Crich has a fairly unique system of schools, given the size of the parish. It has four schools concerned witth the education of children under the age of eleven.
The following notes on the development of these schools are based on a talk given by Sylvia Taylor and Peter Patilla to a meeting of Crich Heritage Partnership in the Glebe Field Centre in 2010.
Crich C of E Infant School
Crich Junior School
Crich Carr C of E Primary School
Fritchley C of E (Aided) Primary School
Crich Carr School and pupils c 1913
Before 1870 there were –
• Voluntary schools,
• Dame Schools,
• Private Schools
• Hotchpotch of different types of educational provision (these differed in large towns and cities).
Some areas had no schooling.
In 1818 Crich had :
• Three day schools for boys
• Three day schools for girls
• About 150 children in total
• Also – Four Dame Schools each with about 30 children.
“The poor have not sufficient means but appear desirous of education.”
Source: Select Committee Report of 1818 “Education Provision for Poorer Children”
Ten Day Schools:
• Two had 24 male & 31 female
• Three (commenced 1833) had 22 males & 31 females
• One (commenced 1830) had 10 males & 14 females
• Two (commenced 1832) had 12 males & 14 females
• One (commenced 1833) had 26 males & 14 females
• One (commenced 1833) had 21 males & 17 females
All the above children are receiving instruction at the expense of their parents.
Three Sunday Schools
• Wesleyan Methodist (1820) – 74 males & 66 females
• Primitive Methodist (1832) – 41 males & 28 females
• General Baptist (1832) – 42 males & 46 females
All supported by annual subscription assisted by gratuitous teachers.
The 1870 Education Act stands as the very first piece of legislation to deal specifically with the provision of education in Britain. Most importantly, it demonstrated a commitment to provision on a national scale.
The Act allowed voluntary schools to carry on unchanged, but established a system of 'school boards' to build and manage schools in areas where they were needed. The boards were locally elected bodies which drew their funding from the local rates. Unlike the voluntary schools, religious teaching in the board schools was to be 'non-denominational The 1870 Education Act stands as the very first piece of legislation to deal specifically with the provision of education in Britain. Most importantly, it demonstrated a commitment to provision on a national scale.
The issue of making education compulsory for children had not been settled by the Act. The 1876 Royal Commission on the Factory Acts recommended that education be made compulsory in order to stop child labour. In 1880 a further Education Act finally made school attendance compulsory between the ages of five and ten, though by the early 1890s attendance within this age group was falling short at 82 per cent.
Many children worked outside school hours – in 1901 the figure was put at 300,000 – and truancy was a major problem due to the fact that parents could not afford to give up income earned by their children.
Fees were also payable until a change in the law in 1891. Further legislation in 1893 extended the age of compulsory attendance to eleven, and in 1899 to twelve.
So, before Compulsory Education in 1870, there were –
These were quite varied – some functioned primarily as day care facilities, overseen by illiterate women, while others provided their students with a good foundation in the basics. A report of 1838 found nearly half of all pupils surveyed were only taught spelling, with a negligible number being taught mathematics and grammar.
Church Schools (C of E)
These provided a basic education, charged small fees and were very much under the influence of the local vicar. Usually consisted of headmaster, his wife (who typically taught needlework or music), pupil teachers and monitors. Rote education was the norm, and conditions quite harsh.
Day Schools & Private SchoolsSite of Mr Walker’s School c1798 on The Common, Crich
Derby Mercury 17th June 1799
At Crich, near Matlock, a school opened by Mr J. Walker in a Dwelling House and School newly erected on the Common
Entrance 10s 6d
Washing and Mending £1 1s 0d per annum
Board for young gentlemen under 10 years of age £9 9s 0d per annum
Board for young gentlemen of 10 years and upwards £10 10s 0d per annum
Education including English grammatically, writing and arithmetic, Merchants Accounts. Mensuration and algebra: per annum £2 2s 0d.
Note. The pupils, now at school, will have no vacation this summer.
