Formal education played a very small role in the family's life in this book. I add that qualifier because Frank McCourt eventually became a teacher, and formal education became a central part of his life. He taught school for 28 years. However, during the span covered by "Angela's Ashes," the intense poverty the family faced kept education from playing a large role. They had to struggle too hard to survive, and that meant working all the time and taking care of one another. There was a lot of experience, and some of the jobs included a kind of education, such as when Frank reads for Mr. Timoney, but that's about it, even though Frank's mother wanted him to have greater education.