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The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History

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SCHOOLS

Revised:  06 November 2011 

THIS SECTION IS BEING RE-LAUNCHED WITH THE SCHOOLS LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER.

AS THE WEBPAGES ARE CHANGED THEY WILL BE RE-LINKED TO THE INDEX WEBPAGES LISTED BELOW.

The history of Plymouth's schools and other educational establishments can be divided into eras.  These are based on the development of free public education as private schools appeared and disappeared over the whole period.

From the foundation of the first local school in 1561 up to 1869 education depended on the religious institutions and wealthy local gentry.  Their schools were small, poorly housed and poorly equipped, and many were run by well-meaning ladies and were consequently known as Dame Schools.

The Elementary Education Act of 1870 changed all that.  It required School Boards to be appointed and gave them the power to establish the number of children in their district requiring education and built schools to accommodate them.  Schools Boards existed for Plymouth, Devonport, East Stonehouse, Eggbckland and Laira, Plymstock, and Saint Budeaux and Crownhill but not for Plympton or Tamerton Foliot.

Just after the turn of the century, in 1903 in fact, the system was changed and the School Boards were replaced by Local Education Authorities (LEA), which was basically the County or County Borough Council.  Devonport and Plymouth, being County Boroughs, had their own LEAs while East Stonehouse, Plympton, Plymstock and Tamerton Foliot were part of the Devon County LEA.

During the period that schools were under local authority control there were several changes of names and approach to education.  Central school began in [1926] and in the 1930s some secondary schools became High Schools or Grammar Schools.

Probably the biggest change of all came as a result of the Education Act 1944, when schools were divided into Primary, Infant, Junior, Secondary Modern, and Secondary Technical and the school leaving age was steadily increased.

At present (2011) PLYMOUTH DATA does not cover the latest changes in any depth.

 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth, UK

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