A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 8, the City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.
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PUBLIC EDUCATION (fn. 1)
The earliest elementary schools in Coventry were charitable foundations, founded from the end of the 17th century onwards: Baker, Billing and Crow's, the Blue Coat School, Katherine Bayley's, Southern and Craner's, and Fairfax's School were all established as the result of charitable endowments. Southern and Craner's charity for Quaker children later became attached to the Vicar Lane British School for girls. (fn. 2) In Allesley, by a trust deed of 1705, Martha Flint gave a cottage and croft and Richard Eburne an annuity of £6 for the maintenance of a schoolmaster to instruct poor children in the catechism and the principles of religion, and to teach them to read English, to write, and to cast accounts. (fn. 3) A deed perpetuating the trusts was made in 1812, when the rector became one of the trustees and it was said that a schoolroom had recently been built. (fn. 4) At Foleshill a schoolhouse was built in 1750 by the vicar, partly on the churchyard and partly on the site of two old tenements formerly used for charitable purposes. (fn. 5) Further property was put in trust for the education of poor boys by deeds of 1769, 1794 and 1816, and in 1815 a schoolroom for a hundred boys, which was also to be used as a Sunday school, was added. (fn. 6) A Stoke Charity School Committee was in existence by 1818, when it joined the Coventry Archdeaconry School Society. (fn. 7)
A growing interest in education in the late 18th century gave rise to the movement to provide Sunday schools for poor children. In Coventry a committee which included members of all denominations was formed in 1785 and in spite of financial difficulties several schools were opened in rented rooms. After some years the various congregations undertook the provision of the schools and new buildings, the first of which was the Hill Street school built in 1799 by West Orchard Congregational chapel, were erected in association with churches and chapels. (fn. 8)
In 1838 there were fifteen Sunday schools in Coventry, nine in Foleshill and one each in Radford, Keresley, Stoke, and Sowe; the total attendance at these schools was more than 3,500, of whom 3,000 attended schools managed by dissenters. (fn. 9)
Of the two national societies founded in the early 19th century to put into practice the teaching methods advocated by Lancaster and Bell, the first to open a school in Coventry was the undenominational British Society. Its Lancasterian Free School was established in 1811 in a rented building near St. John's Bridges called 'the Riding School'. (fn. 10) There were on the books 158 children in eight classes in 1815, and 260 children in 1830, the boys paying 1d. a week in 1822. (fn. 11)
A Coventry Archdeaconry School Society was formed and united with the National Society in 1813 and a school was opened in leased premises in Little Park Street. (fn. 12) In 1819 130 boys and 80 girls were said to attend the school. (fn. 13) In 1826 it was said that for many years the school, especially the boys' class, had been so overcrowded that it could not properly be carried on. (fn. 14) A new building, called the Central National School, in Greyfriars churchyard in Union Street, was opened in 1826. (fn. 15) The building was in the Elizabethan style, the schoolrooms standing on arches with playgrounds beneath, and consisted of boys' and girls' rooms on each side of a master's house, accommodating 240 boys and 240 girls. (fn. 16)
Foleshill School joined the National Society in 1817 and with its help built another room to accommodate 120 girls in 1822. (fn. 17) A school was established in Walsgrave-on-Sowe by 1821, and it was thought that the schoolroom built there in 1836 was provided with the help of the National Society. (fn. 18) About 1826, only a few years after the first National and British schools, the first Roman Catholic school was established in a room built in the yard of St. Osburg's Church in Hill Street. (fn. 19)
