A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 4, the City of Oxford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1979.
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In this section
Pre-1600 Foundations, p. 443. Charity Schools, p. 444. Parochial, p. 446. Other Church of England, p. 453. Roman Catholic, p. 454. Baptist, p. 455. Wesleyan, p. 456. Congregational, p. 456. Undenominational, p. 457. Other 19th-century, p. 457, Special, p. 458. Council Elementary, p. 459. Council Nursery, p. 459. Twentieth-century Secondary, p. 459. Private, p. 460. Adult Education, p. 460.
The first known attempt by the city to provide education (fn. 1) for the sons of freemen was the foundation of a short-lived school at the guild hall in 1576. (fn. 2) The comparative lateness of the date was probably because tuition during the Middle Ages was readily available from university men or in one of the numerous grammar schools controlled by the university. (fn. 3) Since those were fee-paying, however, it is likely that most local boys received more rudimentary instruction, perhaps from the schoolmaster who drowned in a mill-pond in 1301 while cutting willow-rods to cane his pupils, (fn. 4) or from the clerk described in 1453 as informator parvulorum. (fn. 5) The inadequacy of many such teachers is suggested by the fact that a glover who had attended school 'a twelvemonth' with the Dominicans in Blackfriars in 1510, and a chandler who had been taught by the clerk of St. Ebbe's in 1542, could not write their names. (fn. 6) A more valuable education was given by the choir schools which were founded in New College c. 1380, Magdalen in 1480, and Christ Church in 1546. It was also possible for boys from Oxford parishes where New College held property to be sent as scholars to Winchester. (fn. 7) Magdalen school was particularly appreciated by the townsmen for bringing up their children 'in good learning' at little cost, and when the university commissioners attempted to suppress such schools in 1548 the mayor and council joined with the college in a successful petition to call back the injunction. (fn. 8)
Nixon's school for the sons of freemen was founded in 1658. The great drive towards education for the poor in Oxford came, as elsewhere in the country, from the S.P.C.K., founded in 1699. A local branch was formed in Oxford in that year, (fn. 9) and in 1708 the first subscription charity schools were founded in the city, one supported by the university and two by the city. Private benefactors were also moved by the prevailing enthusiasm to found schools, and by 1721, besides the grammar and choir schools, there were seven schools providing free education. By contrast there were few smaller educational bequests of the kind common in the surrounding country districts.
Enthusiasm for founding charity schools had abated somewhat by the mid 18th century, although the Ladies' Subscription school for girls was refounded in 1756. For many Oxford children Sunday school was the only contact with education until the opening of parish schools in the 1830s. For those who could pay, about forty dame schools and small private schools were listed in 1833 and advertisements show that many more existed, particularly in the Holywell and St. John Street areas. Nonconformists were the first to provide large well-run day-schools, opening the United Charity Day and Sunday school in 1813 and the Wesleyan Boys' school in 1821. Parochial schools followed, chiefly in the 1830s. As each new parish was carved out of an older one a school was built as a first charge upon the generosity and religious zeal of the new parishioners. In 1851 there there 81 day-schools in the city; 23 were public, with 3,443 pupils, and there were 50 private schools, with 1,121 pupils. (fn. 10)
An application in 1870 by radical members of the Local Board for a School Board to be set up in Oxford met with strenuous opposition from the clergy and school managers, who, besides supporting religious instruction in schools, held that the voluntary system already supplied sufficient school places; it was alleged that the Privy Council had accepted inaccurate returns without enquiry and imposed unnecessary expense on the ratepayers. The new board was to consist of nine members, six elected by city ratepayers and three by the university. (fn. 11) Two-thirds of the votes cast at both elections in 1871 were for candidates pledged to support religious education, and, of the remaining city votes, half were for a lady whose campaign was based on the importance of women in the field of education; nevertheless three 'Birmingham Leaguers' were elected, although with very few votes. (fn. 12)
The School Board continued to favour a religious education, although there was a vociferous minority of secularists. At first the board's work was devoted almost entirely to the inspection of existing schools. The attendance committee reported in 1873 that sixsevenths of the children requiring elementary education were on the registers of the 38 recognized and 13 other elementary schools in the city. Expenses of the board that year amounted to only £270, for administration and the sending away of children to industrial schools. (fn. 13) The board set up its own day industrial school in 1879; although receiving a government grant and parental contributions it cost the ratepayers c. £450 a year by 1881. Physically-handicapped children were sent to special schools in Birmingham and Reading; the mentally handicapped were provided with a school in New Inn Hall Street in 1900. Evening continuation classes were started in south and east Oxford in 1894 to bridge the gap between the standard of school-leavers and that of the technical schools run by the Board of Education. Pupils were admitted free from 1894, and by 1899 there were five such schools and three cookery and handicraft centres. In 1898 the managers of the two Central schools and the East Oxford British school transferred their responsibilities to the School Board, which immediately set about building new schools and a pupil-teacher centre. By the time the board handed over its work to the Local Education Authority in 1903 its annual expenditure had risen to c. £6,000. (fn. 14)
Nonconformists accepted the School Board more easily than the Church of England and the Roman Catholics; once satisfied that their primary object, undenominational education in the city, had been in no way impaired by government inspection and grants, nonconformists were inclined to devote their energies almost exclusively to their Sunday schools. In 1883 the chairman of the Baptist Union said that 'the drudgery of daily teaching had been handed over to the School Board' (fn. 15) when in fact no more than inspection and a grant had been accepted. The Wesleyans showed plainly that the convenience of their Sunday school took precedence over the well-being of the girls' school for which, with the Baptists, they were jointly responsible. It was apparently of little consequence to nonconformists when inadequate accommodation necessitated the handing over of schools to the full control of the board in 1898. The Church of England and the Roman Catholics, however, saw the whole of a child's education from a religious standpoint, and, although the government grants were welcome, any threat of a take-over by the board quickly spurred a generous response from parishioners. (fn. 16)
The Local Education Authority, which superseded the School Board in 1903, (fn. 17) showed concern for physical welfare as well as for purely educational needs, building, for example, a school for epileptics and mentally-defective children. (fn. 18) Every child was to be taught to swim, and bathing places were constructed in the rivers. Heads of schools were urged to report pupils in need of free school meals, but circulars sent out in 1907 and 1914 revealed virtually no malnutrition among schoolchildren in Oxford. (fn. 19) A school medical and dental service, started in 1914, (fn. 20) was made fully-operative in 1918. (fn. 21) Play centres were started during the 1914-18 war, (fn. 22) and the 1939-45 war brought the more widespread opening of school canteens. (fn. 23) Since Oxford was an evacuation area many temporary schools in halls and huts had to be established; in 1945 1,200 city children were also using those 'insanitary and intolerable premises', so priority was given to adding prefabricated school-rooms to existing schools. Five war-time nurseries were converted to nursery-schools in 1946.
Many parish schools in Oxford had been built relatively early so that most school buildings in the city centre were totally inadequate by 20th-century standards. Church managers, hoping to retain control of their schools, spent over £36,000 between 1926 and 1932 in reorganizing them, although many had become redundant through the movement of population to the suburbs after 1918. Although many schools became 'aided' or 'controlled', 18 out of 40 primary schools in the city in 1972 were under Church of England or Roman Catholic management. (fn. 24) Cowley, in particular, perhaps influenced by its long association with the Cowley Fathers, (fn. 25) fought to retain its parochial schools, and secured an agreement that the new secondary school there was to be a Church of England school. (fn. 26) School managers in South Oxford, although forced eventually to close all but one of their church primary schools, had plans for a church secondary school for over thirty years, finally abandoning them in favour of enlarging the proposed Cowley Church of England Secondary school. Managers in North Oxford and Headington retained all their church primary schools and, by a combined effort of all North Oxford parishes, succeeded in building in Summertown the only post-war junior church school. Secondary church education in both those areas was left to local independent private schools.
The provision of secondary education by the L.E.A. was for many years behindhand. Independent schools were relied upon heavily to provide grammar-school places in return for grants, since the only L.E.A. grammar-school was the inadequately-housed and illequipped Municipal school. Milham Ford school for girls and the Oxford High School for boys were taken over completely by the authority in 1923 and 1932 respectively, and after over thirty years of discussion the Municipal secondary school and the Central Boys' school were rehoused at Southfield in 1934. Special places continued to be taken at the two direct grant schools and two independent Roman Catholic schools. After 1944 non-selective secondary schools were built in the suburbs, but plans to modernize converted senior departments of the old full-range schools in the city centre were abandoned until future schemes for the whole city should be decided. A comprehensive policy for Oxford schools was planned to be implemented by the mid 1970s. (fn. 27) A start was made in 1968 by co-operating with the county at Littlemore. Secondary school pupils from the city could take places at Peer's Comprehensive school in exchange for places in city primary schools for county children. (fn. 28)
Improved public education led in Oxford, as elsewhere, to the decline of the small private school. In 1972, however, a number flourished, long-lived, and in some cases renowned for their scholarship.
New College school.
On the foundation of the college c. 1380 the founder made no provision for choristers except that they should be fed from leavings, but the college allotted them modest commons and paid a chaplain to teach them Latin and singing. (fn. 29) Anthony Wood, a pupil during the Civil War, described the removal of the school from its position west of the chapel and east of the cloister to a 'nasty room, unfit for the purpose' at the east end of Common Hall. (fn. 30) In 1694, when the school was flourishing with over 100 commoners besides the choristers, it was moved from the college to the old Congregation house at St. Mary's church. (fn. 31) For a time in the 18th century New College school rivalled Magdalen College school, but it closed in 1771, transferring 20 pupils to its rival. (fn. 32) Sixteen choristers, however, continued to be educated by New College and in 1807 the college 'took a large healthy house' and an extra master, so that pupils need no longer live at home or board with friends. The boys wore the usual academic habit, and were taught grammar, Latin, Greek, writing, arithmetic, and music. The choir of 30 voices was one of the largest in the country in 1824. (fn. 33) The school was re-established in the 1860s for choristers and a few paying pupils, (fn. 34) and in 1972 was a private independent preparatory school for 140 boys in Savile Road; the buildings date from 1905.
Magdalen College school was founded in 1480 and its history until 1938 is described elsewhere. (fn. 35) From 1946 the school afforded 30 free places a year to the L.E.A. (fn. 36) In 1972 the school was a direct-grant grammar school regarded by the L.E.A. as an integral part of the educational provision of the city.
Christ Church school, founded in 1546 and supported by the cathedral chapter, provided free education and board for eight (later fourteen) choristers, and admitted nineteen other boys for a small fee. In 1867 the school continued to provide grammar-school education for about thirty boys up to the age of fifteen. They were taught in vaults under Christ Church hall, premises which the inspector considered quite inadequate; he also doubted whether a classical education was best suited to boys who left school at fifteen. Some of the pupils, however, were able to proceed to the university. (fn. 37) A schoolroom on the south side of the road from the Broad Walk to St. Aldate's served until 1893 when a new school was built in Brewer Street for 35 day boys and 50 boarders. (fn. 38) In 1972 the school was a private preparatory school; choristers, at reduced fees, were trained for two other college chapels besides the cathedral.
