A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.
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EDUCATION. (fn. 1)
By will proved 1793, William Ellis left an annuity of £10 to the minister of the chapel of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion in Fordham, to educate 5 poor boys and 5 poor girls. The school so founded had 15 pupils in 1818, the additional pupils probably feepayers; it was rebuilt in 1859 as a British mixed school. (fn. 2)
Three small private schools with a total of 31 children were recorded in 1833. Two Sunday schools, provided largely by the rector and his family, continued in 1841 when the rector also paid for children to attend a dame school. (fn. 3)
A Church of England school and a teacher's house were built in 1849 on land in Mill Road given by Earl de Grey. In 1851, when it catered for 70 children, it was united to the National Society. The National school, which received annual government grants from 1870, was enlarged for 144 in 1874 when the British school closed for lack of funds to expand. Thereafter nonconformist children had to attend the National school, as did presumably the few children remaining in a private church infant school, which had been recorded in 1871 with accommodation for 42. (fn. 4) Average attendance was 134 in 1878, but numbers from 80 to 90 were more usual. Dissatisfied nonconformist parents routinely withdrew their children from religious education, and in 1906 an inquiry into the excessive caning of two nonconformist boys found the schoolmaster 'somewhat to blame'. (fn. 5) In 1910 the building was re-arranged to accom- modate 91 children and 26 infants. In 1946 the school was reorganized for juniors and infants only, in 1950 renamed Fordham All Saints' Church of England school, and in 1952 awarded Voluntary Controlled status. The number of pupils decreased to 16 in 1966, but demountable classrooms were added, increasing the accom- modation to 90 by 1969 to make room for chil- dren from the new estate. In 1978 the former teacher's house was turned into classrooms. (fn. 6)