As a result of the beginning of parliamentary grants to the schools of educational societies in 1833 and the widening of their scope when the Special Committee of the Privy Council was set up in 1839, National schools began to be more widely established on a parochial basis. The Stoke school committee, which had joined the National Society in 1831 and unsuccessfully sought its assistance in building a schoolroom in 1832, opened a school in 1833, and erected a building to accommodate 133 children with the aid of grants from the National Society and the government in 1840-1. (fn. 20) At St. John's, where a Sunday school for boys and a day and Sunday school for 50 girls had been held in 'an inadequate rented schoolroom', a new school in Holyhead Road was built with the aid of grants in 1839. It consisted of a large room divided by a partition into boys' and girls' schools, and a house for one of the two teachers; there was accommodation for 140 boys and 100 girls. (fn. 21) St. Peter's School was built in the same way in 1844, and it received other grants for enlargements between 1847 and 1857; assistance was also received in 1848 from Betton's Charity. (fn. 22) In 1847 there was accommodation at St. Peter's for 254 children and an ordinary attendance of 100 boys and 40 girls. (fn. 23) It was said in 1850 that although the school had been established on the outskirts of the town among a very poor population and local subscriptions were small its condition was very satisfactory. (fn. 24) At Westwood and Binley Church of England schools were established by private efforts; that at Westwood was opened in 1838 in a converted house owned by Lord Leigh, (fn. 25) and that at Binley was built in 1839 by the Earl of Craven. (fn. 26)
The British Society also took advantage of the grants to open a girls' school in 1833 in a room attached to the Independent chapel in Vicar Lane. This was also attended by the pupils of Southern and Craner's Charity, which later became known as the Friends' Gift. (fn. 27) Thereafter the Lancasterian School became a boys' school and a new building for it was erected in King Street, also with the aid of a grant, in 1840. (fn. 28)
The report of the Hand-loom Weavers' Commission gives a comprehensive and detailed account of both public and private schools in the Coventry district in 1838. (fn. 29) There were seven endowed schools including the Bablake School and the Free Grammar School, the latter being said to be 'appropriated to the education of the middle and upper classes'. In addition to the unendowed public schools mentioned above, there were five infant schools, one of them in Sowe. Thomas Street Infants' School had been built in his garden by J. Cash, the Quaker industrialist, in 1835, and first received an annual state grant in 1872. (fn. 30) There was also a large number of private or dame schools, 75 of them in central Coventry, one in Radford, two in Keresley, two in Stoke, eighteen in Foleshill and three in Sowe; by far the largest was the day and Sunday school at Potters Green in Sowe, which had an average attendance of 160 children. Two hundred and thirtytwo children were attending the endowed schools in Coventry. The attendance at the unendowed public schools in Coventry and Radford was 1,118, in Stoke 50, in Foleshill 103, and in Sowe 75; and at the private and dame schools, 1,629 in Coventry, Radford, and Keresley, 30 in Stoke, 296 in Foleshill and 180 in Sowe. (fn. 31)
In the 1840s differences in Coventry between dissenters and Anglicans over state schools perhaps had a delaying effect on the spread of education in the city. (fn. 32) In 1847 it was alleged that there were 4,000 Coventry children attending no school at all, while of those attending many did so so irregularly that they did not advance far. (fn. 33) However by 1851 there were 2,805 children at 58 day schools in Coventry, of which 17 were public and 41 private, and 3,913 pupils at 21 Sunday schools. In Foleshill there were 1,358 children at 23 day schools, of which 15 were public and 8 private, and 2,074 children at 26 Sunday schools. (fn. 34)
A further attempt to provide educational facilities for the children of the poorest families was made in these years by the 'ragged schools' movement. The first such school, attended by 21 children, was held in 1847. (fn. 35) By 1874-5 there were permanent buildings at St. Nicholas Place, where an undenominational day school had been built with the aid of a state grant in 1842, at New Buildings, and at Spon End. (fn. 36) In 1897 565 children and 84 teachers were enrolled with Coventry ragged schools. (fn. 37)
In the years before 1870 there was a steady increase in the scale of state aid to elementary schools and of the inspection which accompanied it. Support for the Central National School declined after St. John's and St. Peter's schools were built and the school fell into debt and disrepair. Because the master's house was not detached from the schoolrooms the Committee of the Council would offer only conditional assistance. The school was closed in 1853 and attempts to reopen it or to transfer it to one of the parishes failed. It was used for a time as a girls' evening school, but in 1857 the buildings were offered for lease and in 1867 were being used by a coach builder. (fn. 38)
