A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10, Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (North-Eastern Cambridgeshire). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.
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Schoolmasters were repeatedly recorded between 1580 and 1620. One man taught 1596-1610, and a successor, 1612-18. The curate was teaching in 1635, and masters were again briefly mentioned in the 1660s. (fn. 1) The £10 left by John Salisbury in 1639 to have three poor children taught was invested in land, for which 6 a. was allotted at inclosure in 1808. The rent, £7 c. 1815-35 and £11 by 1859, (fn. 2) was received by the masters of the main schools successively serving the parish. (fn. 3) From the 1890s that money was given in small prizes, to encourage regular attendance, among 90 or more children. (fn. 4) In 1981 that charity still owned 4 a. in Lode, worth £34 yearly. (fn. 5)
Elizabeth, wife of Sir Roger Jenyns, at her death in 1728, left £100 to educate 10 poor children at Bottisham. In 1730 her husband opened a school in a new built one-storeyed brick building west of the high street, in which a master, paid £10 yearly, was to teach 16 poor boys and 4 girls reading, writing, and accounts, also bringing them regularly to church. The nominal endowment, 50 or 100 a., along with the school site, remained with the owners of Bottisham Hall, who were to appoint the master, name the children, and maintain the building. Each pupil on the endowment was to receive uniform green clothing yearly on May Day. (fn. 6) The second master died in 1816 after 70 years' service. His successor, still in office c. 1840, (fn. 7) had his teaching commended in 1837. By then the endowment, no land having been allotted for it at inclosure, had been converted in practice into a rentcharge of £20 on the Bottisham Hall estate, whose owner, Canon Jenyns, added another £5 towards the children's clothing. In the 1830s the 20 boys not taught on the foundation paid schoolpence. Girls all went to another school started in 1833 by Mrs. Jenyns, who paid for 12 out of its 35 pupils. In 1818 there had been six other schools teaching c. 170 children in all. About 1833 the Baptists probably started a day school with 20 girls, while another had 32 pupils, only a quarter boys. (fn. 8)
Schooling in the parish was transformed by the efforts of the vicar, John Hailstone. In 1838 he built on a ½-a. site just south of the church a new school, opened in 1839, to which a classroom was added in 1842 and a teacher's house in 1847-8. All were to a simple design in grey brick. That school was associated with the National Society by 1846, when the 190 pupils included 80 girls. An infants' class was started by 1842. The National school took over the traditions of the Jenyns school, whose £20 income was paid to its master. (fn. 9) The man in office from 1848, thought in 1849 relatively efficient for a country schoolmaster, left in 1863 as soon as he secured a certificate. (fn. 10) Evening classes with up to 80 pupils started in the 1850s (fn. 11) and were occasionally revived into the 1890s. (fn. 12) In 1863, when the church school cost £20 a year, £50 came from charities, the vicar contributing £30 yearly from that of Pugh, barely a sixth from schoolpence. (fn. 13)
In the 1850s most pupils had come from Bottisham village, less than a tenth of the schoolchildren reported in 1851 being drawn from Lode and the fen. (fn. 14) In 1859 Hailstone opened a separate school to serve that area in a cottage on the west of Lode street, then also housing the teacher, which he gave in trust for a National school in 1865. In 1863 the certificated mistress there had an average attendance of 40 out of c. 80 enrolled pupils. (fn. 15) In Bottisham village the usual attendance was of 50 older children, half girls, and 35 infants. (fn. 16) The Jenyns school build ing given in 1886 by the then tenant of the Hall as a parish reading room, (fn. 17) remained one into the 1930s. (fn. 18) When it was demolished c. 1952 the figure of a greencoat boy from its front gable was removed to the church. (fn. 19) The clothing was still being distributed in the 1890s. (fn. 20)
In 1872 a school board was set up, covering the whole ancient parish; church and chapel co-operated on it. (fn. 21) It obtained the use of both church school buildings during school hours at nominal rents. At Bottisham the vicar taught occasionally, 1875-85, the curate regularly in 1897, while at Lode vicars were teaching at the school in 1873 and 1897. (fn. 22) Bottisham village school was enlarged in 1873-5, 1883, and 1895 (fn. 23) to accommodate 160 children, but actual attendance declined, under a master who served c. 1875-1910, from 154 c. 1885 to 120-30 between the 1890s and 1920s and only 92 by 1932. (fn. 24) It was closed in 1937, the older children, with those from Lode school, going thereafter to the newly opened Bottisham village college, while the younger ones were moved to new primary school buildings under their own headmistress at that college's site, (fn. 25) west of the BottishamLode road. The college's original pale brick buildings were erected to flat-roofed designs by S. E. Unwin. (fn. 26) They were repeatedly extended northwards into the 1980s, the later buildings including extensive facilities for various crafts, laboratories, and a large sports hall put up in 1975. (fn. 27) In 1989 the college had altogether 870 pupils. (fn. 28) The old church school building was used into the 1990s for various parish purposes, including from 1965 a youth club. (fn. 29)
At Lode attendance at the board school had in the late 19th century increased from 110 in 1873 to 140-50 c. 1885 and was still c. 130 after 1900. (fn. 30) Thereafter it fell gradually from 127 in 1910 to 94 in 1932. (fn. 31) In the 1940s its original building was ceded to Lord Fairhaven in exchange for his recently built village hall, (fn. 32) which housed Lode primary school until it was closed, despite strong local opposition, in 1983. The county council retained the hall for teacher training. (fn. 33) The remaining pupils had mostly been sent to a new separate council primary school at Bottisham village, opened in 1971-2 on a site at the east end of the Park housing estate (fn. 34) and still open in 1991.