A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The history of elementary education in Salisbury can be divided into 3 phases: before 1890, from 1890 to 1924, and from 1924 to the present day. During the earliest phase, education was controlled by voluntary societies of many types. In addition to the National and British societies, the Presbyterian, Wesleyan, Baptist and Roman Catholic churches were represented. Four main reports show the state of education in the city before 1890: in 1819, there were 9 day schools and 8 Sunday schools in the parishes of St. Martin, St. Thomas and St. Edmund. (fn. 1) In 1835, there were an infant school, 15 day schools, 8 Sunday schools and 6 boarding schools. (fn. 2) In 1859, in addition to the principal schools described below, there were a private school and 5 dames' schools in St. Edmund's parish, 4 dames' schools in St. Martin's parish, and numerous small 'ladies' schools' throughout the city. (fn. 3) Lastly, in 1871, the newly established Salisbury School Board carried out a most detailed inquiry, according to which 7 public elementary schools (5 Church of England and 2 British) provided for 2,101 children, and other elementary schools for 204. The Board concluded that after the establishment of a new Ragged school, the city's educational facilities would be adequate. (fn. 4)
The School Board had been established in 1871 despite a petition against it. (fn. 5) Throughout its existence it was controlled by supporters of the Church of England party, who were determined not to have in Salisbury 'non-religious' board schools maintained out of rates. They preferred to retain the existing system in which the Church of England, nonconformist, and Roman Catholic schools were maintained by their own communities and by fees. The nonconformists were willing to send their children to undenominational board schools, which would relieve them of the burden of maintaining their own schools. The Wesleyan School was closed in 1870. Salisbury British School was closed in 1871 and its premises offered to the Board, and Fisherton British School similarly offered to close. The nonconformists agitated for a board school to fill the deficiency in accommodation, and a new Ragged School was opened in 1872, probably to stave off the necessity of a board school. The Church majority insisted at the meetings of the Board and in correspondence with the Education Department that the accommodation, even with one British School closed, was sufficient. When the Education Department persisted in their inquiries the Board declined to go into the matter further. The nonconformists reopened Salisbury British School in 1874.
The controversy was revived when Salisbury British School was forced to close in 1888; the nonconformists began a new campaign for a board school, and Fisherton British School threatened to close as well. There was now an undoubted shortage of accommodation, and the Education Department complained of it to the School Board. An election for a new Board was pending, and the bishop and church party formed the Salisbury Church Day School Association, and by appeals from press and pulpit obtained a majority. The Department asked the new Board how it intended to remedy the deficiency, and was told that old schools would be extended and new ones provided by voluntary effort. The Association began a desperate attempt to do this, and the Board narrowly succeeded in convincing the Department that its requirements would be met by the dates set. The effort resulted in the foundation of Bishop Wordsworth's, St. Mark's, St. Paul's Road and the George Herbert Schools, all of which were opened by Bishop Wordsworth in 1890. (fn. 6) Meanwhile the controversy had extended to the national press and to Parliament. In the commons it was said that the schools of Salisbury had been for many years in a poor and struggling condition, and that, because the School Board refused to fulfil its obligations, a large minority of parents were forced to send their children to schools whose religious teaching they did not agree with. (fn. 7) In spite of this, no board or council school was built in Salisbury until 1924. (fn. 8)
Under the Education Act of 1902, the Salisbury City Council became the Local Education Authority and, in April 1903, an Education Committee of 20 members was established; (fn. 9) but elementary education in the city continued to be controlled by the Church of England and, to a much smaller degree, by the Roman Catholic Church. About 1914 a detailed report on school premises was drawn up by H.M.I., but improvements had to be postponed in most cases because of the First World War. The situation was ameliorated when the first council school was erected at Highbury Avenue in 1924. By 1926, 2,530 children were attending schools in the city, and, in face of strong opposition from the parents and school managers, it was decided to reorganize the Church of England schools according to the recommendations of the Hadow report, Salisbury being one of the first authorities to do so. The senior children were sent to St. Edmund's School (girls), St. Thomas's School (boys) and one department of Highbury Avenue (mixed), while the rest were redistributed in the remaining schools. (fn. 10)
After the extension of the city boundaries in 1927, there was a steady rise in the number of children attending elementary schools in Salisbury. By 1936 there were 3,163 on the books compared with 2,904 in 1929. (fn. 11) By this time most of the city's schools were housed in buildings which fell short of the accepted standards of the day. Some improvement was effected by the reconstruction of St. Martin's School in 1930, but the national depression of the thirties curtailed building activity, and only one more new school, that at Devizes Road completed in 1940, was provided before the Second World War. After the war the implementation of the 1944 Education Act (fn. 12) made the county council the education authority for the city. Since then a vigorous building programme has provided new schools at Bemerton Heath for infants and Westwood for senior girls, while the authority has begun a policy of moving older schools to the outskirts from restricted sites in the older parts of the city. Thus St. Thomas's School has been moved to Bemerton Heath and St. Martin's Junior School to Fowler's Hill, while a new St. Mark's School is in 1960 being built at Bishopdown.
