England School Records Admissions and Discharges (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course English: Education,Health and Contemporary Documents  by Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Admission and Discharge Records[edit | edit source]

These records for Board Schools date from the 1870s, with some as early as 1862, and name the child, his date of birth and date of admission, the father’s (and sometimes mother’s) name, address, name of previous school attended, and date of leaving. Some give further information about why they left and where they went, perhaps naming another town or school, apprenticeship or workplace. These records provide important primary information and can be especially useful where several generations have attended the same local school. For example, where there are several families bearing the same surname and each having a John, William, Mary and Sarah, school records can help sort out which ones survived infancy.

Some finding aids to admission and discharge records have been written for example Webb’s index of school records of (Greater) London. The county record office or local archives will usually know where those in their area are located if they don’t have them in their holdings list. A few enterprising people have started to put admission registers onto CD, for example for Derby British School 1871-1894 (Probert).

An example of an Admission and Discharge Register from Warlingham Board School, Surrey on film 1,472,619 is shown below. This register starts in April 1893 and has an index of pupils, by first letter only, at the front which gives their admission number, entered in chronological order. There is a two-page spread of columns which is summarized here:

Chart: Admission and Discharge Register Warlingham Board School, Surrey

Admission number

Date of admission or re-admission

Date of birth


Christian name of child
First name and initial
Surname of parents
Only fathers’ first names and initial given

Last school
Various: none, this, private, none for 4 months, name of specific school.
Particulars of last examination
Only about half filled in with nil, i, iii, v etc.
Columns from I to VII, with year entered when in this standard
Specific subjects
Two columns, each divided into Stage 1, 2 and 3. None filled in at Warlingham
Withdrawal date
Not always given
Cause of withdrawal
Typical examples: Gone to Caterham,
Exempt by age
(these were 12-year-olds,
most with only standards III or IV to their credit,
several having spent more than one year in 1 or more standards),
Left illegally, Long illness, Labour certificate,
To wait till older, Died 19
Dec 1893, To help at home, Home to
London, To help mother, Gone to work,
Monitor became teacher (no withdrawal
date), Left district, Transferred to
infants, Gained scholarship, Gone to
convalescent home

From the index I found four Jupp children, all residing in Whyteleafe and having last attended Whyteleafe School, but from two families.

Chart: Jupp Children in Admission and Discharge Register, Warlingham Board School

Child and father
Dates of birth and admission
Standard attended
Date of withdrawal
Cause of withdrawal

Arthur s/o Arthur
2 Jun 1882
11 Sep 1893
(standard not given)
(date not given)
Exempt by age
George s/o Arthur
21 Jun 1884
7 May 1894
II in ’95, III in ’96
26 Mar 1897
To go to work
Charles s/o Arthur
6 Jun 1886
22 Apr 1995
III in ’96, IV in ’97 and ’98, V in ’99
14 Apr 1899
(cause unreadable)
Henry s/o George
28 May 1889
5 Apr 1898
1267 II in ’99, III in ’00
(no date given)
Whyteleafe School

Records of Reform Schools are also available, those for 1788-1890 of the Royal Philanthropic Society are on four films starting at 1470975. This was organized in 1788 for the admission of the offspring of convicts and the reformation of criminal poor children. The children were housed, clothed, fed, schooled and apprenticed so that they could become useful members of society. Most were from London and Cheshire, many absconded, but the records of those that stayed are extremely detailed, some with photographs. Excerpts from early girls’ records are in the following chart. Youths out of training were encouraged to emigrate, with dates, ships’ names and letters home being included in the records, and an example is given below.

Chart: Excerpts from Royal Philanthropic Society Records of Girls

  • Charlotte Norman--complete report
This girl and her sister are natural children deserted by their
parents and real objects for this institution.
Age 12 [born 1777-78]
1792 22 Sep
Apprenticed to the Matron.
1794 26 May
Was by the Orders of the Committee placed on liking with
Mrs Kupor(?) who lives in the Kent road upon liking.
1794 20 Jun
Was removed back to the Reform, the Matron having some
intelligence respecting this girl’s mistress which made it
necessary to take her from this situation.
1794 29 Nov
Placed by the Committee’s orders with Mrs Lindsay, but
returned on the Monday, Mrs Kuper(?) her former Mistress
having reported to Mrs Lindsay some circumstance which
occasioned Mrs Lindsay to part with her.
1794 10 Dec
Was by the recommendation of Mr Hooper placed Servant
with Mrs Frith, No 35 Norton Faldgate at Wages of four
guineas per annum.
1795 22 Jun
Mrs Firth having no further occasion for her services, she
was removed to Mrs Rigby a widow Lady, who resides in
Grafton Street, Clerkenwell.
1795 13 Aug
Returned to the Reform. On account of her so suddenly
leaving her situation, the Superintendent waited on her
Mistress to inquire the cause – was made acquainted that
she had given her Mistress warning and behaved very
insolent and improperly. On my return placed her in solitary
confinement, and reported her Conduct to the General
Committee who were pleased to order her still remaining
in this situation by a Minute thereon.
1795 5 Sep
Was by order released from confinement on promise of amendment.
1795 10 Sep
Sent on trial to Mrs Baker, Salisbury St., Strand.
1795 7 Oct
Mrs Baker having no further occasion for her; she returned.
1795 16 Nov
Mrs Cade who keeps a Boarding School for young Ladies
at Blackheath was desirous of taking her on trial an
apprentice – which, meeting with the Committee’s
approbation – she was sent on trial and having remained
there to Dec 5th she was apprenticed with the consent of all
1799 mid-Jun
1800 About the middle of June last [Charlotte] called on Mr
Hooper to enquire after her sister, who is now in the
Reform and also to return Thanks to the Members of the
Philanthropic Society for their Care and attention to her
when in the Reform, and at the same time informed Mr
Hooper that after living in two or three places of Servitude,
she accompanied one of her Mistresses to Deal, where she
was married to a respectable Man, by trade a Taylor two
years back [1797]. And from her very decent appearance
she promises to be a Useful Member of the Community as
well as to do credit to those who protected her in her early years.

