Education

12 March 2021 ·

The Original Barry School
The Original Barry School

The Elementary Education Act was passed in 1870, and the first Barry School Board was elected in November 1874. This board was called the Barry United District School Board and the first meeting was held in December in the Wenvoe Arms.

The board had five members: D. Davies Joseph was the Chairman, D. Griffiths, W. Lowrie, J. Thomas, and R.S Thomas. Mr Oliver Jenkins was appointed Clerk to the Board.

The first priority of the Board was to provide a school place for every child of school age. It was decided that a site for a school and a census of all the children in the area was needed. The clerk was tasked with writing to Mr Jenner in regards to looking at land for the school on Cadoxton Common. While they were waiting for the request to be granted for the land, they used a school room for the fifty seven children. The teaching staff consisted of one teacher, and a female assistant who was able to teach sewing to the female pupils and clean the classroom.

On 3rd May 1875, the School Board asked Mr Jenner for a gift of a plot of land for the school and he agreed. They then decided to ask the Public Works Loans Commission for the £645 needed to build it. The contract for building the school was given to Thomas Price and the school opened in March 1879. The first Master of the school was Mr T. P. Sargent. The first female teacher and cleaner was Miss Bailey.

Education was not free at this time and parents were required to pay fees. The charges were:

Children aged 5-7 years old 2p per week

7- 10 years old 3p per week

10 years + 4p per week

Some children were able to claim exemption if they were in poverty, and any pauper children who were under the care of the Board of Guardians had their fees paid for by them. In 1888 the Board did raise the subject of free education, and the clerk was tasked with reporting the effects that free education would have. As a result of this report, the weekly fees were discontinued in 1891, in alignment with the Elementary Education Act that was passed in the same year.

It soon became apparent that with the huge influx of men and their families into the area, when the docks were being built, that it would be necessary to build schools in other areas of Barry. The Board decided to build a school at High Street. The school cost £4,242 to build and the first master appointed there was Mr. J. W. Davies.

in 1888, the schools in Barry were becoming very overcrowded. The Board decided that the best site for a school would be next to Barry Police Station and they purchased an acre of land at a cost of £1,000. The school cost £12,344 and had room to teach 1,200 children. This was Holton Road school.

Holton Road School – Victorian Barry Experience
Notes on opening of Holton Road Girls School 1892 – Glamorgan Archives

Staff at these schools had to be college trained, and to ensure there were no large classes, there were plenty of teaching staff. Holton Road was the first school in Wales to teach metalwork. Other lessons included the teaching of cookery and laundry to the female pupils together with bookbinding, turnery and other crafts.

The Barry United District School Board was then faced with providing schooling for the children of Barry Village, and in August 1891 acquired land to build Romilly School.

Romilly School – Victorian Barry Experience

Further schools were needed as Barry continued to grow. St Helens was built in 1893, Barry Island School was built in 1900, together with Jenner Park and Palmerston. Gladstone School opened in 1906.

Barry Educational Society Leaflet – Glamorgan Archives

Secondary Education

This began with the building of County Intermediate School at the Buttrills in October 1896. This was followed by a Girls Grammar School and the Glamorgan Residential Training College for Women Students. Here women were trained to become Elementary Teachers.

No photo description available.
Teacher training college – 1980s -Old Barry In Pictures

Reading Rooms were opened in High Street, Main Street and Holton Road in 1891. The lending library in Holton Road opened in 1892, with access to several hundred volumes of reading material. The present library was opened on King Square in 1906 and cost £8,000. This was paid for with a donation by Andrew Carnegie.

The Reading Rooms – High Street – Now a residential property

Additional Learning Needs

On 18th July 1904 a “special school” was opened at the fire station. It had sixteen pupils and was designed to provide extra support to those who needed it.

Ysgol Maes Dyfan started in…….

Admissions Register – Glamorgan Archives

The site for the new school to be built on Gibbonsdown Rise.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Plans-768x1024.jpg
Ysgol Maes Dyfan Plans – Glamorgan Archives

Some of us went to Maes Dyfan !!

Ysgol Maes Dyfan remained here up until a new school – Ysgol Y Deri was built in 2014 in Penarth.

Education in 2021

Barry continues to grow and as more people live here, more schools are needed for families. With the Waterfront development there is an even greater need for schools and amenities.

Next Post

Police Force

The growth of Barry led to an urgent need for emergency services and a Police Force was one of the main needs. The first policeman was based in a small cottage in Main Street, Cadoxton. In 1886 the County Police…
Read
Previous Post

Gas, Electricity and Water

The Barry and Cadoxton Gas and Water Company 1886, provided the gas for street lighting and houses and there was a plentiful supply of fresh water.  In August 1890, gas lamps were in use on many of the roads in…
Read
Random Post

Healthcare

With the growth of the town, it soon became apparent that a Medical Officer for Barry was desperately needed. There was one appointed on a part time basis, but he already had his own practice and as the town grew,…
Read
Random Post

Prehistoric to Roman Barry

Humans have lived in Barry for many centuries. Mesolithic flint tools have been found at Friar’s Point on Barry Island, and Neolithic polished stone axe heads found at nearby St Andrew’s Major. Urns containing cremation ashes found within Bronze Age…
Read
Random Post

The Dock Offices

The Dock Offices were built between 1897 and 1900. They were designed by the architect Arthur E. Bell in the style of Christopher Wren. The building cost £59,000, and a bronze statue of David Davies stands in front of it…
Read
Random Post

Barry Island Ghost

Barry Island is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a local hero by the name of Benedict y Fiffoddwr aka Benedict the Fighter. Legend tells of the time his ship Tam Lyn was accosted by Spanish pirates, and…
Read

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Vale People First | Charity Number: 1124013 | Company Number: 6486521
Help us to fund the continued development of this project by visiting our fundraising page