New ones will be admitted on 22.7.1799
In 1846there were four ‘Academies’ in Crich
• Mr Walker
• Sarah Wigley
• Joseph Witham
• Joseph Daykin (Fritchley)
Source: Bagshaw’s History (1846)
£250 from Government
£600 Public Subscription
Enlarged in 1855 with new infant classroom
Photograph courtesy of Beryl Calladine
13 June 1849 Derby Mercury
On Wednesday last, the children in connexion with the above schools were entertained by their teachers and friends according to annual custom with an ample supply of tea and plumb cake, in the National school-room. The spacious room being beautifully decorated with flowers, and the children having attired themselves in their holiday clothes, the sight had a pleasing effect.
After they had partaken tea they went in procession to Crich Cliff, wending their way in a serpentine form up its steep activity. On arriving at the top they gave three hearty cheers for the founders of the entertainment, and then amused themselves in a variety of pleasing gambols and recreations, in which their teachers and others participated.
The greatest praise is due to Miss Burton of the National School, and the rest of the ladies present for their exertions and attentions in providing so comfortable a repast. The number of children in attendance amounted to more than one hundred and fifty.
• Diary of significant events
• H.M.I. Reports
• Major events
• Important visitors
The full grant to a school was dependent upon a satisfactory report by the H.M.I. (Her Majesty’s Inspectors) following their annual inspection.
Crich Parochial School was usually found wanting...
“deficient in arithmetic and the lower classes have not been adequately taught.”
Consequently they lost two-tenths of the grant. It cannot have been easy for the schoolmaster and his assistants. Education was not compulsory at this time; absenteeism and unpunctuality were very common.
• Usually his wife
• Pupil teacher(s)
Pupil teachers were often the headmaster’s family
Unmarried headmasters were not allowed with unmarried assistant teachers ...
Animals – elephant, singing birds, sheep, tiger, fish, owl
Trades – baker, pottery, shoemaker, butcher, grocer, post office
Common Objects – leather, iron, cotton, salt, rain, coal, butter, tea, books, sponge, knife, stone quarrying, fire, wild flowers, train,
making a bed, laying the table
I Signs of rain
II Keeping his word
III Keeping his word
IV-VII Geography of Europe; maps of the Rhine, Spain and Yorkshire
Source: School logbook 1894
26 October 1868 – A great number, mostly infants, have left the school to go to the one lately opened by the “Reformers”
Source: School logbook 1868
22 November 1868: A great many were late this morning . As this very serious fault is caused by the parents I do not like to be too severe with the children. The parents as a rule are not early risers and do not seem to know the value of punctual and regular attendance at school. I never knew a school where punctuality was so rare.
Source: School logbook 1868
April 1869: Some boy stole my penknife off the desk this afternoon. I have spoken to all the children about it but have not been able to get any information as to who took it.
I spoke to the children about the great evil of stealing.
November : Regular stone throwing; broken windows and slates at school and surrounding houses.
Stones are so plentiful and children blame one another so that it is almost impossible to find the real delinquent.
Source: School logbook 1869
Money for this school was provided by Miss Emma Hurt. It was opened in 1870 on land sold to the Church by Thomas Bowmer of Fritchley. As well as being a school it was also used as a church mission. It was sometimes called the Fritchley Memorial School
Selina, Elizabeth and Emma before 1866. They were great benefactors to the schools and the the parish. They lived at Chase Cliffe House in Whatstandwell.
All children from South Wingfield left Crich School.
Many Crich children also left because school fees were cheaper at South Wingfield.
Bill posting campaign began in Crich by South Wingfield, to tempt pupils to move.
Between 1875 and 1881 the H.M.I. Reports were fairly damning.
Grants to the school were cut as a result of the reports.
The Inspectors reported widespread cheating and general misbehaviour by the pupils.
When Mr Scott and his family arrived there were about 200 children on roll.
His wife and daughters also worked at the school.
He became very popular with parents and employers.
Standards were on the up.
The vicar, Revd Acraman, and Mr Scott were in conflict.
The vicar sacked this popular headmaster.
The dismissal caused turmoil in the village.
Religious divide added to the troubles. Baptists were at the forefront.
Vicar appoints new head – Mr Sumner.
