Rhos Street Board School opened during the 1840s (?possibly as a British School)
In opposition to National Schools, affiliated with the established Church (see ED/90 Ruthin National School Borthyn), Rhos Street School was part of the British and Foreign Society non-conformist backed movement. The society established 79 schools in this period, Rhos Street being one of those.
The architect of the building was Richard Cash, the same architect who built Ruthin National School (Borthyn).
The school's early history showed a shortage of money but it appears to have been tolerated by Anglicans in the town who supported the school financially. It was a large school, even in its early days, with 173 boys in 1846. As with Ruthin National School, the poor of the town were catered for in these schools. In 1847 girls were admitted, then in 1849 children from the workhouse were also admitted.
In 1851 J.D. Jones was the Head teacher who managed the 200 pupils with the use of the monitor/pupil teacher system.
Log book records began in November 1873 with Hugh Williams as Head teacher of a Mixed Junior and Infants departments. By the 1880s there were still 200 on roll but received glowing praise from HMI.
In Aug/Sept 1894 there were alterations to the building to accommodate growing numbers, as by October 1895 there were 289 pupils on roll (ED/LB/90/2). On 22nd June 1897 it was the occasion of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee when the school was decorated and the pupils went in a procession through the streets followed by afternoon tea at the school (ED/LB/90/2, pg 90-91).
A HMI report of September 1897 (ED/LB/90/2,pg 99) criticised the school for lack of teaching staff - the Head teacher was responsible for teaching 67 pupils.
Attendance was also a problem. In September 1898 there were 122 pupils present out of 283-"Evidently the majority of parents had kept their children at home simply because a menagerie had come to town" (ED/LB/90/2, pg 141)
HMI report of September 1898 noted that a new partition in the main classroom made quiet work possible and improved discipline. HMI report of 1899 also noted the unusually large number of subjects offered including cookery and drawing for the older girls.
In July 1902 the new Head teacher was W.R. Owen until January 1910 followed by AH Rowlands on 30th March 1910 until his death on 15th February 1925. On 1st September 1925 J.C.J. Ellis Edwards became Head teacher - a well-known, conductor of choirs, he was responsible for opening a school penny bank and introducing a school cap. Girls wore navy blue and the boys green. Each had a badge showing the red dragon and the letters R.C.S. - Ruthin Council School.
The school became known as Ruthin Mixed Council school by January 1930 and there were 132 on roll (ED/LB/90/4)
In June 1931 school milk was to be supplied by Caerfallen Model Dairy, Ruthin, (Mr Hooson)
Educational trips to London in 1935/7 were also logged.
The Infants department had separate log books from 1876 when there were 60 plus on roll (ED/LB/90/8). In these early days, when school fees were not paid, the children were sent home (pg5). The department was officially designated as separate from the Junior Mixed school in April 1901 but suffered also from too few teachers to teach large class sizes. A partition of the main room made things slightly easier - reported 1907.
DD/DM/201/3- Apprenticeship indenture of pupil teacher at Ruthin British School 1853
DD/DM/1044/1-20- Papers relating to JD Jones Head teacher at Rhos Street School 1851
DD/DM/2/7- Agreement re dispute over building work done at the British and Foreign School Ruthin 1848
Ruthin Local History Broadsheet 1985 - 2003 Issue numbers 54, 55, 56