Kent County Industrial School for Girls, Greenwich, London
The Kent County Industrial School for Girls was established in 1873 and occupied premises at 1 Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10. (By 1881, the address was given as 15 Park Row.) The establishment, which was under the management of a Committee of Visiting Justices of the County of Kent, was certified as an Industrial School on November 13th, 1873.
The School premises consisted of an old dwelling house considerably adapted and extended for the purpose. Accommodation was provided for up to 36 girls, aged 9 from 14 years at their date of admission, together with apartments for officers. For inmates whose parents did not contribute to Kent county rates, a payment was required of up to 7s. a week.
The staff in 1874 comprised the matron, Miss Skinner; school mistress, Miss Newham; and one domestic servant. In addition to their classroom lessons, the girls were trained for domestic service. The carried out the work of the house, washed their own clothes, and received daily instruction in needlework.
In January, 1876, three inmates of the School — Florence Blandford, aged 13, Emma Saunders, 12, and Lavinia Jarrett, 11, tried to burn down the School by setting fire to a mattress in a bedroom. After an appearance before magistrates, Blandford was sent to gaol for a week, Saunders was removed to the workhouse, and Jarrett was taken back to the School for a week.
In the early part of 1877, the School went through a period of general disorder, with much insubordination and lack of discipline. Some of the older girls were guilty of serious crimes, and for a considerable period the state of the school was very critical. Most of the ringleaders were subsequently committed to Reformatories or transferred to other Industrial Schools. In June, Miss Skinner was replaced as matron by Miss Charlotte Pearton.
In 1878, an outdoor play-shed was erected, the enclosed playground asphalted, and a large piece of ground taken into occupation to provide improved facilities for exercise and recreation.
In 1884, following a decline in the applications for admission to the School, the county magistrates decided to resign its certificate and close the school. This took place in March, and the girls under detention were either discharged or transferred to other Industrial Schools.
The School buildings no longer survive and housing now occupies the site.
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- None identfied at present — any information welcome.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Mahood, Linda Policing Gender, Class and Family: Britain, 1850-1940 (1995, Univeristy of Alberta Press)
- Prahms, Wendy Newcastle Ragged and Industrial School (2006, The History Press)
- None noted at present.
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