Report of the Special Sub-Committee on Commercial Education, 1907

London County CouncilTechnical Education Board

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The present time appears to us to be a particularly favourable time for taking action in London. A year-and-a-half ago much interest was aroused in London by the meeting of the International Congress on Technical Education under the auspices of the Society of Arts, when many valuable papers were contributed both by Englishmen and foreigners upon the subject of commercial education. Last spring an important international gathering was held at Antwerp, specially to discuss general questions connected with commercial education, and last summer a very representative conference was held in the Guildhall, on the invitation of the London Chamber of Commerce, in order to consider what steps should be taken to develop commercial education in the metropolis. Both the papers and the discussion at the last-named conference evinced a wide-spread conviction that something practical should now be done to better equip our youth for commercial life, and at the close of the conference a special committee was formed to devise the best method of formulating a scheme for the purpose. Other recent events have also pointed to the desirability of early action being taken. The Government have promised to introduce some measure for dealing with secondary education, and the outlines of a scheme for dealing with part of the subject have been laid before the country. Educational legislation may therefore be expected at an early date, and although it is possible that the whole range of secondary education may not be dealt with at once, yet the introduction of any Government measure is bound to arouse that public interest in the subject which it is so important to secure, and suchatime will be specially opportune for obtaining public support to a well considered scheme of reform. Another event which makes the present moment especially favourable for initiating a policy of educational advance is the passing of the London University Act in the session of 1898. It is generally understood that the new University will offer distinct encouragement to economic and commercial studies, and that an institution such as the London School of Economics and Political Science (see Appendix V, pages 78 where the higher branches of commercial law and economy are taught, will probably become an integral part of the University.
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