A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.
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By 1674 a schoolhouse (fn. 3) was repaired and heated by the parish. (fn. 4) William Penson, clerk, occurred as schoolmaster from 1694 (fn. 5) to 1722; (fn. 6) not paid by the parish, he took fees from the pupils, paupers' fees being paid by the overseers. (fn. 7) In 1680 the parish bought a dictionary for the parishioners' children. (fn. 8) In 1772 two charity schools were recorded: one for 12 boys, the other for 10 girls. The pupils learned to read English. Lord Gower gave £4 a year to the master and £3 to the mistress. (fn. 9) Repairs and heating were, as before, charged to the parish. (fn. 10) In 1815 the schools were a 'Latin free grammar school' and an 'English school' and still received £7 a year. (fn. 11) They remained until 1818 when a National school, opened at Snedshill Coppice (in Shifnal), began to provide for Lilleshall parish. (fn. 12)
Private schools were mentioned in 1786 and 1796. (fn. 13) In 1818 three dame schools had 47 pupils, (fn. 14) and in 1833 three schools had 67: one for girls, founded in 1832 and supported by the duchess of Sutherland, and two mixed, one of them founded in 1829. There was a fee-paying evening school, attended by 12 men and 8 women. (fn. 15) In 1843 one dame school of 40 pupils was recorded, (fn. 16) and in 1871 there was a private school with 21 pupils. (fn. 17)
Lilleshall County Primary School was founded as a National school in 1844 (fn. 18) in an outbuilding of the Old Hall. (fn. 19) In 1852 each pupil was paying 2d. a week (fn. 20) but the school was otherwise supported by the 2nd duke of Sutherland. (fn. 21) In the early 1850s there was only one long, poorly lit room. There were about a hundred pupils, in five mixed classes, under a certificated master and a boy pupil-teacher. The school's character was 'agricultural'. The older boys worked for an hour each afternoon on allotments in the school garden, while the girls were taught needlework by the master's wife. The appointment of a trained mistress c. 1853 was expected to improve domestic instruction, and about then the 'animated' master began a class in geometry. (fn. 22)
In 1869-70 an average of 195 pupils attended during the day and 25 in the evenings. (fn. 23) A master's house was provided by 1861. (fn. 24) An infant department was created c. 1895. (fn. 25) Average attendance 1903-4 was 135 mixed pupils and 43 infants. (fn. 26) The 5th duke sold the school in 1922 to C. & W. Walker Ltd., who then leased it to the county council. It was reconstituted as Lilleshall Council School in 1923 for 160 mixed pupils and 45 infants. (fn. 27) Thereafter the freehold passed with that of the Old Hall. (fn. 28) The departments were amalgamated in 1934 (fn. 29) and the recognized accommodation was reduced to 182. (fn. 30) In 1966 there were 103 pupils, but by 1969 there were 166 and a new school was proposed. (fn. 31) In 1972 new buildings were opened in Limekiln Lane. (fn. 32) In 1978 there were 274 pupils in separate junior and infant departments. (fn. 33) The juniors remained in the Old Hall premises in 1979. (fn. 34)
Donnington Wood C.E. (Controlled) School opened as a National school in 1847 in a new brick building (fn. 35) in Church Road, provided by the 2nd duke of Sutherland. (fn. 36) There was a certificated master in 1850 with some 160 mixed pupils. (fn. 37) An infant department opened in a new wing in 1851 (fn. 38) under a former pupil, (fn. 39) and 34 infants were attending in 1852. (fn. 40) By 1852 allotments, like those at Lilleshall, had been started. (fn. 41) In 1854 separate boys' and girls' departments were created. (fn. 42) A master's house was provided c. 1851. (fn. 43) The girls' room was enlarged at the 3rd duke's expense in 1868. (fn. 44) A new infant department was formed in 1893. (fn. 45) In 1903-4 average attendance was 141 boys, 110 girls, and 93 infants. (fn. 46) The girls' and infant departments were amalgamated in 1933. (fn. 47) In 1935 the 5th duke sold the school to the Salop Archidiaconal Board of Education. (fn. 48) In 1939 senior pupils moved to Wrockwardine Wood Senior (Mixed) Council School (in Wombridge) and the departments were amalgamated. (fn. 49) In 1949 the school acquired controlled status (fn. 50) and the infants moved to the council infant school in Baldwin Webb Avenue. In 1955 the junior school, which had become overcrowded, acquired the former Donnington Wood nursery school as an annexe. (fn. 51) The number of pupils continued to grow, (fn. 52) and in 1965 new premises in Leonard Close opened, with the old buildings as their annexe. (fn. 53) In 1978 there were 415 pupils. (fn. 54) From 1965 to 1975 the former nursery school housed a special unit for handicapped children. (fn. 55)
Donnington Wood County School, for infants, opened in 1949 in new buildings in Baldwin Webb Avenue. (fn. 56) In 1952 it began to use the former Donnington Wood nursery school (a wartime nursery adopted by the county council in 1947) (fn. 57) as an annexe. (fn. 58) In 1955 there were 100 pupils there and 240 in the main buildings. The total included a class of juniors temporarily displaced from the overcrowded junior school in Church Road. By then, however, the number of infants had fallen enough for the annexe to be transferred to the junior school. (fn. 59) In 1975 it was decided to add a nursery class of 50 places to the infant school, (fn. 60) and the annexe, again vacant, was used to house it. (fn. 61) In 1978 there were 269 pupils altogether. (fn. 62)