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A school existed in Grantham in 1322, which was re-founded in around 1494. In 1550-1 it was again re-founded as the Free Grammar School of King Edward VI. The Old School House (built in 1497) and the Masters House (built in 1500) survive in near original condition, among 19th-20th century rebuilding.

The earliest school would have taught those who were going to join a religious order or become clergy. This began to change as time went by, particularly for the burgesses in the towns.

It is very likely that students at the school in Grantham were taught reading, the alphabet, basic prayers and useful religious precepts, and possibly writing and Latin too. If students were being going to have a career in business and commerce, they also needed to learn French. A school education was not something that the lower classes would have had; they were expected to learn a trade through apprenticeships.

One of the impacts of illiteracy was that people could only access information and ideas from their present and immediate past. This meant that it was very difficult for them to express themselves politically. It also meant that people had a narrow and mythical view of the world and the past.

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Last updated: 3 March 2011

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