A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.
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The first schools in Worthing were apparently for visitors' children, and by 1811 there were one academy and two seminaries. (fn. 1) Such institutions and their successors, the private schools, became important in the town. (fn. 2) In 1833 there were four day schools and three boarding schools for a total of 161 boys and 71 girls who were taught at their parents' expense. (fn. 3) Eleven private schools were listed in 1867, 26 in 1887, 32 c. 1935, but only 7 in 1975. (fn. 4)
The first free school was established in 1812. A school board was elected in 1900 (fn. 5) and was replaced as the authority for elementary education by the corporation in 1903. (fn. 6) By 1938 schools in the borough had been reorganized in accordance with the Hadow Report, (fn. 7) and the corporation continued as elementary education authority from 1944 to 1974. (fn. 8) There were two grammar schools under the Education Act, 1944, and reorganization on comprehensive lines was carried out from 1965. (fn. 9)
Elementary schools opened before 1900.
A free school for boys was established in 1812 in the former barracks in the High Street. It was financed by subscriptions, and strongly supported by W. Davison, incumbent of the chapel of ease. The organist of the chapel was the first master. (fn. 10) In 1818 there were 160 boys in the school, (fn. 11) which had become a National school by c. 1823. (fn. 12) Net-making was taught in 1824 and later, the boys receiving part of the proceeds from the work. (fn. 13) There were 104 boys in 1833 when the school was supported by voluntary contributions and weekly payments. (fn. 14) A new schoolroom, classroom, and master's house were built in Richmond Road c. 1834, (fn. 15) and c. 1847 there were 133 boys on the roll. (fn. 16) Average attendance was 126 in 1873, and 154 in 1893 when school fees continued. (fn. 17) In 1900 the school became the Richmond Road board school, (fn. 18) which had closed by 1902 when the boys were transferred to the Sussex Road board school. (fn. 19)
For some years before 1814 the wife of the rector of Broadwater ran a Sunday school for girls. (fn. 20) A girls' day school opened under her patronage in 1815 (fn. 21) was also supported by the Revd. W. Davison (fn. 22) and had c. 160 girls in 1818. (fn. 23) It had become a National school by c. 1823. (fn. 24) It stood at the corner of North Street and Chapel Road in 1824 when needlework and occasionally straw-plaiting were taught. (fn. 25) In 1833 the school had 84 pupils and was supported by subscriptions and weekly payments. (fn. 26) There were 69 pupils c. 1847 (fn. 27) and 130 by 1859 when the building had become inadequate. (fn. 28) The school appears to have occupied the Chapel Street infants' school for a short time (fn. 29) before being replaced by the Worthing Church of England girls' and infants' school. (fn. 30)
Two infants' schools were started in 1815, mainly through the efforts of the Revd. W. Davison, and were claimed to be among the earliest in England. (fn. 31) By 1818 each had c. 40 children, (fn. 32) both were National schools by 1825, (fn. 33) and one at least was at first on the site later occupied by the girls' National school. (fn. 34) The two schools were on separate sites in 1833, when they were supported by subscriptions and weekly payments. (fn. 35) A building for one of the schools was erected on the east side of Chapel Street, later Portland Road, c. 1840, (fn. 36) and in 1845 the other was in Chapel Road. (fn. 37) About 1847 the Chapel Road school had 182 children, and the Chapel Street school 130. (fn. 38) The Chapel Street school appears to have been absorbed into the Christchurch girls' and infants' school, (fn. 39) and in 1853 the Chapel Road school was rebuilt as the Davison infant school as a memorial to the Revd. W. Davison (d. 1852). The Davison school's average attendance was 120 in 1862 when there was also a winter evening school. (fn. 40) It became a girls' and infants' school in the late 1870s, (fn. 41) with an average attendance of 260 in 1893. (fn. 42) The infants were transferred to the Sussex Road council school c. 1907. (fn. 43)
The Church Middle Class, later Christ Church, boys' school, recorded from c. 1862, (fn. 44) occupied the building of the former Chapel Street National infants' school. (fn. 45) It first received an annual grant in 1875-6 when it had 43 pupils. (fn. 46) Average attendance was 209 in 1887 and 238 in 1893. (fn. 47)
The Worthing Church, later Christ Church, National girls' and infants' schools were housed in 1860 in an elaborate new Gothic building south of Christ Church which was paid for mainly by subscriptions. There were 115 girls and 170 infants in 1872 when the schools were supported by voluntary contributions and school pence. (fn. 48) An annual grant was first received in 1873-4 when the average attendance was c. 200, (fn. 49) as it was in 1893. (fn. 50) Amid some controversy the Christ Church schools were transferred to the school board c. 1901 and were amalgamated as the Christ Church board school. (fn. 51) The boys' department was closed in 1926, (fn. 52) and by 1932 the school had become a junior mixed and infant school which had an average attendance of 152 in 1938. (fn. 53) The school closed in 1942 when the children were transferred to the Holy Trinity, Heene, and Sussex Road schools. (fn. 54) In 1977 the school buildings of 1860 were used as a furniture store and the former boys' school was the Christ Church church hall.
