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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A schoolmaster was recorded in 1615, (fn. 1) another in 1664. Dr. Benjamin Whichcote, who perhaps had paid a master, (fn. 2) by will proved 1683, or through his widow, gave £20 a year to be invested in land for teaching poor children. (fn. 3) No organized schooling was, however, recorded at Milton in the late 17th or the 18th century. (fn. 4) By 1807 the parish gave £1 a year for a dame school teaching writing, (fn. 5) and in 1818 paid from the rates to support two schools with c. 35 pupils in all, which taught writing and reading. (fn. 6) In 1833 two day schools had c. 55 pupils, 23 of them paid for by subscription. There was also then a charging boarding school for 24 boys. (fn. 7)
A church Sunday school had 35 pupils in 1818, c. 50 by 1833. (fn. 8) In 1835 King's College acquired a site on Fen Lane, upon which a schoolhouse and teacher's dwelling in Gothic style were built for a National school, opened in 1836. (fn. 9) After 1850 the church school received £5 a year from the parish charity land, £20 from 1868. Payment ceased in 1883 after a school board was set up, but was resumed after 1905, and went from 1914 to the Milton Educational Foundation, then constituted, to provide scholarships and other educational assistance. (fn. 10) Under a mistress from a local family, who served from 1845 until the early 1870s, the church school had nominally 114 pupils in 1845, and an attendance of 80 by 1871, (fn. 11) when it had to be enlarged. A certificated teacher was obtained from the 1870s. A night school, attempted by 1873, had failed by 1885. By 1881, when attendance had briefly fallen below 50, subscriptions produced only two thirds of the £60 needed to maintain the day school. The rector therefore let the building to a school board, which he chaired. Although all the teachers save the master were dissenters, he still gave daily religious instruction in 1897. Average attendance in the 1870s and 1880s was 80-85. (fn. 12)
From the late 1880s there was an infants' class, formally organized by 1904. (fn. 13) After 1903, when the school again became a church school, attendance, which had fallen to c. 70 in the 1890s, recovered to 92, (fn. 14) and continued close to that level until c. 1935, then dropping below 70. (fn. 15) From 1939 the older children were sent to Impington village college. (fn. 16) The old village school was closed in 1958 and its site was sold for housing in 1967. (fn. 17) A new church primary school was built to the west off Butt Lane. Intended in 1958 to take 70 children, but later 210, (fn. 18) it was overcrowded by 1980, when further enlargement to hold 245 was planned. (fn. 19)
By 1841 a private boarding school at Milton House had 7 pupils, mostly girls, and 17 in 1851. It closed in the late 1880s. (fn. 20) In 1964 the Cambridge Society for Mentally Handicapped Children opened Edmunds House, a large Victorian building, which had 22 inmates by 1972, and, after extensions in 1972, 29 in 1985. (fn. 21) From 1968 the county council provided farmland north of the village, 63 a. by 1979, for the Robert Jepps Farm school, worked from buildings on the site of the former Manor Farm, and providing practical instruction in rearing livestock. (fn. 22)