Education and Religion


From the age of 5 until the age of 14 children attended one of the seven Public Elementary Schools in the town. They were governed by the local Education Authority; the South Staffordshire County Council, under the terms of the 1902 Education Act. The local schools were as follows:

Public Elementary Schools Accommodation
Central Council Schools, Slater Street    532
Green Council Schools, Willenhall Road   572
Dorsett Road Council Schools, Dorsett Road 1,140
Salisbury Street Council School, Salisbury Street    304
Parish Church Schools, Smith Street    589
All Saints’ School, Whitton Street   310
St. Joseph’s R.C. School, Church Street   197
Cookery Centre, at Central Schools      18

Total number of places


In 1918 fees were abolished in public elementary schools, and the school leaving age was raised to 14. Although the best pupils were given the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to attend a better school, few did. Most families couldn’t afford the extra cost that would be involved, and they very much needed the extra income the child would bring on starting work at the age of 14. At a better school, such as a grammar school, the child may have stayed in education until the age of 16, and possibly have gone on to University.

Most children first saw the inside of a factory when they delivered their father’s lunch. In those days the majority of children had a hectic school lunchtime, dashing around delivering lunches. At the end of every morning they would quickly go home to collect their father’s, elder brother’s, or elder sister’s lunch and deliver it to them at work, before dashing back home for their own lunch. It was how they discovered what life would like for them at work. The recipients usually paid them a few pennies, which were handed over to the lady of the house to supplement her income.

Many children also attended Sunday school at one or other of the church schools. The emphasis would have been on religious education. Church going families would have actively encouraged their children to attend.


At this time churches were well attended and there were plenty to choose from. In the early 1920s Darlaston had the following places of worship:

The Parish Church of St. Lawrence, and its associated church; St. John’s Mission Church at Catherine’s Cross
The Parish Church of All Saints, Moxley
All Saints’ Church, Walsall Road
St. George’s Church in Darlaston Green
The Primitive Methodist Central Church, Slater Street
Darlaston United Methodist Church, Great Croft Street
The United Methodist Church, Fallings Heath
The Wesleyan Church, Pinfold Street
The Wesleyan Church, The Green
The Salvation Army, High Street

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