"Ragged Schools were charitable schools dedicated to the free education of destitute children in 19th century England. The schools were developed in working class districts of the rapidly expanding industrial towns. In the 1800's, the Ragged Schools Union was established to combine resources throughout the country, providing free education, food, clothing, lodging and other home missionary services for these children.
The Ragged School movement grew out of recognition that charitable and denominational schools were not beneficial for children in inner-city areas. Working in the poorest districts, teachers (who were often local working people) initially utilised stables, lofts, and railway arches for their classes. There was an emphasis on reading, writing, arithmetic, and study of the Bible.
The curriculum expanded into industrial and commercial subjects in many schools. It is estimated that around 300,000 children went through the London Ragged Schools in a 40 year period." Submitted by Anne Selby
History of Ragged Schools
Hansard report on Ragged Schools, 1861