Salisbury British School.
This school was probably established in 1829, when school-rooms were erected in connexion with the Congregational Chapel in Scots Lane. (fn. 13) About 80 infants were being taught there, in 1859, by an untrained mistress. (fn. 14) The school continued to function after 1862, when the congregation moved to another chapel in Endless Street. (fn. 15) It received its first annual grant from the state in 1869, when the average attendance was 66. (fn. 16) In 1870, the school consisted of 2 rooms, and was attended by 38 boys and 93 girls, who paid between 1d. and 4d. a week. (fn. 17) In August 1871, the managers closed the school and offered it to the Salisbury School Board. Complaints from nonconformist parents led to its reopening in 1874. (fn. 18) Average attendance increased steadily from 151 in 1876 (fn. 19) to 275 in 1884, (fn. 20) but had declined to 181 by 1888. (fn. 21) During 1888, the owners of the school gave the managers notice to vacate or purchase it by 25 December. In November, the premises were condemned by the Department of Education. An appeal for funds was unsuccessful, so the managers again offered the school to the Board at a 'peppercorn rent'. On being refused, they closed the school at Christmas 1888. (fn. 22) The building remained, used as commercial premises, until 1960, when it was demolished.
Fisherton British School
Fisherton British School was built about 1867. A year later, the premises were described as 'spacious and well ventilated'. In 1870, there were 2 class-rooms for mixed children. The school received a state grant of £45 12s. 8d.; boys paid between 2d. and 9d. a week and girls between 2d. and 6d. (fn. 23) Average attendance was 63 in 1868, (fn. 24) and rose steadily until it had reached 240 by 1880. (fn. 25) The school was twice offered unsuccessfully to the Salisbury School Board and was closed in December 1889. (fn. 26) The one-story building of brick in Dew's Road is in 1960 used for commercial purposes.
Salisbury Wesleyan School.
In October 1815, the Wesleyan Methodist Society acquired the Salt Lane meeting house, built by the Presbyterians in 1662. It was in a ruinous condition and over £100 had to be spent on repairs. (fn. 27) A school was opened there by 1845. (fn. 28) It received its first state grant in 1848. (fn. 29) In 1849, 135 boys were being taught by an able master and 3 pupil teachers. (fn. 30) A cholera epidemic in the autumn reduced attendance and affected the master's health, but conditions improved by 1851. (fn. 31) In 1856, the master was stated to be pursuing his course 'under many disadvantages that would neutralize the efforts of one less energetic and vivacious than himself'. (fn. 32) The premises were very unsatisfactory in 1857. (fn. 33) The teacher's efforts were blunted by irregular attendance in 1862. (fn. 34) A Wesleyan inspector in 1864, deplored the exclusion of girls. (fn. 35) In 1867, the school was described as 'under the chapel, dark and dismal'. (fn. 36) Average attendance in the sixties was about 70. (fn. 37) The school was apparently closed in 1870, and the premises were sold in 1882. (fn. 38)
Fisherton Wesleyan School.
A Wesleyan school was opened at Fisherton about 1854. (fn. 39) A year later, it received an outfit grant of £10 from the Wesleyan Education Committee. (fn. 40) By 1856, 50 children were taught by an untrained mistress, who brought 'an earnest spirit and right views to her work'. (fn. 41) No further reference to the school has been found.
