JACKSON, Sir Cyril (1863-1924)


JACKSON, Sir Cyril (1863-1924)
educationist
eldest son of L. M. Jackson, was born in England on 6 February 1863. Educated at the Charterhouse and New College, Oxford, he graduated in 1885 with honours in classics. After leaving Oxford he took up social work at Toynbee Hall for about 10 years from 1885, and was central secretary of the children's holiday fund. He became a member of the London school board in 1891, and in 1896 was appointed inspector-general of schools in Western Australia. Education in this colony had been for many years in a pitifully primitive state, but in 1890 a forward step was made by the appointment of an Englishman, J. P. Walton, as inspector of schools. He pointed out how far behind the schools were lagging, and brought about many improvements. But the population was increasing very rapidly, numerous new schools were being built, and it was realized that the system would have to be completely re-organized. With Walton as his first assistant Jackson set vigorously to work. He had great educational knowledge and first rate executive ability, and the foundations on which future developments could be raised were securely laid. In 1899 a beginning was made with technical education, in the following year school fees were abolished, and in 1901 a college was built for the training of teachers. The designs of the schools, the staffing and equipment, were all greatly improved, and when Jackson returned to England in 1903 he left behind him a well-organized modern system of education.
In England Jackson became a chief inspector under the board of education until 1906, and found that his services were wanted in many directions. In 1907 he was elected a member of the London county council, and six years later became an alderman. For two years from 1908 he was chairman of the education committee. In 1910-11 he acted as agent-general for Western Australia, and among the other positions he filled were member of senate, university of London (1908-21), governor, Imperial college of science (1908-16), chairman, London intelligence committee on unemployment and distress (1914), chairman, London county council (1915), and member central appeal tribune (1915-16 and 1917-18). He did much war work and was vice-chairman of the war pensions committee. He represented the board of education at two conferences held in the United States, and found time to write two books, Unemployment and Trade Unions (1910), and Outlines of Education in England (1913). He also collaborated with A. Riley and M. E. Sadler in another, The Religious Question in Public Education. He never lost his interest in Western Australia and only two days before his death attended a meeting at the agent-general's office to give his advice on a Western Australian educational problem. He died on 3 September 1924. A man of great knowledge and wisdom his whole life was dedicated to the service of the public. He was created a K.B.E. in 1917.
Burke's Peerage, etc., 1924; The Times, 5 and 6 September 1924; Ed. by G. S. Browne, Education in Australia, 1927; Donald H. Rankin, The History of the Development of Education in Western Australia; H. Colebatch, A Story of a Hundred Years.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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