Females did not receive the same education as a male student as a female would most certainly marry and raise a family. Classes would usually take place between the hours of A. Nadia Valman studied English at the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds and worked operating the autocue for BBC News before completing her doctorate at Queen Mary.

Unlike the classroom picture here (click for larger image), the Victorian classroom was small, dark and warmed by a single stove or open fire. Credits: Background set, buttons and teacher are the creation of B.

The walls in most cases were bare, with the exception of an embroidered text or blackboard.

Students were taught the basics, reading, writing and arithmetic.

I'm Miss Ellen Smith, and being the one who assists the Ashton children with their lessons, it's only appropriate that I be the one to begin the discussion on education during the Victorian period.

Prior to the 1870 Education Act, children in Victorian England were educated in many different ways, or not at all, depending upon their sex and their parents' financial situation, social class, religion and values.

The first schools of record, dating back to the 16th century, were Sunday schools.

This type of school is often associated with Robert Raikes, a newspaper publisher, who popularized the idea.

By the middle of the 19th century, approximately two thirds of all working class children between the ages of 5 and 15 were attending Sunday school.

Here in England, an elementary education isn't free.