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Education in Oldham during the school board period, 1870 – 1903

Fox, Charles (1964) Education in Oldham during the school board period, 1870 – 1903. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The study begins by surveying the pre-1870 growth of public elementary schools in a cotton town which grew because of the Industrial Revolution. Out of the Sunday schools developed the day schools, but growth was slow until 1844, when the half-time system brought in by the Factories Act increased the demand for elementary education. The new schools were provided partly by Anglicans and partly by the strong Dissenting minority. Politically the town was a Radical stronghold; hence the School Boards set up by the 1870 Education Act were controlled by Radicals for nearly twenty years after. Urban and therefore educational expansion was extremely rap and the magnitude of the Board's work increased proportionately. All this time, however, the supporters of the Voluntary schools made herculean efforts to sustain school provision side by side with the Board's schools. Inevitably friction between them increased, and after 1888 the control of the Board passed to the Conservatives, resulting in a temporary check to Board School expansion. Gradually, however, the Voluntary schools declined. The School Board's activities extended into secondary and technical education in day and evening schools side by side with other bodies. Unfortunately the Board's right to do so rested on dubious legal foundations, and progress was retarded by its involvement in local politics. As the Board assumed greater control of public elementary education, friction increased between the central departments at Whitehall and South Kensington and the locally elected body. This was resolved by the 1902 Education Act, abolishing the School Boards; assisting the Voluntary Schools and setting up the local education authority responsible for elementary and secondary education. The School Board had been highly successful in the former, and handed over to the local education authority an excellent foundation on which to build.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1964
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:35

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