A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.
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West Ham's first parish school was opened in 1723. During the following years public elementary education was provided mainly by the churches until 1871, when a school board, one of the earliest in the country, was formed for the parish. The board's first report gave details of existing schools and assessed the deficiency of school places. (fn. 1) There were 27 schools, in 46 departments, of which the Church of England was responsible for 15, in 28 departments, the nonconformists for 7 (in 10), the Roman Catholics for 3 (in 5), the Great Eastern Railway for 1 (in 1), and the Ragged School Union for 1 (in 2). Among the Church schools was classed Sarah Bonnell's, a well-endowed charity school. All the other schools depended mainly on subscriptions and school-pence. For 20 years the churches had been making great efforts to educate West Ham's sharply rising population. Some Churchmen were still reluctant to admit that the task was beyond them. In 1870 the vicar of Christ Church, Stratford, had appealed to the public to vote against the formation of a school board. (fn. 2)
The board's report showed, however, that the public elementary schools had accommodation for only 8,183 children out of 14,512 between the ages of 3 and 13. There were places for a further 1,749 in private and dame schools. Allowing for these, for projected enlargements at some of the voluntary schools, and for children absent through illness or educated at home, the board put the deficiency at 3,100 places. This was clearly an underestimate, for many of the dame schools were admitted to be of a very low standard, some no more than nurseries. Nor does the report make any allowance for future population growth.
The school board, which was controlled by a Progressive majority until 1895, and by the Conservatives from 1895 to 1903, appointed as its fulltime clerk Jeremiah Self, formerly headmaster of West Ham Church school, who served successfully until 1890. The board immediately planned to build three new schools, at Forest Gate, Canning Town, and Stratford. Meanwhile it opened several night-schools to provide elementary education for adolescents who had missed it. (fn. 3) In 1872–3 the board took over 4 of the voluntary schools and opened several other temporary day-schools, one of which became permanent. The first three new schools, Odessa Road, Hallsville, and High Street were completed in 1874. Others followed rapidly, since the 32 years of the board's existence coincided with the period of West Ham's most rapid growth, in which the school population rose to over 60,000. By 1903 the board had built 43 elementary schools, a school for the deaf, one for physical and mental defectives, one for truants, and two pupil-teacher centres. (fn. 4) Between 1871 and 1903 many of the voluntary schools were closed, including all those belonging to the nonconformists. One new elementary school was, however, built by the Church of England and two by the Roman Catholics. A start was also made in providing public secondary education. The Sarah Bonnell school was refounded in new buildings (1876) as a high school for girls, and the Carpenters' Company opened a technical school for boys (1891).
Under the Education Act, 1902, West Ham, as a county borough, became responsible (1903) for all types of education. The clerk to the school board (Self's successor) became head of the new education department, but he died in the same year during inquiries which revealed that he had been embezzling public funds. The department was then placed under the town clerk, who controlled it until 1939, when a separate education officer was again appointed.
In 1903, in addition to the council schools, there were 7 Anglican, 6 Roman Catholic, and 1 undenominational elementary schools. Three more elementary schools, started by the school board, were completed in 1904, and before the First World War two others were built by the council and one by the Roman Catholics. In 1906 the two pupil-teacher centres were reopened as higher elementary (later called central) schools, and in the same year the council opened its first 'municipal secondary' school, at Stratford. Two Roman Catholic secondary schools, previously private, were recognized in 1904 as part of the public system, and for many years these, with the Bonnell school, provided most of the secondary school places in the borough. Higher education was provided by a technical institute (later college) opened by the council in 1898. From 1900 the institute was offering internal courses for the University of London's degrees in science and engineering, but most of its work was at a lower level. After the closure of the Carpenters' school (1905) the institute began to develop junior technical classes for those under 16, which overlapped those of the higher elementary schools.
In reorganizing the schools after 1903 the council became embroiled in a bitter struggle with the teachers over grading and salaries. This culminated in 1907, when the National Union of Teachers brought an unsuccessful suit against the council and some 150 of the borough's teachers were dismissed or resigned. The dispute was settled in September of that year.
In 1920 the education committee drew up a scheme concerned mainly with older children. (fn. 5) It proposed to open several temporary day-continuation institutes, pending the building of two new secondary schools and four central schools. Part-time attendance at the institutes was to be compulsory, and by 1926 the school-leaving age for all children in West Ham was to be raised to 15. Five institutes were opened in 1921, but compulsory attendance proved so unpopular that it was abandoned in the same year, two of the institutes being closed and the others continuing on a voluntary basis. By 1936 only one remained. (fn. 6) A new council secondary school, at Plaistow, in the south of the borough, was opened in 1926. None of the other secondary or central schools proposed in the 1920 scheme was built, but this need was partly met by the steady expansion, between 1918 and 1939, of the junior departments of the technical college. The school-leaving age was not raised during that period.
The reorganization of the elementary schools, on the lines of the Hadow report, began in 1929. (fn. 7) This involved building a junior and two senior schools and new premises for the two existing central schools. Complete reorganization proved difficult, owing to the geographical isolation of some of the schools, but the main part of the programme was carried out in 1930–4, and by 1939 only 16 all-age (including voluntary) schools remained. (fn. 8) During the reorganization a few junior schools were given new names identical with those of associated senior schools, but in most cases they had reverted to their original names by 1939. Between 1918 and 1939 three more special schools (one a replacement) and 2 nursery schools were also built.
During the Second World War the elementary schools of the borough reverted to all-age type, in order to reduce travelling. Wartime bombing destroyed several schools, but the devastation which it caused, especially in the south, provided an opportunity for the educational planners, since it caused a great movement of population out of the borough, and at the same time facilitated the redevelopment of large areas, thus providing building sites that would otherwise have been difficult to find. After the war the reorganization of the elementary schools was completed. In anticipation of the post-war increase in the birth-rate priority was given to new primary schools: between 1945 and 1954 eight were built or rebuilt, of which six (including two voluntary) were in the south of the borough. Another voluntary primary school was rebuilt in 1964. Since 1945 all the primary schools have been mixed. Under a development plan of 1947 secondary education was provided in three 'streams', grammar, technical, and modern. (fn. 9) The old municipal secondary schools and the Sarah Bonnell school continued as grammar schools. Three new technical schools were formed by the separation of the junior departments of the technical college, the day-continuation institute being closed. The selective side of the new plan was completed by the two Roman Catholic schools, which became multilateral. Between 1945 and 1958 one of the grammar schools and two of the technical schools were provided with completely new buildings, while most of the other selective schools were substantially improved. No secondary modern schools were built or rebuilt in that period. The priority given to the selective schools was partly due to the intention that they should provide an unusually high proportion of places, 30 per cent for boys and 25 per cent for girls, but this level was not reached, and many of those who did in fact gain selective places left before completing the initial five-year course.
In 1959 the education committee drew up a new plan, under which the secondary modern schools were to be gradually replaced by larger non-selective high schools and selective education was to be provided in two central high schools. The latter proposal had not been carried out by 1965, and the former only in part. By 1965 two high schools had been formed, one at Stratford, by the fusion of a grammar (formerly technical) and an adjacent secondary modern school, the other at Forest Gate, by the enlargement of a secondary modern school. These high schools have one selective class in each entry.
Other developments since 1945 have been the designation of the technical college as a college of technology and the opening of a college of further education. Two adult education centres, an outdoor activities centre (at Maldon), and two more nursery schools have also been opened, while improvements in public health have made it possible to close two special (open air) schools. In 1949 most of the schools in the borough were renamed, usually by dropping such words as 'Street' from the original names.
In the following chronological sections the account of each school is placed according to the date of its original foundation. Since there has been much rebuilding and reorganization the information in a section may overlap the dates in the heading. All changes of school names are described except the temporary ones of the 1930s.
Elementary schools founded before 1871.
