Norwood, including Southall: Education

Pages 53-55

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 1706 Francis Courtney devised two small cottages and a few acres of land in Heston to educate the poor children of the parish of Norwood. (fn. 1) No school appears to have been built with this endowment, although in 1784, when one of these cottages near Norwood Green was sold to Sarah Child, the money was to be paid by the churchwardens into the Courtney charity. (fn. 2) It seems probable that the charity was used mainly in cash payments to poor scholars, and possibly in grants of books and clothing. After 1909 exhibitions were awarded alternately to a boy and a girl either for tuition or entrance fees to a secondary school, or as a yearly maintenance allowance of £10. Other payments were made towards travelling expenses, books and other materials for children attending day or evening classes. In 1955 the income amounted to over £192, of which only £62 had been disbursed. (fn. 3)

The earliest school in Norwood was almost certainly that built in Tentelow Lane in 1767 by Elisha Biscoe, (fn. 4) who had been steward to the Awsiter family. (fn. 5) In 1772 he bequeathed £3,500 to pay a master and mistress to educate 34 boys and 6 girls from Heston, Hayes and Norwood. (fn. 6) The Biscoes owned property in Hayes and Heston, (fn. 7) and in 1801 Elisha Biscoe the younger was the largest landowner in and around Botwell. (fn. 8) By 1819 the school was said to be falling into decay; most of the trustees had died, the capital had not been invested properly, and Elisha Biscoe, who now lived in Oxfordshire, was in sole charge. (fn. 9) In 1825 an action in Chancery established that most of the income had been devoted to the school but that no accounts had been kept. When new trustees were appointed under a Scheme of 1827, the school was attended by only 28 boys and 12 girls. (fn. 10) These figures were the same in 1833, (fn. 11) although children from Hayes soon ceased to attend, perhaps because of the foundation of the National School at Wood End Green. (fn. 12) Numbers were increased by 6 boys and 4 girls in 1858 (fn. 13) and some 60 pupils were receiving free instruction in 1863; (fn. 14) the master eventually was allowed to take paying pupils but after 1870 numbers were gradually reduced to a maximum of 30 boys, 20 girls, and 10 children who paid fees. By this date the school buildings were apparently in urgent need of repair. (fn. 15) In 1909 the Southall-Norwood U.D.C. declared that the income from Biscoe's charity ought to be spent on higher education, but the school continued under its board of trustees, which pointed out that the charity also concerned Heston. More paying pupils were taken after the Second World War and the school was finally closed in 1950. (fn. 16) After the parish had refused to buy the building for use as a Sunday school, (fn. 17) it was sold to the last schoolmaster as a private residence. (fn. 18) In 1961 it consisted of a small, brown brick, two-story cottage with round-headed Gothic windows to the ground floor.

In 1819 there was an industrial school for 20 girls, supported by a £20 endowment and annual subscriptions. (fn. 19) In 1833 there were 7 day schools, excluding the Biscoe school, together educating 72 boys and 79 girls. Only one was endowed; the others were either fee-paying or subscription schools. There was also a Sunday school which had been started in 1827. (fn. 20)

The St. John's parochial school, Southall Green, was established in 1837-8 by Henry Dobbs. Boys, girls, and infants shared a single room, although it had dividing doors, and there was a room overhead for the master and mistress. (fn. 21) In 1845 an ex-mistress of the school, Ann Lawes, endowed it with £100 stock; (fn. 22) the endowment, however, was not settled in trust until 1855, when the five patrons of the living were selected as trustees. Numbers in the school were said to fluctuate, the children being drawn chiefly from brick-making families. In 1869, however, it was attended by 94 boys and 98 girls, who paid a weekly sum varying from 1d. to 3d. (fn. 23) The school was closed in 1891. (fn. 24) In 1961 the building, a singlestory, yellow brick hall off King Street, was used for general parochial purposes. (fn. 25)

In 1858 a large school was opened on the west side of South Road (fn. 26) for poor children from the parish of St. Marylebone. The building, which sometimes held as many as 500 children, was used as a military hospital in the First World War and afterwards turned into a Roman Catholic girls' school. (fn. 27)

Norwood Bridge Church of England (National) School was opened in 1862. It was attended by 120 boys, girls, and infants, but had only one master. It was financed by a very small endowment and from other sources, including church collections. (fn. 28) The building remained the private property of the rector, who in 1873 set up a trust. The school was enlarged and reorganized in that year and a certificated master was appointed. He left in 1878, when the two rooms occupied by the school were very dilapidated, and was replaced by a master and mistress. (fn. 29) In the same year the school was leased to the Norwood School Board for 30 years. (fn. 30) In 1897 it had an average attendance of 217 children, (fn. 31) and it was finally closed in 1903 or 1904. (fn. 32)

The Dudley Road School was opened by 1897, when it was described as 'new'. There were at least three women teachers who were in charge of 8 classrooms. (fn. 33) By 1908 it had an average attendance of over 400 girls, (fn. 34) but this was halved after the First World War. (fn. 35) The school was reorganized as a junior mixed school in 1930; its separate existence ceased in 1958 when the building became an annexe to Southall Technical College. (fn. 36) The St. John's Temporary Council School was opened in 1905. It was closed in 1911 on the opening of the Western Road School. The freehold belonged to the trustees of St. John's church, who had leased it to the local authorities in 1877. (fn. 37) The school was probably held in the St. John's hall, the home of the former St. John's parochial school. (fn. 38) The temporary St. John's school was reopened in 1912 and finally closed in 1916. (fn. 39) The Hartington Road Temporary School was opened for infants in 1910, drawing children from the Featherstone Road Infants School. It was closed in 1911 on the opening of the Western Road School. (fn. 40)

