The role of agents, visitors and inspectors in the development of elementary education c.1826-c.1870
This thesis is an analytical examination of the inspectorates established by the British and Foreign School Society and the Anglican National Society between c. 1826-1870. Its aim is to demonstrate the important role their officials played in the development of a nation-wide system of elementary education in England and Wales. The thesis is divided into six chapters. The Introductory Chapter places the study in context by considering the concept of inspection in the nineteenth century. It examines 'state' inspectorates other than those for education, school inspection abroad and the long tradition of visitation and inspection by the Established Church. Chapter Two considers the appointment and development of HMIs between 1840-1870, providing an essential foundation and context for the subsequent chapters. Chapter Three examines the BFSS system of inspection. All aspects of this branch of the Society's work are considered including the reasons for the establishment of an inspectorate, the social backgrounds of the men appointed, the work they carried out and their changing and developing roles during this period. It not only reveals their important contribution to the work of their Society but also to national educational developments. Chapter Four focuses on the National Society's system of inspection and visitation. It considers the development of a three tier system during the 1840s with centrally appointed Inspectors, Diocesan Inspectors and Organising Masters. The issues central to the National Society's Inspectors' reports are also considered in detail. Chapter Five assesses the contribution made by the BFSS and National Society officials to the establishment of other school inspectorates. It then offers final analysis in Chapter Six on the significance of the work of the Agents and Inspectors of the two major Societies, not only for their respective organisations, but also for the development of nineteenth century elementary education.