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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EDUCATION. (fn. 1)
The history of Collyer's free school from 1533 to 1907 has been recounted elsewhere. (fn. 2) In the mid 19th century all the pupils were said to be of the lower classes, most being the sons of labourers, and the teaching did not differ in kind from that at the National school. (fn. 3) Grants were received from the Science and Art Department after 1895, and from the county council after 1900; meanwhile the Mercers' Company gave an annual endowment from 1889. The number of pupils had reached 150 by 1909, and 200 by 1918. (fn. 4) Between 1922 and 1926 the school was reorganized on 'modern public school lines', with houses, prefects, a school magazine, and an old boys' association. Boarding however declined, and in 1935 ceased altogether. (fn. 5) In 1951 'aided' status was achieved, partly through the munificent bequest of an old boy, William Duckering (d. 1945), (fn. 6) and by 1956 there were over 500 boys. (fn. 7) The school became a sixth form college in 1976, (fn. 8) with 673 pupils on the roll in 1980.
The original schoolhouse, lying south-east of the church, was apparently converted from an existing timber-framed building, (fn. 9) and was extended in the mid 17th century. (fn. 10) It was replaced in 1840 by a new building (fn. 11) of red and blue brick (fn. 12) in Jacobean style, which comprised a schoolroom and flanking Dutchgabled wings containing the master's and usher's houses. (fn. 13) New Gothic-style buildings in Hurst Road were built in 1892-3 at the expense of the Mercers' Company, (fn. 14) and were greatly enlarged during the 20th century. (fn. 15) The building of 1840 meanwhile was occupied by the Denne Road, later Chesworth, schools until its demolition in 1965. (fn. 16)
There were other schools in Horsham too before 1800. Bequests to 'singing children' in the 1520s (fn. 17) imply the existence of a school before the foundation of Collyer's school, perhaps in connexion with one of the chantries. In 1579 two men and an unstated number of women were teaching, the latter without licence; (fn. 18) another unlicensed teacher was named in 1605. (fn. 19) In the early 18th century there was a charity school financed from donations and from the offertory. (fn. 20) Schooling was also provided for the children of paupers in the workhouse in 1734 and 1774. (fn. 21) In 1773 there were several dame schools. (fn. 22) The virtual inactivity of Collyer's school at the end of the 18th century caused various schools to be carried on. In 1794, besides a ladies' boarding school, five schoolmasters and mistresses were listed in the town; (fn. 23) one of them, Richard Thornton, between 1776 and 1808 at least, kept an 'academy' for 'young gentlemen', at first in the former gaol in Carfax, where subjects taught included geography, astronomy, and bookkeeping. (fn. 24)
Private schools continued to exist in the town in the 19th and 20th centuries, (fn. 25) though they were often shortlived. In 1912 Horsham's educational facilities, both public and private, were said to be exceptionally good for a town of its size. (fn. 26) In 1945 most private schools were said to have fewer than 30 pupils. (fn. 27) Three large houses in and around the town provided premises for such schools: Springfield has been occupied by various schools since c. 1888, (fn. 28) including a girls' school in 1981; The Manor House in Causeway was used as a school between c. 1920 and 1970; (fn. 29) and Coolhurst house has been a school from 1957 or earlier. (fn. 30)
During the 19th century there was a great proliferation of schools for the poor, both in the town and in the hamlets. (fn. 31) In 1818 there were 20 day schools besides Collyer's school and three or four boarding schools, the total number of pupils being estimated at c. 765. In 1871 there were 18 elementary schools whose combined attendance on the return day was c. 700. A school board with seven members was formed compulsorily for the whole parish in 1873, (fn. 32) and took over most church schools then or later. A girls' high school was opened in the early 20th century; meanwhile Collyer's school, since reorganization in 1889, had come to function again as the town's grammar school. Education was reorganized on comprehensive lines in 1976. (fn. 33) The secondary schools of the parish in the 20th century served a wide hinterland, including c. 1945 West Grinstead, Crawley, Slinfold, and Steyning. (fn. 34)
Elementary schools opend before 1873.
