Berkshire Record Society: Berkshire Schools in the Eighteenth Century
Edited by Sue Clifford
Published by Berkshire Record Society in 2019
ISBN: 978 0 9573937 7 6
This volume is the product of a joint project sponsored by the Berkshire Record Society, the Berkshire Local History Association and the Berkshire Record Office. Most of the research was carried out by a team of volunteers, including members of Wokingham U3A, working in the Berkshire Record Office, the Local Studies Collection in Reading Library, and elsewhere. Dr Sue Clifford drew together the various strands of the research as they were delivered and prepared all the parish entries in the gazetteer; she contributed the general introduction and indexes and drafted the note on sources. As a member of the Project Board she played a significant role in the success of the project.
In this study the term 'eighteenth century' has been used as shorthand for the period 1660 to 1833. During this time there was a gradual but significant change in the approach to provide educational facilities for all children, whatever their circumstances. In 1660 the grammar schools were the main source of educational opportunities in England and few would have entertained the idea that any who could not afford their fees or those of a private tutor should receive any form of education. By 1833 not only had there been such an expansion in the number of schools for the poor that few parishes were entirely without access to education, but there had also been an enormous growth in the number of private schools and academies aimed at the middling classes. 1833 marks a convenient end point as the year in which government building grants became available for public elementary schools.