North Leigh: Education

Pages 236-237

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1990.

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Anne Perrott, wife of James (d. 1724), gave in 1721 a rent charge of 50s. to teach and buy books for poor North Leigh children aged between two and ten. A school was established by 1724, (fn. 48) but payments were made irregularly, and by 1760 arrears of £16 had accumulated. The vicar successfully sued for the money, which was used to buy land in Hailey yielding in 1786 an additional 10s. a year. (fn. 49) The number of children taught in the 18th century is not recorded, but in the 19th there were seven. (fn. 50)

A Sunday school, first mentioned in 1802, (fn. 51) had 50 pupils in 1808 and in 1818, supported by subscriptions. (fn. 52) A Wesleyan Sunday school provided in 1827 the first purpose-built school in the parish and seems to have attracted children away from the church school, which in 1833 had 22 pupils compared with 78 at the Wesleyan school. (fn. 53)

A day school run intermittently at parents' expense in 1815 taught 24 boys and 16 girls, presumably including those sponsored by the Perrott charity. Instruction was according to the old plan, and the parish was said to be unable to afford purpose-built premises. (fn. 54)

An infant school was mentioned in 1834, (fn. 55) and was referred to occasionally thereafter, (fn. 56) although it is not clear that the school was in continuous existence. There were also two day schools in the 1830s, one attended by the charity children, the other by c. 40 children paying fees; (fn. 57) the latter may have been east of the vicarage, where in 1876 there was an 'old school, not used'. (fn. 58) The two schools were in 1838 subsumed in a National school which, with a house for the teacher, was built north of the church on a site given by George, 5th duke of Marlborough; (fn. 59) it received a parliamentary building grant. (fn. 60) In 1858 the school buildings were dilapidated, despite enlargement in 1854, and were conveyed to the vicar and churchwardens as trustees; the vicar was given superintendence of the school. There were c. 50 pupils, taught by a certificated master and paying fees of between 1d. and 6d., assessed on family size and parental occupation. (fn. 61) By 1876 attendance was 77 although there were only 68 places. (fn. 62) Accommodation was increased to 88 in 1871, when average attendance was 84, (fn. 63) and a new classroom was added in 1885 at the expense of James Mason, providing for 146 pupils in all. (fn. 64) A room for 91 infants, paid for by a voluntary rate, was added in 1896. In 1906 the school was attended on average by 45 infants and 102 older children. (fn. 65)

The school was reorganized as a junior school in 1928, senior children going to Church Hanborough until 1940, when they were transferred to either Witney or the Marlborough secondary school at Woodstock. North Leigh junior school acquired controlled status in 1959. In 1967 a new school was built south of Park Road, and in 1983 it had a roll of 187 pupils. (fn. 66) The old National school and teacher's house were sold in 1974. (fn. 67)

Under a Charity Commission Scheme of 1859 the National school was endowed with the income from the Anne Perrott charity, which continued to be used to support seven local children. (fn. 68) In 1903 it was agreed that the entire rent charge and £2 0s. 5d. of the Hailey rent should be spent annually on the school at the trustees' discretion. (fn. 69)

Henry Hutt, by will proved before 1840, left £175 stock for the school, producing £5 5s. a year in 1867. (fn. 70) In 1870 the stock was transferred to the Official Trustee. The income fell to £4 7s. 4d., the sum still being received in 1967. (fn. 71) Mary Louch, by will proved 1902, left £100 to the school. The Charity Commissioners agreed that £50 be spent on repairs and £50 invested until the whole £100 was recovered. That was completed by 1928, and the income, £3 8s. 4d., was paid into school funds. (fn. 72) In 1967 c. £15 a year was being paid to the school from the North Leigh charities. A revised Scheme of 1970 separated the educational charities, which received the income from the Hutt and Louch charities and from the apprentice charities of John Hart, Charles Perrott, and Ursula Perrott. (fn. 73) The North Leigh Schoolhouse fund was created by a Scheme of 1975 to promote education for former pupils under the age of 25 in need of financial assistance. (fn. 74)


  • 48. M. Jones, Char. Sch. Movement, 71.
  • 49. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 406; Char. Don. 1782-8, H.C. 511, p. 994 (1816), xviB; V.C.H. Oxon. i. 487.
  • 50. e.g. O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. b 38, f. 151; Gardner, Dir. Oxon. (1852); Schs. Enq. Com. [3966-xi], pp. 308-9, H.C. (1867-8), xxviii (10).
  • 51. O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 567, f. 27v.
  • 52. Ibid. d 571, f. 23; d 577, f. 21v.; Educ. of Poor Digest, H.C. 224, p. 726 (1819), ixB.
  • 53. O.R.O., MSS. Oxf. Dioc. b 38, f. 151; b 39, f. 274; Educ. Enq. Abstract, p. 749.
  • 54. O.R.O., MSS. Oxf. Dioc. d 573, f. 19v.; c 433, f. 152.
  • 55. Ibid. b 39, f. 274.
  • 56. e.g. ibid. c 344, f. 283v.; P.O. Dir. Oxon. (1864).
  • 57. O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. b 39, f. 274; Educ. Enq. Abstract. p. 749.
  • 58. Reproduced in Oxon. Fam. Historian, ii(a), 296-7.
  • 59. Oxf. Chron. 13 Oct. 1838; O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. b 70, f. 153; P.O. Dir. Oxon. (1864).
  • 60. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council [3349], p. 482, H.C. (1864), xlv.
  • 61. P.R.O., ED 7/101/159; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1895).
  • 62. Returns Relating to Pars. H.C. 114, pp. 344-5 (1867-8), liii.
  • 63. Returns Relating to Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, p. 324 (1871), 1v.
  • 64. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1895); Oxf. Times, 4 Apr. 1903.
  • 65. O.R.O., NS I/1a, p. 38; Public Elem. Schs. 1906, [Cd. 3182], p. 528, H.C. (1906), lxxxvi.
  • 66. Inf. from Oxon. C.C. Educ. Cttee.; O.R.O., NS I/IA, pp. 81-2, 89.
  • 67. O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 1912.
  • 68. Schs. Enq. Com. [3966-xi], pp. 308-9, H.C. (1867-8), xxviii (10); O.R.O., NC III/1, 17 Dec. 1906.
  • 69. O.R.O., NC ½, Mar., Apr., Dec. 1906.
  • 70. Char. Com. file 309583; Char. Digest, H.C. 292-II, pp. 36-7, H.C. (1871), lv; Schs. Enq. Com. 308-9.
  • 71. O.R.O., NC V/2, 16 Aug. 1870; NC IV/ii/2, statement of accts. 1906; O.R.C.C., Kimber files.
  • 72. O.R.O., NC III/8; NS I/19, 81.
  • 73. O.R.C.C., Kimber files; below, Chars.
  • 74. Char. Com. file 270914.