Under its first headmaster, W.B. Adams, Fleet Road Board School was an outstanding success, described by a contemporary journal as the finest elementary school in Europe.' This study explains the school's success using contemporary sources, and newspapers and the oral evidence of ex-pupils.
Educational Studies - "The book should be on the shelves of every education library and should form part of the reading of every aspiring headteacher."
History of Education Quarterly- "The book gives a fascinating insight into elementary schooling in late nineteenth-century England, and it deserves a wide readership."
Cambridge Journal of Education- "This is historical research at its best…Bill Marsden has succeeded in breathing life into an outstanding London board school…This is the very stuff of English social history"
Victorian Studies- " W.E. Marsden has done a very rare thing, written the history of a school- and not a grand school supported by a cast of distinguished alumni- which through his deft handling of its physical and social context, and its relation to the wider educational system within which it operated, is a gem of school biography throwing a flood of light on the whole late Victorian Board School system"
History of Education - " This study …evokes and evaluates in a discerning way an important episode in our educational history; it also sets new standards for the genre of school history, cleverly weaving together urban history and educational history with institutional history so as to vividly illuminate both the particular and the general…A handsome and well-illustrated volume which enhances the dignity of the subject"
Historical Studies in Educational - " Marsden has made good use of the extensive materials available to paint a vivid picture of every aspect of the school, not least teaching staff…He has written an important book which demonstrates in fascinating detail the manner in which a study of an individual school can illustrate the general history of a period"
The London Journal- " This is a most useful book. It adds to our understanding of the increasing complexity of the English social structure, it provides a detailed account of the curriculum and teaching methods to be found in this kind of school and, above all, it contains a wealth of material for the local historian. The analysis of the social and occupational structure of the school"s catchment area is excellent, the insights into the politics of education at local level are illuminating"
Journal of Educational Administration and History- " This is abook all students of 19th-century elementary education should read