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New South Wales has a highly centralised State Education Department which has its headquarters in the state capital. The “ears and eyes” of the Department are the inspectors, who are selected from within the system on the basis of ability in scholarship, teaching and leadership. During a period of induction the inspector learns to appreciate the departmental viewpoint on efficiency as applied to teaching and administration and the significance of departmental policies. The “district” inspectors, responsible for a particular geographical area, are the most numerous. The functions of these inspectors include administration as the local representative of the central office and supervision, advice and appraisal of schools and teachers. Appraisal is the major task, as the general improvement of schools and the promotion of teachers are dependent upon the reports written by inspectors.
Numbers of worthy people are no doubt nursing themselves in the fond and foolish belief that when the Food Bill has received the Royal assent, and becomes law, the manufacture and sale of adulterated and sophisticated products will, to all intents and purposes, be suppressed, and that the Public Analyst and the Inspector will be able to report the existence of almost universal purity and virtue. This optimistic feeling will not be shared by the traders and manufacturers who have suffered from the effects of unfair and dishonest competition, nor by those whose knowledge and experience of the existing law enables them to gauge the probable value of the new one with some approach to accuracy. The measure has satisfied nobody, and can satisfy nobody but those whose nefarious practices it is intended to check, and who can fully appreciate the value, to them, of patchwork and superficial legislation. We have repeatedly pointed out that repressive legislation, however stringent and however well applied, can never give the public that which the public, in theory, should receive—namely, complete protection and adequate guarantee,—nor to the honest trader the full support and encouragement to which he is entitled. But, in spite of the defects and ineffectualities necessarily attaching to legislation of this nature, a strong Government could without much difficulty have produced a far more effective, and therefore more valuable law than that which, after so long an incubation, is to be added to the statute‐book.
An appeal under the Food and Drugs Acts, reported in the present number of the BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL, is an apt illustration of the old saying, that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In commenting upon the case in question, the Pall Mall Gazette says: “The impression among the great unlearned that the watering of the morning's milk is a great joke is ineradicable; and there is also a common opinion among the Justice Shallows of the provincial bench that the grocer who tricks his customers into buying coffee which is 97 per cent. chicory is a clever practitioner, who ought to be allowed to make his way in the world untrammelled by legal obstructions. But the Queen's Bench have rapped the East Ham magistrates over the knuckles for convicting without fining a milkman who was prosecuted by the local authority, and the case has been sent back in order that these easygoing gentlemen may give logical effect to their convictions.”
Food and Drug cases are notorious for their capacity for providing Courts of Justice with knotty points. An interesting specimen of such a point is disclosed in Query No. 8341 in the issue of “The Sanitary Record” of January 23rd. Section 17 of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts, 1875, provides that if an Inspector applies to purchase an article of food exposed for sale, “and shall tender the price for the quantity which he shall require for the purpose of analysis,” and the person exposing the article for sale refuses to sell to the Inspector, such person is liable to a penalty. According to the full and first‐rate report of the case in question in the “Middleton Guardian” of December 18th last, the following appears to have happened:—The defendant was delivering milk at customers' houses from a horse‐drawn cart. The Inspector went up to him and told him that he was an Inspector under the Act, and that he wanted two pints of milk as samples, one from the can in the cart and the other from the can in the defendant's hand. The defendant said, “I refuse to supply you.” The Inspector then offered him a shilling, and said, “I want two pints of milk.” The defendant again refused to supply the samples, giving no reason for his refusal, and at once drove away. On proceedings being taken for the penalty imposed by the above section, the defendant's solicitor took the point that there had been no “legal tender” under the section, the price of the milk being 9d. and the tender being that of a coin of greater value, thus necessitating the giving of change. The Justices dismissed the summons on this ground. Apparently the only answers which occurred to the Clerk to the prosecuting Local Authority were that the Inspector “might not have known what the milk would cost,” and that the case cited by the defendant's solicitor was decided as long ago as 1815. As the Clerk to the Justices observed, people have only too good a reason for bearing in mind the present price of milk, and it is absurd to suggest that an Inspector of Food dues not know the current price of two pints of this commodity. The mere age of a case is also a feeble retort. We are therefore not surprised at the result of the proceedings. The querist also raises an equally untenable argument in support of his prosecution. He says that it is “the custom of ordinary purchasers to tender larger amounts than cover the value of the article purchased,” and that Inspectors “as far as possible act as ordinary purchasers.” The obvious reply to this is that such a custom cannot override the law, and here the law requires “legal tender.” Now a tender, to be legally valid, must be either “for the specific amount,” or “for more than the precise amount without a demand for change,” or “if the creditor; can select his portion without giving change” (Lord Halsbury's “Laws of England,” Vol. 6, at page 462). One of the authorities cited for this proposition is Wade's Case (5 Co. Rep. 114 a). This decision was given in 1601, and is therefore more than 200 years older than the authority to the antiquity of which the Clerk objected. This authority was no doubt that of Robinson v. Cook (1815, 6 Taunt. 