Strutt's Long Row School

Updated: Wednesday, April 2, 2014  

Long Row School at the foot of the cobbled street known as Long Row was opened in 1818 for five hundred and thirty pupils.

The Strutts’ commitment to education embraced Sunday Schools and Day Schools and a number of cultural initiatives which seem far ahead of their time.

Before the introduction of the half-time system, the Strutts insisted upon children attending day school before they were offered work in the mills, so guaranteeing a certain level of literacy among their labour force.

Jedidiah Strutt's first School room at Belper was in the attic of North Mill and was used until a proper school was built at the bottom of Long Row in 1818. Some of the Mill School Registers from this date have been transcribed. (see this page).

Children old enough to work paid a penny a week for their schooling until the charge was abolished by Jedediah Strutt on the 3rd of March 1837. Those too young to work were taught free of charge. George Benson, William & Joseph Strutt built the first Long Row Mill School, which used the Lancasterian School system. Using the Joseph Lancaster theory, one teacher could educate up to a thousand children through a system of monitors (older pupils passing on their knowledge to younger ones.)

By 1817, 64 children were attending Day Schools and 650 the Sunday Schools at Belper, while at Milford 300 were in the Lancasterian Sunday School and the numbers grew as the company and facilities expanded. The Strutts insisted on attendance at Sunday School for all their young employees under 20.

The school has been partially rebuilt and added to at various times. The illustration shows the frontage of the present building.

   READ "Schooling and Employment in the Mills" by Caroline Densham

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