LCC Industrial School for Little Boys, Clapham Park, London
In 1903, the London School Board (superseded in 1904 by the London County Council) established an Industrial School for younger boys at 40 King's Road (renamed King's Avenue in about 1907), Clapham Park, Balham, London SW4. The Home for Little Boys, as it was also known, was formally certified for operation on November 20th, 1903, with accommodation for 30 boys under the age of eight. The certificate was a temporary one for a duration of two years. The staff comprised the superintendent, Mrs E. Hartland; the book-keeper and children's attendant, Mrs A. Farr; a cook, housemaid and general servant.
An inspection report in 1904 noted that the house, formerly a private residence, was pleasant and well-built, with several good rooms. There were good gardens and a large lawn at the back. Musical drill and exercises were carried on regularly. The boys had the run of the grounds and could play in the stable yard at the side of the house. Walks were also be taken. Because of their age, no industrial training was provided for the inmates although a few of the older boys helped in the house. The boys attended a council day-school in the neighbourhood.
The School's certificate was renewed in 1905 and made permanent in August, 1907. In October, 1915, it was re-certified with accommodation now provided for 45 boys. In December, 1918, a further new certificate specified that boys admitted to the School had to be under the age of eight and could not remain after reaching the age of nine.
The School resigned its certificate in August, 1921.
Residential Mental Deficiency School, a Home for 'Mental Defectives', was established in 1927 at 40 King's Avenue, Clapham Park, Balham, London SW4. could accommodate 36 girls, aged 10-14.
On March 21st, 1924, the premises were certified for the reception of 36 junior 'mentally defective' boys who had been committed to an Industrial School. On December 21st, 1926, a new certificate instead licensed the accommodation to be used by 35 girls.
Following the 1933 Children and Young Persons Act which replaced the existing system of Reformatories and Industrial Schools by Approved Schools, the School continued in operation as a certified institution under the 1913 Mental deficiency Act. Now known as Clapham Park Residential Mental Deficiency School, it was certified to accommodate up to 36 girls, aged from 8 to 15 years. The superintendent in 1935 was Mrs I.L. Bloomfield. The establishment subsequently became a council day school, continuing to cater for 'mentally defective' girls.
The site, later known just as Clapham Park School, is now home to Iqra VA Primary School. The old Industrial School buildings no longer exist.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB. Has Registers of Children (1909-21, 1927-32); Inspectors' Reports (1906-21); Building Plans.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Mahood, Linda Policing Gender, Class and Family: Britain, 1850-1940 (1995, Univeristy of Alberta Press)
- Prahms, Wendy Newcastle Ragged and Industrial School (2006, The History Press)
- None identified at present.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.