Henry Sanders, a Baptist, kept
a school in the parish in the later 17th century
and earlier 18th. (fn. 1) In 1815 there was no school or
Sunday school, but a few small children were
taught to read by an old woman, and some boys
attended a school in Hanborough. (fn. 2) In 1819 the
chaplain, Bartley Lee, started a Sunday school
in defiance of Edward Tatham, rector of Lincoln
College. The school was attended by 95 children
and was run on the Bell system as far as precarious funding permitted. (fn. 3) By 1833 there were also
three day schools in which 30-45 children were
taught at their parents' expense, the number of
pupils attending the Sunday school falling to 30
in consequence. (fn. 4)
A school with house adjoining was built in
1843 at the expense of Tatham's widow Elizabeth. The site, on the southern edge of the
village, was given by Lincoln College. (fn. 5) In 1854
the daily attendance was 40-60, and on Sundays
60-80. An evening school started in 1852 was
initially very popular, and still met on three
winter evenings a week in 1859, but with reduced attendances. (fn. 6) In 1859 the day school,
managed by a committee of parishioners, was
supported by private subscriptions and by
school pence of 2d. or 4d. a week. (fn. 7) In 1866 there
were 67 children in the day school and well
attended evening lectures in the winter, (fn. 8) although attendance at the latter declined when
boys and girls were segregated after complaints
of 'rude behaviour'. Serious absenteeism from
the day school was attributed to mothers keeping their daughters at home to help with glovemaking. A system of alternate weeks at school
and at work was tried with some success. (fn. 9)
The school was attended in 1872 by 33 boys,
16 girls, and 23 infants paying 2s. each. A
parliamentary grant was first received in 1873.
The master augmented his salary of £10 by
taking private pupils, and there was also a
private school in the village with 2 boys and 14
girls. (fn. 10) In 1890 there was accommodation at the
day school for 100 children and an average
attendance of 92; the income from fees was £36
9s. 9d. and from subscriptions £156 8s. 10d. (fn. 11)
The school was enlarged in 1893 to accommodate 180 children; in 1895 the average attendance was 110. (fn. 12) In 1928 the school became a
junior school with 33 pupils; the older children
went by bus to Church Hanborough until 1940,
when the new secondary school opened at
Woodstock. Combe school became a controlled
Church of England school in 1952. It had a roll
of 55 children in 1962 and of 66 in 1983. St.
Andrew's, a boys' day and boarding school was
at Combe House for a few years after the Second
World War. (fn. 13)
Elizabeth Tatham gave £100 to maintain the
village school. By 1870 the money had been
added to £150 given by John Radford, rector of
Lincoln College, by will proved 1852, to produce £7 10s. a year. A Scheme of 1905 allotted
the money to the John Radford Educational
Foundation, the income from which is devoted
to repairing the school house. (fn. 14)
|| Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 341, f. 55; O.R.O., bur. reg.
transcript, 20 Oct. 1736.
|| O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 433, f. 63.
|| Ibid. d 578, f. 75v. The college owned the rectory:
|| Ibid. b 39, f. 106; Educ. Enq. Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 744
|| O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. b 70, p. 69; P.R.O., ED
7/101/141; O.S. Map 1/2,500, XXVI. 7 (1880 edn.); Char.
Digest, H.C. 292-11, pp. 20-1, (1871), lv; V. H. H. Green,
Linc. Coll. 386 n.
Wilb. Visit. 41.
|| P.R.O., ED 7/101/141.
|| O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 332, f. 139.
Rep. Com. on Children and Women in Agric. [4202-1],
pp. 331, 333, 339, H.C. (1868-9), xiii.
|| P.R.O., ED 7/101/141; Returns relating to Elem. Educ.
H.C. 201, p. 332 (1871), lv; Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council,
1873-4 [C. 1019-1], p. 394, H.C. (1874), xviii.
Public Elem. Schs. Return, H.C. 403, p. 213 (1890), lvi.
|| O.R.O., T/SM 18, i; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1895).
|| O.R.O., T/SM 18, ii; inf. from Oxon. C.C. Educ. Cttee.;
Oxf. Times, 5 Mar. 1948: ad. on p. 4; local inf.
|| Char. Com. files; Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 340; Linc.
Coll. Mun., Coll. Order Bk. 1872-89, s.a. 1872-4; Green,
Linc. Coll. 450 n.