Yoxall, Sir James Henry, MP

Born at Redditch on 15 July 1857, a WM of the fourth generation, he was an educationalist, a local preacher and a temperance advocate. From Redditch WM school he went as a pupil teacher at Bridgehouses WM school in Sheffield, then to Westminster College, where he won the commendation of Matthew Arnold. As headmaster of Sharrow Lane board school in Sheffield from 1887 to 1892, he fostered the appreciation of literature, music and art. Following the National Union of Elementary Teachers' conference in Cheltenham in 1888, he became vice-president and, by 1892, president and general secretary. From 1895 to 1918 he was Liberal MP for Nottingham (West). He served on the Royal Commission on Secondary Education 1894-95, was President and then General Secretary of the NUT 1892-1924 and leader of the teachers' panel on the early Burnham Committee. His particular concern was for the education of the poor. He received honorary degrees from both Cambridge (1899) and Oxford (1907) and was the first elementary school teacher to be knighted (1911). From 1909 to 1924 he edited The Schoolmaster and his publications included Secondary Education. He died at Kew on 2 February 1925.

  • Methodist Recorder, 5 Feb 1925
  • WM Committee of Education Report (1924-25) pp.125-27
  • Oxford DNB