Gillian, D. J. (1967) The effect of industrial legislation on the social and educational condition of children employed in coal mines between 1840 and 1876 with special reference to County Durham. Masters thesis, Durham University.
The children of the colliery communities of the nineteenth century found employment in the mines mainly as transporters of coal from coal face to shaft with the youngest acting as "trappers". The isolation of colliery communities meant that the mine and all those connected with it had a considerable influence on the social and educational condition of the children. Early reports and statistics indicate a low moral and educational state in all areas with education being hampered by the children's environment. There was little interest shown in education either by mines or managers and conditions in many of the schools which did exist discouraged attendance. The Dame schools and Sunday schools were educationally ineffective. The colliery day and evening schools had more to offer but often their weakness lay in the schoolmasters who were appointed to them. The Childrens Employment Commission and the resulting Act of 1842 had some effect on social conditions but did nothing to improve the educational state of most of the children. Pressure for better educational conditions came from the Mining Commissioner, the Mines Inspectors, a few enlightened owners and the miners associations. A demand for the inclusion of educational clauses in mining legislation followed the discovery that, in many mines where explosions had occurred, the officials were illiterate. Although educational clauses were introduced they were often made ineffective by the attitude of colliery owners, who made little effort to interpret them in favour of the children, and also by the absence of any measure to compel attendance at school. Industrial legislation did make some contribution to the improvement in the children's conditions but real educational progress could not begin until the Education Acts of 1870 and 1876 made school attendance compulsory.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Education|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||14 Mar 2014 16:22|