The first recorded school in Oxford unconnected with the university was the product of a council decision of 1576 to start a school for the sons of freemen. (fn. 39) It presumably used the school-house in the guild hall court, leased in a state of disrepair to a graduate in 1585. (fn. 40) Evidently the school had come to an end by 1590 when it was decided to convert the old school-house into the city armoury. (fn. 41)
Nixon's school, a free grammar school established in 1658, is described elsewhere. (fn. 42) Anthony Wood commented on the malice shown by its founder, Alderman John Nixon, who, although making a fortune largely from the university, excluded from his school all whose fathers served the university in any capacity. (fn. 43) Nixon's remained very much the city's school; in the 19th century the boys attended the city church twice on Sundays and, with the Blue Coat boys, formed the choir. Each year the newly elected mayor invited the boys to drink a glass of wine and eat cake in his parlour. He also took trouble to find the best positions in the city for school-leavers. (fn. 44)
By 1873 the school building was deteriorating. An offer to the freemen by the Charity Commissioners of a site in Worcester Street and £1,000 for rebuilding, in exchange for old school site, was refused. The school was closed by the Commissioners in 1885 and the assets devoted to scholarships. The freemen continued to fight for a re-establishment of their school, apparently considering that it would be possible to run a school on a total income of £250 a year. They eventually accepted defeat in 1894 but by then had lost the opportunity to claim more than half the Nixon exhibitions for their own children: the other half were open to all. (fn. 45)
The school-house was a small building with leaded lights and gabled windows over an open ground storey in the yard behind the town hall. It survived the rebuilding of the hall in 1751 but was destroyed when the whole site was cleared to build a new hall in 1892. (fn. 46)
Combe's school in St. Thomas's parish was founded in 1702 by John Combe who gave a school-house and garden, but apparently no financial endowment, for the education of ten boys to be chosen by the vicar and churchwardens. In 1714 a parishioner, Ann Kendall, left £1 a year towards the salary of the schoolmaster, who took paying pupils in addition to ten poor boys. (fn. 47) In 1833 there were 30 fee-paying boys in addition to those in the ten free places, (fn. 48) and in 1868 there were evidently numerous fee-paying pupils since a certificated master and three pupil-teachers were being employed and the only known endowment was the schoolhouse itself. (fn. 49) No further reference to the school has been found.
In 1708 the vice-chancellor and proctors and several heads of houses founded a boys' charity school in the parish of St. Peter-in-the-East. (fn. 50) From subscriptions of about £200 a year 54 boys were educated, clothed in grey, and, where needful, apprenticed. (fn. 51) Total susbscriptions in 1737 amounted to £245 and, although that high figure was not uniformly maintained, there was a sizeable balance in 1765. (fn. 52) Under rules published in 1766 no boy might be apprenticed before he was thirteen or had spent two years in the school; new clothes were given every Easter; morning and evening prayers were said daily, (fn. 53) and on Sundays the boys attended St. Peter-in-the-East church. A fund of £400 was raised in 1773 under the trusteeship of the university. (fn. 54) In 1808, because of rising costs, the number entering the school each Easter was reduced to eight, and it was decided that only eight might be apprenticed. (fn. 55)
In 1813 the university introduced the National Society system to the school, voting for the reorganization £500, to which the vice-chancellor added a loan of £500. New premises in St. Aldate's were leased, making it possible to take many more pupils than the 54 free scholars. (fn. 56) In 1829 a site was acquired in Great Clarendon Street and shortly afterwards a school and master's house were built; the new school, which had space for 330, was intended to be a model for parochial schools. (fn. 57) The school was heavily in debt to the university because of the two moves, but by economies and careful management the deficit of £450 in 1836 was turned into a balance of £255 by 1850; (fn. 58) apprenticeship fees were reduced from £20 to a small gratuity. (fn. 59) The number of boys in the school remained constant at just over 300 but the building of parish schools reduced the number of local boys from 120 in the 1830s to only 20 by 1860. (fn. 60) In 1865 the school was closed and sold to the Delegates of the University Press. (fn. 61)
Bluecoat school for boys.
In 1708 the corporation set up a charity school for 50 boys and gave them blue clothes. The master was paid £35 a year, and apprenticing charities worth £45 a year for nine boys were devoted to the school. In 1708 subscriptions totalled £110 a year. The trustees also managed the girls' Bluecoat school opened in that year; both schools attended St. Martin's church. In 1713 the school was said to be in St. Martin's parish, (fn. 62) and was possibly in the top room of a house adjoining New Inn Hall. (fn. 63) The date of the school's removal to a house in Pembroke Street is not known: St. Aldate's parish contained a free school belonging to the city in 1738, (fn. 64) and the Bluecoat school was mentioned by name there in 1768. (fn. 65) New premises in Church Street were opened in 1811; a playground was added in 1825 and the schoolroom enlarged in 1850. Ten years later three adjacent cottages were purchased and a new schoolhouse built on the site. Another classroom was added in 1868 to provide for the 70 boys then attending. (fn. 66)
Numbers fluctuated during the 18th century; in 1791 35 boys were admitted between the ages of nine and eleven and stayed until fourteen: they wore blue cloth caps and coats, and yellow leather breeches, which cost the charity £9 10s. On Sundays the boys attended church, and daily afternoon and evening prayers were said in school. Reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught and school hours were from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. in summer and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in winter. (fn. 67) In the early 19th century the school day was shortened and brief holidays were allowed. (fn. 68)
Support for the school came from both city and county, notably £5 5s. a year from the dukes of Marlborough for more than 60 years, £30 from Charles Hughes in 1801, £1,000 from Catherine Mather in 1805 to endow the apprenticing of five boys, and £500 Consols from Alderman J. Parsons in 1819. In 1816, to commemorate Wellington's victories, 25 scholars were added to the foundation; they were to receive free education and boots but were not to be Bluecoat boys. In 1825 the number of boys was increased to seventy. (fn. 69)
The school maintained a reputation for religious knowledge; every boy received a Bible and a Prayer Book and in the period 1861-7 five out of eight prizes offered by Bishop Wilberforce were won by Bluecoat boys. (fn. 70) In 1868 the boys still attended St. Martin's church and received financial help from the congregation. Subscribers of a guinea could nominate a boy to the school. All boys received two pairs of boots a year and the 35 senior boys an entire suit. A £12 apprenticing fee was available for any boy leaving school. (fn. 71)
The last boys entered the school in 1887 (fn. 72) and in 1893 the school's endowments were transferred to the new Oxford Technical school which was held in the old premises in Church Street.
Bluecoat school for girls.
A subscription school for 40 girls, to be clothed in blue, was started in St. Martin's parish in 1708; (fn. 73) several city parishes contributed towards its upkeep. (fn. 74) One of the girls' duties was to knit their own stockings and those of the boys of the parallel foundation. (fn. 75)
The girls' school closed in or shortly after 1722 (fn. 76) but was re-established in 1756 in the parish of St. Peterin-the-East. (fn. 77) Although undoubtedly the uniform worn by the girls in the new school (fn. 78) was blue, the earliest reference found to the school as a Bluecoat school is one of 1783; (fn. 79) it was earlier known as the Ladies' Subscription School. Receiving support from both the university and the city, the school was probably regarded as the complement of both the Greycoat and the Bluecoat boys' schools. The subscribers were mainly ladies but included most of the colleges and many individual fellows. (fn. 80) The mistress, preferably the widow of a poor clergyman, was to receive 15s. a year for each girl in the school, and every two years a new gown to wear to church. The charity paid for the rent of the schoolroom and spinning room, coal to heat them, flax for spinning, the expenses of weaving and dyeing, and for teachers of writing, arithmetic, and spinning. The 36 girls came to the school aged between eleven and thirteen and stayed four years, being taught writing and arithmetic only in their last six months. On leaving they were found positions in service and given Bibles, pious books, and 20s., with a bonus for keeping their first positions. School hours varied from twelve hours in summer to eight in the winter, with no holidays, and compulsory attendance at All Saints church twice on Sundays.
Subscriptions fell from c. £250 a year to £186 by 1783; the number of girls was reduced to 32. Although legacies received around the turn of the century resulted in improved income and management the number of girls remained unchanged. Rules of 1824 shortened the school day and disbarred illegitimate girls. By 1837 the number of girls had increased to 40, above five weeks' holiday was allowed, spinning had gone from the curriculum, and writing and arithmetic were taught throughout the school; in 1858 the minimum age of admission was fixed at twelve. (fn. 81) By 1868 the girls were attending church at St. George's and St. Mary the Virgin. (fn. 82)
The early sites of the school have not been identified; it appears to have been held in the house of whoever was mistress. (fn. 83) In the period 1759-87 a school most probably identifiable as the Bluecoat school for girls was reported in St. Peter-in-the-East parish. (fn. 84) By 1793 the school had gone from that parish and was possibly the one recorded in St. Mary Magdalen parish in that year but not later. From 1802 references were made to a similar school in St. Ebbe's, (fn. 85) where a house in Beef Lane was probably acquired in 1806. The school was still in those premises when it closed in 1904. (fn. 86)
Salman's Charity school.
John Salman (d. 1714), Fellow of Oriel College and rector of St. Peter-leBailey, 'a Whig of little or no parts', was said to have paid for girls at a school called Salman's Charity school. (fn. 87) Records of charity schools in Oxford at the time do not mention Salman as a benefactor, but in 1710 a charity school for 90 children, mostly girls, in St. Michael's parish was being maintained by members of the university. (fn. 88) By 1713 the school had 60 pupils (fn. 89) and by 1714 had moved to the parish of St. Peter-leBailey; the girls were taught to write and to spin their own cloth, and attended church twice daily. (fn. 90) The school appears to have been short-lived.