336), where the Court held that tender of a larger amount with a demand for change was bad. It appears to us that the Clerk's answer to this technical defence should, in ordinary times, have been that, though there was a tender of more than the 9d., there was no “demand for change,” for the Inspector did not ask for his 3d. Moreover, the defendant drove away without giving the Inspector any opportunity of saying that he might keep the 3d. It does not appear to be necessary, however, for the purchaser to state expressly that he does not demand any change, and if he has no reasonable opportunity for considering whether such a demand shall be made or not, we are of opinion that the tender of more than the sum due is valid. It certainly is not usual for Inspectors to give money away when making their purchases, but if an Inspector does not happen to have upon him the exact sum required, and he has reason to suspect the quality of milk that is in course of delivery, we regard it as his duty to sacrifice any small sum like 3d. in order that he may perform his duty to consumers. But for D.O.R.A., the querist would, in our opinion, have been perfectly justified, in the circumstances of the case to which he has called our attention, in foregoing his change, and there was nothing to show that this may not have been his intention if the defendant had not been in such a hurry to escape from his clutches. The meaning of our reference to “ordinary times” and to D.O.R.A. is this: At the time in question it was illegal for the milkman to sell, and for the Inspector to purchase, milk at a price higher than the maximum fixed by the Regulations. Courts will not presume that persons intend to commit a breach of the law. In this case, therefore, if our point had been taken in, the Justices would have been justified, as there was no direct evidence of any such intention, in refusing to presume that the Inspector intended to pay more than 9d. for the two samples. Furthermore, if in fact the Inspector had said definitely “I do not want any change,” we think that the tender would still not have been legal, because the milkman would have been entitled to reply “D.O.R.A. won't let me sell you two pints for more than 9d., and therefore change is necessary.” We, like the Justices, regret the result of their ruling, and hope that this article may serve as a hint to officers who may find themselves placed in a similar situation when D.O.R.A. has disappeared.— The Sanitary Record.
The purpose of this paper is to explore whether oral feedback by inspectors of the Dutch Inspectorate of Education is an adequate method to support the professional…
The purpose of this paper is to explore whether oral feedback by inspectors of the Dutch Inspectorate of Education is an adequate method to support the professional development of teachers in primary education. This study aims to examine the impact of short feedback training for inspectors (focused on effective feedback conversations) on feedback quality and on teachers ' feedback perception. In addition, it aims to study the relation between immediate perception and the delayed perception of that feedback.
In an independent sample experimental design, 15 inspectors provided feedback to 40 teachers in primary education. Nine inspectors received short feedback training (the experimental group), while six others did not receive this training (the control group).
The results indicate that feedback provided by trained inspectors can foster professional development of teachers in primary education and that short feedback training has added value. The quality of the feedback by inspectors was related to teachers ' immediate perception of the feedback and the delayed perception of the feedback.
A limitation of this study is the small group of inspectors and the limited number of feedback conversations they could provide. Further research could be aimed at examining the impact of feedback of trained inspectors on the professional development of underperforming teachers.
This paper contributes to research that examines effective ways to use feedback conversations in workplace settings for the professional development of teachers.
The information which has hitherto appeared in the daily press as to the evidence laid before the Departmental Committee which is inquiring into the use of preservatives and colouring matters can hardly have afforded pleasant reading to the apologists for the drugging of foods. It is plainly the intention of the Committee to make a thorough investigation of the whole subject, and the main conclusions which, in the result, must bo forced upon unbiassed persons by an investigation of this character will be tolerably obvious to those who have given serious attention to the subject. At a later stage of the inquiry we shall publish a full account of the evidence submitted and of the Committee's proceedings. At present we may observe that the facts which have been brought forward fully confirm the statements made from time to time upon these matters in the BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL, and amply justify the attitude which we have adopted on the whole question. Representatives of various trade interests have given evidence which has served to show the extent to which the practices now being inquired into are followed. Strong medical evidence, as to the dangers which must attach to the promiscuous and unacknowledged drugging of the public by more or less ignorant persons, has been given; and some medical evidence of that apologetic order to which the public have of late become accustomed, and which we, at any rate, regard as particularly feeble, has also been put forward. Much more will no doubt be said, but those who have borne the heat and burden of the day in forcing these matters upon the attention of the Legislature and of the public can view with satisfaction the result already attained. Full and free investigation must produce its educational effect ; and whatever legal machinery may be devised to put some kind of check upon these most dangerous forms of adulteration, the demand of the public will be for undrugged food, and for a guarantee of sufficient authority to ensure that the demand is met.
