This was the year of the founding of People’s College. Mr. George Gill, an inhabitant of the town, provided the sum of £3,000, a considerable amount of money in those days, and appealed most successfully for subscriptions from the public. It was intended that the College should provide a sound education of the kind offered by lower grade secondary schools at a moderate price.
People’s College was opened in August 1847 to boys only.
A section for girls was added and at this time the School catered for 170 boys and 75 girls.
The boys were given instruction in the three Rs and singing, with object lessons, natural history, physiology, social economy, history, natural philosophy, mathematics, Latin and French.
The girls were given a sound English education and were taught plain needlework.
Evening classes were organised for those already in full-time employment.
Official recognition was given to evening classes by the payment of Government Grant. Those attending came not only from the town but also from the surrounding villages.
The first evening classes dealt with the three Rs, English grammar, algebra, book-keeping, French, German and singing, but the variety of subjects quickly expanded to include, for example, metallurgy, chemistry, physics, astronomy and machine drawing. People’s College enjoyed a very high reputation and was a flourishing institution from the outset.
The day school was handed over to the School Board as the first Higher Grade School in the Nottingham area and expanded rapidly during the remainder of the 19th century.