A National school was opened in the Holy Trinity chantry chapel at Horsham church by the curate, George Marshall, in 1812. Two years later there were 64 boys and 43 girls, and the school was financed by subscriptions and by the income from two charity sermons. (fn. 35) There were a paid master and mistress in 1818. In 1833, after the girls' department had been separated, 113 boys attended. The school continued to be held in the chantry (fn. 36) until 1840, when a new Gothic-style building was built north of St. Mark's church in North Street. The school was later known as St. Mark's school. (fn. 37) Average attendance fell to 70 in 1853 and c. 30 in 1866, when an annual grant was being received, (fn. 38) but by 1889 it had risen again to 141. By the same date the school had been taken over by the school board, (fn. 39) the buildings being afterwards used by St. Mark's infants' board school. (fn. 40)
About 1820 (fn. 41) the girls' department of the National school moved to a new building in Denne Road at the north entrance to the Denne estate. (fn. 42) In 1833 there were 80 pupils, and by 1846-7 there were 125 besides another 28 who attended on Sundays only. The school was called Denne school in 1844. (fn. 43) In 1862 it was again transferred to a new building designed by S. S. Teulon on the south side of St. Mark's church, and renamed St. Mary's school. (fn. 44) The early 19thcentury school building survived in 1981 as a lodge. (fn. 45) Average attendance was 52 in 1870, (fn. 46) 138 in 1893, and 157 in 1903-4. Thereafter it fell, to 120 in 1922, 86 in 1932, and 70 in 1938. In 1967 a new school building was put up south-east of the parish church, (fn. 47) the 1862 building becoming a health club. (fn. 48) There were 140 on the school roll in 1980.
A British school was built in London Road c. 1826; (fn. 49) it was classical in style, of five bays on the ground floor and three above. (fn. 50) In 1833 there were 130 boys and 60 girls, taught by a master and a mistress. (fn. 51) Subjects taught in 1836 included linear and perspective drawing. (fn. 52) By 1867 attendance had dropped to 80 or 100, (fn. 53) and two years later only boys were being taught. (fn. 54) The school committee refused to transfer its responsibilities to the school board at its formation in 1873, (fn. 55) and the school apparently closed soon afterwards.
An infants' school was founded in Bishopric in 1828, (fn. 56) apparently by dissenters. (fn. 57) A National infants' school was built on glebe land on the west side of Denne Road (fn. 58) in 1831. (fn. 59) In 1833 the combined rolls of both schools totalled 155. The earlier of the two is not recorded after 1835. (fn. 60) The National infants' school, on the other hand, had 70 boys and 70 girls in 1846-7, but average attendance had fallen to 70 by 1870. (fn. 61) Like the boys' National school the infants' school was taken over by the school board, and reopened in 1893 as St. Mark's infants' board (later council) school in the former boys' school premises in North Street. (fn. 62) Average attendance was 112 in 1899, rising to 133 in 1914. In 1915 the school was closed, the pupils going to Denne Road infants' council school. (fn. 63)
A National school at Worthing Road, Southwater, was built by Sir Henry Fletcher, Bt., in 1844, on land given by Magdalen College, Oxford. (fn. 64) In 1846-7 it had 25 pupils of each sex and a paid master and mistress. An annual grant was being received by 1859. (fn. 65) There were infants too by 1876. (fn. 66) The school was enlarged in 1888 (fn. 67) and could accommodate 149 in 1893; average attendance in 1899 was 96. In the following year the school was taken over compulsorily by the school board as it had apparently ceased to function, (fn. 68) and it was thereafter known successively as Southwater board school and Southwater council school. Average attendance in 1903-4 was 90 including 33 infants. A new school opposite the old one was built c. 1906, (fn. 69) and average attendance in 1922 was 123. The school of c. 1906 was replaced by a new building behind it, opened in 1969; (fn. 70) in 1982, as Southwater county primary school, it had 310 on the roll. (fn. 71)
A National school at Broadbridge Heath was built in 1853 on a site apparently in Wickhurst Lane given by the lord of Broadbridge manor. (fn. 72) Average attendance in 1870 was 40. (fn. 73) In 1876 the school was transferred to the school board, (fn. 74) which built a new school north of the Horsham-Guildford road to replace it in 1882. (fn. 75) Two years later, when an annual grant was being received, the school was attended by c. 60 children. (fn. 76) Average attendance at the junior school was 92 in 1903-4 including 31 infants; later it rose to 123 by 1922, then declined to 94 in 1938. In 1964 the school was renamed Shelley county primary school. The first part of a new school was built in 1971 in Wickhurst Lane; (fn. 77) in 1981, when both buildings were in use, it had 212 on the roll. (fn. 78)