West Ham (All Saints) Church primary school, Portway, (fn. 10) was founded in 1723 as a parish charity school, supported by subscriptions, collections in the church, and £4 a year given under the will of Mary Battailhey, proved 1702, for teaching the poor children of Stratford and Plaistow to read. (fn. 11) The school appears to have been held at first in the church, but in 1731 a proper building was erected on the east side of the churchyard, and at the same time the management was vested in a body of regular subscribers. In 1752 a second building, for a 'school of industry' was added to the north of the original one. (fn. 12) The new building, sometimes called the 'workhouse', (fn. 13) had ceased to be used for its intended purpose by 1769, when most of it was handed over to the founding trustees of Sarah Bonnell's girls school. (fn. 14) For the next century the Church school and Bonnell's school were closely associated. The Church school originally comprised 10 boys. Girls were first admitted in 1725, and by 1769 there were 30 of each sex. It was stated in 1769 that 311 boys and 202 girls had attended the school since its foundation, including those still there. The children had been provided with clothing since 1725.
By 1812 the Church school had received endowments of some £3,000, and its total annual income from these and from subscriptions was £260. (fn. 15) In 1812–13 it was enlarged, and by 1818 it had 120 boys and 60 girls. (fn. 16) In 1826–30 a new boys school was built to the east of the existing premises, with aid from the National Society, and the old Church school was leased to Bonnell's school, which became responsible for educating all the girls of the parish. (fn. 17) District schools were opened for Plaistow in 1830 and for Stratford in 1835: these remained in union with the original school until 1848, when they became separate, each of the three being given a share of the educational endowments of the parish. By 1846–7 there were 126 boys in All Saints school, under a trained master. (fn. 18) The first government grant was made in 1849. (fn. 19) By 1851 average attendance had risen to 145, but many of the pupils were factory boys who stayed only three months. (fn. 20) Meanwhile the Church school trustees had become dissatisfied with the arrangement made with Bonnell's school in 1828, and in 1851 opened an additional department, for girls and infants. (fn. 21)
In 1861 a new boys school was built about 200 yards farther east, at a total cost of over £3,000, about a third of which came from selling most of the remaining endowments. (fn. 22) In 1863, by a joint scheme, Bonnell's school was demolished and replaced by a range of buildings comprising a northern schoolroom for Bonnell's and a southern schoolroom for the Church girls, with two houses for teachers between them. The Church infants took over the former boys school of 1826. The boys school of 1861 was known at first as the Pelly Memorial, in tribute to Sir John Pelly, Bt. (d. 1852), but it was also known at that period as the Model school because of its high reputation. The headmaster (1846–71) was Jeremiah Self, later secretary to the West Ham school board. By 1871 attendance was 330, with a further 130 in the girls department and 190 infants. (fn. 23) In 1876, when Bonnell's school moved to West Ham Lane, the Church girls took over all the 1863 buildings. In 1934 the school was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants. It was granted Aided status in 1950 and Controlled status in 1956. In 1964 it was completely rebuilt. (fn. 24)
Bonnell's charity school was founded by the will of Sarah Bonnell, proved 1766. (fn. 25) She left £500 in trust to build and maintain a school for poor girls of the parish, which was to have the reversion of a further £3,500 after the death of her brother James Bonnell. James contested the will, and in 1769, after a Chancery suit, an agreement was reached between him and the trustees. The north end of the Church school, on the east side of the churchyard, was to be handed over by the parish for use as a school for 40 poor girls born in West Ham or adjacent places. (fn. 26) The parish gave up its claim to the £500, but was to have the reversion to the remaining £3,500 after Bonnell's death. The schoolmistress, when appointed, was to receive £20 a year and £5 for coal and candles. A master was to receive £15 a year for teaching writing and accounts, and £5 for stationery. Clothing for the girls was to be provided at a cost of £100 a year. By 1772 the schoolroom had been partitioned off and fitted up by means of a loan. (fn. 27) James Bonnell died in 1774 (fn. 28) and the school was opened in 1778. (fn. 29) In 1814 a new schoolroom was built to the north of the existing one. A Chancery scheme of 1820 empowered the trustees to admit 60 girls, or more if funds permitted, and to increase the master's and mistress's salaries and the payments for clothing. In 1826–30, as described above, Bonnell's took over all the old Church school, with responsibility for educating all the girls of the parish. In 1834 there were 140 pupils, of whom 80 were being clothed by the charity. In 1856 the schoolroom of 1814 was rebuilt, but in 1863 this and the original school were demolished as part of the joint scheme, already described, under which adjacent new buildings were erected for Bonnell's and the Church girls. Under a scheme of 1873, drawn up by the Endowed Schools Commissioners, Bonnell's became the West Ham high school for girls, reopening in new buildings in West Ham Lane in 1876. (fn. 30)
West Ham and Stratford British schools appear to have originated in 1802, when a girls charity school was opened in connexion with Brickfields Independent chapel. (fn. 31) A schoolroom was built beside the chapel in 1806–8. There were 20 girls in 1807. (fn. 32) In 1846 a ladies committee of leading dissenters was formed to manage the school, as the West Ham and Stratford girls British school, on a wider nonsectarian basis, and in 1847 a trained mistress was appointed. The school was then renting the Sunday schoolroom at Brickfields, but in 1851 new buildings for girls and infants were erected in Bridge Road, Stratford, with the aid of a government grant (fn. 33) and a contribution from Samuel Gurney. In 1871 there were 170 girls and 143 infants on the roll. (fn. 34) In 1889 the school was taken over by the school board, which moved it in 1890 to temporary quarters at the Workmen's hall, West Ham Lane, pending demolition of the old buildings, and the opening in 1892 of the new Bridge Road three-department school. (fn. 35)
Associated with the girls British school was one for boys, built in 1836 in Little North (now Station) Street, Stratford. Samuel Gurney was an original trustee. In 1846 there were 160 boys, paying 1d. or 2d. a week 'in very good tone and discipline' but 'not exhibiting much intelligence . . . under a master of the old style'. (fn. 36) In 1873 the school was taken over by the school board, which retained it until 1889, when the site was sold to the Great Eastern Railway. The boys moved to the Workmen's hall until the new Bridge Road school was ready. (fn. 37)
Both the British schools had endowments. Between 1815 and 1838 the girls charity school acquired a total of £440, of which £140 was spent in 1841–4. From 1849 the income from the remaining £300 was used exclusively for Brickfields Sunday school. Samuel Gurney, by his will proved 1856, gave £5,000 in trust for the British schools, to provide incomes of £50 for the girls and £100 for the boys. (fn. 38) When the school board took over the boys school the charity trustees agreed to pay the income of £100 to the board, and this arrangement was regularized by a Charity Commission scheme of 1878, under which the income might be spent in any of the board's schools, for various purposes stipulated, including prizes, exhibitions for promising pupils, special equipment, and payments to teachers for advanced tuition. In 1889, by agreement with the charity trustees, the girls school income of £50 was also assigned to the school board, to be used in the same way. By a scheme of 1899, however, the whole income of £150 was restricted to the provision of scholarships for higher education, tenable only by former pupils of the Bridge Road board school. (fn. 39)
St. Francis's Roman Catholic primary school, Park Avenue, Stratford, originated about 1816, when François-Joseph Chevrollais, the parish priest, opened a school in High Street, adjoining his church of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Patrick. (fn. 40) Two earlier priests had conducted schools in West Ham, but these were apparently private and short-lived. (fn. 41) The attendance at the parish school was 139 in 1819. (fn. 42) About 1870 part of the school was transferred to Grove Crescent Road, adjoining the new church of St. Vincent (later St. Francis), and another part to premises at the west end of Forest Lane. In 1871 the total attendance was 285. (fn. 43) St. Vincent's school was receiving a government grant from 1871, and Forest Lane from 1874. (fn. 44) Soon after this the two schools were combined at Grove Crescent Road. (fn. 45) In 1884 an additional infant school, St. Patrick's, was opened in the old High Street buildings. (fn. 46) By 1890 St. Vincent's (now St. Francis's) had again been divided, the girls and infants moving to Park Avenue and the boys remaining at Grove Crescent Road. (fn. 47) The boys moved to Park Avenue in or about 1900. (fn. 48) The school has remained at Park Avenue, in buildings progressively modernized. It was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants in 1945 and was granted Aided status in 1949. (fn. 49) St. Patrick's infant school, which moved to Lett Road in 1896, was closed in 1940 and its pupils were transferred to St. Francis's school. (fn. 50)
Plaistow Lancasterian (British) school seems to have been founded about 1820, meeting in a large room in the Porch House, Cordwainer (now High) Street. (fn. 51) In 1830 it was taken over by the Anglicans, and merged in St. Mary's National school.
