. One of the happiest features in the work of the past year was the manifest advancement made by the pupils in religious knowledge, the school standing second in position at the late diocesan examination. Last year the school fees had been raised from twopence to threepence per week, which had resulted in increasing the income of the school by nearly 40l, without decreasing the attendance. The committee acknowledge with thanks the receipt of 27l from Mr. R. S. FERGUSON, being the legacy bequeathed by the late Miss FERGUSON, who was a firm friend to the schools. The report concluded by thanking those who had kindly given their services at the late concert in aid of the funds of the school and at the annual entertainment. -- Mr. CROWDER read an abstract of the Treasurer's account. The year was commenced with a balance against the Treasurer of 130l 15s 8d. The income had been 655l 17s 6d. This included the legacy mentioned, and 28l 16s, the proceeds from the concert given in the County Hall. The expenditure was 674l 2s 4d, thus leaving a balance due to the Treasurer of 18l 4s 10d. It was explained that 300l of the balance from a legacy of the late Miss CUST was invested October 29th, 1873, on mortgage of county rates. Mr. CROWDER thought the amount of subscriptions received from residents in the parish ought to be considerably increased. He was glad the balance against the Treasurer was so small this year. -- Mr. BROWNE moved that the report and statement of accounts be adopted, and that the thanks of the meeting be given tot he Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. T. CLARKE, the Ladies' Committee, and others who had rendered services to the schools. -- Mr. C. B. HODGSON, in seconding the motion, said he was glad they were commencing the year under more favourable circumstances than hitherto, and that the report altogether was of so satisfactory a character. The position of the schools was due, in a great measure, to the zeal and energy of the master, Mr. COTTERILL, whom he congratulated on the success of his labours. One feature in the report was exceedingly gratifying to him -- the result of the diocesan examination, showing that the attainments of the scholars in religious instruction had improved during the past year. This was now a question of great importance. He was convinced no system of education was efficient unless based upon a thoroughly sound religious foundation; secular instruction was entirely useless unless preceded or accompanied by religious teaching. When they considered that the schools were named in remembrance of a gentleman who so faithfully and zealously discharged the duties of Vicar of the parish, it behoved them to endeavour to make the education imparted to the young such as their lamented friend would have desired had he been amongst them now. (Hear, hear.) He strongly urged the necessity of giving the children a good, sound, religious education. -- The motion was carried. -- Mr. CROWDER returned thanks. -- In response to a vote of thanks, the Chairman remarked that the committee were anxious to have tow additional classrooms erected. A grant of 60l had been promised from the Diocesan Education Society, and to this sum he hoped would be added a large number of subscriptions from those interested in the welfare of the school. Plans would be obtained, and the scheme developed forthwith. -- The meeting then separated.