Harlington: Schools

Pages 274-275

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.

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About 1723 there was said to be a charity school at Harlington, which had not yet been endowed. (fn. 1) It does not seem to have been in existence later in the century, (fn. 2) but by the early 1800's part of Lord Ossulston's charity was used to pay for educating eight poor children. (fn. 3) Eight children were put to school until 1821 and in 1819 there were three other schools in the parish, with 70 pupils between them. (fn. 4) There was also a Sunday school, which received a small grant from the charity until it closed down about 1822 for lack of funds. In 1821 the number of children sent to day schools by the charity was doubled, and the total cost increased from £7 to £12; the children were now divided between two schools. (fn. 5) In 1833 some 80 children attended day schools in the parish, including the 16 whose fees were paid, and there were also Church and Baptist Sunday schools, with 40 and 85 pupils respectively. (fn. 6)

In 1848 a National school was opened jointly for Harlington and Cranford. (fn. 7) The building still (1959) stands on the east side of Harlington High Street, though it has since been enlarged and is now occupied by Frederick Lewis & Co. Ltd. This school never received grants from Lord Ossulston's charity. It was taught in 1858 by the parish clerk of Harlington and his daughter, neither of whom was trained. In 1864 the parish clerk of Cranford, who was a certificated teacher, became master, (fn. 8) and the school began to receive annual grants from the government as a result. The average attendance in 1865 was 52, (fn. 9) but the number of children on the books was probably much higher: the brickfields and gardens of the neighbourhood provided seasonal labour for children and made attendance at local schools irregular. (fn. 10) By 1870 average attendance had risen to nearly 120 and there were also three small private elementary schools. (fn. 11) A National school was opened in Cranford in 1883, and the children from there, except at first for the older boys, were withdrawn from Harlington. (fn. 12)

A church infant school was opened at Dawley in 1897. The building had been erected some years before, (fn. 13) and stood until shortly before the Second World War on the west side of Dawley Road at the corner of Rigby Lane. (fn. 14) By the end of the century the National school had about 160 pupils in attendance and the infant school about 25. (fn. 15) The infant school was transferred to the county council in 1923 and closed a year later. (fn. 16) The senior pupils were removed from the National school, by then called Harlington C. of E. School, in 1929, when the present secondary modern school in New Road was opened. The rest of the old school was closed in 1939 and replaced by the William Byrd Council School in the Bath Road. Another junior and infant school had been opened in temporary buildings in Pinkwell Lane in 1931. In 1951 a permanent infant school farther along Pinkwell Lane was opened, and in 1956 most of the juniors were transferred to another new building on the same site. The old hutted buildings are now (1959) used for evening institute, youth service, and adult education activities. The New Road school was considerably enlarged in 1957. In 1959 it had 768 pupils on the roll, and there were some 300 at the William Byrd school, and 785 at the Pinkwell schools. (fn. 17)

There have been more expensive private schools in Harlington in addition to the dame schools for the poor mentioned above. John Williams (rector 1748- 88) is said to have taken pupils, (fn. 18) there was a boarding school with 22 boys in 1833, (fn. 19) and Overberg House (now the Lilacs) was used as an 'academy' in 1865. (fn. 20) The village seems to have contained at least one private school throughout the 19th century and for the earlier decades of the twentieth. (fn. 21) There were no private schools in 1959. (fn. 22)


  • 1. Guildhall MS. 9550.
  • 2. Cf. ibid. 9556, 9558.
  • 3. 9th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 258, pp. 224-5 (1823), ix.
  • 4. Digest of Rets. to Cttee. on Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224, p. 537 (1819), ix (1).
  • 5. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 225.
  • 6. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 564 (1835), xlii.
  • 7. Date on building.
  • 8. Ed. 7/86/37.
  • 9. Rep. Educ. Cttee. of Co. 1865-6, [3666], p. 555, H.C. (1866), xxvii.
  • 10. See quotations from log-book in Hayes and Harlington Official Guide (1938), 28.
  • 11. Rets. relating to Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, p. 240 (1871), lv; Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Co. 1870 [C 406] H.C. (1871), xxii.
  • 12. See p. 186.
  • 13. Ed. 7/87.
  • 14. O.S. Maps 1/2,500 Mdx. xv. 9 (3rd. and later edn.); date of its demolition from local inf.
  • 15. Schs. in receipt of parl. grants, 1899, [Cd. 332], H.C. (1900), lxiv.
  • 16. Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1927.
  • 17. Ibid. 1932; Ex inf. District Educ. Office.
  • 18. Wilson, 800 years of Harlington ch. (1926 edn.), 60-61.
  • 19. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 564.
  • 20. O.S. Map 1/2,500 Mdx. xx. 1 (1st edn.).
  • 21. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1845 and later edns. to 1922).
  • 22. Ex inf. District Educ. Office.