Ancestry UK

Reformatory Model Rules and Regulations (1890)


Under the provisions of the Statute 29 and 30 Vict. cap. 117.

[N.B.—These Rules are not in themselves operative, they are model Rules to indicate what is necessary to managers who prepare a code of Rules for their School, and submit it to the Secretary of State for his approval.]


Application should be made in the first instance to the Secretary of State for the Home Department stating the grounds for the application, naming the site of the proposed School, the amount of accommodation required, and supplying all requisite information bearing on the subject.

Before a certificate can be issued, legalising the school as a place of detention for Juvenile Offenders under the Reformatory Schools Acts, the site, the plans for the buildings, and the Rules and Regulations for the management of the School must be previously approved by the Secretary of State.

Every school must be carried on by a responsible Committee.
The Rules and Regulations should state—

  1. The name and situation of the School.
  2. The constitution and powers of the Governing Body and the proposed schemes for the management of the School.
  3. The conditions of age, sex, health, &c. on which its Inmates are to be admitted.
  4. The number of Inmates, Male or Female, to be provided for.

The Rules should also embody the following Regulations:—

The Inmates shall have separate beds, and shall be supplied with a sufficiency of plain useful clothing.

The Inmates shall be supplied with plain wholesome food, according to a Dietary to be approved by the Inspector; no substantial alterations in the Dietary shall be made without previous notice to him. A copy of the Dietary shall be hung in the Dining-room.

The Secular Instruction shall consist of Reading, Spelling, Writing, and Arithmetic, and, as far as practicable, the Elements of History, Geography, and Vocal Music. It shall be given for three hours daily. The Industrial training shall be, for Boys, in Farm and Garden Work, and such handicrafts as can be conveniently practised; for Girls, in Needlework, Washing, and Housework. The employment of the Inmates shall not exceed nor fall short of six hours daily. In Training Ships the Boys shall be properly instructed in Naval exercises and employments, and in the elements of Navigation.

Each day shall be begun and ended with simple family worship, consisting of Prayer and Praise to God, and the Reading of Scripture. The Religious Instruction shall be from Holy Scripture, shall comprise the Doctrines and Precepts of Christianity, and shall be given daily. On Sunday the Inmates shall, if possible, attend Public Worship at some convenient Church or Chapel, provided that no Boy or Girl under detention shall he taken to any Church or Chapel if his Parent or Guardian objects to his being so taken, on the ground that the Services at such Church or Chapel are not in accordance with the religious persuasion of the Child. In the case of any Young Offender being admitted who is specified in the Order of Detention as belonging to some particular religious persuasion, a Minister of such religious persuasion shall be allowed to visit such Young Offender on certain days and hours to be fixed from time to time by the Secretary of State, and such Young Offender shall not be required to learn the Catechism or tenets of any persuasion other than that to which he is stated to belong.

A Time-Table showing the Hours, of Rising, Work, School Instruction, Meals, Recreation, Retiring, &c., &c. shall be drawn up, be approved by the Inspector of Reformatory Schools, and shall be fixed in the School-room and carefully adhered to on all occasions.

The Superintendent shall be authorised to punish any Young Offender detained in the School in case of misconduct or breach of Rule. All faults and punishments whatever shall be carefully recorded, And entered in a Rook kept for that purpose. This Book shall be laid before the Committee of Managers at their meetings, and shall be open to, the inspector when called for by him. The Discipline of the School shall be maintained not only by punishment, but by a well-considered system of Rewards and Encouragements. Such system to form part of the Byelaws of the School, and to be approved by the Secretary of State.

Punishments shall consist of:—

  1. Forfeiture of rewards and privileges, or degradation from rank, previously attained by good conduct.
  2. Reduction in quality or quantity of food.
  3. Confinement in a light room, or light cell.
  4. Moderate personal correction and chastisement.

Referring to (a.) Byelaws shall state clearly what offences constitute a breach of law, with tho accompanying penalties.

The Regulations as to degradation shall also be inserted in the Byelaws.

Referring to (b.) For simple offences the boy or girl may be deprived of, one regular meal or of that portion of the meal which renders it most agreeable, but shall be allowed eight ounces of bread, will water or gruel, when deprived of any regular meal. No boy or girl shall be deprived of two meals in succession.

