education for the poor

by: will cary

ragged schools

John pounds, a shoemaker, developed the Idea of ragged schools in 1818. He started teaching poor children for free that couldn't afford charter schools. Thomas Guithre liked the idea, and started a ragged school in Edinburgh. after that, Sherriff Watson started one in Aberdeen. The London Ragged School Union was established in 1844 under the chairmanship of Anthony Cooper. During this time 192 Ragged Schools were opened with an average attendance of 20,000 students. By 1870 350 of these schools had been opened due to donations by wealthy individuals.


In a time of great Technological advancement like the Victorian era, a new social class was formed outside of the upper and lower class, the middle class. There was one class though, that did not fit in with the rest. The orphan. A lot of the time Orphans ended up being adopted, usually by a relative of family friend. However, sometimes a stranger would adopt the child looking to raise it as their own. An orphan was usually adopted by someone of the same class but they would also end up being adopted by an upper class family, where they would more often than not find themselves mistreated. Often the orphans would be placed in ragged schools where they would be educated until the age of 17 when they were expected to work.


During the victorian era, lower class children and orphans began to ger a little bit more attention. People began to raise money and saw it as their public responsibility to help Orphans find a home. Workhouses were established in england to give poor people and orphans a place to stay, and were put to labor. Conditions were not the best anywhere in 19th century England, so it is quite obvious that orphans were not raised in the cleanest or organized of places.