Forest Gate British school was probably founded about 1830 by Jabez Legg, in connexion with the Congregational church. (fn. 52) In 1871 it was situated on the northern corner of Forest Lane and Woodgrange Road, the position occupied by the original Congregational church. (fn. 53) The attendance was then 65. In 1872 it was taken over by the school board which retained it until Odessa Road school was opened in 1874. (fn. 54)
St. Mary's National school, Plaistow, originated in 1830, when the trustees of All Saints Church school took over Plaistow Lancasterian school. (fn. 55) A new school was built in 1831, to the west of St. Mary's church, funds being supplied by the National Society and by John Oliver, from whom the school was known at first as Oliver's. (fn. 56) In 1835 50 boys attended. (fn. 57) The school was enlarged in 1836, with the aid of a government grant, and by 1838 there were 62 girls as well as 47 boys. (fn. 58) In 1848 St. Mary's school received £936 as its share of the educational endowments of West Ham. (fn. 59) A further endowment of £300 was received under the will of Edith Clark, proved in 1860. (fn. 60) The school was further enlarged in 1871 and 1877, and attendance rose to 332 in 1881. (fn. 61) In 1895 the boys department was closed to reduce overcrowding. (fn. 62) The remainder of the school was closed in 1903 and its endowments, worth £34 a year, were assigned to St. Mary's church. (fn. 63) The school buildings still existed in 1970. The original school of 1831, designed by G. R. French, was a single-storeyed yellow-brick building with a 'Tudor' doorway at its gable end. Above the door was a carved tablet inscribed 'Oliver's National School' with arms and date. (fn. 64) The school connected with St. Peter's, Upton Cross, then a mission of St. Mary's, is described below. (fn. 65)
St. John's National school, Stratford, was opened in 1835 in a building also used as a Sunday school. (fn. 66) In 1836 a permanent school, for 526 children, was built in Great North (now Station) Street, on land previously occupied by a brewery, with the aid of a government grant. (fn. 67) The choice of site was unfortunate. Stratford railway junction and repair works were soon built close by and noise from the trains made teaching difficult. (fn. 68) In 1848 the school received £735 as its share of the educational endowments of West Ham. (fn. 69) In 1851 it received a further £182, later used to improve the buildings, under the will of Mary Goldthorp. (fn. 70) In spite of this it was much in debt at this period, and closure was being considered. (fn. 71) In 1872, however, new buildings, with accommodation for 831, were erected in Chant Square. (fn. 72) The boys department was closed in 1894. (fn. 73) The school was reorganized in 1938 for mixed juniors and infants. (fn. 74) It was closed in 1947. (fn. 75)
Plaistow Public school was opened in 1844 by John Curwen, minister of the North Street (later in Balaam Street) Congregational church. (fn. 76) For a few months it was restricted to infants, meeting in the Sunday school. Then that building was enlarged and older children admitted, under a trained master, Alfred Brown. The school soon established a good reputation. For 27 years the managers allowed Brown to run it with a free hand, no government grants being sought. The children, mainly from the families of tradesmen or the upper working class, often learnt French and Latin. In 1866 new buildings were erected in Balaam Street, entirely by public subscription. These were described in 1871 as among the best in the parish, with accommodation for 425 (average attendance 237). (fn. 77) In 1872 the trustees leased them to the school board as a gesture in the cause of non-sectarian education. New classrooms were added in 1874 by the trustees, and in 1876 by the school board. A separate girls department was formed in 1874, Alfred Brown remaining in charge of the boys until his death in 1886. In 1897 the pupils were transferred to a new board school in the same street, the old buildings reverting to the Congregational church.
Holy Trinity National school, Canning Town, originated in 1848, when the vicar of Plaistow opened a class in a shed in Hallsville Road. (fn. 78) When the Victoria Dock was being built, attendance increased rapidly to over 200, some of whom were taught in an adjoining cottage. In 1857 the school was less crowded, but it was dilapidated and squalid: in wet weather the mistress had to teach under an umbrella. (fn. 79) The school received its first government grant in 1858, as the Victoria Docks National. (fn. 80) By 1860 its name had been changed to Hallsville National. (fn. 81) Meanwhile the Plaistow and Victoria Docks mission had been formed to build schools and churches, and in 1861 this opened a new school in Barking Road, opposite the site where Holy Trinity church was later built. (fn. 82) The government made one of the largest building grants in the parish. (fn. 83) In 1871 the total attendance was 520. (fn. 84) The infants were then in Wouldham Street, but later in the same year a new building was erected for them on part of the girls' playground. (fn. 85) The boys and girls departments were closed in 1936–7 and the infants in 1940. (fn. 86)
Christ Church National school, Stratford, was built in 1850 in Union Street, adjoining the site chosen for the church. The government made a building grant. (fn. 87) By 1860 the boys department had reached a high standard. (fn. 88) The school was taken over by the school board in 1882 and closed in 1885 when the new Carpenters Road school was completed. (fn. 89) Christ Church also had a small school in rented buildings in Channelsea Road, opened by 1858. (fn. 90) It was closed in 1874 and the site was bought by the school board to build a new school. (fn. 91)
Chapel Street Ragged school is said to have been founded in 1851. (fn. 92) In 1855 a local committee, in association with the Ragged School Union, bought the former Enon chapel and established the school there. (fn. 93) Attendance was then 100. (fn. 94) Under the will of William H. Dean, proved 1871, the school was to receive the interest from certain residuary funds, and also the reversion of much larger funds after the death of various annuitants. If the school closed before reversion occurred the money then payable was to pass to some other charity, not necessarily in West Ham. In 1899 it was stated that income from the residuary funds had amounted to only £6 in the previous year, but that the reversion was estimated to be worth a capital sum of £3,827. This expectation from Dean's Gift made it seem important, from a local point of view, that the school should not close, and prolonged its life, in spite of a restricted site and unsuitable buildings. Situated in a very poor area, and without sectarian support, it lived precariously. A government grant was being received from 1881, (fn. 95) but by 1898 the school was £700 in debt, and in that year a further £500 was borrowed to enlarge the buildings. In 1899 the average attendance was 136. After 1902 the school was recognized by the government only on a temporary basis. In 1905 the income from Dean's Gift was £73, the whole of which was required to meet interest and repayment charges on debt. (fn. 96) By then all the surviving annuitants were old, so that the final reversion of the charity probably took place soon after 1905. The school closed in 1927, and by a scheme of 1932 its remaining assets, of £3,200, were invested as Dean's Gift, the income from which was to be used to help needy pupils in West Ham. (fn. 97)
Emmanuel (later St. Saviour's) National school, Forest Gate, was built in 1853 on a site, given by Samuel Gurney, (fn. 98) at the corner of Woodgrange Road and Forest Street. Government building grants were received in 1854, 1861, and 1867. (fn. 99) In 1871 the average attendance was 141. (fn. 100) In 1884 the school was handed over to the vicar of the new parish of St. Saviour. With the building of board schools at Forest Gate the maintenance of St. Saviour's school grew more difficult and it was closed in 1894.
The Public school, Victoria Dock Road, Canning Town, was established about 1853, in connexion with the Plaistow Congregational church (North Street, later in Balaam Street), and met in the Victoria Dock public rooms, built for this and other purposes. (fn. 101) It was sometimes described as a British school. (fn. 102) In 1871 it had an attendance of only 34 and received no government grant. (fn. 103) It was taken over in 1872 by the school board, which later bought the site, demolished the buildings, and there erected the new Hallsville school (1874).
