Spring Lane School was situated in the poorest part of Northampton. In 1928 the School Inspector had some scathing remarks to make about the pupils’ ability yet the report of Ada May Burditt who was a pupil in Class V in 1928 (reproduced below) appears to prove him wrong!
Regular school inspections were carried out by HM Inspector of Schools. In 1928 the inspection of Spring Lane School produced this report.
“Much of the work in this school is frankly not to be judged by a normal standard. This is not said with any intention of excusing the results, but merely a fair indication of the complex problems with which the teachers here are confronted.
“A large part of the school is composed of girls whose mental and physical equipment is below the normal as a more or less direct consequence of poverty and social environment. These children do not appear to have been classified by any technical modern ways of measuring intelligence and the teachers of the special classes rely for their by no means unsuccessful methods on their own interpretation of the girls’ needs rather than on any specific training on work of this kind.”
“The institution of some recognised special means of dealing with these classes would probably have valuable and interesting effects.”
The inspector finishes his report with a few kind words perhaps to compensate to some extent for his unreserved criticism.
“In the meantime it must be said that these scholars reflect the industry, good manners and excellent tone of the school in a way that does much credit to their teachers.”
The report of Ada May Burditt (reproduced left) gives a totally different impression of the intelligence of a Spring Lane School pupil, with its neat careful writing and high marks.
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