Acts of Parliament

Index to the Acts

See the index for the full list of Acts relating to children, schools and education and for notes on the texts.


Reformatory and Industrial Schools (Scotland) Act 1854

This Act empowered Sheriffs or Magistrates to require the attendance of vagrant children at reformatory schools, industrial schools, or other similar institutions in Scotland.

The text of the Reformatory and Industrial Schools (Scotland) Act 1854 was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 22 August 2019.


Reformatory and Industrial Schools (Scotland) Act 1854

Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.


[page 239]

CAP. LXXIV.

An Act to render Reformatory and Industrial Schools in Scotland more available for the Benefit of Vagrant Children. [7th August 1854.]

'WHEREAS it is expedient that Reformatory and Industrial Schools in Scotland should be made more available for the Education and Training of Vagrant Children:' Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows:

Power to Sheriff or Magistrate to send Vagrant Children to School unless Security found for good Behaviour.

I. When any young Person apparently under the Age of Fourteen Years shall, from and after the passing of this Act, be found begging, or, not having any Home or settled Place of Abode or proper Guardianship, and having no lawful or visible Means of Subsistence, shall be found wandering, and though not charged with any actual Offence, shall be brought by any Constable or Police Officer before any Sheriff or Magistrate, it shall be lawful for the said Sheriff or Magistrate, after due Inquiry, and Intimation to the Inspector of the Poor, and due Intimation to the Parents, Guardians, or others interested in such young Person, if the same can be found, and unless the Parents, Guardians, or other Persons interested in such young Person shall appear and find Security for his or her good Behaviour, enacted in the Books of Court according to the Form (or as near thereto as may be) contained in the Schedule (B.) annexed hereto, such Security to be for any Sum not less than One Pound and not more than Five Pounds, and for any Period not exceeding Twelve Calendar Months, if he shall see Cause, to order by a Writing under his hand, according to the Schedule (A.), or as near thereto as may be, such young Person forthwith to be transmitted to and received at any Reformatory School, Industrial School, or other similar Institution within Scotland, whether established by a Parochial Board or by an Association of Individuals, which may have been sanctioned by the Secretary of State for the Purposes of this Act, the Directors or Managers of which may be willing to receive such young Person, for such Period of Time as may appear necessary for his or her Education and Training, but such young Person shall not be detained beyond the Age of Fifteen Years without his or her Consent, such Magistrate having due Regard to the religious Belief of such Child, or, to any Wish expressed by the Parents, Guardians, or other Relative as to the particular Institution to which such Child shall be committed or removed, and with Power to Secretary of State to order such Removal; and on such Security as aforesaid being at any Time found, the Sheriff or the committing or other acting Magistrate for the Time being may order the Discharge of such young Person from any such School or Institution: Provided always, that if the Parent or Guardian of any such young Person shall express a Preference for any One such School out of Two or more within the Jurisdiction of the Sheriff or Magistrate, such Sheriff or Magistrate shall order such young Person to be sent to the


[page 240]

School so preferred, if the Managers be willing and able to receive him.

Punishment on wilfully leaving and refusing to return to School.

II. If any young Person who shall be sent to any such School or Institution, under the Provisions of this Act, shall wilfully leave and abscond therefrom before attaining the Age of Fifteen Years, or being duly discharged therefrom, and shall refuse to return, it shall be lawful to the Sheriff or to the committing or any other acting Magistrate, on summary Complaint at the Instance of any Officer of the said School or Institution, (and which Complaint shall be conducted in the Forms, or as nearly as may be and subject to all the Provisions of the Act of the Ninth Year of King George the Fourth, Chapter Twenty-nine,) to punish such young Person by Whipping, or by Imprisonment for any Term not exceeding Twenty Days, and if he shall see proper to order that such young Person be thereafter re-transmitted to such School in manner foresaid.

Penalty on Persons wilfully withdrawing young Persons from School.

III. When any young Person has been sent by any Sheriff or Magistrate to such School or Institution sanctioned as aforesaid, any Person who shall directly or indirectly wilfully withdraw such young Person from such School or Institution, or induce him or her to abscond therefrom, before he or she has been regularly discharged, or who shall knowingly conceal or harbour such young Person, or otherwise prevent his or her return thereto, then such Person so offending shall be liable for every such Offence in a Penalty not exceeding Five Pounds, to be recovered on summary Complaint before any Sheriff or Magistrate at the Instance of any Officer of such School or Institution, or any Person authorized by the Directors or Managers, with Concurrence of the Public Prosecutor, and, failing Payment, the Offender may be imprisoned for any Period not exceeding Sixty Days; and such Penalty, deducting the Expense of Prosecution, shall be paid over to the Treasurer of the Institution in which such young Person was placed and for behoof thereof.

