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History of Education in Hartley

Before 1812

We can get some idea of literacy from the marriage registers, when the couple and witnesses would have to sign the register.  The table below is an analysis of the registers for 1775-1812.  Spouses not of the parish of Hartley are excluded, but all witnesses are listed - some will not be from Hartley but there is no way of telling this.

CategoryNumberPercent literate
Male - spouse3327%
Female - spouse4023%
Male - witness1663%
Male - witness2966%

The "spouse" figures are likely to be a better indicator of literacy, because there is some evidence that people known to be literate were chosen as witnesses - Francis Treadwell of Fairby Farm appears many times as a witness for example.

Hartley Primary School
In 1818 there was no school in Hartley, but some children were sent by subscription to a neighbouring school (?Ash, which was founded in 1735). A Sunday School was started in 1829, and the same was still there in the 1834 Parliamentary enquiry, which also found Longfield had a Sunday School, Fawkham had 2 day schools for 32 and a Sunday School for 20, and Ash had 4 day schools and 2 Sunday schools (C of E and Baptist).

A school roll of 1831 names the 22 children then at the school.  The winner of the annual prize was Thomas Deane who became a carpenter and wheelwright and lived at Bay Lodge, Ash Road. (Hartley Parish Magazine, March 1926).

But local people wanted a proper school, so Fawkham, Hartley and Longfield decided to club together to pay for a school for 70 children in 1841. The original school building was thatched.  The owner of Middle Farm (William Smith-Masters of Camer) sold them the land on the green in 1841 for £2 and the school cost £135 to build. The land for the school was tiny - only 44 by 22 feet.  Part of the money came from local people and part from the Church of England National Society for Education, because then it was a church school. A press report about the Church and education in 1840 suggests that it was as much about social control as improving the lot of the working classes.  The house for the teacher was also built in 1841, the cost of £35 being met by the government.

It doesn't sound very much money, but remember you could buy a loaf three times the size of today's sliced bread for 4p, and milk cost ½p a pint and the wage of a farm worker was 51 p a week.

From various sources we can build up a list of headteachers from 1841.  Mostly from the census.

1841 James Cox, aged 45
1851 Maria Jones, aged 42
1861 Maria Jones (also Kellys 1867)
1871 Fanny and Rebecca Drace, sisters
1881 Mary Nellingham, aged 24 (also Kellys 1882)
1891 Emily Jane Hillyear, aged 40
1901 Florence A Cromar, aged 34 (also Kellys 1903)
1911 Miss Ella Rose Bragger (also Kellys 1913)
1914 Miss Margaret Theresa Fiddis
1944 Miss Dorothy Barnes
1970 Mr Alan Connick

In those days most parents would have had to pay for their children to go to school -even for many years after it was made compulsory in 1870. It would not be until 1891 that state run education became free.

A lady who went to school here in the 1850s remembered that on Sundays the children walked two by two from the school on the green to Hartley Church. In winter they were given red cloaks to wear as Sunday best, and in summer white calico capes with straw bonnets. There is another excellent description of the school from 1912 to 1917 in "West Kent Within Living Memory" (West Kent Federation of WIs, Maidstone, 1995).

As well as a school there was also a house next door for the teacher to live in.

Hartley Kent: School in about 1907
School in about 1907

Hartley Kent: Map showing expansion of Hartley Primary School
The school was extended in 1893 and partially rebuilt in 1907.  In 1907 the School Inspector Mr Philips was convinced that Rev Bancks as chairman of the governors was doing his utmost to frustrate the necessary repairs ("The Vicar will obstruct to the last if he possibly can"), but he was eventually persuaded with the help of the Diocese and a threat from the Board that the school would be closed if something wasn't done.  A new main schoolroom was built, while the old room had the thatch replaced with slate and was used as a dining hall and for PE.  New playgrounds, toilets and cloakrooms were also added.

As the population rose, so the school needed to be extended again in 1936, 1957 and 1962.

The map shows the esiimated expansion of the site from 1841 (pink), 1893 (green), 1907 (yellow) and 1957 (blue).  The base map is the large scale 1/2500 Ordnance Survey map from 1965.

Hartley Kent: Old Primary school on the Green 1968
Anne Humble, who attended the school in the 1960s has written of her memories of the old school, and the picture of the school in about 1968 just after it closed.

We went into school through the door in the photo. We sat in rows facing a  blackboard on the far wall. There was a coal or coke boiler in the  bottom left corner. In the winter our third pint milk bottles were put  by the boiler to warm. I think the last lessons in the school [for seniors] were 1963/  1964 because I went to the Round Ash Way School in 1964/ 1965. Miss  Barnes was Head Teacher. There were 3 classrooms. A room divider  separated two of them. It could be pulled back to make a larger room.  Miss Drinkwater was one of the other teachers and possibly Mrs Pritchard  or Mrs Cox. We walked to the Country Club to play rounders in the  summer and do nature study. The third classroom was much newer and not  joined to this building.  The toilets were outside and we had to cross  the playground in all weather to use them (no one complained!). We  played a lot with skipping ropes at playtime and sometimes marbles or   jacks. We knew lots of skipping rhymes.  Both ropes , marbles and jacks  we supplied ourselves from home. There was also a lot of chase too. In  winter we made slides from the ice.  Meals were served at lunch time but  I walked home with my sister and neighbours.

In the last century two ladies were headmistress for a long time - Miss Fiddis from 1914 to 1944, and Miss Dorothy Barnes from 1944 to 1970.  Writing in the Hart of July 1970, Miss Barnes said when she came it was a "tiny, ill-equipped, only two teacher school" with lessons constantly interrupted by air raid sirens.  When the senior children were transferred in 1946, the numbers fell to 29, but in 1970 there were 427 enrolled with a staff of 11 teachers plus herself.

The new school in Round Ash Way opened with 7 classrooms for senior children in November 1968.  The infants followed in the Easter term of 1969.  Kent County Council spent £14,236 on phase 2 improvments in the years 1968-70.  New Ash Green Primary with 320 places opened in September 1971 (Source: KCC - "Education in Kent 1970-1974").

Hartley Primary School converted from one run by the council to an academy answerable to the government in 2013, to be taken over by the Leigh Academies Trust.  The school does not have a governing body of its own now, rather a "local development group" which advises the Longfield Academies Board, which acts as the statutory governors.

When the school was built in 1841 only 199 people lived in Hartley, now many thousands live here. Numbers rose rapidly from the low of 1946, rolls topped 100 for the first time in 1959 (Hart May 1969).  So the old school became too small and a new one built in Round Ash Way (1965).  Infants continued to use the old building, until it was closed forever in December 1968. The new school was officially opened by Professor Eric Laithwaite of Imperial College London, the inventor of Maglev Railways.

