Excerpt from General Reports by Assistant Commissioners, Vol. 9: Northern Counties
In conclusion, I am to warn you that the Commissioners can give you no compulsory powers. The success or failure of your mission will depend very largely on your own tact and prudence. It is true that your duties are of a kind that ought to encourage those who are employed in education to give you every assistance in their power. There cannot be the slightest doubt that what ever tends to throw light on the present state of education, and still more whatever tends to improve it, will largely increase the demand for teachers of every kind, and by so doing will promote their interests, and add importance to their profession. But it would not be difficult to convey the contrary impression, and to close almost all access to information by prosecuting your inquiries in an inquisitorial and injudicious spirit. It will be your duty to arrive at the truth in whatever way shall give least trouble and least annoyance to those from whom you are seeking it. You will of course make no distinction with regard to religious creed in respect of the schools you may desire to visit.
The main object of your mission will be to collect matters of fact, and ascertain the opinions of others. At the same time the Commissioners do not wish to preclude you from expressing any opinions of your own as to the remedial measures which you may think expedient. But it will be desirable that you should express such opinions in as brief and summary a manner as possible.
The Commissioners consider that your inquiry may be completed in six months, and that you will be able to finish your Report within two months afterwards.
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