Aireborough Historical Society

1844 Guiseley Parochial School

Guiseley Parochial School
Date December 1844
Location Guiseley
Photo ID

    "Guiseley School - on Wednesday last Mr Galer, Master of Guiseley Parochial School, delivered the first of a course of lectures on Geography.

A lively and instructive description of the Northern states of Europe was listened to by a very attentive meeting, more particularly where the subject served to illustrate the all important differences between sound education  and that which, although dignified by the name of "useful knowledge", is producing such lamentable effects in this our enlightened age"


Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling


Further text by Christine Lovedale

    At the time of this newspaper article there was no formal or Government provision for the education of children,some schools were administered by the Church of England with obvious emphasis on religion.

Non- conformist chapels held Sunday School classes, and unregulated "Dame" schools were common where, for a small fee, children could have basic lessons.

The quality of teaching and methods of educating the young varied enormously, many children growing to adulthood illiterate and ignorant through no fault of their own.

      The Industrial Revolution brought a demand for skilled workers who could read and write, it was realised that to keep pace with overseas competition from rival countries such as Germany, where the standards of education were much higher, education in England needed to be radically improved so that future generations were literate, numerate and able to cope with new technology.

     In 1870, William Forster, M P for Bradford drafted his Education Act which required Local Boards to provide primary education for children, a small fee was to be paid but this could be waived for poor families.

A further Act in 1880 introduced compulsory education for children aged 5 - 10 years.

This was the beginning of the State School system, subsequent Acts brought new refinements and additions.


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