The BWI Archives
1891 ~ School Finances
Finances - 1891
By 1891 Ruislip Church of England School received funding from a number of sources, the Parish Church of St Martin's - almost exclusively through annual Subscriptions by its wealthier parishioners; fees paid by pupils' parents; grants from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; and from the Government through an annual grant, the amount of which was determined by pupil attendance and an examination of pupils conducted by a visiting Inspector.
The School was primarily the responsibility of the Parish Church - there was no safety net and a failure to provide financially would lead to its closure and consequent replacement with a state funded school teaching an entirely secular curriculum. This being the case, there was always concern to ensure it was properly funded, a situation which was to finally come to a head in the 1920's.
In 1891 the Elementary Education Act was passed. This led to the removal of the weekly fee paid by parents (School Pence) of children in the Elementary Schools. The Ruislip Managers took the decision to remove the School Pence in their meeting of 8th August 1891, just a few days after the passing of the Act. It is clear from the comments, both in the Parish Magazine and at a meeting held with parents, that the Managers were concerned as to whether the new Government Grant being introduced to replace the School Fees would be sufficient to cover the existing expenditure. The comments made by the Vicar, on the Managers' behalf, stressed the need for regular pupil attendance, since the value of so many grants was predicated on 'Average Attendance' not on the number of children on roll.
The Vicar alerted the parish to the change in legislation with regard to the School Pence in his August monthly letter in the St Martin's Ruslip, Parish Magazine:-
this letter is printed the Free Education Bill of the Government will have
been passed. I need only here
state that its main object is to release parents from paying any school
fees; in other words, that you will shortly be able to send your children
to school without paying any weekly pence, but before this can take place
in our Parish the Bill with its future consequences will have to be laid
before our Managers and action taken by them.
A fuller account followed in the September edition :-
the School funds will gain or lose by this arrangement cannot at present
be seen, as the Grant will be paid on the average attendance at the end of
the School year, May 31st, 1892.
In the meantime a payment will be made quarterly by the Education
Department, calculated on the average attendance for the year previous to
January 1st, 1891. This,
at Ruislip, was 103; consequently, the payment will amount to £12 17s 6d.
for the quarters ending November 30th, February 28th,
whilst the payment for the last quarter ending May 31st will be
made with the Annual grant resulting from the Examination, and will be
more or less than the foregoing quarterly payment, according as the
average attendance for the year ending May 31st, 1892, will be
found to be greater or less than the former average attendance of 103.
From this it will at once be seen how very important is the matter
of average attendance, as the payment of the fee Grant of ten shillings
per child is entirely dependent on it.
therefore, must not think that because the school-pence is abolished it is
a matter of no importance whether they send their children regularly or
not. It is now of the greatest
possible importance that their children should be made to attend more regularly than ever. Unless
they do their duty in keeping up the attendance, the School funds will
suffer, and the Managers may find it necessary to impose a small fee to
cover the loss.
paid by parents for the year 1890 (on which the calculation has been made)
show that ten shillings and seven pence was received for each child (103)
in average attendance that year. Under
the new Act, the Managers had full power to call upon the parents to pay
seven pence on each child for the current year; but inasmuch as the total
sum to be paid by parents would only amount to about £3, the Managers
thought it would be wiser to forego this, in the hope that the sum would
be more than made up by an increased average attendance of the children
now that the payment of the school-pence by parents is abolished.
the end of September a meeting between the Managers and parents will be
called at the Schoolroom, of which due notice will be given, to fully
discuss the scheme for Free Education as it effects the Parish in general.
In the October Parish Magazine, the Vicar identifies that regular pupil attendance had increased prior to the introduction of the Fee Grant, the Grant which would replace the fees parents had previously paid:
I publish this month the School Accounts, which, though late in appearing
in print, were duly posted up on the school premises, as required by the
Education Department. I am
glad to be able to report an increase in the average attendance of
children since the adoption of the Fee Grant on September 1st.
May it go on increasing until it amounts to a due proportion to the
number on the books.
Please make a note in your memories of the date of meeting at the School
to talk over the subject of Free Education.
I should like to think that the meeting will be largely attended,
and that a representative, either father or mother, from every family will
T.M. Everett, Hon. Treasurer
above it will be seen that the balance in hand is considerable.
This is owing to a careful expenditure, and to the fact that a sum of
about £25 was set aside for the purpose of thoroughly re-gravelling the
Schoolyard, which could not be spent in time to be included in the above
accounts. There was also a
further sum of £5 voted by the Managers for School Prizes to children who
had been regular in their attendance since January 1st last.
All children who made upwards of 170 attendances between January and
May are requested to come to the School on Friday, October 16th, (?)
at 4 p.m., to receive their prizes. The
names are posted up at the School.
The Managers invite all parents to come to the Schools on Monday evening, October 19th, at 7 o’clock, to discuss with them the subject of free education, together with the calls and duties arising from it.
Finally, the Parish Magazine published the content of the parents meeting held by the Managers on 19th October, one in which the Vicar urged parents to 'reinvest' the former 'School Pence' in savings for their children. However, it would appear that no interest would accrue on these savings from the attempts the Vicar made in 1893 (9th September) to persuade the Managers to use a small amount of the money held as the school funds as interest on the money parents had invested in the 'Penny Bank' - it would seem without a positive response.:-
meeting was held at the Schools on Monday, October 19th, when the
Managers of the Schools invited the parents of children to meet them to
discuss the subject of free education and the duties which devolved upon
parents arising from the abolition of the School pence. The Vicar addressed
the meeting at some length, showing fully how the recent Act of Parliament
affected the Schools and Parish, and setting forth the advisability of
starting a School Penny Bank, into which parents should pay weekly, in the
names of their children, the pence which they had hitherto paid for their
education. A vote was taken,
which was unanimous in favour of starting the bank.
The meeting was fully reported in the Uxbridge Gazette of October 24th.
First uploaded: 18 April 2018
Last revised: 28 April 2018