Ilkeston’s ASBO had failed in its primary aim but it had secured a majority for its representatives on the new School Board.
One of the first tasks set by the Board was to assess any school accommodation needs of the town, which was therefore divided into four districts.
- District 1 included Cotmanhay up to Lower Granby Street.
- District 2 from Lower Granby Street to the Market Place.
- District 3 from the Market Place to Regent Street.
- District 4 was from Regent Street down Nottingham Road and included Hallam Fields.
It was then calculated that about 500 additional school places were needed for the town but that the Cotmanhay area was most in need of extra provision. Thus a new school to accommodate 500 children was to be built in this district.
1878: Granby Schools planned
These first schools built by the Board were Granby Schools.
The original site for the schools, chosen in October 1878, was in Potter’s Old Engine Close belonging to the Duke of Rutland, described as being a field on the south side of Charlotte Street, about one acre in size, but by February 1879 it was clear that the Duke was unwilling to sell this land. Now the Board considered a ‘compulsory purchase‘ of the land as it was entitled to do, by the Land Clauses Consolidation Act. At the same time the name “Granby Schools” was chosen, to accomodate 300 boys and 300 girls in separate departments with a suitable adjacent teacher’s residence.
The Duke came back to offer two alternative sites — one in Horridge’s Brickyard-close was turned down but the one ( — eventually, after some discussion with the tenants of the land –) accepted by Board was at the junction of Charlotte Street and Heanor Road.
In December 1879 plans for the buildings were chosen, designed by architect and surveyor James Tait of Friar Lane, Leicester, and in July 1880 it was decided that the schools were to be built by Frederick Shaw of the Manor House. Though they were not the first school opened by the Board.
By September 1880 the building of Granby Schools had not begun, held up by arguments over the valuation of property and the land on which the schools were to be built.
H.M. Inspector of Schools noted this ’serious delay’ in building the new schools and suggested that the Board should open an interim school immediately.
Such a temporary schoolroom for infants was opened in January 1881 in the Wesley Street Free Church schoolroom, Cotmanhay, its first mistress being Mary Elizabeth Pollard, daughter of Henry and Lucy (nee Brown), at a salary of £60 pa.
In March 1881 Lucy Moss, daughter of John and Mary (nee Scattergood), was appointed as pupil teacher/ assistant to Mary Elizabeth. Fees for the children attending this school were 2d per week.
1881: School Board elections .. again.
The second election of the School Board was due in June 1881.
In the preceding month the Pioneer noted that….
“the Board … had worked so well and harmoniously together that they should be re-elected without the expense of an election…. Education is nowadays a necessity, and that necessity entails a liberal outlay of money which cannot be avoided. Yet there is a vast difference between spending money on educating children for the battle of life and needlessly squandering it over expensive sites, ornamental buildings and exorbitant professional charges”.
One wonders what the newspaper’s attitude to the election would have been had the Churchmen not held a majority on the old Board?
The newspaper’s wishes were not granted.
An election was to be held and some of the candidates — but not all — took this far more seriously than William Mellor had done in 1878.
Several of them organised open-air meetings at various parts of the town. The four Dissenting nominees spoke at the junction of Awsworth Road and Cotmanhay Road, and later at Cotmanhay.
‘Churchmen’ William Adlington and John Moss declined to stand once more and thus there were only three Church candidates “all of whom made the best of their way individually, there being no attempt at combination”. (Old Resident). They were not organised, had no committee rooms and did not address the electors directly.
Edwin Trueman, although a Churchman, stood as an independent Working Man’s candidate and spoke at three meetings, starting in Cotmanhay, then at the end of Awsworth Road and finally in the Market Place. He advertised himself as a nominee of no party or clique, though like the other Church candidates he supported religious education which incorporated some discussion and comment — and unlike the Dissenters who wanted no comment or note – and also supported the survival of the voluntary schools.
For many therefore the result was not a surprise.
The four nonconformists were returned, thus reversing the strength of each party on the first Board.
For those of you who want the names ….
the new members were Rev. John Harry Buchanan** (Holy Trinity Church); Rev. John Fleming (Independent Chapel); Stephen Keeling (Primitive Methodist member); Samuel Streets Potter (C of E); Joseph Belfield Shorthose (C of E); Herbert Tatham (Free Methodist); Charles Woolliscroft (Wesleyan Methodist).
