|Article by Margaret Craddock (1978, amended 2005)|
Facts mainly taken from Church records in the form of Manager’s School Minute Book, Parish Magazines and
The voluntary schools required annual subscriptions from parishioners in order to cover the cost of running the schools. These tended to fall off with the advent of Board schools and constant ‘nagging’ was necessary on the part of the Rector in order to boost subscriptions. In addition, the children paid a fee to attend the school. In 1867 it is reported that “Some were sent home for their money as they pay very irregularly” and in 1873 the fees were 2d per week for the first child in the family. Children are reported playing truant and spending their school money. An annual grant was paid for each child in average attendance. An example from the Parish Magazine for 1899 states:
These grants depended on the HMI visiting the school annually and making a satisfactory inspection of the work being done and the way in which the school was run.
A typical Balance Sheet for the
Aid Grants were apparently applied for periodically and usually smaller sums were allowed than had been requested. These were often increased after protest. The following example from the Managers’ Reports of the
STAFF AND SALARIES
The various members of the teaching staff at that time are described as follows:
Salaries were continually reviewed by the Board of Managers of the school after application by the Teacher. Salaries ranged from £10 per annum, to £175 for the Head Teacher. The managers had the power to increase or withhold salary and consideration was given to HMI reports. For example, it was stated in the Managers’ Minutes that an increase was not granted for one particular teacher because “her discipline was not satisfactory”. There seemed to be a continual change of teachers and also much interchange between schools. Pupil teachers were obliged to attend classes at
Absence without leave by a teacher prompted the following item from the records:
A further item from the Parish Magazine reports on a complaint of the length of the summer holidays by a parent. The Rector states that the matter would be taken up by the School Managers, “but it must be remembered that teachers require a rest as well”.
The following report is an example of the annual report made after the visit to the school by the HMI. This report is for the Endowed and Infants’ Schools.
EVENING CONTINUATION CLASSES
Evening Classes were commenced at the Endowed Schools in October 1899 and were held twice weekly at 7.30 pm. About 40 names were on the books and the subjects studied were Commercial Arithmetic, Commercial Geography, Chemistry and Mensuration. These subjects were said to be useful and interesting and there was to be no charge at all for the classes. The average attendance was 29 and it was stated that it was disappointing to find that so many gave up. Grants were received of £15. 14. 6. from the Board of Education and £10. 12. 0. from Northants County Council. Subjects added for the following season were Music, Ambulance and Physiology. In 1902 the Board of Education ordered that a fee should be paid and 1d. per week was charge, refundable to those making the minimum number of attendances recognised by the Department
The subject matter was further extended in 1903 to Drawing,
Two examples from the records indicate the measures used at this time.
As early as 1867 there is a record of homework being given in the
Maintaining good attendance at school seems to have been a continual problem. The usual run of illnesses, colds and coughs were added to by Scarlet Fever, Measles, Scarletina, and Mumps. Often the schools were closed for weeks at a time for epidemics.
In 1872 the records state that there was a great demand for juvenile labour, the boys being required on the farm and in the riveting shops and the girls for machine shoe work and shop work. One teacher reported in 1870 that the parents keep the children at home for such trifles. These ‘trifles’ when listed include:
In addition, the younger children usually left school completely for the winter season. After the annual HMI inspection the children who had attended regularly were rewarded by an orange, and the older children by a 6d. Teaching must have been exceptionally difficult as the children were constantly being admitted or re-admitted to school. They were taken from the age of 3 years. Sometimes parents lied about the child’s age in order that they might be accepted earlier.
During this period there seemed to be an endless stream of visitors entering the school daily. These people were usually the local clergy, their wives and families who often helped with the classes. Many of the upper class ladies of the village also attended, often bringing needlework to be done by the older girls.
There is no mention of medical attention until January 1909 when periodical medical examinations of the children are recorded.
Much time was given daily to religious instruction, learning hymns, etc. The Rector was often involved in these lessons. The children were expected to attend certain Church services, eg Ash Wednesday, but were told to ask their parents if they wished them to attend.
Accounts of a teacher’s immorality and scandal between a Headmaster and a mistress resulting in dismissal of the mistress) are given in the Managers’ Reports.
Mr Albert Granger submitted the following for a “Memories of a Villager” Competition January 1958. He attended school in the 1880/90’s: