This study is an examination of the nature and extent of schooling in the borough of Hanley at the time of the census in 1871« Making use of the census returns, data contained in the rate books for the borough, and individual school records, it examines the patterns of school provision, enrolment, and attendance which prevailed at that time.
In the process the achievements of the voluntary agencies, which controlled schooling in Hanley, are assessed, as are the problems which confronted the first school board, when it took office in December, 1870. Contemporary views of these problems and achievements are presented and an attempt is made to distinguish between propaganda and truth.
Subjective assessments of schooling in North Staffordshire are plentiful, particularly in a decade which began with the extension cf factory legislation into the area and, with it, the half time system; and ended with the passing of the Elementary Education Act and the establishment of the first school boards* A degree of objectivity was attempted at the time, usually by introducing statistical evidence but the statistics were themselves heavily processed and often formed part of a propaganda exercise. By analysing crude statistics from the census returns, the rata books and surviving school lists, the accuracy of contemporary views is assessed and some major influences on school enrolment and attendance are ¿identified* The method used is multiple regression which allows the analysis of the relationship between a dependent variable (school enrolment or attendance) and a group of independent variables.