March 15th, 2012

Types of girls' schools in 1930s Britain

I have a 15-year-old character whose guardian is leaving the country suddenly in 1935. I'd like for her to have been consistently educated but living at home up until he leaves, at which point I want her to be sent away to a boarding school. She's middle-class and academically inclined.

While she is living with her guardian, I think she would probably have been sent to a grammar or high school locally, and that her education there will have been fairly well-rounded, at least according to the standards at the time: Latin and Greek, sciences, history, literature, etc. Am I right about this? If so, is it conceivable that this type of school might not have had any hockey or lacrosse teams? (I know some did; I'd like for hers not to have, if that is at all plausible.)

After the guardian leaves, I'd like for her to be sent to a school where academics are much less emphasized because the expectation is that the girls will be leaving to be married (or will at least have access to an inherited income), instead of moving on to higher education. I'd also like for her to feel socially inferior to her classmates. Did this kind of school exist at the time? What was it called? Is it plausible for it to have had a hockey team? Religious affiliations would be fine. If you also have time and inclination to tell me anything you happen to know about the everyday life of students in schools like this during that period, I would be very grateful.

Search terms used: interwar 1930s 1935 Britain England UK girls' female education schooling independent schools boarding schools types of schools lists of schools.

I've also read lots of Enid Blyton and Angela Brazil, and though those have been great for providing a general feel, I'd like the boarding school my protagonist attends to be more old-fashioned and upper-class than those schools seemed to be.