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April

fulfilling all the conditions essential to their permanent success can be and are started in England.

And, instead of taking as an example some large Board School, with its imposing committee of managers and staff of teachers presiding over the different departments of the school, I will take the case of an elementary school in a poor quarter of one of our large towns; for what can be done here can certainly be done in the Board and voluntary schools of provincial towns and villages.

I will suppose that the manager of such a school, with or without the co-operation of some gentlemen or ladies interested in the education of the people, awakens by explanation, counsel, and sympathy the interest of the schoolmaster' in the matter of school banks, so far as to determine him to start a bank in the school. On learning this decision the manager of the school should first write to the Controller of the Savings Bank Department, General Post Office, London, signify his intention of having a school bank in his school, and ask permission to deposit the funds of the bank in the nearest Post Office Savings Bank. On the receipt of this application, the Controller will forward a form to be filled in by the persons intending to act as trustees of the school bank, or by the treasurer, accompanied with explanations and a copy of rules that may be altered according to the requirements or wishes of individual managers, with the exception of one, which limits the deposits of individuals, retained in the school bank, to a sum not exceeding 5l.

The explanations point out the special aid that is given to Penny Banks established in connection with the Post Office Savings Bank: 1, in furnishing specimen rules approved by the National Debt Commissioners, whose sanction is required before the funds of a Penny Bank can be received; 2, in supplying, free of charge, any number of pass-books for the use of depositors in the Penny Banks.

The explanations further show that the Controller will forward account-books specially prepared for the managers of Penny Banks, on the receipt of a trifling sum in postage stamps to defray the cost: viz. 9d. each for the smaller size cash-book and ledger, and 18. each for the larger size. And, to simplify everything to the utmost, a description of the books and of the manner in which they are intended to be used is annexed. The following is a copy of the specimen rules:

....

till..

1. Deposits of One Penny and upwards will be received at

....every...
......o'Clock.

..from.........

2. The money received will be invested in the Post Office Savings Bank, on behalf of the above-named Penny Bank, in the following Names, being those of the Trustees of the said Penny Bank::

What I say of a schoolmaster applies throughout to a schoolmistress.

3. Depositors may withdraw all, or a portion, of their deposits, on giving One Week's Notice any..... the Deposit Book to be left with

the Trustee in attendance.

4. Women and Children may deposit and withdraw Money in their own Names.

5. No person will be allowed to have in this Penny Bank, at one time, more than £5 in all. So soon as the amount paid by any Depositor reaches £1, he will be assisted to open a separate Account in his own Name, at the Post Office Savings Bank; and he will thus be able, if he wish it, to make his subsequent payments direct to the Post Office. As, however, no deposit of less than One Shilling can be received at the Post Office Savings Bank, he may continue to pay into the Penny Bank as before.

6. Each Depositor will be furnished with a Bank Book free of charge; but should it be lost, he will be charged Twopence for a new one.

7. Strict secrecy will be observed respecting all deposits. 8. Interest will be allowed at the rate of.........

These rules, framed for Penny Banks in general, and excellent for simplicity and practicability, need but few alterations to make them thoroughly suitable for School Banks. The following will, I think, be found to be all that are necessary. In 3' manager' should be substituted for trustee.' 4 should be struck out. In 5 the first sentence may be struck out; and 10s. may be substituted for 17. in the second sentence. 7 and 8 may be struck out wholly.

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On the receipt of these rules, filled in and amended as desired, the Controller, if, as accepted and amended by the trustees, the rules meet with the approval of the authorities, forwards to the trustees the necessary authorisation for opening an account with the Post Office Savings Bank, together with the children's deposit-books and the ledger and cash-books. If due notice is given to the Post Office authorities, the name of the school bank will be printed free of cost on the children's books.

And now we come to the important day of opening the bank.

The children, of course, will have been duly instructed as to the meaning and advantages of the bank; and it will be an exceptional school if a considerable number do not present themselves to claim a depositor's book; learn their first lesson in personal thrift by depositing a penny, and seeing their names entered in cash-book, ledger, and their own little pass-book; and thus take their first step towards having a stake in the national interests of the country through the Post Office Savings Bank.

The routine of the bank is easily learned: The manager of the bank and the ledger-keeper-that is, the schoolmaster or teacher and the assistant-take their places at a table with their respective books before them; and the children come up in their bank order,' which they soon learn. The bank manager then takes its deposit-book and deposit from each child in succession, enters the date, the child's number, and amount of deposit and withdrawal, if any, in the cashbook, as in the following specimen of entries:-

ACCOUNT OF TRANSACTIONS ON Monday, THE 4th DAY OF January, 1886.

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And then makes the same entries in the child's book, which he initials as below:

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The child's book is then handed to the ledger-keeper, who will post the deposit in the ledger as follows:

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And then return the pass-book to the child.

