A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.
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THE REIGN OF VICTORIA
By the 1830's private day- and boarding-schools for boys and girls in Middlesex were giving both primary and secondary education of all standards. Accurate or useful estimates of their number or of pupils attending them cannot be made, as official figures were incomplete and did not distinguish between different types of education. (fn. 1) Directories too were inaccurate. Schools were short-lived and small, pupils attended erratically and for short periods: in 1851 an average school life of only 5½ years was estimated for middle-class children. (fn. 2) The number of schools was certainly very large. In 1832-4 there were in Chelsea at least 95, in the Islington area 135, in Clerkenwell 144, Hackney 88, Kensington 77, Marylebone 97, St. Pancras 57, and Stepney and district 123. (fn. 3) Only private school proprietors, however, considered this provision adequate in either quantity or quality. (fn. 4) The unprecedented growth of population, especially of school age, was at its most intense in the expanding suburbs, and here there was an acute need for what this period recognized as 'middle-class education'. (fn. 5) The State began to interest itself in the problem with the institution of the Charity Commission inquiry of 1833-5. (fn. 6) The resultant reports were at least as much concerned with the elementary education of the poor as with the use of endowments for the education of the middle classes. Nevertheless private school-keepers were sufficiently alarmed to form the London School Society in order to oppose Brougham's proposals for a 'general system of national education'. The history of many Middlesex schools during Victoria's reign reflects the reaction of private enterprise to attempts to establish an integrated educational system. (fn. 7)
English schooling has always been more responsive to political and social than to educational ideas. The founders of several Middlesex schools saw in education one expression of their political and social theories. The Hill brothers, Rowland, Matthew Davenport, and Arthur, opened a branch of their father's Birmingham school at Bruce Castle, Tottenham, in 1827. Strongly imbued with Utilitarian ideas, they emphasized a wide curriculum, 'to accord with the taste and capacity of the pupils', the need for active learning, a school coinage, and a constitution by which the boys managed the school and its 'criminal code'. The Edinburgh Review considered that under the Hills 'boys had less useless suffering and more play in the process of becoming men' than in most schools. Bentham was enthusiastic and sent pupils to the school, and boys came from the newly-liberated countries of Greece and South America. A Hillska Skola was founded in Stockholm and Arnold was said to have been influenced by the Hills' ideas. But although Bruce Castle flourished until 1891 it remained essentially a private school, never acquiring the prestige of university successes and the social status of the public schools. In 1869, the 78 pupils, sons of merchants and professional men, mostly left at about sixteen. (fn. 8) University College School, also founded under the influence of the Philosophic Radicals, became an established public school, owing perhaps to its central position, the element of semi-public support, and the advantage of sending pupils to the College for a year before entering Oxford or Cambridge. (fn. 9)
Similar Liberal ideas inspired the City philanthropist William Ellis to found in the London suburbs a chain of 'Birkbeck Schools' affording 'a type of what the education of the middle classes should be'. In Middlesex such schools for boys and girls from the lower middle class and respectable working families were established in Holborn, Finsbury, Bethnal Green, and Kingsland. Ellis provided the capital fund and continued to support the schools, but they were classed as unendowed, and, in accordance with current theory, designed to be self-supporting. In 1884 the Kingsland schools claimed to pay their way on fees of four guineas a year. Distinctive features were the wide curriculum, including physiology and 'social science'; a 'collective, conversational and catechetical' method of teaching; and a discipline relying not on punishment but on training children 'to see the importance of obedience and order, so that their school life may be turned to the best account'. They claimed to turn out citizens prepared to 'co-operate with the medical officer of health', and who had learned that 'capital can never oppress the workman' and that 'a strike may, or may not, alter the distribution of the wages' fund, but it must lessen it'. Ellis also held a weekly class for about fifty schoolmasters to instruct them in Utilitarian social science. (fn. 10)
The free-trade Liberalism of the mid-19th century exhibitions led to the foundation of the International College, Isleworth, with a fund placed at its disposal by the French Exhibition of 1863. Schools in various European countries were to follow a 'uniform programme of study' to enable pupils to move from one to another 'acquiring four languages fluently'. Cobden, Kay-Shuttleworth, and Thomas Huxley were among the directors, and the Isleworth school began in 1867 under Dr. Schmitz, formerly tutor to the Prince of Wales, who opened the Gothic building with accommodation for 150 pupils. This high-sounding project in practice produced a conventional second-rate boardingschool, emphasizing modern languages and science rather than classics. Discipline seems to have been unsatisfactory and in 1870 the neighbourhood was shaken by the 'Great College Revolt', quelled finally by the police. The school's popularity with Bradford parents brought its most famous pupil, Delius, who composed his first song in the sanatorium after being hit over the head with a cricket stump. The hopeful international character of the school 'sprang out of enthusiasm, and had no bottom in experience'. Scared South Americans who 'used the knife sometimes' and a negro who raged over the football ground 'like a goaded bull' may have enlivened the school scene but did not create 'an educational brotherhood of man'. Foreign pupils more probably sought assimilation to the English tradition rather than a new international conception of education. The school's closure in 1890 seemed, however, rather the result of a gradual financial decline than the failure of an ideal. (fn. 11)
These schools gave educational expression to ideas which were primarily political and economic, and indeed Victorian Middlesex was an area where almost any respectable educational experiment could bring at least temporary financial returns. Ideas or fads flourished easily in that mobile, expanding, usually prosperous, and always aspiring society. The theories of Froebel and Pestalozzi on the teaching of little children, for example, expressed themselves in the kindergarten movement, which became an important field for private enterprise. An early Middlesex kindergarten was housed in the 'Iron Room School' opened in 1863 by the vicar of Christ Church, Hampstead. Its headmistress was Mrs. Coghlan, wife of the Principal of the Home and Colonial College. Sir Robert Morant was one of its pupils. (fn. 12) By 1884 there were a number of kindergartens, many with a particular social emphasis. The Royal English Kindergarten College in Berners Street, for example, taught 'the children of families of position' and their governesses and head-nurses. (fn. 13) Of a more middle-class character was the Maida Vale Kindergarten where little boys and girls of from three to eight were 'thoroughly grounded' in a 'perfectly symmetrical education', utilizing the Froebelian apparatus and tasks designed to develop the child's inherent powers and provided according to a careful system of 'the Gifts, the Games, the Occupations, and the Object Lessons', under Frälein Steinweg, a pupil of Madame Froebel. (fn. 14) The high-schools of the Girls' Public Day School Company had their own kindergartens and at its Maida Vale School students were trained for the examination of the National Froebel Union. (fn. 15)
Some private schools were for both boys and girls. Holloway College, for example, which gave 'commercial instruction', had in 1879 departments for both sexes. (fn. 16) In general co-education was accepted at the elementary level as both economic and sensible. At the secondary stage and higher up the social scale, however, the problem was much magnified and was the subject of considerable disagreement. In 1895 Miss Alice Woods at Chiswick and Miss Case at Hampstead had successful mixed schools. (fn. 17) A humbler example was School Field in South Hackney run from 1887 to 1894 by E. Sergeant as a 'private venture elementary school'. Liberal teaching methods and discipline trained the senior boys and girls to work on their own. (fn. 18) More ambitious and permanent was the Hampstead school of the King Alfred Society, opened in 1897 to give practical expression to the 'best theories of education extant', particularly those of 'Pestalozzi, Froebel, Herbart, Herbert Spencer, Louis Compton Miall, and others working on similar lines'. The school was financed by subscriptions which were to be repaid when the project succeeded, and donors of £100 were entitled to nominate a pupil at half-fees. Co-operation between parents and teachers was emphasized and both were given a share in the management. The school was co-educational; curriculum and discipline were progressive, stressing the importance of interest rather than of memory alone. Competition and punishment were both discarded and examinations were not allowed to dominate the curriculum. Vegetarian dinners were provided, but there was no religious instruction. (fn. 19)
In 1847 the Daily News suggested that the clergy should reinforce social demands and undertake the 'important patriotic duty' of providing middle-class education; (fn. 20) and in Middlesex one of the earliest and most effective responses to this demand did in fact come from the clergy and laity of the Established Church. Earlier conceptions of education as a charitable work had vested endowments in perpetual corporations which in situation and curricula no longer corresponded to pressures of population and vocation. (fn. 21) Nineteenth-century Churchmen thought in terms of institutions not only able to pay their way but also able to adapt themselves to changing social and educational demands. The parishes of metropolitan Middlesex were recognized to be in urgent need of proprietary schools of this kind. A pioneer foundation was the Philological School, established in Marylebone in 1792. This school survived early difficulties, such as a bogus collector and subscribers who considered it 'sufficient . . . to pay the amount of their subscription only as long as the boy presented by them remains in the School', to become an established local institution. (fn. 22) Most of the proprietary schools founded by 'clerical agency', however, date from about 1830. (fn. 23) The first was the Western Grammar School, Brompton, founded in 1828, which made a short-lived experiment with the 'Madras System' at secondary level. (fn. 24) In 1830-1 King's College School was founded and a scheme developed by which Anglican proprietary schools could apply for 'Union with King's College', their pupils then entering as second-year students. (fn. 25) Some established schools, the London High School in Tavistock Square, for example, adapted themselves to this scheme. (fn. 26) The scheme also gave a fresh impetus to new foundations such as Hackney and Islington Proprietary Schools and St. Peter's, Eaton Square (opened in 1830), Kensington and Pimlico (1831), and Stepney (1833). In 1831 The Quarterly Journal of Education published the plan and rules of the Pimlico School as a useful model. (fn. 27) Other examples of schools which later obtained union with King's College were Brompton Church of England School, All Souls and St. Marylebone District School, the Philological School, St. John's Wood Proprietary School, Westbourne Collegiate School, (fn. 28) and West London Collegiate School, Notting Hill.
