A few nice free annual credit report images I found:
The Ragged School Union Festival Monday May 6th 1895 at Queen’s Hall, Langham Place, London
Image by Jelltex
Ragged Schools were charitable schools dedicated to the free education of destitute children in 19th century Britain. The schools were developed in working class districts of the rapidly expanding industrial towns. In 1844, the Ragged Schools Union was established to combine resources throughout the country, providing free education, food, clothing, lodging and other home missionary services for these children.
The Ragged School movement grew out of recognition that charitable and denominational schools were not beneficial for children in inner-city areas. Working in the poorest districts, teachers (who were often local working people) initially utilised stables, lofts, and railway arches for their classes. There was an emphasis on reading, writing, arithmetic, and study of the Bible. The curriculum expanded into industrial and commercial subjects in many schools. It is estimated that around 300,000 children went through the London Ragged Schools alone between 1844 and 1881.
There is a Ragged School Museum in the East End of London that shows how a Ragged School would have looked – it is housed in buildings previously occupied by Dr Thomas Barnardo.
Several different schools claim to have been the first, truly-free school for poor or ragged people. For many of the destitute children of London, going to school each day was not an option. There was no such thing as free education for everyone. From the 18th century onwards, Ragged Schools were few and far between. They had been started in areas where someone had been concerned enough to want to help disadvantaged children towards a better life.
In the late 18th century, Thomas Cranfield offered free education for poor children in London. While he was a tailor by trade, Cranfield’s educational background included studies at a Sunday school on Kingsland Road, Hackney. In 1798, he established a free children’s day school, located on Kent Street near London Bridge. By the time of his death in 1838, he had established 19 free schools that provided services for children and infants living in the lower income sections of London. These opportunities and services were offered days, nights, and on Sundays, for the destitute children of poor families throughout London.
John Pounds, a Portsmouth shoemaker, provides one of the earliest well-documented examples of the movement. When was 12 years old, Pounds’ father arranged for him to be apprenticed as a shipwright. Three years later, he fell into a dry dock and was crippled for life. Unable to work as a shipwright, John became a shoemaker and by 1803 had his own shop in St Mary Street, Portsmouth.
In 1818, John Pounds, known as the crippled cobbler, began teaching poor children without charging fees. He actively recruited children and young people to his school. He spent time on the streets and quays of Portsmouth making contact and even bribing them to come with the offer of baked potatoes. He began teaching local children reading, writing, and arithmetic. His reputation as a teacher grew and he soon had over 40 students attending his lessons. He also gave lessons in cooking, carpentry and shoemaking. Pounds died in 1839.
After Pounds’ death, Thomas Guthrie wrote Plea for Ragged Schools and proclaimed John Pounds as the originator of this idea. Thomas Guthrie started a ragged school in Edinburgh and Sheriff Watson established another one in Aberdeen. In 1844, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury formed the Ragged School Union and over the next eight years over 200 free schools for poor children were established in Britain.
In 1841, Sheriff Watson established another school in Aberdeen, Scotland. His methods were different from his colleagues. Unlike the efforts of Pounds, Cranfield, and Guthrie, Watson used compulsion. Watson was frustrated by the number of children who committed a petty crime and faced him in his courtroom. Rather than sending them to prison for vagrancy, Watson established a school for boys. As a law official, the sheriff arrested the vagrant children and enrolled them in school.
The Industrial Feeding School opened to provide reading, writing and arithmetic. Watson believed that gaining these skills would help the boys rise above the lowest level of society. Three meals a day were provided and the boys were taught useful trades such as shoemaking and printing. A school for girls followed in 1843. In 1845, the schools were integrated. From here, the movement spread to Dundee and other parts of Scotland, mostly due to the work of the Rev Thomas Guthrie of Edinburgh.
Thomas Guthrie was an early promoter of free education for working class children. He started what appears to have been the first Scottish free school for the poor. In 1860, he published a volume containing his three pamphlets concerning Ragged Schools entitled Seedtime and Harvest. Thomas Guthrie is often quoted as the founder of the Ragged Schools of Scotland. His first introduction to the idea of Ragged Schools was in 1841, when he was the Parish Minister of St. John’s Church in Edinburgh. On a visit to Anstruther in Fife, he saw a picture of the cobbler’s room of John Pounds in Portsmouth, who had started teaching ragged children free of charge in his shop in 1818. In 1844, the movement spread to England, with the establishment of the London Ragged School Union under the chairmanship of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury.
In April 1844, Locke, Moutlon, Morrison, and Starey formed a steering committee to address the social welfare needs of the community. On 11 April 1844, at 17 Ampton Street off the Grays Inn Road, they facilitated a public meeting to determine local interest, research feasibility, and establish structure. This was the birth of the Ragged Schools Union. In 1944, the Union adopted the name "Shaftesbury Society" in honour of the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. In 2007, the Society was merged with John Grooms, taking the new name of Livability.
The term Ragged School was introduced by the London City Mission. In the beginning, many of the schools were started by churches, and were staffed by volunteers. The growing number of children made it necessary to have paid members of staff. Beginning in 1835, the Mission hired staff missionaries and recruited lay agents to assist the poor with a wide range of free, charitable help ranging from clothing to basic education.
Mr Locke of the Ragged School Union called for more help in keeping the schools open. Many petitions for funding and grants were made to Parliament to assist with educational reform. He asked the government to give more thought to preventing crime, rather than punishing the wrongdoers. He said the latter course only made the young criminals worse.
In 1840, the Mission used the term "ragged" in its Annual Report to describe their establishment of five schools for 570 children. In the report, the Mission reported that their schools had been formed exclusively for children "raggedly clothed". The children only had very ragged clothes to wear and they rarely had shoes. In other words they did not own clothing suitable to attend any other kind of school.