Referring to (c.) No Young Offender shall be confined for a longer period than three days, without the special sanction of the Committee of Managers, nor for a longer period than seven days under any circumstances whatever. Any young Offender confined for , more then three clays shall be visited by the Medical Officer of the School, shall be allowed such extra diet as he may direct, and shall be taken out of the cell for exercise for not loss than one hour daily. Offences requiring graver penalties shall no dealt with by the Magistrates of the district in which the School is situated, No Young Offender shall be kept in solitary confinement in darkness under any pretence whatever. In donfin6itont each Offender shall be allowed one pound of bread, with gruel or milk, and water daily.

Referring to (d.) the following regulations shall apply:—

  1. For very serious offences in the case of boys the punishment of whipping shall be inflicted-on the posterior with a birch rod, such punishment not to exceed eighteen strokes, to be applied once for all, for the same offence.
  2. For less serious offences personal punishment shall be inflicted with a common school cane, to be applied to the palm of the hand, and shall not exceed eight strokes.
  3. Personal chastisement may be inflicted by the Superintendent, or, in his presence, by an officer specially authorised by him.
  4. Personal chastisement may be inflicted by the chief Educational Teacher, but in this case such chastisement must be inflicted with the cane as prescribed in (ii.), must not exceed six strokes, and must be at once recorded and reported to the Superintendent.
  5. Personal chastisement may not be inflicted by any person or in any manner not authorised by the foregoing regulations, and in no case may it be inflicted upon any but boys.
  6. No punishment not mentioned above shall be inflicted.

The Inmates shall be allowed two hours daily for recreation and exercise, and shall be occasionally taken out for exercise beyond the boundaries of the School.

The parents and near relatives of the Inmates shall be allowed to correspond with them at reasonable times, and to visit them once in two (or three) months, such privilege to be forfeited by misconduct or interference with the discipline of the School. In the case of the serious illness of any Inmate, or of his (or her) removal from the School by licence or legal discharge, notice shall be sent to the parents.

On the discharge of any Inmate from the School, he (or she) shall be provided with a sufficient outfit, according to the circumstances of the discharge, at the expense of the Managers; and shall be placed, as far as practicable, in some employment or service. If returned to relatives or friends, the expenses of such return shall be defrayed by the Managers.

A Medical Officer shall be appointed to visit, the School periodically. He shall enter his visits in a book kept for that purpose, with a note of all serious cases of illness attended by him in the School, their course, duration, and the treatment proscribed. He shall also give a quarterly report as to the sanitary condition of the School. ,Application should be made to the Secretary of State for the discharge of any Inmate certified as medically unfit for detention.

In the case of the sudden or violent death of any Inmate of the School immediate notice shall be sent to the Coroner of the District in which the School is situated, and the circumstances of the case reported to the Inspector.

The School shall be open to the inspection of Visitors at convenient times, to be regulated by the Managers.

The Superintendent shall keep a journal of all that passes in the School. All admissions, licences, discharges, and every event of importance connected with the School shall be reported in it. The Journal shall be laid before the Managers at their meetings, and be open to the Inspector when called for.

The Superintendent or Secretary shall keep a Register of Admissions, with particulars of the parentage, previous circumstances, &c. of each of the Inmates.

He shall also keep a Discharge and Disposal Book, showing the date of discharge of each individual, giving particulars as to conduct after discharge.

He shall also regularly send to the office of the Inspector, the required Returns of Admission and Discharge, Quarterly List of Cases under Detention, and Quarterly Accounts for maintenance, and in the month of January in each year a full Statement of the Receipt and Expenditure of the School for the past year, showing all debts and liabilities duly vouched by the Managers.

In the case of any Young Offender absconding from the School, or being placed out on licence, or dying while an Inmate, or on licence, or of being sent to Prison for a criminal offences, immediate notice shall be given to the Inspector. The Inmates shall be examined, and their proficiency in School instruction and Industrial training tested from time to time by the Inspector. Books and journals of the School shall be open to the Inspector for examination. Any Teacher employed for the instruction of the Inmates Shall be examined by him if he think it necessary. Notice shall be given to him of the appointment, death, resignation, or dismissal of the Superintendent and of the School Teacher.