Edwin Trueman narrowly failed in his bid to be selected. Some argued that his supporters were too confident and had split their votes in favour of the other candidates. Edwin put the blame on Samuel Trueman who also had stood in the election and who had attracted a measly 81 voters some of whom thought that they were voting for Edwin.
“This was a party dodge which had the desired effect, and was afterwards boasted of by its perpetrator”.
** Some time later the Pioneer commented upon the newly-arrived Rev Buchanan .. “a new star which had appeared in the local firmament .. and who had come to the town to take charge of the Mission district, later the Parish of Holy Trinity. He had been rousing the ire of a good many Ilkeston worthies, both Churchmen and Nonconformists by his rather advanced ideas on certain matters, and who intimated his intention of having a finger in the local Eduational Pie.”
1881-1883: Granby Schools .. at last!!
Now with a different political and religious complexion the new School Board tried to alter the Granby School plans of the previous administration, by adding an infants department to the original plans, which were for boys and girls only.
This would necessitate a change in the original agreement for the purchase of the land from the Duke of Rutland … and the Duke’s agent Robert Nesfield was having none of it! He would not allow the Duke to be dragged into local political arguments and so had to decline the School Board’s request.
Negotiations dragged on but in February 1882 the contract for building the new Granby Schools was agreed and signed off between the Local Board and Frederick Shaw, its builder. The projected date of opening was the end of September. … a date which came and went !!
Meanwhile, on November 2nd 1882 it was decided to advertise for a Master at £150 pa and a Mistress at £80 pa, as well as two pupil teachers for each department. There were 131 applications for the post of master and nine for the post of mistress. (Read into that what you will).
Elizabeth Martha Brant and George Barratt Hargreaves were appointed.
The Granby schools were finally opened for business during the second week of January 1883, though formal opening was delayed until April of that year by which time there were 470 children ‘on the books’.
“So Granby Schools entered upon their career of usefulness without any ceremony or formality, without any blowing of trumpets or making of speeches, but quietly and businesslike, setting out as it intended .. ” (IP Jan 20th 1933)
They were built to accommodate 578 boys and girls but no infants.
As Chairman of the School Board Charles Woolliscroft said at the opening ceremony, the schools were ‘substantial and neat’ and the Board had been careful to ensure that there was no expenditure on ‘unnecessary ornamentation’.
“Neat and attractive” agreed the (Liberal) Advertiser, “making no pretensions to the ornateness of style affected by some School Boards”.
It went on to describe the schools’ interior.
“… the main room being in both schools of the shape of the letter T
“A wing on one side of the boys’ school contains two class-rooms, which can at the option of the teacher be thrown into one large room.
“Glass panels in the doors communicating with the class-rooms subject them both to the inspection of the headmaster in the main room.
“In the girls’ school the class-rooms are arranged at one end, instead of along the side. The other details are precisely similar to those in the boys’ school.
“Each school is capable of accommodating some 280 pupils, and the class-rooms are calculated to hold about 70”.
George Barratt Hargreaves, the first Head, came as a well-qualified ‘educationalist’ — with ten years experience as a certificated teacher, the last three years serving as senior assistant master in a large Board School in London. Miss E.M.Brant was the Mistress of the Girls’ School.
The Boys’ school was built to accommodate 281 children but by 1884 its average attendance was 305. Mr. Hargreaves was compelled to turn potential students away !!
1884: ET gets on Board … at last!!
In 1884 Edwin Trueman was at last successful in his efforts to be elected as a member of the School Board.
And it was he who in August 1884 put forward the following motion to the School Board.
“That the resolution of the Board having reference to the reading of the Bible in Board Schools, passed on the 31st of January 1883, be rescinded; and that it be an instruction to the head teachers of the Board schools that at the proper time set aside for the purpose the children sing a hymn, and repeat after the teachers the Lord’s Prayer. The children shall also read a chapter in the Bible, the teachers to accompany the same by such explanation and comment as may to them appear necessary or desirable, but they must carefully avoid in such comment any reference of a distinctly denominational character. Further, that once, at least, in every week the children be taught to recite the Ten Commandments, and the teachers be required to explain the meaning of the same”.
By this motion Edwin was seeking to provide a more complete education for the children by including an ‘education of the conscience’ and an ‘inculcation of the moral law’ to avoid ‘a collapse in the social fabric’.
Another member of the Board, the Rev. John Harry Buchanan of Holy Trinity Church, proposed an amendment.
“That all previous motions on the subject of religious education be hereby rescinded, and that it be and hereby is an instruction given to the head teachers of the Ilkeston Board Schools, and that in each and all their several departments religious instruction shall be given for half an hour each morning as follows: — First, the singing of a hymn, followed on Monday by the reading of the Old Testament, on Tuesday by the reading of the New Testament, on Wednesday by the reading of the Ten Commandments, on Thursday by the reading of the Old Testament, and on Friday by the reading of the New Testament, and that all such instructions be accompanied by such explanation as shall fairly arise from the text without involving any points of religious or dogmatic controversy”.
And yet another member of the Board, the Rev. John Fleming of the Congregational Chapel, moved as a rider,
“That no comment, ethical or theological, be permitted on the reading of the Scriptures or the Ten Commandments”.
He felt that no teacher could discuss or explain the Scriptures without giving his or her own particular denominational views.
After a flurry of voting the original motion was the one adopted by the Board.
Wouldn’t you just know it?!!
In January 1885 the Derby Daily Telegraph reported that there were 5000 children between the ages of five and 14 years but school accommodation for only 4000. Additional schools were in the process of being erected at Kensington.
And two months later, John H Barber of Woolsthorpe near Grantham was appointed as Assistant Master at the schools with a salary of £45 pa. And in the same month the SchoolBoard was looking for two monitors for Granby, perhaps to later become Pupil Teachers; They will be expected to pass the Candidates’Examination in October next, when they must be 14 years of age.
And what of the rest?
Meanwhile the existing schools continued their work.
December 1881: End of year report for Ilkeston National Schools by H.M. Government.
1st Standard worked fairly; all else in excellent style.
Class work not so good. Grammar passable.
Geography in 4th Class very weak.
History very good in 6th Standard.
Literature carefully and intelligently done.
Boys are in good order and sing with great taste.
In nearly all points, work extremely good.
Sewing of unusual excellence.
Grammar very fair, especially in 3rd Class.
But 4th Standard weak and in arithmetic 5th and 6th Standard weak.
Domestic Economy in First Stage of no value; passable in Second and Third Stages.
Singing particularly tasteful.
Instruction in all Classes very fairly successful.
Reading hardly fluent enough in upper Classes.
Recitations well done.
Singing and Exercises satisfactory; Marching needs more variety and precision.
Sewing of 1st Class good.
And here’s Her Majesty’s Inpector’s Report for the British School, dated November 4th 1885.
Percentage of passes in recent exams = 90%
This school continues to be taught with vigour and intelligence, and the examination both in elementary and class subjects (English grammer and literature, history and geography) was passed with ease and credit.
The order and singing by notes are very good.
The infants are taught with care and precision.
The school was once again awarded the merit of excellence,
And the School Building and Expansion Programme continued.
In September 1885 head teachers for the new Kensington Schools in Nottingham Road were appointed.
Chosen from a group of five candidates, Arthur Butt, son of James and Ann of Union Road, was to take charge of the Boys’ School, and be paid a salary of £100 pa, with one third of the gross Government grant. Alfred had previously been Assistant master at the school. Miss Glover of the School House, Haxey, was appointed Head Mistress.
Exactly two years later the Town Council finalised the purchase of a site in Lower Chapel Street for the construction of a Board School in that area — this was to be the Chaucer Street Schools. And in 1888 plans for the new Chaucer Street Schools, drawn up by George Haslam, were eventually approved. The schools are covered here
Chaucer Schools, looking from the junction of Lower Chapel Street (left) and Cranmer Street (right)
1887: The School Board grows
At the Board election of 1887 nine members were now up for election … divided into several ‘camps’. There were now Churchmen, Independent Churchmen, Liberal Nonconformists, and Independent Nonconformists. The Liberal Nonconformists — Nathan Buxton, Stephen Keeling, Thomas Roe, William Tatham, and Charles Woolliscroft — banded together on a united ‘ticket’ and issued a joint address to their electorate. However the Church candidates — Rev. J Harry Buchanan, William Flint, John Moss, Robert Robinson, Joseph Shorthose, and Edwin Trueman — ran independently of each other.
At one hustings during the election campaign, one candidate declared that Ilkeston life is made up of ‘pit, pub and bed‘. The Mansfield Reporter suggested that he might add ‘electioneering’ to that list, because in the last 12 months the town had had two Parliamentary, one Local Board, one Guardians, two Town Council, and now one School Board contest.
At the election, the Liberal Nonconformists Messrs Tatham, Buxton, Roe and Wooliscroft were all returned, along with Alfred Jackson and George William Knott, both Independent Nonconformists. This gave them a majority. Churchmen Messrs Buchanan, Trueman and Moss, were also elected.
At the first few meetings of the new ‘enlarged’ Board, both the chairman and vice-chairman were elected from the ‘majority’ camp — despite Edwin Trueman pointing out that it had been the custom to select the latter post-holder from the ‘minority’ party. Edwin was nonplussed. (However it should be noted that Edwin was a ‘man of principle‘; three years later when his name was put forward to be vice-chairman of the new School Board, as a member of the ‘minority’, he refused the honour on the grounds that it was no longer accepted as custom — and he would abide by that !!)
It was also determined that children were not to be sent out of school by their teachers to ‘hunt up’ absentees. And the Board then considered a petition, signed by most of their teachers, that their schools’ summer holiday be extended from two to three weeks — the season had been an exceptionally hot one and most trying to the teachers, agreed the Board which acceded to the teachers’ request. A motion to open the School Board meetings to the public was defeated, and Sergeant Pilbeam was reappointed as drill instructor for the Board Schools for 26 weeks.
Finally, the Rev. J Harry Buchanan of Holy Trinity Church had to resign from the body, through ill health. Thus a replacement member had to be appointed by the remaining members. At a subsequent meeting, Edwin Trueman (a Churchman) nominated Robert Robinson, a defeated candidate in the School Board elections (and another Churchman) and this was seconded by John Moss (yet another Churchman). Edwin pointed out that the Board had lost one Churchman when the Rev Buchanan resigned, and it was only right and custom that he be replaced by another Churchman.
Custom ? This was not important to some other Board members.
Thus Thomas Roe (Liberal Nonconformist) proposed that the vacant seat be taken by John Hancock, a hosiery works manager at J. B. Lewis & Sons, newly arrived in the town (and also a Liberal) and this was seconded by Charles Woolliscroft (a Liberal Nonconformist) …… you can see where this is going can’t you !?
The votes of the eight members was evenly split, and so the Chairman William Tatham (Liberal Nonconformist) gave his casting vote for — (I leave you to fill in the gap !!!)
Edwin Trueman was apoplectic. “This is the very last time I shall sit on this Board as a member”. He wrote out his resignation almost immediately.
However he was still there at the next meeting !! … as was John Hancock.
School Board rules …. and prizes. 1888-1890
In the March meeting of 1888 the members of the Board did something they had never done before. They were accustomed to imposing fines upon parents who persistently allowed their children to ‘miss‘ school; however the son of Elizabeth Foulger was the first student to be sent to an industrial school, until the age of 14. (https://ourcriminalancestors.org/2018/04/beyond-the-control-of-his-parents-reformatory-and-industrial-schools-in-yorkshire/)
Occasionally, if a fine was imposed upon parents, a disputed case would arise in the Petty Sessions, and such was the case in January 1889. Samuel and Martha Beardsley of Albion Place were summoned for persistently not sending their son, Samuel junior, to the British School in Bath Street. The lad had been a pupil there for seven years but had recently been excluded because he was ‘not as respectable‘ as some of the other children, and his mother had no wish to send him to another school. And Edwin Trueman, a member of the School Board of course, came to her defence !!
He argued that the British School was merely weeding pupils out, trying to reduce its numbers because it was overcrowded, and the only reason it had given for excluding the pupil was because his shoes weren’t blacked !!
Sitting in judgement, the magistrate thought that Edwin was making a speech rather than giving evidence, though he argued that he was merely trying to expose the true reason why the lad had not attended school. And of course there was no love lost between himself (a Conservative Churchman) and the Non-Conformist (Liberal) British School.
In the end Samuel junior was transferred to attend St. Mary’s (National) School.
Persistent absence wasn’t the only punisable offence with a fine.