A Poor Law Union School
A Poor Law Union School existed at Salisbury in 1847, when some 30 boys were being well instructed by a teacher, who was paid £30 a year. Twenty-one girls attended the National School. (fn. 42) In 1851, the school was described as the best boys' school in the county as far as intellectual and religious instruction was concerned. (fn. 43) By 1857, there were 20 to 30 mixed scholars under a mistress. The condition of the desks, furniture, books and apparatus was moderate, and discipline and method good. An industrial instructor taught shoemaking to 5 boys. (fn. 44) The school received a state grant by 1849 and continued to do so until 1863. (fn. 45) It was probably closed about that time, for it was not mentioned in the School Board's report of 1871. (fn. 46)
A Model School for Girls
A Model School for Girls was attached to the Diocesan Training School, established in 1841. (fn. 47) It was somewhat disorganized in 1849, on account of the mistress being ill with smallpox. (fn. 48) A year later, 100 girls were taught by a mistress and 3 pupil teachers. The inspector received an unfavourable impression, but he noted that the schoolroom had been much improved and that alterations were still in progress. (fn. 49) In 1859, 60 to 80 girls were under a certificated mistress and 2 pupil teachers. The building, furniture, books and apparatus were excellent, and the discipline and instruction very good. The school shared a building grant of £2,528 with the Training College in 1850 and 1857. (fn. 50) An annual grant was made between 1853 and 1863. (fn. 51) The school was closed in 1871. (fn. 52)
St. Osmund's Roman Catholic Mixed School.
In 1859, it was stated that a Roman Catholic school formerly held in connexion with the chapel in Exeter Street had been recently closed. (fn. 53) The continuous history of the present school began in 1867, when a building with 2 classrooms was built adjoining the chapel. (fn. 54) By 1871 33 boys and 29 girls were in attendance. Of these, 21 paid 1d. a week, 10 paid between 2d. and 4d., 2 paid over 9d. and 29 were free scholars. (fn. 55) In 1886, the school's income was mainly derived from the school pence contributed by 18 boys, 12 girls and 21 infants. No teacher's salary was included in the year's expenditure of £12 8s. (fn. 56) In 1888, the school began to receive an annual grant from the state. (fn. 57) A new class-room for infants was added by 1890. (fn. 58) Total accommodation between 1888 and 1893 was 90, and the average attendance rose from 64 to 80. (fn. 59) In 1895, alterations to the premises were completed, (fn. 60) increasing the accommodation to 118; average attendance increased to 119 by 1902. (fn. 61) In 1903, the mixed department was recognized for 96 and the infants' school for 60. (fn. 62) Average attendance from 1903 until 1921 fluctuated between 120 and 140. (fn. 63) Proposed alterations to the buildings resulting from the 1913 report on premises had to be postponed because of the war. In 1924, the entire school was transferred to more satisfactory premises about 100 yards distant in Exeter Street. These had been built by the Roman Catholic authorities, and had been used for some years as a Certified Industrial School, called 'St. Elizabeth's', which had lately been removed to Sheffield. The building provided accommodation for 100 mixed scholars and 60 infants in 4 class-rooms separated by folding partitions. (fn. 64) The school was unaffected by the reorganisation of the other Salisbury schools in 1926. Between 1926 and 1937, the average attendance ranged from 135 to 175. (fn. 65) St. Osmund's became an aided school under the 1944 Education Act. (fn. 66) It is still an all-age school. The building is of two stories, of flint and stone with a brick extension.
St. Thomas's Boys' Secondary Modern School.
Church of England Schools were established in each of the three original parishes of Salisbury. In 1755, John Talman, 'having long observed the miserable want of education in the parish of St. Thomas' left a house in the High Street for the education of 8 poor girls of the parish in reading, catechism and plain needlework, each for 3 years only. The schoolmistress was to enjoy the rents and profits of the property, and was not to receive any salary, gratuity or reward, except from other girls, not exceeding 20 in number, whom she was allowed to take in as scholars. The house was a narrow one of 3 stories and contained 3 or 4 rooms. Its maintenance and repair were incumbent upon the minister and churchwardens of the parish, and, in 1833, it was still in good condition. Its value was estimated at £8 to £10 a year. Numerous children were asking for admission and none was taken before 6 or after 10 years of age. In addition to the subjects prescribed by the donor, ornamental needlework was taught by Mrs. Storey, who had been in charge of the school for 40 years, having succeeded Mrs. Noyes, the first mistress. The school's decline may be dated from 1832, when a parish school was established near St. Thomas's churchyard. By 1856, the building was in very poor condition and was occupied by a widow, who had long ceased to take in scholars. In 1862, Talman's school was sold for £70, the proceeds being applied to altering and extending the parish school. (fn. 67)