The energies and resources of the Established Church were turned again to parochial schools. Holy Trinity School, later thought to be the largest parish school in the county, was built in 1853-4 with the aid of grants from the state and the National Society. Opened in 1854, it consisted of boys' and girls' schools, and a large infants' schoolroom and it accommodated in all 863 children. There was a room for adults and evening classes above, which was then sometimes used for divine service on Sundays, and there were two teachers' houses. The school, at the junction of Hales Street and Ford Street, was stone-built, some of the stones being from the former city wall. The architect was James Murray and the style was described as 'of the latter part of the thirteenth century but treated with considerable taste in the execution of details'. (fn. 39)
From 1848 onwards, and especially after the closing of the Central School became imminent, the Vicar of St. Michael's with the assistance of the National Society opened a number of schoolrooms in the parish in temporary premises; these included a room in the 'Rose and Crown' yard, High Street, a converted shop in Gosford Street, and a building in Greyfriars Lane which may have been used as a Church of England Infants' school since 1831. (fn. 40) At this time the vicar said 'the interest taken in the education of the working classes is not great; it has hitherto been deplorably chilling'. In 1854-5 a new building, with four rooms and two teachers' houses, in the Early English style, was erected in Much Park Street designed by James Murray. (fn. 41) A number of branch schools, however, continued to be used. There was a branch boys' school until at least 1857, (fn. 42) and a school in Red Lane, called after 1862 St. Mary's, received annual state grants between 1858 and 1861. (fn. 43) In 1869 a branch school, confusingly known as Greyfriars Lane School, was opened in the old Central National School buildings in Union Street. (fn. 44)
Hawkesbury School in Walsgrave-on-Sowe was built in 1860 as part of Hawkesbury mission church; the building had corrugated iron walls and a slate roof, and a curtain separated the school from the church. (fn. 45) In 1862 a new schoolroom was built with the aid of a grant from the National Society. (fn. 46) Stoke School received a small grant for improvements in 1858 and thereafter an annual state grant, and the site of the old workhouse there was bought for the school in 1860. (fn. 47) It was intended to build a new school at Westwood in 1853, but instead the old school was roofed and repaired in 1854, and new windows were put in in 1856. (fn. 48)
A day school was established at the Congregational chapel in West Orchard in 1846 and a new schoolroom was built as part of an extension in 1854, but it did not receive annual state grants until 1872. (fn. 49) Radford School, which was built in 1863-4 by a Quaker for use as a Sunday school and day school, and for services, received an annual grant from 1865. (fn. 50) St. Osburg's R.C. School, which had been enlarged between 1841 and 1846, (fn. 51) received its first grants in 1858 and a new building was erected for the girls' schoolroom in 1860-1. (fn. 52) St. Mary's R.C. School was opened at about the same time, and an annual grant was given after a schoolroom was built in 1862. Until shortly after the First World War the school buildings were attached to, and the school run by, a convent of the Sisters of Mercy. (fn. 53)
St. John's School experienced the difficulties as well as the benefits of the grants system. It was described by an inspector in 1847 as being in an unsatisfactory state and the master as untrained and unsalaried, and was not receiving an annual grant in 1865. (fn. 54)
As a result of the Education Act of 1870 elected school boards were set up for Coventry, Foleshill, and Stoke. Holy Trinity Without and St. Michaels Without, in which districts Radford was the only school, were supervised by a Coventry Union Attendance Committee; there were also school attendance committees (in Foleshill Union) for Binley, Walsgrave-on-Sowe, Willenhall, and Wyken. (fn. 55)
Coventry Board's first schools were in the leased premises of the ragged schools in Spon Street and St. Nicholas Place, and in a building in Bishop Street. (fn. 56) The Spon Street premises remained in use as classrooms until about 1880. The new Spon Street School, accommodating 766 boys, girls and infants, was opened in 1873, (fn. 57) and South Street School, accommodating 530 children, was opened in 1874. (fn. 58) South Street was enlarged three times before 1900, and at Spon Street a building for 320 juniors was added in 1891. (fn. 59) In 1893 a new board school was opened in Wheatley Street; the cost and quality of the school building were the subject of much local criticism, but when completed the school was regarded as a showpiece of its kind. The average attendance