Alworth's school was founded by Ann Alworth who, by will dated 1721, left £400 for a school in St. Michael's parish. A master was to teach 10 poor Church of England children of each sex reading, writing, and the catechism. (fn. 91) For many years the school was carried on in leased premises in Ship Street or in the school-master's own house; about 1838 the latter was in Clarendon Street. (fn. 92) By then only boys were taught and the legacy was held by Lincoln College which paid a fixed salary of £14 a year. In 1818 an extra £6 a year was being raised by subscription to augment the schoolmaster's income, (fn. 93) and grants of £15 or £10 were made by St. Michael's vestry from time to time. In 1858, when a trust was formed to carry on the charity more in accordance with the founder's wishes, Lincoln College proposed to hand back only the £400 it had originally received. (fn. 94) By 1868 the school had returned to its original location in Ship Street and was once again mixed. (fn. 95) In 1876 a new school was built in New Inn Hall Street with the help of a grant from the university. There were then only 23 children, and by 1886 the school had closed. The trust funds were later used for the education of choristers at St. Michael's and to hire the 'Ann Alworth room' in the church, used for educational purposes by the young people of the parish. (fn. 96)
The history of the Cowley schools before 1934 is described elsewhere. (fn. 97) In that year Church Cowley had only one school, Cowley St. James Church school for juniors and infants (built in 1834). By the end of the Second World War the more pressing need for school places had shifted to the newer Oxford suburbs, but a new county junior and infant department was opened in 1958 in Bartholomew Road. The diocesan authorities were frustrated in their plans to rebuild and enlarge their existing schools by the refusal of a government grant, but were mollified by the L.E.A.'s assurance that the county primary school would be converted to a church school should Cowley St. James be closed. (fn. 98) In 1972 Church Cowley County Primary had 284 and Cowley St. James 110 pupils. (fn. 99)
In 1934 Cowley St. John had church schools for the full age-range, juniors and infants attending St. Mary and St. John school in Hertford Street (1896) and seniors the Cowley St. John Higher Grade school for boys in Princes Street (1871) and for girls in Cowley Road (1880). Cowley St. John infant school, built in Cowley Road in 1872, was closed in 1936 when a new council infants' school was opened in Florence Park. The Princes Street school was enlarged in 1938 to provide a two-stream-entry senior department for boys, the first non-provided school in the city to do so. (fn. 100) During the Second World War a temporary infants' school was started at no. 213 Cowley Road, and was closed in 1950 when the children were transferred to St. Mary and St. John school; (fn. 101) the roll there numbered 371 in 1972. Cowley St. John Comprehensive Church school was officially opened in 1972 on the Donnington allotments site, to replace the Cowley St. John schools at Princes Street and Cowley Road. (fn. 102)
At Temple Cowley in 1934 juniors and infants attended a church school, Cowley St. Christopher, in Temple Road (1884); seniors attended the Temple Cowley County Senior school, also in Temple Road (1933). A pre-war plan for a second senior school at Temple Cowley was abandoned in 1949 because of changed population pressure, and a projected primary school at Horspath in 1959 was reduced to a threeroomed annex at St. Christopher's. (fn. 103) In 1972 there were 459 pupils in the senior school and 232 and 296 juniors and infants respectively in Cowley St. Christopher school. (fn. 104)
The history of Headington schools before 1928 is described elsewhere. (fn. 105) At that date there was a church school for 284 children and 90 infants in London Road (built in 1894); a council school in Margaret Road for 220 children and 50 infants (1908); and in Headington Quarry a National school for 135 children and 138 infants (1895). (fn. 106) Under a general reorganization in 1929 a new classroom was added to Headington church school to take the senior children from the Quarry school, which thereafter became a junior mixed school. The council school was reorganized by adding a new senior department for 400 in 1936 and adapting the junior and infants' departments to take 350 and 224 pupils respectively. The senior pupils were transferred from the church school to the new council school so that the church school also became a junior mixed school, amalgamating with its infant school in 1939. (fn. 107)
The senior department of the council school became recognized in 1945 as a County Secondary school, and was one of those chosen for a pilot scheme by which G.C.E. courses could be taken by pupils in non-selective secondary schools. Headington district primary schools were also among the first in the country to pioneer French lessons for juniors under the Ministry of Education scheme of 1963. Headington church school took the name St. Andrew's Church of England school in 1961: (fn. 108) in 1972 there were 244 children on the roll. Headington Council junior school had 297 children, the infant school 212, and the Quarry school 100. (fn. 109)
In 1868 a local headmaster considered that 'a more neglected district as regards education could hardly be conceived'. (fn. 110) There was a school in Blackfriars Road for 120 girls and 125 infants which had been taken over from St. Ebbe's on the formation of Holy Trinity parish in 1846; the building dated from 1833, and there was no provision for boys. In 1871 Holy Trinity acquired and rebuilt the premises of the former St. Ebbe's boys' school in Friars Street and admitted 107 pupils, all considered very backward. (fn. 111) Attempts to start an adult school were apparently frustrated by 'roughs' who terrorized the more orderly. (fn. 112) The schools were able to continue on a voluntary basis and by 1876 reports on the boys' school were very favourable. (fn. 113) Both premises were repaired and enlarged in 1890 and 1895, (fn. 114) and the acquisition by the parish of the Ragged school buildings in 1895 (fn. 115) provided a gymnasium and rooms for other school activities. Under a general reorganization of south Oxford schools in 1910 the junior premises became a girls' school for the whole district and the infant school was demolished to make a playground. Boys living in the parish were transferred to St. Aldate's school or to the new South Oxford council school while infants were sent to St. Ebbe's. (fn. 116) A further reorganization of central and west Oxford schools in 1927 transformed Holy Trinity girls' school into a junior mixed school. (fn. 117) The school, which had only 29 children, was closed in 1950 and the pupils were transferred to St. Ebbe's. (fn. 118)
In 1870 the new church of St. John served also as a schoolroom. Two years later it was possible to provide new classrooms near by so that the original building could be wholly consecrated as a church. The rise in population was so great, however, that the vicar found it impossible to raise locally 'in the poorest parish in Oxford' funds to keep up with the demand for school places. Appeals were launched widely throughout the city.
In 1887 an infant school was built in School Place providing 100 extra places, but requiring enlargement in 1894. In 1891 the boys were moved into a new building, which was enlarged in 1899. In 1900 the vicar claimed that by his efforts he had doubled the accommodation to a total of 524 places, and that since 1891 the average attendance had increased from 220 to 360. (fn. 119)
In 1926 the premises were converted into a junior mixed and infant department and a senior mixed department. (fn. 120) In 1948 the managers applied for controlled status, and in 1952 the two departments were merged once more into a full-range mixed school. After considerable opposition from the managers the school was reorganized in 1962 as a junior mixed and infant school, the secondary pupils being given the opportunity to transfer to South Oxford school or to other secondary schools. (fn. 121) In 1972 there were 133 children in the school.
New Marston Church of England school was started in Marston Road in 1928. (fn. 122) In 1955 it assumed the name St. Michael's school. In 1972 the roll numbered 180. (fn. 123)
Dame schools and day schools supported entirely at the parents' expense were in existence in 1808 and by 1818 150 children were being taught in several small schools. (fn. 124) Two schoolrooms were built in 1836 at the bottom of St. Aldate's Street as a parochial school to accommodate 133 children. (fn. 125) The government contributed £72 for improvements in 1837, (fn. 126) but it was always difficult to find sufficient support for a school in such a predominantly poor parish. In 1847 it was reported that the instruction of juniors was defective, and that the buildings were poor, lacking privies and stinking of drains. (fn. 127) In 1854 the rector, appealing for help with the teacher's salary, stated that he had assumed personal responsibility for the school's debts for the last three years. (fn. 128) Between then and 1862 attendance figures rose from 45 boys and 53 girls to 90 boys and 70 girls and conditions were so intolerably cramped that withdrawal of the government grant was threatened. (fn. 129) A successful appeal enabled the rector to buy and convert eight cottages in the school yard into three schools opened in 1866. (fn. 130) Attendance that year was 98 boys, 71 girls, and 95 infants. (fn. 131)
The transfer of the infants to the newly built St. Matthew's school in 1894 (fn. 132) enabled enough places to be provided for the rest of the children until the general reorganization of south Oxford schools in 1910. Under that scheme St. Aldate's became a boys' school with 150 places for the combined parishes of St. Aldate's, St. Ebbe's, and Holy Trinity; 200 girls were accommodated at Holy Trinity school and the remaining children, some 650, were to attend a new council school to be built that year. (fn. 133) St. Aldate's boys' school closed in 1928, but after alterations the buildings were used in 1929 to rehouse the St. Peter-le-Bailey senior mixed school, moved to allow the expansion of St. Peter's Hall. That school, renamed St. Aldate's, closed in 1946 when its site was requisitioned by the Post Office. (fn. 134)
St. Matthew's school was built on a site in Marlborough Road given by Brasenose College. This became the infant school for the whole parish; (fn. 135) it was not included in the reorganization of 1910 and its survival, together with St. Ebbe's infant school, enabled the South Oxford managers to offer more places in Church schools at that age than at any other. By 1951 the premises were out of date and the managers applied for aided status. The school was closed in 1959. (fn. 136)
The boys' department of a school in Great Clarendon Street, built to serve the parish of St. Paul, was taken over by the parish of St. Barnabas when it was created out of St. Paul's in 1869. (fn. 137) A girls' and infant school for St. Barnabas's was built on a site in Cardigan Street, backing onto the boys' school, provided in 1857 by Addington Venables, curate of St. Paul's, who had also paid for the building of the boys' school. (fn. 138) The first block, which survived in 1972 as an infant school, was used for both girls and infants. (fn. 139) Two rooms were added in 1872 (fn. 140) and a two-storeyed building on the east side of the site was later built for the girls. In 1871 Venables handed over his interest in the sites of both schools to the vicar and the churchwardens of St. Barnabas's. (fn. 141)
Rising population in Jericho soon made the numbers on the school registers the second highest in Oxford, an increase from 473 in 1875 to 980 in 1902. (fn. 142) The managers were finding such difficulty in raising their share of the school's running costs that closure was threatened in 1902. The prospect of the school's replacement by a board school was enough to attract sufficient subscriptions and a past deficit of over £300 was paid by an anonymous lady. (fn. 143) Numbers in the school fell steadily thereafter but its reputation rose. In 1911 teachers were sent from far afield by government inspectors to observe the pioneer methods in the infant school. (fn. 144)
In 1927 appeals made to parishioners to meet the cost of reorganizing the schools produced in two years the full cost of the alterations (£4,500). (fn. 145) The parish was allowed to keep the older children, whom the Board of Education had wished to remove, in a senior mixed school in the original boys' building, and the girls' school became the junior mixed and infant school, the transfer from one to the other being at nine years of age instead of the more usual eleven. (fn. 146)
In 1951 the managers applied for aided status. (fn. 147) They kept their school for the full primary range until 1963, when Cherwell school took all senior children from the whole district. In 1972 there were 174 children in the school.
The history of the schools in St. Clement's parish before 1839 is described elsewhere. (fn. 148) The Baptist chapel in George Street, which had been purchased and converted into a school in 1839, continued to serve the district for many years. In 1854 about 200 boys, girls, and infants were attending, supported by Dawson's land charity, subscriptions, and children's pence. (fn. 149) An appeal to raise £200 as a thanksgiving for the fall of Sebastapol was launched in 1855 in order to rebuild a schoolroom so dilapidated that it had had to be demolished. (fn. 150) By 1868 accommodation was considered good but the children backward for their age. (fn. 151) In 1870 a government inspector reported that the condition of the boys' school was not creditable to the former headmaster.
By 1872 conditions in St. Clement's girls' school had become very unsatisfactory and a threat to withdraw the government grant forced the managers to provide new accommodation for the infants in Bath Street within two years. Another adverse report in 1875 resulted in a general improvement in amenities but not, apparently, in educational standards, which were severely criticized in the 1880s.
After large new buildings were provided in 1891 in Boulter Street for 204 girls and the boys' school was moved in 1903 to a new building in Cross Street reports became more satisfactory. (fn. 152) All three schools were able to remain under parish management, and controlled status was not applied for until 1952. By 1929 numbers had declined and it was decided to close the girls' school, remodel the Cross Street premises as a senior and junior mixed school, and improve and enlarge the infant school. (fn. 153) After the opening of New Marston County Secondary school in 1956 all the children of primary school age were taught in Cross Street and the infant school was converted into a nursery students' training centre. The new arrangements only lasted two years since staffing quota restrictions imposed in 1958 caused the school to close in that year. (fn. 154)
In 1818 there was no educational provision in the parish for the children of the poor, eleven of whom were attending the National school in the city. (fn. 155) Five schools were mentioned in 1833, one supported by subscriptions, the others wholly at the parents' expense. (fn. 156) Holywell was a favourite area for private schools and by mid-century the parish was considered to be predominantly middle class. (fn. 157) In 1854 the vicar wrote 'there is not and cannot be a large school for the poor'. (fn. 158)
In 1850 Merton College gave permission for a school to be built on part of the former village green near the church. The cost was met by the vicar of St. Peter-in-the-East, Edmund Hobhouse, to whom a rent of £16 a year was paid on the understanding that the parish would eventually buy the building. A government grant towards the repayment was refused on the grounds that the school was already built, but a public appeal raised £300 to clear the debt and provide £35 a year for running expenses. In 1856 the school and Cemetery Lodge, used as a teachers' residence, were granted to the perpetual curate of St. Cross for as long as the school was used to educate the poor according to the principles of the Church of England; in 1857 Merton College gave more land to the east of the school, and an infant school was built there. (fn. 159)
Although there was room for 127 children attendance never rose above 65; (fn. 160) in 1872 only 25 children were being taught by a certificated mistress. (fn. 161) A reorganization took place in 1923 whereby St. Cross became a junior and infant school receiving 24 children from the parish of St. Peter-in-the-East and sending its senior girls to that parish. Senior boys attended various other boys' schools in the city. In 1926 'refinement in manners and the elements of good taste' were considered to be the principal aims of the school. By 1935 only 45 children were on the register and the school was closed in July 1938. (fn. 162)
Although the master of the parish workhouse was ordered in 1740 to teach children in his charge to read, (fn. 163) the first recorded school was a Sunday school for girls in 1790, supported by private subscriptions from outside the parish. (fn. 164)
In 1831 the curate restarted the Sunday school, which was supported by subscriptions and attended by 83 boys and 130 girls; (fn. 165) in 1833, after a successful appeal, he was able to open a day-school to take 75 boys and 75 girls; the Sunday school also used the new room. There was also an infant school with 111 children. (fn. 166)
After the new parish of Holy Trinity was formed it was agreed in 1846 to divide the parochial school, which occupied a site between Blackfriars Road and Friars Street; St. Ebbe's parish kept the part facing Friars Street as a boys' school and Holy Trinity used the other side, with access from Blackfriars Road, as a girls' school. (fn. 167) To provide for the girls of St. Ebbe's it was planned to attach a school to the proposed new parsonage house, but the high cost of the latter delayed the building of the school and it was not until 1856 that it was built alongside Paradise Square. (fn. 168) A local headmaster considered both schools inadequate in 1868; the boys' was closed down briefly in that year but on being reopened was immediately full. (fn. 169) In 1871 an infant school was added to the girls' school in Paradise Square to accommodate 90 children, and a new boys' school for 170 pupils was built in Bridge Street, the old Friars Street premises being handed over to Holy Trinity parish. (fn. 170) A night school in 1871 had 24 pupils. (fn. 171) During the next few years additions and enlargements to both school buildings were carried out. In 1883 the boys were paying 4d. a week and the girls 3d. (fn. 172)
In 1910, under a general reorganization of the south Oxford schools, the Paradise Square premises became an infant school for the whole area. (fn. 173) Under pressure from the L.E.A. in 1932 the buildings were modernized, a heating system installed, and a new classroom built; the parishioners of St. Andrew's made a gift of £500 towards the cost. By that time the school was taking children from St. Peter-le-Bailey parish. (fn. 174) In spite of the large catchment area numbers continued to fall until by 1949 there were only 49 on the school roll. In 1950 it was decided to close the similarly affected Holy Trinity junior mixed school and transfer the children to a reorganized St. Ebbe's junior mixed and infant school. Aided status was granted in 1951. (fn. 175) In 1972 there were 90 children attending St. Ebbe's school.
In 1872, the first year of the newly formed parish, a school opened in South Street, Oseney, with 80 boys. (fn. 176) More rooms were added in 1875 providing over 500 places but in 1890 there were only 94 boys, 83 girls, and 96 infants. (fn. 177) Attendance figures rose rapidly, and despite further building in 1894 accommodation provided for the 490 children barely met revised standards set by the Board of Education. (fn. 178) The school managers, anxious to retain the schools under church control, issued an appeal to finance the building of a new boys' school in Binsey Lane, which was begun in 1904. (fn. 179) By 1905 only 312 girls and infants were using the premises in Oseney, but even so the buildings did not meet the requirements of the L.E.A. and the school was closed when West Oxford council school opened in 1914. (fn. 180)
The boys' school continued as a full-range school in spite of the general plan to discourage such arrangements in 1926; it received the senior boys from St. Thomas's under a reorganization of that year. In 1948 the managers applied for controlled status. The school was declared redundant in 1955 and was closed in 1957, the pupils being transferred to West Oxford Council school. (fn. 181)
In the 18th century the education of the poor of St Giles's was neglected: thus £50 bequeathed by Elizabeth Rowney to clothe poor girls and teach them to read was simply given in sums of £2 to girls in service; of the interest on £100 left for a similar purpose by Mrs. Bridget Gardner in 1780 only 30s. a year was devoted to schooling. (fn. 182) A beginning was made, however, in 1802 with a small school supported by the vicar; two day-schools were reported in 1808, but they had ceased to exist by 1814. (fn. 183) Sunday schools, first mentioned in that year, were the most important means of educating the poor for the next twenty years. Penny clubs connected with the schools were designed to teach the children economy. By the addition of subscriptions to the weekly pence it was possible to provide salaries of £8 8s. each for the master and mistress and leave a considerable residue for clothing the children; £100 a year was being collected in 1818. In that year twelve children were being educated with 'the sacrament money' and with the help of Mrs. Gardner's bequest, but it was thought that those who desired daily education could attend the Greycoat school in the city. (fn. 184) Although thirteen schools, including two boarding schools, were reported in the parish in 1833 probably all were small private schools, the poor relying on Sunday schools; there were 32 boys and 41 girls in the vicar's school, and a second school, managed by the Revd. D. Allen of St. John's College, taught 20 boys and 30 girls. (fn. 185) Penny clubs flourished in both schools but after the establishment of a National day-school at no. 34 Banbury Road in 1837 it became impossible to raise enough subscriptions to cover the expenses of both in spite of urgent appeals. In the day-school special attention was paid to the training of girls for service as well as to reading and arithmetic. Writing was taught at an extra charge. (fn. 186) In 1853 there were 61 boys and 60 girls in the school; (fn. 187) a new classroom built for the boys in 1855 and enlarged in 1867 made it possible to teach infants in their old rooms. (fn. 188)
In 1869 the infant school was separated from the girls' school: it started with an average attendance of 49 which had increased to 90 by 1875 and did not receive very satisfactory reports at the annual inspections. (fn. 189) From 1883 the schools became practising schools for Felstead Teacher-Training College, which had started in 1876 at no. 23 Banbury Road. Even so the boys' schools closed in 1885; the girls' and infant schools, sometimes called Felstead House Practising schools, continued under the management of the college, but in other respects were considered as public elementary schools supervised by the school committee of the parish. (fn. 190) In 1923 the two schools were reorganized under one headmistress. (fn. 191) The site was purchased by the university in 1936, the school closed, and the 40 children transferred to the convent school in St. Philip and St. James parish. (fn. 192)
St. Martin's parish had no parochial school. In 1854 the rector was arranging for those children who were unable to attend any of the endowed schools in the area to go to St. Peter-le-Bailey school. (fn. 193)
St. Mary Magdalen.
In 1614 the churchwardens spent 2s. 6d. 'for the school-house door', (fn. 194) but no further mention of that school has been found. The parish overseers contributed c. £9 a year between 1710 and 1718 to the Bluecoat girls' school in St. Martin's parish during its first founding and presumably the parish had the right to claim places there for some of its girls. (fn. 195) Mrs. Christian Smith by will of 1718 left 40s. rent to teach reading to four poor girls chosen by the parish officers; as soon as one girl could read, her place was to be taken by another. (fn. 196) No corroboration has been found for a reference made in 1889 to 'a small school in the last century in St. Mary Magdalen parish where the boys were clothed in drab with black collar and cuffs', (fn. 197) but in 1793 there was a charity subscription school for girls. (fn. 198)
There were Sunday schools in the parish by 1802, probably the schools described in 1808 and 1810 as 'subscription schools where children are taught to read and say their catechism'. (fn. 199) In 1818 there were five schools, but the poor apparently sent most of their children to the Greycoat school; only two girls were said to be benefiting from Mrs. Smith's bequest. (fn. 200) In 1822 the Charity Commissioners criticized the administration of the charity since 1811, (fn. 201) and again in 1843 it was found that girls were not being taught according to the terms of the bequest. (fn. 202)
By 1833 two day schools had been established, one for 30 girls, built in that year in Victoria Court, the other an infant school for 40 children: both were financed by subscriptions and parents' payments. (fn. 203) A boys' school, started in a private house in Friars' Entry in 1840, was moved temporarily to the dressing-rooms and stage of the Victoria Theatre (fn. 204) until a new school and teacher's house in Gloucester Green should be ready for them the following year. (fn. 205) A Sunday school, which had been held up to that time in the vestry, was held thereafter in the new school. (fn. 206) In 1852 the boys' school was extended at the rear, and an old house adjoining the girls' school was rented for infants in 1856. (fn. 207) An adult evening school was started about that time but failed. (fn. 208) More building was carried out in 1865, and the infants were moved in with the girls. There were then 100 boys, 50 girls, and 50 infants, and in 1872, when numbers had risen to 130, 80, and 70 respectively, the managers applied for a government grant. (fn. 209) Both the younger girls and the infants received poor reports in 1874 and excellent ones a few years later. In 1901 the girls' and infants' departments amalgamated. (fn. 210) Attendance at the boys' school fell sharply until in 1906 only 39 boys were using a school designed for 100, (fn. 211) but it was not closed until 1918 when the lease expired; in 1923 the girls' school was converted into an infant school which, in its turn, was closed in 1926. (fn. 212)
St. Mary the Virgin.
The population of the parish of St. Mary the Virgin was predominantly middle-class and it was not felt necessary to provide the means of education for the poor. (fn. 213) In 1818 there were two schools with between 70 and 90 children of 'persons above indigent classes'. (fn. 214) In 1834 the only educational effort made by the parish was in its outlying hamlet at Littlemore; it was said that in the city portion there were no infant poor and therefore no infant school. (fn. 215) In 1854 there was a small school for girls and young children, rarely more than ten attending, supported by the offertory and an unknown contributor. At that time there were said to be only ten houses in the parish occupied by 'strictly poor persons'. (fn. 216) By 1866 it was thought not worth while to run a school for so few children. (fn. 217)
The parish was served between 1721 and 1886 by a charity school, Ann Alworth's, sometimes known as St. Michael's school. A school for 18 boys supported entirely by the parents was mentioned in 1833 but not thereafter. (fn. 218)
A year before the parish was officially constituted in 1837 sermons were being preached in aid of an existing girls' school and to raise funds for a boys' school: about 70 girls and infants were being taught in a small hired room. (fn. 219) Subscriptions were eventually forthcoming, and a 'neat stone building in the Tudor style' was built in 1847 on a site, near to the church, given by the Radcliffe Trustees. (fn. 220) Within seven years the number on the register had risen to 250 children, taught by a certificated mistress, an assistant mistress, and six pupil-teachers. (fn. 221) In 1854 the parish clergy started a boys' school with 44 pupils. (fn. 222) The architect, G. E. Street, commissioned by one of the curates, Addington Venables, later bishop of Nassau, designed a school in Great Clarendon Street on a site which Venables had purchased. The school, known for many years as Bishop Venables school, was considered at the time 'massive and architecturally good'; (fn. 223) the site and building were conveyed to the vicar and churchwardens of St. Paul's in 1856. In 1857 Venables conveyed another site in Cardigan Street, backing onto the school, for future building. (fn. 224) The school was an immediate success and may have contributed to the decline of the Greycoat school, since by 1860 all but 20 of the local boys had transferred to their parochial school, where 150 were taught by a certificated master and four assistants. (fn. 225) When the new parish of St. Barnabas was carved out of St. Paul's in 1869 the schools were divided, St. Paul's keeping the girls' school in Walton Street. In return for the surrender of the boys' school the vicar of St. Barnabas donated £700 towards the cost of a new school for St. Paul's, which was built in 1873 in Juxon Street. (fn. 226) The girls' school was closed in 1876 and most of the pupils transferred to Felstead House. (fn. 227) Close co-operation between the parishes continued and a joint nightschool was organized successfully, having an attendance of 55 in 1902. (fn. 228) An additional 64 places were provided at the boys' school in 1888, but between 1890 and 1911 numbers fell from 110 to 57. (fn. 229) Closure was postponed from 1915 to 1921 when the boys were transferred to St. Barnabas's; thereafter the Juxon Street buildings were used as an annexe to St. Philip and St. James's school. (fn. 230)
During the early part of the 18th century the parish overseers contributed to the Bluecoat girls' school in St. Martin's parish and had the right to claim places there. (fn. 231) In the early 19th century there was a Sunday school, first mentioned in 1802, and several small private schools. (fn. 232) In 1833 four such schools taught 83 children and there was a day and Sunday school for 30 children and an infant school. (fn. 233) A parochial school was built in Rose Lane in 1839; additions made to it in 1844-5 and 1857 provided an infants' room, and a new classroom. (fn. 234) In 1866 48 boys, 34 girls, and 35 infants were being taught; also in the parish were 'several little schools kept by half-educated persons for small tradesmen's children'. (fn. 235) Successive vicars 'watched over the parish school with affection' and the ladies of the parish assisted 'with money, time, and influence'. (fn. 236) A government grant was received in 1867. (fn. 237)
The boys' school closed in 1909, but the girls' school continued as a mixed school until 1923 when, as part of the reorganization of the parish schools of St. Peter's and Holywell, St. Peter's became a senior girls' school for the combined parishes and all the infants were moved to Holywell. (fn. 238) The arrangement was short-lived and St. Peter's school closed in 1929; the buildings were used thereafter for observation classes for difficult children, which had previously been carried on in St. Thomas's school. In 1938 Merton College terminated the lease of the buildings and the classes were transferred to Northern House, Summertown. (fn. 239)
By 1814 one or two unsuccessful attempts had been made to start a parochial school, (fn. 240) but in 1818 there was only a small private school where twelve day and three evening pupils were taught; children attended school in other parishes. (fn. 241) By 1833, however, besides two small private day schools, there were two large and flourishing schools, one started by the Wesleyans the other a National school in New Inn Hall Street for 210 girls, supported entirely by Mrs. Macbride, probably wife of the principal of Magdalen Hall; only 40 of the girls were said to be local. (fn. 242) A remarkable curb imposed by Mrs. Macbride was that the girls were forbidden to learn to write in or out of school. (fn. 243)
Mrs. Macbride's school did not long survive the opening of a new parochial mixed school in New Road in 1849. (fn. 244) Earlier, boys had been taught in a hired room in Queen Street. Money for the building was raised by the curate, who also had to contribute for the first seven years an annual £20 out of his own pocket for running expenses. (fn. 245) A government grant was first received in 1867. (fn. 246) An infant school for 100 children had been started in New Inn Hall Street by 1866 and in that year 105 girls and 75 boys were attending the New Road school. (fn. 247)
The increased volume of traffic in New Road had by 1898 made conditions in the school intolerable. An appeal raised money for a new school to house all three departments on a site in the old New Inn Hall garden. Accommodation was provided for 260 children. (fn. 248) At a general reorganization of parochial schools in 1926 St. Peter-le-Bailey became a senior mixed school, but in 1928 St. Peter's Hall took over the site, and, after being housed temporarily in the former Wesleyan school, the school moved into the newly adapted premises of the former St. Aldate's boys' school, and became known as St. Aldate's school. (fn. 249)
St. Philip and St. James.
For some years after the formation of the parish in 1863 those children who attended school went to St. Giles's school. An independent infant school was started in 1869 in very inadequate premises. A Sunday school, begun in 1871, was abandoned because the cottage where it was held was needed for other purposes. (fn. 250) In 1872 a fresh start was made with the building in Leckford Road of an infant school which was enlarged in 1888 to take 159 children. (fn. 251) Holy Trinity Convent school (St. Denys's) moved into the parish in 1876, becoming a parochial school and providing places for 195 girls in a new building in Winchester Road. (fn. 252) Boys were no longer admitted to the school in its new premises and a school for them was built in Leckford Place, next to the infant school, in 1879. It was rebuilt in 1896 to provide 122 places. (fn. 253) From 1921 the buildings of the former St. Paul's school in Juxon Street were used to provide extra space for the boys' handicraft classes, until 1933 when additions of new classrooms to St. Philip and St. James school made it unnecessary. (fn. 254)
Under a general scheme to abolish full-range schools in 1926 St. Denys's became a school for senior girls only, the juniors being transferred to St. Giles's junior mixed and infant school. (fn. 255) When the Sisters of the Holy and Undivided Trinity left their convent in Woodstock Road in 1945 they handed over their interest in St. Denys's school to the parish. Since the school was no longer a convent school the Ministry of Education, after some delay, agreed to re-register it under the name of St. Denys's, which it had used unofficially since 1876. (fn. 256)
St. Antony's College, the new owners of the school site, gave notice that they did not intend to renew the lease after 1965. In 1963 the seniors from both parish schools were transferred to the newly opened Cherwell Secondary school; and by 1965 Bishop Kirk Junior mixed school was ready to receive junior children from the parishes of St. Philip and St. James and Summertown. Thereafter the Leckford Road premises were completely modernized and adapted to reopen as an infant school in 1966. (fn. 257) The roll numbered 133 in 1972.
Before its subdivision in the 19th century St. Thomas's parish was large and included many schools. Fourteen, with a total of 632 pupils, were listed in 1833. (fn. 258) A voluntary subscription school for 42 girls had been established before 1818; the pupils were asked to bring 1d. a week and appeals for the upkeep of the school appeared frequently in the press during the next twenty years. (fn. 259) A similar school for 42 boys was mentioned in 1833; pupils in other schools were all paid for by their parents. (fn. 260)
After the separation of the northern part of the parish in 1837 parochial schools were built, one for boys in Church Street in 1838 and one for girls in High Street (St. Thomas's) in 1842. (fn. 261) No other schools were reported in the parish in 1853, (fn. 262) but in 1854 a school for 90 younger children was added. Evening classes had also been tried without success. (fn. 263) By 1860 the vicar was attempting to educate boatmen and their families, using as schools chapels-of-ease at Hythe Bridge and New Oseney. (fn. 264) In 1866 430 children were being educated in the three parochial and two boatmen's schools and another 30 attended Sunday schools. (fn. 265) The school at New Oseney was regarded by a local headmaster as being one of the best schools in Oxford in 1868. (fn. 266) It was superseded, however, in 1872 by the new St. Frideswide's school. Shortly before 1868 a site near Hythe Bridge was acquired for a new school (fn. 267) and St. Nicholas's infant school opened replacing the old boatmen's school there. (fn. 268) The Church Street boys' school building was replaced in 1891 by a new school in the High Street, next to the girls' school. (fn. 269) Even so there were insufficient school places in the parish and after an appeal a completely new school to hold 400 boys, girls, and infants was built in 1904 in Oseney Lane on a site given by Christ Church. (fn. 270) Under a reorganization in 1926 of central and west Oxford schools the senior boys from St. Thomas's were transferred to St. Frideswide's, and the senior girls to either St. Peter-le-Bailey senior mixed school or to Holy Trinity Convent school. Classes for difficult children from all over the city were held in St. Thomas's school until 1929 when they were transferred to the former St. Peter-in-the-East school building. In 1949 the managers applied for aided status. The roll numbered 82 in 1968. The school closed in 1971. (fn. 271)
Before the parish was formed out of St. Giles's parish in 1834 there was a Sunday school for 45 children, started in 1824 in the first cottage built in Diamond Street (later Mayfield Road). (fn. 272) A parochial day-school and Sunday school was built in 1848 on land given by St. John's College, (fn. 273) adjoining St. John's Church in Church Street (later Rogers Street). The cost of the building was met by subscriptions and a grant from the National Society. (fn. 274) In 1866 there were 120 children and in 1867 a staff of four. (fn. 275) The building was enlarged in 1872, 1887, and 1909. (fn. 276) In 1931 a new infant school was built on a site acquired in 1914 in Albert Road. (fn. 277) Part of Northern House, acquired by the L.E.A. as a special school, was leased to Summertown school in 1936. In 1950 the Rogers Street and Albert Road departments were separated into two voluntary schools, with controlled and aided status respectively. (fn. 278)
Senior children were transferred from the Rogers Street school to Cherwell Secondary school in 1963. The former school closed in 1964, the junior pupils attending St. Philip and St. James school until Bishop Kirk school opened in 1965. The infant and nursery school remained in Albert Road, later renamed Hobson Street. (fn. 279) In 1972 there were 127 children in the school.
Wolvercote school is reserved for treatment in a later volume.
OTHER CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOLS.
The Oxford Diocesan Board of Education was formed in 1839 with the object of co-operating locally with the National Society. Parochial and private schools were invited to join and it was proposed to establish a training seminary for teachers. (fn. 280) Diocesan schools, presumably short-lived, were started at no. 29 New Inn Hall Street and at no. 60 St. Giles. (fn. 281)
Oxford Industrial school was started in 1852 by Mother Marion Hughes, foundress of the Society of the Holy and Undivided Trinity at their first community house at 24 St. John Street. Its object was to assist young girls of good character who, on leaving parochial schools, were unable to find respectable employment. The school kept such children until suitable situations could be found and also such children, aged 11 to 19 who, through special circumstances, had had no education. They were given religious instruction, were confirmed, taught reading, writing, and arithmetic and then trained to be industrious servants. All dined at school, some had breakfast and tea there as well, and some were given clothing. An appeal was made in 1860 for funds for boarders. (fn. 282) By 1868 when the Sisters moved to their new convent in Woodstock Road the school had become an orphanage and training school for servants and was housed in the south wing. (fn. 283)
Holy Trinity Convent school was founded in 1857 also by Mother Marion Hughes, at no. 10 St. Giles. Six boys, 31 girls, and 71 infants were attending in 1872. Financial difficulties were resolved, after discussion with Dr. Pusey and local clergy, by applying for a government grant, although that necessitated the acquiring of better premises. After an appeal a new school was built behind the convent in 1876; it became the parochial girls' school of St. Philip and St. James's parish, and was known locally as St. Denys's although retaining its former name in all official matters. (fn. 284)
St. Thomas's Industrial Home and Orphanage for girls in 'moral danger' was founded in 1866 by Thomas Chamberlain, vicar of St. Thomas's, and the Sisterhood of St. Thomas in cottages opposite Oseney House. The school grew rapidly and soon girls were being taken at an early age from all parts of England. The younger ones were taught in the kindergarten of the Sisterhood's Middle Class school and the older girls attended St. Thomas's parochial school until old enough to be trained for domestic service. In 1881 new premises were built; numbers rose to 80 by 1885 and further enlargements were made in 1895. In 1906 the school moved to Foxcombe Hill (Berks.). (fn. 285)
Besides the Middle Class College run by the Diocesan Board at Cowley (1841-76), (fn. 286) private feepaying schools included St. Anne's school for girls, Rewley House, Worcester Street, which was founded by the Sisterhood of St. Thomas in 1852; it was inspected and approved by the government in 1860. Most of the teaching staff were sisters of the Order, but the school also provided the means of training schoolmistresses. (fn. 287) It had moved by 1877 to no. 7 Wellington Square and was closed by 1904. (fn. 288) St. Faith's school was started at no. 13 Bevington Road by the Sisters of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in 1900 and after moving in 1920 continued until 1965 at no. 115 Woodstock Road. (fn. 289)
ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS.
