Application Deadline: 30th September

- Education in the Leeds area around the early 19th Century
Original trust indenture
The Trust in the new Era
Investments Revision
Charity Grants

Education in the Leeds area around the early 19th Century

Education in the centuries before the 1800’s and going back to medieval times was generally provided by Monasteries, Churches and Chapels, with (for the poorer children) the gradual addition of charity schools and church foundations. The three ‘R’s were the back bone of these teaching establishments (Reading Writing ‘Rithmatic) and because school teachers at this time were expected to work ‘in holy orders’, the early Church of England resisted all early attempts by the State to help provide a secular education for all children.

Pre 1870, education in the industrial areas of Leeds and surrounding districts broadly remained an activity available only to the wealthy and middle classes, who could afford to send their children to fee paying schools.

(Middle class’ at this time was defined as a person or family with an income of around £150 p.a. with possibly the services of paid domestic help).

Fee paying private schools had been established by this time, such as Kemplay’s Academy for Young Gentlemen. This school is no longer there, although the building still exists as Nash’s Tudor Restaurant, famous for their fish and chips!

Education continued to be provided for by private funding and towards the end of the 19th Century, more and more educational establishments were being built and funded. The Yorkshire College, for instance, came into being around this time, primarily after the International Exhibition held in Paris had given cause for alarm amongst the business community of the Leeds and Pudsey areas, where evidence of rapid development in the woollen, cloth and textile industries was apparent in Europe. This was seen as a direct threat to the local cloth trade here in Yorkshire.


Original trust indenture dated 29th May 1822 in the name of ‘The Stanningley Town’s School’

In the Stanningley area, a small group of local businessmen considered that there were many poor uneducated young people, whose parents had not been able to afford to send them to a fee paying school, who would benefit from education and who could be taught the necessary skills to contribute to the growing prosperity of the area in the many flourishing cloth mills and factories.

They decided to build a school and engage teaching staff.

They opened a fund and made personal contributions towards the building of the school, located in Town Street Stanningley. The first trust deed was created in the name of ‘The Stanningley Town’s School’. A teacher was engaged at the rate of one shilling per week and young people were given the opportunity to enrol and receive a simple form of elementary education.

This new privately driven education program, funded mainly by industrialists at the time of the Industrial revolution, with business motives rather than religious ideology uppermost, gradually eroded the Churches controlling influence of education. The new era of education encompassed members of all religions, to include Catholics, Jews and members of all religions including athiests. New technological demands required a higher skilled workforce and these ad hoc privately funded educational establishments were the beginnings of a co-ordinated state controlled education service.

In 1833 the UK Government voted in the provision of schools for poor children and a state funded rolling program was instigated to this end. (Scotland, incidentally, had begun this process of universal education, funded by the state, as early as 1561). The earliest recorded example of tax revenue funded schools is The Lancashire Public Schools Association in 1837.

Because of the continued development of State education, the original aims of the Stanningley Town School became less necessary and eventually the school was no longer required for direct educational services as the service provided was absorbed into the State system. The initial charitable objectives for the improvement and enrichment of young people however, continued to the present day.


The Trust in the new Era

By the 1970’s most of the previous trustees had passed away. Two trustees had survived- Mr Joseph Wilson and Mr Harry Keighley. Mr Wilson owned a coal and building merchants business in Stanningley and he engaged the services of a Mr James Cockshott (Solicitor) of Farsley to draw up a new trust deed with new trustees. He also engaged the services of Mr Denis Burdon (Company accountant) who was asked to formalize the new trust records and handle the investments on behalf of the charity.

A new trust deed was drawn up and the following trustees were appointed:

  • Mr J Wilson
  • Mr H Keighley
  • Mr JC Keighley
  • Mr DG Eke
  • Mr A Petty
  • Mr MR Wilson
  • Mr R Yates
  • Mr D Burdon

Mr D Burdon was also appointed Secretary. The services of Mrs J Burdon were engaged for secretarial duties on a fee and expenses basis.

In subsequent years four of the trustees passed away- Mr J Wilson, Mr H Keighley, Mr DG Eke and Mr A Petty. Three new trustees were appointed- Mr John Proctor, Mr David Yates and Mr John Burdon. A revised trust deed was drawn up dated 3rd September 1995 by Mr D Burdon and agreed by the remaining trustees and with the Charity commission.


Investments Revision

During March 1981 the trustees resolved that the school building be sold to Mr Eric Yates (sitting tenant) and the proceeds of £8250 be invested in the name of ‘the trustees for the time being’ of Stanningley Educational Charity, through the Official Custodian for Charities. During 1992 the official Custodian for Charities withdrew all investment services. The trustees therefore asked Mr D Burdon to make recommendations for the re-investment of the funds. This resulted in the transfer of the investments to the M & G Group of Chelmsford. The chosen unit trust holdings were the Charibond and Charifund.


Charity Grants

Since 1979 almost 1000 grants have been made to various groups of young people under the age of 25 years engaged in educational, social and physical training including scouts, guides, church fellowships, boys brigades, PTA committees, swimming clubs, majorettes, cricket and football clubs, plus other groups who qualified under the grant application trust rules.