in the first three months of its existence was 447 boys, 420 girls and 361 infants. (fn. 60) A school in Red Lane, accommodating 252 children and 182 infants was built in 1895 and enlarged in 1898. (fn. 61) Foleshill School Board opened Edgewick School in 1876 and Foxford in 1877; (fn. 62) in 1887 the board took on lease a building belonging to the Congregational chapel at Little Heath for use as a boys' schoolroom, and in 1893 built a new school there. (fn. 63) An infants' school in Paradise Street was added in 1894. (fn. 64) The accommodation of these four schools in 1898-9 was 1,358. (fn. 65) Stoke Board School was built in 1875 and enlarged in 1893 and 1898, the accommodation being increased to 331. (fn. 66)
After much local agitation for the provision of a school at Earlsdon, a British school was opened there in 1882, receiving its first annual grant in 1884. (fn. 67) The buildings, which were also used for meetings, were held on lease, and the infants' classroom was attached to a laundry. The attendance during the years of its existence as a British school was about 90 to 100. In 1888, because of financial difficulties, it was taken over by a specially created school board. This was dissolved in 1890 when the district became part of Coventry. (fn. 68)
A number of Church of England schools continued to have difficulty in maintaining the standards demanded by government inspectors. St. John's, which was again given an annual grant after 1872, had fallen into a very dilapidated state by 1884-5 and the Sunday schools were said to be in a 'hopeless state' of inefficiency. In 1884 a new building with accommodation for 500 children was erected with the assistance of the National Society in Dover Street. (fn. 69) Stoke C. of E. School received an annual state grant from 1858 to 1871, but this was discontinued when the school refused to accept the 'conscience clause' in the new regulations. (fn. 70) The school closed in 1871, and when reopened in 1872 was declared to be inefficient and in disrepair; Stoke School Board was then formed to provide a better school. (fn. 71) The church school was, however, enlarged in 1874-5 with the aid of a grant from the National Society, and after 1887 again received an annual grant. (fn. 72) Walsgrave National School, which had to close for a short time in the 1850s because of financial difficulties, was also deprived of its annual grant between 1871 and 1886. (fn. 73)
In the period between 1870 and 1902 there was, in spite of the difficulties which faced some schools, a successful attempt by local churches to provide accommodation for children who might otherwise have been catered for in board schools. St. Thomas's School was built in 1870 and enlarged with help from the National Society in 1881. (fn. 74) St. Mark's School was built in 1872 with the aid of a grant from the National Society, and various extensions were made between 1875 and 1896. (fn. 75) All Saints School was built with the aid of a state grant in 1876-7 and extensively altered and enlarged between 1893 and and 1895. (fn. 76) Willenhall Church School was built in 1884 and opened in 1885, when there were 24 boys on the books, (fn. 77) and Longford Church School in Foleshill was built in 1893 and received an annual grant in the next year. (fn. 78) In 1874 a new building was erected for Allesley School, which had benefited by several bequests, and the school thereafter also received an annual grant. (fn. 79) A new building was erected, with the assistance of the National Society, for Westwood School in 1871. (fn. 80) In 1893 a parish school was provided for Christ Church in the old Central National School buildings in Union Street which had been in use as the branch school of St. Michael's, known as Greyfriars Lane School, but this was taken over by the school board in 1897, and after repairs and alterations re-opened as Union Street School in 1898. (fn. 81)
Apparently between 1891 and 1893 the British Boys' School in King Street came to an end and its premises were taken over by the British Girls' School, whose building in Vicar Lane was closed. (fn. 82) From 1881 to 1893 a school for 90 children was maintained by the Coventry Cotton Company. (fn. 83) In 1898 a member of the Cash family opened a school, accommodating 40, for the children of workers in his factory at Kingfield. (fn. 84) The other school owned by Cash, that in Thomas Street, was in difficulties in 1894 but was enlarged in 1895, and a proposal that the school board should take it over in 1897 came to nothing. (fn. 85) Radford School, which was rebuilt by its owner in 1878, was taken over by the school board in 1893. (fn. 86)
Both Roman Catholic schools were enlarged in this period. The accommodation at St. Osburg's was increased from 171 to 520 in 1875, (fn. 87) and between 1872 and 1875 accommodation for 142 infants was added at St. Mary's. (fn. 88)
