An examination of the political and religious conflicts involved in the provision of elementary education in Enfield between 1870 and 1903

Collicott, Sylvia L. (1981) An examination of the political and religious conflicts involved in the provision of elementary education in Enfield between 1870 and 1903. Masters thesis, Middlesex Polytechnic. [Thesis]

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The immediacy and importance of local as opposed to national politics in the nineteenth century has been well charted by historians. W.E.Forster's Education Act of 1870 created a new local political context by allowing for the creation of ad hoc bodies, the School Boards, to fill up the gaps in elementary school provision.
Nineteenth-century Enfield was a community undergoing fundamental social and economic changes. Urgent solutions were needed to the urgent problems of religious rivalry, education, housing, the administration of the Poor Law and public health. The processes of urbanisation profoundly disturbed the existing hierarchies of society and new and powerful commercial, professional and bureaucratic elites were formed. Such a process led to conflict, not least in the matter of elementary school provision. Yet Enfield, with rapidly expanding population, with many advocates for secular education and surrounded by parishes with School Boards, did not have a School Board until 1894.
This thesis is an examination of the many dimensions of conflict which surrounded elementary school provision in Enfield in the period under review. It is necessary to assess whether the Church schools were offering adequate school accommodation or whether there was a hidden deficiency. The conflicts over school provision ultimately led to the establishment of a School Board. The first School Board
Election fully revealed, for the first time, the complex nature of
conflict in the community. Religious and party lines were crossed on the issue of elementary education. The personal bitterness manifested in the Election continued on the School Board throughout the years of its existence, 1894-1903. Although the School Board still had a deficiency of school accommodation at its demise, the Board had built four fine school buildings and offered to working-class children a higher standard of excellence in both equipment and teachers.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Submitted to the Council for National Academic Awards for the qualification of Master of Philosophy.
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
B. > Theses
Item ID: 10831
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2013 08:11
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 03:43

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