In 1818 there was no school in the parish, although
the poor were said to desire schooling for
their children. (fn. 71) In 1826 Mrs. Letitia
(later Lady) Bowyer Smijth set up a
girls' school in some cottages, paying the fees of needy
children and taking an active interest in the work. It
is possible that these cottages were situated at the brickfield near Hill Hall. In 1836 Sir John Smijth established a boys' school, which the Smijth family largely
maintained in the years following. In 1839 the rector,
besides making financial contributions, carried out
most of the detailed administration at both schools.
There were 33 boys and 42 girls in attendance, the fee
evidently being 1d. per week. The textbooks of the
National Society were used but neither school was a
National School. (fn. 72)
About 1846 a new mixed school was built, apparently on the site of the boys' school of 1836.
Members of the Smijth family seem to have paid most,
if not all of the cost, and to have remained for many
years the owners and chief source of income; in 1846-7
Sir E. Bowyer-Smijth was stated to be the only contributor. Children attended the school from Stapleford
Tawney as well as from Theydon Mount. After a
successful start the school seems to have declined. In
1846-7 there were about 70 pupils under a master
and a mistress who were paid £40 and £14 a year
respectively. (fn. 73) By 1871 there were only some 36 pupils
and the building was in poor condition, despite continued support from the Smijths. The government
declared that it could not be considered an efficient
school for the 31 children from Theydon Mount and
the 30 from Stapleford Tawney needing elementary
schooling unless it was thoroughly repaired. (fn. 74) Theydon
Mount parishioners were now prepared to accept
responsibility for the school and in February 1873 the
Smijth family transferred ownership to the rector and
churchwardens as trustees. The building was repaired
so as to accommodate up to 50 pupils, the building of
a new school at Stapleford Tawney making greater
accommodation unnecessary. (fn. 75)
In 1880 the school seems to have been reorganized
and officially reopened as Theydon Mount Church of
England school. In 1881 the first government grant
was received, one of £12, and this amount rose slowly
to an average of about £44 in 1890-1900. Other
income came from 'school pence' and from a voluntary
rate which in 1880 yielded some £33. The master was
paid £36 in 1877 and £52 in 1886. In 1887 he was
replaced by a mistress who also received £52. (fn. 76) The
population of the village was declining and average
attendance at the school was only 27 in 1893 and 23
in 1899. (fn. 77) Under the Education Act of 1902 the
school passed under the administration of the Essex
Education Committee, Ongar District, as a nonprovided, mixed elementary school. Its average attendance was 37 in 1900, 45 in 1910, 36 in 1929, and
only 24 in 1938. In 1939 it was reorganized for
mixed juniors and infants and in 1942 it was closed
because of the insufficient number of pupils. The
children were transferred to Theydon Garnon school. (fn. 78)
The building is now used for parochial and social purposes. (fn. 79) It is single-storied and of brick, with a slate
Retns. Educ. Poor, H.C. 224, p. 273 (1819), ix (1).
||Howard and Burke, Theydon Mount, x; E.R.O., D/P 30/28/19.
Nat. Soc. Enquiry into Ch. Schs.1846-7, pp. 18-19; E.R.O., D/AEM 2/8.
Retns. Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, pp. 112-13 (1871), lv; Min. of Educ. File 13/367; Chelmsford Chron. 9 Aug. 1872.
||Min. of Educ. File 13/367.
||E.R.O., D/P 142/28/4.
Retn. of Schs. 1893 [C. 7529], p. 716,H.C. (1894), lxv; ibid. 1899 [Cd. 315], p. 74, H.C. (1900), lxv (2).
||Min. of Educ. File 13/367; inf. from Essex Educ. Cttee.
||Inf. from Chelmsford Dioc. Council for Relig. Educ.