In or shortly before 1856 a school was opened at Roffey Street, north-east of the developing suburb of Roffey; the building, which in 1870 belonged to Miss D. Hurst, was also used for Anglican worship. Average attendance at the latter date was 50. (fn. 79) In the following year a new building was put up with a grant from the National Society (fn. 80) on the north side of Crawley Road in the centre of the suburb. (fn. 81) The old building continued in school use until 1889 or later. (fn. 82) The school was taken over by the school board c. 1886, by which date it was called All Saints school. (fn. 83) In 1893 average attendance was 147, rising to 210, including 61 infants, in 1903-4, and 259 in 1914. A separate infants' school behind the main building was opened in 1914. (fn. 84) Average attendances had risen by 1932 to 262 at the junior mixed school and 117 at the infants' school. In 1962 the school was renamed Northolmes county junior school, the infants being transferred to Littlehaven infants' school. In 1965 the junior school was replaced by a new building on the same site; (fn. 85) in 1980 there were 366 on the roll.
St. John's Roman Catholic primary school was founded in 1863 in the former Roman Catholic chapel in Springfield Road. (fn. 86) In 1867 c. 20 attended, (fn. 87) and two years later c. 34 including infants. (fn. 88) A separate infants' school was opened in 1873 in a cottage apparently on the west side of the road; it then received an annual grant and had an average attendance of 21. (fn. 89) The combined average attendance in 1893 was 108. By 1914 it had risen to 121, but it afterwards fell, to 93 in 1922 and 55 in 1938. A new building was built south-west of the town in Blackbridge Lane in 1967. (fn. 90) In 1980 there were 127 on the roll.
Elementry schools opend 1873-1944.
Holy Trinity Church of England infants' school: opened 1873 in a building belonging to J. S. Bostock. Average attendance c. 35 in 1874; (fn. 91) not heard of later. Apparently subsumed in Trafalgar Road board school, (fn. 92) whose average attendance was 274, including infants, in 1893 and 291 in 1899. Latter closed 1901, the children going to Victory Road board school. (fn. 93)
East Parade board, later council, school: opened 1873, with separate departments for boys, girls, and infants. (fn. 94) Average attendance 458 in 1893 and 553 in 1914. Girls transferred elsewhere between 1922 and 1928. (fn. 95) Average attendance 190 boys and 109 infants in 1932; in the same year infants transferred to Clarence Road school, (fn. 96) and boys to Denne Road junior boys' school. (fn. 97)
Denne Road boys' board, later council, school: opened by 1893 (fn. 98) in former Collyer's school buildings in Normandy. (fn. 99) Average attendance 144 in 1899, 172 in 1914, and 208 in 1922, when school said to be overcrowded. Closed 1925, the building becoming infants' school. (fn. 100)
Denne Road girls' board, later council, school: built c. 1895 west of boys' school; (fn. 101) average attendance 89 in 1899 and 141 in 1914. Closed 1915, the pupils going to Oxford Road girls' council school. (fn. 102)
Victory Road board, later council, school: opened 1901 for boys, girls, and infants (fn. 103) to replace Trafalgar Road board school. Average attendance 464 in 1914, falling to 423 in 1922, and 347 in 1938. Burnt down 1940, the girls' department continuing in nearby hall until 1950, when boys and girls transferred to Greenway county primary school (fn. 104) and infants to Trafalgar county infants' school.
Oxford Road girls' council school: opened 1915 to replace Denne Road girls' council school. (fn. 105) Average attendance 153 in 1922. Closed before 1928, (fn. 106) buildings being afterwards used as senior school.
Denne Road infants' council school: opened 1915 in buildings of former Denne Road girls' council school. (fn. 107) Average attendance 122 in 1922. Moved to buildings of former Denne Road boys' council school 1925; (fn. 108) average attendance 71 in 1932. Pupils transferred to Clarence Road infants' council school 1932. (fn. 109)
Denne Road junior girls' council school: opened 1925 in former premises of Denne Road infants' council school; (fn. 110) average attendance 99 in 1932. Renamed Chesworth girls' school 1952; (fn. 111) amalgmamated with Chesworth boys' school 1955 (see below).
