Quakers and Education

From its beginnings the Society of Friends always saw the importance of education, and as early as 1695, the London Yearly Meeting recommended that: ‘schools and schoolmasters who are faithful Friends, and well qualified, be placed and encouraged in all counties, cities, great towns, or places where there may be need. And that such schoolmasters…sometimes correspond with one another, for their help and improvement in such good and easy methods as are most agreeable to the Truth, and the children’s advantage and benefit.’ 

Quaker children often studied with private tutors, and in small private schools, or through apprenticeships. Two Quaker schools were set up in York, Bootham and the Mount School. Adult education was a significant part of the educational plan, and girls were given access to education to a large degree equal with their male peers.