A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.
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In 1833 a Primitive Methodist Sunday school, started in 1823, had 177 pupils, and a Wesleyan one had 326. (fn. 1) In 1828 Thomas Davies kept school in his house at the Nabb. (fn. 2) In 1826 there was Anglican concern because in that 'nursery of sectarianism' upwards of 280 children aged 7-13 were still without instruction, (fn. 3) and in 1831 a National school opened, albeit with only 109 places, for day and Sunday pupils. (fn. 4)
Wrockwardine Wood school board, formed in 1875, consisted of three nonconformists, the rector, and another Anglican; the Primitive Methodist minister became chairman. (fn. 5) At first a most disorderly board (fn. 6) torn by sectarian strife, (fn. 7) it achieved nothing in its first three-year term beyond preparing proposals and plans, (fn. 8) although it was aware that c. 400 children had no schooling. Anglicans petitioned against the board in 1875 and 1876, but its refusal to build near the National school was widely supported. The rector, (fn. 9) who was alleged to have acted subversively, (fn. 10) extended the National school, (fn. 11) though insufficiently to satisfy the Education Department. (fn. 12) The 1878 election, in which many illiterates (fn. 13) voted, produced an Anglican majority on the board, (fn. 14) which, under pressure from the Education Department, opened boys' and girls' and infant schools in 1879. A small Standard I boys' school was built in 1890 (fn. 15) and school accommodation was ample in 1894. (fn. 16)
After 1878 the board was competent, even showing initiative, (fn. 17) and its schools were usually efficient. (fn. 18) Weekly fees of 2d. (fn. 19) were often waived, as many as 44 at a time, to encourage attendance. (fn. 20) The board accepted the government fee grant in 1891 (fn. 21) and was exceptionally good at enforcing attendance. (fn. 22) In 1893 the board welcomed a proposal for evening continuation classes in the board schools. (fn. 23) From 1891 there were cookery and drawing classes; later geometry, physics, shorthand, mining, arithmetic, and other subjects were taught. (fn. 24) Students could progress to advanced courses at Oakengates. (fn. 25) Evening continuation classes were held until at least 1914. (fn. 26) From 1961 evening classes were held at the new Trench Modern School. (fn. 27)
All the 19th-century schools were in use until a reorganization in 1933 when Wrockwardine Wood Senior (Mixed) Council School opened, the boys' and junior boys' council schools closed, (fn. 28) and the C.E. and Gower Street Council schools became junior mixed and infant schools. In the 1960s the two last named closed, as did a temporary school opened in 1943; the church school was rebuilt on a new site. Between 1953 and 1977 a new infant school, a new (Roman Catholic) primary school, and a new modern school opened (fn. 29) to fulfil government policies, to accommodate the 'bulge', and to take more children from new housing; in 1974 the modern school became comprehensive, for pupils aged 11-16. From the late 1970s the falling birth rate reduced numbers in primary schools. (fn. 30)
Wrockwardine Wood National School, built on the edge of the churchyard, (fn. 31) opened with 109 places (fn. 32) in 1831: 92 pupils (including infants) occupied the single, brick-floored room. Attendance averaged 79 in 1853. Income in 1849 was largely from fees of 1d. a week and subscriptions. By 1865 120 pupils paid 2d. a week. That year £50 was spent on repairs, a deficit of £47 4s. 3½d. being met by the rector, who owned the master's house; his salary was £27 2s. 10d. The first master served at least 26 years. (fn. 33) The appointment of a certificated master in 1865 qualified the school to be inspected for government grants. (fn. 34) The rector secured 100 more infant places (fn. 35) in 1878, (fn. 36) and by 1885 the school had been further enlarged for 400 pupils but had only girls' and infant departments, attendance averaging 230. In 1905 attendance averaged 368 (fn. 37) and by 1911 the school was overcrowded. (fn. 38) The building, extensively repaired in 1921, was condemned in 1926. (fn. 39) In the reorganization of 1933 the county council let an adjoining building (the former Junior Boys' Council School) to the managers for £1 a year and contributed to the cost of alterations; Betton's charity also made a small grant. A new junior mixed and infant school with 320 places then opened. (fn. 40) In 1948, when further repairs were needed, the school became controlled. (fn. 41) It then had too few teachers, and even in 1956 only two of its eight teachers were college-trained and certificated. (fn. 42) In the 1950s the school (275 places) was overcrowded. (fn. 43) In 1953 it became a junior school. (fn. 44) In 1961 Wrockwardine Wood (Temporary) County Primary School merged with it but continued to use its separate premises. (fn. 45) That year the C.E. school building was again black-listed, and in 1964 the new Wrockwardine Wood C.E. (Controlled) Junior School, with 320 places, was erected in Church Road, Trench. (fn. 46) Numbers rose and the school was extended in the 1970s. In 1981 it had 382 pupils. (fn. 47)
