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A source based investigation on 19th Century Schooling in Debenham Using sources A and B, can you explain how schooling in Debenham seems to have changed between 1833 and 1880?

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Introduction

A source based investigation on 19th Century Schooling in Debenham Using sources A and B, can you explain how schooling in Debenham seems to have changed between 1833 and 1880? There were a lot of changes in the education system in Debenham between 1833 and 1880 as the schools worked towards what was the best system for the area. Some of these changes seem to have more meaning to us as historians than others. In 1833, Debenham had a number of schools. Firstly, it had three daily schools, one of which was the Sir Robert Hitcham's school. This contained 40 males and 15 females. Sir Robert Hitcham allowed the school �30 per annum to use towards its budget. The rest was paid for by fees from the students. The other two daily schools contained 44 males, and 34 females' altogether. These two schools were paid for completely by fees. There were also two Sunday schools at the time. Firstly, there was the Established Church, which would have been run by the Church of England. This had 80 male students, and 60 female students. Then there was the Independents school. This contained 152 students of both sexes. Both of the Sunday Schools were run by contributions. From this, you can clearly see that the Sunday Schools were more popular than the daily schools. This was probably because of two reasons, the first being that Sunday Schools allowed you to work on the fields in the week, leaving the person still earning. Another reason was probably because no-one had to pay a fee to go to a Sunday school. ...read more.

Middle

This was happening a lot later on, but did not seem to happen to early in some places. This was because England needed an educated workforce if they were to keep up in the ever quickening race towards being a rich and powerful country. A lot of the schools also had fees that had to be paid by students. This was happening nationally, and was needed for a school to get enough money to run in the first place. In 1866, Debenham managed to set up a school where the poorest could go without having to pay any fees at all. This was happening elsewhere, but it was a very rare occurrence, and was only managed through three different method of receiving money. These methods were endowment, voluntary contribution, and also having the richest attending the school paying fees. Not many schools were lucky enough to have the earlier two generosities of the people near the school and so could not carry out their education in this way. In 1879, the Debenham National School also merged with the Debenham Sir Robert Hitcham School. This was also happening nationally, and mainly after 1870. This was because it was a better use of resources than having two schools doing the same job in the same area. Debenham had day schools also. This was happening nationally also, and mainly because people who wanted a decent education would have to put more time into their education than just one Sunday a week, as Sunday Schools did. Debenham also had a boy's only school. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another thing which may make you question the sources reliability some more is that James Cornish was the son of the vicar, meaning he may have been biased towards his father, by saying that his father was the leading figure in the area for education. James Cornish's daughter also edited the reminiscences, and so may have changed them falsely. His daughter may have wanted to make her Grandfather seem a greater man, with more wisdom than he had. It also seems quite suspect that James Cornish's reminiscences start from when he was born. This means that not all of his reminiscences could have been his own memories. This discredits source C further. Another thing that could have happened was that the publishers could have changed the book for the good of sales. If they did not think that it was lively enough at some points, or that the writer needed to look more of a hero, then they may have changed it around. James Cornish could also have exaggerated the events that took place so as to make everything in his book seem better than it actually was. From the above you can definitely see that source C had some reliable features, such as the fact that it was written by a respected member of society, but there are also a number of points that you can pick out which discredit how good this source may have actually been. To gain a more of an insight to how reliable this source was, I would have to cross-reference with a number of other sources and see what points they all agree on, and which points they do not. ...read more.

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