Types of Welsh Schools


Figure 1.--This is an Infants School at the Carnetown Infants in 1919. It was located at Abercynon. This was the Group 4 class.

We note descriptionsof different types of schools in Wales. For the most part they are similar to Englisg schools. We are not, however, altogetgher certain just what all the different school types mean. We note, for example, references to board, infants, and national schools. Other types of schools like grammar and comprehensives, grammar, preparatory, and public schools are more obvious. We also notice a few Catholic schools in Wales. Are knowledge about the characteristics of these schools in Wales and if they differed from comparable English schools is still very limited. Hopefully our Welsh reader will provide some insights here. A reader tells us, "The Welsh and English Education systems are entirely identical - only Scotland has its own legislation and systems."

Board

We were not sure what was meant by a board school. We believe that they were primary schools funded by thelocal community and run by school boards, meaning local individuals. Just how this differed from other schools we are not quite sure. A reader explains, "A "Board School" is just another term for a County School. The term is not often used nowadays and originates from the days when Local Education Authorities were called Education Boards (i.e. Board of Education)."

Catholic

Catholics in Britain after the Reformation were denied their civil rights and did not regain them until the 19th century. During this period Catholic education was not allowed. We do not know the full history of Catholics in Wales or Catholic education. We begin to see Catholic schools again in the 19th century with the restoration of civil rights. We notte Catholic schools in the late 19th century. We are not sure when they were first established. Eventually they received state funding. An example is the Aberdere Catholic school.

Church of England

The word County will sometimes be substituted by CE or C of E (indicating that it is a Church of England school) or RC (indicating that it is a Roman Catholic School) - these will be managed by the Church authorities though many aspects of its curricular and financial management will still be overseen by the Local Authority. The term Local Authority (or LA) will sometimes be referred to as Local Education Authority (LEA).

Church of Wales

There is a Church of Wales, though the Church of England is more prominent even in Wales. If a school is governed by the church it would be known as a Church of Wales School or Church of England School, as appropriate. I believe that Church of Wales schools are very similar to Church of England schools, but our Welsh readers may be able to tell us more about this.

Comprehensive

Compreghensive schools are non-selective secondary schools, rather like an American highschool. They began to appear after World War II. Some are called high schools. There are also grammar schools which have kept their name, but shifted the academic program to comprehensive education. This is the same as in England.

County

County Primary (CP) usually contain separate Infant and Junior Departments (sometimes with separate Head Teachers). They were also called Junior Mixed & Infants (JM&I) Schools. There were also County Secondary Schools. The word County indicates that the school is managed and financed entirely by the Local Authority.

First

Some areas of England and Wales in recent years have adopted a new system where schools are arranged on the following basis: First Schools (5 - 8 years), Middle Schools (9 - 13 years), and Senior or Secondary Schools (14-18 years).

Grammar

The modern grammar school was a selective secondary school. Primary students had to do well on the 11+ examination to gain entry. Some grammar schools have retained the name, but switched to comprehensive education. There is no difference between English and Welsh Grammar schools. Some examples include: Cowbridge Grammar School which dates back to 1607 and the Aberdare Grammar School which was founded more recently, in 1896.

High School

Many Secondary Schools prefer the name "High School". These would be comprehensive schools.

Infants

An infants school is obviously a primary school for younger children. We are not sure precisely what the age range was. We asume that the Welsh infants schools were essentially the same as the ones in England. An infant's school is a primry school for the younger children. A British reader tells us, "Infant schools were from 5 to 7 years. Infant Schools still exist in England and Wales though I am not sure about Scotland. Nowadays they all have a reception class as well (4 to 5) and some even have a nursery attached (3 to 4), but INFANTS has, to my knowledge, always been 5 to 7 years, now called collectively 'Key Stage 1' and referred to as Years 1 & 2." Another reader tells us, "Infant Schools in the 20th cebntury up to about 1990 were the 5-7 age group. They would be in the same school as the junior age group 8-11, but in a segregated section. In tghe early 20th century it is unlikely that there were pre-school age nursery schools in Wales and in that era these children would not be from families affluent enough to afford them. An example of a Welsh infants school is the Carnetown Infants School

Junior

Junion schools are primary schools for children 8-11 years of age. I'm not sure when these schools first appeared in Wales. They are currently an important part of the British education system.

Middle

Some areas of England and Wales in recent years have adopted a new system where schools are arranged on the following basis: First Schools (5 - 8 years), Middle Schools (9 - 13 years), and Senior or Secondary Schools (14-18 years).

National

National schools were state primary schools opened in the late 19th century. I believe that they were some of the forst free state schools in many Welsh communities. Classes were conducted in English and the pupils were not allowed to speak Welsh.

Nursery

Nursery schools were for children 3-5 years of age. I'm not sure when they first appeared in Wales. They are now an important part of the British education system.

Preparatory

Prepaparatory or prep schools are private fee-paying schools to prepare younger boys for entry to public schools. There are relatively few prep schools in Wales.

Public

Public schools are private fee-paying secondaru schools. There are relatively few public schools in Wales.

Senior

Some areas of England and Wales in recent years have adopted a new system where schools are arranged on the following basis: First Schools (5 - 8 years), Middle Schools (9 - 13 years), and Senior or Secondary Schools (14-18 years).

Other Religious Schools

It should also be noted that other religious denominations have their own schools i.e. "King David Jewish High School" or "Solomon Wolfson Jewish Primary School".





HBC-SU





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Created: 6:19 PM 1/13/2005
Last updated: 10:39 PM 1/13/2005