Hartley Kent: Hartley Primary School
Hartley Kent: Hartley Primary School

The old school was knocked down and replaced by the three new houses opposite the green.  

Other Schools
Our Lady of Hartley RC - founded in 1942 by evacuated sisters from Alderney.  The school was a weatherboarded wooden building in Woodland Avenue, but was replaced by the current school in Stack Lane in 1976.  It converted to an academy in 2014, like Hartley Primary it is part of a multi-academy trust, in their case the Kent Catholic Schools Partnership.

Steephill School - founded in 1935 by Miss Eileen Bignold and now run by an Educational Trust.

Former Schools
Old Downs - this was a cramming school for sons of the gentry, run by a Mr Stickland until about 1950.  One of the teachers here was to become the 1950s television personality, Gilbert Harding.

There were also schools in the 1930s at Bonsalls, Church Road; Fairby High School, The Stoep, Fairby Lane; and Merton House (now Amberley, Merton Avenue, run by the Mrs Cromar who used to be headmistress of Hartley Primary School)

Parochial Returns on Schools 1818
Parish, Minister & Population
Particulars relating to endowments for the education of youth
Other institutions for the purpose of education
Ash near Dartford
Thomas Bowdler
A school in which 20 boys are taught; the funds amount to £27 10s, £25 of which are paid to the master, and the residue applied to necessary expenses, according to the will of the founder
A school for girls, supported by voluntary contributions; and another day school, containing together 47 children.  A Sunday School, in which 70 children are instructed.
The poorer classes have abundant means of educating their children, free of expense.
A W Burnside, curate
There is a village school immediately joining the parish; and when the poor have not sufficient means of defraying the expense, they are assisted by charitable contributions.
Thomas Bradley
The labouring poor are without sufficient means of education, but some of the children are sent by subscription to a neighbouring school.
Glover Mungeam, curate
The poor are in want of a means of education.
Thomas Bowdler
The poor children are educated in the adjoining parish of Ash.
Source: A digest of parochial returns made to the select committee appointed to inquire into the education of the poor : session 1818.
School Roll 1831
From March 1926 edition of the Parish Magazine, by Rev Bancks.  The 1833 abstract would suggest that this was a Sunday School rather than a day school.

Here is the Hartley School roll of 95 years ago. If to this list of names, dated 1831, there be adde d those of the landowners of that time, it woul d be well representative of the inhabitants of the parish a hundred years ago.  W illiam and James Martin, Charles Day, William Day , Mary Martin, Eliza Longhurst, John and William Ware , Anne Hayes, Thomas and Charlotte Packman, Jane Longhurst, Richard Day , Mary Day , Hester and Emma Ware , George and Isaac Outred, Thomas Deane, William Mitchell, Henry Day, Henry Packman .  These have all " gone hence. " But some of their descendants are still in this and the neighbouring parishes.

It may interest some to know that Thomas Deane was the good boy that year who won the prize given annually at midsummer.  When he grew up he became a carpenter and wheelwright, at first in a small way . But Thomas prospered, and went on gaining prizes all his life. He won an estimable wife, a good business, a nice house, and I think, the esteem of all his fellow parishioners. But he lost his only son aged 21.

Thomas Deane was responsible for most of the carpentry work at the Church for 50 years. In 1859 he put up a new gate, and the following year altered the pews. I do not suppose it was his fault that pitch pine was substituted for the fine old carved oak. He died at Bay Lodge , and was buried in 1901, aged 68 years. His tombstone is a feature of our Churchyard , the stone obelisk surmounted by an urn. It commemorates also his wife and only child.

Rev Bancks wrote about the school on other occasions, including the March 1925 edition of the Parish Magazine.

I reminded you in a previous number that our old Schoolroom was built in 1841. Before that time Hartley children went to school in the parlour of one of the "Black Lion" cottages. There were twenty or more on the roll, so there could not have been much room to spare, and I think they must sometimes have overflowed into the tiny kitchen. They were taught by two sisters who lived at Hartley Cottage, now enlarged into Hartley House.

After the new school was built the girls wore red cloaks on Sundays and sat in the front seats in the chancel in Church, and helped in the singing.

The Choir proper sat in the gallery, and from all accounts were a law unto themselves. The women sat behind and the men in front, and they had with them a fiddle, a bass-viol, and some other instruments.   There were Choir strikes in those days, and on one memorable occasion when some unwanted innovation was proposed, action direct and direful followed. They collected all the Church music and choir books, including Tate and Brady, and made a bonfire of the lot. I have been shown the spot where the deed was done.

On the following Sunday the services were carried on with the help of the little girls in the red cloaks.

And in the June 1927 Parish Magazine.

I have lately got into touch with an old Hartley parishioner who is now living in Yorkshire, and has not seen the parish since 1859.  

She is over 80 years old but has written me several letters of reminiscences of her younger day s when she lived in Hartley .

After telling me that she and her two sisters were born in one of the old Parsonage Cottages she goes on to speak about the Church as she remembers it in the days of her childhood. She says ,

"There was a good male choir then, so good that people came from Dartford and Gravesend to hear the singing. At that time the gallery and the high pews were in the Church. How strange it looked when they were all taken away and we could see each other! The men used to sit on the right hand side of the aisle and the women on the left, except the better class who sat in their family pews. The Choir sat in the gallery."

She speaks of the special dress which the school children wore on Sundays . She says,

"We all, large and small, had served out to us from the Rectory, red flannel cloaks for the winter, and at the end of winter we took them back and were given white calico capes for the summer. And we had speckled straw bonnets with a strip of blue ribbon round them tied under the chin.  We met at the School on Hartley Green and walked two and two to the Church.  A noticeable figure among the congregation was my father's step-mother.   She wore a long scarlet cloak which she came out in on the day the school children began to wear theirs."

This was " Dame Ware," she lived at Stocks Farm , and I have been told that she always came to Church in pattens , as did many others in those days . They were all left in a row in the porch during service.

Abstract of Education Returns 1833
Published by Parliament in 1835.  As in 1818, Ash has by far the best educational provision, but all parishes have some schools now, even if only a Sunday School in the case of Hartley and Longfield.

Hartley Parish (Pop 182) - One Sunday School (commenced 1829) attended by 20 children of both sexes, and supported by the Rector.

Longfield Parish (Pop 125) - One Sunday School (commenced 1833) attended by 15 children of both sexes, is supported by the Rector and Curate, who allow the mistress 4 guinea per annum and coals, and provide books for the children.

Fawkham Parish (Pop 204) - Two daily schools, one whereof (commenced 1831) contains about 20 children of both sexes, and is partly supported by the Rector, and partly by small payments from the parents of the children; in the other 12 of both sexes are instructed wholly at the expense of the parents.  One Sunday School of about 20 children, is supported by the Rector  A school room is about to be erected with the aid of the National School Society.

