by Irenad White

The ground for the garden, playground and erection of the School was the gift of Miss Margaret Kinaston and Miss Anne Kinaston of Ruyton Hall, then living in Shrewsbury, Daughters and co-heiresses of Edward Kinaston Esq.

On January 16th 1818 a Trust was formed to build and run a School in the village.   Land known as `Mill Green Scarow` owned by Miss Margaret and Miss Anne Kinaston  was sold for 10/- ??.    For the sole purpose of being used as a School for the Education and instruction of young persons of both sexes to be always united to the National Society for the promoting the education of the poor in the principles of the established Church of England.

Trustees appointed to oversee the development being:- 
Hon Thomas Kenyon of Pradoe, Rowland Hunt of Boreatton,  Rev. David Evans, Vicar of Ruyton.  The Foundation Deed of Ruyton XI Towns School was then set up.

A total of 274 15shillings was raised from subscriptions 

In 1820 the Annual subscriptions were   56 14 shillings

Between June 4th 1819 and 1821 the School and Teacher`s house was built

Over the years other legacies were left to the trust, the interest from them, invested at 4% was to be used by the School alone.   These were Miss Susanna Hunt who left 100,- Mrs Phyllis Lane 100- The Misses Kinastons 300 Miss Maria Myddleton 30- The House of Industry Oswestry (The Workhouse) 200.

These accounts were kept in a leather bound book with the following inscription:-                                 Treasurers Accounts of the Ruyton XI Tows Charity School, Dr.Bell System

Other prominent members of local society were also involved in the running of the School, these being Charles Spencer Lloyd of Leaton Knolls Thomas Mainwaring of Otley,  The Hon. Bulkley Owen of Tedsmore and John Henshaw Nickson Walford of Ruyton Towers.

In 1871 by Act of Parliament, 90 was given to the School for educating children in accordance with the foundation deed of 1818.  

The Trustees then being appointed were named as John Kenyon of Pradoe, Charles Spencer Lloyd Q.C of Leaton Knolls, Rev. Thomas Mainwaring Bulkley Owen of Tedsmore and Rev. Frances Paget Wilkinson, Vicar of Ruyton XI Towns.            

 At the meeting of the Trustees in 1871 Mr Walford of Ruyton Towers offered to sell further land to the School, being a cottage and land then adjoining, for 90. School fees were to be 1d per week per pupil which in 1870 amounted to 35, rising to 40 by the 1900’s.  In addition, there were the local subscriptions of around 50 P.A. and the Government grant of 90.

After 1891 schooling became free for the majority of Schools.  School age was from 5 years until 10 years old.  1902 brought all Schools under the responsibility of County or Borough Councils which also brought in a standardisation of Teachers` salaries, although School boards could, and did, still choose their own teachers.    In Ruyton all education took place in the same building for all age groups. This continued until the mid 20th century.   In 1918 the leaving age was raised to 14.

In 1837 the School Master`s salary was 10 per quarter. In 1838 it was still 10 per quarter plus a new timepiece valued at 5.05.00.  1872 sees a salary of 40 for the School Master,  22 for the School Mistress and 16 for the Assistant Teacher.  In 1881 the Trustees were discussing the master`s salary and the fact that there was insufficient room in the School House, as well as alterations that were needed to alter the approach to the School. 

In 1882, a considerable amount of money having been spent on the School, the trustees decided to arrange two evenings of entertainments in order to raise money to reduce the liabilities. The School rooms were very large and led into each other so in 1894 it was decided to partition  part of the ceiling and roof so that it could then be divided.  Staffing records show that it was thought that staffing costs were too expensive and that the Assistant Master should be replaced with a Pupil Teacher, this also happened in 1900 when John Haywood and Ernest Parry were selected to be Pupil Teachers.    

 In 1895 a gallery was constructed for the infants.   In 1897 the Hunt Charity gave three fireguards at a cost of 2 13shillings and 3 pence for the three School rooms plus extra money for gravel for the playground.

Information extracted from `The Social Life of Ruyton XI Towns School ‘ by J.E.Hanson and History of Ruyton by R.L.Kenyon 
If you would like the full list of the 1818 subscriptions for building the school, please contact Yoland or Irena. Brownhill@eleventowns.co.uk     bersedrelincourt@aol.com



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