Following Moore and Bird the history of elementary education on
the Island can be split into the following phases
- pre-1660s: mostly non-formal instruction by the clergy though
are are some mentions in visitations of schools kept by
non-licenced masters. It would seem however that many Manx,
including the Clergy were well educated.
- c.1660 formalised schooling introduced by Bishop Barrow with
some legal requirement on attendance.
- c.1700 development of Barrow's scheme by Bishop Wilson with
poorly paid schoolmasters with schools (as distinct from earlier
secular use of churches) in each parish and town. Many schools
aided from mid-18th century by charitable bequests.
- c.1800 the decline of the endowed school and the rise of
private schools, generally established by non-Manx to cater for
the more affluent Manx and post 1830, with easier communication,
boarders from England and the colonies exploiting the cheaper
living cost on the Island.
- c.1820 introduction of day schools not associated with
established church - both by Methodists (extension of Sunday
Schools) and Catholics. Introduction of National
schools, run along Lancastrian lines, in three towns, to
provide mass education.
- 1872 education act (modelled on 1870 English act) setting up
Board Schools - the defects of these numerous elected boards
(which reflected the sometimes acrimonious disputes between
Established and non-Established churches) were detailed in the
1911 commission report.
- post 1920 control under a single Education Authority and the
rebuilding/construction of many schools.
What would now be called secondary education developed along
- c.1660 - establishment of the Free Grammar School at
Castletown and an informal one at Ramsey.
- c.1705 the establishment of Douglas Grammar School
- c.1760 the establishment of 'Mathematical' schools at Peel -
emphasis on vocational training for seamen (e.g. in
- c.1790 establishment of Ramsey Grammar School
- 1833 - establishment of King
William's College which though not linked with other Island
schools had some influence.
Tertiary education however progressed little beyond Earl
James' dream of setting up a University on the Island; however
Bishop Barrow also institued the Academic
Students who were students trained for the ministry as part of
the Academic School at Castletown. Bishop Wilson later
instituted a more rigorous theological education and in the 1880s a
Theological College was briefly established though later merged with
that at the University of Durham.
R.B. Moore History of
Education in the Isle of Man in Education Week
E.C. Owen A Hundred
Years of Education 1930
1831 lists all Parish Schools, their
endowments and their teachers of the time.
H Syndd-Kinnersley Some Passages in the Life of one of HM
Inspectors of Schools London 1907 (Chap
19 deals with Man)
(some Individual schools under History/Education)
Hinton Bird The Island that led - The History of Manx
Education 2 vols (self published Port St Mary - ISBN
0-9516918-05 + 0-9516918-1-3) [nd but 1993 + 1995] - an
obviously well researched (+ detailed study) marred mainly by poorly
reproduced illustrations, at times a rather opaque chapter structure
not aided by the simple layout and a frustratingly poor index
(especially to vol 1 - that to vol 2 is better).
R.E.C. Foster The Pioneering Schools of Peel Proc IoMNHAS
IX #3 p269 et seq. 1990.
G. Sutherland Elementary Education in the Nineteenth Century
(Booklet G76) London: Historical Association 1971