The Education Act of 1902, transferring the functions of the school boards to the local authorities, lessened the difficulties of the voluntary schools by giving them controlled status. Additional accommodation, however, was made necessary by the rising population and the reduction, in 1908-9, of the approved accommodation in existing schools. This was provided almost entirely by the local authorities, so the attempt to keep a balance between denominational and board schools failed. Between 1902 and 1915 seven new council schools (fn. 89) and two temporary schools were opened, and nine were enlarged, Radford and Stoke Council Schools being largely rebuilt. (fn. 90) The only council school to be closed was Union Street, the old Christ Church and St. Michael's building. (fn. 91) Two Church of England schools, Binley and Holy Trinity, were closed, and another, St. Thomas, was taken over by the council and closed shortly after. (fn. 92) All Saints School was considerably reduced in size as the result of reassessment, and St. Michael's as the result of improvements in accommodation insisted upon by the Board of Education. (fn. 93) Of the old undenominational schools, the British Girls' School in King Street was transferred to the council in 1909 and closed in 1911, the girls being transferred to Radford School, (fn. 94) and West Orchard School was transferred to the council in 1904 and closed in 1906. (fn. 95)
The 1902 Act gave councils power to supply secondary education, and as the two endowed grammar schools already existed for boys, Coventry's first step was to provide a school of a similar type for girls. Barr's Hill, a house built in the 1850s, was bought by the corporation in 1907 and extended and refitted to provide accommodation for 250 girls. There were 120 girls on the roll when the school opened in 1908 and 250 by 1913. The council provided 120 free places, the remainder being feepaying. (fn. 96)
In 1914 there were in Coventry 40 council schools with 15,300 children on their rolls, fifteen Church of England schools with 2,744 children, and four Roman Catholic schools with 724 children, a total of 59 schools and 18,730 children. (fn. 97) By 1918 there were 60 schools and 20,249 children. (fn. 98) A serious overcrowding problem during the First World War, when little new building could be done and many new families came to Coventry to work in the factories, was partly alleviated by the numbers of children who were allowed to do full- and part-time work. Towards the end of and after the war huts were erected at many schools and some barrack sites were taken into use. Between 1915 and 1919 there was a school at Wheatley Street for the children of Belgian refugees, and in 1916 a new Roman Catholic school, St. Elizabeth's, was opened.
The Education Act of 1918 and the Hadow Report of 1926 gave local authorities the responsibility of providing separate senior accommodation, and many schools were reorganized into junior and senior departments. At the same time, in 1928 and 1932 boundary extensions brought fourteen schools into Coventry Education Committee's area and the rising population of Coventry continued to present problems of school provision. Between 1918 and 1939 ten new schools and one temporary school were opened by the local authorities. Two new Roman Catholic schools were built, the Sacred Heart School (1924) and Christ the King (1938), the accommodation at St. Mary's and St. Osburg's being at the same time reduced; new infants' accommodation was also added to St. Elizabeth's. Thirteen of the council schools were reorganized in this period, some of them several times; in the process new departments were added to Frederick Bird School and John Gulson School, and departments at South Street and Wheatley Street disappeared. Of the Church of England schools, only one, Allesley, was enlarged; six were reorganized, St. Michael's being reduced to two departments. St. Peter's, which was reported by an inspector to be in a very bad condition in 1919, was transferred to the council in 1920, reduced to one department in 1923, and closed in 1930. Two of the last surviving undenominational schools, Kingfield and Thomas Street, were closed in 1921 and 1922.
During this period the council continued the provision of secondary schools begun with the opening of Barr's Hill. Another girls' school, Stoke Park, was opened in 1919. A Junior Technical School and a Junior Commercial School, both at first attached to Coventry Technical College, were opened in 1919 and 1936; the latter was known from 1949 to 1955 as Churchfield High School. A Junior Art School, attached to Coventry College of Art, was opened in 1930.
