Catalogue description Home Office: Reformatories and Industrial Schools and successors: Logbooks, Registers and Miscellaneous Volumes

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Details of HO 349
Reference: HO 349
Title: Home Office: Reformatories and Industrial Schools and successors: Logbooks, Registers and Miscellaneous Volumes

Assorted records of reformatories, industrial schools, approved schools, remand homes and voluntary homes, including registers of admissions, discharges and licences, diaries and logbooks, and returns of children detained under the industrial Schools Act 1866.

Date: 1855-1965
Related material:

Related Home Office files are in:

BN 28

BN 29

and BN 62

Finance files of the Home Office and Department of Health and Social Security are in HO 362

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 55 volume(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Administrative / biographical background:

Before 1933, approved schools were titled reformatories or industrial schools depending on the age of the inmates. Industrial schools (for children under 14) and reformatories (for children aged 14 to 18) were set up following the Youthful Offenders Act 1854, and the work of industrial schools was further defined in the Industrial Schools Acts of 1857 and 1866. Industrial schools were established"for the better training of poor and neglected children" who were"in danger of becoming criminals" (Industrial Schools Act 1857). Children were housed, fed, clothed, educated to an elementary level, and given some industrial or agricultural training.

Many of the schools relied on voluntary committees and private benevolence. They received per capita grants from the State for children committed by magistrates. In 1860, following an amendment to the Industrial Schools Act 1857, the Home Office assumed responsibility for the supervision of the running of the schools, and provided some financial assistance. Reformatories and industrial schools were renamed approved schools by the Children's Acts of 1932 and 1933.

Remand and voluntary homes have a history broadly contiguous with that of reformatories and industrial schools. Remand homes were created to accommodate children awaiting the decision of a court with regard to committal to an approved school, or those children under a place of safety order. The latter were more generally placed in foster homes or voluntary homes. If no foster home or remand home was available, children removed from their homes by order of a juvenile court would be boarded in voluntary homes. Voluntary homes (ie those run by voluntary organisations) provided for a large proportion of children who required boarding. These homes were mainly unsupervised unless they received public subscriptions (which brought them within the purvieu of the Home Office) or were certified by the Ministry of Health as suitable for the reception of Poor Law children. Many children were also boarded in workhouses for long periods, in spite of regulations laid down in the Poor Law Institution Order 1913.

The tangled administrative situation is summed up in the report of the Child Care Committee 1945 (Curtis Committee). The recommendations of this committee resulted in the Children Act 1948 which considerably rationalised and reorganised child care.

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