This does not exhaust the provision made by the Church of England for secondary education of this standard. In St. Pancras the North London Collegiate School for Boys was founded in 1850 as a result of a public meeting called by the incumbent, Canon Thomas Dale. One of his curates, W. C. Williams, became its head, and the school provided for about nine guineas a year a classical or commercial education for boys from middle-class homes. (fn. 29) In Finchley in 1857 the Revd. T. R. White drew in some measure on ancient charities to found Christ's College, a school with a similar purpose. (fn. 30) In 1864 Ealing Deanery Middle-Class School was founded. (fn. 31) Post-Tractarian changes in church services introduced a new element. The St. Pancras Middle-Class Boys' School, established in 1853 near Regent's Park, provided choral scholarships and the St. Mary Magdalen (later St. Ambrose) Choir College in Paddington advertised in 1872 for 'sons of clergymen or gentlemen who possess a good voice and ear'. (fn. 32) Private enterprise, lay and clerical, played the chief part in these foundations, but from 1838 the Diocesan Boards of Education had recognized the need for 'schools for the children of the commercial and middle classes'. By 1840 the Finsbury and Hanwell Collegiate Schools were opened, and the Metropolitan Commercial Schools Institution advertised schools in Rose Street, Soho, and St. George, Hanover Square. Only a detailed study of the localities can provide an estimate of provision of this type. (fn. 33) In Islington, for example, as well as the Proprietary School founded in 1830, there was the South Islington Proprietary School, under a clerical headmaster and in union with King's College, (fn. 34) and the East Islington Commercial School, providing an 'intermediate education' for the sons of 'respectable tradesmen'. The latter school was opened in 1841 in connexion with the Diocesan Board. Its course included scripture, English, Latin, writing, arithmetic, the elements of mathematics, history, geography, and chronology, with 'the elements of natural philosophy', French, and drawing as extras. (fn. 35) Constant effort, both lay and clerical, was required to keep this diverse provision to a satisfactory standard. In this respect the Church of England's most important national contribution was the institution of the Oxford and Cambridge Local Examinations in 1858. (fn. 36)
In 1868 Fearon, in his survey of Middlesex education for the Schools' Enquiry Commission, concluded that the proprietary schools were in decline. The Stepney school had already passed into private hands, as the neighbourhood could not support a classical school of that type, and the Hackney school was in difficulties. (fn. 37) Particular local conditions played an important part in each school's fortunes. The Islington School had close connexions with the evangelicals and the Church Missionary Society. It had early difficulties in working out a sytem of staff appointments which avoided the old rigidities and dangers of the 'headmaster's freehold', while allowing him sufficient independence of the 'proprietors' or shareholders; but it developed into a useful local institution giving an 'excellent training for the University' and notably good French teaching. It supplied several holders of the missionary scholarships at King's College. By 1868 Fearon considered the school to be badly in need of exhibitions, yet it was still giving a secondary education in 1891. (fn. 38) The Kensington School, on the other hand, in spite of an 'Addiscombe Cadetship' connecting it with the Indian Regiments, and an earlier attempt in 1869 to revive its fortunes by converting proprietary rights into permanent endowments, was considered by 1891 to be 'largely preparatory', and closed in 1896. (fn. 39) St. Peter's, Eaton Square, came to a more dramatic end, wrecked by its very proprietary constitution. A minority of its shareholders, wishing to realize their capital, resorted to the 'cruel expedient of blackening the character and conduct' of the headmaster, the Revd. B. W. Gibsone. He was vindicated by long investigation in the Courts of Chancery and Exchequer and presented with an impressive testimonial, but St. Peter's was liquidated in 1873 and Gibsone retired to a Midland living. (fn. 40)
The need for proprietary schools of this standard virtually coincided with the reign of Victoria. The revival and reform of the public schools, and the emergence of the State system of secondary education, satisfied the demands which had been so usefully met. In 1895 the Bryce Commissioners noted that metropolitan conditions were unfavourable to schools of this kind. (fn. 41) The Church Schools' Company was unsuccessful with boy's schools in Middlesex; its Kensington Park School, founded in 1896, was sold in 1909. (fn. 42) The undenominational Boys' Public Day Schools' Company was no more successful, and its school in Kentish Town was short-lived. (fn. 43) Denominational factors were not of decisive importance to boys' schools of this type. Certainly in this county sectarian issues caused little trouble at the secondary stage. The prospectus of the Islington Proprietary School emphasized that, although it was organized in accordance with the principles of the Church of England, religious instruction was 'so conducted as to embrace children of all who wish for an education on the basis of the great doctrines of Christianity'. (fn. 44) At the North London Collegiate School for Boys, the scriptures, Thirty-nine Articles, and Catechism were taught. Dissenters might 'opt out', but the conciliatory attitude of the clerical headmaster and the attendance of the sons of several nonconformist ministers gave them confidence and although the district had quite its 'full proportion' of dissenters, there was no difficulty. (fn. 45)
Probably the best example of this non-sectarian approach to middle-class education in Middlesex was the Revd. William Rogers (1819-96), who was so little concerned with denominational provision that he earned the name of 'Hang-Theology Rogers'. After being appointed to the perpetual curacy of St. Thomas Charterhouse, Rogers turned this disreputable corner of ancient urban Middlesex into a network of schools. By 1854 there were five schools, and in 1859 a 'middle-class' school opened under the Revd. J. H. Smith, later headmaster of Alleyn's School, Dulwich. (fn. 46) In 1872 the St. Thomas Charterhouse Middle-Class School charged four guineas a year for training boys for 'commercial pursuits, the competitive examinations in the Civil Service and the University Local Examinations'. (fn. 47) After his presentation to the rectory of St. Botolph Bishopsgate in 1863, Canon Rogers, as he had now become, concentrated on the educational needs of 'people such as clerks and what may be called the lower middle-class', as he had long had 'grave misgivings as to the conditions' under which they were being instructed, largely in suburban 'academies'. Rogers failed to get support from the Charity Commissioners, but was able to found the Cowper Street Middle-Class Schools in Finsbury largely through the help of the City Companies, banking houses, and commercial corporations. This 'Middle Class Schools Corporation' provided 'the plant', but the schools, which rapidly grew to over a thousand boys, many from Middlesex, were designed to be self-supporting, giving for £4-£5 a year 'an education not much inferior ... to that of the sons of gentlemen for which £100 or £150 is usually paid'. It was non-sectarian, Rogers being convinced that the 'class that would use the school already filled the churches and chapels'. (fn. 48)
These schools never became self-supporting, nor were the others which Rogers planned for 'places like Hoxton and Islington' ever built. He himself rejoiced that the emergence of higher forms of elementary education and the secondary school system made them unnecessary. (fn. 49) Yet the contribution of the Established Church in Middlesex to an unprecedented demand for secondary education may well have been the largest single factor in meeting the crisis for children of all denominations. The Philological School, the Cowper Street (Central Foundation) Schools, and Christ's College, Finchley, were incorporated in the new system. The other proprietary schools died with the need for them, leaving the county unencumbered with institutions which had outlived their use.
In addition to proprietary schools founded under the Established Church, there were in Middlesex numerous nonconformist and Roman Catholic private schools. Tottenham, for example, had long been a centre for Quaker schools. Here were sited the preparatory school kept by the Coar sisters, the boys' school kept by Josiah Forster, another member of this family, which had been connected with education in the parish since 1758, (fn. 50) and Mr. Price's school, which specialized in foreign boarders. (fn. 51) An expensive school attended by boys of the Gurney, Fry, Hanbury, and Fox families, and by W. E. Forster, A. Waterhouse, and J. H. Shorthouse was also kept in Grove House. (fn. 52) The nonconformist churches also showed official concern for the secondary education of their children. In 1811 the Society of Friends decided to enlarge and develop its Islington workhouse school, opened in Clerkenwell in 1702, on the lines of its secondary school at Ackworth. This school moved to Croydon (Surr.) in 1825 and later to Saffron Walden (Essex). (fn. 53) The concern of the Wesleyan Conference for the schooling of the daughters of its itinerant ministers reflected the new attitude to girls' education and led to the opening in 1869 of a boarding-school at Clapton. This was later moved to Trinity Hall, Southport. (fn. 54) At the beginning of Victoria's reign the Roman Catholic community was served by a number of convent and private schools for girls and by colleges corresponding to the public schools. There were some private schools for boys, such as Eton Park College on Haverstock Hill, under the 'direction of a Committee of Catholic Gentlemen', and 'The Priory' at Edmonton. (fn. 55) Preparatory schools to serve these colleges were developing during the period. In 1879 Rosslyn Hill House School and St. Stanislaus Preparatory School, both in Hampstead, were advertised. (fn. 56) Higher education was the subject of controversy within the hierarchy and Manning's victory led to the refusal of permission for Roman Catholic youths to attend the universities even after the abolition of the tests, and to the establishment of the Roman Catholic University College in Kensington in 1874. This provided higher secondary courses to some students who were admitted at seventeen. The laity in general withheld support, the old Roman Catholic families preferring to seek permission to send their sons to Oxford or Cambridge. The University College closed in 1882 and its remnants were incorporated in St. Charles College of the Oblate Fathers in Bayswater, (fn. 57) which Manning had founded in 1873. The Archbishop had also founded the Kensington Roman Catholic Public School for 'the sons of gentlemen', giving a 'high classical' education, with a 'Modern School' preparing for the Army and the Civil Service. (fn. 58) The chief weakness of the educational position of the Roman Catholics was the lack of boys' secondary schools of a middle-class type and this may account for the 'trivial impact' which this section of the population made on commercial and industrial management. (fn. 59) Roman Catholic funds and enterprise had to concentrate on popular education, especially as the number of Irish immigrants mounted. (fn. 60) A few schools, such as the Catholic Grammar School in Eden Grove, Holloway, in 1879 were attached to a parish church, (fn. 61) but the provision of secondary education had largely to come from the religious orders. In the second half of the century their achievements in Middlesex were striking. St. Monica's Priory, Hoxton Square, was opened by the Augustinian Fathers in 1864. (fn. 62) The Jesuits opened St. Ignatius College, Stamford Hill, in 1894, (fn. 63) the Brothers of Mercy St. Aloysius College, Highgate, in 1879, and the Marist Brothers St. John's, Islington, in 1881. (fn. 64) Anti-clerical legislation in France and Germany joined with forces stimulating the growth of secondary education in this country, and among schools founded by the influx of teaching religious was the Benedictine Priory at Ealing in 1902. (fn. 65) The Cardinal Vaughan School, Kensington, was founded as a memorial to the Archbishop. (fn. 66)
At the opening of Victoria's reign girls of Roman Catholic families were already on the whole better provided with education than other sections of the community, and by the end of the century convent schools catered for the varying needs of girls in all parts of the metropolitan area. Early Middlesex examples were the schools of the Irish Sisters of Mercy in Chelsea and of the Sacred Heart nuns at Acton (1842). By 1850 over the whole country twenty different orders provided education for different social levels. (fn. 67) In Middlesex the Sisters of the Faithful Company of Jesus, for example, had three schools. At Isleworth Gumley House, opened in 1841, catered for 'girls of the upper rank' with an education 'much higher' than that required for the University local examinations. The sisters here also had a day school which developed on high school lines. (fn. 68) In Clarendon Square, St. Pancras, the Order had since 1863 a school of a middle-class type, (fn. 69) and in Howrah House, Poplar, they had two quite separate schools, a 'boarding school for young ladies', and a 'high school for girls'. (fn. 70) These convent schools both maintained an older tradition of girls' education and adapted with caution the newer ideas. Especially after the arrival of many teaching orders from France and Germany towards the end of the century, establishing such schools as that of the Sisters of St. Martin of Tours at Muswell Hill (1904), they provided another source of trained and systematic teaching. In 1896 the Holy Child nuns opened the Cavendish Square Training College for secondary teachers. (fn. 71)
The pattern of Jewish education was similar to that of other faiths. Many Jewish children attended ordinary private schools. Isaac Disraeli was for a time at a private school at Enfield. (fn. 72) and in about 1900 Eva Marian Spielman, from a wealthy and orthodox Jewish family, attended Leinster House, Kensington. (fn. 73) There were also Jewish private schools. In 1816 Hyman Hurwitz had about a hundred boys at his Highgate school, which had its own synagogue. His sister kept a neighbouring school for girls. (fn. 74) From about 1840 for forty years H. N. Solomon had a celebrated Jewish school at Edmonton. (fn. 75) The Jewish community was generous and responsible in providing for education. The Jews' Free School founded at Spitalfields in 1817 provided secondary education for its one hundred student teachers. (fn. 76) In 1845 the Jewish Middle-Class School was established in Red Lion Square, (fn. 77) and in 1856 the Jews' College and College School opened in Finsbury. The usual secondary course was followed in the Finsbury school, with the addition of Hebrew. Boys who were over fifteen studied higher classics and mathematics, Hebrew literature, theology, and antiquities. The 55 students included six free scholars, the sons of Jewish teachers or ministers, studying for the Jewish ministry. (fn. 78)
During Queen Victoria's reign Middlesex, which had always made a speciality of girls' schools, provided both the setting and the impetus for their transformation. Wide and varied demand, quick response to social and economic changes, a domestic system of education particularly sensitive to changing moral climate, and opportunities for exchange of ideas and experience were all concentrated in the Middlesex suburbs. Here, above all, women reformers could get support and advice, not only from other women but from wealthy, able, and influential men in the City, at the Inns of Court, in academic and official circles, or among clergy whose rapidly changing pastoral responsibilities made them alert to new needs. This is the particular contribution of Middlesex to the reform of girls' education.