During the Second World War most of the Coventry schools were closed or evacuated, and later at various times reopened under temporary arrangements. Some twelve schools were substantially damaged or destroyed, among them Hill Farm School, which was opened in 1940 only to be largely destroyed in 1941, and John Gulson, the severely damaged buildings of which were demolished in 1957. New permanent or temporary buildings have since been erected on all the sites.
At the same time the continuing increase in population became still more rapid. The school population rose from 26,645 in 1946 to 42,211 in 1952 and 48,221 in 1956. An immediate problem was the 'bulge' of children born in the 1940s. This was passing out of the junior schools in the period 1954- 1957, and it was hoped that the numbers of children attending junior schools would then fall, enabling much of the temporary accommodation to be closed. The secondary-school population, however, continued to rise, partly as a result of the 1944 Education Act.
The problem of accommodation was further accentuated in Coventry by the physical growth of the city. As the city has grown outwards the pattern of attendance in the various schools has changed, the population remaining stable or falling in the older areas and rising in the newer, while the public transport system of the city has made the revision of school 'catchment areas' difficult. The large modern estates on the outskirts of the city with their high child populations have presented a particular problem.
All these factors meant that after the war a vast building programme, particularly of secondary schools, was necessary, and this was seen by the city council as an opportunity to replan the educational system. A detailed development plan, first drawn up in 1946, was approved by the Minister of Education in a revised form in 1953. The main feature of this plan has been the provision of 'comprehensive' schools to replace the secondary 'selective' schools and the secondary modern schools and departments. There were eight such schools in 1964.
As a temporary measure secondary selective schools were formed from the senior departments of John Gulson School in 1942 (for boys) and of Wheatley Street School, known as Priory High School, in 1945 (for girls). The first new post-war secondary schools were The Woodlands and Caludon Castle Comprehensive Schools. The Woodlands, a school for boys, opened in 1954 with 300 first-year boys and all the boys then attending the Junior Technical and Templars Secondary Schools. The school was accommodating 1,400 boys by 1964. Caludon Castle Boys' Comprehensive School opened in 1954 and included the boys of John Gulson Selective School. There were 1,154 boys on the roll in 1954 and 1,400 in 1964. The former Foxford School was reorganized as a mixed comprehensive school in 1953. The numbers on the roll were 324 in 1953 and 652 in 1956, and by 1964 they had risen to 1,360. Coundon Court Girls' School was opened as a selective school in 1953; it used premises in the former Keresley Industrial Hostel from 1953 to 1954 and Coundon Court House from 1954, and became a comprehensive school in 1956 after the completion of additional buildings. The numbers rose from 120 in 1953 to 750 in 1964. Lyng Hall Girls' Comprehensive School was opened in 1955 with 690 girls on the roll, including 330 of the Priory High School. A total of 1,080 girls was attending the school in 1964. Whitley Abbey Mixed Comprehensive School was also opened in 1955. It was formed by merging the Churchfield High School with 240 children from Cheylesmore Secondary Modern School and 240 new entrants. The pupils still working in the Churchfield School premises were transferred to the new school buildings in 1958. There were 971 children on the roll in 1956 and 1,150 in 1964. In 1957 it was intended that the children of Barr's Hill and Stoke Park Girls' Schools should be accommodated in new comprehensive schools, but by 1961 it had been decided, in view of the substantial increase in the city's birth rate, that the schools should be continued 'for the foreseeable future', and they were still in existence in 1964. The Junior Art School, attached to the Coventry College of Art, was, however, discontinued in 1959. Most of the 22 secondary modern schools or departments in existence in 1957 were intended to become junior, infant, and nursery schools and establishments of further education but 18 were still being used as secondary modern schools in 1964. Since 1946 31 junior and infant schools have been built in Coventry, and many of the existing schools have been enlarged and reorganized. Among the secondary schools were St. Mary's R.C. School in Raglan Street, which was being used as a temporary secondary school until it was closed in 1958, and the boys' and girls' departments of the new Ullathorne R.C. School, where there was also a secondary selective department. The two secondary modern departments of the Cardinal Wiseman School, another Roman Catholic school of a similar type, were opened in 1958 and 1959 and the grammar section was opened in 1961. The new Blue Coat Church of England School was opened in 1964. A school at Wyre Farm, near Kidderminster, used as an evacuation camp in 1940, was later reorganized as a secondary boarding school for boys and renamed the City of Coventry School.
