Today's educational system bears absolutely no resemblance to the first faltering steps of education for the masses. Prior to the early 1800s education had been the preserve of those who could afford private education and tutoring. There is considerable evidence that in many cases the wealthy preferred the peasantry not to be able to read and write. It was left in many cases to the enlightened few, many of whom were connected to religious establishments to make the first attempts at teaching the populace to read. Finally the government stepped in at first supporting these people but by the mid-1800s it was becoming apparent that compulsory education should be provided so by the late 1800s most areas had elementary schools. This was only the beginning gradually over the years the education became more extensive and in Sprowston's case what began as a single school to cater for the ever-growing population into a sophisticated system of many schools. With further housing development no doubt we will soon be seeing yet more schools within the area.