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An Act for the better establishment and maintenance of Common Schools in Upper Canada




An Act for the better establishment and maintenance of Common Schools in Upper Canada

[23rd May, 1846]

W HEREAS it is expedient to make provision for the better establishment and maintenance of Common Schools in that part of this Province formerly Upper Canada, and also for the establishment of a Normal and Model Schools therein : Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, constituted and assembled by virtue of and under the authority of an Act passed in the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Ireland, and intituled, An Act to re-unite the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, and for the Government of Canada, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the Governor may, from time to time, by Letters Patent, under the Great Seal of the Province, appoint a fit and proper person to be Superintendent of Schools in Upper Canada, and to hold his office during pleasure ; that the said Superintendent shall receive a salary not to exceed five hundred pounds, currency, per annum, and to bear such proportion to that sum as the amount of public monies paid towards the support of Common Schools in that part of this province called Upper Canada, bears to that paid towards the support of Common Schools in that part of this Province called Lower Canada, and shall be allowed one hundred and seventy-five pounds, currency, per annum, for a Clerk, and the contingent expenses of his office, to be by him accounted for, as provided in respect of other public Officers ; and that the said Superintendent shall be subject to all such lawful orders and directions, in the exercise of this duties, as shall from time to time be given by the Governor of this Province.


Chief Superintendent of Common Schools appointed. His salary.


Allowance for a Clerk and contingent expenses.

II. And be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Superintendent of Schools :


Duty of Superintendent.

First. After deducting certain sums, as hereinafter provided, to apportion, on or before the fifteenth day of April of each year, all monies appropriated by the Legislature for Common Schools in Upper Canada for such year, according to the ratio of population in each District, Township, Tow or City, as compared with the population of Upper Canada, or if he shall think it expedient, in case of defective Census, according to the ratio of children residing in each, over the age of five and under the age of sixteen years, as stated in the last Annual Reports of the District Superintendents.


To apportion monies arising from Common School Fund, and in what ratio.

Secondly. To certify such apportionment made by him to the Inspector General, so far as it relates to the several Districts in Upper Canada, also to give immediate notice to the Superintendent of Schools in each District, stating the amount of monies apportioned to his District, and to each Township, Town and City therein.


To notify the apportionment to certain Officers.

Thirdly. To prepare suitable forms and regulations for making all Reports, and conducting all necessary proceedings under this Act, and to cause the same, with such instructions as he shall deem necessary and proper for the better organization and government of Common Schools, to be transmitted to the Officers required to execute the provisions of this Act, copies of which forms, regulations and instructions, as also copies of this Act, shall be furnished by him to the several District Superintendents, for the use of School sections, as occasion may require.


To prepare forms and regulations, and furnish copies thereof and of this Act to District Superintendents.

Fourthly. To see that all monies apportioned by him be applied to the purposes for which they were granted.


Other duties. Due application of monies.

Fifthly. To decide upon all matters and complaints which may be submitted to him by parties interested, under the operation of this Act.

  Complaints submitted to him.

Sixthly. To discourage the use of unsuitable and improper books in the Schools or School Libraries, and to use all lawful means to provide for and recommend the use of uniform and approved text books in all the Schools.


Selection of Books.

Seventhly. To take the general superintendence of the Normal School, as soon as one shall have been established.


Normal School.

Eighthly. To prepare, as soon as practicable, and recommend the adoption of suitable plans of School Houses with the proper furniture and appendages.


Plans of School houses.

Ninthly. To use his best endeavours to promote the establishment of School Libraries for general reading in the several districts and Townships of Upper Canada, and to furnish every information necessary, as far as he shall be able, as to the regulations of such Institutions and the books most suitable for them.


School Libraries.

Tenthly. To employ all lawful means in his power to collect and diffuse information on the subject of education generally, among the people of Upper Canada.

  Diffusion of information.

Eleventhly. To submit annually to the Governor of this Province on or before the first day of August in each year, a report of the actual state of the Normal, Model and Common Schools throughout Upper Canada, shewing the amount of monies expended on such Schools, and from what sources the same have been derived, with plans for their improvement, and such other statements and suggestions relating to education generally, as the said Superintendent may deem useful and expedient, in order that the same may be laid before the Legislature at the meeting thereof next following.


Yearly reports.

III. And be it enacted, That the Governor shall have authority to appoint not more than seven persons, (of whom the Superintendent of Schools shall be one, to be a Board of Education,) who shall hold their situation during pleasure, and shall be subject to all lawful orders and directions, in the exercise of their duties, which shall from time to time be issued by the Governor, and whose duty it shall be, in conjunction with the Superintendent of Schools--


First. To adopt all needful measures for the establishment and furnishing of a Normal Schools for Upper Canada -- to make from time to time all needful rules and regulations for the management and good government of such School -- to prescribe the conditions on which pupils shall be received and instructed therein -- to select the location of such School, the terms and conditions on which buildings therefor shall be procured -- to determine the number and compensation of Teachers and others who may be employed therein -- and to do all other lawful things which may deem expedient to promote the objects and interest of such School.

