The History of Education in Hadleigh

1820         The first recorded school in Hadleigh was a Sunday school, which was used on Saturdays for six hours of basic instruction in reading and spelling, with five hours being devoted on Sundays to religious instruction. The school was founded with an endowment from Mrs. Martha Lovibond of Hadleigh House (later Victoria House) who left £750 in trust in 1820 for the education and clothing of poor children in the village. 

1834          Lady Olivia Sparrow opened a church school in Leigh to which the children of Hadleigh could attend.

1855         The National School was built by the Church of England on land donated by Lady Olivia Sparrow. It cost £450 and was funded by Mrs. Martha Lovibond’s endowment. The first mistress at the school was Miss Anne Houseley.

1870          The Education Act introduced compulsory elementary education.

1891          The Education Act made elementary education free.

1899          The school leaving age was raised to 12.

1902         The Salvation Army Colony School opened, using the citadel and library as temporary accommodation. The headmaster was Major Collins. By 1905 it had approximately 100 pupils, although some 60% of them were villagers’ children.

1910        The Hadleigh Public Elementary Council School opened on 10th October in Church Road with Mr. Samuel Collins as the first headmaster.

1914         The school leaving age was raised to 14.

1924         In April the Church School merged with the Public Elementary Council School. 

1949       The senior section of Hadleigh Primary School transferred to the Benfleet Secondary Modern School (later King John School) which opened on 2nd May 1949.

1965         Hadleigh Infant School moved to a new building in Bilton Road

1966         Westwood Infants and Junior Schools opened in Beresford Gardens, with Mr. Moss as headmaster of the juniors and Mrs. Cole headmistress of the infants.

1984         Westwood Infants and Junior Schools merged to become Westwood Primary School.

1986         The new Westwood Primary School building opened.

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  • I attended Westwood Infants and Junior School from September 1968 and remember both Mrs Cole and Mr Moss.

    By Amma Fosuah Poku (24/11/2018)

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