The first known educational provision for Roman Catholic children was in St. Clement's parish; a school was started in the presbytery there in 1832 which is said to have also educated many boys of the upper classes. It was probably the Roman Catholic boarding school for eight boys reported in that parish in 1833. The school moved with its founder to Dorchester in 1849. (fn. 290)
St. Ignatius's, later St. Joseph's, started in 1869 as a small school for girls and infants held on weekdays in the Roman Catholic chapel in St. Clement's specially adapted for the purpose; (fn. 291) by 1871 there were 24 pupils and it was receiving a government grant. (fn. 292) Numbers increased rapidly and additional classes were held in the priest's dining-room; (fn. 293) the 35 girls and infants attending in 1875 were paying 1d. or 2d. a week. (fn. 294) Insufficient classroom space caused the temporary withdrawal of the government grant in 1876. (fn. 295) By 1883 two new schoolrooms had been provided and in 1894 a new infant room was added. (fn. 296) Formal notice was given to the managers in 1905 that conditions were unsatisfactory. A new school was built in St. Clement's Street in 1909 to house 200 girls and infants, (fn. 297) but the old chapel continued in use as a schoolroom. In 1932, after being reorganized as a junior mixed and infant school, with a separate senior department which took over the seniors from St. Aloysius as well, St. Ignatius' school was renamed St. Joseph's. (fn. 298) The senior department transferred to St. Edmund Campion school in 1958 and in 1968 St. Joseph's, with 280 juniors and infants, was moved to new premises in Headley Way, Headington. (fn. 299)
St. Aloysius's school for boys was built in Woodstock Road in 1881. At first the average attendance was only 19 but the school was rebuilt in 1892 to take 80 boys; (fn. 300) it was reorganized in 1932 as a junior mixed and infant school. New buildings in Marston Ferry Road were opened for juniors in 1971.
The Salesian fathers opened Our Lady's junior and infant school with space for 267 children in Oxford Road, Cowley in 1932. It had been estimated that 95 Roman Catholic children were having to attend nonCatholic schools in the city. (fn. 301) In 1972 there were 259 on the roll.
St. Edmund Campion school was built in 1958 at Iffley Turn; the senior pupils from St. Joseph's were moved there. (fn. 302) Until that date there had been no non-fee-paying Roman Catholic secondary school in the city. The grammar department opened in the former Salesian College in 1970. (fn. 303) In 1972 there were 566 pupils in the school.
St. John Fisher junior mixed and infant school opened in Sandy Lane in 1966 to provide places for a sudden great increase in the number of Roman Catholic children in the area. In 1972 347 children were attending. (fn. 304)
Among private Roman Catholic schools may be mentioned a day and boarding school in Holywell, which was started by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1854, was taken over by the Ursulines in 1855, and after a brief stay at Iffley Priory between 1855 and 1859 moved to Essex; from 1878 to 1883 the German Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus ran a school at no. 68 Banbury Road; the Dames de St. Ursule had a school at no. 38 St. Giles between 1890 and 1922; and a school started by the Capuchin Friars in 1906 in Crescent Road, Temple Cowley, was taken over by the Salesians in 1920. (fn. 305) Salesian College was approved as efficient in 1950 but applied unsuccessfully to become a direct grant school in 1957. (fn. 306) In 1970 it amalgamated with Notre Dame High School for girls which had started in Woodstock Road in 1947. Both closed down as private schools, re-opening immediately as St. Edmund Campion Grammar Department, which had 344 pupils in 1972. Rye St. Anthony, a Roman Catholic school under lay management for 120 girls, started in Pullen's Lane, Headington, in 1930. (fn. 308)
Although chiefly concerned with the provision of Sunday schools, one of the earliest in England being established by the New Road chapel c. 1785, (fn. 309) the Baptists were also the first nonconformists to found day schools in the city. In 1810 the congregation of the New Road chapel was helping to support the four day- and Sunday schools started by their minister James Hinton; (fn. 310) payments were also received from the Charles Hughes bequest, which in 1804 had given £10 a year to the treasurer of the United Dissenting Sunday schools. (fn. 311) One of the day-schools was specifically for Baptist children but the others were also attended by 90 Church of England children. (fn. 312) It was hoped that those children would be given places at the Greycoat school, which in 1813 was about to be reorganized as a National school, but the vice-chancellor refused the application. The Baptists resolved therefore to combine with the Wesleyans to run a United Charity and Sunday school for all the children from the four schools. (fn. 313) The school was taught on the Lancastrian system and was financed by collections at biannual charity sermons preached alternately at the Baptist and Wesleyan chapels. In 1813 c. 60 boys and 30-40 girls were attending. (fn. 314) Until 1820 the schools were apparently held in a large room on the site of the first Wesleyan chapel at the back of no. 7 St. Ebbe's Street, (fn. 315) although the use of a house in Gloucester Green was negotiated in 1812. (fn. 316)
In 1820 the Wesleyans withdrew their boys to a new school of their own. Two schoolrooms were built by the Baptists on land purchased in Penson's Gardens in 1824; (fn. 317) by 1835, however, the boys' school was closed because of inadequate subscriptions and the whole premises were given over to the girls. From 1837 the George Street Congregationalists supported the school and were represented on the committee. (fn. 318) In 1841 the school was nominated to receive about £12 a year from William Buswell's charity, one of the purposes of which was the educating of poor Baptist children in Oxford. (fn. 319)
In 1841 the school adopted the British system and from 1854 was known as the British School for Girls. The deacons of the New Road chapel were able to buy the freehold of the school in 1857 through the generosity of one of their number; the trustees appointed were bound to admit children regardless of religious affiliation. (fn. 320) The school received £500 left by Henry Goring to the United Charity school in 1859 (fn. 321) and in 1866 the administration of William Buswell's charity was reorganized so that twelve poor girls, known as 'Buswell's class' should receive free education, books, and stationery. Satisfied after ten years' deliberation that governmental inspection would not interfere with the undenominational character of the school, the trustees applied for a grant in 1874. (fn. 322)
Negotiations with the Wesleyans in 1880 resulted in the opening of the Girls' Central school in a large room, formerly the Wesleyan chapel, in New Inn Hall Street: the younger children were left in Penson's Gardens to form a British infant school which closed in 1890. The alliance between the Baptists and the Wesleyans did not always work smoothly, the Wesleyans claiming back the use of their room more frequently and with less notice than had been agreed, to the detriment of the Central school attendance figures upon which the government grant was based. The education given was high grade elementary up to the age of fourteen; fees were still being paid but were gradually reduced to conform with the rules governing eligibility for grants. Twelve girls were still paid for by William Buswell's charity, and Henry Goring's money was used in 1896 to pay fees for girls to attend advanced French classes at the Technical school. At that date the school had nearly 200 pupils and two more rooms were leased part-time from the Wesleyans; neither, however, was suitable and in 1898 the withdrawal of grants was threatened. A similar threat had been made to the Central boys' school and to the East Oxford British schools, and the three committees made over their schools to the Oxford school board. In 1899 a new building for the Central Girls' school and an attached pupil-teacher centre was built on a site in New Hall Street adjacent to the old school. Although all connexion with the Baptists had been severed, the headmistress and staff were retained and the school continued on the same lines as before. (fn. 323) In 1909 the pupil-teacher centre closed, its rooms being taken over by the school. (fn. 324) Under the 1918 Education Act fees were abolished in 1921 and the age range altered to eleven to fifteen years. It was intended that entrance should be by scholarship examination but an insufficient number succeeded and an ordinary entrance examination was substituted in 1923. In 1925 scholarships were introduced to allow girls to proceed to higher education in normal secondary schools. (fn. 325) In spite of its anomalous position between elementary and secondary status the school carried on successfully for twenty years. It gained a great reputation for its commercial and domestic courses and every year some girls achieved good results in the School Certificate examination. In 1945 the school became a secondary school proper. New buildings were provided in 1959 and the staff and girls were transferred to Cheney Girls' school in Gypsy Lane, Headington, thus maintaining an unbroken educational descent as the second oldest surviving school in the city. (fn. 326) In 1972 there were 359 girls in the school. (fn. 327)
Other schools run by the Baptists during the 19th century included the first local attempt to educate adults. They were apparently successful at teaching elementary reading to illiterate people in Middle Cowley in 1814 but it is not known how long the venture continued. (fn. 328) A large mixed day-school was opened in Oseney in 1864; (fn. 329) this had become a Sunday school only in 1871. (fn. 330) There were also several private feepaying Baptist schools early in the century. The Revd. James Hinton, and later his widow and son, ran a preparatory school in their house in St. Aldate's from c. 1788 to 1825. (fn. 331) A former assistant at that school opened a boys' boarding and day school at no. 38 Holywell Street in 1824. (fn. 332)
John Wesley himself founded a school in 1726 in St. Ebbe's near Pembroke Street, paying the mistress's salary, and clothing some or all of the children. (fn. 333) Commenting on the 'shattered state of things' in Oxford in 1739, Wesley wrote that 'our little school, where about twenty children had been taught for many years' was on the point of being closed. (fn. 334) From 1813 Methodists joined with the Baptists in supporting the United Charity and Sunday school.
In 1820 the Wesleyans decided to continue independently, and thereafter the Wesleyan Boys' day-school was held in a building behind the new chapel in New Inn Hall Street. By 1831 the premises were too small and a new school was built in Bulwarks Lane, (fn. 335) attended daily by 180 boys and on Sundays by 200 children of both sexes. (fn. 336) Another room was built in 1834 in Broken Hayes, but attendance averaged only 150 in 1854. (fn. 337) A government building grant was received in 1861 and an annual grant from 1863. (fn. 338) The appointment as headmaster in 1859 of Joseph Richardson from Westminster College resulted in a widening of the school's curriculum to include technical and scientific studies. The local Science and Art Committee assisted in the foundation and maintenance of a separate science laboratory and the school was known also as the Oxford City Science school. (fn. 339) Accommodation was increased and by 1870 the reputation of the school was at its highest; parents of the 257 boys were paying from 4d. to 9d. a week. (fn. 340) By the 1920s the antiquated premises were hampering the school's progress, but improvements proved too costly and the school was closed in 1928. (fn. 341)
From 1830 Congregationalists were represented on the committee of the British girls' school but there was no day-school directly connected with their own church. (fn. 342) In 1868 they began to build on the east side of Gloucester Green, behind their church, an undenominational school with no compulsory religious instruction. Thirty-three children attended the opening of the Central Boys' school in 1871, and in 1875 the school received an excellent report. Attendance was 192 in 1889 and the staff consisted of a headmaster, two assistants, and two pupil-teachers. The school was taken over in 1898 by the school board which built new buildings on the north side of Gloucester Green in 1898-1900. (fn. 343) In 1921 the school was reorganized to make it a truly 'Central' type of school, that is a cross between a secondary and an elementary school; boys were not admitted under the age of ten and they left at sixteen; entrance was by examination and the staff were to be sufficiently qualified to give advanced instruction. Unfortunately the Board of Education failed to sanction the appointment of suitable teachers to carry out the scheme and the school did not achieve the academic standard hoped for. Plans to convert Gloucester Green into a car-park in 1932 and the threatened loss of two rooms rented from the Congregational Sunday school hastened the school's closure, and in 1934 the pupils were transferred to the new Southfield school. (fn. 344)
East Oxford British school opened in 1882 in Union Street, Cowley, with 52 pupils. Within a year 278 children were on the books and the average attendance was 203; there were a certificated master and mistress, an assistant, and three pupil-teachers. (fn. 345) By 1889 an annual grant was being received and income from fees and subscriptions amounted to £245. (fn. 346) In 1898 the school, together with the two Central schools, placed themselves under the control of the School Board. It was rebuilt in 1899-1900 in three departments to take 200 boys, 200 girls, and 160 infants. Under the 1944 Education Act the senior department became a separate secondary modern school in 1948. (fn. 347) In 1972 numbers in the senior, junior mixed, and infants schools were 271, 288, and 159 respectively. (fn. 348)
OTHER NINETEENTH-CENTURY SCHOOLS.