  Duties of the Board.

Making regulations, &c.

Secondly. To examine and recommend or disapprove of all books, plans or forms which may be submitted to them with a view to their use in Schools ; and no portion of the Government Grant shall be given in aid of any School in which any book is used which has been disapproved of by the Board, and of which disapproval public notice shall have been given.


Examination of Books

Thirdly. To aid the Superintendent of Schools with their counsel and advice on all questions, and on all measures which he may submit to them for the promotion of the interests of Schools, and for the diffusion of useful knowledge among the people of Upper Canada.


Advising with Superintendent

IV. And it be enacted, That the meetings of the said Board shall be held at some place which shall be provided by the Superintendent of Schools ; and that the first meeting of the Board shall be called by the Superintendent of Schools ; that the said Board shall appoint a Chairman, and the times of its meetings ; that a special meeting may be called at any time by the Superintendent of Schools, by giving due notice to the other members ; that at all meetings of the Board duly called, three Members shall form a quorum for the transaction of business ; that the Clerk in the Education office shall be the Recording Clerk to the Board, and shall enter all its proceedings in a book to be kept for that purpose ; and that the expenses attending the proceedings of the Board shall be accounted for as part of the contingent expenses of the Education Office.


Meetings of Board when and where to be held.


Three members to form a quorum.

V. And be it enacted, That, as soon as practicable, there shall be established a Normal School, containing one or more Elementary Model Schools for the instruction and practice of Teachers of Common Schools in the science of education and art of teaching, according to such regulations as are hereinbefore provided for, and which shall be approved by he Governor in Council, and that a sum not exceeding one thousand five hundred pounds, be expended by the Board of Education, in procuring and furnishing suitable buildings for the said Normal School ; that a sum not exceeding one thousand five hundred pounds per annum be allowed for the salaries of Teachers and all other contingent expenses of the said School ; and that detailed accounts of the expenditure of all monies for the establishment and support of the said School, shall be annually transmitted to the Governor, through the Superintendent of Schools, to be laid before the Legislature.


A Normal School to be established.


Salary of Teachers in the said School.

VI. And be it enacted, That the Council of each District shall have authority to appoint a proper person to be District Superintendent of Common Schools, who shall hold his office during please : Provided always, that in case the Council of any District shall neglect or refuse to recommend the appointment of a District Superintendent, at any meeting of such Council during the present year, or at their first meeting after the occurrence of any vacancy, then it shall be lawful for the Governor to make such appointment.


Council of each District may appoint persons to be District Superintendents, Proviso

VII. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the Council of each District, by By-law, to provide for the salary of the District Superintendent


Salary of District Superintendent to be provided for by By-law.

VIII. And be it enacted, That the Council of each District, on receiving from the District Superintendent of Common Schools, a certified copy of the apportionment of the Legislative grant in aid of Common Schools for their District for the current year, shall, without delay, cause to be levied such sum of money, for Common School purposes, as they shall see fit, and within the limit of their powers of imposing taxes, and at least equal (clear of all charges of collection) to the amount of public monies apporti9oned to such District, such sum, within the limit aforesaid, to be increased at the discretion of the said Council ; and the sum so to e raised shall be placed on the proper Collector's Rolls, and shall be collected by him in like manner as any other tax for such District, but shall be paid over by him to the District Superintendent of Common Schools, within the period fixed by law for the payment of rates collected to the Treasurer in each year.


District Council to cause to be levied, for School purposes, a sum of money in each District at least equal to amount of public money apportioned to such District.

IX. And be it enacted, That the Council of each District shall cause each township, or parts of adjoining Townships, Town or city in such District, to be divided into a convenient number of sections, and parts of sections to be numbered and described ; and which may be altered at the discretion of the Council ; and a copy of the descriptions and numbers of such sections and parts of sections shall be forthwith furnished by the Clerk of such Council to the superintendent of Common Schools for the District.


District Council to divide Townships into School sections.

X. And be it enacted, That the District Council in each District shall have authority within the limit aforesaid to cause to be levied any sum or sums of money which may be required for the purchasing of School sites, and the erection and furnishing of School Houses, the procuring of residences for Teachers and for Common School purposes generally, in such District, and upon the inhabitants of the said District generally, or on those of any particular Township, School section, or other locality, as the case may require ; Provided always, that this shall not be construed to prevent the inhabitants of any School section or Township from adopting any voluntary means they may deem expedient to purchase, erect, furnish, or repair any School House or residence for the Teacher ; Provided always, that the title to any Common School House, and the land the premises appurtenant thereto now vested in Trustees, or other persons, to and for the use of any Common School or hereafter to be purchased, acquired and conveyed for such use, shall be vested in the District Council of the District in which such School Houses and lands are situate in trust for the use of such School, respectively.


And may levy sums of money for purchasing School sites, & c.



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