The St. George's National school for boys, girls, and infants was opened in Lyndhurst Road in 1874, when average attendance was c. 67. It was then supported by voluntary contributions and school pence. (fn. 55) The site was enlarged in 1875 and a schoolhouse built c. 1876; (fn. 56) the school was enlarged in 1886 (fn. 57) and 1897, and average attendance was 386 in 1899. (fn. 58) In 1900 it became the Worthing board school, (fn. 59) later St. George's council school. (fn. 60) The girls were transferred to the Sussex Road council school in 1907, (fn. 61) but it was a mixed and infant school again in 1922. Average attendance declined from 268 in 1932 to 85 in 1938. (fn. 62) The school closed in 1940 and the children were later transferred to the Sussex Road junior mixed and infant school. (fn. 63) The building was sold in 1957. (fn. 64)
The Holy Trinity infant school was held in the church mission room in Anglesea Street in 1884. (fn. 65) It received an annual grant from 1886 (fn. 66) and became part of the Holy Trinity mixed and infant school built in Howard Street in 1891, at which no fees were charged. (fn. 67) Average attendance was 375 in 1899 (fn. 68) and it had become a junior mixed and infant school by 1932. Average attendance was 349 in 1938. (fn. 69) The school was closed in 1961 when the children were transferred to the Heene, Lyndhurst Road, and Elm Grove schools. (fn. 70) The building was later used as a furniture store (fn. 71) before being demolished.
The St. Andrew's Church of England school, Clifton Road, was opened as a private mixed and infant school in 1897 in a building erected in 1891, (fn. 72) the opening having been delayed by the typhoid outbreak of 1893. (fn. 73) It received an annual grant by 1899, (fn. 74) and continued to charge fees in the early 20th century. Average attendance was 390 in 1906, (fn. 75) the school was enlarged in 1914, (fn. 76) and it became a senior boys' school in 1927. (fn. 77)
A Wesleyan day school, held in a schoolroom built in 1816, had an average attendance of 20 boys and 40 girls in 1851. (fn. 78) In that year it moved to a former billiard room in Marine Place. (fn. 79) Sometimes described as a girls' school, (fn. 80) it received an annual grant from 1852 (fn. 81) but had closed by 1867. (fn. 82)
The Institution British day school was established by 1862 in the Christian and Literary Institution in Montague Street. In 1865 c. 70 children, mainly of fishermen and labourers, attended the school and paid fees. (fn. 83) It received an annual grant from 1866 (fn. 84) but had closed by 1887. (fn. 85)
The Graham Road Protestant Evangelical mixed school was built c. 1867. It was owned and managed by Thomas Graham in 1873, when average attendance was c. 80 and school fees were charged. (fn. 86) The school received an annual grant from 1875, (fn. 87) and had an average attendance of 161 in 1893, (fn. 88) but had closed by 1899. (fn. 89)
A small Roman Catholic school was opened c. 1864, and a schoolroom was built near the church of St. Mary of the Angels in 1873. A mixed school, it was known as St. Joseph's by 1877, when c. 33 children attended and paid school pence. The school was enlarged in 1877, (fn. 90) received an annual grant from 1879, (fn. 91) and had an average attendance of 84 in 1899. (fn. 92) It had become a mixed and infant school by 1910, (fn. 93) and was enlarged c. 1920. (fn. 94) In 1929 it was reopened as St. Mary's school in new premises in Cobden Road, (fn. 95) which were enlarged c. 1935. (fn. 96) Average attendance was 303 in 1938 (fn. 97) and 371 in 1976. (fn. 98)
Elementary schools opened 1900-44.
