Stanford Rivers: Schools

Page 221

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4, Ongar Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.

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In 1818 there were two day schools in the parish, with some 50 pupils. (fn. 1) In the following years one of them seems to have ceased and another to have started, so that in 1833 there were still two schools with 44 pupils. (fn. 2) As late as 1846-7 the only schools were kept by dames. The rector, however, exercised some supervision over one of these and also gave financial help to some of the others. (fn. 3) The number of these schools had evidently increased with the growth of the population and in 1851 a National School was at last built. It was on the road about half way between Toot Hill and Little End. The Department of Education gave £117 and the National Society £20 towards the cost. The lord of the manor gave the site and £200, and other subscriptions were collected. The rector and churchwardens were appointed trustees of the school. They and three of the subscribers constituted the board of management. In 1857, when some additions and alterations took place, a further grant of £9 was received from the Department of Education. (fn. 4) In 1870 there were stated to be places for 117 children. (fn. 5)

The accommodation at the school was not fully used for many years. In 1858-9 there were 30 boys and 37 girls in attendance; there was apparently much truancy. (fn. 6) In 1871 there were still only about 65 pupils. (fn. 7) In 1858-9 there were a mistress and two pupil-teachers (fn. 8) and in 1863 there were a master and a mistress. (fn. 9) The school received parliamentary grants for the training of pupil-teachers, the employment of certificated teachers, and the purchase of equipment. In 1858-9 the grant was £164, but an inspector found the standard of education to be low. (fn. 10) In 1871 it was estimated that 140 school places were needed to secure universal elementary education in the parish, and that the National School could provide 118 of these. The Education Department proposed to unite the parish with North Weald Bassett (q.v.) in a single administrative district, apparently to facilitate the attendance of some Stanford Rivers children at a new school to be built in North Weald. There was much opposition from North Weald to these proposals and the amalgamation did not take place. (fn. 11) The school at Stanford Rivers was enlarged in the following years. (fn. 12) The average attendance increased from 69 in 1872 to 93 in 1880 and 144 in 1902, and the annual grants rose from £34 14s. in 1872 to £74 13s. in 1880 and £146 18s. in 1902. (fn. 13)

By the Education Act of 1902 the school passed under the administration of the Essex Education Committee, Ongar District. Its average attendance fell to 74 in 1929. In 1936 it was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants, the seniors being transferred to the new school at Chipping Ongar (q.v.). (fn. 14) In May 1952 there were 2 teachers and 53 pupils. In May 1950 the school was granted aided status. (fn. 15)

The school is an L-shaped one-story building of red brick with a tiled roof. The teacher's house attached to it has two stories.


  • 1. Retns. on Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224, p. 271 (1819), ix (1).
  • 2. Educ. Enquiry Abstr., H.C. 62, p. 289 (1835), xli.
  • 3. Nat. Soc. Enquiry into Church Schs. 1846-7, pp. 18-19.
  • 4. Min. of Educ. File 13/342; ex inf.National Society.
  • 5. E.R.O., D/AEM 2/8.
  • 6. Educ. Cttee. of Council, Reps. on Schs. in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, 1858-9, p. 44 (in Min. of Educ. Libr.).
  • 7. Retns. Elem. Educ., H.C. 201, pp. 112-13 (1871), lv.
  • 8. Educ. Cttee. of Council, Reps. on Schs. in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, 1858-9, p. 44.
  • 9. White's Dir. Essex (1863), 744.
  • 10. Educ. Cttee. of Council, Reps. on Schs. in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, 1858-9, p. 44; Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council,1858 [2510], p. 560, H.C. (1859, Sess. 1),xxi (1).
  • 11. Min. of Educ. File 13/342.
  • 12. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1886 [C. 5123-1], p. 520, H.C. (1887), xxviii.
  • 13. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1872 [C. 812], p. 409, H.C. (1873), xxiv; ibid.1880 [C. 2948-1], p. 579, H.C. (1881), xxxii; Schs. under Bd. of Educ., 1902 [Cd. 1490], p. 74, H.C. (1903), li.
  • 14. Min. of Educ. File 13/342.
  • 15. Ex inf. Essex Educ. Cttee.