Saturday, December 01, 2007

Israel Ellis deserves a major place in any history of Hayes,

Israel Ellis was the pioneering headmaster at Hayes School for Jewish boys

Mr Ellis had originally in charge of the East London Industrial School for Jewish boys in Lewisham (closed circa 1923 and moved to the LCC Industrial School, Mayford near Woking).

However when the Jewish Industrial school at Hayes was officially opened in February 1901 and Mr Ellis became the first headmaster.

The school introduced a new method of educating delinquent and neglected Jewish children - a high standard of elementary and technical teaching in a free atmosphere being the chief characteristics. Until then it was customary to exploit child labour in the reformatory and industrial schools, in order to eke out the meagre grant made to them.

The average cost of maintaining a child was about £21 per Annam, at Hayes it began at £48 but stabilised at £38 per Annam, the Jewish community finding the necessary money. Today 1929 it is £96 per Annam

Soon after the school opened Mr Ellis organised the athletics side of the school and became Hon ray Secretary of the Home Counties Home Office Schools Association

In 1901 the society of Headmasters and Matrons of Reformatory school was founded and Mr Ellis became its vice president and president for several years.

He was regularly quoted in the Times Educational Supplement

During World War 1 he was chair of the Hayes Tribunal under the Compulsory Service Act , a body which decided who would be called up. He was also Chairman of the Food Committee

His eldest son was an officer in the Royal Engineers Signalling Corps and served in France and Germany.

Ellis was awarded an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) medal in 1929 new years honours.

He served as an "Independent" councillor on Hayes Parish Council and Hayes Urban District Council from 1901, often being the only non Labour councillor on the council, but working closely with the Labour Party on issues such as housing.