The BWI Archives
1891 ~ The Penny Bank
At their meeting of 8 August 1891 the Managers of the Ruislip School, in line with the Elementary Education Act 1891, had agreed to abolish the charging of fees to parents of children who attended the school. It is likely that at the same meeting the Vicar (Rev. T.M. Everett) had put forward a suggestion that parents be encouraged to place the money saved through the provision of 'free education' in a savings account for their child's future - The Penny Bank - and that this would be run by the school. The Manager's reaction is not recorded on this occasion, though from comments the Vicar made in the January edition of the Parish Magazine that they were not very supportive of the idea, and this is reinforced when we find a record of the Vicar again raising the subject with them at their meeting of 9th September 1893. The reason for their unwillingness to support the venture was totally appropriate: the Vicar was asking that school funds be used to guarantee an interest payment to 'investors', should the Post Office Savings Bank fail to deliver a certain level of interest - clearly the paying of 'interest' to private individuals was not a correct use of what were effectively public funds! In the event, the Vicar still went ahead and made the suggestion to parents that they pay the 'School Pence' into a savings account for their child at a meeting held by the Managers with parents on the 19th October 1891.
In the November Parish Magazine the Vicar reports that he has run into some issues in relation to setting up the new Penny Bank:
attendance is steadily increasing, and it is satisfactory to note this fact
in spite of wet weather, bad roads, and sundry floods.
I take this opportunity of stating that the Managers intend, at the
end of the School year, to give one halfpenny for every attendance over 350
made by any child in the mixed School, and one farthing for every attendance
over 350 in the Infant School. As
the School must be open at least 400 times, and is generally open about 440,
it will be possible for children who are very regular to earn a money prize
of three shillings and upwards in the mixed School, and half that amount in
the Infant School. This prize
money will not be given in cash to the children, but will be placed to their
account in the Penny Bank, and if it should be found that a child earning
the money prize has no bank account, one will then be started for the child
with the prize money.
Let me once
more impress upon you the important of the great duty which falls upon all
parents of “laying up for the children,” so that, when the child is
leaving School and a little money may be required to start that child in
service, you may have the satisfaction of knowing that there is something in
the Savings Bank available for the purpose, if need so require.
And I would further hope that the children themselves will so value
the efforts made on their behalf as to induce them to save of their own
gifts in early life, or of their earnings when they go out to work after
leaving School, by regularly putting by some little sum every week or month,
which they will surely find to be a help in after life.
Eastcote, Oct. 26th, 1891
In the December edition the Vicar returned to the subject of the School Penny Bank. He identified that, although the issues he had encountered had not been fully resolved, all the same he had gone ahead with starting the bank:
First uploaded: 28 April 2018