A special school (fn. 99) was opened in premises in Wheatley Street School left vacant on the opening of Barr's Hill in 1908, and an open-air school for weak and ailing children was started on the roof of Centaur Road School in 1916. Corley Residential School began as a small camp school, but in 1918 became a permanent school for delicate children. In 1930 the Paybody School for Crippled Children was opened by the Coventry Crippled Children's Guild in association with the Board of Education. The house called Town Thorns at Easenhall, given to the city in 1939, was used as a children's home until 1954, when it became a temporary residential school for educationally subnormal children. In 1953 the Wheatley Street Special School, for a time called the Grove School, became the Alice Stevens Special School in new premises in Ashington Grove, and in 1954 the Baginton Fields School for partially sighted and physically handicapped children was opened on Stonebridge Highway. Three Spires Special School was. begun in the former Junior Commercial School premises in Brays Lane in 1957. A school for physically handicapped children was opened at Whitley Hospital (1962) and for maladjusted children at Cromer's Close Hostel (1955) and Fir Tree Lodge (1962).
Further education of a formal kind in Coventry (fn. 100) has always been predominantly vocational in character and intimately connected with the city's industries. Anxiety about French competition in the ribbon trade was one of the main factors in the establishment of a branch in Coventry of the School of Design which had been started at Somerset House in 1838. The Board of Trade offered an initial £300 and an annual grant of £150 for three years provided that the rest could be raised locally. The Coventry School of Design was opened in a former ribbon warehouse on St. John's Bridges in 1843. Masters were appointed by the Board of Trade and government prizes awarded annually for pupils' work. (fn. 101) When government grants were augmented in 1859, the school urgently needed larger accommodation. The government added £560 to the £2,000 which had been raised by public appeal and a new School of Art was opened in Ford Street in 1863. The building housed several classrooms, a modelling room, a room for exhibitions, and a library, (fn. 102) and was of multi-coloured brick with stone dressings. It was designed by James Murray in the Venetian Gothic style, made popular by the writings of John Ruskin. Figures carved over the four front windows and doorway represented the occupations - architecture, ceramics, engineering, painting, and sculpture - which the work of the school was intended to benefit. (fn. 103) But many of the designs produced were concerned with the local trades of watch and silk-making. (fn. 104) The School of Art was recognized as an especial factor in the boom in Coventry's trade in the 1870s, following the FrancoPrussian War and the development of fancy and figured ribbons. (fn. 105)
The School of Art, however, only catered for one side of the silk industry and the 1878 exhibition proved that Coventry lagged behind the continent in technical instruction. A meeting was called by the mayor in 1883 in response to petitions from manufacturers and artisans and £2,000-£3,000 was promised for a technical school in Coventry. (fn. 106) The Technical Institute was opened in 1887 in two vacant ribbon factories in Earl Street which were donated by David Spencer, the ribbon manufacturer. It was founded with the object of spreading 'a more thorough knowledge of those principles of art and science which underlie the industrial work of the city and its neighbourhood' and instruction was given in tool-making, weaving, and watch-making. Some government grants were received but it was largely dependent on donations and tuition fees. (fn. 107) When the old Coventry Institute was amalgamated with the new Technical Institute in 1888, the proceeds from the sale of the old buildings went to the new foundation. (fn. 108) David Spencer died in the same year, leaving £20,000 in trust as the Spencer Industrial Arts Trust. The trust paid for most of a considerable extension to the Technical Institute in 1894 and created a scholarship in 1908 to be awarded to pupils of the institution, by then called the Technical College. A second scheme in 1924 created another Spencer scholarship. (fn. 109)
Financial responsibility for further education, however, was passing to the local authorities at the end of the 19th century. In 1890-1 £667 was allocated for technical education in accordance with the Local Taxation Act of 1890. A rate of 1d. in the £ was levied in 1893, yielding £385 for the School of Art and £887 for the Technical Institute. (fn. 110) In 1895 the corporation took over the School of Art, which was then in financial difficulties. (fn. 111) Under the Education Act of 1902 the council, as the local education authority, assumed control of the School of Art, which became known as the Municipal School of Art, and the Technical Institute, which became the Technical College. (fn. 112) It was also providing continuation schools both before and after the First World War. (fn. 113)
