|From Medieval times until the 19th century education was essentially the preserve of the Church. Prior to the Dissolution it was delivered largely through monasteries or, for the wealthy, by the chaplains to private households. Later a variety of church sponsored fee paying and charity schools developed, and other institutions such as orphanages [again often church foundations] also provided basic education for their inmates. Teachers were originally invariably in Holy Orders, as were most academics at Universities. This requirement gradually eased, until by the early 1800s the 'three R's' were often being taught in informal village and charity schools by schoolmistresses. |
In England and Wales the state did not become formally involved in education until 1833, when the government started to provide funding for schools for poor children. In 1870 state funded 'Board Schools', run by locally elected school boards, were established for primary [elementary] education. Local Board Schools were set up in Cusop, Craswall, Longtown, Michaelchurch Escley, Newton and Walterstone around this time. Further legislation in 1880 made education compulsory for 5 - 10 year olds. The upper age limit was soon raised to 11 and then to 13, and by the turn of the century 'Higher Elementary Schools' were introduced for children from 10 - 15 years of age.
In 1902 Local Education Authorities were created to take over from the school boards, and at the same time provision was made for schools to be paid for from local taxation [rates]. Subsequent Education Acts created a formal split between primary and secondary education and set up the 'tripartite' system dividing secondary education into Grammar, Technical and Modern schools to which pupils were allocated on the basis of the 'Eleven Plus' examination. This persisted until the mid 1960s, when Comprehensive schools were introduced.