Parents and others may be sued for Expenses of Support of Children in School.

IV. In every Case where any such young Person has been sent by any Sheriff or Magistrate to such School or Institution as aforesaid, it shall be competent for the Treasurer or other Officer thereof to sue the Parents or Step-parents of such young Person, or other Persons who may be liable to support him or her for Payment of the Cost of Support and other Expenses incurred by the said School or Institution in regard to such young Person, and to recover the same by Action in the Sheriff's Small Debt Court: Provided always, that the Sheriff may, on Cause shown, modify the Amount of such Cost and Expenses as he shall think reasonable, or remit the same altogether, as in the Circumstances of the Case may seem just.

Expense of Children to be paid for by Parochial Board when not received from Parents, &c.

V. Where any young Person shall be sent to such School or Institution, and where the Cost of Support of such young Person has not been received from the Parents of such young Person or other Parties liable for his or her Support, it shall be competent for the Treasurer or other Officer of such Institution, or other Person authorized by the Directors or Managers, to recover the Cost of such Support and other Expenses of such young Person, or any Balance thereof unpaid, from the Parochial Board of the Parish on which such young Person, if a Pauper, would have


[page 241]

been chargeable in the first instance; and such Cost and Expenses are hereby declared to form a valid Charge upon the Funds within the Management of the said Parochial Board, under the Act Eighth and Ninth Victoria, Chapter Eighty-three, declaring that such Sums shall be annually on the Thirty-first of December in every Year charged against the said Parochial Board for the Year then ending, and shall be sued for within Three Months after the Lapse of every such Year, and not thereafter, and the Amount may be sued for under the Sheriff Small Debt Act, First Victoria Chapter Forty-one, as amended by the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Victoria, Chapter Eighty, although the Amount be greater than the Sum to which the Prosecutions by the said Acts are limited: Provided always, that the Sheriff shall have Power to fix the Cost of Support at such Rate as he may consider just and reasonable; and on Payment of the said Sums the said Parochial Board shall have all competent Remedy for Relief and Recovery of the Sums paid by them against all Persons or Parishes bound in Relief and Payment thereof.

Power to make Rules, &c.

VI. It shall be lawful for the Directors and Managers of such Schools and Institutions as aforesaid to make all necessary Rules, Orders, and Byelaws for the Regulation and Management of the Schools and Institutions as aforesaid under their Charge, not repugnant to the Provisions of this Act, but no such Rules, Orders, or Byelaws shall be enforced until they have been submitted to and approved by the Lord Advocate of Scotland.

Power to Education Committee of Privy Council to grant Aid to Directors of Schools.

VII. It shall be lawful for the Education Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council, out of the Monies at their Disposal voted by Parliament for the Purposes of Education, to grant to the Directors or Managers of any such School or Institution sanctioned as aforesaid, who may be willing to receive such young Persons as aforesaid, such Aid as they may judge proper towards the Erection of suitable Buildings, and the annual Expense of such School or Institution, under such Regulations as to the Accommodation required and the Qualification of Teachers as the Committee of Council may prescribe; and all Schools and Institutions receiving such Aid shall be open to the Inspection of Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, or to any other Inspector specially appointed for the Inspection thereof.

Act not to interfere with Powers of Removal under 8 & 9 Vict. c. 83.

VIII. Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to prevent any Parochial Board on whose Funds the Cost of Support of any such young Person as aforesaid shall have become a Charge from adopting such Steps for his or her Removal as may be competent to them under the Provisions of the Eighth and Ninth Victoria, Chapter Eighty-three.

SCHEDULE A.

At ____ the ____ Day of ____ I, [A.B: Sheriff or Magistrate of ____ ] under the Powers of the Reformatory Schools (Scotland) Act, 1854, hereby order, that C.D. belonging to ____ and apparently of the Age of ____ Years, and who was brought before me under the Provisions of the said Act, to be taken to the ____ School, at ____ , therein to remain, under the Powers and


[page 242]

Provisions contained in the said recited Act, until he be duly discharged therefrom or attain the Age of Fifteen Years.

Given under my Hand, Date and Place foresaid.

SCHEDULE B.

I or we [name and design the Cautioners] do hereby judicially enact ourselves in the Books of the ____ Court, at ____ and bind and oblige [myself or ourselves, my or our Heirs, Executors, and Successors, jointly and severally,] under the Penalty of ____ for the good Behaviour of A.B. belonging to ____ and that for the Period of ____ Calendar Months, all in Terms of the First Section of the Reformatory Schools (Scotland) Act, 1854.

Subscribed by me [or us] at ____ the ____ Day of ____ , before these Witnesses.

A.B. and C.D.