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Andrew Bell - Madras System

The son of a local magistrate and wig-maker, Andrew Bell studied at St Andrews University where he distinguished himself in mathematics.

He became a clergyman of the Church of England and took up an appointment as an army chaplain for the East India Company in Madras. One of his duties was to educate the soldiers' children. Because there was a shortage of teachers, he used the older boys, who had been taught the lesson by the master, to instruct younger pupils. The pupils who assisted the teacher were called 'monitors'. This method of education became widely used in schools at home and abroad.

After his return from India, Dr Bell made it his life's work to encourage schools to adopt 'the Madras system'. By the time of his death in 1832, over 10,000 schools were using his methods. He founded a school in his native town and by land was able to give money the neighbouring town of Cupar so that in the end founded two schools.

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