There was a schoolmaster in Stondon Massey in
1777, but his school had been closed by
1791, when John Oldham became rector.
Oldham was a subscriber to the Society
for Promoting Christian Knowledge and he set up a
day school in the parish with a labourer's wife as the
mistress. In 1807 about 12 Stondon children attended
and possibly others from outside the parish. The
curriculum was confined to reading, sewing, and knitting. Expenses were paid by the rector. (fn. 71) In 1818 this
school, still kept by the labourer's wife, remained the
only one in the parish. The mistress taught 30 or 40
pupils to read but sent them to Chipping Ongar to
learn writing and arithmetic. (fn. 72) The school had come
into union with the National Society in 1816, and
remained so at least until 1832. During that period
the number of day pupils seems to have been kept at
34, while a further 50 attended the Sunday school held
in connexion with the day school. (fn. 73) In 1833 the day
pupils increased considerably in numbers. They all
paid fees except 6 whose fees were paid by benefactors.
There were some dame schools and there was a girls'
boarding-school at Stondon House, which was founded
in 1824 and which by 1833 had 26 pupils. (fn. 74)
In 1844 the lord of the manor, P. H. Meyer, built
a parish school with accommodation for 48 pupils.
The trust deed of that year placed it in union with the
National Society, required that the religious teaching
should be in accordance with Anglican principles and
appointed the rector and churchwardens as trustees. (fn. 75)
In 1870 there were some 42 pupils, and in 1871 an
inspector reported that the accommodation was sufficient for the needs of the parish. (fn. 76) Some years passed
before the school received a government grant because
the rector would not accept a conscience clause for the
benefit of nonconformist children on the ground that
the founder had specifically required that the principles
of religious teaching should be Anglican. When the
income of the school was reduced by the agricultural
depression that began about 1875, and the rector saw
that the conscience clause had been accepted in other
Church schools, he also accepted the clause. (fn. 77) The
school received a government grant of £51 in 1893
and one of £60 in 1899. (fn. 78) Average attendance in the
1880's was about 36. (fn. 79) The school was enlarged in
1891 for 70 children, but in spite of this there was little
increase in the attendance, which averaged 39 in
1898. (fn. 80)
By the Education Act of 1902 the school passed
under the administration of the Essex Education Committee, Ongar District, as a non-provided school. In
1904, when accommodation was estimated at 75, there
were 45 pupils and 2 teachers. (fn. 81) In 1910 the average
attendance was 31 and in 1920 it was 36. In 1930 the
school was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants.
Attendance subsequently increased and in 1939 the
infants were being taught in the adjacent village hall. (fn. 82)
In May 1952 there were 47 pupils and 2 teachers.
The school was closed in 1953, the children being
transferred to that at Kelvedon Hatch. (fn. 83) The building was of one story, of red brick with tiled roof. It
was inscribed 'Stondon Massey National School, built
1844, enlarged 1891.' It was demolished in July 1954.
||Reeve, Stondon Massey, 47; E.R.O.,
Retns. Educ. Poor, H.C. 224, p.272
(1819), ix (1).
Nat. Soc. Rep. 1816, 1818, 1828,
Educ. Enquiry Abstr. H.C. 62, p. 290
(1835), xli. Reeve, Stondon Massey, 95,49. The Stondon House school closed before 1861.
||Reeve, op. cit. 95-96; Min. of Educ.File 13/356.
Retns. Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, pp.
112-13 (1871), lv; Min. of Educ. File 13/356.
||Reeve, op. cit. 95-96.
Retns. of Schs. 1893 [C. 7529], p. 716,
H.C. (1894), lxv.; ibid. 1899 [Cd. 315],p. 74, H.C. (1900), lxv (2).
Kelly's Dir. Essex (1882, 1886, 1890).
Essex Educ. Cttee. Handbk. 1904,
||Min. of Educ. File 13/356.
||Inf. from Essex Educ. Cttee.