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Liverpool Education Committee

Elementary education began in Liverpool with the provision of a number of Sunday-schools for the poor, which were founded as the result of a town's meeting in 1784. These were rapidly followed by the institution of day-schools, provided either by various denominations or by endowment. The earliest of these schools were the Old Church School in Moorfields established in 1789, the Unitarian Schools in Mount Pleasant established in 1790 and Manesty Lane established in 1792, and the Wesleyan Brunswick School established 1790. In 1823 there were thirty-two day-schools 'for the education of the poor' educating 7,441 children, of which 14 were Church Schools with 2,914 pupils, two Roman Catholic with 440 pupils, and eighteen Nonconformist with 4,087 pupils.

Liverpool Education Committee
attendance medal

The number of schools largely increased between 1823 and 1870, so that there was no very serious deficiency of school places when, in 1870, education became universal and compulsory. When the school board began its work in Liverpool in 1871 there were already two public elementary schools, founded by the corporation in 1826, and transferred to the administration of the board; and the provision of school places in voluntary schools was above the average for England; but many new places had to be gradually provided by the erection of board schools. By 1871 Liverpool had 47 Church of England schools, 16 Roman Catholic, and 16 undenomonational providing more than 46,ooo school places. But by 1902 this number had increased to 132,078 school places.

The school board was distinguished almost from the beginning by the attention which it gave to the training of teachers. As early as 1875 a Pupil Teachers' College was established in two houses in Shaw Street, the rent of which was provided by Mr. S. G. Rathbone. In 1898 the college entered upon its handsome premises in Clarence Street, and in 1906 it became the Oulton Secondary School. It was largely also through the zeal of members of the school board that the Edge Hill Training College for women teachers was founded in 1884. A further striking feature of the work of the board was its intimate association with the Liverpool Council of Education, founded in 1873, which in the days before any public authority was empowered to undertake such work provided a scholarship ladder from the elementary schools to the secondary schools of the city, by which many poor boys have climbed to the universities and thence to important positions in the world.

Liverpool Pupil Teachers College, Clarence Street.

The Education Committee was engaged in providing facilities for higher education and Liverpool was behind most other English cities in the development of the ancient grammar school. However, three of the older secondary schools, the Liverpool Institute, Blackburne House, and the Liverpool Collegiate School (formerly Liverpool College Middle and Commercial Schools) passed from under the direct control of the Education Committee to become Colleges. The Pupil Teachers' College in Clarence Street was turned into the Oulton Secondary School, with 873 pupils; Holt Secondary School, one of the most highly developed of the elementary schools was turned into a secondary school, and a large secondary school for girls was also built.

Liverpool Collegiate with st augustine's 1854

The Technical School (right)
Byrom St. 1927

The Technical Instruction Committee conducted classes in the Central Technical School, Byrom Street, and had three branch schools in other parts of the city, and provided regular evening classes also in ten other institutions. 

The Nautical Catering College
Canning Place
There was also a nautical college, a school for cookery, and a school of domestic economy. The city also had two training colleges for teachers, the Liverpool Training College, Mount Pleasant, founded in 1856, and conducted by the sisters of the Notre Dame, and the Edge Hill Training College (undenominational) founded in 1884. Both for women, and both  affiliated to the university. For the training of Roman Catholic priests there was St. Edward's College, in Everton.



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Robert F Edwards

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