Harmondsworth: Education

Pages 20-21

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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The earliest reference to education in Harmondsworth parish dates from 1694, when Edward Griffin was encouraged by the Quakers to open a school at the Longford meeting-house. This scheme, however, did not succeed. (fn. 1) In the late 18th century there were schoolmasters in Harmondsworth (fn. 2) and presumably there was a school of some kind in the village. In 1819, however, there was said to be no school in the parish. (fn. 3)

By 1833 there were three day schools in the parish, in which 28 boys and 38 girls were educated at their parents' expense. There were also Anglican and Baptist Sunday schools. (fn. 4) Harmondsworth National School was built in 1846 and in 1857 was attended by 40 boys and 31 girls. There was no endowment and fees were only 1d. or 2d. The children were taught by a master and mistress, neither of whom was trained or certificated, and although new teachers were appointed in 1857 and their salary raised, they too were untrained. (fn. 5) The school, which was said to have been erected by public subscription, (fn. 6) stood slightly south of Moor Lane. (fn. 7) A school board of five members was formed in 1874, (fn. 8) and by the end of the 19th century this school was known as the Harmondsworth Board School. It had accommodation for 208 boys and girls and in 1899 had an average attendance of 141. (fn. 9) New buildings were erected in 1906-7 by the local authority, when it was called a mixed county primary school. It was also designed to take older children and infants from the Sipson and Heathrow school, also then called the National School, until repairs to that school were carried out. (fn. 10) In 1960 it was attended by 77 children. (fn. 11)

In 1863 the Sipson Infants School was established under the National Society, and managed by Mrs. R. L. de Burgh, wife of the incumbent of West Drayton. The building was privately owned and the 26 children occupied one room with the mistress, who was certificated. The fees were 4d. for boys and 3d. for girls. (fn. 12) The Sipson and Heathrow Council School was established in 1875 with 107 children. The buildings were borrowed, the boys' room consisting of a converted cart-shed about 30 yards from the girls' and infants' rooms which were in a private house. The staff comprised a master, mistress, and infant teacher. (fn. 13) Permanent buildings were erected in 1877 on land lying on the north side of the Bath Road nearly opposite the 'Magpies' (fn. 14) and given to the school board by Lord Strafford. (fn. 15) The school was enlarged in 1891, and by the end of the century the attendance had risen to 194. (fn. 16) In 1960 it was attended by 112 children. (fn. 17)


  • 1. Beck and Ball, London Meetings, 292.
  • 2. Par. Recs., Reg., 1670-1802.
  • 3. Digest of Parochial Rets. H.C. 244, p. 588 (1819), ix (1).
  • 4. Educ. Enq. Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 564 (1835), xlii.
  • 5. Ed. 7/86.
  • 6. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1855).
  • 7. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. xix. 3 (1867 and later edns.).
  • 8. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1886).
  • 9. Ret. of Schools, 1899 [Cd. 315], H.C. p. 580 (1900), lxv(2).
  • 10. Ed. 7/86.
  • 11. Ex inf. Yiewsley and West Drayton U.D.C.
  • 12. Ed. 7/86.
  • 13. Ibid.
  • 14. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Mdx. xix. 4 (1896 edn.).
  • 15. Inscription on building.
  • 16. Ret. of Schools, 1899 [Cd. 315], H.C. p. 580 (1900), lxv(2).
  • 17. Ex inf. Yiewsley and West Drayton U.D.C.