What was the Factory School?
Successive factory acts in the 1830s and 1840s had established reduced hours and the legal obligation to provide education. Bradford born Richard Oastler, amongst others, sought to overcome the use of child labour and ensure a better future for the nation’s youth. Titus Salt embraced this whole-heartedly and built the Factory School on Victoria Road in 1867 (now part of Shipley College).
The school had a capacity of 750 children, most of whom were half-timers at the mill. They worked shifts: 6am-12:30pm one week and 1:15-5:30pm the next, and their schooling fitted in around this rota. The school quickly became regarded as one of the finest in the district. It was well equipped and had playgrounds at the rear.
Caroline Salt shared her husband’s passion for education; her initials as well as his are carved on the pediment of the Factory School. She was hugely influential alongside W.E. Forster in establishing Salts Grammar on the Baildon side of the river Aire, offering full-time education to children across the district.