A new building for the Technical College was designed by A. W. Hoare and opened at the Butts in 1935. The building has two main fronts of classical design. It originally contained laboratories for physics, mechanics, engineering, and various branches of metallurgy, chemistry, and biology and many workshops for engineering, textiles, foundry, and heavy machinery. (fn. 114)
There was little further development until after the Second World War when, especially during the last decade, there has been considerable building of new and expansion of old institutions. The City of Coventry Training College for teachers was opened in 1946 in Canley as an emergency college for men students housed in premises which had been built as a war-time hostel. Women students were first admitted in 1948. Building has been more or less continuous on the 30-acre Canley site and by 1964 there were 765 students, two-thirds of whom were women. (fn. 115)
Although the School of Art was damaged by bombing in 1940, (fn. 116) it continued to be used by the painting and decorating departments while the rest of the school's activities were carried on in temporary premises. A new building for the school, now called the College of Art, was opened at Cope Street in 1954 with an annexe at Hill Crest, Radford Road, and at the former Provident Dispensary in Priory Street. (fn. 117) In 1964, when the college was housed in five buildings, work began on another new building on a 5¼-acre site between Cox Street and Gosford Street near the new Lanchester College of Technology. By 1964 the college provided courses in art and design and vocational subjects. (fn. 118) By 1964 the Technical College had departments in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, building, science, mathematics, business and general studies, catering, and homecrafts. (fn. 119) There was, however, need for technical training of a higher standard and the Lanchester College of Technology, named after Frederick W. Lanchester, the engineer and car manufacturer, was officially opened in 1961. The main 7-story block in Cope Street was begun in 1957 and already in use by September 1960 when the first students were enrolled. The college offers advanced courses in technology, science, engineering, and business and management studies. (fn. 120)
Coventry was first suggested as the site for a new university in 1951 (fn. 121) but it was not until 1963 that two architects - Alan Goodman, of Grey, Goodman and Associates of Belper and London, and Arthur Ling, the Coventry city architect - were appointed and building began. (fn. 122) The city council provided a 200-acre site between Kenilworth Road and Gibbet Road and both the city council and Warwickshire County Council agreed to levy a 1d. rate to help finance the project. (fn. 123) The buildings are incomplete (1965) but the first students were enrolled in 1964.
Henley College of Further Education, built on a 14-acre site at the corner of Henley Road and Henley Mill Lane, was opened in 1964 to serve as a technical college for the east and north-east of the city and as a youth centre for the Bell Green area. (fn. 124)
The following list includes all schools except private, nursery, and special schools. Schools are listed under the first known name with cross-references where there are significant alternatives or changes in name. Name changes are listed under 'principal changes' except for certain automatic changes, e.g., from National to Church of England and from British to Undenominational after 1907; from Board to Council following the Act of 1902. Sources of information are cited in the form of bracketed figures which refer to the correspondingly numbered entries in the list at the end of this section.
The following sources are cited in the text above by means of numbers which refer to the numbers given to them in this list. In the case of some classes of works one number stands for the whole class rather than for an individual work. The individual work in such a class (e.g. in class 1) can usually be ascertained by the date. This is particularly true of the 'departments' list.
The Board of Education: List 21 (H.M.S.O.) was published in 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1919, 1922, 1927, 1932, 1934, 1936, and 1938. 2. Digest of Returns to the Select Committee on the Education of Poor, vol. ii, H.C. 224 (1819), ix (2).
14. National Society for promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church, Annual Reports, 1813-32, 1841-58, 1869; Annual Reports in Archdeaconry of Cov. 1832-3, 1836-7.