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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Continued from the previous page:


Chart showing numbers of girls at the School in 1904


Dr Sadler's chart more than confirms his warning about the accommodation but it also reveals some other interesting points he had noticed. 


In 1899, the school leaving age had  been raised to 12 and that was still the case when this report was published in 1905. A number of girls were sent on by their parents to the Episcopal Modern School from elementary schools where education finished at that age. Few of these girls stayed on after their 15th birthday and Dr Sadler expressed his doubts about the benefit from the two years or three years of secondary education experienced by them. Only thirty girls in the school were older than 15 and, at this time, not all of these were entered for public examinations. We shall see later that those who were successful  formed the nucleus of the school's teaching staff.


The school received pupils from the age of 3½ and what the chart does not reveal but Dr Sadler did, is that 19 boys under the age of eight  were in the Kindergarten (described as a Preparatory School in the advert below) in 1904. However, at the time of his visit, there was no dedicated accommodation for the very youngest children - they took their chances in the battle for the limited classroom space alongside the others!


It is interesting to see how the classes were arranged. In modern times, pupils would be divided into classes by birth date but not so in 1904. A glance at the fifth form shows how the girls are divided by ability with a 13 year-old working side by side with two girls who are nearly 18. The final surprise lies in the class sizes - in this fee-paying school, there are classes of 30, 31 and 32 - something that parents today would find unacceptable.


Advertisement for the Episcopal School - 11 January 1900

This advertisement appeared in the Western Times 11 January 1900. The Christmas holiday seems to have been a generous one - term did not commence until January 23rd. Calisthenics is mentioned as being taught - it was a very gentle form of exercise consisting of the most basic movements performed in a synchronised group.


The fees charged per annum were as follows in 1904:

Kindergarten - £3 3s 0d

Lower School - £4 4s 0d

Middle School - £5 0s 0d

Upper School - £6 0s 0d

A small charge of 4s 6d was made each year for stationery, there was an admission fee of 5/- and girls paid a registration fee of 1/- at the start of each term. There were no extras.


Ten scholarships were available, three of which gave free education to able girls coming from an elementary school and these were awarded by examination. Seven scholarships were awarded by the governors to girls already in the school and these entitled the holders to one year of free education. Devon County Council periodically awarded a scholarship worth £40*  to one girl in the County and this had been won by a girl from the Episcopal Modern school four out of the five times it had been awarded. 


*In 1900, £40 would have paid the annual wages of two servants.



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