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Second City of The Empire: 1830s to 1914

Learning and Beliefs


By Peter Hillis

Advertisement The year 1872 divides this period since up until the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act the church was the main provider of schools maintaining the close links between religion and education. The creation of the Free Church of Scotland led to a substantial increase in the number of schools as it tried to out do its rival, the Church of Scotland. The church, however, was only one provider. Independent Schools flourished: Glasgow Academy was founded in 1846 and Kelvinside Academy in 1877. In 1878 the High School moved into the Elmbank Street building designed by Charles Wilson as the Academy moved out to a new site at Kelvinbridge. Further schools were run by a plethora of individuals and organisations including the Spoutmount Institute run by the industrialist Sir Michael Connal, factory schools, Sunday Schools and schools catering exclusively for girls.

School Board Certificate The state began to take more control with a grant system that became known as payment by results and later by establishing a tighter legislative framework. The very wide variety of different types of school was a weakness compounded by the failure of the whole system to cater for large numbers of children. The 1872 Education Act provided for the setting up of elected local School Boards under the general supervision of the Scotch Education Department. The Glasgow School Board reduced the number, but improved the quality and size of schools. Its remaining legacy is the grand, red-sandstone buildings proudly bearing the name of the Board that can still be seen in the city.

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