As early as 1849 Trevellian Spicer, a barrister of Gray's Inn, was trying to prove at his Alfred House Collegiate Institute for Ladies at Islington that 'there is no difference in the intellectual capacity of the sexes; none whatever, unless it is that the mind of woman is rather more acute than that of man'. (fn. 79) The year before, Queen's College, Harley Street, had opened. It grew out of the work of the Governesses' Benevolent Institution, founded in 1843, whose secretary was David Laing, (fn. 80) Vicar of the Trinity district of St. Pancras. From this attempt to raise the status of women teachers emerged the plan for a college for the higher secondary education of 'young ladies above the age of twelve years', largely the creation of F. D. Maurice and his colleagues at King's College. (fn. 81) Queen's had some influence on the founding of Bedford College in 1849 for although Mrs. Reid moved in Unitarian circles she was 'all alive to the new female college'. Her college in Bedford Square drew support from the non-sectarian University College. (fn. 82) Both Queen's and Bedford found it necessary to found secondary schools attached to the colleges to prepare younger or less well-educated girls for their main courses. (fn. 83) Ultimately Bedford became a college of university standing, while Queen's continued to uphold a particular ideal of secondary education. A City branch was opened in 1849 in Finsbury Square, with a boarding-house in Camden Road, but this became an entirely separate establishment, the City of London College for Ladies. (fn. 84) There was some attempt to develop a system of 'schools in union' with Queen's, but unlike King's it could offer no concessions in higher courses leading to recognized qualifications. The social support essential to success would have been too dear a price to pay for pretension to university standing and public examinations would have cramped the development of a liberal education based on courses chosen by each pupil. Schools which expressed interest in the idea, such as Mrs. Kelso's Hyde Park College, would therefore have gained nothing tangible from union with Queen's, and the scheme came to nothing. (fn. 85) Thus while Queen's set a standard and an ideal it founded no system.
Middlesex was able to provide the ingredients of such a system of secondary education for girls. The North London Collegiate School, which became the prototype of the later high-schools, grew out of a small family venture founded in 1850 in Camden Street, St. Pancras, by Frances Mary Buss. (fn. 86) The school gave a broad academic education of a high standard, organized progressively, and catering for all denominations and social classes. It was one of the first to submit pupils for the University Local Examinations when they were opened to girls and to send students to the women's colleges at Cambridge and later Oxford. With Miss Emily Davis Miss Buss gave evidence before the Schools' Enquiry Commissioners in 1865. (fn. 87) Most girls' schools in Middlesex were then still deplorable, and Fearon's report to the Taunton Commissioners emphasized the 'weight of social pressure' and the 'shibboleth of accomplishments' in their education. Teaching, even in subjects especially valued for social reasons, such as French, was poor and superficial. Fearon discerned, however, a general local desire for improvement and for the sharing of endowments. He outlined a plan for a system of 'a kind of girls' grammar schools' for the professional and mercantile classes under 'educational boards', which would also provide for the 'superior education of young women'. In the more realistic phrase of Miss Buss what Middlesex parents wanted was help with their daughters' as well as with their sons' education. (fn. 88)
Direct results from this Taunton Report were slow and meagre. Even Miss Buss had great difficulty in getting endowments for her two highly successful schools, the North London and the Camden School, which she had founded for girls who left at about sixteen. (fn. 89) In Stepney the Coopers' Company Middle-Class School and the Prisca Coborn Foundation School, both giving a secondary course ending at about sixteen, were founded in 1878 and 1880 respectively. (fn. 90) Eventually and gradually other endowments were also made available for girls, but, for the most part, private effort had to create some provision for middle-class girls and extend the 'high-schools'. A 'committee of ladies' established the West Central Collegiate Day School in Southampton Row in 1858. (fn. 91) In 1875 the Victoria School for Girls was opened in Kentish Town to give a middle-class education, while the 'Middle-Class Training Schools' next door gave an efficient education at just above the elementary level. (fn. 92) Concentration on this type of schooling was one of the great deficiencies revealed by the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women, founded by the 'Langham Place Group' which also worked for the higher education of women and the opening of public examinations to girls. These reformers also started schools such as that run by Jessie Boucherett in Charlotte Street to give a 'solid English education for young girls and teach older women to write a letter grammatically, to calculate rapidly without a slate, and to keep accounts by single and double entry' so that they could compete with elementary school girls for posts as clerks, cashiers, saleswomen, or in telegraph, railway-ticket, and post offices. (fn. 93) The Portman Hall School was run on progressive lines largely under the guidance of Barbara Bodichon and her sisters, Ann and Bella Leigh-Smith. Elizabeth Whitehead and Octavia Hill taught here and the school had a unique corps of volunteer teachers of drawing, physiology, 'the laws of health', and social science. (fn. 94) Annie Carey in her women's classes at the School of Design in Gower Street used art 'to raise and extend the intellectual culture of the students'. (fn. 95)
Indirectly, by giving coherence and support to experiments, the Taunton inquiry had more effect. It was in Middlesex that the Girls' Public Day Schools' Company was launched, establishing its first schools in 1873 in Chelsea and Notting Hill, suburbs where good support was assured. Middlesex schools were later founded in response to local demand in Hackney, South Hampstead, Highbury, and Maida Vale. They set out to provide an education parallel to that of boys 'in grammar schools of the highest class' and were modelled on the North London Collegiate School, employing 'an ample staff of competent teachers at salaries above the market price'. Their importance can hardly be over-estimated, (fn. 96) since in turn they formed a model for other high-schools, such as the Anglican Francis Holland Schools in Baker Street and Graham Street. (fn. 97) They provided recruits for higher education especially for the teaching profession, and so helped to break the deadlock created by lack of qualified women.
