High Laver: School

Pages 96-97

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

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There were no schools in the parish in 1807 and 1818 although at the latter date the rector, P. Budworth, was helping to maintain a private school in Moreton, to which presumably he sent High Laver children. (fn. 1) By 1828 a day school in union with the National Society had been established. In that year it had 30 pupils, (fn. 2) but attendance declined until in 1832 it seems to have been closed. (fn. 3) In 1833 there was only a private school in the parish, founded in 1832. It had 40 pupils and further accommodation was available at a dame school in Matching, which some 30 High Laver children attended in 1839. (fn. 4) In 1833, however, the Sunday school was refounded in High Laver and by 1846-7 this had apparently led to the setting up of a day school, under the Diocesan Board, with 27 pupils and a further 7 on Sundays. The schoolmistress was paid £16 a year. (fn. 5) This school had ceased by 1865 when there was only an inefficient dame school in the parish. (fn. 6)

In about 1865 the rector, with the support of the largest landowner (J. W. Perry Watlington) and other churchmen, established a Building Committee to collect subscriptions for a new school for High and Little Laver, with a teacher's residence of six rooms attached. The school, with accommodation for about 75 children, was built in 1866 at Matching Green at a cost of £668, of which the Treasury contributed £143 15s., the Diocesan Board £35, the National Society £37, and subscribers the rest. (fn. 7) It was placed in union with the National Society and was managed by the rector and churchwardens. (fn. 8) In 1870 there were 75 pupils at the school and 25 infants in an unsuitable room nearby. In 1871 an infants' classroom was built with the help of £24 from the Treasury, £10 from the Diocesan Board, £5 from the National Society, and some local subscriptions. (fn. 9) In 1872 the Education Department said that the accommodation was sufficient for the parish. (fn. 10) Attendance increased considerably in the next eight years and the annual grant rose from £26 in 1872 to £58 in 1880. (fn. 11) In 1899, when there was accommodation for 132 pupils, there was an average attendance of 95 and a grant of £85 was received. (fn. 12) In 1900 about 58 people were subscribing money for the school. (fn. 13) Attendance, however, was falling as the population of the parish declined. In 1904 there were 84 pupils and 3 teachers. (fn. 14)

By the Education Act of 1902 the school passed under the administration of the Essex Education Committee as a non-provided school. The average attendance fell to 76 in 1914 and 57 in 1938. In 1939 the school was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants. (fn. 15) In May 1952 there were 2 teachers and 44 pupils. (fn. 16)

The school is a single-story red-brick building. On the front is a combined chimney and bell-cote.

Magdalen Laver school, which is situated a little to the south-west of Tilegate Green just within the southern boundary of High Laver, is attended by children from this part of the parish as well as by those from Magdalen Laver (q.v.).

CHARITY. For Bell Acre charity see above, Church.


  • 1. E.R.O., D/AEM 2/4 (Archdeaconry); Retns. Educ. Poor, H.C. 224, pp. 260, 262 (1819), ix (1).
  • 2. Nat. Soc. Rep. 1828, p. 62.
  • 3. Nat. Soc. Rep. 1832, p. 61; Educ. Enquiry Abstr. H.C. 62, p. 281 (1835), xli.
  • 4. Educ. Enquiry Abstr. H.C. 62, p. 281 (1835), xli; E.R.O., D/P 30/28/19.
  • 5. Nat. Soc. Enquiry into Church Schs. 1846-7, pp. 12-13.
  • 6. Inf. from Nat. Soc.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Min. of Educ. File 13/196.
  • 9. Inf. from Nat. Soc.
  • 10. Chelmsford Chronicle, 2 Aug. 1872.
  • 11. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1872 [C. 812], p. 408, H.C. (1873), xxiv; ibid., 1880 [C. 2948-1], p. 577, H.C. (1881), xxxii.
  • 12. Retn. of Schs. 1899 [Cd. 315], p. 71, H.C. (1900), lxv (2).
  • 13. Min. of Educ. File 13/196.
  • 14. Essex Educ. Cttee. Handbk. 1904, p. 185.
  • 15. Min. of Educ. File 13/196.
  • 16. Inf. from Essex Educ. Cttee.