Although a Sunday school in union with the National Society existed in the parish of St. Thomas since 1817, it was only in 1832 that a daily school was established. (fn. 68) By 1859, 60 boys were being taught by a master and monitors in a room above the vestry of the church, while 50 girls under a mistress were accommodated on the first floor of a wellpreserved but unsuitable building. (fn. 69) The original parish school was temporarily converted into a teacher's residence in 1862, and a new school was erected on a site to the north-west of the churchyard. (fn. 70) The state made a building grant of £479 in addition to £1,904 subscribed by the promoters. (fn. 71) The school received an annual grant from 1860 onwards. (fn. 72) In 1871, the total accommodation was assessed at 114 boys and 119 girls, but only 95 boys and 86 girls actually attended. (fn. 73) A new building was built for the boys in 1890, and their former room was occupied by infants. As a result, the school's accommodation was reassessed at 558. (fn. 74) Meanwhile average attendance increased steadily until it was 365 in 1894. (fn. 75) Although originally intended for children of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer classes of the parish, St. Thomas's school charged relatively high fees. (fn. 76) In 1887, they averaged 6d. a child but there were several free places. By establishing a uniform fee of 4d. in 1890, the managers tried to make the school intermediate between the new Bishop Wordsworth School and the other parochial schools of the city. They claimed that there were now few residents in the neighbourhood below the class of tradesmen, and that their school provided an exceptionally wide curriculum, including cookery, carpentry, gymnastics and swimming. For both reasons, they were allowed to charge fees in excess of the fee grant under the Elementary Education Act of 1891. (fn. 77)
Alterations to the school buildings were made in 1895 and 1897, (fn. 78) and accommodation was reassessed at 544. (fn. 79) Average attendance increased fairly steadily until it reached 427 in 1910, (fn. 80) but had dropped to 331 by 1926. (fn. 81)
In 1927 the school was reorganized as a senior school for 314 boys; all boys aged 11 and over were transferred to it from the other Church of England schools in Salisbury. They were at first divided into 2 departments, each containing 4 classes, but were amalgamated in 1932. Even so, the school was overcrowded and unable to receive all the boys from the junior schools. In 1934, as a result of alterations, 2 class-rooms were created for 30 and 34 boys respectively. (fn. 82) The school became a controlled Secondary Modern school under the 1944 Education Act. (fn. 83) In 1957 some boys were moved to a new building at Bemerton Heath, which is being extended at the time of writing; when it is complete the old school will no longer be used.
St. Edmund's Girls' Secondary Modern School.
A daily school in union with the National Society existed in the parish of St. Edmund as early as 1815, (fn. 84) but it had become only a Sunday school 3 years later. (fn. 85) In 1835, when it was probably a day school again, it received a building grant of £40 from the government. The attendance was then 69 boys and 49 girls. (fn. 86) By 1859, the boys were attending other schools in the city, particularly St. Martin's, while 70 girls were being taught in a building attached to the church by an uncertificated mistress, 'a worthy person of humble attainments'. (fn. 87)
A new school was built to the west of the church in 1860. It was placed in union with the National Society and could be used as a practising school for the Diocesan Training College. (fn. 88) The government made a building grant of £1,361 in addition to over £3,000 raised by subscription. (fn. 89) The annual parliamentary grant began about the same time. (fn. 90) In 1861, the school was a 'decided success', though alterations to light, heating and ventilation were still necessary. (fn. 91) In 1870, there were 8 class-rooms: 2 for boys, 3 for girls and 3 for infants. There were 509 children on the books, but the average attendance was 345. The school's income included a state grant of £182 16s. 4d. The day children paid between 1d. and 4d. a week, and 46 children attended the night school and paid 2d. a week. (fn. 92) After alterations to the buildings, in 1896, accommodation increased from 574 to 675. (fn. 93) Average attendance was 350 in 1865, (fn. 94) and had risen to 490 by 1905, comprising 172 boys, 162 girls and 156 infants. (fn. 95) The 1913 report on school premises found little to criticize at St. Edmund's but the gallery in the infants' department was removed. (fn. 96) Average attendance in 1926 was 336. (fn. 97) In the reorganization of the same year, St. Edmund's became a school for 350 senior girls. They were at first divided into 2 departments, but were amalgamated between 1932 and 1936, when H.M.I. found 'much to commend' in the management of the school and the training of the girls. Under the Education Act of 1944, St. Edmund's became a controlled Secondary Modern school. (fn. 98)
St. Martin's Church of England Junior and Infants' Schools.