St. Paul's National school, Stratford, was opened soon after 1850, probably in the mission schoolroom in Queen Street erected by Samuel Gurney. (fn. 104) The first government grant was received in 1855. (fn. 105) In 1869 a new building was erected in Maryland Road. (fn. 106) By 1871 attendance had risen to 501, including the infants, who were using the Queen Street building. (fn. 107) The school was badly damaged by bombing during the Second World War and was closed in 1945. (fn. 108)
The Eastern Counties (later Great Eastern) Railway school was in existence by 1856, when it first received a government grant. (fn. 109) It was associated with and housed in the railway mechanics' institution, at first in Angel Lane and later in Store Street. (fn. 110) By 1863 average attendance had risen to 200. The school was intended primarily for railwaymen's sons, but other boys were admitted at higher fees, and in 1868 there were about 50 of these, paying 9d. to 1s. a week 'rather than lose the benefits of this well-taught school'. In the 1870s, with increasing competition from the board schools, the railway school ran into financial difficulties. In 1881 it was handed over to the school board, which in 1882 transferred the boys to the new school in Colegrave Road. (fn. 111)
St. Luke's Church primary school, Ruscoe Road, Victoria Docks, originated in 1857, when an iron church, the precursor of St. Mark's, was erected at Tidal Basin. (fn. 112) This was also a school which received a government grant from 1862. (fn. 113) After 1868 it was restricted to infants, the average attendance in 1871 being 77. (fn. 114) It was closed about 1882. (fn. 115) A second school for St. Mark's district was opened in 1862, at St. Matthew's church, Custom House. From 1864 this was restricted to boys. (fn. 116) The average attendance was 205 in 1871. (fn. 117) The school was reorganized in 1872 for girls and infants. (fn. 118) Accommodation was inadequate, and in 1880, after the government had directed that the school should be restricted to infants, the managers leased it to the school board, which maintained it until 1882 when Regents Lane board school was opened. (fn. 119) Meanwhile the efforts of Henry Boyd, vicar of St. Mark's, had led to the building of permanent schools, for this western part of his parish, in Nelson Street. The infants department was opened there in 1866, and the girls in 1868; in each case the initial intake came from the Tidal Basin school. (fn. 120) In 1872 the boys from Custom House were also transferred to Nelson Street. (fn. 121) In 1875 the Nelson Street, Tidal Basin, and Custom House schools were all transferred to the new parish of St. Luke. Nelson Street, from 1882 St. Luke's only school, was a good one, in spite of the difficulties arising from a poor and shifting population. In 1933 St. Luke's was reorganized for junior boys, junior girls, and infants. (fn. 122) It was badly damaged during the Second World War. (fn. 123) After the war its site was incorporated in the new Keir Hardie housing estate and a new primary school, opened in 1949, was built in Ruscoe Road. (fn. 124) The school was granted Aided status in 1949. (fn. 125)
St. Mark's National school, Silvertown, existed by 1860, when it received its first government grant. (fn. 126) About 1871 new buildings were erected by the vicar, Henry Boyd, between Constance Street and Drew Road. (fn. 127) The school was enlarged in 1882–3, to provide places for 470, (fn. 128) but in 1892 the boys and girls departments were closed, and by 1897 only 84 infants attended. (fn. 129) The school had closed by 1901. (fn. 130)
St. Margaret and All Saints' Roman Catholic school, Barking Road, Canning Town, was opened about 1860, when a building grant was made by the Poor Schools Committee. (fn. 131) The first government grant was made in 1871. (fn. 132) Attendance rose from 150 in 1871 to 300 in 1881, (fn. 133) and in 1883 new buildings were erected for 500. (fn. 134) A further enlargement, completing three storeys, was carried out in 1896. (fn. 135) In 1940 the school was wrecked by bombing and was closed. (fn. 136)
St. Ursula's Roman Catholic school was founded in 1862 by the Ursuline nuns of St. Angela's convent, Upton Lane. Classes were held in cottages at Sun Row, Green Street, until 1863, when stables adjoining the convent were converted into a school for 30 girls and infants. (fn. 137) By 1893, after several enlargements, attendance had risen to 229. (fn. 138) In 1903 St. Ursula's was amalgamated with St. Antony's school in the new buildings in Lancaster Road.
Plaistow Free school existed by 1866. (fn. 139) In 1871 it was a mixed school with an attendance of 125, meeting in the Temperance hall, North Street. (fn. 140) It appears to have closed soon after. This school, like the hall, was probably supported by nonconformists.
The Wesleyan school, Barking Road, Canning Town, was opened in 1868, and received its first government grant in 1869. (fn. 141) In 1871 the attendance was 190. (fn. 142) Fees were above those usual in West Ham, ranging from 3d. to 9d. a week in 1875. (fn. 143) The school was closed in 1894. (fn. 144)
Maryland Point school, Francis Street, supported by the London City Mission, existed by 1869. (fn. 145) In 1871, when the attendance was 87, it received its first government grant. (fn. 146) It was taken over by the school board in 1875 and closed in 1886. (fn. 147)
St. Andrew's National school, Plaistow, originated about 1870, as a temporary school in Webb Street, attached to St. Philip's mission, Whitwell Road. The first government grant was received in 1871. (fn. 148) In 1873 a permanent school was built beside the church in St. Andrew's Road. (fn. 149) This was enlarged in 1883 to provide a new department for the infants, who had remained in Webb Street. (fn. 150) The school was reorganized in 1930 for mixed juniors and seniors. (fn. 151) It was closed in 1936. (fn. 152)
St. Gabriel's National school, Bidder Street, Canning Town, existed by 1871, receiving its first government grant in that year. (fn. 153) In 1875 it was transferred to the school board, which closed it in 1877, when the new Bidder Street school was completed. (fn. 154)
St. Peter's mission National school, Pelly Road, Upton, probably originated about 1870. In 1871 there were two church schools in this area. (fn. 155) Upton Cross school, with an attendance of 65, was east of West Ham vicarage. The Barn school, attendance 50, was near it to the south-west on or near the same site as the later St. Peter's school. No doubt the barn was that used for the mission services preceding the building of St. Peter's mission, Upton Cross. (fn. 156) St. Peter's school received its first government grant in 1879. (fn. 157) In 1884 a new infants department was opened in Chapman Road. (fn. 158) The school was closed about 1892. (fn. 159) Throughout its existence it had been controlled by the vicar of St. Mary's, Plaistow, since St. Peter's did not become a separate parish until 1894. The Pelly Road site was used for St. Mary's new vicarage, and the Chapman Road building became St. Katherine's mission.
Elementary schools founded between 1871 and 1903. (fn. 160)
North Street board school, Plaistow, was opened in 1872. The board leased from the Quakers their larger meeting-house, a classroom, and a dwelling-house. (fn. 161) By 1873 attendance was 200. In 1878–9 the board bought the whole premises freehold, enlarged them to accommodate 436, and established the school as permanent. (fn. 162) Further extensions were made in 1882 and 1890, raising accommodation to 1,139 in 1897. It was a difficult school: in 1888, 60 per cent of the children were said to come from very poor families. The opening of new board schools at Plaistow in 1888 and 1894 depressed the school still more. The severity of its discipline attracted the attention of the board and the magistrates. It was reorganized in 1927 for mixed juniors and infants and in 1930 for infants only. It was closed in 1933. The buildings have since been used in turn by the Lister day-continuation institute, the West Ham technical school, and the West Ham college of further education.
Odessa primary school, Forest Gate. Odessa Road board school was opened in 1874 with places for 703. The school was enlarged in 1880 and 1889, and in 1899 it was reconstructed internally, raising the accommodation to 1,312. Owing to its isolated position it was not until 1945 that it was reorganized, for mixed juniors and infants.
Hallsville board school, Canning Town, with places for 639, was opened in 1874 on the site of the Public school, Victoria Dock Road. From the first it was overcrowded. In 1882–3 a new girls department was added on the Burnham Street frontage, and further extensions in 1892 raised the capacity to 903. The school was handicapped by the poverty of its pupils and the noise from traffic. It was closed in 1933 and later demolished as part of the Silvertown Way improvement scheme.
High Street board school, Stratford, was opened in 1874 on a restricted site near the northern outfall sewer. In 1881 there were places for 526. The boys department was closed in 1896 and the rest of the school in 1899. The buildings were used for other municipal purposes until they were demolished in 1937.
St. James's Church primary school, St. James's Road, Forest Gate. St. James's National school was built in 1874 by William Bolton, vicar of St. John's, Stratford, in competition with Odessa Road board school. It was transferred to St. James's parish when that became separate in 1881. It provided 395 places, increased by 1903 to 458. It was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants in 1945.
