FIRST, A SHORT
INTRODUCTION TO THE
OF THE 19th and EARLY 20th CENTURY.
Full time education for the poor in the 19th century
did not exist, and what little tutoring there was, was either
sponsored by charities or religious establishments and would only
have been for a few hours per week. Due to the overall poverty
of the period parents would, as soon as their children were strong
and able, send them out to work to supplement the families income.
So understandably parents were not always eager for their children
to attend even the basic form of schooling.
In October 1811 the "Church
of England National Society" was set up with the aim of providing
a school in every parish in England and Wales. Its primary objective
was to promote a strong religious upbringing and secondary a basic
reading and writing ability.
It was not until 1833 that the government
actually became involved in financing the education system. In
August of that year parliament voted for sums of money to be used
for the construction of schools for the poor. It took a further
40 more years before the introduction of The Elementary Education
Act of 1870. Local authorities were now required to make returns
of the number of children in their area and of the existing school
places available. If a shortfall was found then a "School
Board" had to be established who's members were directly
elected, not appointed. These boards had the power to raise
funds through taxation, pass bylaws if they so wished, making
attendance compulsory between the ages of 5 and 13. They were
also empowered to build and run none non-denominational schools
were provision was found to be inadequate, they could also subsidize
church schools and perhaps more importantly pay the fees of the
The later1880 act of Parliament
now required school boards to make attendance compulsory for children
between the ages of 5 and 10.
The Elementary Act of 1891 provided
for the state to pay 10 shillings per pupil thus making education
Perhaps the most radical educational
act was passed in 1902 which disbanded the Board Schools, replacing
them with Local Education Authorities. Church schools of which
there were nearly 14,000 were now to be funded by local taxation
instead of government grants. This caused great controversy amongst
the nonconformists who refused at first to pay the extra tax.
in 1906 a school meals act was passed
but only a few councils responded. As late as 1939 only 50% of
authorities were providing school meals
On November 24th, 1922 the Village
school received a letter from Leicestershire County Council concerning
the reorganising of Elementary Education in relation to Section
34 of the 1921 Education act. and informs that .....
It is to be arranged with the Managers
that henceforth Kirkby School is to be arranged as a Junior School
for pupils up to the age of The Annual Schools Examination as
"All pupils of Public Elementary
Schools who will be over the age of eleven but not over the age
of twelve of the first of June in any year ......... shall be
presented for the "Annual School Examination to be held in
or about the month of March preceding".
It is proposed that
the children over this age be tranfered to Earl Shilton C.of E.
Mixed School about two miles away. this will relieve Kirkby Mallory
School of twelve Children, reducing the number on the books to
I am instructed to ask for the School
Board's approval under the Education act, for directions being
given by the Local Education Authority for putting into force
the referred to re-organisation.
Signed. W A Brockington Director
There is also a letter on file from
a Mr. Williams with a response from the Earl Shilton Managers
I am directed by the Managers
to say they have no objection to the senior scholars of Kirkby
Mallory attending our schools, but if at any time we should need
the accommodation for the children of our own parish, you would
then make other arrangements for the Kirkby Mallory children. Yours
Obediently ......AV William
A note of caution then from Earl
So, 1923 saw the introduction of
what was to become known as the Eleven Plus Exam at the village
In 1944 the Butler act set
out in more detail to differentiate between primary and secondary
education. The act also allowed for the absorption of the majority
of church primary schools to be absorbed into the state education
system. Primary education being delegated for the 5 to 11 year
olds and Secondary for 11 to 15 year old's. This written exam
paper determined the students further education prospects, be
it either at basic Secondary Modern or higher Grammar School level.
A less well known clause in the
bill ensured that all Local authorities now had a statuary duty
to provide milk and school dinners, later a separate act was to
ensure that all schools provide 1/3 of a pint of free milk to
every child under the age of 15. This was a provision which I
well remember at South Charnwood School 1951 / 55. Along with
class mates I took full advantage of the option of going over
to the canteen for my quota of milk at morning playtime. Of
course having to cross the girls playground at the time may
of been of some minor incentive?
However In 1968 free milk in all
Secondary Schools was abolished by the government.