  • Sarah NORMAN—complete record
Sister to the foregoing. Age 7 [born 1782-3]
1792 22 Sep
Apprenticed to the Matron.
1806 3 Oct
Placed out in service with Mrs Durand, No 3 James Place,
Hackney road at the usual Wages of Five Guineas.
1807 7 Feb
Not approving of her, she was removed and was placed
Servant with Mrs Leeson, Vauxhall Walk.

  • Mary KING—extracts
Admitted 1789 aged 10. “The father is dead and the mother left with four helpless children. Her father was executed for a Robbery recommended by Revd Dr. Grindley”. [Doesn’t sound quite right, does it!].
She was placed out in 1797 and after 2 years of good conduct received a reward of two guineas!

  • Mary MITCHELL—extracts
Admitted 1789 aged 8. “Her mother a drunken idle woman her father incapable of bringing her up through the mother’s imprudent conduct.”

Placed out in 1800 but returned as unsuitable in 1801. Placed out again in 1803, received a gratuity of one guinea after one year’s good conduct there. In 1819 was rewarded with two guineas for having served at the same place for nearly 16 years.

Chart: Royal Philanthropic Society Admission Register for a Boy 1885 - John (Archibald) WEDDELL

This is a summary of many detailed columns

14 Feb 1871 [i.e. in 15th year]
19 Aug 1885 into Garston’s House
On what terms
29 and 30 Vict. C117 Middlesex
Height 5’1”, Complexion sallow, Hair brown, Eyes grey, Nose rather long; Figure slight with bad scar on back of left hand from burns, blue marks on left forearm, this features, long neck, low shoulders, nose etc. little twisted to right.
Education state
Reads Standard IV, writes a little, cyphers nil
Parish Church, Tottenham May 1871
Schools attended
Printer, saw mill, errand boy at Surrey Theatre
Stealing a watch and jewellery from his aunt
Where convicted
Edmonton Petty Session
When convicted
6 Aug 1885
14 days imprisonment, 3 yrs detention
Where imprisoned
Previous convictions and sentences
Nil, but remanded a week (6 months ago) for stealing beer cans and discharged with Caution. Was turned out by his father more than a year ago and has been living in common lodging houses ever since. Has had no regular work for last 6 months. He called on his aunt in Tottenham and while there stole the watch, ring and brooch value 66/-. Sold the watch in London (Middlesex St.) for 5/- and gave the other things to his mates.
John WADDELL blacksmith of 22 Munyon Road, New Kent Road SE
Dead (1885)

Henry (13) works at saw mills, Twickenham
Wm (10) at home
Robert WEDDELL, Waverley Cottage, Chestnut Road, Tottenham
Adams, 4 Waterloo Place, Reform Row, Tottenham
Miss Johnson, 312 Munton Road, SE

Aunt Hackwell. 2 Waterloo Place, Tottenham
Conduct and Remarks
1885 Sep 3 - Caned for disorder in field
Dec 16 - 2 meals bread and water for leaving work

1886 Jun 26 - Cells 1 day for purchasing tobacco
Jul 11 - Cells 3 days for rambling

1887 May 1 - 2 M for lying and disobedience
Jul 17 - Confirmed in School Chapel

1888 Apr 19 - Emigrated to Canada
Letter in file
"Letter Carrier's Office Stoke Newington N 18.4.1888

Sir, My Mother Mrs Adams of 4 Waterloo Place,Tottenham yesterday received from her grandson John Weddell at present at your school a letter informing her that he left for Canada on Thursday. My mother would not be able to see the lad away and I his uncle would much like to bid him goodbye at the Railway Station if my duties would admit of my being away at the hour he leaves. There was, however, no time stated in his letter, therefore I beg respectfully to k if you would let me have the particulars to the station and time of departure. I trust that the good teaching and kindly influence which has been shewn him may the the means of his becoming a credit to himself and his relatives, and I would beg to offer my sincere thanks for the interest taken in his behalf. I enclose an envelope for particulars if you would kindly send them Yours respectfully, W. Adams"


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