This ones who would determine how their future would

essay will be focusing on education systems for children before and after the
education act that was established in the 1870’s. Seeing children everywhere go
to school five days a week, for approximately 7-8 hours, seems very natural to
us. From a very young age children are put into schooling and it is expected of
from the society and government. Until the 1870’s children were not seen to be
much different from their parents and lived the same lifestyle that their
parents would, even if it meant working. In today’s society children are apart
from the adults with their own meals, entertainment, clothing and so on.  

Some like Nikolas Rose (1999) go as far as to
say that

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“Childhood is the
most intensively governed sector of personal existence.  … The modern
child has become the focus of innumerable projects that purport to safeguard it
from physical, sexual, or moral danger, to ensure its ‘normal’ development, to
actively promote certain capacities of attributes such as intelligence, educability,
and emotional stability” (p.124)

shows how much a child’s childhood experience is linked to their schooling and
education system, these childhood experiences are carried on with them through
adolescence and adulthood. The Enlightenment thought of children as their
future and the ones who would determine how their future would be. The child is
viewed to be blank state by the likes of John Locke, so these blank states need
to be transformed into balanced and independent adults. If you think of it this
is a lot of pressure to put on someone of a young age of 4-11, this pressure
will definitely impact their childhood with unhealthy motivation to succeed in
school.  Jean-Jacques Rousseau thought
that aim of education was to preserve and prolongation of childhood, since the
child is assumed to have a blank state then they are clean and whole so it is
ideal to have a population full of human with these attributes however, is it unhealthy
for the child and their experiences as a child.  


Industrial Revolution (Factory

schooling became compulsory in the 1870’s children had different roles to play
in the society, with the industrial revolution came classes, where the wealthy
and the industrial workers were grouped in to their economic and social class. During
this time, there were 1120 under 14s for every 1000 adults aged 25-60
(Cunnigham, 2006) (pg 161). Depending on the family you’ve come from childhood
was either wonderful or terrible, this was dependent on the economic status of
the family you came from. For the working-class children were part of the harsh
ways to make ends meet and survive. Children would work in factories in very
harsh conditions and long hours. Textiles were one of the factories that most
children worked at, the factories sometimes went on for 24hrs a day which lead
to children as young as six years of age worked overnight shifts. The work they
did was dangerous and very exhausting (Horn, 1994). Many didn’t see
child labour as a problem because childhood didn’t have any importance or the
thought to be protected like what we think of childhood today and most people
accepted the idea of “cooperative family economy, in which all household
members contributed to the material support of the family” (Mintz & Kellogg, 1988).  There was early Factory Acts, in 1802, 1819
and 1833, which didn’t allow children under the age of nine to be employed in a
variety of work mills. Further acts in the 1844 lowered the minimum age to 8
but introduced daily schooling and reduction of work hours to maximum seven
hours in a day. The fact that children were working in the industrial
revolution wasn’t bothering but it was their work in textile mills, mines and
chimney sweeps which most dramatically effected the reformers and philanthropists
who campaigned against it. The work environment was brutal and violent, the
first Factory Act in the 1802’s against child labour was ineffective due to the
expansion of the industry and introduction to steam power. There were several
ways in which reformers attacked child labour, their focus was on moral and
physical consequences. Hugh Cunningham has previously argued that these objections
led to the “utilitarian” argument that child labour threatened the reproduction
of society. This he continues, implied that ‘there was a proper way to rear
children, one… which would recognise that childhood had its own special characteristics (Hendrick, 2003). Middle class
children during this time, especially boys, went to school for much longer than
children did in the past. This new focus of education was mostly for the

Sunday Schools

schools was set up by Hanna More (1745-1833) she was part of the wealthy evangelicals
who wanted to reinvigorate the Church of England which you could say is the
modified form of Methodism. They were named the Clapham Sect, it’s members we
strongly opposed to slavery and were dedicated to missionary work, they were
also involved in the foundation of the British and Foreign Bible Society in
1804. In 1787 Wilberforce, who was a member of the sect, from various visits to
Cowslip Green, Wrington announced that “something had to be done for Cheddar”.

Apart from the poverty he was upset about the lack of spiritual comfort, out of
this the idea emerged that a Sunday school needed to be opened. Two years later
Hanna and Martha More opened a school in Cheddar. Their aim for schooling wasn’t
to bring about a good social environment for the children but to preserve the
social stability that existed,  ‘Beautiful
is the order of society’, Hannah wrote, ‘when each according to his place, pays
willing honour to his superiors – when servants are prompt to obey their
masters, and masters deal kindly with their servants; – when high, low, rich
and poor – when landlord and tenant, master workmen, minister and people… sit
down satisfied with his own place’ (Simon, 1964). Their plan for
instructing the poor was very limited and strict to make sure they were still
in their order of society “They learn of week-days such coarse works as may fit
them for servants. I allow of no writing for the poor. My object is not to
teach dogmas and opinions, but to form the lower classes to habits of industry
and virtue (More, 1859).”