Ash next Ridley Parish (Pop 628) - Four daily schools, one whereof contains 40 males and is supported by an endowment; another 55 females; in the other two are about 15 children of each sex; the last three schools are supported by subscription; children from Ridley are admitted to these schools.  Two Sunday Schools, in one whereof 60, and in the other 30 children of both sexes are instructed gratuitously; the former school is of the Established Church, and the latter appurtains to Baptists.

Local education and new Hartley School 1840
West Kent Guardian 3 October 1840
The report mentions grants for two new schools to be built at Hartley and Meopham.  The attitudes of the speakers are very interesting.  None of them appear to believe in education to better the prospects of the poor, but rather as a form of social control.  This is summed up in one comment: "The best policeman was the schoolmaster; the best gaol was the schoolhouse or the church".  

Meeting of the Societies for Promoting Christian Knowledge and National Education

This meeting, which took place at the Town Hall, Gravesend, on Thursday, the 24th instant, was announced for one o'clock, but owing to the unpropitious state of the weather it did not commence till 2pam, at which hour W M Smith esq of Camer, took the chair, supported by the Venerable the Archdeacon of Rochester, he Revs Dr Joynes, Messrs Stokes, Lonsdale (Principal of King's College), Hindle, Edmeades, Heberden, Johnston, Alcock, Kyle, Day, Tate, Irish, Allfree Otley, Dixon, and W Gladdish esq on the platform.  The meeting was opened with a prayer by the Rev J Stokes.  The chairman began the business of the day by briefly alluding to the comparative thinness of the assembly, occasioned by the state of the weather, and after expressing a hope that the interests of the society would not suffer, concluded by calling on the Rev A Tate the Secretary to read the report; from which it appeared that grants had been made from the local association in the course of the last year to assist in the erection of school houses at Meopham, and at Hartley, and that the inhabitants of Stone and Swanscombe, stimulated by this association, had raised subscriptions sufficient to build a school for the two parishes.  The total receipts for the Christian Knowledge Society for the past year ammount to £79 14s 4d, of which £39 18s 2d arose out of the sale of books.

The expendiure during the same period was £71 6s, a sum of £5 having ben handed over to the parent society for its general purposes, the balance in hand is £3 8s 4d.  The distribution of books from depository had been as follows: 96 Bibles, 63 New Testaments, 167 Prayer Books, 2,840 books and tracts.  Total 3,166 publications.  

The Rev Heberden moved, and the Rev J Day seconded the adoption of the above report.

The Venerable Archdeacon of Rochester in moving the second resolution, which was as follows 'That this meeting, convinced that no greater benefit under Divin Providence, can be furnished through the instrumentality of man to the poor and nation at large than a sound religious education, and gratefully recognises the aid which the National Society has ever received from the SPCK, approve their united operation, and recommend the objects to public support', said ....... he felt that there was such a call upon him now, and this was what induced him to come forward.  Teh question of national education was one of vital importance  It was in fact, the question of questions.  He would not go into details, but confine himself to one of two important points, first, he would endeavour to shew from the facts and figures, the connexions between the want of education and the increase of crime; and secondly,t he quantity of education that was required for the people of this country.........  In England and Wales, during the course of the last year, there were 73,612 persons put on their trial.  Of this number 8,464 were utterly without education; 12,298 were imperfectly educated, and only 300 had received what could be called a decent education.  It was an appalling fact, and one that strongly proved the necessity of a system of national education, tht 2,654 of these persons wer 14,15 or 16 years of age.  There surely must be a great want of education, since so many of that ge ould be found in the criminal list.  He would come still nearer home.  The population of all England and Wales was 15 million; that of all Kent 500,000.  Now the persons accused of crim in Kent during the last year had been 896 whereas, according to the proportion of the population, to that of the entire county, it should have been 766, a frightful proof of the effect of want of education.  Of this number 128 were under the age of 16, whereas, according to the proportion of the population, 88 should have been the number.  He considered nother further necessary, after these facts, to prove his part of his statement, and would therefore proceed.  In the second place, to point out the quantity and exent of the education required.  He would remind them that the population in England and Wales was 15 million; the proportion of these under education ought to be 4.5 million, but  in point of fact not more than 1.5 million were receiving education, and at least a half of these received no instruction except from Sunday Schools.  In this district alone, there were at least 3,000 children who ought to be receiving education, of which number only one half were receiving it, and 500 only Sunday Scholars.  Part of those who received daily instruction obtained it at private schools, or dame schools or similar places.  Of all Protestant countries he believed this to be the worst, in point of national education; for let England be considered in reference to other countries, Denmark was about the best specimen, perhaps, in Europe; its population was about 2 million, amongst whom were abut 300,000 children, of whom 278,500 were under education.  Prussia with 14 million of populatio and 2.8 million children, had 2,250,000 in her schools.  France 33 million, children 4.8 million, of whom 2 million were educated............. After these facts, he would briefly conclude by saying, that if he were to appeal to the charity of the meeting, he would have a right to do so; for no cause was dearer to God than the one relating to the salvation of the soul.  But he might go beyond the mere point of duty, and shew them that it was their best interest to promote this cause, as there could not be a more effective way to keep the country in general, and their own neighbourhood in particular, peaceable, orderly, and quiet.  The best policeman was the schoolmaster; the best gaol was the schoolhouse or the church; and if they knew the superior value of preventive to punitive measures - and if they therefore promoted the extension of schools and of churches, they would soon discover a sufficient reward for their expense and labour in the increasing tranquility and virtue of the land.  They could not stop the course of national education; he know that it had many opponents; that there were many who had actually set their faces against it, he could scarsely say why; but it seemed to hi that it would scarcely be a want of charity to suppose that they had not been really well educated themselves, and not therefore having derived any benefit from the instruction which they had themselves received, they wee the less willing to incur expense and trouble to extend it to others what they had not found a blessing in their own case.  The National Society was however progressing, notwithstanding their opposition.  It was formed in the yer 1811, and from that period up to the year 1837 its income had never reached to £11,000; indeed, in the year last mentioned, it was but £1,054, and had but 560 subscribers; but in the year 1839 its income amounted to £21,000 and it could number 12,000 staunch friends.  This resolution spoke of the connexion between the National Society and the SPCK, and he ought to observe that £5,000 of the above large increase in the income of the former of these societies was derived from a grant from the latter....  In its first formation it embraced not only its present objects, but those also of the National Society and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and within 40 years from the date of its establishment it had founded upwards of 2,000 schools; since 1811 it has confined itself to the supply of books to the schools; last year it had given away £5,000 in such a manner as to occasion a saving of £14,000 to the funds of the National Society.  The meeting ought to remember that he was now pleading for those who could not assist themselves to obtain a good education without the aid of such societies as those under their consideraion.  If the poorer classes were not instructed by them, they never could afford to obtain instruction at all.  Those who heard him expected to be well and faithfully served by their inferiors, but how could they reasonably expect this if they left them untuaght in every right principle.  He concluded by saying "Let us only give the poor a really good, a religious education, and they never will be able to call us their debtors.".........