A Roman Catholic school called St. Mary's was functioning in 1912, (fn. 41) but it is not mentioned again. The Roman Catholic school of St. Anselm was opened in 1921, drawing children from all over Southall and Norwood, and from Hanwell. (fn. 42) The county council opened a technical college in Beaconsfield Road in 1928 and greatly extended it in 1934, 1937, and after 1945. (fn. 43) The influx of Indians and Pakistanis in the early 1960s created an acute problem. In 1963 it was estimated that in the infants' department at Beaconsfield Road the number of immigrant children had risen in two years from about 55 to 130, while the number of English pupils had shrunk from 150 to 90. Plans were then made to disperse the immigrants among other primary schools, in order to avoid segregation. (fn. 44)

In September 1963 there were fifteen maintained schools in Norwood with Southall. These are listed below. The date of opening is given in brackets after the name of the school, followed by the dates of any extensions; the next figure is the number of children on the roll at September 1963, and the final figure denotes the age-group of the pupils: (fn. 45) North Road Junior Mixed and Infants (1851, 1879, 1914). 443. 5-11; Featherstone Road Infants (1890, 1901, 1953, 1962). 250. 5-7; Featherstone Road Junior Mixed (1901). 333. 7-11; Clifton Road Junior Mixed and Infants (1904). 347. 5-11; Tudor Road Junior Mixed and Infants (1907, 1925, 1930). 639. 5-11; Southall County Grammar (1907, 1927, 1938, 1963). 834. 11-18; Western Road Girls Secondary (1910, 1926). 463. 11-16; Beaconsfield Road Junior Mixed and Infants (1920). 540. 5-11; (fn. 46) Dormers Wells Boys Secondary (1934, 1963). 452. 11-16; Dormers Wells Girls Secondary (1934, 1947, 1959, 1963). 474. 11-16; Talbot Road Special (1936, 1957). 236. 8- 16; Lady Margaret Road Junior Mixed and Infants (1938). 629. 5-11; George Tomlinson Junior Mixed and Infants (1953). 313. 5-11; Dormers Wells Junior Mixed and Infants (1954). 401. 5-11; Featherstone Boys Secondary (1958). 664. 11-16.


  • 1. Char. Com. file; Digest of Rets. to Cttee. on Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224, p. 539 (1819), ix(1).
  • 2. M.R.O., Acc. 289/433.
  • 3. Char. Com. files.
  • 4. Inscription on house.
  • 5. P. Kirwan, Southall, 28.
  • 6. Digest of Rets. to Cttee. on Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224, p. 539 (1819), ix(1).
  • 7. See p. 28; V.C.H. Mdx. iii, 90, 135.
  • 8. M.R.O., L.T.A. 671.
  • 9. Digest of Rets. to Cttee. on Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224. p. 539 (1819), ix(1).
  • 10. Trans. Southall Local Hist. Soc. i. 18-19.
  • 11. Educ. Inquiry Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 576 (1835), xlii.
  • 12. Trans. Southall Local Hist. Soc. i. 20; see p. 38.
  • 13. School Trustees' Min. Bk. 1828-1909.
  • 14. Ibid.; Char. Com. files.
  • 15. School Trustees' Min. Bk. 1828-1909; Char. Com. files.
  • 16. Trans. Southall Local Hist. Soc. i. 24-26.
  • 17. Par. Recs., P.C.C. Min. Bk. 1938-53.
  • 18. Trans. Southall Local Hist. Soc. i. 26.
  • 19. Digest of Rets. to Cttee. on Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224, p. 539 (1819), ix(1).
  • 20. Educ. Inquiry Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 576 (1835), xlii.
  • 21. Char. Com. files; Ed. 7/87.
  • 22. Char. Com. files.
  • 23. Ed. 7/87.
  • 24. Ex inf. London. Bor. of Ealing Educ. Officer.
  • 25. See below sub St. John's Temporary School.
  • 26. O.S. Map 6"; Mdx. xv. S.W.
  • 27. Kirwan, Southall, 46; see above, p. 52.
  • 28. Ed. 7/86.
  • 29. Ed. 7/87.
  • 30. Char. Com. files.
  • 31. Ed. 7/86.
  • 32. List of Schs. under Admin. of Bd. 1903 [Cd. 2011], H.C. p. 169 (1904), lxxv.
  • 33. Ed. 7/86.
  • 34. Bd. of Educ., List 21 (1908).
  • 35. Ibid. (1919).
  • 36. Ex inf. London Bor. of Ealing Educ. Officer.
  • 37. Ed. 7/87.
  • 38. See above.
  • 39. Ed. 7/86.
  • 40. Ibid.
  • 41. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1912).
  • 42. Ed. 7/86.
  • 43. Southall Official Guide (1939), 22-23; ex inf. Southall Divisional Educ. Officer.
  • 44. The Times, 15 & 16 Oct. 1963.
  • 45. Ex inf. Southall Divisional Educ. Officer.
  • 46. Ed. 7/86.