The Charity Schools:
In 1698, some Charity Schools were established for imparting knowledge of Christianity to poor children. The teachers of these schools were generally very generous, religious and were members of some established church. Since charity was the only source of income, the condition of these schools was not satisfactory.
Curriculum of the Charity Schools:
Religious education, reading, writing and arithmetic formed the major structure of the curriculum of these schools. The children were also taught ploughing fields, gardening, spinning, weaving and sewing with a view to give them some practical skill in order that they might take up some work as labourers after leaving schools.
The Financial Arrangement of Charity Schools:
Most of these schools did not have their own buildings. So the classes were held in church galleries. Students were not charged any fees. Hence they had to depend entirely on charities received from the public. From these Church galleries the teachers used to place demands before the public. During Sunday prayers charities were received from the public for these schools.
Importance of Charity Schools:
Since these schools served poor children, the general public had great faith in them. These schools were established generally in those areas where the people were very poor and illiterate. From the beginning of the nineteenth century some of these schools were patterned on the monitorial system.
These charity schools served the public very well. The Pretism Movement of Germany drew inspiration from this system and many Charity Schools were established in Germany also. By 1760 there were about 30,000 students in the Charity Schools in England but gradually their number fell.
Besides the above mentioned Charity Schools, there were some other schools running on charities, but they had no relationship with any Church. These schools were run by Non- conformists and Roman Catholics. There was no central committee or authority to look after these schools. Hence towards the close of the eighteenth century they were bitterly criticised. Because of their bad condition, the people disliked them. Hence their decline began.