Mount Tabor, on Bowns Hill. It was just about opposite the Parochial School. Was variously known as: Scott's School, British School, Baptist School, Mount Tabor School. Now a private dwelling
Mr Scott was set up a rival school in Mount Tabor Chapel. He had the backing and support of the local non-conformists.
There was financial support from the British and Foreign Schools.
Support also came from the management at Lea Mills.
Mr Scott took 240 pupils with him, leaving about 60 at the Parochial School.
Scott’s pupils terrorised the Parochial pupils.
Lessons were disrupted and the vicar (Revd Acraman) and Parochial School head were vilified.
There was a poster campaign in the village.
Mr Barnes (Fritchley) and Mr Sumner (Crich) worked together to combat the threat of Scott’s School to the Church Schools.
Inducements were offered by both sides to attract children.
Dirty deeds and threats were common place.
This was one of the posters in the "Poster Campaign" between the two schools.
Both Parochial and British Schoolswere in trouble – unsuitable accommodation was the problem.
A Board School would solve the problem.
The British School appeared in favour but the vicar and powerful rate-payers were against.
A new school at Crich Carr and extension for infants at the Parochial School would fight off the threat of having a Board School.
The vicar sets about organising the development, also believing that it would shut down the “unsuitable” school at Mount Tabor.
Mr Scott, head of the British School, left Crich for a new school.
A new school was to be built at Crich Carr on land donated by the Duke of Devonshire.
New extension at the Parochial School largely financed by the Hurt family (a single room extension was thought sufficient for 70 infants).
Total cost about £700.
British School had over 250 pupils.
Started their own new school building just off the Market Place, estimated cost of £1000.
Much fund-raising by the non-conformists.
At the end of 1884 Crich Parish had a choice of four schools for their children (each providing “through education”):
• Crich Parochial School
• British School of Crich
• Fritchley Church School
• Crich Carr Church School
And there was another to come!
The School was created as the result of a £1500 legacy in the will of Martha Rickman.
Lydia Sargent, daughter of Fritchley Bobbin Mill Factory owner and prominent Quaker, was its first teacher.
Certificate courtesy of Rosemary Hall
Pupils who reached the fifth standard could leave school early.
Reading – A short ordinary paragraph in a newspaper, or other modern narrative.
Writing – Another short ordinary paragraph in a newspaper or other modern narrative, slowly dictated once by a few words at a time.
Arithmetic – Practice and Bills of Parcels.
Mr Moody, head of the Parochial School moved to Bonsall and Mr Kent was appointed by the vicar, Revd Acraman.
Mr Kent was sacked after three days. He had had the temerity to complain that his accommodation was unsuitable.
An indignation meeting was attended by 400 villagers but their opinions were ignored by the vicar.
A court case resulted which found in Mr Kent's favour.
Two years later the vicar was in court again – he was sent down for two years hard labour.
Full story in the book "Parish life with a troubled vicar"
The new vicar was Henry Geldard (Revd Acraman was in prison).
New head Charles W Nash was appointedby him to improve the choir at a salary of £100 pa plus £10 for being organist and choirmaster.
There was conflict with die-hard choir members.
Mr Nash was accused of a 'fiddle' over the purchase of school piano (a seven octave version costing £21).
Until the early 1950s parents had a choice of –
• ‘top school’ (Mr Willis) – once the Parochial School
• ‘bottom school’ (Mr Day) – once the British School
When Mr Day retired and the schools were ‘joined’:
• infants went to the ‘top school’ – now Crich C of E Infant School
• juniors went to the ‘bottom school’ – now Crich Junior School
1944 Education Act (Butler) created Secondary School system 11-15.
In the parish the 11+ ‘passes’ usually went to Herbert Strutts in Belper.
The first lot of secondary pupils went to Alfreton Mortimer Wilson (which was previously Alfreton Central Schools. The boys & girls were separate).
The 1958 intake went to Frederick Gent at South Normanton, for political reasons. It was a new school with insufficient pupils to fill it.
After a number of years it reverted so that "new" secondary pupils could attend Mortimer Wilson School.
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