Aireborough Historical Society

1870's Mary E Denison's School Book

Mary E Denison's School Book
Date 1870's
Location Yeadon
Photo ID
HL017 + HL028 & HL029
Top: Outer cover of Mary Elizabeth Denison's school record book.
Until the 1870s there was no formal or compulsory provision for children to be educated, it was primarily the privilege of the rich and the clergy to be literate.
Such schools as existed were "Dame" schools where for a few pennies children were taught a few basics by often untrained women or Church schools where the emphasis was on a religious crede.
Boarding schools for sons of the gentry or middle classes also existed.
   In 1870 the Elementary Education Act or Forsters Act became law.
William Forster was a Bradford MP and for a time lived at Lane Head, Rawdon. Power was given to locally elected school board  to provide a basic education for all children.
This came about as a result of the number of very young children who had been found working in the workshops and factories which had burgeoned during the Industrial Revolution.
   A further Act in 1876 made it compulsory for all children to attend school, by 1880 attendance was compulsory for all 5-10 year olds and the Balfour Act of 1902 created the Local Education Authorities, through out the country children would be taught the same subjects to the same standard.

Middle: "Child's School Book
District of the Yeadon School Board
of the Parish of Guiseley
In the County of York
Mary Elizabeth Denison   (Name of Child)
residing at Yeadon
was born at Yeadon on the 13th
day of February 1867 as certified
by the Parents
Signed Elizabeth Brownlee, Certified Mistress, Girls Dept.

NB This book, on the child's admission to a Certified Efficient School, is to be given to the Teacher, who will keep it and at the end of every year, make an entry of the child's attendances (after 5 years of age) and progress (after 7) during the year. The book will be given back, duly made up, when the child may claim the use of it, for reasonable time, when qualified for, and seeking, Half-time employment.

Mary was born in 1867 so would have gone to school under the new Education Acts but before 1902 when schools came under the Local Education Acts.
Older children from poorer families who were expected to contribute to the family income were allowed to attend school part-time and also work a number of hours.

Bottom: This document was kept by Mary Elizabeth Denison and would have been the result of the 1876 Elementary Education Act.
"Conditions of Employment
1 No persons may take into employment a child under 10 years of age
11 Between 10 and 14 years of age the conditions of a child's employment are fixed ----

A In Districts with Bye-Laws, by the Bye-Laws of each District.
These affect children up to 13 years of age: between 13 and 14 a child falls under the general provisions of the Act of 1876 quoted below.

B In Other Districts
1 In Factories and Workshops, by the Special Acts regulating such employment.
2 In General Labour by the Elementary Act 1876 according to which,
No child may be employed who does not hold a Certificate of Proficiency or previous Attendance at School, according to the following standards

During the year    The Standard of Proficiency shall be the Standard of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, fixed by the following standard of the Code of 1876, or any higher standard, namely
The Standard of previous due attendance shall be the following number of attendances
In not more than two Certified Efficient Schools during each year for the following number of years, wether consecutive or not
1877        Two      250       Two
1878        Two      250       Two
1879        Three   250        Three
1880        Three   250        Four
and after  Four     250       Five

Looking at the census for 1871 we see that the family consists of:
Mary E Denison aged 4
Mathew Denison aged 33
Marther Ann Denison aged 29
Florence Denison aged 8
Fred William Denison aged 9
Harril E Denison aged 2


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