For example, in September 1890, Selina Spencer (nee Everley) was hauled up before the magistrates at Ilkeston Petty Sessions by Wright Lissett, clerk of the Board. For a couple of months she had been claiming a remission of school fees for two of her sons, Alfred and Everley, aged 11 and 9 respectively. She had pleaded hardship — her husband Isaiah was working in Russia and she could only earn a trifling sum for washing, while another son was only getting 9s a week to keep them all going. She couldn’t afford to send the lads to school unless she was granted the remission — which she was.
It was subsequently learned that she was in fact receiving 35s 6d per week. And while her husband was away working, his employer was paying £1 per week, while two of her other sons were, combined, earning about 16s per week. By fraudulently claiming, she had basically committed ‘highway robbery’. It was the first case of its kind pursued by the School Board and so the magistrates decided to treat Selina leniently; she was fined 5s with £1 0s 10d costs, and allowed seven days to pay. The maximum sentence was 14 days imprisonment, which would in future be imposed. So beware !!
However there were often ‘good news’ stories. For example, at the annual prize-giving at Granby Board Schools in May 1890, the Inspector’s report showed a return of 95% passes. Fifteen boys had attended every time the schools were open, 10 were absent only once, 12 were absent twice, and 30 others made from 440 to 413 attendances out of a possible 446. One star lad had only six absences in seven years.
Free elementary schooling for all children was provided only with the Elementary Education Act of 1891. However this issue arose at a School Board meeting of May 1st 1890, held at the Town Hall. George Knott, a member of that Board, put forward a motion “that in the opinion of this Board it is desirable that, as education is compulsory, it should also be free, and this Board strongly urges the Government to introduce a bill having for its purpose that end”. This motion wasn’t seconded however, until Edwin Trueman offered to second it, if the words “The advantages being extended alike to all public elementary schools, whether voluntary or Board schools”. William Knott declined this offer, and the motion was therefore dropped.
At this time Ilkeston ratepayers had to pay for education on a limited scale, although the School Board could remit fees in needy cases; it also could allow three children from the same family to attend school for the price of two. And during the 1890 election campaign for the new School Board, some novel suggestions were put forward to pay for ‘free education’ — e.g. reduce the enormous salaries of bishops and archbishops of the Church of England, or take away the perpetual pensions of men who had never raised a sword in defence of the realm (ideas put forward by Reuben Limb, checkweighman)
1890: a new School Board
The results are in !!! After a fierce and controversial election campaign the results were announced, close to midnight on June 18th.
In order (of popularity) John Hancock, Walter Tatham, Reuben Limb, Thomas Roe — all Liberal and unsectarian.
Followed by Edwin Trueman — a Churchman
Then Father Phillip James McCarthy — the Roman Catholic priest
The Rev. Alfred Jackson — Independent Denominationist
William Haslam — Liberal and unsectarian
And finally the Rev. Edward Muirhead Evans, Vicar of St. Mary’s — a Churchman
Five candidates were unsuccessful.
It was clearly a victory, once more, for the Liberal/unsectarian interests, and a congratulatory telegram was sent to the Liberal group by the constituency M.P. Sir Walter Foster: “Most hearty congratulations that the Ilkeston electors have behaved so solidly. It is an honour to represent such thorough Liberals”
At the first meeting of the new Board, Thomas Roe was chosen as chairman (unanimously), with John Hancock as his vice-chairman.
It soon got to work and in September 1890 decided to purchase a piece of land in Cotmanhay (4000 yards at 2/6d per yard) to build a new school, a replacement for the old, temporary Wesley Street school. The latter was to be closed in January of 1892 and the new one would be called the Cotmanhay Road Infants’ School. In March 1891, out of three sets of plans submitted for the new school, that of George Haslam (yes, him again !!) was chosen. Now all that was needed was a builder !! This was achieved in July 1891 when William Edwin Shaw was chosen — the son of Frederick Shaw of Manor Farm. However this decision was, a month later, rescinded and was replaced by the tender of John Brown, builder of Long Eaton. (It was almost £400 cheaper). When John Brown demanded a downpayment before he would accept the work, the Board promptly cancelled the offer and reinstated William Edwin Shaw as the school’s prospective builder !!