Channelsea Road board school was opened in 1875 on the site of the former school belonging to Christ Church, Stratford. After enlargement in 1877–9 it provided places for 434. In its early years it was a 'penny school', and later it included 'halftime' pupils who worked in the local jute-mills. A dining room was provided in 1889. Attendance declined after the First World War and the school was closed in 1924. The buildings, after temporary use as a junior instruction centre, were demolished in 1938.
Canning Town board school, Bidder Street, was opened in 1877 for 750 pupils. The playground was enlarged in 1891. The school served a poor district and suffered from frequent staff changes. It was reorganized in 1932 for mixed juniors and infants and by 1939 for infants only. It was closed in 1945 and later demolished, the site being incorporated in the electricity generating station.
South Hallsville board school, Agate Street, Tidal Basin, was opened in 1878 for 800. It was in a poor neighbourhood, and the early head teachers were appointed on condition that they resided there. Enlargements were made in 1884, 1887, and 1894–5, raising accommodation to 1,266. In 1929 a new mixed junior school was built to the east of the old school and in 1931 a new infants school to the west. These new buildings included medical rooms and shower-baths. In 1932 the 1878 buildings were replaced by a senior school. During the Second World War the Hallsville schools, as they were by then more shortly known, were all badly damaged. After the war the area was redeveloped, Agate Street disappearing in the process, and in 1948 the new Hallsville primary school, Radland Road, was built on the site.
Clarkson Street board school, Tidal Basin, was opened in 1879 for 621 boys and infants. It was enlarged in 1881 and again in 1883, when a girls department was opened. By 1902, after further enlargement and some reconstruction, there were places for 1,107. The school was reorganized in 1938 for junior boys and infants, and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants. It was demolished in 1955.
Maryland primary school, Maryland Square, Stratford. Maryland Point board school was opened in 1879. Extra classrooms were added in 1883 and 1885, completing a quadrangular plan. In 1894 the site was extended eastwards, raising the accommodation from 912 to 1,354. During its early years the school had a high reputation, and it was used as an extra-mural centre for pupil-teachers until 1894, when the full-time pupil-teacher centres were opened. It was reorganized for junior girls and infants in 1937, and for mixed juniors and infants in 1945.
Abbey board school, Abbey Road, was opened in 1881 with places for 900. A wing was added in 1885, and by 1893, after further extensions, there was accommodation for 1,660. The school was reorganized in 1934 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants. It was closed in 1938. The buildings were demolished in 1946 and the site used for housing.
Grange infant school, Canning Town. Grange Road board school was opened in 1881 as a long single-storey building for 900. A school cookery room, the first in West Ham, was opened there in 1884, with funds provided by J. S. Curwen. A new infants department (1887) and later extensions raised the accommodation by 1902 to 1,332. The school was damaged by bombing in 1918 and again during the Second World War. It was reorganized in 1932 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants, and in 1945 for infants only.
Silvertown board school, Oriental Road, was opened for infants in 1881, boys and girls departments being added in 1892. It was damaged in the Silvertown explosion of 1917. By 1922 there were places for 962. In 1933 the school was reorganized for senior girls, junior girls, and infants. It was bombed and closed in 1940, the buildings being later used as a borough store.
Colegrave primary school, Stratford. Colegrave Road board school, opened in 1882 with places for 1,054, was one of the first of the three-storey buildings which became standard for the larger schools in West Ham during the next two decades. Infants were accommodated on the ground floor, girls on the first floor, and boys on the second. The barracklike buildings were relieved only by 'Dutch' or 'Queen Anne' ornament on the top floor and gables. Owing to its isolated position it was not until 1945 that Colegrave Road school was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants.
Regent Lane board school, Custom House, was opened for boys and girls in 1882. An infants department (1884) and later extensions raised the accommodation to 1,059 by 1922. The school was reorganized in 1933 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants. It was bombed during the Second World War and was demolished in 1943. The new Regent primary school was built on the site in 1949.
The Grove primary school, Stratford. Salway Place board school was opened in 1882, with places for 903. It was reorganized in 1932 for mixed juniors and infants and in 1949 was renamed The Grove.
Carpenters primary school, Stratford. Carpenters Road board school was opened in 1885, with places for 1,244. In 1886 the Carpenters' Company provided cookery facilities there for schools in the north of the borough. A laundry was built in 1893 and a second storey added for cookery in 1899. Owing to its isolated position it was not until 1945 that it was reorganized, for mixed juniors and infants.
Custom House board school, Freemasons Road, was opened in 1885 with 967 places. It was badly damaged in the Silvertown explosion of 1917. In 1930 it was reorganized for junior boys, junior girls, and infants. It was closed in 1945 after bombing. A new Custom House infants school was opened on the site in 1954.
Ravenscroft primary school, Canning Town. Denmark Street board school was opened in 1885 for 1,272 and was extended in 1892. It was reorganized in 1933 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants, and for mixed juniors and infants in 1945. In 1949 it was renamed Ravenscroft.
Godwin primary school, Forest Gate. Godwin Road board school was opened in 1885 for 1,247 and by 1902 had places for 1,340. It was reorganized in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants.
Upton Cross primary school, Plashet Road. Upton Cross board school was opened in 1885 with places for 1,200. Some of its early pupils came from East Ham. It was reorganized in 1930 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants, and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants.
West Silvertown board school, Boxley Street, was opened in 1885 with one mixed department for 250, two rooms being added for infants in 1887. In 1889 it became a three-department school, and further extensions in 1894 and 1910 provided a total of about 1,200 places. In 1888 Duncan Knight established a library and cookery prizes, and in 1897 endowed scholarships for further education or apprenticeship for boys at the school. The school was wrecked by the Silvertown explosion of 1917, but was repaired and modernized in the same year. It remained an all-age school until 1945, when it was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants. It was closed in 1962.
Beckton Road board school, Canning Town, was opened in 1888 with places for 1,542. By 1939, after several reorganizations, it was restricted to junior girls and infants. It was badly bombed during the Second World War, and was later demolished, the site being used for the new Hardie primary school (1952).
Curwen primary school, Plaistow. Stock Street board school was opened in 1888, as a three-storey building for 1,316. A school furniture store was added in 1891 and a drill hall in 1900. The school was reorganized in 1930 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants, and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants. It was renamed Curwen in 1949.
St. Antony's Roman Catholic primary school, Lancaster Road, Upton. In 1888 the Franciscans, who had recently settled at Upton, opened a boys school in Khedive (later St. Antony's) Road, in a building previously used as a mission church. (fn. 163) It received a government grant from 1890. (fn. 164) In 1903 new buildings, with 1,074 places, were built in Lancaster Road, St. Antony's being joined there by the girls from St. Ursula's school. The school was reorganized in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants. It was granted Aided status in 1949.
The Park primary school, Eleanor Road. West Ham Park board school was opened in 1889, as a three-storey building. In 1897 there were places for 1,366. The school was reorganized in 1934 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants, and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants. Its present shorter name has been used since the 1930s.
Elmhurst primary school, Upton. Elmhurst Road board school, Upton, was opened in 1891 for 1,361. It was reorganized in 1930 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants, and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants.
Bridge Road board school, Stratford, built to replace the British schools, was opened in 1892 with places for 1,370. It had a roof playground and other features new to West Ham. About 1938 it was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants. It was renamed Bridge school in 1949 and was closed in 1962.
Ashburton mixed secondary modern school, Freemasons Road, Custom House, originated as Russell Road board school, opened in 1893 with places for 1,568. Part of this was used as a pupilteacher centre from 1894 until 1896, when a permanent centre, later a higher elementary school, was opened on the adjoining site. By 1939 Russell Road elementary school had been reorganized for junior boys, junior girls, and infants. In 1932, when the higher elementary school moved to Queens Road, its buildings were reopened as Ashburton senior boys school, but they were badly damaged during the Second World War, and in 1945 those that remained were combined with the buildings of the Russell Road elementary school to form Ashburton mixed secondary modern school.
Greengate primary school, Plaistow. Cave Road board school, opened in 1894 for 1,570, was the first school in the borough built without schoolrooms but with widened central corridors for assembly and drill. It was reorganized in 1930 for junior boys and junior girls, and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants. In 1949 it was renamed Greengate.