By 1895 the Company was able to claim to the Bryce Commissioners that there was 'something approaching a sufficient provision of high schools for girls in the London area'. (fn. 98) Later, social needs made a few adjustments necessary. In 1900 the name of the Maida Vale High School, which had opened in 1878 with 28 girls, was changed to the Paddington and Maida Vale High School as 'an increasingly large number of girls' came from the former district. Shortly after this date the changing social character of the neighbourhood and the threat of the opening of a new L.E.A. secondary school nearby forced the G.P.D.S. Trust (formerly Company) to open negotiations with the County Council which took over the school in 1912 and enlarged it to provide for 300 girls. (fn. 99)
The G.P.D.S. schools were studied by the wife of the Revd. (later Canon) Francis Holland, minister of the Quebec Street Chapel (later the Church of the Annunciation, Marble Arch), when she was considering the needs of her husband's parish. (fn. 100) The Hollands admired the interdenominational high schools but felt that another kind of school, in which worship would form an integral part of education, was also needed. Their efforts resulted in the formation in 1877 of the Church of England High School for Girls Ltd. Francis Holland became a member of the Council and the Bishop of London was Patron. A house in Upper Baker Street was modestly adapted so that it could be converted into workshops should the venture fail. First pupils were secured by the Hollands from friends whose daughters were of suitable age, and the school opened with 15 pupils in 1878. There was 'no doubt that the school was needed and appreciated'. (fn. 101) Fees were low to suit the purses of professional parents, but in 1880 the Company paid a small dividend and a second school was started in Graham Street. After 1882 the founding of the Church Schools' Company made it unnecessary for Canon Holland to open more schools, but the fact that his schools were already meeting this particular demand probably accounts for the lack of success enjoyed in Middlesex by the schools of the new Company. (fn. 102)
The chief problem faced by girls' schools of this type was finding teachers of sufficient quality. As Charles Dilke observed at the prize-giving of Hammersmith High School in 1883, teaching in these high schools required 'far greater skill . . . than was the case with the earlier system'. (fn. 103) Several girls' schools in Middlesex grew out of this need for trained teachers. Queen's College gave up courses for practising teachers after about ten years but had included among its students Miss Buss, Miss Martin, the first headmistress of the secondary school attached to Bedford College, and the first headmistress of the Lady Holles Middle School for Girls, Hackney. (fn. 104) The Princess Helena College and High School originated in part as a charitable institution for training orphans of officers as governesses. This was founded near Regents Park in 1820, as a memorial to Princess Charlotte, and later rebuilt at Ealing. Girls on the foundation acted as assistants in the fee-paying high-school, which was designed to meet the criticisms of the Taunton Report and included science and economics in a systematic course. (fn. 105) In addition three of the societies concerned with the training of teachers founded practising schools in Middlesex. The National Society founded a girls' school attached to Whiteland's College in Chelsea. (fn. 106) The Home and Colonial Society's school was originally situated in Grays Inn Road but was moved to Highbury in 1894. (fn. 107) The Teachers' Training and Registration Society established a school in Bishopsgate in 1878, moved it to Fitzroy Square in 1891, and later moved it again to north London where it became the Brondesbury and Kilburn High School. (fn. 108) All these schools were giving systematic secondary education at fees a little lower than the usual price since they were using the services of women attached to the parent societies. (fn. 109)
How far Middlesex private schools, at which most girls continued to be educated, were affected by the newer types of school is difficult to establish. They certainly wished to share in the prestige of these schools. Purely private schools advertised under such titles as the East London Collegiate School for Ladies in Poplar, (fn. 110) the NorthEast London Collegiate School in Islington, (fn. 111) and the Central London Collegiate School in Bartlett's Buildings, Holborn. (fn. 112) Numerous 'high-schools' also sprang up. Stroud Green High School was advertised in 1893, Channing House High School in Highgate developed into an expensive boarding-school, (fn. 113) while Palmers Green High School, a private day school founded in 1905, was in 1949 the oldest secondary school in the area. (fn. 114) Queen's Colleges may have reflected royal rather than scholastic loyalties. In 1884 there was a Queen's College High School in Tollington Park. (fn. 115)
The 'high-school' or 'collegiate system' rapidly became a marketable commodity. Middlesex advertisements indicate that its most prized features were the organization of pupils into progressive classes and the use of public examinations. Redcliffe College, South Kensington, opened in 1878, had a 'general course on the high-school system', comprising classes in the usual academic subjects, and kindergarten classes. (fn. 116) In 1884 Woodleigh Lodge, Ladbrooke Grove, and Chalcot College for Girls, Haverstock Hill, were conducted on the 'high-school system', (fn. 117) and at Bodleian College, South Kensington, 'the combination of all the advantages of a Modern College System with individual teaching [was] aimed at'. (fn. 118) At Birklands, Holland Park, 'the plan of teaching' embraced 'individual attention with the class system as pursued in the upper class colleges of London and Edinburgh'. (fn. 119) Some schools carried the organization further. The Westbourne College for Ladies had three progressive divisions, (fn. 120) and at the Victoria College for the Daughters of Gentlemen, established in Kensington Garden Square in 1859, there were also by 1884 senior, junior, and elementary divisions and the system was 'adapted to the curriculum prescribed by the Oxford and Cambridge Locals'. The course, it was said, was 'gradational, and made to subserve the curriculum prescribed'. Classes were regulated to avoid 'undue pressure of work', and 'so that none can be neglected'. (fn. 121) Many schools advertised success in examinations, (fn. 122) although some caution about the danger or impropriety of public examinations remained, especially in the more expensive schools. (fn. 123) Even the accomplishments, however, felt the wind of change and pupils were sometimes entered for the Trinity College of Music or Science and Art Department examinations-by the Highgate Collegiate School, for example. (fn. 124) But some schools, such as Hornsey College in Finsbury Park, showed continuing social prejudice against any public element in girls' education, advertising 'the advantages of a private family' even if 'combined with the regularity and discipline of a school'. (fn. 125)
The pressure of public examinations and the criticisms of the Taunton Report combined with the serious tone of the period to produce a more academic curriculum in private schools, although accomplishments remained a vigorous element. In 1884 St. Hilda's College for Ladies, established in 1849 in St. John's Wood, taught English, Latin, modern languages, and accomplishments. (fn. 126) Queen's Road Collegiate School, Kensington, included English language, philology, grammar, literature, composition, elocution, history, geography, 'rudimentary science', and French, and prepared for the usual examinations. (fn. 127) A new emphasis on solid learning and thoroughness is apparent. The Collegiate School for Girls in St. Peter's Park was among schools which aimed at laying foundations for 'future work in life'. (fn. 128) Standards remained diverse, but were sometimes high. Mount View School in Hampstead, opened in 1869, became a pioneer centre of the university extension lectures of Canon Ainger and Professor Seely. Its pupils entered for the Higher Local Examinations and some went on to Newnham and Somerville. (fn. 129) Fear of overwork and cramming for girls lingered. Highschools necessarily emphasized external examinations and they were working against time. An academically successful pupil at the Maida Vale High School remembered a 'tendency to stress the brain at the expense of the body'. (fn. 130) One notable Middlesex school, the Crouch End High School and College, grew out of a small private school founded in 1900 by Charlotte Cowdroy, who came to believe that it was a mistake to educate girls on the same lines as boys. (fn. 131)
The general failure to accept girls' education as a continuous process was both a defence against this danger and a barrier to progress. Even the high-schools were attended erratically and for short periods. Miss Buss complained that in time of family misfortune the daughters' schooling inevitably suffered. (fn. 132) Out of the 227 girls at the Highbury Hill High School in 1908 only one-third had been in attendance for four years, and the average age of leaving was fifteen. (fn. 133) Private schools not committed to an ideal nullified by this desultory attitude often did real good, as Queen's College did at a high level by providing for girls who could only attend short courses. The suburbs were full of schools which 'charged according to requirements', for example, 'The College' at 32 Westbourne Park Villas, founded in 1847, and the 'Ladies College' in Canonbury, opened in 1865. (fn. 134) In the Society for the Encouragement of Home Study Middlesex brought up to date its provision for girls who visited London for the season. (fn. 135)
In all these ways Middlesex provided for the secondary education of girls and for the education of little girls whose social background prevented them from attending the elementary schools. It is impossible to draw a clear line between primary and secondary education, for private schools catered for all ages, and the newer 'high-schools' had their kindergartens. Nor can a clear division be made between secondary and further, or even professional education. Not only did the schools have to meet the needs of all ages and widely different attainments, but, until satisfactory standards had been reached, even an institution as firmly determined to become a college of further education as Bedford had to provide what were virtually secondary courses. King's College for Ladies, founded in 1878 in Kensington Square, followed a similar pattern, (fn. 136) and the music and art departments of King's raised the accomplishments to a satisfactory level. (fn. 137) The suburbs also produced social imitations of genuinely educational institutions. In 1884 the University College for Ladies, St. John's Wood, advertised that it provided for 'the daughters of the upper classes' a training 'analogous to that occupied by the Public Schools' for their sons. Although it was under a 'Committee of Education' with Dr. Schmitz as chairman, its course was that of the usual seminary, with a kinder garten attached. Accomplishments were given some academic respectability and extras included the zither and Hebrew. (fn. 138)
Ultimately stronger than suburban fashion was the proximity of a constantly expanding and developing labour market. In 1884 Elgin College in Bayswater was one of the schools which advertised preparation for the Higher Locals, considered a useful qualification for teachers. (fn. 139) Frankfort House, Stoke Newington, also prepared students 'wishing to qualify themselves for teaching' with the French diplomas. (fn. 140) Woburn College in Guildford Street gave 'special preparation ... for the Post Office (Lady Clerks') Examinations'; (fn. 141) Thornhill College for Ladies, established in Barnsbury in 1854, prepared for the Civil Service Examinations. (fn. 142) At the turn of the century the Paddington and Maida Vale High School had old pupils at Newnham, Westfield, and Somerville Colleges; one had gained a clerkship in the Bank of England; one had begun training 'under one of Miss Hill's pupils, rent-collecting'; one had entered the Domestic Economy Training School at Battersea Polytechnic; three were 'girl-clerks' in the Prudential Assurance Company; and another was a clerk in the Post Office Telephone Service. The last of these had been one of 50 chosen from 488 candidates. In this school a class for typewriting and shorthand had been formed, 'to provide a useful technical training . . . for girls who are intending to take up secretarial and business work'. (fn. 143) The increasing demand for female labour in the London suburbs coincided with the demands of feminists to draw, for the first time, a significant proportion of middle-class girls into employment outside the home.