A school in union with the National Society was established in St. Martin's parish in 1811, when 107 boys and 78 girls were admitted. (fn. 99) Many others were refused through lack of a school-room. A sum of £630 was therefore raised on the tontine principle and a building purchased near St. Martin's Church. (fn. 100) It had originally been a malthouse, and subsequently a prison for French soldiers captured in the Peninsular War. (fn. 101) By 1814, there were 300 children in the school, but parental indifference, trade requirements and outbreaks of disease caused an irregular attendance for many years. (fn. 102) Amongst the children who left in 1848, 39 boys and 16 girls were dismissed for bad attendance. (fn. 103) The high price of provisions was blamed for the withdrawal of many pupils in 1853. (fn. 104) Yet, over the years, the number of children on the roll remained at between 250 and 400. (fn. 105) The staff, originally only a master and a mistress, was added to from time to time. (fn. 106) In 1840, the girls' school was entrusted to the direction of the Mistress of the new Diocesan Training School so that she might give her pupils 'efficient instruction in teaching'. (fn. 107) By 1842, there was an assistant master, and, during 1848, 2 boys and a girl were apprenticed as pupil-teachers. (fn. 108) A drawing master was added, in 1858, and the number of pupil-teachers was raised to 9. The master and mistress received annual salaries of £60 and £30 respectively, to which smaller sums were added as gratuities and for work in the Bishop's School. Until the advent of state aid, the school derived its income mainly from subscriptions amounting to approximately £140 a year and had to contend with an evergrowing deficit. This situation was remedied by 1865 when state aid amounted to £120, and subscriptions to £100. (fn. 109) A building grant of £21 was also made by the government in 1851. (fn. 110)
The school report for 1840 shows that the school was open to children over 5 years of age recommended by subscribers. They were to attend regularly at 8.45 a.m. and 1.15 p.m. during weekdays, and on Sundays at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Only sickness could justify absence without leave. The children had to come washed and combed, wearing clean and well-mended clothes. Every Monday they were expected to bring 1d. for the use of books, slates and the like, and as a contribution towards their instruction in reading, catechism, writing, arithmetic and needlework. Various charges were made for work given to the girls by subscribers, ranging from 2s. for 'fine men's shirts, frilled' to 4d. for 'sleeping waistcoats' and 2d. for 'coarse bedgowns'. Above all, the children had to behave as Christians, 'that is, be kind to each other, and never lie, cheat, steal or use bad words'. (fn. 111)
In 1859, the school was organized in 2 departments: 180 to 200 boys were taught in 2 rooms on the upper floor by the master and 5 pupil teachers, while 80 to 90 girls were taught by the mistress and 2 pupil-teachers in 2 ground-floor rooms. The girls' department was pervaded by an excellent moral tone but was inferior to the boys' section in organization, equipment, discipline and instruction. (fn. 112) Two new class-rooms were built, in 1890, so that accommodation rose to 671. (fn. 113) Average attendance was 318 in 1871, (fn. 114) and 387 in 1889. (fn. 115)
A very critical report on the premises appeared in December 1914, but the war caused a postponement of plans for reconstruction. In 1920, St. Martin's School was partly amalgamated with the George Herbert School. While the infants' departments in each remained intact, the older girls went to George Herbert and the older boys to St. Martin's. (fn. 116) The latter thus became a school for 240 boys and 174 infants. (fn. 117) The infants were transferred to the premises formerly occupied by the girls. In 1921 the boys' premises were described as 'extremely bad', and the Board of Education pressed for their complete reconstruction. Nothing had been done by 1925, when an H.M.I. wrote: 'It is a rotten old place 100 years old as a school and before that a Mill! How can it be good at bottom?' In 1926, St. Martin's School became a school for boys under 11 and infants, the senior boys being transferred to St. Thomas's School. The managers decided, in 1927, to build a new school for boys and to alter the infants' premises, but, in 1928, they resolved instead to alter the existing buildings. On completion of the improvements, in March 1930, the boys' department consisted of 5 class-rooms and the infants' department of 3. (fn. 118) Accommodation was estimated at 230 junior boys and 150 infants. (fn. 119) St. Martin's became an aided school under the 1944 Education Act. (fn. 120) In 1952 the junior boys, together with the girls of the St. Martin's Girls' School (see below), were transferred to a new building in a fine position at Fowler's Hill; the old school became an infants' school under its own head teacher, but both schools are under the same managers.
The George Herbert School.
A Ragged School, in union with the National Society was built in Milford Street in 1872. (fn. 121) It was nonparochial, and intended for children of the poorest class. (fn. 122) The government made a building grant of £261 10s., and over £1,300 was raised by subscription. (fn. 123) When the first annual grant was made in 1873, the average attendance was 101. (fn. 124) It had increased to 144 by 1878, when there was accommodation for 264. (fn. 125) In 1890 the infants' department was transferred to the adjoining George Herbert School which had just been built. After the transfer, the staff at the Ragged School consisted of a certificated mistress, an assistant mistress and a girl of 18 who had been the infants' teacher. (fn. 126) Attendance was about 60, (fn. 127) but had risen to 103 by 1900, (fn. 128) when the Ragged School was amalgamated with the George Herbert School (see below).
