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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): FGSD
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1854-1898
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2.15 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Forest Gate School District


Administrative/Biographical history:

The 1834 Poor Law Act led to improvements in the arrangements made for the education of pauper children. Poor Law Unions, and parishes regulated by local acts, were persuaded to establish schools and to appoint schoolmasters. The policy of separating the children from their parents (who were generally considered to be a bad influence on their children) and sending them, if possible, to the country was continued and in 1866 several Middlesex metropolitan authorities were sending children to schools outside London. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1844 made possible a further development in this field which was of significance for the metropolitan area. Unions and parishes were empowered to unite and to form a School District which then set up a large separate school for the education of all the indoor pauper children of the constituents of the district. These were usually industrial schools where both boys and girls were taught the basics of a useful trade which, it was hoped, would provide them with better prospects in future.

Forest Gate School District was formed in 1868, made up of the Hackney, Poplar and Whitechapel Poor Law Unions. The Hackney Union left in 1877.

The School District purchased an existing industrial school in Forest Gate, as well as the Training Ship Goliath, used to prepare pauper boys for a career in the Navy. The Goliath was destroyed by fire in 1875, after which the School District used the Training Ship Exmouth, managed by the Metropolitan Asylums Board.

The School District was disbanded in 1897 and the Poplar Union took over management of the school.

Source of information: Peter Higginbotham at The Workhouse website.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Forest Gate School District, 1854-1898, including minutes of the Board; minutes of the training ship Goliath; annual reports of the managers; Superintendent's reports and journal; copies of out-letters; admission and discharge registers; creed registers; and list of officers.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In 6 sections: Minutes; Annual reports; Correspondence; Admission and Creed Registers; Superintendent's Reports; Staff.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records received along with the records of the successor organisation.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See HABG for the Hackney Poor Law Union and POBG for the Poplar Poor Law Union.

Publication note:

For a detailed history see website 'The Workhouse' (

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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