Ragged Schools

The Ragged School movement began at the end of the 18th century when separate teachers in different parts of the country sought to give the most destitute of children the most basic of education in reading and writing, often with a view to enable them to read the Bible. There are many claims as to who started the original ragged school, but probably there were a few such schools that started independently around about the same time, including those started by John Pounds in Portsmouth and Sheriff Watson in Aberdeen. Most ragged schools had their origins in Sunday Schools. Rowland Hill founded the Surrey Chapel, an independent non-conformist church in 1783 situated in Blackfriars Road and founded the first Sunday School in London attached to the Chapel.

Sources:
Ragged School Union Magazine: vol 3 (1852), vol 4 (1853), vol 5 (1854), vol 7 (1856)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragged_school (accessed 23 July 2011)
http://www.infed.org/youthwork/ragged_schools.htm (accessed 28 July 2008)
15th Annual Report of the Ragged School Union (1859)
Select Committee on the Education of Destitute Children (1861)
Report of Lant Street Ragged School (1867) (Fund raising leaflet)
The Times, Report of the London School Board, 22 Feb 1872