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Title: Private education in Kent in the nineteenth century : (To c. 1870)
Author: Anderson, J. M.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1984
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Eauca~ion by private enterprise is an cId-established custom in England, the st at e t aki ng no sig n Lfi c- nt role in the provision of schools unti~ the nineteenth century. Schools charging fees for teaching chi~dren are a basic factor in the growth of schooling in the country as a whole. Certain areas of education history have been extenslvely researchea, mainlY in the fielffiof legislation and administration and schooling for the 'poor' and the upper classes. Those for the middle classes have not been subjected to suph close scrutiny as yet. Studies that have been undertaken reveal an important section of the educational scene. The private schools are part of the peculiarly English custom of sending the children away from home to be brougIbt up and educated by others and have a long history. Their contribution to educational philosophy and practice was considerable and deserves more attention. In a single county the $udy of the inter-relationship of the various types of schools reveals the use made of existing provision by different classes of parents. Fee-paying children are to be found in,charity schools, and in grammar schools they often become the dominant element to the exclusion of the poor children for whom the school was intended. Many grammar schools were saved from extinction by extending their clientele and curriculum to meet the needs of the children of the middle classes. As it became increasingly accepted that children should be educated in a school, whether as boarders or as day scholars, what may be called private schools became a major industry employing a sizeable number of people, both teachers and domestic servants. They were important as a means of subsistence for many women. Classification of such schools is aifticult, if not impossible, as they adapted to local and parental need, although many became established as classical and/or commercial schools at an early date and developed accordingly.The private schools range from the large boarding establishment with a number of teachers and many children both boarding and day to the small day school with a few infHnts taught by perhaps one woman. In Kent privae venture schools occur from at least the early eighteenth century. While the location of such was widespread, the development of seaside places such as Margate and Ramsgate stimulated the g,ow\h of already established phenomenon. Throughout the nineteenth century a steady rise in numbers was maintained in various parts of the county, both in towns and on the coast. Several sizeable schools were located in properties in rural areas. Fresh air and sea-b~thing were attractions to parents from smokefilled cities. Entreprenemrial activity by individuals was not the only means of providing schools f'or the middle classes. The Anglican Chyrch was active in attempting to gain some of its lost influence by means of commercial schools for the children of midale class parents, although its endeavours had a limited success. Proprietary schools also were set up in the western part of Kent. The strength of the private venture schools may have been one of the reasons for the problems encountered by both such organisations. Financial resources were a major problem for the churches in the educational work, demand far exceeding supply. While there is much about private venture schools that will never be known, a local study of this kind reveals a good deal of evidence - more than has been thought to exist. Much of this materipl, when obtained from such topographical sources as director~es and newspaper advertisements is limitec qualitatively, but when allied witb other sources becomes more significant. It is believed that this study of the Kent private schools maymve covered new ground in the extensive use of the Census enumerutors' books. These ~oviQe a m&jor source from Ib41 for the expansion of information concerning private schools, their owners, the teachers in them and their clientele. The areas of Kent looked at in detail amply
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education & training Education