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dcmbarton
02-02-2010, 10:54 PM
Does anyone know whether there was a standard age for attending / changing schools in the early 20th century?

I have three relations (born 1898, 1901 and 1904) where I know which infant school they attended; I also know what school they progressed to, but I'm not sure at roughly what age these would have taken place.

Any ideas?

David

Chris Doran
03-02-2010, 2:53 AM
Assuming our local (Beckenham, Kent) education arrangements at that time were typical, the mixed Infants Schools took children to age 7, after which they moved to Boys'/Girls' Schools until leaving age (13-14).

coastwallker
03-02-2010, 7:27 AM
The leaving age was 12 until 1918 when the Education Act increased it to 14. This was implemented in 1921. It stayed at 14 until 1947 when it went up to 15, following another act passed in 1944.
Up until the 1918 act children could attend school as half timers, working for part of the day and being educated for the other part. This was abolished under this act,
Bear in mind that these were the earliest ages children could leave and and brighter ones stayed on into higher education of various forms.

The moving between schools varied according to the spaces available. Pre 1918, in many places the boys moved on and the girls stayed at the elementary schools until they were old enough to leave. After 1918 more schools were built to cater for the extra children.

Have you checked the local records office for school record? Many have registers and log books and these are mines of information and would tell you ages, families etc. I found the registers of one family, which even gave me a child I hadn't known about, with details of her death in a measles epidemic.

Aussie Shep
03-02-2010, 10:30 AM
do you think the local records office for bradford on avon would have records from the 1850's - 1870 period?

barbara lee
03-02-2010, 12:24 PM
Hi David
My grandfather and his brother attended St Anne's RC primary school in Liverpool in the late 19th century and the log books are in the local library. The children started at 3 years old. There are occasional notes that such-and-such a child has been sent home after being found to be only two years old and so not eligible. The infants went up to either the Girls' or Boys' school in batches after they had reached 7 years old. Not apparently on their 7th birthdays, nor at term ends, the head seems to have sent a group of five or six children up to the other schools at irregular times, probably when the infants were getting full.
Barbara

Chris Doran
03-02-2010, 1:28 PM
In addition to log books, local archives may have Education Committee Minutes. At least round here, they have loads of names of pupils. Of course, as you'd expect, it's mainly the ones who got into trouble (usually for truanting, aka working in dad's business) or who won awards. They also log teachers' comings and goings, and even when and why they were off sick. But don't expect it to be a quick job looking through them.

Spangle
04-02-2010, 9:48 PM
I'd just like to warn you that the law was one thing and in my experience the reality sometimes something else. My Grandad was born in 1916 and when he was a child the school leaving age was 14, I'm told. However he left at the age of 12 as his mother was ill and his father, according to Grandad, a bit of a so and so who liked a drink, and the family needed the money. He worked in a birdcage factory in Peckham... my heart still aches for my much missed Grandad, working in a factory yet a year and two years younger than my own children.

The happy side to it was that he went on to run his own successful business as a butcher and despite leaving school at the age of 12 was one of the most articulate, intelligent, numerate and knowledgable people I've ever been blessed to know.

Colin Rowledge
04-02-2010, 10:04 PM
The happy side to it was that he went on to run his own successful business as a butcher and despite leaving school at the age of 12 was one of the most articulate, intelligent, numerate and knowledgable people I've ever been blessed to know.

Hi Spangle. What a lovely tribute to your Grand-dad and conversely, a sad footnote to the times we now live in

Colin

coastwallker
05-02-2010, 8:37 AM
He sounds like an amazing man, Sparkle, and you can't help wondering what he would have done if he had had the same opportunities as children do today. Something big in the city earning millions, maybe. Would he have been anu happier though?

Spangle
05-02-2010, 10:41 PM
He sounds like an amazing man, Sparkle, and you can't help wondering what he would have done if he had had the same opportunities as children do today. Something big in the city earning millions, maybe. Would he have been anu happier though?

I'm sure he wouldn't. He liked being his own boss, Grandad was a bit of a maverick, in the nicest posible way. He wouldn't have stood for the ill manners of the City!

This was the man who sold meat on account to a certain well known crooner of old. I couldn't possibly name him, but let's just say I wanna tell you a story!

The account was unpaid despite reminders and so when the crooner's son came into Grandad's butcher's shop demanding a further order rather imperiously he was politely refused until the outstanding bill was settled. "Do you know who I am?" the man demanded.

My normally very mild-mannered Grandad replied that he did indeed know who the man was but that didn't matter a jot. Undettered the son carried on, only to be invited to either walk out of the shop or be forcibly removed. I think that a South East London background and a head for business was a good mixture despite a lack of formal qualifications and that being answerable to someone else, no matter who they were, wouldn't have given Grandad half as much pride or satisfaction even if it brought him more riches. Thankfully the butchers provided him with an income which made him affluent in his later years although when my Mum was a child it involved Grandad walking home from Leatherhead in Surrey to Peckham on many a night because he'd missed the last train. Christmastime especially brought such problems and it wasn't unknown for Grandad to sleep on the floor of the freezing cold back office (no heating in those days), so late had he finished work, in order to open up shop again on Christmas Eve.

Posted in memory of the most wonderful Grandad in the world, Albert Edwin Robbins, from the luckiest Grandchild ever.

margarita
06-02-2010, 10:07 AM
Not al lschool log books are in Record Ofiices.

People looking for school log books might find it worth while asking at the school in question.

The school at which I was head had the original log book going back to the opening of the school in 1911. I often used to quote parts of it to th children as part of hstory projects. They loved hearing about the punishments - especially if it was someone in their family.

Regards,

maggie