At the end of the exercise with the children the money received by the manager of the bank is handed over to the manager of the school, or one of the other trustees appointed to receive it, who on the same day or the day after puts the entire sum into the Post Office, with the exception of what may fall short of a shilling, which sum should be placed in a box for the special purpose till the following week.

So soon as any child's deposits in the school bank amount to ten shillings or a pound, this sum must be withdrawn from the lump sum placed in the name of the trustee in the Post Office, and transferred that is, deposited afresh-in the Post Office in the child's name.

From that day the child has a separate account of its own in the Post Office Savings Bank, and keeps its own pass-book, which it brings to the manager of the school bank from time to time when further transfers are made from the school bank or withdrawals are required.

And here we have a striking example of the incalculable advantages of having school banks connected with the Post Office Savings Bank : when a child leaves school, wherever it may go, in whatever position it may be, boy or girl, it can continue without break or change through the same channel the habit of thrift acquired at school.

The machinery and process that I have described will be found to answer fully to the definition of a school bank, and to provide in every respect for its successful and continuous working: 1, in requiring the minimum expenditure of time and labour on the part of the teacher; 2, in securing the fullest educational advantages to the child; 3, in protecting both teacher and child from the danger of fraud.

It has taken many words to describe it, but one experiment will prove that in half an hour sixty children can be taken through the weekly exercise of the school bank. So that even in a large Board School, its several hundred children would need no more time, since, as at Birmingham, each division would have its separate bank under the separate management of its own teachers, though the moneys of the several banks could be paid in one sum into the Post Office by the school manager or trustee.

Each child, standing by the teachers and watching them whilst the three separate entries are made, becomes more and more familiarised with the means of an orderly life, with the value of money and the importance of thrift; whilst on the occasion of a transfer of 11. or 108. to the Post Office Bank or the withdrawal of a sum for some useful object--a hat, jacket, or boots, books, or other school requirement, or an outing in the summer-an opportunity is afforded the teacher of making the child's special lesson a general one of an impressive character for the whole school.

Nor does the lesson end with the children. It reaches far, far beyond. And the circles of hope that it forms in the deep sullen sea of poverty and misery widen and widen until, like the ever-spreading circles of the little stone that stirs the broad bosom of the lake into which it has been cast, the eye can no longer follow them.

Finally, it will have been observed that the simple plan of bookkeeping devised by the Post Office authorities constitutes a perfect safeguard against mistakes and fraud on either teacher or child. The parents and child can see each week whether its savings have been correctly entered, whilst a check as well as a protection to one another-the manager of the bank and assistant have their separate books to produce should the parents or children ever be tempted to tamper with the child's pass-book. Moreover the responsibility of the

teachers is reduced to the minimum not only in their being required to receive the savings of the children solely, but also in their being obliged to pay over the deposits to the trustee on the day of the transaction.

I cannot conclude without pointing out that, necessary as school banks are to the boys of the working classes, they are even more useful to the girls. In saying this I am supported by authority such as that of M. de Malarce and Cardinal de Bonnechose. On the woman almost invariably devolves the management of the expenditure of the husband's earnings for the good of the humble household, and, therefore, it behoves her above all to know how to economise, to spend wisely and to save carefully. And when such economy becomes general, who can tell what will be its ultimate effects? Gambetta said that he believed that the strength of France was, to a great extent, due to the thrifty and industrious character of the Frenchwomen.

In this rapid review of thrift among the children, what I have said has had regard chiefly to the children of the poor; but, mutatis mutandis, it is applicable also to the children of the rich, and here again I am glad to say that the conclusions drawn from my own observations are confirmed by the first authority.

2

I should like to see the boys and girls of all our colleges and upper schools taught, as part of their educational training, to put regularly into the nearest Post Office Savings Bank some portion of their pocket-money. Above all should I rejoice to see this practical acquaintance with the meaning of money taught the girls of the well-to-do and upper classes. This, I am persuaded, would be a great step in the way of meeting the inexactitude, the instability and vagueness, the helpless dependence and extravagance, that pervade the lives of so many women, who thereby carry disorder into the households they were destined to rule, or become an easy prey to the first adventurer, unscrupulous speculator, or bubble company that chances to gain their attention.

But it will be much more difficult to convince people on this last point than on my first. The extravagance of wealth is less tractable than the waste of want. Nevertheless I do not despond. For I believe that the more the whole subject is discussed, the more evident will become the importance of inculcating, for the future well-being of our commonwealth, thrift among the children of the rich and the poor.3

AGNES LAMBert.

Cardinal de Bonnechose was so convinced of the importance of this early economic training that in 1878 he caused over nine hundred school banks to be established in his diocese.

Since this article was in type I have been informed that school banks have already been introduced in colleges and other schools of the upper classes in France, Algeria, and Belgium.

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