A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10, Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1972.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
In 1764 £452 was subscribed by eight inhabitants of Eastington for teaching poor children to read. (fn. 1) In 1818 the endowment, which produced £18 16s. a year, supported four schools where 76 children were taught, and a teacher was paid to instruct 30 children at one of the clothmills. Another 20 children attended the charity schools at their parents' expense, and 50 were paid for by their parents at four small day schools; it was said that almost all the children in the parish received education. (fn. 2) In 1824 a new schoolroom for the charity school was built north-west of the churchyard on a site given by Henry Hicks, lord of the manor, and partly paid for by a grant from the National Society. (fn. 3) In 1833, when the school became affiliated to the National Society, there were two day and Sunday schools, evidently separate schoolrooms for boys and girls, and a lending library was attached; the endowment was supplemented by subscriptions and the collections at two sermons each year. (fn. 4) In 1847 the National school had a salaried master and mistress helped by 19 unpaid teachers, and the total daily attendance was 81. (fn. 5) By 1849 school pence had been added to the other sources of income, and a deficiency in funds was guaranteed by a parishioner. (fn. 6)
A Wesleyan Sunday school was in existence by 1833 when it taught 152 children, and there was a Baptist Sunday school with 88 children. (fn. 7) In 1858 a schoolroom adjoining the Wesleyan chapel at Alkerton was built for a day school. In the next year both the Wesleyan (fn. 8) and National schools applied for state grants, but it was decided that one school for both communities should be established in a new National school building on the site of the old rectory. (fn. 9)
An infant school supported by Charles Hooper had been established by 1856, (fn. 10) and the support was continued by his son C. H. Hooper; (fn. 11) an endowment of £100 made by Edward Ricketts brought in £2 16s. 5d. in 1879. (fn. 12) In 1875, when it occupied the schoolroom adjoining the Wesleyan chapel, it applied to become a public elementary school, (fn. 13) and in 1879 it was moved to a new classroom adjoining the National school, although the two schools were not officially merged until 1897. (fn. 14) From 1899 the life of the National school was disrupted by a dispute between the schoolmaster who, supported by the rector, Richard Rimmer, made the children attend church, and nonconformist parents supported by C. H. Hooper who claimed that the action contravened the agreement of 1859; the dispute, which caused the closure of the school for a time, was not resolved until the rector's resignation in 1902. (fn. 15) The school had an average attendance of 128 in 1904, (fn. 16) and the numbers remained stable during the next 30 years; (fn. 17) in 1968 the attendance was c. 115, the older children of the parish going to school at Stonehouse. (fn. 18)