Records relating to about 800 schools and other educational establishments throughout pre and post 1974 Cheshire and held at Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies. Private and charitable foundations were established at various dates. Some of the old grammar school foundations date from the early 16th century, although most schools were founded after the mid 19th century. Chief among the latter were the National Schools supported by the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor and by the Church of England, and the British schools founded by the British and Foreign Bible Society and usually supported by nonconformists. The government also assisted in providing schools. Grants were made to the National and British schools from 1833. However, poor parents were discouraged from sending their children to school since many schools charged fees and the family would lose that child’s potential earning power. Acts of 1876 and 1880 prohibited the employment of children under 10 years old and children up to the age of 13 were required to attend school. However, it was only in 1891 that further government funding made it possible to provide free elementary schooling for all children.
School records often include managers’ minutes, log books and admission registers. Managers’ minutes comprise the record of meetings relating to administration. Log books are the headteacher’s record of daily activities. Admission registers list pupil’s entry and departure, reason for leaving, age and birth date, name, address and occupation of parents and guardians. In order to comply with the Data Protection Act (1998) school admission registers are normally subject to restricted access for 90 years (secondary schools) and 95 years (primary schools).