Research into Women's History
Research fills in the gaps left by previous generations' recording of history revealing a host of fascinating and inspirational stories.
Before 1870, working class girls, who were often forced to contribute to the family wage or help with household chores and childcare, could rarely take advantage of the unregulated education on offer.
"My little girl […] works regularly every day from six in the morning til 10 at night. She never goes to school. We can't spare her."
Education for the poor was a patchwork of:
The 1870 Elementary Education Act provided the first inclusive schooling structure for children from 5 to 13 years olds.
Schools were also financed by philanthropic estate owners like Lady Louisa Waterford (1818-1891) who commissioned and built a village school on her estate at Ford, Northumberland in 1860. As a noted Pre-Raphaelite painter, she decorated the school's interior with Biblical murals representing the faces of schoolchildren and villagers in the work. It is now known as Lady Waterford Hall.
Towards the end of the century, because of a shortage of servants and improved literacy, vocational education was introduced to train girls for domestic service.
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