Hermit Road board school, Canning Town, was opened in 1894, for 1,570. It was reorganized in 1935 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants, and in 1938 the junior boys department was closed. During the Second World War it was bombed and closed, the site being later used for housing.
Upton Lane board school was opened in 1894 for 1,367. It was reorganized in 1930 for senior boys, senior girls, and infants, the senior boys department being closed in 1937. It was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War, and the site was later used for the new Stratford grammar school (1959).
Drew primary school, Silvertown. Drew Road board school was opened in 1895 and in 1902 had places for 1,215. It was near the docks, and in 1921 subsidence of the site necessitated extensive repairs. The school was reorganized in 1933 for boys and infants and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants.
Manor primary school. Manor Road board school was opened in 1895 for 1,514. It was reorganized in 1934 for senior boys and senior girls, the infants department closing in 1935. During the Second World War it was used by the fire service and suffered bomb damage. In 1947 it was reopened for mixed juniors and infants.
Star primary school, Canning Town. Star Lane board school was opened in 1895 for 1,556. It was reorganized in 1937 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants, and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants.
Three Mills primary school, Abbey Lane. Three Mills board school was opened in 1895 as the successor to High Street school, with places for 1,576. Craft and dining blocks were added in 1937. In 1945 the school was reorganized as a primary school with senior and junior departments. The senior department, which did not become a secondary modern school until 1953, was closed in 1965.
St. Joachim's Roman Catholic primary school, attached to St. Anne's church, Throckmorton Road, Victoria Docks, was opened about 1895. Its original building was enlarged in 1900. In 1903 there were places for 452. Temporary buildings were added in 1928. The school was reorganized in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants. It was granted Aided status in 1949.
Credon primary school, Plaistow. Credon Road board school was opened in 1896 for 1,576. It was reorganized in 1930 for senior boys, senior girls, and infants, was bombed and closed in 1940, and reopened in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants.
Holbrook secondary modern school. Holbrook Road board school was opened in 1896 for 1,560. In 1934, after alterations, it was reorganized for senior boys, senior girls, and infants, and in 1945 it became a mixed secondary modern school.
Forest Gate high school, Forest Street, originated as Whitehall Place board school, which was opened in 1896 and in 1902 had places for 1,411. It was reorganized in 1926 for mixed seniors and mixed juniors, and in 1945 as Forest Gate mixed secondary modern school. In 1965 it was transferred to new buildings as Forest Gate high school after the site had been redeveloped. During the 1920s and 1930s the Shakespeare day-continuation institute used part of the school.
Burke mixed secondary modern school, Plaistow, originated as Balaam Street board school, opened in 1897 for 1,556, as successor to the old Balaam Street school. On each floor it had a large central hall flanked by classrooms, to facilitate direct control by the head teachers. In 1930 it was reorganized for senior boys, senior girls, and infants, and renamed after Edmund Burke the statesman, who lived in Balaam Street for a short time. It became a mixed secondary modern school in 1945.
Frederick Road board school, Canning Town, was opened in 1897 for 1,572, on a site which included a deaf and dumb centre. It was reorganized in 1934 for senior boys, senior girls, and infants. It was bombed and closed in 1941, the buildings being later demolished.
Water Lane board school, Stratford, was opened in 1897 for 1,478, on a large site which also included a deaf and dumb centre, a pupil-teacher centre, and school board offices. It was reorganized in 1937 for senior girls, junior boys, and infants, and in 1945 as a secondary modern school with boys and girls in separate departments, renamed Stratford Green school in 1949. Stratford Green boys school was transferred in 1958 to the Tennyson Road buildings vacated by Stratford grammar school, and was closed in 1965. Stratford Green girls school remained in Water Lane and in 1961 amalgamated with the adjoining Deanery grammar school to form Deanery high school.
New City primary school, Plaistow. New City Road board school was opened in 1897 with places for 1,560. It took some years to fill, and was not divided into three separate departments until 1904. Its isolation prevented reorganization until 1945, when it became a junior mixed and infants school.
Harold secondary modern school, Upton. Harold Road board school was opened in 1901 for 1,552. It was reorganized in 1930 for senior boys, senior girls, and infants, the girls department closing in 1937. In 1945 it became a mixed secondary modern school.
Elementary schools founded between 1903 and 1945. (fn. 165)
Faraday secondary school, Canning Town. Holborn Road council school, planned by the school board, was opened in 1904 for 1,600. The building was of the standard three-storey type, but hipped roofs and dormer-windows were substituted for the usual gables. It was reorganized in 1933 for senior boys, senior girls, and infants, and in 1945 as a mixed secondary modern school. From 1949 it was called Faraday, a name which had been used in the 1920s for the day-continuation institute occupying part of the Holborn Road premises.
Napier primary school. Napier Road council school, planned by the school board, was opened in 1904 for 1,500. It was reorganized in 1934 for junior boys, junior girls, and infants, and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants.
Shipman secondary modern school, Canning Town. Shipman Road council school, planned by the school board, was opened in 1904 for 1,308. It was reorganized in 1933 for senior boys, senior girls, and infants, in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants, and in 1948 as a mixed secondary modern school.
Hilda Road council school, Canning Town, planned by the school board, was opened in 1906 for 1,000. It was built of steel and concrete and electrically lighted. It was reorganized in 1937 for junior boys and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants. It was closed in 1963.
St. Helen's Roman Catholic primary school, Falcon Street, Canning Town, was opened as an elementary school in 1908, in connexion with the convent in Bethell Avenue, with places for 507. It was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants in 1945, was granted Aided status in 1947, and was rebuilt in 1952.
Gainsborough primary school, Canning Town. Gainsborough Road council school was opened in 1912 for 1,500, in two separate blocks, comprising a senior school, and a junior school with craft centre above. Shower baths were provided. In 1937 the school was reorganized for senior boys, senior girls, and infants, and a new block with work rooms and gymnasium added. It became a junior mixed and infants school in 1945.
Rosetta primary school, Custom House. Rosetta Road council school was opened in 1919 for 1,500 on an open site which allowed a single-storey quadrangular arrangement. It was reorganized in 1930 for senior boys, senior girls, and infants and in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants.
South Hallsville council junior and infants schools, Canning Town, were built in 1929 and 1931 respectively, adjoining the old school in Agate Street. The history of all the schools on that site has been described above. (fn. 166)
Tollgate primary school, Barclay Road, Plaistow, was opened by the council in 1933 for 1,200 junior boys and junior girls. It was reorganized in 1945 for mixed juniors and infants.
Secondary and senior schools founded before 1945.
Sarah Bonnell grammar school for girls, St. George's Road, Upton. The earlier history of this school, founded in the 18th century, has been described above. (fn. 167) In 1876 it was reopened as West Ham high school for girls in new buildings in West Ham Lane. That site was sold to West Ham hospital in 1905, and a new school was built in the Grove. In 1922 there were 280 girls on the roll. The school was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War and the pupils were accommodated in other schools until 1944, when they were rehoused in the buildings in St. George's Road previously occupied by the Grove central school. After the war the school was renamed the Sarah Bonnell grammar school.
St. Angela's Ursuline convent Roman Catholic multilateral school for girls, St. George's Road, Upton. (fn. 168) The Ursuline nuns, originally at Grove House, Upton Lane, admitted boarding pupils from 1862. The first wing of their convent, built in 1871–2, provided a hall, dormitories, and classrooms. There were then 40 girls. Day pupils were first admitted in 1879. By 1902 St. Angela's high school had been recognized by the Board of Education as a public secondary school, and the borough council, through its technical instruction committee, was providing junior scholarships tenable there. (fn. 169) A preparatory department, in Grove House, was opened in 1903. In 1904 there were 248 pupils, including 70 over 16 years. (fn. 170) By 1921 numbers had risen to 474. Under the Education Act, 1944, the school became a multilateral secondary school. Between 1948 and 1955 Grove House was demolished and a new wing was built on the site. (fn. 171) The school was granted Aided status in 1946.