Clarence Road infants' council school: opened 1932 to take pupils from Denne Road infants' council school and from East Parade council school. (fn. 112) Average attendance 148 in 1938. Renamed St. Leonard's county primary school 1952, (fn. 113) and later took over former buildings of Oxford Road senior school; (fn. 114) 128 on roll in 1980, when infants only attended.
Denne Road junior boys' council school: opened 1932, with pupils from East Parade council school; (fn. 115) average attendance 166 in 1938. Renamed Chesworth boys' school 1952; (fn. 116) amalgamated with Chesworth girls' school 1955 (see below).
Primary schools opened after 1944.
Chesworth county junior school: opened 1955 in former Collyer's school buildings as amalgamation of Chesworth boys' and girls' schools. (fn. 119) Moved 1965 to Highlands Road, and 1976 to King's Road, Highlands Road building being absorbed by future Millais school (see below); 356 on roll 1980.
North Heath county primary school: built by 1977 to serve new housing estates north of town. (fn. 120) Later, infants only; 143 on roll 1980.
In 1867 there were four evening schools, including one for girls, one at Southwater, and one attended by 140 boys and 30 to 40 adults. (fn. 121) By 1881 there was only one such school, taught by women. (fn. 122)
Under the Scheme of 1889 for Collyer's school an evening technical school was built in 1895 on a site provided by the county council behind the school in Richmond Road. The new school was managed jointly by the council and the governors of Collyer's school, at least 20 students being taken free. The classes ceased in 1898, and in 1900 the council sold the building to Collyer's school. (fn. 123) Another evening school was being held in Horsham in 1907-8. (fn. 124)
Horsham high school for girls: originated in pupilteacher centre opened 1904 in Wesleyan hall, London Road. Recognized by Board of Education 1906; became a secondary school by 1913. (fn. 125) Moved to Tanbridge House, Worthing Road, 1924; became co-educational comprehensive school, as Tanbridge House school, 1976, the lower forms being housed in building in school grounds, (fn. 126) until new lower school building built north-east of Tan Bridge by 1979; 1,110 on roll 1980.
Oxford Road senior school: opened by 1928. (fn. 127) Average attendance 116 boys and 92 girls in 1932, 153 boys and 141 girls in 1938. After 1944 school split into Horsham secondary boys' and girls' schools. (fn. 128)
Horsham secondary school for girls: receiving pupils from Broadbridge Heath, Slinfold, Southwater, and Colgate 1951. (fn. 129) Moved to new site in Depot Road 1958, and renamed Forest secondary school for girls. (fn. 130) Became comprehensive school 1976, being renamed Millais school 1977 (fn. 131) after former local resident; (fn. 132) 1,097 on roll 1980.
Horsham secondary technical school: founded 1943 after pressure from local builders, to train boys for building trade, (fn. 133) and occupying premises in Comptons Lane. (fn. 134) Sixty boys on roll c. 1945. (fn. 135) Further technical education transferred to Crawley 1956; (fn. 136) school closed 1958. Crawley college of technology occupied part of former Clarence Road school buildings as annexe 1981. (fn. 137)
Horsham secondary modern school for boys, Comptons Lane: built 1954. Renamed Forest secondary boys' school 1958. (fn. 138) Became comprehensive school 1976; 1,137 on roll 1980.
Other schools and colleges.
A 'Horsham art class' was meeting in 1882 in Springfield Road. In 1891 it moved to Hurst Road and after 1918 to another building nearby, also in Hurst Road; (fn. 139) in 1930 it was called Horsham art school. (fn. 140) In 1956 it became a branch of the West Sussex college of art and crafts. (fn. 141)
Horsham was made the south-eastern centre of the University extension scheme in 1887, and many classes were provided. (fn. 142) Technical classes were being held in 1912, (fn. 143) and in 1928 (fn. 144) and c. 1945 (fn. 145) there was an evening institute at the Oxford Road school. In 1979 Forest school was used as an adult education centre.
The Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee school for handicapped children was built in 1977 on the northern part of the Forest school site. (fn. 146)