BAKEWELL: Boarding schools for girls in Victorian times is theme of WI talk

Liz Keeley gave an interesting talk to Bakewell WI about Victorian ladies’ boarding schools.

Schooling for girls or young women in Victorian times isn’t considered as often as that of young men of the period. Liz said that generally a poor picture has been painted but a photograph and a letter written by an ancestor of hers apparently at school encouraged her to research the subject in Derbyshire.

Most girls only had education at Sunday School in the 1860s but there were also many academies listed in trade directories of the period. They were privately run, in small buildings and Liz explained the many reasons young women would be sent to boarding school, the fixed ideas that the Victorians had about girls’ education and the environment in which they were taught.

Girls were never taught science, classics or maths as this was considered too stressful for them.

Liz talked about the people, who would have run the schools, some also being established by many religious denominations.

Change came about because of the Schools Enquiries Commission and eventually girls were allowed to sit the Cambridge examinations.

Photographs illustrated the talk which was very informative.

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