Salisbury Infants' School was founded in the former Quaker meeting house in Gigant Street in the early 19th century. (fn. 129) In 1830 it was supervised by a master and a mistress. (fn. 130) In 1859 it was held in a boarded room with a large gallery recess, where 140 to 150 infants were taught by a mistress 'of the old school', who thoroughly understood her own system and condemned 'new lights'. (fn. 131) In 1870 about 105 children attended, each paying between 1d. and 4d. a week. An annual grant was paid between 1865 and 1875, (fn. 132) but the school closed in 1878. (fn. 133) In 1889 the Kilburn Sisterhood offered to help the church party in the city in their efforts to increase school accommodation, and were assigned the task of building an infants' department for the Ragged School. (fn. 134) A plot of land in Gigant Street was bought and a school built which was named after George Herbert. To this the infants from the Ragged School moved in 1890.
In 1900, the two schools were amalgamated under the name of George Herbert, (fn. 135) so that the combined accommodation became 478. (fn. 136) The average attendance was 217 in 1902, (fn. 137) and 264 in 1918. (fn. 138) In April 1920, the George Herbert School was partly amalgamated with St. Martin's (see above) and became a school for 232 girls and 191 infants. At first, the girls were organized in 2 departments but they were amalgamated in 1922. The senior girls were transferred to St. Edmund's, in 1926, and the George Herbert school was restricted to girls under 11 and infants. (fn. 139) In 1930, the girls' department became a separate school, called the St. Martin's Junior Girls' School. (fn. 140) The George Herbert infants' school was described as 'happy and homely', in 1936, but it was closed in 1938, and the children were transferred to other schools, especially St. Martin's. (fn. 141)
On 21 November 1945, the school was seriously damaged by fire, and the children had to be accommodated temporarily in other premises. A proposal to recondition the George Herbert School was rejected in favour of combining the school with St. Martin's Junior Boys' and Infants' School (see above). (fn. 142) The buildings of the Ragged School and the George Herbert School are both of two stories, of brick with stone dressings: the former is used as a shop and the latter as a store.
Fisherton Anger Church of England Junior and Infants' School.
In 1718 John Nowes devised his manor of Lee in Romsey and other property in Hampshire to apply £120 to the decent clothing and schooling of 40 boys of various places in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset, aged under 13, and of Anglican parents. They were to be strictly disciplined and to be taught reading, writing, and the rudiments of Christianity according to the Anglican usage. They were constantly to wear gowns and caps made of blue cloth. An additional £30 a year was to be used for binding out as apprentices those boys who reached the age of 13. In 1721 it was decided that 10 of the boys should be drawn from Salisbury and the parish of Fisherton Anger, and, in 1819, the sums allotted for the whole charity by Nowes were increased to £200 and £60 respectively. About 1821, it was decided to refuse admission to children under 8 because of the archaic clothes prescribed by the donor. By 1833 each child received annually 2 pairs of short leather boots, 2 pairs of stockings and 2 pairs of bands. As there was no school building, they were taught in the schoolmaster's house. He received a salary of £15 and was allowed to take in other boys. The parents of children who learnt to write paid 1d. a week for pens and ink. Otherwise instruction was free. On Sundays the boys twice attended Fisherton church, and, during Lent, they were publicly examined in the catechism. On attaining 13, every boy was apprenticed with his parents' consent and received £8 from the trustees. There were complaints, in 1833, that some of the apprentices had run away and that others were being allowed to sleep at Fisherton though apprenticed in Salisbury, so that the school was becoming a burden rather than a benefit to the parish. In 1844, Nowes's School was absorbed by the Fisherton National School, whose treasurer received £55 a year from the charity for continuing the free education of the ten boys. (fn. 143) An infant school was established about 1833 in Wilton Road, opposite the site of St. Paul's Church. The building was sold in 1865. (fn. 144)