Even such powerful forces as the concern of feminists and of the Established Church had, however, to operate as factors in the open market. In Middlesex the provision of schools by private enterprise was an industry engaging much capital and skill, constantly adapting itself to a market which was only in process of discovering its needs. The changing demands of middle-class parents in Victoria's reign may be discerned in this crowded educational scene. The wider but somewhat disjointed curriculum which had developed in response to earlier needs was being consolidated into a new conception of general secondary education, although its precise dimensions and purpose were often decided by social prejudice or vocational demands. Fearon in his survey of the county's schools for the Taunton Commissioners was emphatic that they could be classified socially according to the length of a boy's school life. Upper-class parents continued their sons' education after eighteen while the lower classes removed them at about twelve. The different strata of the middle class decided on grounds of family status and future employment whether their sons should remain until eighteen or nineteen, until about sixteen, or until fourteen or fifteen. This variety of leaving ages produced schools of different types with different curricula and standards. (fn. 144) The reform of the Army and the Civil Service, the growth of the other professions, and the establishment of various external examinations for 'middle-class schools' further shaped this system. The College of Preceptors' School examinations began in 1854, the Society of Arts' in 1856, and the Oxford and Cambridge Locals in 1858. (fn. 145) These developments resulted in a revised attitude towards private schooling. A directory of 1861 still listed 'Private Schools for Gentlemen' and 'for Ladies' alphabetically under the name of the proprietor. (fn. 146) Directories of 1872, 1879, and 1884, however, listed them as institutions, classified according to management and ownership and arranged topographically, giving qualifications of staff, curriculum, examinations taken, numbers, and charges. A new conception of these schools was shown, many still private property, but with public responsibilities and connexions with other branches of education, assessed by external standards. Some estimate can therefore be made of the extent to which the demands of parents were shaping the education provided in such schools, for whatever the origin of these changes, they operated as a mode of attracting custom. (fn. 147)
Names adopted by private schools indicate the importance of social and academic pretension. Schools 'for the sons of gentlemen' abounded in all areas, (fn. 148) and so did 'colleges' and 'collegiate schools'. In 1872 Canonbury, St. John's Wood, Notting Hill, South Hampstead, Chiswick, Kingsland, Kilburn, and Brondesbury Lodge Collegiate Schools were all advertised. (fn. 149) The label had reassuring echoes of external standards, a systematic course, and connexions with other branches of education. Often such schools were 'in union with the College of Preceptors', listed the external examinations for which they prepared, and hinted at 'modern improvements.' At Castle House Collegiate School for Young Gentlemen, Mildmay Park, established in 1869, the 'plan of education combines the various modern improvements that have been introduced into the scholastic world with the solid excellencies of the more ancient system'. Pupils were prepared for 'commercial pursuits' or the universities and for the examinations of the Civil Service, the Department of Science and Art, the Oxford and Cambridge Locals, and the College of Preceptors. (fn. 150) The name 'grammar school' was often considered desirable, but not the narrowly classical curriculum. Church House Grammar School, Ealing, was founded in 1815 to give 'a sound general and practical education ... for the professions or commercial business of life'. (fn. 151) Paddington Grammar School, Maida Hill, aimed to provide a sound education 'similar in tone and character to that of the older foundations but more economical, and better adapted to the requirements of modern times'. (fn. 152) Some names reveal dissatisfaction with the national tradition of education. The International Collegiate School was founded in 1870 to provide a 'system of instruction based on religious principles, at once thorough and economical, uniting the methods of English schools with those of Germany and France'. It was carried on in the buildings of the Working Men's College in Great Ormond Street. (fn. 153) The distinction between traditional and newer conceptions of secondary education was sometimes made explicit, as at the Eton Park School of Modern Instruction, St. Pancras, which had a special class for science, (fn. 154) and the South Hornsey Latin and Modern School, which was under a clerical headmaster, and divided into sides preparing for the universities and public schools, and for the Army, the Civil Service, and the law. (fn. 155) There were many 'commercial schools' which gave a secondary course. Such were the South Islington Commercial and Mathematical School, opened in 1818, (fn. 156) College House Classical and Commercial School near Regents Park, (fn. 157) Stoke Newington Commercial College, (fn. 158) and the Holborn Commercial and Preparatory Collegiate Schools in Red Lion Square, opened in 1812. (fn. 159) The names of other schools emphasized their social purpose. Examples were the St. John's Middle-Class School, Tottenham, (fn. 160) and Stoke Newington Middle-Class Public School, which by 1879 had become the 'HigherMiddle Class School', in Mildmay Park. (fn. 161)
Preparation for external examinations or an education which would enable boys to undertake the usual method of 'in-training' in banking houses, trading companies, and the newly emerging professions, was becoming essential to the middle classes. Anthony Trollope had been lengthily and painfully educated at two Middlesex schools, one public and the other private. Although an entrance examination proved that he neither could write legibly nor knew the multiplication tables, he had then secured an appointment in the Post Office through family influence. (fn. 162) But as the scale and complexity of business-life increased, employers looked for some objective assessment of secondary education to replace older methods of personal recommendation. (fn. 163) It is not surprising that conscientious parents looked to the schools for results. The Taunton Commissioners blamed them for giving 'inordinate value to mere show', or, perhaps worse, considering no education worth having unless it could speedily be turned into money. (fn. 164) Yet fathers had to have something to show to prospective employers, and no one else was prepared to provide money for their sons. This need for objective standards produced financial support from the City for Canon Rogers's middle-class schools. (fn. 165) On their part Middlesex schools quickly responded to the needs of the labourmarket. In the middle years of the century the endowed schools were not yet able to adapt themselves to the newer examinations, but on private and proprietary schools their effect was 'substantial', shaping the curriculum and giving incentive and purpose to study. (fn. 166) The headmaster of the North London Collegiate School for Boys, which entered for the University Locals 'about as many as any school in England', considered that the 'tone of study and application in the school' was increased and the Senior Examination was of great value and encouragement to the professional and middleclasses as 'a stamp and guarantee of acquirement'. (fn. 167) Fearon, reporting on a Middlesex private school 'of the first grade' which prepared for the examinations for Woolwich, Sandhurst, direct commissions, the Indian Civil Service, the Naval College at Portsmouth, the Marine Artillery, and the home Civil Service as well as the traditional open scholarships at Cambridge, considered that the teaching had 'a remarkable effect on the pupils'. As an educationalist he wondered whether in view of the 'highly technical nature' of these examinations their influence on general education was good or evil. (fn. 168) In general, however, no such doubts were entertained, and a very high proportion of Middlesex schools prepared for the various public examinations. In 1872 Eagle Hall Collegiate School in Southgate prepared for the 'Civil Service, Preliminary Medical, the Incorporated Law Society's as well as the University "Middle-Class" and other Examinations'. (fn. 169) The College, Tollington Park, added the examinations of the Royal College of Surgeons, Apothecaries' Hall, and the Pharmaceutical Society. (fn. 170) There was a border-line between secondary education and cramming. The Maida Hill College was set up in 1858 'under twenty noble and reverend chief patrons' to provide 'direct preparation for the Professions, Commerce, Army, Civil Service, University, and East India Examinations'. (fn. 171) Such schools had pupils of secondary age and many prepared for the public schools as well. Cromwell House in Highgate was divided into 'several courses of study' to give 'distinct and efficient prominence to each line of education', preparation for public schools, universities, the armed forces, and Civil Service, and to give 'that amount of individual attention for want of which so many pupils fail to make a satisfactory progress'. (fn. 172) Two schools in St. Pancras in 1879 illustrate the overlap between secondary education and coaching. The Collegiate School at 13 Camden Cottages under a clerical warden prepared for the 'Locals' and preliminary professional examinations, the public schools, Civil Service, and the College of Preceptors' certificates which 'are recognized by H. M. Judges, and by the General Medical Council, as guarantees of a good education', exempting their holders from other preliminary examinations. A special class for the study of navigation was conducted by the headmaster, who held a certificate from the Board of Trade. Nearby at 8 High Street, Camden Town, was a coaching establishment where payment could be made by the month or even the hour and which provided a correspondence course at slightly lower fees. (fn. 173)
Some coaches specialized. In 1861 R. F. Scott, 'late of the medical profession', took pupils at Prospect House, Edmonton, for botany, toxicology, elementary chemistry, and the 'composition of medicines in accordance with the London Pharmacopaeia'. This was in addition to 'the usual branches of education'. (fn. 174) Military and other 'crammers' rapidly became a feature of the Middlesex scene, erecting 'a sort of screen' between the schools and the Council of Military Education. (fn. 175) Winston (later Sir Winston) Churchill, having twice failed to pass from Harrow to Sandhurst, benefited by the 'renowned system of intensive poultry-farming' practised in a military crammer in Cromwell Road to qualify for a cavalry cadetship. (fn. 176) The Kilburn and St. John's Wood Civil and Military Institute, founded in 1859, prepared for a representative series of examinations including the Indian Civil Service, the Indian Engineers, Woolwich, the Staff College, Ceylon Civil Service, Indian Telegraph, Sandhurst, Direct Commission, Home Civil Service, and the Universities. (fn. 177) Courses at such establishments were wide. Castlebar Court at Ealing taught English, mathematics, geometrical and mechanical drawing, Latin, Greek, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Sanskrit, 'natural and experimental sciences and the moral sciences'. (fn. 178) Rochester House, also at Ealing, added 'surveying and plan drawing'. (fn. 179) Coaches in these institutions were not only remedying previous over-specialized or defective education; they also took pupils of secondary age, replacing upper-school work. The South Kensington establishment opened by Captain James, E. Carlisle, and Captain Gregson in 1881 had older men preparing for the Staff College and promotion in the militia, and a country branch for younger boys. Most of its Kensington pupils, however, were of upper secondary age. Boys from the public schools did not gain such success because they did not have the 'opportunities which are absolutely forced upon them at Lexham Gardens'. (fn. 180) The method of individual tutoring did not sharply distinguish these from other kinds of secondary school, where the system of class teaching was only gradually taking shape, not did the pupils' attendance for limited periods and specific purposes, for many more general schools were still used in the same way.
In this age of 'payment by results' coaches could charge heavily for preparation for competitive examinations. W. Wren of Powis Square, Notting Hill, for example, advertised his high charges as an investment. He claimed that during seven years 118 vacancies out of 237 in the Indian Civil Service had been 'carried off' by his pupils and successes in other examinations ('all of these are much more easy') were 'too numerous to be mentioned'. (fn. 181) Payment often varied according to the 'class of examination', (fn. 182) for old distinctions of professional standing, newly created hierarchies of ability and status, and calculations of future pay, promotion, and security were all reflected in the price which families were prepared to pay.
In the same way as coaches prepared for competitive examinations private enterprise in Middlesex catered for the special needs of newly-emerging technical professions. At the opening of Victoria's reign the West Metropolitan Academy in Quebec Street was 'conducted on those broad and liberal principles which can alone form the good man, the correct scholar and the virtuous and enterprising citizen'. Its principal, T. K. Heath, took his pupils for 'vigorous and healthy exercise daily in Hyde Park' and in 1831 a twelve-year-old pupil solved one of the mathematical juvenile problems in the Academic Chronicle. In this unmistakably secondary setting there was a class for 'mechanical, architectural, and geometrical drawing' under a civil engineer, which embraced 'sectional and perspective drawing, architectural plans, elevation, etc., plans of surveys, mapping perspective, ornamental designing, art floors' work, etc.' This course, with lectures on scientific subjects, lasted for six months and could be taken by the regular pupils or by 'youth not connected with the Academy'. (fn. 183) Other professions were similarly served. In 1840 the 'High School for Mathematics, Engineering, etc. important for those designed for the Engineering Profession', was opened near the Middlesex Hospital. (fn. 184) The Islington School of Science and Art was opened in 1852 as a 'secondary or middle-class school in connexion with the Science and Art Department'. In 1879 its 220 day pupils included juniors from the age of seven, and its upper-school studies included 'experimental physics, mathematics, mechanics, human physiology, zoology, botany and chemistry'. The 'requirements of the Civil Service' were 'constantly kept in view'. (fn. 185) These 'science schools' were for one social level what the military crammers were for another. The importance of preparation for public examinations not only transformed secondary schools, but created them. The Civil Service Department of Evening Classes, opened at King's College in 1875, disclosed a need for day classes not only preparing younger boys for these examinations but also giving them a general education. These King's College Civil Service Day Classes developed into a secondary school which in 1897 occupied the basement rooms vacated when King's College School moved to Wimbledon. From 1900 this Strand School was recognized by the L.C.C. and further broadened its curriculum. In 1913 it moved to Brixton. (fn. 186)
Towards the end of the century a new demand produced a similar amalgam of secondary and technical education in Middlesex. In 1880 G. E. Clark founded a 'college' in Southgate Road to give secretarial and general education. Its immediate success was due largely to its results in the Civil Service examinations. Further branches, including one in Wood Green, were opened. By 1949 this branch of Clark's College had more than a hundred students who received a general education, preliminary training for careers in business and the professions, and a general commercial training designed to meet the needs of large firms. (fn. 187) Middlesex quickly produced a crop of secretarial colleges suited to different grades of society and employment. In 1893, for example, the Mayfair Secretarial College for Gentlewomen was founded in Duke Street. (fn. 188)
During these important years before the emergence of the state system secondary education in the Middlesex suburbs was being shaped by these external demands. As a business enterprise operating in a complex market and as a skill and a vocation, it was subject to equally powerful economic and professional pressures from within.