The decision of the Wolverhampton Stipendiary in the case of “Skim‐milk Cheese” is, at any rate, clearly put. It is a trial case, and, like most trial cases, the reasons for the judgment have to be based upon first principles of common‐sense, occasionally aided, but more often complicated, by already existing laws, which apply more or less to the case under discussion. The weak point in this particular case is the law which has just come into force, in which cheese is defined as the substance “usually known as cheese” by the public and any others interested in cheese. This reliance upon the popular fancy reads almost like our Government's war policy and “the man in the street,” and is a shining example of a trustful belief in the average common‐sense. Unfortunately, the general public have no direct voice in a police court, and so the “usually known as cheese” phrase is translated according to the fancy and taste of the officials and defending solicitors who may happen to be concerned with any particular case. Not having the general public to consult, the officials in this case had a war of dictionaries which would have gladdened the heart of Dr. JOHNSON; and the outcome of much travail was the following definition: cheese is “ coagulated milk or curd pressed into a solid mass.” So far so good, but immediately a second definition question cropped up—namely, What is “milk?”—and it is at this point that the mistake occurred. There is no legal definition of new milk, but it has been decided, and is accepted without dispute, that the single word “milk” means an article of well‐recognised general properties, and which has a lower limit of composition below which it ceases to be correctly described by the one word “milk,” and has to be called “skim‐milk,” “separated milk,” “ milk and water,” or other distinguishing names. The lower limits of fat and solids‐not‐fat are recognised universally by reputable public analysts, but there has been no upper limit of fat fixed. Therefore, by the very definition quoted by the stipendiary, an article made from “skim‐milk” is not cheese, for “skim‐milk” is not “milk.” The argument that Stilton cheese is not cheese because there is too much fat would not hold, for there is no legal upper limit for fat; but if it did hold, it does not matter, for it can be, and is, sold as “Stilton” cheese, without any hardship to anyone. The last suggestion made by the stipendiary would, if carried out, afford some protection to the general public against their being cheated when they buy cheese. This suggestion is that the Board of Agriculture, who by the Act of 1899 have the legal power, should determine a lower limit of fat which can be present in cheese made from milk; but, as we have repeatedly pointed out, it is by the adoption of the Control system that such questions can alone be settled to the advantage of the producer of genuine articles and to that of the public.
In 1899 the medical practitioners of Dublin were confronted with an outbreak of a peculiar and obscure illness, characterised by symptoms which were very unusual. For want of a better explanation, the disorder, which seemed to be epidemic, was explained by the simple expedient of finding a name for it. It was labelled as “beri‐beri,” a tropical disease with very much the same clinical and pathological features as those observed at Dublin. Papers were read before certain societies, and then as the cases gradually diminished in number, the subject lost interest and was dropped.
At a recent inquest upon the body of a woman who was alleged to have died as the result of taking certain drugs for an improper purpose, one of the witnesses described himself as “an analyst and manufacturing chemist,” but when asked by the coroner what qualifications he had, he replied : “I have no qualifications whatever. What I know I learned from my father, who was a well‐known ‘F.C.S.’” Comment on the “F.C.S.” is needless.
There are strong affinities and similarities between Her Majesty's Inspectors and the inspectors of schools employed by the Australian States, but there is one important difference between them. The Australian inspector spends much of his time assessing teachers and making recommendations for their promotion and appointment, while the H.M.I. is more of a professional consultant to central and local authorities and to schools, and he has little influence on the progression of individual teachers. Australian inspectors appear to have had longer teaching experience than H.M.I.‘s and they certainly carry out a wider range of duties. They seem to be more concerned with in‐service training, curriculum construction and research than are their British colleagues. H.M.I.'s, however, appear to be more scholarly and they are more resolute in pressing professional criticisms than are the Australians. Nearly one‐third of H.M.I.'s are women. In Australian school systems there is a marked and unfortunate paucity of women inspectors.