Magdalen Laver: School

Pages 109-110

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

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In 1807 there was no school in the parish; it was reported that the population was too poor to support one. (fn. 1) By 1818 a school had been established, in which 13 children were being taught by a dame. (fn. 2) This school, or one that replaced it, became united with the National Society in about 1820 and apparently continued under church guidance at least until 1846-7. The number of pupils was 27 in 1828, 25 in 1832, and 30 in 1846-7, the girls outnumbering the boys. In 1846-7 the mistress was paid £7 10s. a year. (fn. 3)

In 1862 a permanent school was built on land given by Anna Maria Meyer. The trust deed appointed the rector and churchwarden as managers. The building could accommodate 60 pupils and had a teacher's residence attached. (fn. 4) The school was endowed with £999 raised in subscriptions from the congregation of St. George's Chapel, Albemarle St. (Lond.) by W. W. Ellis, then minister of the chapel, and presented to Magdalen Laver, of which he was then rector, in 1872. (fn. 5) The money was invested. (fn. 6) Average attendance rose from 39 in 1886 to 45 in 1899, despite the falling population. (fn. 7) In 1904 there were 47 children on the roll and they were taught by a teacher and a monitress. (fn. 8)

By the Education Act of 1902 the school passed under the administration of the Essex Education Committee as a non-provided endowed school. Average attendance rose from 44 in 1900 to 53 in 1915 but fell again to 33 in 1938. (fn. 9) In 1944 the school was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants, the seniors being transferred to Chipping Ongar. In 1950 the managers applied for aided status; a decision about this was still awaited in September 1952. There were 36 pupils and two teachers at the school in May 1952. (fn. 10) The school is situated a little to the south-west of Tilegate Green, just within the southern boundary of High Laver and it is attended by children from High Laver as well as by those from Magdalen Laver. (fn. 11) It is a single-storied red-brick building.


  • 1. E.R.O., D/AEM 2/4.
  • 2. Retns. Educ. Poor, H.C. 224, p. 260 (1819), ix (1).
  • 3. Nat. Soc. Rep. 1820, 1828, 1832; Nat. Soc. Enquiry into Church Schs. 1846-7, pp. 12-13.
  • 4. Min. of Educ. File 13/196.
  • 5. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1899).
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1886 [C. 5123-1], p. 520, H.C. (1887), xxviii; Retn. of Schs. 1899 [Cd. 315], p. 71, H.C. (1900), lxv (2).
  • 8. Essex Educ. Cttee. Handbk. 1904, p. 148.
  • 9. Min. of Educ. File 13/196.
  • 10. Inf. from Essex Educ. Cttee.
  • 11. See above, p. 104 and also parish of High Laver.