Village Education

WhereGreat Broughton Village HallType of EventTalk
WhenMonday 2nd November at 7.30pmTutorJackie Cove-Smith

Jackie gave an illustrated talk about Village Education. It started with the arrival of St Augustine on the south coast in 597AD, coming to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity and realising that he needed to train the locals to become priests. He founded Song Schools to train priests in the sung liturgy and Grammar Schools to teach Latin for reading and understanding the Bible – not for teaching grammar as we know it today. Jackie then whisked through the development of education through the ages, closely linked with religion, until reaching 1683 when the first of our group’s three village schools was founded in Kirkby by the Lord of the Manor, Henry Edmunds. His Will secured the future of the school by setting up a Trust and designating the income from a farm in Little Broughton and from some land on Broughton Banks for the payment of a schoolmaster for “all the children in the Township of Kirkby” and “all the poor children of the Parish of Kirkby”. The next of our village schools was Ingleby Greenhow which was founded in 1757 by the Vicar, Rev. Sam Hassell, with the help of Sir William Foulis, Lord of the Manor. The last village school, Great Broughton, was founded in 1871 by the sinecure Rector of Kirkby Church, Rev. William Venables Vernon Harcourt. He was an intellectual with many scientific friends who founded the British Society for the Advancement of Science.

The Log Books of the three schools, compulsorily kept by the headteachers since Victorian times and still available in each school, paint a vivid picture of school life from the 1870s to the 1970s. Jackie had read them and was able to show the effects of the many Education Acts and how they impacted on both the pupils and the teachers in our schools. Teachers initially had no training and could be recruited from people in any walk of life – indeed teaching was said in the 18th century to be the choice of the “financially desperate”! It was gradually realised that teachers should receive training and the Government brought in Certification in 1839. Teachers already in post could take the Certificate Examination externally. Monitors (paid a minimal salary) were gradually phased out and were replaced where possible by Pupil Teachers, on a stipend, aiming for Training College and Certification. Photos of past teachers and scholars were shown, the oldest photo being from 1893.

The schools in Kirkby and Gt. Broughton remained separate for many years; boys were taught in Kirby and girls and mixed Infants in Gt. Broughton. In 1963, the schools amalgamated and were administered as one, with Juniors going to Kirkby and Infants going to Gt. Broughton.

The talk ended with the building of a new school in Ingleby Greenhow in 1972 (opened by The Viscount Ingleby) and the building of one school for the two villages of Kirkby and Great Broughton in 1974 (opened by Rev Donald Coggan, then Archbishop of York).

Jackie thanked the many people who had given photographs and information and in particular Rachel Marsay, Christine Auffret and John Davies.

Scroll to top