Ministry of Education and predecessors public elementary school files relating to schools, including those in the Channel Isles and the Isle of Man, in receipt of an annual parliamentary grant or accorded temporary approval, and to a number of proposed elementary schools.
This series show how the character and status of the schools altered over the years as a result, not only of the changing needs of the areas which they served, but of the legislative measures which led to the establishment of a comprehensive system of elementary education. The files contain information about amalgamations with other schools, changes in name status (eg from"Voluntary" to"Board" School) and movement from one administrative area or county to another, in addition to papers relating to the adequacy of accommodation and measures taken to effect improvements.
The files contain statistics and information about school premises, trusts, inspection and organization. The Elementary Education Act, 1870, made provision for the transfer of Voluntary Schools to the local School Boards; where such a transfer occurred the relevant papers are on the school file. In some instances they contain endowment papers transferred by the Charity Commission (otherwise in CHAR) following the transfer of duties under the Board of Education Act 1899. The series also contains preliminary statements for schools opened after 1924.
Periodical reports by HM Inspectors and correspondence between the Board of Education and Education Department and the bodies responsible for the schools also provide a useful background to the history of elementary education in general and of individual schools in particular. School files contain, in some instances, papers of national importance to education for example papers relating to the"Swansea Judgment" which are to be found in the files for Oxford Street Church of England School, Swansea (ED 21/22722-22730).