The resolution was put and carried unanimously.

The Rev Dr Joynes moved the 3rd resolution, which was as follows: 'That this society views with satisfaction the efforts that have been ade during the past year towards the establishment of schools for the children of the poor in neighbouring villages.'  The Rev Dr began by expressing his conviction, that there was no need for saying uch after the eloquent address of the Venerable Archdeacon.  The destitution spoken of was a matter of fact, which needed few illustrations, but he would employ one  There was scarcely a week in which emigrant ships did not stop in the river here on their wasy to Nova Scotia, Canada or Australia.  This was in itself a proof of the increase of population in this country; as the population inreased, the means of obaining support by labour decreased; until the poor man's only hope of bettering his condition lay in emigration.  It followed hence that emigration proved that the labouring man in this country, was in want of means to live - how much more must he be in want of means to educate his children, unless assisted by this and similar societies?  The meeting or country might reason as they would, but they must ultimately come to the conclusion, that unless the poor were educated by their country, the mass of the must remain ignorant.  He had heard that in four alone of the great manufacturing towns of the north, there were no fewer than 84,000 young persons utterly uninstructed; and he would ask what must be the ultimate lot of this great number, but that they would swell the crowds of disorderly and vicious by which our manufacturing districts were already disgraced....... Now, if we were only to think of the consequences to ourselves, we shoudl see that this was launchig on the world tens of thousands of mischievous creatures hastening on to another world, without the least restraint on their willingness to injure ourselves.  If we were only to think of their happiness we should be inclined to help them; the labouring man cannot always find employment; what judgement is he to follow when he finds himself destitute of the means of support?  If he be not educated and therefore not in the habit of exercising his mental powers, there is nothing that he is more likely to do, than to follow his animal propensities to any excess of profligacy or violence, to which they may lead him.  If we were to look to his eternal interests, we ought ot remember, that the totally uneducated poor an has not been taught to look up for that divine guidance and grace, without which we can do nothing.  He therefore lives a mere animal life, and we have no right to suppose that, after years spent in all the all the misery of sin and vice, he will a length be launched into heaven by a miracle.  The age of miracles is past, and heaven works by means and though we may say that the labouring classes have the means, that they have Bibles, churches, ministers, and other means of instruction, yet, unless they be trained to it, they have no idea of using those means  Can we patiently sit by, whilst we have all these blessings ourselves abundantly, knowing that the children of the poor are exposed to such deprivations?  Nay, our own interest demanded an effort on this point.  A single mischievous servant might destroy the repose of a family.  The very comfort of our neighbourhood might be destroyed by the ignorance of the poor.  In walking from his own house to the Town Pier, he might be exposed to many annoyances from the want of education of the populace.  A drunken man might stagger against him with an oath, a beggar might interrupt him by his impertenance, and to this and the like the whole community might be exposed, so long as the mass of the population were untaught...........   Now he would say, that those 84,000 uneducated children in the four greatest towns, of which he had spoken, were likely to be the future chartists and socialists, and if the public did not educate them on scripture principles, they would be ready to break out presently.  Every one who was really a man of humanity would rather send a poor child to school to learn what is good, than to gaol for doing what was wrong.  We did not know what might be the future destiny of our country, but whatever calamity, whatever trial, whatever chastisement it might please God to send us, we ought to try to have the labouring classes ready to comfort us by their obediance and good under such visitations; we should therefore give a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether to educate the children of the poor; so shall we most effectually keep the whole country united, orderly and happy.

The Rev J P Alcock, in seconding the resolution, said that he felt he had strong reasons for supporting such a cause as this.  He was thankful for his own education; he felt it had been a blessing to himself, and he was anxious to extend the same benefit to others; he also remembered that one of the societies, whose cause he now pleaded, the National Society, had made a grant of £50 towards the erection of a building for a Sunday School in a parish of which had the charge some years since; he had felt it his duty to spend 3 hours every Sunday in that school, and he had the most convincing proofs of the lasting benefits which it had conferred on the parish.  He had lately had occasion to visit that place, and he had not only had the pleasure of hearing that many of the young people trained in that school had turned out well, and were giving satisfaction to their employers, but the still higher gratification of receiving the blessings of many of their parents for the good which he had been the means of conveying to their children.  He would take the liberty of defining education in its true sense.  It was a training not for time only, but for eternity.  Whatever else might be taught, it was essential to impress on the mind of every child, that he had an immortal and responsible soul - that there was a God, who saw and judged every thought and action - that he had a Saviour, who died for his reconciliation - and that a future and eternal state of rewards and punishments awaited him..........  This country had within the last few years, expended £20 million in ransoming the best Indian slaves, and yet with a strange inconsistency was leaving thousands of factory children uneducated, and in all the slavery of ignorance (the £20m was the compensation paid to slave owners when slavery was abolished in 1833, equivalent to £16.5bn today).  The population of the country was daily increasing, and yet we had done little in church extension, or religious education.  Thousands have, through other means, recieved some instruction in literature, and what has been the consequence? Why, that we may find newspapers filled with abuse of everything that is venerable or holy, assailing private character and venting their filth not only against the throne, but against the majesty of God himself, read by thousands, while religious education was at a low ebb.  We had neglected to build schools, but we had built workhouses.  We had built jails, we had sent convicts by ship-loads to our penal colonies; we had neglected their spiritual interests there.  Such was not the system appointed by God himself............  Such was the testimony alike of the Scriptures and of the national church, as to the duty of Christian education; and he might adduce the testimony of their own feelings also.  They might go through a parish - they might look at the schoolhouse - they might admire the neatness of the building, and its apparent fitness for the purposes for which it was intended - but they would not be satisfied unless they were assured that a good education was given within.  The National Society exerted itself to satisfy them on that point; for it not only assisted in building and furnishing the schoolhouse, but it did what was of infinitely more importance.  It trained the teachers in the best methods of scriptural instruxtion, in order that the children, being taught to read an to understand the Word of God, and having the catechism and other formularies of our church impressed upon their minds, might go forth ready to give a reason for the hope that was in them ,might go forth thankful to thier school, to their church, to their Queen, and to their country, and might shew this thankfulness by becoming good and useful members of society.  And the blessings of such an institution often reached furhter than the school or the scholar.  He had himself conducted a Sunday School in one parish for more than 5 years; and in many instances he had found the parents had been instructed by their own children.  Some might feel inclined to ask what they could do much by their subscriptions, and still more by inviting their friends and neighbours to aid a society which extended such benefits to the rising generation.

The resolution being then put, was carried unanimously.

