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Educating Rugby

Educating Rugby

26 January 2019 to 7 September 2019

Exhibition closed 28th April to 6th May and 23rd June to 1st July for art gallery changeovers.

Explore the history of schools and colleges in Rugby with objects from the museum’s social history collection.

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Photos from left to right

  • Harris School prefects October 1962. In the centre is the school's headmaster Cyril Wellington.
  • The netball team at Arnold High School, Rugby in December 1922.  Photograph of student Edith Morris
  • A classroom and children all seated at their desks in the last days of County Junior School, Chapel Street


Before the Elementary Education Acts of 1876 and 1880, which made it compulsory for children to attend school, teaching was mainly offered in monasteries, convents, ladies seminaries and dame schools.

Rugby had just three traditional schools before the landmark education Acts came into force - Lawrence Sheriff's School, located at its Clifton Road site since 1748, The Free Grammar School, now Rugby School and established in 1567, and Richard Elborow's School, which was established between High Street and Sheep Street in 1707 and catered for just 30 pupils.

But from the 1870s, and with the number of children in Rugby boosted by the boom in the town's railway and manufacturing industries, demand for school places surged and led to the foundation of many schools which still teach pupils today.

Educating Rugby exhibits include school uniforms, badges, ties and scarves, together with historic photographs, including Rugby High School at its former Clifton Road site, West Central Girls School, Harris School and Murray School.

Other objects on display include school reports, exercise books and newsletters, including copies of Lawrence Sheriff School's The Griffin, The Matthewian and The Dunsmorian.