The proclaimed objective of school reformers that students would have access to common schools regardless of religion, social class, sex and skin color proved to be insincere.Access to common schooling did not imply equal access for all regardless of race, religion or any other factor that could be seen by some as a barrier to a common education. Social class was one of the lesser barriers to the access of the common school.Thefirst schools never proposed to educate children as is done in schools today.The majority of the school population was to be informed and transformed as to fit the status quo.
Governments attempted to establish a program through the state-run schools that would humanize, moralize and civilize the lower orders and the poorer people so that they would be'equal' to the middle-class society. Ryerson established an instrument for social control of the school population by centralizing and bureaucratizing school administration. Prentice argued that school was not designed primarily as a vehicle for upward mobility of the lower class people.School was designed to teach children how to read and write as well as to teach them work ethic and moral discipline.
Children were instilled with these qualities as well as domestic routines such as meal times and holidays. Sex, or gender, was yet another barrier within the common school system.It did not prevent either sex from attending the common school, but it did affect what each sex learned while at school.Canadian public schooling has always been for both boys and girls. Compulsory education laws did not show prejudice on the basis of sex.The public education system was for everybody, regardless of whether they were boys or girls, rich or poor, native-born or immigrant, children who spoke different languages, rural or urban inhabitant, or those of all religions persuasions. The development of the public school system did not preven.