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The south shields school board 1871-1903

Graham J. A., (1961) The south shields school board 1871-1903. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Prior to 1871 public elementary education in the borough of South Shields was carried on by various bodies. These included the National Society, the British and Foreign Society, the Roman Catholic and the Presbyterian Church authorities and local industrial companies. There were eleven voluntary schools providing 5,092 places for about 8,000 children of school age. The curriculum in these schools was almost exclusively confined to the three R's as laid down by the Revised Code of 1862.II. The School Board was an ad hoc body set up under the Elementary Education Act, 1870,to provide the elementary school places which were urgently needed in the borough. Eleven school boards functioned successively between 1871 and 1903 providing the necessary school places. The Board built fifteen schools and took over the management of six voluntary schools providing accommodation for 14,865 children. Nine voluntary schools also functioned in 1903 with 4,918 places. Attendance was made compulsory from the inception of the Board and the school fees were high compared with other school boards. The Board's administration under the Elementary Education Acts and the regulations of the central authority was typical of the kind to be found in 'a poor and populous' district. It met the challenge of providing sufficient elementary school places when the population of the borough was rising rapidly and in spite of the opposition from the rate-payers. The struggle to gain control of the Board continued throughout its existence between the two opposing factions, the Sectarians and the Unsectarians. The Sectarians promoted the interests of the voluntary schools whilst the Unsectarians, who controlled nine of the eleven Boards, endeavoured to gain exclusive control of public elementary education in the borough. Despite this struggle the 'dual' system was firmly established when the new local authority took over the responsibility for public education under the Education Act o f 1902. III. By a generous interpretation of the Elementary Education Acts, together with the acquiescence of the Education Department, the Board provided higher elementary and technical education in its day and evening schools. Beginning with the Science and Art classes a t the Ocean Road Board School in 1887,the Board next built a higher grade department as part of the Westoe Road Board School in 1890; it was re-organised in 1895 as a higher grade and organised science school. The Board finally built a new higher grade school at Westoe for 680 pupils whilst|the Gockerton case was proceeding.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1961
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:15

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