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The Upper and Middle Classes
* The Elementary School Act of 1870 made school compulsory up to the age of 12.
* The most famous group of public schools was referred to as “the Nine Great Public Schools.”
* The famous schools were Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester, Shrewsbury, Charterhouse, Westminster, St. Paul's, and Merchant Taylors.
* These schools were originally opened up to everyone and sustained through the donations of wealthy donors. Initially taught boys Latin and Greek grammar but in 1861 the administration was changed and more of the sciences were included. As a result, the schools became public in name only and were attended pretty much by upper class and middle class boys only.
* Children of the upper and middle classes were taught at home by governesses or tutors until they were old enough to attend public schools.
* Public schools were important for sons of well-off or aspiring families because schools gave them the opportunity to establish connections which could later help them out in their careers.
* Most of the boys that attended these schools went off to Cambridge and Oxford and then later on to Parliament.
* George Osborne was not of the upper classes but he interacted a lot with them and it was a possibility for a gain in status.
* A lot of emphasize was placed on athletic games. They oftentimes even took precedence over the learning of Greek and Latin. Being a sportsman reaffirmed a man's leadership.
The Lower Classes
* Boys of the lower classes were excluded from attending the “public” schools of England because they did not fit into what was expected of the boys that attended those schools.
* The boys attending the public schools were most often than not of well to do families, which meant they would be well-dressed, well-mannered boys.
* Boys from the lower classes did not have the same upbringing and as a result did not fit into the public schools instead they attended what were often referred to as Ragged Schools.
Purposes of Education
* For the upper classes, the purpose of an education was to raise gentlemen and prepare them for prestigious appointments in Parliament or government.
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* For the lower classes, the purpose was to educate them in religious terms.
* Essentially, the public education system was criticized for serving the purpose of teaching everyone their designated place in society.
Everett, Glenn. “Public Schools.” 1997.
Mangan, J.A. Athleticism in the Victorian and Edwardian Public School. London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2000.
“A Regency Repository: Education.” A Regency Repository.
Taft, Deb. “The Victorian Education.” 1999