The Rev A Tate, in moving the 4th resolution, 'That the SPCK, from the care which it has taken of the wants of the people, deserves universal support', said he would simply allude to the operations, origin, and nature of that Society.  It was originally and necessarily a School Society; for in distributing Bibles, prayer books and other religious publications it had found the necessity of first teaching many of the poor to read.  It accordingly founded several schools in the metropolis, many of which continue to the present day......  About 10 years ago there had been a number of incendiary fires in this part of the country; and this, he maintained, was a proof of the ignorance of the peasantry, on one point in particular, on the nature of fire insurances, for, thad they understood these, they would have been awre that they were not, by their lawless proceedings, inflicting the slightest injury on the farmers, whom they so foolishly thought their enemies but a heavy one on a mercentile body with which they could never come into contact, they would have abstained from such a method of shewing their displeasure.  

(newspaper says they have run out of space to report further)

Sale of site for school

In 1841 William Masters Smith, the freeholder of Middle Farm sold for £2 a small site near Hartley Green for a new school for Hartley, Longfield and Fawkham.  It measured 42½ feet by 22 feet or 104 square yards.  It was to be a "National" (Church of England denominational) school and it remained so until it was replaced by the new school in Round Ash Way.  Like all charitable trust deeds it was enrolled in the Chancery Court.  The following is a summary.

TNA C54/12555 (Trust Deed: Hartley Primary School)
16. This indenture made the 11th day of May ... 1841.  Between William Masters Smith of Camer ... esquire, of the one part; and the Rev Richard Salwey, rector of Fawkham .... The Rev Edward Allen, rector of Hartley ... Rev James King rector of Longfield ... and the said William masters Smith of the other part.  Witnesseth that in consideration of £2 sterling to the said William Masters Smith paid by the said Richard Salwey.  he the said William Masters Smith doth hereby bargain and sell unto the said Richard Salwey and his heirs.  All that small piece or parcel of ground containing in length on each of the east and west sides 42 feet 6 inches, and in breadth in each of the south and north sides 22 feet and on the greater and norther part a school has been very lately erected.  Situate, lying and being in the parish of Hartley aforesaid, and being part of a shaw adjoining, and belonging to a close or piece of land called ... Little Homefield and in the occupation of George Best; and which piece of ground ... is bounded on the west by that part of a public carriage road which adjoins Hartley Green, and on all other sides by the said shaw, and which land ... is forever hereafter to be sufficiently fenced on the north, east and south sides by the purchasers thereof, as the same is delineated in the plan drawn in the margin hereof. Together with all easements, appurtenances and hereditaments corporeal and incorporeal belonging thereto or connected therewith etc...  To have and to hold all the said .. premises unto the said Richard Salwey and his heirs to the use of the said Richard Salwey, Edward Allen, James King and William Masters Smith their heirs and assigns forever.  Upon trust to permit the said premises and all buildings thereon erected or to be erected to be forever hereafter appropriated and used as and for a school for the education of children and adults, or children only of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer classes of the several parishes of Fawkham, Hartley and Longfield aforesaid, and as a residence for the schoolmaster, which said school shall always be conducted upon the principles of the Incorporated National Society for Promoting to Education of the Poor in the principles of the Established Church, and shall be at all ..times open to the inspectors... for the time being appointed or to be appointed in pursuance to an order of Her majesty in Council bearing date the 10th day of August last....

(the deed also has provisions allowing the trustees to sell or exchange the land provided that the money raised is used for another site in the three parishes; and provided  William Masters Smith or his heirs are given an option to repurchase at a fair valuation.

Also provisions for the appointment of new trustees, if one dies, goes abroad resigns or is incapable of acting, the other three or the heirs of the last  surviving trustee to appoint new trustees on the same trusts. Covenant for title given by William Masters Smith, and he will produce to the trustees the deeds of lease and release dated 30/31 May 1823 made between (1) George Smith esq, since deceased, (2) William Masters Smith, his only son; and (3) William Gorsburn, gentleman.)

In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals teh day and year first abovewritten......
.... be it remembered that on the 3rd day of September ... 1841 the aforesaid William Masters Smith esq came before our said Lady the Queen in her Chancery and acknowledged the indenture aforesaid and all and everything therein contained and specified in the form above written.. And also the indenture was stamped according to the tenor of the statute made for that purpose.

Inrolled the 17th day of September 1841.

Grant application to Government for new School, 1841
This is from the National Archives TNA ED103/9.

Questions - Fawkham, Hartley and Longfield National School

1. The site on which the school is to be erected is situated in or near Hartley Green, being a plot of ground lying between Longfield Church and Hartley, in the parish of Hartley, adjoining the parish of Fawkham, and within a quarter of a ile of the parish of Longfield.

2. State the extent of the site and how it is bounded - Including the ground given for the erection of a master's house, the extent is 48 feet by 24.  Bounded on the side by a highway, on the three sides by a field out of which it is taken.

3. Nature and height of the fence with which it is to be enclosed - a flint wall four feet high, if the funds will admit of it.

4. What is the tenure in which the site will be held? - Freehold, vested in trustees.

5. How many trustees will be appointed? - Three, viz the number of the three parishes for the time being.

6. Give their names, professions etc - Revd Edward Allen, Rector of Hartley; Revd James King, Rector of Longfield; Revd Richard Salwey, Rector of Fawkham.

7. State the precise words in which the object to which the building is to be devoted is expressed in the trust deed -  Upon trust, to permit the premises and all buildings thereon erected, or to be erected, to be hereafter appropriated or used as and for a school for the education of children of the labouring and other poor classes in the parishes of Hartley, Longfield and Fawkham in the principles of the established church and as a residence for a school master.

8. Describe the means by which this site will be drained, stating the distance which collateral drains will have to run, and the nature of the main drain - no draining necessary, the soil bing of a clay nature.

9. Are any vitriol works, tanneries, size manufactories, slaughter houses or other noxious trades situated near this site? - None.

10. Is it in the neighbourhood of any undrained marsh or swampy ground, any large uncovered drain or large stagnant pool? - It is not.

11. What is the nature of the superficial bed on which the foundation will rest? - Chalk and flint.


12. Of what is the foundation to consist? - of flints


13. State their thickness - 9 inches with one course of board timbers.

14. The materials of which they are to be built - brick

15. Are they to be plastered internally? - No only whitewashed.

16. State the height of the walls of each of the school rooms as well as the height of the ceiling from the floor - Seven feet six inches to the wall plate, ten feet 6 fro the floor to ceiling.


17. State their number - two in each room.

18. Their sizes - 4 feet 4 by 3 feet 6.

19. The material of the casements or window frames - deal with oak sills.

20. The nature of the opening - Hung on pivots.

........... (Two pages missing from my photocopy).......