The Fisherton National School was built in 1844, beside St. Clement's Church, on the site of the former workhouse. The state contributed £180 towards the building cost of over £700. (fn. 145) By 1853, there were 55 boys and 30 girls in the school, each paying 1d. a week, under two teachers. (fn. 146) In 1859, the mixed pupils numbered between 70 and 80 and were taught in 2 rooms by a certificated master and a pupil teacher. Thirty infants were under the care of a mistress. (fn. 147) The available accommodation soon proved insufficient and in 1868 a new school was erected in Wilton Road. The cost of the new premises was just over £2,000 towards which the state contributed £186 1s. 10d. The old school was sold. (fn. 148) The new building, which was of local brick with a high pitched tiled roof, contained 2 rooms for boys, 2 for girls and 1 for infants. In 1870, the average attendance was 89 boys, 56 girls and 96 infants. Each paid 1d. or 2d. a week. (fn. 149) In 1878 the school was enlarged by one room. (fn. 150) By 1889 accommodation was 559 and average attendance 394. (fn. 151) The closing of Fisherton British School in the same year resulted in a serious deficiency in the district. The National School was therefore extended and reorganized. In 1890 a newly built school was opened in St. Paul's Road, to which the boys and junior girls were transferred. The senior girls and infants remained in Wilton Road. (fn. 152) Between 1890 and 1898, the total accommodation at the Fisherton National Schools was estimated at 1,092 and the average attendance increased from 423 to 630. (fn. 153) A parents' committee to 'advise' the managers was formed in 1892. (fn. 154) By 1909 total attendance was almost 800. (fn. 155)
In December 1913, the Wilton Road premises were reported upon by an H.M.I. very critically. They were closed in 1915 and occupied by the army and, after immense difficulties, other accommodation was found for the children. While the senior girls and infants were transferred to St. Paul's Road, the senior boys went to the Victoria Hall, Rollestone Street, and the junior boys to the Devizes Road Mission Hall. But, when the military authorities evacuated Wilton Road, in 1920, the school managers were no longer able to pay the rents for the temporary premises. Use of the Mission Hall was withdrawn and the junior boys had to be transferred to Wilton Road. (fn. 156)
The senior boys remained at the Victoria Hall, which opened as a temporary Council School in 1920. It was recognized as providing accommodation for not more than 200 boys. Between 1920 and 1924 the average attendance fluctuated between 157 and 170. The hall was very crowded, the 3 classes being separated by short canvas screens. In June 1922, the situation was further complicated when the premises of the Steam Laundry Company were destroyed by fire. The Company owned the Victoria Hall and required it to carry on its business. The school was accordingly closed, and the senior boys were transferred to Wilton Road. (fn. 157)
In January 1924, the managers of Fisherton Anger Church of England School declared that they were unable to carry out any reconstruction programme, but the opening of Fisherton Anger (later Highbury Avenue) Council School, in September, enabled them to abandon the Wilton Road premises and to transform St. Paul's Road into 3 departments for 110 boys, 160 girls and 180 infants. (fn. 158) When Salisbury's Church of England Schools were reorganized in 1926, the Fisherton Anger School became an establishment for boys and girls below the age of 11, and infants. Even so, the boys' department was overcrowded, and, after a vain attempt to reoccupy part of the Wilton Road premises, the junior boys and girls were amalgamated in 1932. Further simplification was achieved in 1940 when the junior mixed and infants' departments were amalgamated. The school became a voluntary aided school under the Education Act of 1944. (fn. 159) In 1933 the Wilton Road school was converted into the Church Rooms. (fn. 160) It was subsequently leased to the county council (fn. 161) and in 1957 was being used as a youth centre hall.
St. Mark's Church of England Junior and Infants' School
St. Mark's Church of England Junior and Infants' School was originally called the Park School. It opened in 1888, in an iron room in Wyndham Park, built a year earlier to serve as a Sunday school. (fn. 162) The children were taught by a mistress, who earned £65 a year, and a pupil teacher, who received 2s. 6d. a week. (fn. 163) In 1889, the girls and infants were transferred to new permanent premises in Wyndham Road. A separate boys' department was constituted, in 1890. (fn. 164) The total accommodation was 488. (fn. 165) The average attendance increased from 60 in 1890 to 224 in 1891, (fn. 166) and between 1892 and 1926 increased from 237 to 366, reaching a maximum of 378 in 1910. (fn. 167) The boys' department was so overcrowded, in 1915, that a question about it was raised in Parliament. (fn. 168) Nevertheless, the school was given favourable reports in 1922 and 1926. (fn. 169) In November 1926, the senior children were transferred to St. Thomas's and St. Edmund's, and St. Mark's became a school for 118 junior boys, 118 junior girls and 165 infants. (fn. 170) In 1935, a new class room for boys was built behind the school. Under the 1944 Education Act the school became an aided school. (fn. 171) In 1960 a new building to accommodate the school was under construction at the Bishopdown estate.
East Harnham Church of England Junior School.
