Edgware: Education

Pages 167-168

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.

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In 1791 a Sunday school, supported by voluntary contributions, was instituted. (fn. 1) William Lee Antonie, owner of Edgware Boys and patron of the living, contributed 3 guineas a year (fn. 2) and also built the west gallery in the church for the use of the children who attended the school. (fn. 3) In 1818 the Revd. James Proctor-described by a contemporary resident as very assiduous and zealous in promoting Christianity and in enforcing the attendance of the poor at church (fn. 4) -reported that the Sunday school was the only school in the parish and there were no endowments for education, observing obscurely that 'the poor have the means of educating their children'. (fn. 5)

In 1833 a brick building was erected at the southwest corner of the churchyard for use as a school; from the single word in large capitals on its modest gable, it later became known as Truth Hall. (fn. 6) In 1834 there were 41 children attending the infant school and 3 attending the new day school, both apparently using Truth Hall. Fifty-one children attended the Sunday school. Parents paid 2d. a week for each child at the infant school, while the day and Sunday schools were supported by contributions. (fn. 7) In 1855 a National school was built in Little Stanmore (fn. 8) and from that date the educational history of Edgware was linked firmly with that of Stanmore. In 1869 the schools in Truth Hall catered for 60 children, and the annual income consisted of £46 from voluntary contributions, £10 from school pence, and £8 from collections in church. The school was managed by the vicar, and the solitary schoolmistress, a former apprentice pupil-teacher without training but with 5 years' teaching experience, received a salary of £50 a year with free lodgings. (fn. 9) In 1870 68 children attended the Truth Hall school, and 66 attended the public school in Little Stanmore. (fn. 10)

In 1875 a school board was compulsorily formed for the united district of Edgware, which consisted of Edgware and Little Stanmore, (fn. 11) and under its auspices an infant board school was built in 1877 with accommodation for 150 children, although the average attendance in 1882 was apparently only 70. (fn. 12) In 1893 three schools served the united district of Edgware: (fn. 13) the infant board school (accommodation for 150 children), situated at the end of Thorn Bank off the High Street, (fn. 14) the 'Parochial' girls' school in Truth Hall (80 children), and the National school in Stanmore (143 boys). New buildings were erected in 1895 on the site off the High Street (fn. 15) and in 1899 there was stated to be accommodation for a total of 415 children, although the average attendance was only 285. More than one-half of the annual income of £945 came from voluntary contributions. (fn. 16) Even by 1912 the school was becoming overcrowded, for although the accommodation was then stated to be sufficient for 340 children the average attendance was 350. (fn. 17) With the swift growth of population after 1924 the situation became still more serious, and in 1928 further building raised the accommodation to 700. (fn. 18)

In 1938 a new building on the High Street site was provided under the Hadow scheme for a separate junior and infant school with accommodation for 450 children. The Broadfields Primary School, built to serve the new housing estate, was opened in 1942 and originally accommodated junior and infant pupils in one department. In 1952 the junior school building was opened. In order to accommodate the extra secondary school pupils after the raising of the school leaving age, two additional buildings were erected on the High Street site in 1948. Between 1948 and 1957 the growing school population was catered for by temporary expedients, but in 1957 the new secondary school was opened at Green Lane with a roll of 920. At the same time the primary school was reorganized, the infant school, with a roll of 220, being located in the building of 1938 and the junior school, with a roll of 370, occupying the remainder of the buildings on the High Street site. In 1963 there were 890 pupils at the secondary school, 427 at the junior school, 267 at the infant school, 340 at the Broadfields Junior School, and 211 at the Broadfields Infant School. (fn. 19)

There are a few small independent schools in Edgware, the most important being the Rosh Pinah Jewish Day school in Mowbray Road; it came into being in 1957 when the Edgware synagogue moved from the buildings in Mowbray Road to its present home on Edgware Way, and in 1963 had 200 children on the roll in kindergarten, infant, and junior sections. (fn. 20)


  • 1. Plaque in church. The school founded by Sir Lancelot Lake in 1656 was for children of parishioners of Little Stanmore and tenants of that manor, and its history before 1850 is therefore reserved for treatment under Little Stanmore.
  • 2. Herts. Rec. Off. MSS. 68714, 68755, 68760.
  • 3. Board in church.
  • 4. Tootell MS. 22.
  • 5. Digest of Rets. to Sel. Cttee. on Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224, p. 535 (1819), ix(1).
  • 6. Geikie MS. vol. iv. In 1969 the building was used for parish activities.
  • 7. Educ. Enquiry Abs. H.C. 62, p. 559 (1835), xlii.
  • 8. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1882).
  • 9. Ed. 7/86.
  • 10. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Coun. 1870, H.C. 201, p. 242 (1871), lv.
  • 11. Lists of Sch. Boards and Sch. Att. Cttees. [C. 2561], H.C. (1880), liv.
  • 12. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1882).
  • 13. Rets. Rel. to Elem. Educ. [C. 7529], H.C. (1894), lxv.
  • 14. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. vi. 13 (1896 edn.).
  • 15. Ex inf. Bor. Educ. Officer.
  • 16. Rets. Rel. to Elem. Educ. [Cd. 315], H.C. (1900), lxv (2).
  • 17. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1912).
  • 18. Ex inf. Bor. Educ. Officer; Edgware Gaz. (supplement), 1 May 1931.
  • 19. Ex inf. Bor. Educ. Officer.
  • 20. Ex inf. Bor. Educ. Officer and the headmaster.