No useful estimate of the considerable amount of private capital invested in education in the Middlesex suburbs can be made. In 1895 it was estimated before the Bryce Commissioners that over the whole country each private school required on establishment an average capital outlay of £2,817 (girls' schools £1,831, boys' £3,603). The witness, Miss S. A. Olney, herself owner of a private school in Hampstead, in making this inquiry had visited a large number of girls' schools including some at Stamford Hill, Stroud Green, Tollington, Tottenham, Enfield, Hampstead, and Ealing. By this period more ambitious ventures probably had a better chance of success than the more cautious. The Commissioners found that since 1868 the number of private schools had greatly decreased, but it was the smaller and especially day schools which had tended to go out of business. Day schools, if properly run, were rarely remunerative, but private boarding-schools 'when placed in a good district' could 'generally command good support'. (fn. 189) Middlesex continued to be a district of this kind, and most schoolkeepers advertising for schools still preferred the suburbs. (fn. 190) Investment was hazardous, (fn. 191) and the fortunes of a few schools show that the picture was complex. Tollington Park College was bought in 1879 by W. Brown, a former elementary schoolmaster with experience in teacher-training and inspection. He had no experience of secondary education, but showed a remarkable flair as a businessman and headmaster. His school grew from eighty to four hundred by 1893. In 1902 a branch was built at Muswell Hill and within eighteen months this had developed into a school of a 'thoroughly secondary character' with 225 boys. Brown astutely recognized the local need for schools emphasizing language and science teaching. He took boys from seven to about sixteen and charged an average fee of £11 5s. The Board of Education's Inspector early recommended both schools for recognition as in the absence of endowed schools in those parts of the suburbs they were 'supplying a great want'. (fn. 192) A less successful and perhaps more typical venture was Henley House School, Kilburn, bought by J. V. Milne in 1878 when he was unexpectedly lent £100. The school was accommodated in two houses knocked into one and grew to contain about fifty boys. The usual course of English subjects, mathematics, languages, physics, with freehand-, model-, and mechanicaldrawing, and land-surveying were offered. It prepared for the universities, professional examinations, and matriculation. The school provided a family home and a livelihood until the 1890s, when the neighbourhood began to 'go down', and Milne, convinced that only the preparatory school for boys under fourteen had a future, sold out. (fn. 193)
The economics of these smaller boarding-schools were domestic rather than institutional. College House School, in a large rambling house next to the Bell Inn at Edmonton, was a paying proposition from some time before 1850 until 1887. In 1851 it was in the hands of D. H. White, a returned missionary, and was well enough established to attract City parents looking for a healthy country school. In about 1873 this master was succeeded by a younger brother, C. F. H. White. In his time the school contained about fifty boys, mostly from City and suburban middle-class homes. There were four resident masters, visiting masters, and an inside domestic staff of eleven, as well as the estate servants. The school brought only modest financial returns, but gave its owner a secure social position locally and a family home, as well as the 'hidden income' from providing schooling for his four sons and enabling him also to educate his daughters by 'exchanging children' with other boarding-school keepers. After the railway was carried through the school grounds the amenities of the neighbourhood were destroyed and in 1887 White moved his school to Eastbourne where it survived as a family business until 1935. (fn. 194)
Other schools in the same district were also destroyed by the coming of railways. Solomon's Jewish School and Hyde Side Academy also in Edmonton and Clarke's school at Enfield, for example, suffered from this development. (fn. 195) In these northern suburbs the railways altered the rural character of districts long considered as healthy pleasure resorts by citizens, while in western and riverside suburbs easy transport drove up the price of suitable property. In 1861 Mount Pleasant House Boarding School at Sunbury advertised its 'beautiful and healthful situation' and the 'buses from Piccadilly and trains to Hampton Court'. (fn. 196) Moreover, as a business enterprise, education in this county stimulated demands which it was increasingly expensive to meet. In 1831 Mr. Softley of Manor House Academy, Upper Holloway, advertised that he had expended £2,000 on improving 'this delightful situation'. (fn. 197) Tottenham School in 1879 advertised its grounds and playing fields, new swimming-bath, covered fives court, warm baths 'for winter use', specially built bedrooms, class-rooms and senior studies, work-shops, laboratories, library, 'new and complete' sanitary arrangements, and separate infirmary. (fn. 198) The coming of gas-lighting, piped water, and water-closets necessitated a heavy capital outlay for enterprises which relied on using old property left vacant by outward suburban movement.
Success in ventures of this kind rested precariously on the health of the owner. In 1882 a 'superior middle-class day school for boys' in north-west London, established for over forty years, was offered for £150, including the lease of house and schoolrooms accommodating one hundred pupils, goodwill, gas-fittings, and school furniture. The numbers had declined during the ill-health of the late principal, but the school would readily become 'by far the largest and most important in the neighbourhood, which contains no other school of the same class'. Retirement was another problem and even a good sale produced little enough when a new home had to be found. In 1882, when the 'present lady principals were retiring', £400 was asked for the goodwill of a boarding and day school for girls in north London, established for twenty years. Furniture was offered 'at valuation', and the 24-roomed house and playground was leased for £180 a year. Gross receipts from the 16 boarders and fifty to sixty day pupils were said to be £1,500 a year. The only advertisement that had ever been needed for the school was its list of successes in the College of Preceptors' examinations published in the Educational Times.
Advertisements also show the desperate need for assistance from a partner involved in the success of the school. In 1882 a half share in a girls' boarding and day school, which also took little boys, in the eastern suburbs was offered for £100 to a 'gentleman, Church of England, who would share the work and introduce pupils'. In north London a half-share partnership for £250 was offered in a day school for girls whose principal was 'desirous of meeting with a lady of ability, to assist in the management'. (fn. 199)
It was in fact the difficulty of paying skilled assistants adequately which was eventually to destroy education as a private business enterprise. A writer in 1868 described the difficulties of a 'middle-class schoolmaster' who had sunk his capital in a school in the inner suburbs. Accommodation here was difficult since small houses had inadequate rooms, and large ones were often in poor repair. Children in such a district tended to be 'birds of passage'. Competition from the 'public schools' was severe, and just when parents were showing a tendency to pay for better instruction 'comes in the Revd. Mr. Rogers with his cheap schools'. This master survived his difficulties when the school was under his sole charge, but as it grew larger it also decreased in efficiency since he could not afford an assistant on the fees which parents would pay. (fn. 200)
Educational as well as economic pressures were towards larger schools, and the older kind of school, concentrating on classics with visiting masters for extra subjects, was becoming an anachronism. Parents were coming to expect an effective general education at an inclusive fee. Both principal and assistants needed qualifications and skill in teaching a range of subjects up to the standards demanded by the various external examinations, and, as schools grew larger and standards rose, specialization of staff increased. To facilitate this kind of teaching, schools were gradually divided, either by age, ability or progress, into groups of pupils of much the same level of attainment, the elementary 'standards' becoming 'forms' at secondary level. This change was made more necessary by prevailing social philosophy which advocated the replacement of punishment by competition. In larger schools organized on these lines teachers could no longer regard their time as assistants as merely a period of training before opening their own schools. Adequate salaries and, eventually, pensions became necessary.