Dame Schools

than Sunday schools there were also Dame schools that were run by elderly Dames
from their homes, the parents of the children had paid for the fees and
according to the sum you paid was the what kind of education your child received
some studied reading and writing and for some it was just a childminding
service. These schools were often found in the areas of poverty, the standards
of the school varied greatly too, some were just overseen by illiterate women
which taught foundations in reading, writing and arithmetic. These schools ran
up till the time when schools became compulsory in the 1670’s.

Ragged Schools

option for the urban children who were less privileged was the “ragged schools”
named after the children that were clothed raggedly it was part schooling part
social services that offered basic education in addition to meals and clothing.

Lord Shaftesbury became to be chairman of Ragged schools and championed the
movement for 39yrs. Several different schools claim to have been the first
truly free school for poor. Children who attended the schools were often
excluded from the ones that went to Sunday school, because of their unkempt appearance
and often ‘challenging’ behaviour. Children of the working class and the middle
class didn’t socialise due to this barrier they had.

The “Voluntary” schools

the 1808 the Royal Lancastrian Society was created to promote schools using the
Monitorial System of Joseph Lancaster. This era you could say was the closest
to the school systems that we have now, the education was in reading, writing,
arithmetic and non-denominational Christianity. In 1811, the National Society
for Promoting Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church
was established by the Anglican Church. The monitorial system made it so the
parents would only pay minimal fees since the teachers would teach advanced
students and these students would then control and instruct the lower grades. The
environment of these classes was reported to be very large class, lack of
individual instruction, a high noise level and general disorder and the use of
the monitorial system. The education that the females had were worse than the
boys were getting “Girls leaving school can scarcely read, or write, and
certainly not spell, and only a few can cast up a simple sum. They have no
knowledge of needlework, and cannot cut out or even mend… (Hurt, 1974).

June Purvis, author of the sole book-length study of Victorian working-class
women’s education, notes that schools of the aforementioned (“National” and
“British”) societies enrolled more boys than girls, and in some cases set the
age entry two years later for girls than for boys (Purvis, 1989). As suggested by the
passage just quoted, girls’ curricula were heavily weighted toward needlework, and
even that was often neglected. In Hope Deferred, Josephine Kamm reports that
the managers of one local school submitted the same garment for inspection year
after year, made not by pupils, as claimed, but by an old woman in the village (Kamm, 1965).

education Act

elementary education act in 1870 which is commonly known as fosters education act,
this set the framework that school for children between the ages of 5 and 12 in
England and Wales. This act made it compulsory for public taxes to be used to support
religious schools, the government also offered special building grants to
already existing educational bodies, these were mostly religious schools Derek
Gillard reports that between 1870 and 1885, the number of Church of England
schools rose from 6,382 to 11,864, and Roman Catholic schools from 350 to 892
(Ch. 3, n. pag.), these church schools would continue into the next century and
beyond. The system was both voluntary denominational schools and
non-denominational state schools. After the church schools, school boards were
formed, members of the London School Board were elected, London was divide into
ten electoral districts. E. R. Robson was the first SBL Architect appointed in
1872 and succeeded by T.J. Bailey. Board school classes were large, in
classroom that were designed to accommodate up to eighty students. Teachers
were paid annually on the basis of examinations mainly in reading, writing and
arithmetic. It was compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 13 to
attend schools in their district and attendance of the students were enforced
by an Attendance Officer. According to Purvis, this curriculum may have led to
the teaching of arithmetic to girls for the first time (Purvis, 1989) but there was
teaching of writing from dictation, oral reading of short passages and simple arithmetic,
which constituted most of the curriculum. An examination of the “Standards of
Education” was issued by the Education Department in 1872 indicated the level
of achievement required. These standards weren’t high and rates of failure was
high, inspectors reported that 53% of pupils failed one of the first four
grades in reading, and 57% in writing (Vincent, 1981). Much like today,
even with schooling being compulsory, the families’ income had a great effect on
the pupils. Some were forced to work for much of the year or removed from
school earlier than they wished. The poet John Clare had worked in the fields
from earliest boyhood: “As to my schooling, I think never a year pass’d me till
I was 11 or 12, but 3 months or more at the worst of times was luckily spared
for my improvement” (Vincent, 1981). John Harris
recalled that “At nine years of age I was taken from school and put to work in
the fields, to drive the horses in the plough” (Boos, n.d.).

The servant Henry White had been removed from school for a year at age eight to
care for several younger siblings, and finally, “having reached the mature age
of ten years and my parents having to provide for the wants of several other
little ones, I had to prepare to take my part in bearing the burden and heat of
the day. It was about Harvest time, the middle of August 1832, when I commenced
to toil for my daily bread” (Boos, n.d.).