31. From what district is it expected that chilren will attend the school? Define teh boundaries of that district - a district comprising the three parises of Harltey, Fawkham and Longfield.

32. What is its population? - By last census 512.

33. State what charitable or other funds and endowments for the education of the children of the poor exist in this district - no endowments, the three Sunday Schools being supported solely by the clergy of the several parishes.

34. Enumerate the schools for the children of the poor existing in this district, and the number of children each will accommodate - A Sunday School at Fawkham united to the National School containing 18 boys and 12 girls.  A Sunday School at Longfield - about 20 children, no schoolroom  secured.  A Sunday School at Hartley about 12 children, no school room.  These three schools will be united together in the new one.

35. State the grounds for representing this case as deserving of assistance - The exertions that have been hitherto made by the promoters of the school, with the little probability of any further funds being raised, in addition to the great want of a day school, none at present existing in either of the three parishes.

36. Among the reasons for expecting that the schools will be efficiently and permanently supported, state probable amount of annual subscriptions and donations - Revd J King, £8 pa; Revd R Salwey, £9 pa; Revd J Allen (sic), £9 pa; Revd W Edmeades, £2 pa; Revd J Dixon, £3 pa; Revd P Phipps, £2 pa.  Total £33 pa.  Of School Fees estimated at £31 pa.  Total £64 pa.  Reserved for expenses £3.  Total £61 pa.

37. State generally extent of resources which the neighbourhood is likely to furnish for support of schools - The general desire both amongst the farmers, famlies of the district, adn the labouring classes to possess an efficient school.

38. What is the estimated cost of the erection (exclusive of residence of schoolmaster or assistant, and boundary fences).  State separately the cost of the site, the schoolhouse, the master's house, the boundary fences - £100 including fittings.

39. What is the amount now raised by subscription to meet this expenditure? - £63

40. How much do the promoters expect to raise by subscriptions and donations? - nothing more.

41. Have you applied to any body or other similar souce for aid and if so what assistance has been granted or promised, or on what grounds has the application been refused? - application made to the National Society, late reference was made to the committee of [......] £20 has been granted.  An application at Gravesend? of the clergy to [......] included in the £63.

42. Do you intend to apply to any society or other source for aid? - no unless this appliatio should be refused.

43. What is the extent of the expected deficiency in the funds for the erection of the school house? - £37, exclusive of the boundary fence and stoves? expenses of conveying the site etc, for which no estimate has been made, and no fund provided, estimated at [......].

The above questions and the replies to them were read and signed at a meeting of the school committee (or trustees) of the Hartley, Fawkham and Longfield school duly convened on this 18th day of November 1840 at Ash Rectory.  (Signed) Richard Salwey, rector of Fawkham; P Phelps, curate of Hartley, Revd William Edmeads, rector of [......]

Certificate of completion of school house

We the undersigned, being the majority of the school committee or trustees, representing the promoters of the erection of the school house at Hartley, hereby certify for the information of the Right Honourable the Lords of the Committee of Council on Education.

1st.  That the new school house in aid of which your lordships were pleased to grant £35 is completed in a satisfactory and workmanlike manner, being built of the proper dimensions, and in all respects according to the plan and specification prepared to and approved by your lordships.

2nd.  That the amount of private subscription specified in our memorials to your lordships have been received, expended, and accounted for, and that there does not remain any debt, charge, or claim of any kind, on account of the building except what will be liquidated by your lordships' grant, the payment of which is now prayed for.

3rd  That the site of the school hosue has been obtained with a good legal tenure, and has been duly conveyed to trustees so as to secure the building for the purpose of educating the children of the poor.

4th.  That we are ready to submit to any audit of our accounts for building which your lordships may direct, to make such periodical reports respecting the state of our schools as your lordships may call for, and to admit your lordships' Inspectors according to the annexed regulations, marked A.

5th.  That the deed of truste has been examined and approved by your lordships' council and has been duly enrolled in Chancery according to law, that a copy thereof together with the signatures, attestations, and receipt has been made on plain unstamped parchment and transmitted to the council office there to be registered and preserved.

In testimony whereof, we affix our signatures and request the payment of the sum appropriated to the school at Hartley aforesaid

Signed and dated Ash Rectory, November 1st, 1841.  Richard Salwey, Rector of Fawkham; William Edmeades, Rector of [......], Mr P Phelps, curate of Hartley; J M Dixon, curate of Fawkham.

Regulation A
The right of inspection will be required by the Commitee in all cases.  Inspectors authorised by Her Majesty in Council will be appointed from time to time to visit schools to be henceforth aided by Public Money.

The Inspectors will not interfere with the religious instruction or discipline, or management of the school, it being their object to collect facts and information and to report the result of their inspections to the Committee of Council.

Inspection 1871
This is not like an HMI report on the school, rather a pro forma that the inspector fills in (shown by highlighting).  This followed the Elementary Education Act 1870 which made eduation compulsory (but not free) for all children aged 5-13.  These reports were to see if any new schools were needed.  At Hartley the answer was no, provided they employed a qualified teacher.

Inspector’s Report - parish of Hartley (9 December 1871)

(i) This district contains 252 inhabitants of which 9/10 are of the class whose children may be expected to attend elementary schools.
(ii) School accommodation (1 in 5 of this class) ought to be provided for 46 children.
(iii) the efficient schools within this district already existing or in the course of being supplied will accommodate 0 boys/girls/infants.
(iv) (no efficient accommodation in neighbouring districts).
(v) Accommodation in public elementary schools is required for 46 children.
(vii) I consider there is a deficiency in the district.
(x) In what part of the district is such accommodation required?  How many children ought to be provided for in each of the schools required?  The present building is sufficient if the school were efficient.

G R Moncrieff, inspector of returns.

2. Supply Agenda

Schedule 1
Existing School: Hartley National  
Total Children: 54

Schedule 2
Accommodation Reqd Situation Particulars
For 46 children In centre If the Hartley NS were made of parish efficient by the appointment of a certified teacher no further accommodation will be required.

Improvements to School 1893-1895

The Board of Education file does not mention the building of the infant school in 1876 but does have details of building works to add new toilets and remove the ceiling in the main schoolroom.  At the time this building was thatched, but this was replaced by slate in 1909.

Letter (12 July 1893) from Messrs St Aubyn and Tradling (?)
New plans for school submitted showing additional latrines.  Note on file says “subject to insertion of a swing window in gable close to ceiling, plans can be approved for 32 additional infants - ERR July 18th 1893).

Letter dated 7 March 1895; Rev Allen to Board of Education

Hartley Rectory March 7th [1895]

I am in receipt of your letter dated March 6th in which it is stated “my lords are unable to approve the proposal that the ceiling in the schoolroom should be removed” and suggesting a plan of ventilation.

