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Durham e-Theses
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The development of elementary education in Sunderland, 1870 - 1902

Turner, Christopher J. (1984) The development of elementary education in Sunderland, 1870 - 1902. Masters thesis, Durham University.



During the nineteenth century, Sunderland had at one point become the centre of the shipbuilding world. Soon afterwards it began to vie for supremacy in the export of coal. The town pulsed with success. Any obstacles or setbacks were simply removed or overcome. The aim of this thesis, therefore, was to show how Elementary Education developed within such an atmosphere. In fact, education had grown as a priority within the town during the nineteenth century. When the time came to implement the 1870 Act, a mature decision was taken and in spite of political discord at the first election the School Board began the work of preparing the ground for a provision of education to include all those who would need it. There was no undue haste, nor was the Board slow. Each school was planned with care. As the period progressed the educational needs of the town were met in an orderly sensible manner. Throughout changes in the political nature of the Boards there was a continuity of intent. The existing provision was not interfered with, nor put under undue pressure. The internal and external planning of buildings was unusually varied. Each School had an individual flavour. The accommodation target set in the very beginning was adjusted throughout and reached by the end. The strong religious atmosphere of the town existed alongside and within the Board schools. This background had also helped to provide a continual flow of teachers which, if as elsewhere were largely untrained, compensated by their dedication to the pupils. The curriculum expanded very slowly following a national pattern. Throughout, important local figures guided and advised. Attendance, though only average, did improve gradually. Most importantly, the child was being put at the centre of consideration. In the end, there had been a marked improvement in the attitude towards education in the town and this was most noticeable in the adequate supply of good schools which existed by the first years of the twentieth century. Reassuringly, therefore, a successful industrial town had kept educational priority throughout and mirrored commercial with educational success.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1984
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Jul 2013 10:55

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