The Officers and Teachers of the Schools shall be careful to maintain the discipline and order of the School, and to attend to the instruction and training of the Inmates in conformity with the above Regulations. Every Young Offender under detention in the School shall be required to obey the Officers and Teachers of the School, and to comply with the Regulations of the Committee for its management; and any wilful neglect or refusal to obey or comply on the part of any such Young Offender shall be deemed to be an offence under the 20th Section of the Reformatory Schools Act, 1866; absconding or inducing to abscond an offence under the 21st and 22nd Section of the said Act respectively. The authorised number of Inmates must be strictly adhered to, and no fresh admission accepted when this is attained. Hereinafter is given general informationnow bearing on the hereunto annexed matter.

One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State.
5th March 1890.


These Regulations should prescribe—

  • Hours of Work, Meals, Instructions, &c.
  • Rules as to Correspondence with Parents and Relatives.
  • Privileges, Rewards, Penalties, and Forfeitures.
  • Special Duties and Obligations.

MEMORANDUM.—Under the provisions of the Reformatory Schools Act (§ 12) the Managers of any Reformatory School are authorised to make such Rules as are necessary for the Regulation of the School; but such Rules cannot be enforced unless sanctioned by the Secretary of State. Such Regulations, therefore, as are required in addition to the foregoing General Rules should be appended as Byelaws, and submitted with them for the approval of the Secretary of State.


Under the Regulations now in force the allowance from the Treasury for the maintenance and training of Juvenile Offenders in Reformatory Schools is 6s. per head per week, subject to a reduction to 4s. a week after three years' detention and the attainment of the age of 16 years. This allowance is usually supplemented by a grant in aid from the county or borough authority committing eases to the Schools. A portion of the Treasury allowance, 1s. 6d. per head per week, is granted on the condition that the staff for School instruction and Superintendence is sufficient and of the requisite ability. For Juveniles placed out in employment on licence before the expiration of the term of detention an allowance of 2s. per week is granted for the first 13 weeks, and 1s. a week for the next 26 weeks, to defray the cost of assistance and supervision.

An allowance is also made to the Managers of efficient Schools for the occasional training of teachers, to fit them for the discharge of their duties in Reformatory Schools.


The conditions to be observed for the establishment of a Certified Reformatory School are—

That the site and position of the School shall be such as to allow of a sufficient amount of ground being attached to it for the exercise and recreation of the Inmates, and to ensure free ventilation and good drainage in the internal space;

That in the dormitories the allowance for each Inmate shall be not less than 25 square and 300 cubic feet of space; in the School and Day Rooms not less than 10 square and 100 cubic feet;

That Boys and Girls shall not be boarded together in the same Institution;. neither shall the number of Inmates in the same institution exceed 150, except in the case of School Ships, or under special circumstances, and with the special sanction of the Secretary of State thereto;

That the Plans or the Buildings or Premises of the proposed School be submitted to and approved by the Secretary of State, such Plans to show the area, height, and connection of the rooms, the external offices and conveniences attached to the Building, and all necessary details as to the Drainage, Ventilation, and arrangement of the Offices.


The Returns and Accounts required (Rule 15) are—

Form A. Notice of each admission to the School.

Form B. Monthly Return of Admissions, Re-admissions, Licences, Deaths, Discharges, Desertions, &c., for the preceding month.

Form C. Quarterly Return of all Inmates chargeable for maintenance during the previous Quarter.

Quarterly Account of the sums due for the maintenance of the Children under detention during the Quarter.

Licence Account. Return of Inmates. in Employment on Licence for previous Quarter.

Quarterly Report of the Sanitary State of the School and Health of Inmates.

Quarterly Return of Punishments and Offences.


In case of the Managers of any Reformatory School desiring to resign their Certificate, the Reformatory Schools Act requires that six months previous notice of such Resignation be given to the Secretary of State (§ 7).


By § 4 of the Reformatory Schools Act it is provided, "That no substantial addition or alteration must be made to the Buildings of any Certified Reformatory School without the approval of the Secretary of State."