SCHOOL Boards Election of Redcar and Coatham

Accreditation The Redcar & Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 02/02/12/1870


     At the present time, when the whole of the large towns of this county are busily engaged in electing School Boards, it is gratifying to find that in Redcar and Coatham the state of education is such as to need no such machinery. The neglect of the education of masses having arrested the attention of statesmen, an attempt has been made to legislate so as, at least in some degree, to remedy the evil. The object of Mr. W. W. Forster’s bill, passed last session, is to secure and enforce school accommodation for one sixth of the whole population. That is to say, in all places where the school accommodation is below that proportion, and no voluntary agency is forthcoming to supply the deficiency, the bill gives compulsory powers to apply such deficiency.

     An enquiry has been made into educational matters in Redcar, and we find that, through the munificence of the Earl of Zetland, who provided handsome school buildings some years ago, that the parish will be spared the expense of erecting any additional buildings. At Coatham, too, a like provision has been made by the liberality of A. H. T. Newcomen, Esq., who erected the present commodious and efficient Schools, about five years ago.

     The Zetland School for boys and girls at Redcar has room for 220, and the Infant School adjacent holds 73; total, 293. There are at preset on the books of these schools – boys and girls, 183; night scholars 25; infants, 120; total, 328. It will of course, be understood that the average attendance is considerably below this; otherwise it would be shown that the schools accommodation is deficient , which is so far from being the case that a much larger daily attendance is already fully provided for. We believe that the present average in both day schools is rather over 200; and the night school, conducted by Mr. Bland, 20. There are also five private schools in Redcar, having accommodation for about 90 pupils; the average attendance at which is about 70. The efficiency of the Zetland Schools has recently been tested by Her Majesty’s Inspector, H. E. Oakeley, Esq., whose reports have just been received, wherein we see that the boys and girls have passed well in ordinary subjects; and in Geography, the special subject chosen for this year, nineteen have passed successfully, after rigorous examination. The infants passed remarkably well; better, indeed than for some years past; which must be very encouraging to their painstaking teacher. The religious difficulty, which has caused so much discussion, finds no place here, as no catechism or special dogmas are taught, though the Holy Scriptures are read and explained by the teacher. All Church teaching is reserved for the Sunday Schools, and parents have full liberty to send their children to any Sunday school they please.

     At the Coatham Schools there is accommodation for 250 scholars; the numbers on the books being 78 boys and 93 girls, total 171: the average daily attendance, 59 boys and 75 girls, total 134. This school is on the National system, and therefore under Church inspection. The Night School, conducted by Mr Nutley, has an average of 20 scholars; There are three private schools in Coatham, with some 40 or 50 pupils. The Grammar School at Coatham provides for a higher class of education; and since it was opened in 1869 it has been conducted by the Rev. J. Davey, M.A., Head Master, who is assisted by two other efficient masters. Considering the short time which has elapsed since its commencement, we believe the Grammar School to be a great success; their being at present 70 pupils. An Upper Class School has long been much wanted in this district, and the want has been fully met by the establishment of the Coatham Grammar School. According to the statutes of the School, 16 boys are educated free, and the remainder are boarders and day pupils.

     As the census has not been taken since 1861, the population of the two places can only be roughly estimated. According to the recent calculation, Coatham contains 1,400 and Redcar 2,000, inhabitants. Hence it will be seen from the foregoing statements the requirements of the new Education Act are full provided for in these parishes.

     It would be difficult to set too high an estimate on a good education, or to exaggerate the importance of the early training of the young; for the impressions made in youth are often indelible, and at that period of life the character may be moulded and the will influenced for all good, to an extent which is inconceivable save to the thoughtful and observant. It therefore behoves all who have charge of the young to secure for them at least some of the advantages so fully placed within their reach; for there is now no need for the humblest child in our midst to remain uneducated and the more affluent may avail themselves of the advantages of higher education offered to them at the Grammar School, and at the private schools.