Middlesex schools illustrate all stages of this professional transformation. Samuel Kinns, principal of Highbury New Park Collegiate School, claimed to have collected between 1858 and 1879 a Ph.D., Membership of the College of Preceptors, and an F.R.A.S. as attractive qualifications, and added the cultural reassurance of lectures on Assyrian antiquities at the British Museum. He secured the headmaster of King's College School as examiner, and gave an imposing list of visiting staff, including the 'late tutor to the Prince of Orange' and Hafiz Sudrool Islam Khan Bahadoor for 'Hinostanee and Persian languages and other acquirements necessary for gentlemen proceeding to India'. Other visiting masters taught 'painting, drill, callisthenics, dancing and deportment'. At the base of this pyramid were 'two resident masters', apparently with no qualifications, who probably did a great deal of the work. (fn. 201) There were few attractions for ushers of this kind. Men with qualifications did not take such posts for longer than was necessary, (fn. 202) especially as private schools, in contrast to the public schools, drew some of their custom from parents who favoured the constant supervision which they exercised over their pupils. Many middle-class parents were not prepared to tolerate a system which left large numbers of boys of mixed ages to their own social devices, and while the public schools were still evolving a 'prefect system' which reformed, or at least formalized, abuses, the private schools gained custom. (fn. 203) Mr. Robson's Hyde Side Academy and Dr. Ireland's Elm House School, at Edmonton, were examples of schools which advertised this unceasing watch over their pupils. While the principal of a school had a financial interest in maintaining taboos, it placed an intolerable burden on ill-paid assistants, and further depressed their position. The third usher at College House, Edmonton, in the middle of the century was described as the 'drudge of the school', who remained with the pupils during play-times and holidays. He was an actor who had drifted down to teaching by 'strange by-ways of misfortune, perhaps of misconduct'. This type of school-mastering was the resort of failures or of men waiting for a better outlet for their abilities. (fn. 204) Middlesex had some remarkable schoolmasters of this kind. H. G. Wells taught for a time at Henley House, Kilburn, (fn. 205) and Vincent Van Gogh was an assistant at two impoverished little schools in Isleworth. (fn. 206)
The struggle to transform the teaching profession, although a national movement, centred on Middlesex and was to some extent directed and shaped by the particular pressures of suburban schooling. The London School Society, founded to oppose Brougham's threat of state interest in secondary education, opened a free register and agency for teachers in Oxford Street, but was chiefly concerned with the business security of its members. (fn. 207) After the College of Preceptors had moved to Bloomsbury in 1846 it was much influenced by Middlesex schools. For the first fifty years of its history the office of Dean of the College was held by Middlesex headmasters. These were Dr. Richard Wilson of St. Peter's Proprietary School, Dr. Jacob of Christ's Hospital, A. R. Isbister, headmaster in turn of the East Islington Proprietary School, the Jew's College, and the Stationers' School, and H. W. Eve, of University College School. This was more than a geographical accident, for all these men had experience of the element of social and vocational urgency in education, so characteristic of this county. (fn. 208) The policy of the College reflected the problems of building a new kind of secondary education in a hurry on the insecure foundations of schooling as a business enterprise. Its first aim was to 'distinguish good teachers from bad', but from the outset it was necessary to accept established school-keepers as members without a qualifying examination, (fn. 209) and when the examination of schools was proposed by John Paxton Hall, headmaster of Oxford House School, Chelsea, pressure was again towards a minimum qualification. The low standard of these first 'middle-class examinations' enabled them to be taken by the average private school. (fn. 210) Examination fees were an important factor in the survival of the College, and so was its new headquarters built in Bloomsbury Square between 1885 and 1887 largely with the funds thus provided. (fn. 211)
Through its Licentiate and Fellowship examinations the College had from the outset made a contribution to teacher training. (fn. 212) Lectures and discussions for the exchange of ideas and experience were also held at headquarters from early days. Dr. Schaible, L.C.P., who kept a school on Haverstock Hill, had, for example, lectured on the teaching of modern languages. (fn. 213) In 1871 a lectureship in Education was founded, and converted two years later into the first professorship of education in the country. Attendance at Professor Joseph Payne's lectures was encouraging, but an attempt to make this the first step towards the foundation of a training college for secondary teachers was a failure. (fn. 214) After the building of the new headquarters another attempt was made, and a few young men attended evening lectures and had practice in schools such as Tollington Park College. (fn. 215) There was not sufficient support for this scheme, nor for a similar attempt in 1895. Equally unsuccessful was the Finsbury Training College for Secondary Schoolmasters, established briefly in rooms provided by Canon Rogers, 'always a friend to the movement', in the Cowper Street Schools. Headmasters of endowed schools continued to consider a university degree sufficient guarantee of teaching ability, while privateschool owners perhaps could not risk inflating the value of their assistants. (fn. 216)
During this same period, in contrast to unsuccessful schemes for training male teachers, Middlesex supported several successful establishments for training women teachers. (fn. 217) The oldest recognized establishment was the Home and Colonial Society's Institution and practising school, which began in Southampton Street and later moved to Highbury. This college for training infant teachers on Pestalozzian principles introduced about 1846 courses for 'middle-school mistresses'. The institution's training acquired a considerable reputation and Miss Buss encouraged her young staff to attend its courses. (fn. 218) The Teachers' Training and Registration Society's College, opened in 1878, provided training in Froebel principles. (fn. 219) The Froebel Education Institute was itself established in Fulham Road in 1895, (fn. 220) and about the same time Bedford College opened a department for training secondary school teachers under Miss Mary Thomas, a former pupil of Miss Buss. (fn. 221) The convent of the Holy Child, Cavendish Square, was opened as a college for Roman Catholic secondary school teachers in 1876 on the initiative of Cardinal Vaughan. (fn. 222) Headmistresses of high-schools sincerely supported training; there were still few university graduates to enter the profession; and there was not yet that degree of urgency in girls' secondary education which required that every pupil be fitted for the labour market. (fn. 223)
In 1897 the proportion of graduate men and women in schools in Middlesex outside the L.C.C. area was rather lower than in the country as a whole: (fn. 224)
For men it was the private schools which pulled down the county average, while for women it was only in endowed schools that the proportion of graduates was not consider ably lower than in the country as a whole. No figures are available for the proportion of teachers with some form of professional training in the various types of school, and information about individual schools is apt to be unrepresentative. In 1902 the staff of the Brondesbury and Kilburn High School (184 girls) consisted of the headmistress and five assistants, all holding the Cambridge Teachers' Certificate. Each member of the staff had an additional academic qualification also: either the Intermediate B.Sc. of London, London Matriculation, the Cambridge Higher Local, the National Froebel Union Certificate, or the LL.A., St. Andrews. Visiting staff also had appropriate qualifications. This, however, was the practising school of the Teachers' Training and Registration Society. (fn. 225) In 1907 the Muswell Hill branch of Tollington School (301 pupils) consisted of the headmaster, a Cambridge graduate and F.C.P., and ten assistants, whose academic and professional qualifications ranged from a B.A. and B.Sc. (London) to London Matriculation and 'part of the Associateship of the College of Preceptors'. (fn. 226) In both these schools the Board's Inspector considered that salaries were inadequate to attract properly trained staff, but that it would be unwise to raise the fees, which were lower than the estimated cost of efficient secondary education in these areas. Education as a business enterprise had finally come into conflict with education as a profession.
Educational considerations were not altogether ignored in this struggle between financial and professional vested interests. The Middlesex schoolmasters who guided the College of Preceptors, Miss Buss and other pioneers of women's education, valued professional standards more than private profits, and so did many of those engaged in the business of education in the county. C. H. Lake, one of the founders of the Teachers' Guild, from the age of sixteen taught in turn every class at Oxford House School, Chelsea, eventually succeeding J. P. Hall as headmaster. Under Lake it was a considerable school of 120 boys and ten masters, preparing for the public schools and 'business and mercantile pursuits'. Lake qualified himself by taking the diploma of the College of Preceptors and then a London degree, and devoted himself to the advancement and unification of his profession. He was on the committee of the Scholastic Registration Association, and one of the supporters of the Teachers' Association, which attempted to 'draw together all the teaching power of the country'. By 1880 many of the leaders of the National Union of Elementary Teachers were among its 800 members. As a member of the Council of the College of Preceptors, Lake proposed that in the teachers' examinations the theory and practice of education should be given a scientific basis. He contributed articles on the 'science of education' to Mind, and he strongly advocated the need for professional training and registration. In 1875 he convened a meeting which led to the establishment of the Education Society, a learned body rather than a professional association. (fn. 227) From this, with the support of the London Associations of Headmistresses and Schoolmistresses and the more liberal-minded of the endowed and public schoolmasters, grew the Teachers' Guild, formed in 1884, which advocated a scientific approach to the study of education and concerned itself with such professional matters as proper training, registration of teachers, and the provision of pensions. It founded a non-profit-making employment agency and an 'educational museum' of books, equipment, and illustrations in Gower Street, and published The Teachers Guild Quarterly for the exchange of ideas and experience. This Guild, later known as the Education Guild, continued to promote professional unity between secondary and elementary teachers until its final dissolution in 1929. (fn. 228)
By 1895 private enterprise could claim to have created a system of secondary education. (fn. 229) Private schools had now to adapt themselves to the growth of voluntary and provided education, to the reshaping of the endowed schools, (fn. 230) and, in the early 20th century, to the new maintained secondary schools. Progress towards an integrated system during the 19th century is revealed by the series of official educational surveys which followed the earliest systematic assessment, made for the Charity Commissioners in 1833-5. (fn. 231)
The educational census conducted by Horace Mann in 1851 (fn. 232) revealed that out of 3,427 schools in Middlesex 2,655 were private establishments. These figures were, however, deceptive since private schools catered for only 62,149 children out of a total school attendance for the county of 200,257. Nevertheless the number of private schools in Middlesex, although subject to considerable fluctuation, had increased greatly since 1800:
|Private and Public Schools in Middlesex 1801-51|
|Private Schools||Public Schools|
|Established before 1801||56||143|
Josiah Wilkinson's survey of three Middlesex poor law unions for the Newcastle Commissioners in 1861 (fn. 233) exposed some curiously diverse opinions on the interaction of public and private elementary schools. Some school-keepers claimed that children came to them from the public schools because of bad teaching, or wasting time on 'clapping hands and singing'. Others, varying from 'an intelligent and capable master' with a large boys' school in a 'dirty building' to a mistress 'bred to the profession' with 'a nice school, nicely kept', considered their numbers much reduced by the 'government schools'. Others considered that where public schools were established 'they create such an appetite for education in the neighbourhood as more than compensates for the number they take from the private schools'.