A school assembly at a Girls’ Board School at the end of the Victorian era
1891. The future of the British School.
At the beginning of the year the managers of the British School approached the School Board, suggesting that the latter could take over that school and operate it as a Higher Grade School … which, as its name suggests, would provide enhanced education within the Elementary system for older pupils who showed ability and commitment. The Board, strongly in favour of this idea, immediately recommended a ‘take-over‘, as well as purchasing the schools furniture and apparatus. The teachers would be transferred into the ‘new’ higher school on their existing salaries, and the head master of the British School, Henry Frederick Daykin, would receive an annual salary of £144 plus one-third of all grants. If this proposal wasn’t accepted there was a distinct danger that the British School would be closed !!
The proposal was accepted, and agreed by the Education Department; it was now to be called the Bath Street Board School. At the ‘hand-over’ ceremony, Henry Frederick was presented with a marble timepiece with candelabra and a hand-painted silver-mounted matchbox.
Henry Frederick was still there on November 11th, 1892 when Lady Foster, wife of Ilkeston’s M.P., was at the school to give out prizes, awared by the Department of Science and Art, to the students of the school’s Science class, the first such occasion.
August 1891: Free education in Ilkeston
At the monthly meeting of the School Board on August 5th, a resolution, proposed by Edwin Trueman, was passed almost unanimously, that from September 1st all fees in Board Schools — except the Bath Street school — be abolished. The fees of the latter school were to be reduced by 3d.
Three months later Edwin announced that he would not seek re-election to the School Board — he was going to concentrate upon ‘active Conservative work’. His place was eventually filled (January 1892) by Charles Maltby — not after an election as Charles was nominated, unopposed, by members of the Board.
1891: A laughing stock
The ‘acrobatics‘ over the builder’s contract with the Cotmanhay Road Infants’ school and the firing and hiring of ‘Miss Brant‘ as headmistress of the Granby Girls’ School provoked much merriment. Here is what the Derby Mercury (September 9th) thought of it all …
“What an amusing body the Ilkeston School Board must be. When they are not entertaining themselves with what the reporters call ‘acrimonious’ and ‘heated’ discussions, they play the delightful game of passing resolutions and rescinding them. They decided to ‘order’ one of their mistresses to leave their service on the 1st day of July. On the 1st day of September they rescinded the motion, and instead of considering the applications for the vacant post reinstated the lady again. Then they decided that a contract which was first accepted and then rejected shoud be again accepted, but an effort to bind the Board to make it a rule to affixthe common seal to contracts accepted by resolution of the Board, and notified by the Clderk to the contractor, was lost ! So proud does the Board seem to be of its wobbling accomplishments that it has solemnly resolved that in future its meetings shall be open to the public.”
October 1891: The School Board puts its foot down
Every child was given a leaflet to take home, on which was printed the by-law which stated quite clearly that parents who kept their children from school could be prosecuted, even if the absence was only for half a day !! The reason for affirming this right ? The fact that several children had absented themselves on the day of the drawing examination !!
As a post-script, Andrew Knighton has a couple of very interesting items. He writes ….
The two items are school leaving certificates for Fred Knighton (my great grandfather) and his brother, Harry Knighton. They both attended the British School on Bath Street, which used to stand opposite Albion Place, later the site of the Globe Picture House/billiard hall and latterly before demolition, John Collier’s and Gunn’s card shop. There is a distant view, showing the steps up into the school room in the view of the top end of Bath Street, looking down, in Cox and Mason’s Views of Ilkeston, published c.1900.
1901 School Report for Ilkeston
Looking at a trade directory at the end of the Victorian era, you might well find a list of Ilkeston’s schools to help you judge how successful the School Board had been so far, in its 20+ years of existence. Here is a brief summary from one such trade directory …..
School Board formed on 24th June 1878.
Board Schools constructed ….
Granby Schools on Heanor Road, erected 1883. Total places = 564 (girls and boys)
Kensington Schools on Nottingham Road, erected 1885. Total places = 522 (girls, boys and infants)
Chaucer Street Schools, erected 1889 and enlarged in 1894. Total places = 1110 (girls, boys and infants)
Cotmanhay Road School, erected 1892. Total places = 400 (infants)
Gladstone Street Schools, erected in 1897. Total places = 900 (mixed and infants)
There were, of course, other schools serving the town ….
The National Schools off the Market Place, erected in 1874. Total places = 630 (girls, boys and infants)
Holy Trinity in Factory Lane, erected in 1876. Total places = 300 (infants)
Catholic School in Regent Street, erected in 1898. Total places = 140 (mixed)
How about looking at a few schools photos, several from erstwhile Board Schools ?