A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13, Bampton Hundred (Part One). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1996.
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A school in Standlake was mentioned in 1672. (fn. 1) William Plasterer of Stanton Harcourt, by will proved 1711, left £30 to be invested for educating poor children of Standlake, (fn. 2) and the rector John Chambers, by will proved 1721, left c. 12 a. towards teaching them to read. (fn. 3) In 1738 fifteen children were taught reading and writing under the endowment, and 5 more at the rector's expense, but the income of £6 a year was insufficient to attract licensed masters: the rector had dismissed three unlicensed masters since 1724 and was contemplating dismissing a fourth. (fn. 4) By 1805, however, 12 children were taught by a long-serving master of 'great repute'. (fn. 5) In 1808 the endowed pupils learned reading only, but 33 others, supported from parental contributions, learned writing and accounts also; (fn. 6) 20 boys and 10 girls were taught in 1815, though many were removed for harvest work. (fn. 7) In 1834 there were 42 pupils, of whom 16 were taught free. (fn. 8) The endowment yielded £7-8 c. 1820, when not all the rent was received, and £20 c. 1846. (fn. 9)
Until 1846 the school was held in the church, but in that year a master's house and a stonebuilt schoolroom for around 60 boys were erected opposite the rectory house on land donated by Magdalen College, the cost met by subscriptions and donations. (fn. 10) Children from Brighthampton were admitted then if not earlier. (fn. 11) In 1854 there were c. 40 pupils (fn. 12) but in 1863 c. 18, inefficiently taught by a long-serving but neglectful master. (fn. 13) An additional room was built c. 1865, and in 1866 the school had room for 47 pupils of both sexes and 47 infants; (fn. 14) further locally-financed enlargements were made c. 1874 and c. 1894, (fn. 15) the government having refused aid unless the school accepted dissenters. (fn. 16) Average attendance rose from 43 in 1875 to 109 by 1890. (fn. 17) Income of c. £114 in 1877 included £22 from the endowment, c. £17 from government grant (increased to £43 in 1878), £21 from children's pence, £28 from a voluntary rate, and £23 from the chief landowners; outgoings were c. £113, including £80 for salaries. (fn. 18) Weekly fees, 2d. or 4d. in 1867, were increased in 1882 to 3d. for children of tradesmen and 6d. for those of farmers. (fn. 19) The voluntary rate in 1883 was allegedly higher than necessary because two leading farmers, one a dissenter, refused to contribute. (fn. 20)
By 1867 there was a certificated master sometimes assisted by a mistress. Thereafter the school was usually judged satisfactory, (fn. 21) though in the early 1920s inadequate heating and sanitation allegedly reduced it to 'minding children generally and teaching them occasionally'. (fn. 22) In 1939 the seniors were transferred to the Batt school in Witney despite local opposition, leaving 57 pupils and 2 teachers in the junior and infant school; (fn. 23) the school was granted controlled status c. 1947 and Northmoor children were admitted in 1957. (fn. 24) During the 1960s experiments with out-of-class work prompted interest from educationalists, though in the later 1960s there was controversy over facilities and academic standards. (fn. 25) The buildings were extended in 1969, when the roll was 112, and in 1974; the roll was 164 in 1975 and 159 in 1977. (fn. 26) From 1906 John Chambers's endowment, under a Charity Commission Scheme, funded prizes for pupils entering higher education or apprenticeships. (fn. 27)
There were 2 or 3 private day schools for much of the 19th century, supported by parental contributions and usually with 30-60 pupils between them. Three in 1808, teaching reading and sewing, had closed by 1815 chiefly because of parental apathy, and in 1831, when three other schools taught 36 pupils, over 60 children had no access to education. In 1835 two day and four infant schools taught over 100 pupils in all, and some in the 1840s and 1850s took a few boarders. Three or four nonconformist schools, charging pupils between 3d. and 6d. weekly, were reported in 1864, and one continued until 1890. (fn. 28) A night school run successfully by the curate in 1866 was revived in the later 1870s but had closed by 1884. (fn. 29) L. S. Tuckwell, rector 1876-1907, taught private pupils. (fn. 30)