A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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Graveley had no school before the mid 18th century: (fn. 1) in the 1720s two thirds of the vestry were illiterate. (fn. 2) Henry Trotter had started a school by 1763 in a cottage bought c. 1757. His charitable endowment furnished £6 yearly for a schoolmaster, named by the rector, who was to teach 12 poor boys from Graveley and Toseland (Hunts.) the Christian religion, reading, writing, and casting accounts. Although Trotter provided for increasing both the master's salary and the number of free pupils, (fn. 3) no adjustment was made for many years. In 1818 an ignorant master had put the school, with only nine pupils, under his wife's management. The curate had then recently started a Sunday school, with 46 pupils. Briefly supplanted c. 1825 by a Methodist Sunday school, it was revived c. 1830. (fn. 4) It was linked to the National Society in 1840. (fn. 5) After the rector had won control of Trotter's endowment, (fn. 6) the number of paying pupils at the day school was increased to c. 40 by 1846. (fn. 7) The next rector installed a Graveley labourer's daughter, trained by the National Society though uncertificated until 1875, as schoolmistress in 1854. She taught until c. 1890. (fn. 8) The number of schoolchildren rose to over 40 by 1861 and 43, including 8 infants, in 1873. (fn. 9)
Because of the heavy costs of the 1846 Chancery suit, (fn. 10) only in 1870 were sufficient funds available to replace the old cottage, where the teacher both lived and taught, with a new schoolroom for 70 children and teacher's house, opened in 1872, on an adjoining plot of the charity land. (fn. 11) It remained a church school: the rector taught there regularly until c. 1890 and occasionally thereafter. An evening school was also held in the early 1870s. Average attendance at the day school gradually declined from 45 in the 1870s and 1880s (fn. 12) to c. 20 by 1900, recovering to 30 or more between 1910 and 1930 (fn. 13) before falling to barely 10 in the 1930s. (fn. 14) The school became an aided one in 1952. (fn. 15) The older children went elsewhere from 1948, initially to Croxton, where the younger ones were also sent when Trotter's school was closed in 1961. (fn. 16)
The educational charity's surplus income, after maintaining the building, was allowed from the 1930s to be spent on further education for local people. In the 1960s and 1970s the trustees let the schoolroom for a village hall and spent up to £250 a year on educational grants to Graveley people aged under 25. (fn. 17)