Papers of Arthur Raymond Sporne (1890-1977)

Scope and Content

Audio cassette of interview between Sporne and his daughter, Celia, shortly before his death in 1977, consisting of reminiscences of his own school days, his own time as a teacher and the experiences of his siblings including on discipline; interior and exterior of the school buildings; teachers and method of teaching; lessons in literature and mathematics; school books and equipment including the arrival of new school books and stationery in 1903; child poverty; school finance; the impact of the 1902 Education Act on sports facilities, medical inspection and treatment, school meals, scholarships and other developments; musical activities and education; teachers' salaries; religious denominationalism in education; school sport; teacher education, including the pupil teacher system and college training.

Photocopy of a ts draft of a book entitled 'A Voice in the Wilderness' written under the name Raymond Morley in c.1950s, including Sporne's views on the education system and teaching methods; his memories of developments within teaching during his own school days and during his time as a teacher; the methods he used when teaching mathematics to 'retarded' boys within a secondary modern school in the 1940s; an account of a visit by schools inspectors to the school. This also includes some original samples of pupil's work.

Essays completed by Sporne's pupils, including 'Does he really like us?' and 'Our teacher's tongue', 1913, in which the pupils, aged 12-13, comment on their teacher; 'The story of my life' , 1914 and 1952 in which pupils aged 13-14 give accounts of their life experiences, including family life, health and sickness, school days, work, play, holidays, outings and friendships; letters written by pupils at Fulham Reformatory School, Dec 1917 about the end of the school term, the Christmas holidays and plans for the following term.

Personalia including swimming and music certificates.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Sporne (1890-1977) was born in King's Lynn, Norfolk, the youngest child of William Sporne, grocer, and Hannah Morley, five of whose eight children, including Arthur, went on to become teachers. From 1893 he attended a 'British' [and Foreign Schools Society] elementary school, where his brother was a pupil teacher, and then a 'Church' [of England] school, before moving to King's Lynn Grammar School. He trained as a teacher at Sheffield Training College c.1908-1910. From 1911 he worked at the Joseph Lancaster Elementary School in Ealing, as well as having short periods of experience at Fulham Reformatory and of war service during the First World War. After the War he returned to teaching at the Joseph Lancaster School until 1924 at which date the school was transferred to the Grange School, Ealing. The school was evacuated to Stoke Mandeville during the Second World War. After the War he taught at Selbourne School where he specialised in the teaching of mathematics. He retired in 1954 after which he wrote, and coached school phobics.

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.

Acquisition Information

Given by the family in 1999.

Conditions Governing Use

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