Sussex Road board school: opened 1902 as a boys' school; (fn. 99) average attendance 237 in 1906. Recorganized and enlarged 1907 as the Sussex Road council school to which infants and girls were transferred from elsewhere; average attendance 776 in 1914. (fn. 100) Reorganized in 1927 as mixed senior school with infants' department. Infants' department closed by 1938. (fn. 101)
Sussex Road junior mixed and infant school: re-opened 1941. Renamed Homefield 1952; closed 1960, the children being transferred to Lyndhurst Road, Downsbrook, and Whytemead schools. (fn. 102)
Elm Grove mixed and infant council school: opened 1905; (fn. 103) temporary building for infants opened 1910. (fn. 104) In 1914 271 boys and girls and 81 infants; average attendance 170 in 1938, (fn. 105) 291 in 1976. Became a First school in 1977. (fn. 106)
Durrington mixed and infant council school: opened 1908 in temporary premises with many children from West Tarring. Moved to new building 1909; average attendance 121 in 1914, 185 in 1938. Became First and Middle school 1973; extended 1976; average attendance 772 in 1976. (fn. 107)
Ham Road mixed and infant council school: opened 1910; (fn. 108) average attendance 282 in 1914. (fn. 109) Between 1932 and 1939 replaced by Dominion Road junior mixed and infant school. (fn. 110) Infants' department there, opened 1939, became Whytemead county infant school; average attendance 310 in 1976. Remainder of Dominion Road school became Downsbrook county junior mixed, later Middle, school; average attendance 759 in 1976. (fn. 111)
Lyndhurst Road junior mixed and infant council school: opened 1936; (fn. 112) average attendance 419 in 1938. (fn. 113) Middle school in Chesswood Road opened 1972. Lyndhurst County First and Middle school had average attendance of 602 in 1976. (fn. 114)
Primary schools opened after 1945. (fn. 115)
The Vale county junior mixed and infant school: opened in Findon Valley 1951. (fn. 116) Became First and Middle school 1974; average attendance 471 in 1976.
Selden county junior mixed and infant school: opened in a converted radar station in Palatine Road 1951. (fn. 117) New infant school opened in Nelson Road 1954; became First school 1974; average attendance 401 in 1976. Maybridge, later Selden, county junior mixed school: opened in Nelson Road 1954; extended 1959 and 1963. Became Middle school 1974; average attendance 429 in 1976.
Secondary schools. (fn. 118)
Worthing high school for girls: county council took over a private school in Bedford Row, 1909. Moved to new buildings in South Farm Road 1914. Junior school apparently in Shelley Road added 1918. School enlarged 1931; became secondary grammar school under Education Act, 1944; became Gaisford girls' high school 1973; average attendance 723 in 1976.
Worthing high school for boys: opened in Broadwater Road 1924; enlarged three times before 1929 and in 1934. Became secondary grammar school under Education Act, 1944; moved to Bolsover Road 1963. Became sixth form college 1973; average attendance c. 700 in 1976.
Worthing Church of England girls' school: Davison school, Chapel Road, reorganized for senior girls 1927. Average attendance 235 in 1938. (fn. 119) Became secondary modern school under Education Act, 1944; moved to Selbourn Road 1960. Became Church of England girls' high school 1973; average attendance 672 in 1976.
St. Andrew's Church of England school: Clifton Road school reorganized for senior boys 1927. Average attendance 222 in 1938. (fn. 120) Buildings extended 1940; (fn. 121) became secondary modern school under Education Act, 1944. Moved to Little High Street 1959, to Sackville Road 1965. Became Church of England boys' high school 1973; average attendance 763 in 1976. Clifton Road building demolished 1971. (fn. 122)
Sussex Road school: senior school remained after closure of infant department 1938; average attendance 279 boys, 233 girls. (fn. 123) Boys' school closed 1940. Moved to Ringmer Road as county secondary girls' school 1938. Became part of Durrington high school 1973.
Worthing technical high school: opened in Union Place as Worthing junior technical school for building 1949. Moved to the Boulevard 1957; 1973 combined with county secondary girls' school to become Durrington high school; average attendance 1,185 in 1976.
The Worthing school of art and science, existed by 1890. It was run by the corporation in 1893. (fn. 124) It later shared Richmond House with the library, before moving to Rowlands Road. It was in Union Place by 1912. (fn. 125) By 1938, as the county school of arts and crafts, it served the whole county. (fn. 126) Called the West Sussex college of arts and crafts by 1953, it was enlarged in 1958 and 1963, (fn. 127) and later became the West Sussex college of design. (fn. 128)
In 1948 the county council established an adult education centre in Union Place, which was enlarged in 1964 (fn. 129) and continued in 1977.
The Worthing technical institute, opened in Union Place in 1955, became Worthing college of further education in 1958. (fn. 130) It occupied buildings in different parts of the town until 1964 when all departments were housed in the former boys' high school premises in Broadwater Road. (fn. 131) It was renamed Worthing college of technology in 1977.
The George Pringle school for sub-normal children was opened in Palatine Road in 1951. (fn. 132)