THE KIRKBY MALLORY C
of E VILLAGE SCHOOL
original site for the village school, I was reliably informed
was the larger, left hand, end cottage of the terraced row on
the North side of the village. However the existing Church of
England School built in 1863, now used as the village hall was
build and administered by the Wentworth Estate under the supervision
of Lord King, 1st Earl of Lovelace, and locally, by the Reverent
The Rev Augustus Byron, who's portrait hung in the
school room for many years was born in 1828 his father was Admiral
George Anson Byron 7th Baron Byron of Rotchdale, and his mother
was Elizabeth Mary Chandos-Pole. Augustus graduated from Oxford
university with a "Master of Arts Degree. He later became
a JP, Justice of the Peace for Leicestershire. He married Frederica
McMahon and they had six children. Augustus died in 1907.
School plaque dated 1863 Photograph
courtesy of Jayne Ball
The earliest school record held in the National
Archive is dated 1871 and gives the village population as 222
with the number of rate payers as 46. The number of children
able to be accommodated via the Church of England School is given
as 78, and the number of children requiring accommodation was
THE FULL SCHOOL REPORT
The series of letters and forms shown below relate
to a detailed inspection carried out in 1894. The teacher at that
time was Mary Anne Roland, born December 1842. She took up the
post of teacher at Kirkby Mallory School in August 1877. Her salary
for that year is given as £49, less fuel, that means she
was responsible for providing the lighting and heating within
the school. ( lighting would have been via oil lamps / candles)
THE DOCUMENTS BELOW, DATED JULY
25, 1894, INQUIRES AS TO OVERALL STATE OF THE SCHOOL
Its purpose was to ensure that "The school
will henceforth be conducted as a "Certified Efficient School"
within the meaning of the Education act of 1876".
A list of questions were then asked for the inspector
to comment upon.
To summarise. 1. Does
it provide about a quarter of an acre for every 250 children accommodated.
2 Is it dry and in good repair. Is it light in all parts.
Is it warm and clear of draughts. Is the school well equipped
in respect of furniture, apparatus and books. Is it well ventilated.
Are the closets and urinals, light, sanitary, sufficient, well
disconnected from the school and separately approached by each
sex from the school room itself.
As shown below all questions were answered with
a YES, although the inspector does make a note regarding the ventilation
in the apex of the roof, and the need for a blind in the South
(See document left, and letter in response, right)
Then there is was section on the rules to be
observed in order to comply with the above act of 1876
BUILDINGS REPORT JULY 25th 1894,
as briefly described above.
THE MANAGER'S REPLY
Here the Rev. Augustus Byron asks for a little
time for the matters to be remedied, as the Earl Lovelace is
not expected to return to England until the end of Autumn. Non
the less, the Rev Byron informs the Hinckley Education Authority
that he will pass on the details to the Earl's Agent.
Payment in respect of each scholar is not to exceed
nine pence per week. The managers are responsible for the payment
of teachers. Teachers not allowed to undertake other duties. Girls
are taught plain needlework. That school registers etc, are all
kept up to date.
Note, the Reverent Augustus Byron, Vicar of Kirkby
Mallory church has signed the document as being the provisional
manager only.The overall "Manager", responsible for
the upkeep of the school on the date stated above would then of
been, Ralph Milbank, the 2nd Earl of Lovelace. At the time he
had been living abroad and had been summons to return upon the
sudden death of his father.
Next we have
the results from the school exam taken on the 30th June
O = Failed X= Passed
showing lowest "Standard" first i.e.
I = the lowest
V= the highest
However, there was no information as to
the parameters used to define which "Standard" was
Below is the letter drafted by the Rev Byron on
the 21st of December, and sent to the Education Department
Unfortunately the School Inspectors
report does not bode well for Ms. Roland as seen in the form
In conclusion the inspector was not too happy with
the level of discipline. He goes on to write
"The classes attainments are very unsatisfactory
and they appear quite accustomed to apply freely to each other
Finally the inspector is asked if he considers
the school to be inefficient, to which he answerers YES.
But has been assured that these deficiencies will
be made good , See letter below,
The School's provider responsible for its upkeep
was now the 2nd Earl Lovelace, see below
In reply to your letter I am requested by the
managers of this school to say that on the return of the Earl
of Lovelace to England, (in November last) notice was given to
the mistress of the school, and that on the expiration of that
notice she will be replaced by a qualified teacher who it is
expected will satisfy the requirements of the inspectors.
