The care and education of pauper children in England and Wales, 1834 to 1896
This study reviews the measures taken by public authorities in England and Wales between 1834 and 1896 to provide for the care and education of children chargeable to the poor rate. The various types of institution in which these children were maintained are described. The development of what amounted to a system of state schools for a special class of child,predating the board schools of the 1870s by a generation, is noted; particular attention is paid to the district schools, some of which were amongst the most remarkable working-class schools of the nineteenth century. Problems surrounding the recruitment and training of teachers for pauper schools are investigated and a summary is given of the orthodox theory and practice of education applied to the nurture of the pauper children. The administrative hierarchy, including the inspectorate, is outlined and the clash between the educational and poor la authorities is described. Notice is also taken of the significant development of unorthodox methods which led to the pauper children being removed from institutions and settled into small homes or even individual families. Finally the means adopted for easing the pauper children into the working community are described together with the development of what is now called 'after care'. The period initiated by the introduction of the new poor law in 1834 was, for the children, brought to an end in 1896 when a Departmental Committee condemned the institutional methods typical of the previous sixty years, and pressed upon the authorities the hitherto unorthodox non-institutional methods which have since become the standard means of providing for the deprived child.