Several people volunteered and offered their time, skills, and talents as educators and administrators of the Ragged Schools. Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury was one of Britain’s greatest social reformers, whose broad-ranging concerns included education, animal welfare, public health and improving working conditions.
In 1843, Lord Shaftesbury became the president of the Ragged Schools. He used his knowledge of the schools, the refuges, and his understanding of the living conditions among low income families to pursue changes in legislation. He served as the president of the Ragged School Union for 39 years. In 1944, the Union adopted the name "Shaftesbury Society", in his honour. Shaftesbury maintained his commitment to the Ragged Schools and educational reform until his death in 1885.
In 1843, Charles Dickens began his association with the schools and visited the Field Lane Ragged School. He was appalled by the conditions, yet moved toward reform. The experience inspired him to write A Christmas Carol. While he initially intended to write a pamphlet on the plight of poor children, he realised that a dramatic story would have more impact.
Dickens continued to support the schools, donating funds on various occasions. At one point, he donated funds, along with a water trough, stating that it was "so the boys may wash and for a supervisor"! (from a letter to Field Lane). He later wrote about the school and his experience there in Household Words. In 1837, he used the area called Field Lane as a setting for Fagin’s den in his classic novel, Oliver Twist.
By 1844, there were at least 20 free schools for the poor, maintained through the generosity of community philanthropists, the volunteers working with their local churches, and the organisational support of the London City Mission. During this time, it was suggested that it would be beneficial to establish an official organisation or society to share resources and promote their common cause.
In 1844, the Ragged Schools Union started with about 200 teachers. With articles in publications like the Chambers’ Journal, the support and patronage of Lord Shaftesbury, and the organisational abilities of those working with the Union, Ragged Schools became better known. There was a massive growth in the numbers of schools, teachers and students. By 1851, the number of educators would grow to include around 1,600 persons. By 1867, some 226 Sunday Ragged Schools, 204 day schools and 207 evening schools provided a free education for about 26,000 students.
The 7th Earl of Shaftesbury served as chairman for 39 years. During his tenure, an estimated 300,000 destitute children received a free education. The free school movement became respectable, even fashionable, attracting the attention of many wealthy philanthropists. Wealthy individuals such as Angela Burdett-Coutts gave large sums of money to the Ragged Schools Union. This helped to establish 350 ragged schools by the time the 1870 Education Act was passed. As Eager (1953) explains, "He gave what had been a Nonconformist undertaking, the cachet of his Tory churchmanship — an important factor at a time when even broad-minded (Anglican) churchmen thought that Nonconformists should be fairly credited with good intentions, but that cooperation (with them) was undesirable".
The success of the Ragged Schools definitively demonstrated that there was a demand for education among the poor. In response, both England and Wales established school boards to administer elementary schools. However, education was still not free of fees. After 1870, public funding began to be provided for elementary education among working people.
School boards were public bodies created in boroughs and parishes under the Elementary Education Act of 1870 following campaigning by George Dixon, Joseph Chamberlain and the National Education League for elementary education that was free from Anglican doctrine. Members to the board were directly elected, not appointed by borough councils or parishes. As the school boards were built and funded, the demand for Ragged Schools declined. The Board Schools continued in operation for 32 years. They were abolished by the Education Act of 1902, which replaced them with Local Education Authorities.
JAXPORT Gallery Opening Reception: Transformation Through Transportation by Cathedral Arts Project
Image by JAXPORT
"When our class visited JAXPORT, we were able to see and learn about many new and unfamiliar things. For each student different things sparked interest or inspiration. Some were inspired by the rail cars and train tracks, some the marsh land while others were inspired by the ships and cranes. Students sketched that which inspired them and discussed the subject of this inspiration with each other.
We brought each of our individual experiences and inspirations into the classroom and what emerged was an overarching idea of textures, shapes and patterns that were a part of the many sights. In order to highlight these textures and patterns, the students created printmaking blocks by carving their designs into foam sheets. They then used a traditional printing process to print these blocks into the pieces you see on display. With this process, the image can be printed multiple times.
Earlier in the year, our class studied Origami, the Japanese traditional art of paper folding. During this study we created paper cranes (birds). With the upcoming JAXPORT show, we wanted to honor the birds and wildlife of JAXPORT and the marsh lands that surround it while also highlighting their environmentally conscious practices by creating paper cranes using old annual reports given to us by JAXPORT. We created some on unpainted paper and some paper we painted with watercolor paints, then created the cranes. We wanted these to seem like they were a flock of birds flying through the gallery.
As a final art piece of our class and a culmination of our JAXPORT experience, the students were able to create an art piece about JAXPORT using acrylic paint and a "reverse color" painting technique in order to create more depth and interest in the art piece."
Laurie Brown, Cathedral Arts Teacher
The vision at Cathedral Arts is for every child to have access to a well-rounded, arts-rich education that endows his or her spirit with the imagination, self-confidence and strength of character that inspires great leadership and a will to succeed. Cathedral Arts provides twice-weekly after-school and summer programs in dance, music, drama and visual arts to 1,450 students throughout Jacksonville each year. Areas of instruction include ballet, West African dance, drumming, violin, chorus, acting, painting, sculpture and ceramics.
For additional information and/or images, please contact Meredith Fordham Hughes by email or by phone at (904) 357-3052.
About JAXPORT Gallery
Located on the first floor of JAXPORT Headquarters, the Gallery features local artists rotating on a bi-monthly basis. JAXPORT Gallery is open during normal JAXPORT Headquarters hours and admission is free. Learn more about JAXPORT and the Arts.
Photo credit: JAXPORT, Meredith Fordham Hughes