The Oxford Infant school was set up in 1828 for poor children aged eighteen months to seven years. The purpose of the school was to occupy the children while their parents were at work and to prepare them for the National schools by 'guiding them into habits of correct moral and religious feeling'. A committee was formed, a subscription opened, and a site next to the Swan Brewery rented. Each pupil paid 2d. a week. (fn. 349) By 1830 about 100 children were attending daily but the school was already £30 in debt. (fn. 350) The school is probably identifiable with an infant school with 111 pupils supported by the university reported in St. Ebbe's parish in 1833. (fn. 351) Sufficient support enabled a new schoolroom to be built in 1839; by 1842 180 children were on the books and fees had been lowered to 1d. a week. (fn. 352) The school had closed by 1845 for in that year an offer was made for the buildings by the Nixon's school trustees. (fn. 353)
When Cowley Poor Law school, founded in 1831 to educate the children of the workhouse poor, (fn. 354) came under the control of the Oxford L.E.A. in 1929 the Board of Education recommended its closure. (fn. 355) It was decided, however, to re-establish the school, the Poplars, as an ordinary public elementary school for workhouse children and others. Prejudice against the school remained in the minds of local parents in spite of its new image and in 1943 it was closed and the children and staff transferred to West Ham school which had been evacuated from London to New Marston. (fn. 356)
In 1859 a committee of Oxford citizens was formed to found a Ragged school on similar lines to those already existing in other cities. It was proposed to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, and needlework to the very poorest children on an interdenominational basis. A room was hired in Penson's Gardens and by the end of the first quarter there were 87 names on the books and eight volunteer teachers. Sunday evening classes were particularly well attended. There was also a clothing fund and a meeting for the mothers of the school-children. By 1865 an extra room for the girls had been rented and the senior class was taught by a member of the university. Attendance was in the 40s in the summer and the 70s and 80s in the winter. The Sunday school was helped by the Temperance Society; a Band of Hope was started in 1880 and many children signed the pledge. The roll increased to 135 and in 1885 new premises were built in Friars Street with accommodation for at least 500. In 1895 the school managers offered to convey the premises to Holy Trinity parish on condition that the latter should accept responsibility for the mortgage and should provide religious instruction for poor children in the building on Sunday evenings. The offer was accepted because the rooms were urgently needed for parochial purposes. Amongst other uses the building served thenceforth as a club and gymnasium for the boys and men of the district. (fn. 357)
Oxford High School for Girls opened in 1875 in the Judge's Lodgings (no. 16 St. Giles's) under the auspices of the Girls' Public Day School Trust. It was moved to no. 38 St. Giles's in 1878 until a new building, no. 21 Banbury Road, was opened in 1880 with room for about 300 girls of secondary school age. (fn. 358) By 1899 there was also a junior department for girls under seven years of age and several boarding houses connected with the school. (fn. 359) In 1904 its academic reputation was high and it was considered to be fulfilling totally the need for higher education for girls in Oxford. In 1906 the school came under government inspection and was eligible for a grant; free places were awarded annually to girls selected by examination from L.E.A. schools in the city and from the surrounding area. By 1927 the number of city free places had risen to thirty; the remaining pupils, whose parents paid fees graduated according to their incomes, were admitted by competitive examination. (fn. 360) By the mid 20th century the school enjoyed one of the highest academic reputations in the country. In 1957 it was moved from Banbury Road to Belbroughton Road. The junior school was phased out between 1969 and 1971. In 1972 the school roll numbered 527. (fn. 361)
The Day Industrial school in St. Aldate's, founded by the Oxford School Board in 1879, attempted to educate and reform children who persistently played truant from jobs in industry. Discipline in the school was very harsh and magistrates were loath to commit children to its care although they had demanded that the board should open such a school. In the period 1880-2 only 39 out of 74 brought before the courts were so committed. The small number of children involved raised unduly the cost of keeping each child and it proved virtually impossible to enforce payment from the parents. (fn. 362) By 1905 more enlightened standards for the employment of children made the school unnecessary and it closed. In 1910 the site was used for building the South Oxford Council schools. (fn. 363)
The City of Oxford High School was opened in 1881 on a site, given by the corporation, between New Inn Hall Street and George Lane. It was open to boys resident in the city who had completed the eighth year of elementary education, as a means for them to achieve university entrance standards. Appeals were launched to augment the £100 income voted by the corporation; the university, both collectively and individually, supported the new school, contributing £700 towards the building, and providing funds for three university scholarships. School fees were between £8 and £16 a year, but 50 free scholarships, tenable for three years, were awarded annually. (fn. 364)
The school was an immediate success and in 1907 was recognized by the Board of Education as a school at which pupil-teachers should be trained. In 1920 it became a grant-earning school offering the L.E.A. 25 per cent of its places annually, (fn. 365) and in 1932 assumed the status of a maintained secondary school. The resultant loss of the junior forms, hitherto the chief recruiting ground for paying pupils, was increasingly felt; by 1936 the headmaster was obliged to combine the two lowest forms. (fn. 366)
During the early 1920s it became apparent that the site in the city centre was too restricted and plans to move the school were made. Between 1926 and 1958 two different sites in north Oxford were purchased by the council (fn. 367) and amalgamations were proposed, first with the Municipal school and later with Northway secondary modern to form a comprehensive school. The High school governors refused to allow any such fundamental alteration in the character of the school (fn. 368) and in 1966 a merger with South field school was arranged. After alterations and enlargements to the premises of the latter in Glanville Road, the combined schools opened as Oxford school. (fn. 369)
The City of Oxford Technical Day school started in 1894 as an off-shoot of the adult evening technical schools established by the corporation in the Church Street premises formerly used by the Bluecoat school. Day-classes were held for thirteen-year-olds in science, mathematics, English, drawing, shorthand, bookkeeping, carpentry, dress-making, and cookery. Fees were £1 a term. (fn. 370) Accommodation was so bad that the grant originally given was withdrawn in 1899. (fn. 371) Although the newly formed L.E.A. started in 1904 to discuss proposals for new buildings on the site, plans were not sanctioned until 1913 and then had to be postponed indefinitely. After the First World War numbers in the school increased rapidly; in 1920 157 children were attending and there was a great demand for places. In 1921 the school was reconstituted as the Municipal Secondary school for boys only although girls already in the school were allowed to remain for two more years. An extra house in Church Street was taken over and a hut provided as an assembly hall. In 1926 it was resolved that post-certificate pupils should pass on to the High school until such time as the Municipal school could develop its own higher work. (fn. 372) Renewed efforts were made by the L.E.A. to provide better accommodation, and eventually in 1934 Southfield school was built in Glanville Road, East Oxford, to take all the boys from the Municipal school plus such of the Central school boys as were deemed capable of profiting from a secondary education. (fn. 373)
St. Michael's school for defectives and epileptics was established in 1901 by Miss Merry in her home in New Inn Hall Street. By 1903 it was overcrowded and had a waiting list of eight children. The premises were condemned as unsuitable and the council in 1906 opened a new school for such children in the garden of the Day Industrial school in St. Aldate's, making a separate access from Luther Street. It was closed in 1909 on the advice of the Medical Officer who declared that most of the children were ineducable. The building was incorporated into the plans for the South Oxford Council schools built the following year and two classrooms for backward children were added to the boys' and girls' departments. Miss Merry continued to take a few feebleminded children as boarders and day-pupils at no. 18 New Inn Hall Street. (fn. 374)
Child patients undergoing lengthy treatment at the Wingfield Morris Orthopaedic hospital have had their educational needs officially recognized since the 1920s. In 1972 30 were being taught. (fn. 375)
An open-air school for delicate and physically-handicapped children was opened in Headington in 1928. In 1972 38 children were attending the school in Osler Road. (fn. 376)
Iffley Mead school.
A special school and clinic for educationally subnormal children, the first in England to be run on modern lines, was started at Bayswater Rise in 1934. It was moved to Second Avenue, Slade Park in 1952 where accommodation was increased to 80. In 1970 a further move to Iffley Mead enabled 173 children to attend. (fn. 377)
Northern House, Summertown, opened in 1938 to provide classes for disturbed or maladjusted children who were not of subnormal intelligence. During the previous six years they had been taught in the old buildings of St. Peter-in-the-East school, and before that in St. Thomas's school. From 1936 Northern House was obliged by the scarcity of normal school accommodation in north Oxford to lease part of its space to Summertown junior school. After 1940 the Educational Clinic from Bury Knowle was able to occupy the first floor of Northern House. In 1972 there were 43 children on the roll. (fn. 378)
The Park Hospital day and residential school for children suffering from severe nervous disorders, established in the 1950s, was taken over by the L.E.A. in 1971. There were 22 children in 1972.
Mabel Pritchard school in St. Nicholas Road, Littlemore also became the responsibility of the L.E.A. in 1971. In 1972 52 severely mentally-disturbed children were attending. (fn. 379)
COUNCIL ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.
South Oxford Council schools were built in 1910 on a site in St. Aldate's formerly occupied by the Day Industrial school and the St. Michael's special school. Accommodation was provided for 250 boys, 150 girls, and 180 infants; a house nearby in St. Aldate's was used for handicrafts. In 1948 the schools were reorganized as a secondary modern school and a junior mixed school. The secondary school was closed in 1971 and the children transferred to Cowley St. John schools, until the new comprehensive school was opened. There were 228 children in the junior school in 1972. (fn. 380)
West Oxford Council school opened in 1914 in Ferry Hinksey Road with accommodation for 350 girls and infants from St. Frideswide's, Oseney Town, school. By 1956 the school population had decreased to such an extent that it was possible to convert the premises into two separate schools, a secondary modern school on the first floor for the senior girls, with the boys from the closing St. Frideswide's boys' school, and a junior mixed and infant school on the ground floor. The secondary school closed in 1963; there were 172 full-time pupils in the junior school in 1972. (fn. 381)
Donnington school opened in 1936 with 145 juniors and 221 infants on the roll; there were 92 applications for 40 places in the nursery department. In 1946 two infant class units at Church Cowley were officially recognized as being a separate department of Donnington school. In 1972 there were 182 full-time pupils at the infant school and 289 at the junior school. (fn. 382)
Cutteslowe school was opened in 1939 in Wren Road. Under the reorganization of north Oxford schools in 1960 Cutteslowe became a one-form-entry junior mixed and infant school with a nursery school attached. In 1972 there were 349 pupils. (fn. 383)
After 1945 the following schools were opened: (fn. 384)
Junior Mixed:-New Marston, at Copse Lane, Headington (1948); Barton, Northway, Headington (1949); Rose Hill, The Oval (1950); Wood Farm, Titup Hall Drive (1954); Blackbird Leys, Wesley Close (1954); Overmede, Harebell Road, Blackbird Leys (1965).
Infant:-New Marston, Copse Lane, Headington (1948); Rose Hill, The Oval (1950); Barton, Fettiplace Road (1952); Wood Farm, Titup Hall Drive (1956); Blackbird Leys, Wesley Close (1961); Overmede, Blackbird Leys (1965).
COUNCIL NURSERY SCHOOLS.