St. Bonaventure's Roman Catholic multilateral school for boys, St. Antony's Road, Upton, was opened in 1875 by the Franciscans of Stratford as a private school. (fn. 172) From 1890 or earlier it was called St. Bonaventure's grammar school. (fn. 173) It was recognized by the Board of Education as a secondary school in 1904. There were then 154 pupils, including 28 in the preparatory department, but only 3 were over 16 years. (fn. 174) In 1908 the school altered its name to the West Ham grammar school. Under the Education Act, 1944, it was reorganized as a multilateral secondary school for boys and reverted to the name St. Bonaventure's. It was granted Aided status in 1947. In addition to the original school a new range of buildings was built after the Second World War on the Boleyn Road frontage.
The Carpenters' Company technical school, Jupp Road, Stratford, was opened by that company in 1891 in buildings used also as an evening institute. It had a swimming bath and a gymnasium, which were also used by the local board schools. It was recognized by the Board of Education as a secondary school and for a short time the borough council's junior scholars were sent there. But it was inconveniently sited, near the Channelsea river, and the accommodation, though varied, was not well planned. The number of pupils averaged 250, of whom only 12 per cent stayed to 15 years. The fortunes of the school were affected by the opening of the municipal technical institute and the building of the municipal secondary school. The borough council's plans for the expansion of municipal secondary education were fiercely opposed by the headmaster of the Carpenters' school, as likely to damage the existing secondary schools, especially his own. (fn. 175) Eventually the Carpenters' Company offered to hand over the school to the council, but the offer was not accepted, and the company therefore closed the school in 1905. An Old Carpentarians' Association still existed in 1964, when it produced a short history of the school. (fn. 176)
All the following schools, in this sub-section, were built by the borough council.
Stratford grammar school, Upton Lane, originated in 1906, when West Ham municipal central secondary (mixed) school was opened in Whalebone Lane and Tennyson Road, in buildings for 680, planned by the school board as a higher elementary school. (fn. 177) The initial intake of 369 included the pupilteachers from two centres opened by the school board in 1894 and given permanent buildings in Russell Road (1896) and Water Lane (1897). The last preparatory pupil-teachers were selected in 1909, and from 1912 bursaries were granted to intending teachers who followed a full secondary course. This bursary scheme ended in 1936. The school was enlarged in 1914, c. 1920, and 1931. Between the two world wars, when attendance was about 600, its reputation was very high. The word 'central' was dropped from its name in 1925. The school was partly destroyed by bombing in 1941, after which some temporary huts were added. It was renamed Stratford grammar school in 1945, and in 1958 it was transferred to new buildings on the site of the former Upton Lane school.
Russell Road higher elementary (mixed) school was opened in 1906 in the buildings previously used by the pupil-teacher centre for the south of the borough. There was at first accommodation for only 190, but in 1920 the school was extended. In 1932 it was transferred to new buildings in Queens Road, Plaistow, and renamed the Russell central school. It was closed in 1940, the remaining pupils being transferred to the Grove central school.
Water Lane higher elementary (mixed) school, accommodating 295, was opened in 1906 in the buildings previously used by the northern pupilteacher centre. (fn. 178) In 1932 it was transferred to new buildings in St. George's Road, Upton, and renamed the Grove central school. There was no intake after 1940 and the school closed in 1944.
Plaistow grammar school, Prince Regent Lane. Plaistow municipal secondary (mixed) school was opened in 1926 to serve the south of the borough. It was built in two parts, the first, for 250 pupils forming the northern quadrangle, the second, completed in 1930, forming the southern, with a further 350 places. After the Second World War it was renamed Plaistow grammar school.
Pretoria boys and girls secondary modern schools. Pretoria Road school, Canning Town, was built in 1932 for senior boys and senior girls. In 1945 it became a pair of secondary modern schools.
South Hallsville senior school, Tidal Basin, was built in 1932 on the site of the former Agate Street elementary school. It was originally for boys and girls in separate departments, but in 1938–9 was reorganized for boys only. In 1940 it was bombed and closed.
Ashburton senior school, Custom House, was opened in 1932 in the buildings previously used by the Russell Road higher elementary school. It was originally mixed, but by 1938 was restricted to boys. Much of it was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War, after which the remaining buildings were combined with those of Russell Road elementary school to form a secondary modern school. (fn. 179)
Deanery senior (mixed) school, Stratford, was opened in 1933 in the buildings previously used by Water Lane higher elementary school. It was bombed and closed in 1941, and later demolished.
The other senior schools formed in West Ham between the two world wars used parts of existing elementary schools. (fn. 180) Whitehall Place senior school was thus formed by reorganization in 1926. Upton Lane, Credon Road, Balaam Street, Harold Road, and Rosetta Road were formed in 1930. Silvertown, Shipman Road, and Holborn Road were formed in 1933, Clarkson Street, Manor Road, Holbrook Road, and Frederick Road in 1934, and Water Lane and Gainsborough Road in 1937. Clarkson Street senior school ceased in 1937. Upton Lane, Credon Road, Rosetta Road, Silvertown, Manor Road, Frederick Road, and Gainsborough Road, ceased during the Second World War, or immediately after. All the others became secondary modern in 1945.
Before 1945 education in technical, commercial and domestic subjects, for pupils of about 13–16 years, was provided mainly by the municipal technical college and the day-continuation institutes to some extent in competition. The college, opened in 1898, and described more fully below, opened junior classes in trades (1912), engineering (1913), art (1914), and commerce (1929). In 1928 the college bought four houses in Water Lane and the Grove to accommodate these classes, and in 1936 it opened a trade school for girls in Water Lane (Deanery Road). When the trade school was bombed in the Second World War its work continued in part of the buildings of the former Grove central school in St. George's Road. In 1943 a school of building was opened in the former Russell central school, Queens Road.
In January 1921 West Ham introduced compulsory attendance at five day-continuation institutes, called Newton (in the Conference Hall, West Ham Lane), Raleigh (Fairbairn Hall, Canning Town), Shakespeare (Barclay Hall, Green Street), Faraday (Holborn Road school), and Livingstone (Balaam Street Congregational schoolroom). Compulsion was abandoned later in the same year and the Newton and Raleigh institutes were then closed. The Shakespeare institute, which later moved to Whitehall Place school, was closed in 1936. Faraday moved to Balaam Street Congregational schoolroom in 1931 and was closed in 1933. Livingstone was transferred in 1927 to North Street school and in 1933 was renamed Lister. After the Second World War it was absorbed into the North West Ham (later called the Lister) technical school.
Primary schools founded between 1945 and 1965.
The following were built by the borough council. Hallsville school, Radland Road, Tidal Basin, was opened in 1948 on the site of the former South Hallsville elementary schools. Regent school, Prince Regent Lane, Custom House (1949), was built on the siteof the former Regent Lane elementary school. Earlham school, Earlham Grove, Forest Gate, and Portway school, Park Road, were opened in 1951. Hardie school, Edwin Street, Canning Town (1952), was built on the site of the former Beckton Road elementary school, and Custom House school, Freemasons Road (1954), on that of the former Custom House elementary school. All the above were for mixed juniors and infants except Custom House, which was for infants only. Three voluntary schools were rebuilt: St. Luke's Church (1949), St. Helen's Roman Catholic (1952), and West Ham Church (1964). Other primary schools were formed by reorganizing all-age schools or senior schools.
Secondary schools founded between 1945 and 1965.
The Education Act, 1944, made it possible to convert the junior departments of the technical college into separate technical schools. The girls trade school was rebuilt (1949) as the West Ham technical school for girls on the Water Lane (Deanery Road) site. This was renamed Deanery grammar school in 1959, and in 1961 amalgamated with Stratford Green girls secondary modern school to form Deanery high school. The school of building and the junior engineering department were combined to form the South West Ham technical school for boys in new buildings (1952) in Barking Road. The commerce and art departments became the North West Ham technical school. This was housed for a time in the old North Street schools, before moving, in 1952, to the Queens Road buildings of the former Russell school. In 1956 it was renamed Lister technical school.
Two existing schools were rebuilt during this period: Stratford grammar school (1958) and Forest Gate secondary modern school (1965), which became a high school. Other secondary modern schools were formed by the reorganization of all-age schools or junior schools.
Special and Nursery schools.
Fyfield truant school, for boys, at Fyfield, near Chipping Ongar, was opened by the school board in 1885, and became a truant and industrial school in 1907. In 1925 it was converted into an open air school for delicate children. (fn. 181) It was closed in 1956.
