A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1986.
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The curate in 1554 left money for young children going to school, (fn. 1) but the school may have lain outside the parish. A schoolmaster was licensed to teach in Shipley following a testimonial from parishioners in 1589. (fn. 2)
There was a schoolmaster in 1817, (fn. 3) and in 1819 it was said that 25 poor children were taught at parish expense, and that all the workhouse children were taught reading. (fn. 4) There was still a school for children in the union workhouse in 1838. (fn. 5) Four day schools besides the boy's National school (fn. 6) were founded between 1818 and 1833. In the latter year, when they were all kept by females, they had a total of 78 pupils, supported by subscriptions, donations, and parental contributions. (fn. 7) Two schools besides the National school existed in 1849, (fn. 8) and there was a small private school attended by c. 20 in 1867. (fn. 9)
Sarah Andrew by will proved 1825 left £40 a year for the free education of poor children of the parish. A one-storeyed stuccoed schoolroom and master's house were built north of the church, and the school, which was affiliated to the National Society, began in 1827. In 1833 there were 67 boys on the roll and the master received £40 a year, but in 1837 there were fewer than 40 pupils, and attendance was said to be very irregular on account of poverty; the master could, however, take pupils from other parishes at a small weekly charge. (fn. 10) Average attendance was 35 in 1855 (fn. 11) and 20 to 30 in 1867. (fn. 12) A girls' school was started c. 1851, and a building put up in 1858 at the expense of Sir Charles Burrell and Mrs. Vernon Harcourt. (fn. 13) In 1867 average attendance was 45, including some younger boys; in the absence of an annual grant the deficit was made up by the incumbent. (fn. 14) By 1872 the two schools were being managed together, (fn. 15) and by 1880-1 the combined average attendance was 94. (fn. 16) A new red brick school was built in 1876; (fn. 17) by then an annual grant was being received, and the school was called Shipley Church of England school. (fn. 18) Average attendance rose to 110 in 1885-6, then fell to 71 in 1919 and 41 in 1938. (fn. 19) In 1982 there were 60 pupils, including children from Dial Post in West Grinstead. (fn. 20)
A British school at Coolham was founded by Quakers in 1890 or 1891 with 35 to 40 pupils. In 1902 it had boys, girls, and infants, and was supported by public money, by a grant from the Society of Friends, and by voluntary contributions. (fn. 21) Average attendance between 1903 and 1932 fluctuated between 29 and 54, rising to 90 in 1938. (fn. 22) The schoolroom was enlarged c. 1910 to bring it to the standard required by the local education authority. (fn. 23) The school was taken over by the county council in 1952, but in 1977 the Quakers were still represented by two members on the managing board. In that year, when the school was called William Penn primary school (Society of Friends), it had 59 pupils. A new building had been opened in 1973, and between 1977 (fn. 24) and 1982 the former school building was converted into a house.
A night school was said in 1867 to have been unsuccessful because of 'dirt and distance', (fn. 25) but another was proposed in 1876. (fn. 26) In 1985 the older children of the parish mostly went to school in Billingshurst. (fn. 27)