Wrockwardine Wood Girls' and Infant Board School, Gower Street, opened in 1879 to accommodate 99 girls and 136 infants in separate departments; it occupied the extended premises of the former Granville hospital. The first year's income comprised £150 in government grant, £56 in fees, and only £25 from the rates. Weekly fees of 2d. (fn. 48) were reduced in 1887 and abolished in 1891. (fn. 49) After extensions in 1895 there were 140 girls' places and 185 infants'. (fn. 50) The girls' school was full from 1885 until 1909, when attendance averaged 118. Infant attendance averaged 102 in 1885, 140 in 1909. (fn. 51) The school's normal efficiency (fn. 52) was disrupted 1911-15 owing mainly to the mistresses' incompetence. (fn. 53) In 1927 the schools were renamed Gower Street Girls' and Infants' Council Schools. (fn. 54) By then numbers were falling notably. (fn. 55) In the 1933 reorganization the departments amalgamated, senior girls left, (fn. 56) and junior boys were admitted from the closed council school; the school, with 305 places, was renamed Wrockwardine Wood Junior Mixed and Infant Council School. In 1936 it had 256 places but only 111 pupils; (fn. 57) by 1941, owing to house building at Donnington Wood, it was full. (fn. 58) In 1943 a nursery class was formed but, being almost unused, closed. (fn. 59) Numbers fell to 72 in 1952 (fn. 60) and 36 in 1957 but had risen to 70 when the school, its building condemned, closed in 1961; pupils transferred to St. George's C.E. junior and infant schools. (fn. 61)
Wrockwardine Wood Boys' Board School opened in 1879 with 180 places in the newly built Primitive Methodist Sunday school. The weekly fee was 2d. (fn. 62) The school was efficient under its four successive masters, (fn. 63) one of whom, Thomas Barlow (appointed 1881), earned it the excellent merit grant six times. (fn. 64) The Education Department rejected plans to extend it, and in 1890 Standard I boys transferred to the new Wrockwardine Wood Junior Boys' Board School. (fn. 65) Attendance averaged 189 in 1885, 180 in 1891, (fn. 66) and 200 in 1905. To relieve overcrowding, yet again, Standard II boys were accommodated at the junior boys' school from 1905 to 1915, by which time numbers had fallen considerably. (fn. 67) Improved in 1915, (fn. 68) the school closed in 1933 when its pupils transferred to other schools including the new senior council school in Wombridge. (fn. 69)
Wrockwardine Wood Junior (or Standard I) Boys' Board School, built on the National School, opened in 1890 with 100 places to relieve overcrowding at the boys' board school. It also took Standard II boys 1905-15. (fn. 70) Attendance averaged 70 in 1891, 38 in 1904, and 86 in 1909. (fn. 71) The school closed in 1933. (fn. 72) Thereafter the buildings were used by the adjoining C.E. school. (fn. 73)
Wrockwardine Wood (Temporary) Junior Mixed and Infant Council School opened in 1943 in the Methodist schoolroom previously let to the boys' council school. (fn. 74) It admitted 27 pupils from the overcrowded Donnington Wood C.E. School. (fn. 75) In 1944 there were 36 pupils. (fn. 76) The infants transferred to the new Wrockwardine Wood County Infant School in 1953. (fn. 77) In 1961 the school became part of Wrockwardine Wood C.E. (Controlled) Junior School, which continued to use the building. (fn. 78)
Trench Boys' Modern School, Gibbons Road, opened in 1955 with 360 places. (fn. 82) It had 553 pupils in 1965 and 702 in 1972 (fn. 83) when extensions had provided 750 places. (fn. 84) Named the John Hunt School in 1973, it then became mixed, (fn. 85) with 704 pupils. (fn. 86) In 1974 it became comprehensive, for pupils aged 11-16. (fn. 87) Extensions had provided 1,050 places by 1976 and there were 1,116 pupils in 1981. (fn. 88) From the early 1970s the school had a unit for educationally subnormal pupils. (fn. 89)
St. Luke's R.C. (Aided) Primary School, Church Road, Trench, opened in 1977 with 280 places and 116 pupils. In 1981 it had 115 pupils. (fn. 90)