Religion played a very important role in the educational establishemnts in Bacup and the surrounding areas. Bacup National School was built in 1828 and stood on Burnley Road  in the place that is now occupied by  St Johns Sunday School. St Johns day school was run by church trustees and  exhisted by private contirbutions and payments from the National School Authority. During the thirty years of the schools history the school had a turnover of staff numbering about eighteen. The first master was William George Clegg he was dismmissed by the trustees in 1834. He was followed by a James Hargreaves, in 1850 he was replaced by a William Lloyd a trained teacher. The school closed in 1859 but the building was used as a temporary place of worship in 1877 due to  St Johns church having collapsed £ 300.00 was raised to renovate the school which was also in a poor state of repair. Eventually despite the repairs the school collapsed  and the present building was built in its place and opened as a Sunday School on October 10 1909. Education in Bacup’s early days was mainly carried out in private institutions, quite often these carried the title,  “Seminary” for example Miss Gowers Young Ladies  Seminary was situated on South Street in the Primitive Methodist building. She accepted children from the age of 4 and gave instruction in  Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and main needlework at a cost of 6d per week or  aternatively for 8d a week Reading, Writing, Dictation, Geography, Grammar, Plain and Fancy Needlework. One of the earliest private school was that of Mr Clegg, Dr Cleggs father, pupils of note who attended this school were Henry Maden and John Hargreaves, Mr Clegg  died in 1840 at which time his school was closed. Many of the churches in the area had their own schools one of the mot detailed is Christ Church National School which opend in 1863 the school had quite a tunr over of staff ovet the years. First members of staff being William Foster, Henry Taylor and a Miss Norwood who was ctizised reguallry for her unpunctuality. Between 1871 and 1882 thirteen members of staff came and left Christ Church school by the time of its closure in 1895 at which time there was 72 boys and 80 girls attending. The sons of wealthy merchants and business men were sent away to school. In 1863- two sons of the local auctioneer John Tattersall gained examination sucess at Blackburn Grammmar School, Rev Falconer sent his son to the grammar school at Manchester. During the 1870’s the two schools of greatest importance were Greenwoods Academy and Commercial School, which gave lessons in mathematics, algebra and english, history, geography and drawing. Whilst Mr Wilkinson ran the Higher Grade School on South Street.
A early St Johns Sunday School stands on what was once the Bacup National School. Mechanics Institute Junior Schools Secondary Schools School Memories & Log Books Schools & Education Home Early Days Transport & Work Services Wartime Entertainment Memories & People Weather Links
By 1913 -1914 various day schools were also open in the evening for what were known as Evening Continuation Classes. These classes were open to any pupil aged 12 over who was no longer on the register or attending a day school, secondary school or pupil teachers centre and lessons were taught in various subjects for a Fee.The sessions for 1913 commenced on Monday September 15th 1913 and were held for Female students at Central, Western, Northern and Britannia schools, and for Male students Britannia, Mount, Western and Northern schools. As with today's students those on what was considered a low income could apply for help with travelling expenses to the Board of Education. For those pupils who had left day school in 1913-1914 the fee for the evening classes would be wavered if  the parent of employer signed a form stating that the fee would be paid by them if the pupils attendance was not satisfactory. Some of the subjects open to pupils for study in the various schools are shown in the  pdf opposite. Just like today parents could face legal action if they didn't make sure their children had a good attendance record at school read a selection of non- attendance reports  from 1914.
In 1865 only about 800 children attended ordinary schools, about 200 attended private schools with an average weekly fee of 4d. A headmistress pay in 1894 was about £1 a week or less. Many received £40.00 a year. In 1895 a proposal was put forward  to raise the school leaving age from 11 years to 12 years. The Bacup town council was against such a move.  The mayor said “the children were so happy at their work that he would be sorry to deprive them of it until they were 12” The editor of the Bacup Times commented  " If it is so splendid I wonder why well to do people keep their children away".
Students of Christ Church school. Miss Hamers private school fee template.
Night Schoo  Records