During the Second World War the following schools were opened: New Marston, Hertford College Pavilion, Edgeway Road; North Oxford, Jackson Road; Singletree, Rose Hill; Slade, Hollow Way; South Oxford, Abingdon Road. After 1945 Bartlemas was opened at no. 269 Cowley Road in 1952 and Headington at William Kimber Crescent in 1960. (fn. 385)
20TH-CENTURY SECONDARY SCHOOLS. (fn. 386)
Milham Ford school for girls was built in Cowley Place in 1906 in order to be closely associated with Cherwell Hall Training College for secondary school teachers, which had been established nearby four years earlier. A hostel for boarders was opened within a few minutes walk of the school. (fn. 387) In 1908 the L.E.A. notified the governors, the Church Education Corporation, that the school was required as part of the secondary school provision for the area. A new governing body was established including representatives from the local authorities and the university. (fn. 388) Unable financially to meet the demand for extra places over the 250 originally planned for, it sold the school to the L.E.A. in 1923. Huts were provided during the next five years to accommodate four more classes and in 1927 there were 304 pupils. A larger building on a new site in Marston Road was opened in 1939. In 1972 numbers had risen to 596. (fn. 389) The old premises were used by the A.R.P. during the Second World War, and from 1945 until 1958 by the architecture department of the College of Further Education. (fn. 390)
Under the 1944 Education Act the senior department of a public elementary school became automatically a secondary modern school. New secondary modern schools built since 1945 were: (fn. 391) Bayswater, in Bayswater Road (1953); Northway, in Maltfield Road (1956); Redefield, in Blackbird Leys Road (1962); Cherwell, in Marston Ferry Road (1963). (fn. 392)
Cheney Technical school was built in 1954 in Cheney Lane to accommodate 450 pupils. It was intended to be a mixed school only until Cheney girls' school should open. In accordance with that plan only boys were admitted after 1959, a two-form entry at eleven years and a one-form entry at thirteen years. By 1962, however, with the introduction of G.C.E. O-level examinations into secondary modern schools in the city, the thirteen-year-old entry dwindled to almost nil and the general decrease in the school-age population made it difficult to find seventy boys a year to take up the eleven-year-old places. It was resolved therefore to admit yearly a one-form entry of elevenyear-old girls thus creating the only mixed selective school in the city. There were 444 pupils in 1972. (fn. 393)
Oxford School opened in 1966 in Glanville Road with 647 boys. It was the product of an amalgamation of two grammar schools, the Oxford High school and South field, and the buildings were those of the latter school considerably enlarged and extended. (fn. 394)
The majority of private schools mentioned before the 18th century seem to have been non-academic institutions such as dancing schools. Virgin's Hall was the nickname given to a girls' boarding school kept between 1655 and 1669 by the wife of Abraham Davis, a captain in Cromwell's army. The school, held according to Hearne in nos. 86-7 St. Aldates, was suppressed by order of the Privy Council to prevent Mrs. Davis infusing her pupils with her Presbyterian principles. (fn. 395) In 1675 John Waver's boarding school at no. 32, later no. 53, Holywell Street taught music, writing, and dancing to gentlewomen. (fn. 396) During the 18th century the usual type of small private school for the general education of middle-class children was to be found in many of the better residential streets of Oxford and by the mid 19th century the number of such schools had increased enormously. From advertisements in the press it appears that while most of such schools were short-lived, some were handed down in the family. W. King, a printer, (fn. 397) who kept a school in St. Clement's c. 1844 where several prominent city men were educated, found his pupils becoming so numerous that he rented the second floor of the Greyhound inn in Longwall Street as extra accommodation. (fn. 398) In 1857 Mrs. J. Morrell established a girls' school on the south side of Headington Road to educate and clothe about 40 girls for service. The school continued until 1937 and in 1945 the building was being used as a remand home for girls. (fn. 399)
In the later 19th century the quality of education demanded for their children by the first married university teachers resulted in the founding of an entirely different type of private school. Such was Lynam's, or the Dragon school, started in 1877 as a day and boarding school for boys and a few of their sisters. Summerfields, started in 1865, had less local impact, being entirely boarding, but also acquired a good reputation nationally. Secondary schools founded at that time included St. Edward's, which started in New Inn Hall Street in 1863 and moved to Woodstock Road in 1873; it was providing a public school education for 502 boys in 1972. Bedford House Church school, established in Walton Street in 1873, prepared some of its boys for university entrance until 1934. Wychwood school for girls in Banbury Road was founded in 1897; in 1972 it had 130 pupils.
Foundations in the 20th century have been numerous but in some cases ephemeral. Headington High School for girls, established in 1915, had 380 pupils and a good academic reputation in 1972. Greycotes, in Banbury Road, began as a junior school for girls in 1929; by the 1950s it had expanded to six houses and over 400 pupils, In 1966 it closed its senior department and reverted to being a small mixed junior school with 180 children. (fn. 400)
Attempts to provide facilities for adult education were being made by the 1830s. A Mechanics' Institute, which provided a library, reading rooms, and lecture courses was in operation by 1831; in 1842 and probably earlier, it was held in the Masonic Hall in Alfred Street. (fn. 401) It was apparently short-lived, as was the Working Man's Educational Institute, founded in 1856, which met in the evenings at Nixon's school. Both had ceased by 1868. (fn. 402)
Schools of Art and Science.
In 1865 a school of art was established in the Taylorian Institution under the direction of the Royal College of Science in South Kensington, London. Two years later a class for mechanical and geometrical drawing was added to the curriculum and in 1870 a school of science. By 1877 accommodation inadequacies caused the threatened withdrawal of grants and the science classes were spread among other premises, particular use being made of elementary school buildings in the evenings. (fn. 403)
Central Technical Schools.
In 1891 the city council took over responsibility for organizing technical education from the London authorities. The buildings of the former Bluecoat school in Church Street were acquired in 1894 to provide a centre but were not adequate to house all the various art, science, commercial, manual, and domestic classes which continued to be held in the Taylorian, the City Science school, the East Oxford branch at no. 98 St. Clement's, the Girls' Central school, the Oxford Institute in St. Aldates, the Cutler Boulter Dispensary in Worcester Street, and the town hall committee room. Fees were paid by the students but pupil-teachers from the elementary schools were admitted free. (fn. 404) In 1898 drawing and manual and domestic subjects became part of the normal elementary school curriculum but numbers wanting technical education continued to rise. By 1906 evening classes outside the Church Street centre were concentrated mainly in the two Central schools, the two East Oxford schools, St. Aldates boys' school and the pupil-teacher centre. The latter was the only one not to receive a grant on the ground of accommodation deficiency. (fn. 405)
Until 1899 teacher-training had consisted in awarding five-year grants to selected pupils in elementary schools, who gained practical experience teaching younger children until of an age to attend training colleges to which they could gain scholarships. When the school board built new premises for the Central Girls' school in 1899 it incorporated in the plan an annexe to be used as a pupil-teacher centre so that there should be centralized training for prospective teachers. (fn. 406) Within a very short time, however, the opposition of the Secretary to the Board of Education to such a policy and his advocation in 1905 that future teachers should attend ordinary secondary schools until the age of eighteen resulted in the closure of the centre in 1909 and the incorporation of the rooms into the Girls' Central school.
The Oxford Institute was a club for working men and boys established by the city and university at no. 7 Church Street in 1884, moving the following year to nos. 29 and 30 St. Aldates. It offered facilities for both education and sport, with weekly evening classes, lectures, bible classes, a debating society, a lending library and reading room, and a gymnasium. At first lax discipline and town and gown feuds prevented serious work but in 1889 the club was divided into two sections, for those over and under eighteen. Conditions improved and the clubs continued until 1915 when they were disbanded. (fn. 407)
City of Oxford School of Technology, Art, and Commerce. During the 1920s numbers attending the school of art and the evening classes at the Technical school and other centres had risen to nearly a thousand and in 1928 the two schools were brought together under one principal. In 1934 the Municipal day school moved out of the Church Street premises, (fn. 408) and the whole building was converted into the School of Technology, Art, and Commerce. A junior day department was opened with a roll of 55 which in two years had grown to 130, there being a great demand by parents for that type of education. In 1949 it became known as the Secondary Technical School. (fn. 409)
In 1937 3,836 students enrolled for day and evening courses at the School of Technology, Art, and Commerce. A site in Cowley Road was acquired to build a College of Further Education but, because of the war, only the engineering workshops had been completed by 1944, (fn. 410) when it was apparent that the site was inadequate to contain all the other departments which were still working in scattered buildings all over the city. (fn. 411) The School of Architecture was housed temporarily in the old Milham Ford school. New hutted accommodation for commercial courses was provided on the Cowley Road site between 1945 and 1950, and Singletree at Rose Hill was acquired in 1951 for the catering courses. (fn. 412)
It had been intended that after the opening of the new buildings in Headington the college in Cowley Road should cater only for pre-apprentice and junior commercial and O-level G.C.E. courses, but the vast increase in enrolments (by 1960 the total figure was over 7,000, with 3,000 applicants for commercial courses) made it necessary to retain many other nondegree courses in the College of Further Education. (fn. 413) The former boys' High School buildings in George Street were used to house the overflow until a new college building in Oxpens opened in 1972 to relieve pressure in Cowley Road and if possible to provide enough accommodation to concentrate there the evening classes from the scattered evening institutes.
The Oxford College of Technology opened in Gypsy Lane, Headington in 1955 with part of the departments of engineering and architecture from the College of Further Education. Courses begun in 1958 included B.Sc. (Econ.) and B.Sc. (Gen.). By 1960 the college was preparing to cover the whole field of senior further education. Students were coming from a wide area, after attending technical institutions at Witney, Banbury, Didcot, and Abingdon. In 1959 the Nuffield Foundation gave a grant to the library for the purchase of scientific and engineering books. In 1970 the college was given Polytechnic status. (fn. 414)
Ruskin College was founded as Ruskin Hall in 1899 by the efforts of three Americans, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Vrooman and Professor Charles Beard, with the support of Professor York Powell. After three years the college moved from St. Giles to Walton Street. It was intended to provide a non-vocational education for students 'who would raise, not rise out of, their class'. The average age of the students was 24 and the fees were £52 a year. In 1908 it was said that each man who had passed through the college had returned to his trade. Financial help was given by trade unions, although in its early years the college was seriously in debt. The one-year course included history of political institutions, social science, and ethics; the college also ran a correspondence course. In 1910 tension between the university and Labour-party members of the executive committee provoked a serious crisis. It was alleged that the university was trying to capture the college for middle-class ends, or at least to keep it politically neutral. The principal was forced to resign and the students went on strike. The strike was broken but some of the students, wishing to make Marxism the basis of the curriculum, set up a rival Labour college and subsequently moved to London. (fn. 415)
The college reopened in 1910 with 31 students who were then eligible to sit for a university diploma in economics and political science. New buildings were put up on the Walton Street site in 1913, but during the First World War the college was closed except for the correspondence department. When reopened in 1919 the college accepted women students. During the years of unemployment and depression between the wars many potentially good students dared not leave their jobs to attend the year's course, and many who did so spent a long time on the dole afterwards. Nevertheless a new wing was added to the building in 1936. During the Second World War residential work ceased but the correspondence department greatly expanded under the impetus of education in the armed forces. The college reopened in 1945 with 30 students; numbers soon rose to 100 and a house and grounds in Headington was secured for extra accommodation. Although the work of the college was concentrated principally on social sciences, an arts course combining literature, social history, and political philosophy was also begun. (fn. 416) In 1964 the Department of Education and Science agreed to meet half the cost of approved development. An appeal to trade unions produced £72,000, and new buildings were added both in Walton Street and at Headington where the 'campus' took the name Ruskin Hall to commemorate the original name of the college. In 1972 the college was able to provide for c. 200 students. (fn. 417)