The Education and Employment of Girls in Luton, 1874-1924

The Education and Employment of Girls in Luton, 1874-1924

Widening Opportunities and Lost Freedoms

Anne Allsopp




Accessibly written study of female education and employment in Luton, an area where women had much economic independence from an early age.
This book examines the education of Luton girls and its relationship with employment opportunities, concentrating on, but not exclusively confined to, the working-classes. The acknowledged independence of spirit to be found in Luton was especially noticeable among its female population, which enjoyed considerable economic power within the traditional hat-making industry. While there is evidence to show that girls' education was biased towards their roles as wives and mothers, by the early twentieth century the effects of compulsory education and the introduction of new industries into the town meant that their status and expectations had changed.

The author pays particular attention to half time schooling and the granting of labour certificates which allowed children to leave school before the statutory age; she also assesses the contribution of the home and independent organisations, the training of teachers, the character of rural schools, the introduction of technical and secondary education, and the role played by Sunday schooling.


September 2005
27 black and white, 6 line illustrations
280 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Publications Bedfordshire Hist Rec Soc
ISBN: 9780851550701
Format: Hardback
Beds Historical Record Society
BISAC SOC028000, HIS015000
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An extraordinarily exacting study.well-produced and well-illustrated. Just about anything anyone could want to know about education in Luton is at some point covered. It is a remarkable effort.[...] This is a good local study, which will be of value to anyone engaged in work on Luton, Bedfordshire, or late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century British girls' schools more generally. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
Anyone who has an interest in the development of education from the private schools into compulsory state directed universal education will find this book interesting. BEDFORDSHIRE FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY JOURNAL

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