Fearon's survey for the Taunton Commissioners seven years later emphasized the social rather than the educational facets of private provision. As one of the Inspectors obliged to administer the Revised Code, Fearon was more sensitive to the stunting of those forms of secondary education thrown up by the growth of elementary schools than to any connexion which might have developed or might be encouraged between private and other types of schooling. (fn. 234) Mid-century legislation also tended to emphasize competition rather than integration. The suggestion of the Newcastle report that suitable private school-keepers should be eligible to sit for the Government examinations, and with it a possibility of drawing together two sectors of the profession at least at elementary level, came to nothing. (fn. 235) The recommendations from Dr. Frederick Temple, formerly principal of Kneller Hall Training College, Twickenham, and the Revd. W. J. Unwin of Homerton Training College (which had practising schools in Dalston), that parents should be encouraged to take an active part in the management of their children's schools, were also ignored. (fn. 236) Parental interest was largely confined to choosing schools for their children, frequently on social rather than educational grounds. During this period, when the Revised Code was depressing the position of public schools and teachers, private schools worked as an organic part of the education system, distorting the attitude of both parents and teachers. (fn. 237) After the Act of 1869 the endowed schools were drawn into the arena of competition and obliged to show results in examination successes. (fn. 238) At the same time the School Boards began their work, and in a remarkably short time the more enterprising reached and crossed the boundary between elementary and secondary education: schools such as the 'Organized Science School' at Finchley in 1877 were bitterly resented as providing a 'secondary education for nothing'. (fn. 239) In 1878 the headmaster of the North London Collegiate School warned middleclass schools of this danger and challenge. In an area so thickly congested with expedient and enterprise there were several possible points where connexions between public and private systems might have developed. There was some contact between elementary and private schools. Tollington Park College, for example, took pupils from the VIIth standard, but although they were 'thoroughly well taught', their lack of subjects such as botany and French was a disadvantage, owing to the way in which the Revised Code was administered. (fn. 240) When in 1891 the London School Board drew up a schedule of secondary schools to which pupils from its elementary schools might proceed, some kind of proprietary status was required. The list included the Philological School, the proprietary schools in Islington and Kensington, the Maria Grey Girls' School, then in Fitzroy Square, the Cowper Street Middle Class Schools, King's College School, and St. Mark's College Schools, Chelsea. (fn. 241) At this same period, however, Sidney Webb and W. Garnett, Chairman and Secretary of the Technical Education Board of the L.C.C., complained before the Bryce Commissioners of the shortage of secondary schools to which scholarship holders might be sent. They had to send boys a long way-from Shepherd's Bush to the Regent Street Polytechnic, for example-and while there were a number of good proprietary schools for girls, their use was prohibited by the Technical Instruction Acts 'when the school is conducted for private profit'. The only 'higher grade board schools' at which these scholarships were tenable in Middlesex were the Boutcher and Raines Foundation Schools, both old charities, and St. Thomas Charterhouse School, a product of Rogers's parochial enterprise. Private school-keepers complained before the Bryce Commission of this injustice. The London School Board certainly interpreted the word 'proprietary' rather differently and the Technical Board's departmental opinion had not been tested in the Courts. (fn. 242)
During this period some Middlesex private schools, for example Byron House, Ealing Grammar School, Worcester House College (Hackney), Highbury Hill High School, Fortress Road High School and Hillmartin College (both in Kentish Town), Islington High School, and Hornsey Grammar School, were examined free of charge by the Department of Science and Art, having complied with the necessary conditions. 'No payments or prizes were claimable' for pupils' successes, however, and the Department considered that if this use 'grew largely' it would be unable to undertake the examining of private schools, (fn. 243) which on their part found the conditions 'irksome'. Another possible contact between the private and experimental forms of secondary school was in classes for pupil teachers. St. Aloysius Convent School in St. Pancras began such classes in 1893, (fn. 244) but schools of religious orders were in a special position and in general the social cleavages of the teaching profession prevented useful developments of this sort. (fn. 245)
In these ways several promising points of contact were nullified by official or social attitudes. It is not surprising that Llewellyn Smith in his survey of urban and suburban education for Charles Booth in 1890 said that there was nothing which could be described as an 'organized system' of secondary schools, 'but a considerable number of endowed schools are scattered irregularly over the Metropolitan area, and the gap partly filled by "proprietary" schools managed by Joint Stock Companies, partly by private adventure schools'. He defined secondary education not in relation to other branches of education or to the pupils' development, but socially. 'At present', he said, 'secondary schools mean schools in which the children of clerks, tradesmen, managers, manufacturers, and professional men receive their education'. This was not a 'fundamental definition, being merely an accident of the existing distribution of wealth'. Proprietary schools were some link between public and private schools, 'where the youth of a large though decreasing section of the middle class receive such education as they have', were very numerous and many of them were 'mushroom growths'. (fn. 246)
The only reasonably complete and reliable survey of educational provision at the end of Victoria's reign, made in 1897 for the Committee of the Council on Education, recognized that the subject was 'exceedingly obscure', especially the difficult borderline between the public, private, and proprietary schools. The thoroughness with which the problem was approached underlines the concern in official circles for throwing light upon this dark subject. (fn. 247)
The Bryce Report concluded that 'the ground of Secondary Education is . . . already almost covered with buildings so substantial that the loss to be incurred in clearing it for the erection of a new or symmetrical pile cannot be contemplated'. (fn. 248) No survey of Middlesex schooling was made for these Commissioners, but they summoned a number of witnesses from the county, which also provided witnesses from a number of educational organizations. These included the Headmasters' Association, the Association of Headmistresses, the Assistant Mistresses, the College of Preceptors, the Private Schools' Association, the Teachers' Training and Registration Society, and the Teachers' Guild. (fn. 249) Witnesses for all these bodies, in their different ways, and other witnesses also, upheld the right of private schools to be considered as part of the 'general scheme' (fn. 250) of secondary education, wished to avoid 'factious or sectarian' competition, (fn. 251) and advocated systems of inspection and registration which would enable such schools to be linked with the projected state system. Divergences of view were serious, however, especially on methods of inspection, on the powers of the proposed central and local educational authorities, and above all on the possibility of uniting secondary and ele mentary teachers on one register. (fn. 252) Equally significant was the difference in the views of two expert witnesses, both concerned with standards, and both with particular knowledge of Middlesex schooling. Dr. Temple, then Bishop of London, considered that private schools had greatly increased in their 'chance of stability as educational institutions', in their quality and the attainments of their teachers, and in their claim to be considered a 'branch of the educational appliances of a district'. Proprietary schools, which had 'more of an element of a public character', had increased and were doing good work. While speaking with caution of the possibility of private schools doing 'the whole job' if it 'is to be as good as the country should obtain', Dr. Temple wished that 'private schools, conducted by duly-qualified teachers, in suitable buildings, with an adequate staff and with the necessary apparatus and appliances for teaching, should be recognized as efficient; and that due precaution should be taken against injuriously affecting their interests'. Scholarships should be held at such schools. (fn. 253) In contrast was Fearon's uncompromising rejection of the private schools' claim. They were 'here today and gone tomorrow', and worse, they 'may be here good today and here bad tomorrow'. Private schools sending in candidates for scholarships should have no other gain but that of reputation. (fn. 254)
Fearon represented the point of view which triumphed both in the legislation of 1899 and 1902 and which was subsequently responsible for modelling the new maintained secondary schools on the revived endowed schools, which themselves followed the public school pattern. The problem of creating a genuine process of education from the adverse elements of entrenched grammar schools and socially depressed primary schools was thus bequeathed to the 20th century. The alternatives put forward before the Bryce Commission, so strongly coloured with suburban educational experience, might have preserved or encouraged some coherence at secondary level and provided for professional participation in administration. These plans were defeated by internal divisions, lack of prestige, and the element of private financial interest which discredited otherwise respectable arguments. Almost every contradictory argument advanced before the Bryce Commissioners and at the Cambridge Conference on Secondary Education in 1896 could be supported by evidence from the metropolitan area. This relaxed the moral tension of the debate, and with it any articulation of secondary education which had resulted from the process of growth and development. (fn. 255) The way was left clear for vested scholastic interests, more acceptable and less obvious than those of business enterprise. (fn. 256)
The private schools had not waited for their defeat to be embodied in legislation and administrative practice. Already in the last decade of the century, Middlesex provided the locus, experience, and opportunity for the organization of private schools as a separate vested interest and for the completion of their rival system of schooling by the speeding up of a gradual process of educational adaptation. It was in this county that the Private Schools' Association and the Preparatory Schools' Association were formed.
The struggle over the registration of teachers destroyed the confidence of many school-keepers in the policy of the College of Preceptors. The Private Schools' Association was formed to 'unite the members in a common bond, to protect the interests of the profession, and to hold periodic meetings in London and elsewhere for the discussion of educational topics, more especially such as relate to the position of the private school-master'. Membership grew slowly at first, more rapidly at the time of the College of Preceptors' Teachers' Registration Bill in 1890 and the rival measure supported by the Teachers' Guild. Before the Select Committee to examine these Bills, the Private Schools' Association presented an uncompromising case for separate registers for elementary and secondary teachers. (fn. 257) W. Brown of Tollington Park College summed up the Association's policy in his presidential address of 1896: 'We must press on the registration of teachers, and then we can entrench ourselves behind it'. (fn. 258)
The ingredients of a system of preparatory schools had long been present in the suburbs and by the later 19th century both social developments and the needs of other stages of education produced schools conscious enough of their own special characteristics to form the Preparatory Schools' Association in 1893. (fn. 259) Before this the characteristic school had combined the functions of preparing for the public schools, the professions, and the universities. (fn. 260) The age of entry to the public schools, however, rose steadily as did the standard required at entry. Canon Rogers, born in Bloomsbury in 1819, was sent to a 'preparatory school' kept by a Frenchman at Tavistock House, not because its instruction was particularly efficient or even suited to this purpose, but because Rogers was not to enter Eton until he was eleven whereas his father had gone at six. Arnold preferred not to take boys before they were twelve or thirteen and the first strictly preparatory school was said to have been kept by one of his friends. (fn. 261) Numbers of these schools were developing in Middlesex and even in the mid-19th century in a large number of private schools, such as Burlington House at Isleworth, attended by R. L. Stevenson for a short time, the number of 'small fry' far exceeded that of the 'middling size' and 'big boys'. (fn. 262) In 1879 Chase Side, Enfield, founded in 1858, was advertised as 'Preparatory for the Public Schools', with no mention of other functions. (fn. 263) In 1855 Miss Innes opened her school in Highbury Park to prepare boys under twelve for the public schools, such as 'Islington Proprietary School'. (fn. 264) Upper Holloway Preparatory School was kept in 1872 by Mrs. Ward for boys between six and thirteen for the same purpose. (fn. 265) In 1879 at the St. John's Wood Preparatory School for the Sons of Gentlemen at Gloucester Gate, Regents Park, the 'divisions of the terms correspond to Eton and Harrow'. It had a kindergarten for boys under seven. (fn. 266) Already there was a tendency to consider that only schools for very small boys should be kept by women. Stanfield House, Hampstead, in 1879 had an 'elementary class, under the superintendence of a lady'. (fn. 267) Hampstead was a favourite district for such schools. As early as the 1860's 'two or three preparatory schools for boys divided the field'. One opened in 1860 at West View and in 1872 still prepared for 'professional life' as well as the public schools. In 1876 it moved to Heath Mount, still under Mr. Goldsmith, who had been a public schoolmaster. By 1879 it prepared for the public schools alone, teaching classics, mathematics, and French. (fn. 268) As might be expected, the Harrow neighbourhood also developed the system quickly. In 1872 Miss Sheppard had a school for boys 'previous to their entering the preparatory schools', the Revd. C. H. Tandy at Harrow-on-theHill Preparatory School helped boys to gain a 'good position' at entrance to Harrow and other public schools, and at Pinner Mrs. Martin had a school preparing for 'Eton, Harrow, Rugby, and the London Public Schools'. By 1879 this last school was under a master, W. J. Jervis, a Cambridge graduate, and there were two more preparatory schools in Harrow, one kept by a clergyman for 'little boys' and giving special attention to modern languages. (fn. 269)
At the time of the Bryce Enquiry the position was still to some extent fluid. Dr. Temple suggested that preparatory schools should be provided from public funds as they were often either inadequate or too expensive. The headmaster of Owen's School, Islington, considered that 'private preparatory schools under ladies' for very little boys would 'always hold their place' as they were 'the proper people' to teach them, and parents preferred not to use the elementary schools. An alternative was to put them 'in a preparatory division in connexion with the second grade schools', taught by women. Both systems might continue as the demand was great. (fn. 270)
The establishment of the Preparatory Schools' Association in 1892 rapidly helped to give coherence of aim and policy. By 1900 competition had done its work, 'no eligible spot remains unoccupied', and the supply of boys was said to be running out. (fn. 271) The relation between these schools and the rest of the educational system had important consequences, especially in a district such as Middlesex. Sir Michael Sadler considered that the tuition in preparatory schools was of a secondary nature, illustrating their degree of subject specialization by the time-table of Heddon Court, Rosslyn Hill. Children from state schools could rarely compete against boys already well advanced in academic subjects, especially languages. (fn. 272) Private education had responded to exclusion from any contact with the new system of maintained secondary schools by providing an enclosed system of its own, attaching it to the most firmly established sector of independent education, the public schools.