In 1893 the school board opened two temporary centres for deaf and dumb children, one in the Workmen's hall, Stratford, the other in the Boyd institute, Victoria Docks. In 1894 the Stratford centre was transferred to St. John's school and a second class added at the Boyd institute. A permanent centre for the south of the borough, accommodating 44, was opened in 1897 in Frederick Road, Canning Town. By 1908 there were 31 on the roll, of whom 7 came from outside West Ham. A permanent centre for the north, with 36 places, was opened in Water Lane, Stratford, in 1900. These two centres were closed in 1938, when a new one, for 80 children, was opened by the council in Tunmarsh Lane, Plaistow: in 1949 this was renamed West Ham school for the deaf.
A class for defective children was opened at the Abbey board school in 1896, and in 1903 a permanent school for 120 mental and physical defectives was opened in Grange Road, Plaistow. This was subsequently extended, and by 1925 the attendance was 185. A craft block was added in 1937. The school was damaged during the Second World War and was later reconstructed. In 1949 it was renamed Elizabeth Fry school. In 1954 it was restricted to physically handicapped children.
A second school for mental and physical defectives was opened by the borough council in 1920, in Knox Road, Forest Gate. In 1925 the attendance was 193. In 1949 the school was renamed the Gurney school. In 1954 it was restricted to educationally subnormal children. The Knox Road school was designed for open air teaching, and in 1925 the Crosby Road open air school was opened on the same site, with places for 60 delicate girls. In 1932 it was extended to provide also for 30 boys. The school was closed in 1946, after which all delicate children were sent to Fyfield until that school closed.
In 1930 the borough council opened two nursery schools, Edith Kerrison (Sophia Road, Custom House) and Rebecca Cheetham (Marcus Street). Others were opened in Osborne Road, Forest Gate (1949), and Station Street, Stratford (1950). In 1964 the last was transferred to new buildings in Henniker Road, and renamed Ronald Openshaw.
West Ham College of Technology and West Ham College of Further Education.
Technical classes were held for many years at the Great Eastern Railway mechanics' institution (founded in 1851) and at the Carpenters' Company institute (founded in 1886). (fn. 182) In 1890 the county borough council set up a technical instruction committee, and soon after began to give financial aid to university extension science classes held at Stratford, Canning Town, and Forest Gate. These classes drew large audiences, including many serious students: in 1892 chemistry lectures at Stratford were attended by about 1,000, of whom 100 were doing written work. (fn. 183) Meanwhile the council was accumulating its share of the government's 'whisky money', which since 1890 had been available for purposes of technical education. This was used to build a technical institute at the Green, Stratford, opened in 1898 with departments of science, engineering, art, and a women's department. (fn. 184) The institute was badly damaged by fire in 1899 but reopened in 1900. At first the institute offered many apprenticeship classes, but as early as 1900 it was also providing courses in science and engineering recognized by the University of London for internal degrees. (fn. 185) Shortly before the First World War junior technical classes were started. In 1921 the institute was renamed the municipal college. An extension, housing the women's work of the college, and the girls trade school, was built in Water Lane in 1936, and in 1938 the adjoining house was acquired as a science annexe. Both these buildings were destroyed by bombing in 1940. After the Second World War the college concentrated on advanced work in science and technology. The junior, trade, and commercial classes were transferred to separate technical schools or to the college of further education. The West Ham college of technology (thus renamed in 1952) was in 1956 designated by the government for development as a regional college. A new science wing was added in 1953–4, and in 1963 an extension was opened at the Green. In 1959–60 there were 158 students on full-time courses and 'sandwich' courses at university level, of whom 58 per cent came from overseas. By 1964–5 there were 1,003 (48 per cent from overseas).
The buildings of the institute, together with those of the adjoining central library (1898) and the Passmore Edwards museum (1900) form one of the most striking architectural groups in West Ham. (fn. 186) They were all designed by J. G. S. Gibson and S. B. Russell and executed in bright red brick, lavishly adorned with sculpture and stone dressings. Various Renaissance features were introduced in the unorthodox manner typical of the turn of the century. The symmetrical entrance front of the institute, facing Romford Road, is the most disciplined facade. It is divided horizontally at first-floor level by a deep carved frieze above which is a 9-bay colonnade framing the clerestory windows of the great hall. The steep roof is crowned by elaborate twin lanterns. Lower flanking wings link up with the museum to the east and with the library, which lies to the north, facing Water Lane. (fn. 187)
West Ham college of further education was opened in 1961 in the old North Street school buildings. It took over from the college of technology the department of commerce and all school-level and intermediate work.
In 1627 Edward Lawford was licensed to teach a grammar school at West Ham. (fn. 188) Thomas Pakeman, minister of Stratford Presbyterian meeting (1687–91), provided a school for poor children and paid the teacher's salary. (fn. 189) William Dodd, curate and lecturer of West Ham (1752–66), conducted a private school for boys at Plaistow. (fn. 190) About 1800 there was a boys school at Essex House, North Street, Plaistow. (fn. 191) Stratford House school, founded about 1820 by John Freeman, was later for many years in Romford Road, being continued by his son and grandsons until 1907. (fn. 192) A directory of 1839 lists 27 private schools in the parish, of which 12 took boarders. (fn. 193) The school board report of 1871 revealed the existence of no fewer than 121 private schools, with an average attendance of 14. (fn. 194) Most of them, as the report emphasises, were dame schools or nurseries providing little education. Such schools must have disappeared as the board schools were built, but there continued to be a demand for middle-class private schools, especially at Stratford and Forest Gate. Some 38 schools were listed in a directory of 1886. (fn. 195) Among them was the Stratford school of art, Leytonstone Road, under Mrs. Harriet Taylor. This had existed since 1878 or earlier, (fn. 196) and apparently continued until about 1890. (fn. 197) In 1896, when an attempt was made to reopen it, the school was said to have been carried on in connexion with the government's science and art department. (fn. 198) Two of the schools listed in 1886 still survived in 1926: Miss Edgington's, in Manbey Park Road, Stratford, and Miss Ingold's, later called Claremont college in Claremont Road, Forest Gate. (fn. 199) In 1904 there were 13 private schools in the borough classed as secondary. (fn. 200) These included Forest Gate collegiate school for girls, Romford Road, founded in 1874, Forest Gate high school for boys, founded about 1894 in Claremont Road, later in Woodgrange Road and finally in Earlham Grove, and the associated Forest Gate high school for girls. Forest Gate collegiate school was later taken over by Clark's college: in 1918 this was one of 11 private schools in the borough recognized by the Board of Education. (fn. 201) By 1939 hardly any private schools survived.
The Metropolitan Academy of Music.
This academy originated in 1885, when Harding Bonner, an associate of J. S. Curwen at the Tonic Sol-Fa college, Earlham Grove, Forest Gate, started private classes there. (fn. 202) The college, founded in 1879, moved to London in 1890, and Bonner then leased the Earlham Grove premises as the Forest Gate school of music. In 1897, at his suggestion, the owners erected the Earlham Hall in front of the original buildings. By 1904 there were 1,000 pupils, and in 1906 the school was renamed the Metropolitan academy of music. Harding Bonner (d. 1906) was succeeded by his son Frank, who greatly expanded the academy. In 1916 it had 12 branches in Essex and London and, with a membership of about 2,300, claimed to be the largest musical institution in Great Britain. There was further expansion after the First World War, when attendance rose to 5,000 in 1920 and 5,600 in 1921. The academy continued to flourish until the 1930s but closed during the Second World War.
Forest Gate Industrial School. (fn. 203)
In 1854 the Whitechapel poor-law union built an industrial school in Forest Lane, at a cost, including the site, of £42,000. In 1869 the Whitechapel union joined with those of Hackney and Poplar to form the Forest Gate school district, which took over the school. Hackney union withdrew from the district board in 1877 and Whitechapel union in 1897. In 1890 twenty-six boys died in a fire at the school. This disaster caused similar institutions to review fire precautions and stimulated interest in 'scattered homes' instead of 'barrack' schools. Poplar union continued to maintain the school until 1906, when the children were transferred to a new school at Hutton. The buildings were subsequently converted into Forest Gate hospital. (fn. 204)