I have the honour to be
Your obedient Servant
hon & Rev A Byron
Augusta Ada (nee) Byron married William Lord King
in 1852 and became Lady Ada King. They had three children. Byron
born 1836, Anne Isabella born 1837 and Ralph Gordon born 1839.
Lord King was given the title Earl of Lovelace in
1838. thus making Ada the Countess of Lovelace. Ada died in 1852.
Lord King, the 1st Earl of Lovelace died December 1893. His eldest
son Byron died in 1862 without issue so the title, 2nd Earl of
Lovelace went to his next surviving son Ralph Gordon .
So the above letter would have referred
to the 2nd Earl of Lovelace, Ralph Gordon King.
Note. When the title passed
to the eldest surviving son Ralph he had already assumed the name
Milbank, being Lady Byron's maiden name by Royal License in 1861,
thus making his full title "Ralph Gorden King Milbank".
However it is said, that the running of the estates
was left to his second wife, Mary Caroline, 2nd Countess
of Lovelace who he married in 1880. In the receipt for the
sale in 1921 of the Post Office in Kirkby Mallory to Mr. Edward
Gibson, we can see, that it has been signed by the Countess and
not her husband. That said, the Earl would have still of had ultimate
responcability for the estate.
DOCUMENT DATED APRIL 4th 1901,
NOTICE TO BOARD OF EDUCATION, HINCKLEY
REPORTING OUTBREAK OF DIPHTHERIA
Below is a page of notes made at the time, by
a F B Lott. and contains a lot of detail
regarding the outbreak. I assume Mr. / Ms. Lott is making notes
on behalf of the Board of Education in reply to Rev. Byron's letter.
Transcript of letter opposite to the secretary
of the Board of Education
I regret to inform
you that a third out break of Diphtheria in this village within
the last five months, has necessitated a complete new system
of drainage by order of the District Council. As the main drain
in the village runs a little way behind the school has to be
opened and re-laid, the Medical Officer has ordered the closing
of the school during the progress of the work, probably a period
of three weeks. There is a large room in the village which might
be used as a temporary school if the Board of Education would
I have the honour to be
The work on the drain has not yet begun, but another
case of Diphtheria has occurred in the village & M.o H. and
has ordered the school to keep closed.
I saw Mr Byron today and saw the
proposed room. It is a room large enough for the few children.
It is in a house which has an "off" license.
is access to a closet in a garden by a bow window, also has access
through the house to the house closet in yard.
tenant (a widow) is sister in law of the school mistress. This
room is called the "Estate Office" of the Lord Lovlaces
estate. But Mr Byron's son
is the agent, & when at home he does most of his work at
the rectory. He has been in S. Africa
& in Egypt to recover health. He is
now at work again, though not there just now. The
school belongs to Lord Lovelace & the expert whom he called
in to see what was wrong & what caused Typhoid of teacher
and Diphtheria in children said that the untrapped connexsion
of school rain water cistern and of school cesspit with the main
drain was enough to account for it.
Cesspit has been abolished. earth closets put....
(put in place) ....... Overflow
of underground rainwater cistern trapped. (? writing not
A farmer who is on the District Council lost two children
from Diphtheria & there is evidently a good deal of feeling
The M of H is pressed by District Council to be strict
about the work on the drain.
The Large room refered to was in the village "Off Licence,
the large three story building on the corner of Peckleton Lane.
The following page continues..... I
think B of E (Board of Education) might
tell Cpt. (?) that the room proposed
may be temporally used as a school room if M of H (Ministry
of Health) approves of school being
held in it, before he allows school to be held in the school premises.
I think that the "off license"
being part of a dwelling house need prevent its temporarily recognition
, but perhaps Mgrs. (Managers) should be very careful to
refer to M of H before assembling children anywhere. Signed
F B Lott 18 /4
I have been unable to trace the name of the
farmer or his children at present. The Leicester Records Office
has put most of its church records "On line" but unfortunately
the burial records for Kirkby Mallory end in the 19th century?.
The "Find my Passed" website lists several
burials but none are of school age. Even checking Census results
1900 against 1901 proved fruitless.
work in progress,