In reply I beg to state that the room is already thoroughly ventilated and has now in the ceiling two outlets for foul air, leading to patent ventilator in apex of roof in the manner suggested by the department in sketch 94/2394y (in the TNA file).

By rule 4c of Schedule 7 of the code I see that permission can be given to open roof to apex when “the roofs are specially impervious and when apex ventilation is provided”.  The roof is deep thatch which resists alike both heat and cold therefore both these conditions have been fulfilled.  The managers are unanimous in their approval of the suggested alterations, as it is clearly the only plan to secure a larger area of breathing space.  The managers therefore earnestly beg my lords to approve the proposal.

I have the honour to remain, faithfully yours

W Whitton Allen

(note on reverse - “approved letter sent 2 April 1895”)

School numbers 1900-1939

YearTotal on RollAverage Attendance
Building Works 1907-1909
According to Rev Bancks (Parish Magazine March 1924) the total cost was £600.  The Diocese donated £180 of the cost.

Letter dated 13 December 1907 from Rev Gerald W Bancks, Hartley Rectory to Board of Education

Dear Sir

In reference to HM Inspector’s last report respecting Hartley School in which he says “The room is still too full for teaching purposes” and recommend as the only remedy “rebuilding the main room”, I wish to state the following facts:

We have at the present time of Hartley children on the books -

Infants 10; Mixed School 29. Total 39, giving average attendance of 34

And we have the following accommodation -

Modern classroom accommodating on the 9’ basis 30; Old Mixed School 54.  Total 84

The overcrowding of our school arose from our taking for a number of years from 40 to 50 children crowded out in the neighbouring parish, giving us at times over 70 in our mixed school accredited for 54!

But accommodation has now been provided in their own parish - their school being equally near, and the road to it unquestionally a better one.

Since HMI last visit we are thus relieved of these outside children, and the overcrowding in our school no longer exists.

I may add that our managers are ready an anxious to meet the board’s requirements as soon as they know what these are under the altered circumstances.  And are quite prepared to carry out the suggestions in regard to playground, new offices, entrance etc. in HMI last report.

I should be glad to call and see you if you think it advisable, and to furnish any further particulars you may desire.

Yours truly
Rev G W Bancks

(notes from Mr Philips (HMI) says current situation in regard to main room cannot go on anyway; and Longfield school is very full, so more accommodation may be needed soon anyway. He wasn't very impressed with Rev Bancks, he thought "The Vicar will obstruct to the last if he possibly can", although as we will see he appears to have been brought to heel by the diocese.  Reply in these terms 24 December 1907, adding surveyor will visit in first instance)

Letter dated 24 December 1907 from Board of Education to Kent Education Authority

I am directed to enclose a copy of a letter received from the correspondent of the above named school.  HM Inspector who has seen this letter adheres to his opinion that, quite apart from the question of numbers nothing short of rebuilding the main room will make the premises satisfactory.  He further reports that the Longfield School is very full and that additional accommodation for the district may become necessary before long.  There appears to be no reason why the managers should not now submit plans for a new Mixed School as proposed in the Authority's letter of 14th August last.  I am to request that in the first instance the Authority will obtain a surveyor's report on the existing premises.

I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant
H W Simpkinson

2 January 1908 Notes of conversations between HMI and Rev Bancks and Diocese
I've explained things more fully to the vicar since his letter and talked the matter over with the Diocesan people  They agree that the main room building is inadequate and offer now a handsome grant (about £180) towards the cost of rebuilding.  Probably the managers will do the obvious thing now.

C J P(hillips)
2 January 1908

(Plans sent by Kent Education Committee of managers’ proposals for extension, 3 June 1908. Letter from Board dated 11 June 1908 - plans approved, new accommodation will be 40 mixed, 30 infants.

27 February 1909 Improvements completed
The school had been added to the Ministry's blacklist (8 February 1909) following HMI Report of 31 December 1908

Mr Hart of Board of Education questions inclusion on blacklist as improvements are almost finished.  Note from LSW dated 27 February 1909:

“Mr Hart

The improvements here are completed, and the new main room is properly equipped and in use.

(alterations are)

(i) A new main room has been built at the back of the infants’ room.
(ii) New cloakroom and lavatories have been erected.
(iii) The playground has been enlarged and is separated for boys and girls.
(iv) New offices have been put up - for the boys and girls.
(v) The old main room still forms part of the school building and can be used as a dinner room and for drill.  The thatched roof has been replaced by a slated one (it no longer counts in the accommodation however)
(vi) The old offices have been converted into a store house for coal etc.”

Removed from blacklist, 1 March 1909 - additional description “New main room built 20 feet by 22 feet 6 inches with vestibule containing lobby and lavatory for boys and similar accommodation for girls.  New playground for boys with offices, also addition of girls' playground, with offices for girls, infants and staff.  Old offices converted into store places for coal, wood etc”.

Another official wrote "This school was threatened with condemnation.  But it has been comprehensively improved in accordance with plans passed last June.  So I think it may now come off the black list."

Official notice to LEA dated 1 April 1909, giving new accommodation of 70.

Inspection 1910
Very short compared with others on file, not sure if it is an extract.  File also has letter to LEA dated 18 March 1909: “...... the teacher, Miss Lena Summers does not appear to have been engaged under a written agreement...”

HMI report dated 17 November 1910: “The school has made a great advance under the present headmistress, though much still remains to be done.”

Complaint against the school 1911
This is a letter in the Department of Education's files from F(ortunatus) Lynds, Essex Road, Longfield, postmarked 19 February 1911 (copied as written - presumably the Mr Rich referred to is the one who was living at 3 Black Lion Cottages in 1918, these cottages were next to the Black Lion in Ash Road and were demolished and replaced with the houses Hedgeway and Pineleigh).  He says his eldest son (John) Rich was made to leave school because he was too clever.  By April 1911 he was working as a farm labourer so presumably this letter did not alter the governors' decision.  John Rich died in the first world war and is commemorated on the war memorial.  Gwen Barnes in her 1970 article about the fallen of Hartley confirms that he was the brightest kid in the school.  It is quite possible that personalities were involved, John Rich senior was an athiest and a socialist, which would not have endeared him to Rev Bancks, the chairman of the governors.  A few years later Rev Bancks barred Austrian refugee children attending Hartley School, who had been brought to the village by another socialist, Alfred Salter.

TNA ED21/7661


I am sorry to take up your valuable time...... I have a friend Mr Ritch of Hartley, Kent, is children were first educated in Lower Road School, Tottenham, his children got on well in that school and there was no complaints, then he moved to Hartley and the children went to the school.  His eldest boy is a sharp lad and the teachers must add something against the boy, one day the lesson was taken with a sunflower and all the children were to answer the colour of it except this boy, of course he answered, that is is weakness he will answer if he knows anything, they made a report against him sent it to the board and not informed the father of their intention until everything was settled, that his child was to leave school which of course he did.  His father is in a position to send his son until he was 15 years but now he is deprived of his opportunity, for the sake of the governers.  I hope you will put his case in hand and thrash it out.  The education of today in Church school is going back very much in my opinion.