In 1852 Mr. and Mrs. Everett of the Cliff, East Harnham, built a school adjoining the churchyard, on land belonging to Lord Folkestone. (fn. 172) The building was described in 1859 as having a picturesque exterior, a board floor and parallel desks. Some 30 children were taught by a certificated mistress from the Salisbury Training School. (fn. 173) In 1862, the school was attended by 27 boys, 36 girls and 14 infants, each of whom paid 1d. a week. The total income was mainly derived from voluntary contributions. (fn. 174) A parliamentary grant was first made in 1865. (fn. 175) Average attendance was 69 in 1865, and between then and 1908 varied between 45 and 70. (fn. 176) When the city boundaries were extended in 1904 the school became incorporated in Salisbury. (fn. 177) The lighting and ventilation of the building were improved in 1914. The standard reached by the children in essential subjects was unusually low in 1919, but there was some improvement in 1926. The school then became a school for junior mixed children and infants. In 1928, it absorbed the junior department of the West Harnham School, and, in September 1931, the infants as well. This resulted in serious overcrowding. In 1933, 3 classes were being taught without divisions in the main room, while the infants occupied the smaller room. In 1934 the senior room was reduced in size and the junior room enlarged. In 1937 the staff consisted of 3 teachers, and the children were alert and industrious. (fn. 178) From 1909 until 1937, the average attendance fluctuated between 67 and 88. (fn. 179) Under the 1944 Education Act, the school became a voluntary controlled school. (fn. 180) The one-storied building of flint and stone has had its accommodation increased by the addition of a wooden building behind it. In 1960 it was used for junior children only.
West Harnham County Infants' School.
A mistress of 'humble attainments' was running a 'tidy school' for 30 mixed children in a wayside cottage at West Harnham in 1859. (fn. 181) In 1863 a permanent school building was erected at the junction of Lower Street and Netherhampton Road, and placed in union with the National Society. (fn. 182) The state made a building grant of £120, in addition to £320 7s. raised by subscription. (fn. 183) The first annual grant was made in 1865. (fn. 184) The total accommodation was 44 in 1870. (fn. 185) In 1904, the school came within the city bounds. It became a school for infants only in 1928, when the juniors were transferred to East Harnham. Owing to poor attendance and to the head teacher's retirement, the school was closed in 1931. (fn. 186) The average attendance had never been much above 50. (fn. 187) In 1951, the Ministry of Education approved the sale of the old school and teacher's house; (fn. 188) the one-storied building of stone is in 1960 used for commercial purposes.
In 1949 some adapted wartime hutments were opened as West Harnham County Infants' School, with accommodation for 120 children. The temporary buildings were extended in 1954, and still housed the school in 1960. (fn. 189)
Highbury Avenue Secondary Modern, Junior, and Infants' Schools.
In 1924 the first permanent Council School in the city was erected at Fisherton Anger on a site of some 2 acres fronting on Highbury Avenue. When it opened it was called Fisherton Anger Council School, and was attended by 185 boys, 131 girls and 114 infants. The boys' and girls' departments had 5 class-rooms each, and the infants 3 class-rooms and a playroom. By 1926, the staff consisted of 3 head teachers, and 12 assistants. As the numbers of children increased, the recognized accommodation of 180 in each department became inadequate, and additions and improvements to provide for another 400 children were carried out about 1932, (fn. 190) although the steep gradients of the site made building operations difficult. As completed in 1933, the school consisted of 2 blocks; the higher was for 282 junior mixed children and 226 infants, and the lower for 480 senior boys and girls. Well equipped science, domestic science and manual rooms were included, and sound proofing materials were used throughout the extensions. Each block had a spacious corridor and an assembly hall capable of seating 360. (fn. 191) In 1935, the school became known as Highbury Avenue Council School to avoid confusion with Fisherton Anger Church of England School. (fn. 192) The senior department at Highbury Avenue became a Secondary Modern School under the Education Act of 1944.
Devizes Road Junior and Infants' School.
To relieve pressure on the Highbury Avenue School, the Education Committee decided, in 1938, to provide a new junior and infant school for 250 children. A site of more than 6 a. fronting on Devizes Road was purchased and the school buildings were completed in 1940. They consisted mainly of 2 junior and 2 infant class-rooms, a practical room, and an assembly hall. (fn. 193)
Bemerton Heath County Infants' School
Bemerton Heath County Infants' School was erected as part of the 1949–50 building programme, and opened in 1952. It consists of 4 classrooms for 160 children and a nursery classroom. (fn. 194)
Westwood County Girls' Secondary Modern School
Westwood County Girls' Secondary Modern School was built on a site adjoining the new buildings of St. Thomas's Boys' Secondary Modern School, and opened in 1958. It provides accommodation for 350 children. (fn. 195)