(Mr Hart of the Ministry says “I do not think we can enter into correspondence with an officious friend unless he is authorised to act by the parent - of course it is possible that the parent cannot write”.  Reply to Mr Lynds dated 24 February 1911, tells him that complaint should be made by the parent and addressed to the school board.)

School Inspection 1912

I beg to report that this school was visited by Miss Loveday and Mr Harbour in accordance with my directions on 27 September 1912 and to submit the following observations:

(a) Instruction: The improvement of the school under the present headmistress is maintained, and the children are orderly and happy.  Courses of instruction have been carefully prepared, but a reconsideration of the plan of the Geography lessons is advised, and special attention should be given to training in speech.

In many respects attainments show creditable progress; but an effort should be made to obtain a better foundation of the arithmetic, especially in class 2.

The younger girls should fix their own needlework, and exercises in knitting and cutting out might be further developed.

The infants are busily employed under a teacher who has the charge of them only a short time, and who will, no doubt, consider the suggestions offered as to the teaching of reading and number, and for the proper use of story lessons.

(b) It would be an advantage if modern desks could be substituted for the two unsuitable desks in the main room, and if chairs and tables could be provided for the infants, who now use seats without backrests.

The woodwork inside the school needs repainting.

HMI (C J Phillips), dated 27 September 1912

(Letter from LEA dated 24 February 1913 - twelve dual desks supplied for seniors and infants; letter from LEA dated 14 March 1913 - woodwork will be repainted in the summer vacation).

Hartley's Population and School Grants 1913
Extensive correspondence occurred in 1913 when Kent LEA made their usual grant for Hartley School based on a low population of the parish, the Small Owner's population had meant that Hartley was no longer eligible.

Board of Education to Kent LEA 9.6.1913

The claim of the Local Education Authority for grant to the above named school has received the consideration of the Board and payment will shortly be made.

If the Local Education Authority desire to press their claim for a grant under Article 32 of the Code, a house to house census of the population within the Civil Parish should be taken and forwarded to the Board.  The census should give the population on the last day of the school year and must include the whole of the population within the Civil Parish whether within 2 miles of the school or not, and must be certified as correct by a responsible officer of the Local Education Authority.  The census will be retained by the Board for purposes of record.

I am sir, your obedient servant
Edmund Phipps

The requirement of a census to prove eligibility for the £10 grant under article 32 was reiterated in a letter from R Wolrond to the Kent LEA on 10.7.1913.  Kent LEA reply on 11.9.1913 with a copy of the census which is not on file but found the number of people living in Hartley on 31.1.1913 was 336.  The result was of concern to the Board because the grant they were applying for was only for parishes with populations under 300, this made them suspect the previous year's application. However Rev Bancks was able to explain that the population had shot up in the previous year following the arrival of Small Owners Limited, who had built 30-40 houses.

Mr Burdett
The census gives population of 336 – no further SP be payable.

£20 was paid in 1911 and 1912 on population given on Form 9E as 284 (the figure the 1913 claim was originally based on).  The 1911 official census = 278.  Should the 1912 claim be questioned in the light of this special census?

C J Phillips (the HMI) 15.9.1913

Mr Phillips
The 1901 official census gave the population of the CP as 284; 1911, 278.

The SP Grant has for several years past been claimed on a population of 284, and £20 has been paid until this year when £10 only was paid, and a census required for the balance.  The LEA then asked whether we would not accept the official census figures, saying they had no reason to think that there had been any material increase of the population.  We refused to do this, and a census is now sent up showing a population on 31.1.1913 of 336.

The n.o.b resident in the Civil Parish on 31.1.1910 was 52 (1911 – 46, 1912 – 47, 1913 – 48).

It appears from the Minutes on EC 9921/13 that “land schemes” are probably responsible for some increase in the population.

It appears to be established  that the population has risen from 278 on 2.4.1911 to 336 on 31.1.1913, and I do not think we can be satisfied at present that it was under 300 on 31.1.1912.  Shall we ask the LEA on what evidence the population was certified on Form 9E to have been 284 on 31.1.1912 and on 31.1.1913 and what answer they have on the discrepancy between the form 9E and the census?  No question as to further payment or refund of grant arises as regards the year ending on the latter date, but the 9E figures are proved to have been seriously incorrect, and it may be well to let the LEA know it will not do simply to enter the official census figures in all cases in which they have no particular reason for thinking thee has been much of an increase (They didn’t even give the 1911 figures).
R Megarry 16.9.1913

Letter from Board of Education to Kent LEA 7.10.1913

I am to refer to the Census enclosed with Mr Harrison’s letter of the 11th ultimo (Elem.) from which it appears that the population of Hartley Civil Parish was 336 on the 31st January 1913, and to inquire on what evidence the population of the parish was certified on form 9E for the years ended the 31st January 1912 and the 31st January 1913 as 284 on those dates, and what observations the Authority have to offer on the discrepancy between this figure and that given in the Census.

I am sir, your obedient servant,
R Walrond

Reply from Rev Gerard W Bancks to Kent LEA 17.10.1913
Hartley Rectory near Longfield
Dear Sir
In reply to your letter of October 9th, the discrepancy between the figures referred to is explained by the fact that during the past 12 months between 30 and 40 houses have been built in the parish by a land company.

These have been gradually occupied as the houses were completed.  In form 9E in January last we entered the population in accordance with the last census.

Yours truly
Gerard W Bancks

Letter from Kent LEA to Board of Education 12.11.1913

With reference to Mr Walrond’s letter of the 7th ultimo, I enclose herewith copy of a letter received from the correspondent of the School regarding the discrepancy between the figures shown on Form 9E and the Census recently taken.

I may say that when the Form was received at this office it was noticed that the population was shown as 284, and a communication was addressed to the correspondent, who stated that the population of the Parish was certainly larger than the returns of the 1911 census.

As the 1911 Census showed a population of 278, it was assumed that the figure shewn, viz 284, was correct.

I am Sir, your obedient servant
James Thompson
Financial Secretary

Notes from the Civil Servants say they will accept the explanation and take no further action.

Career of Miss Fiddis up to 1919
Miss Fiddis was headteacher of Hartley School for 30 years from 1914 to 1944.  Details from Teachers' Registration Council 1919.  She was born 22.10.1882 at Cootehill, Co Cavan, Ireland.  Up to 1924 she lived at the schoolhouse on the green, but lived outside Hartley after that.  In 1939 she was living at Halstead.  After retirement she moved back to Ireland, to Downpatrick, Co Down.

Margaret Theresa Fiddis

Attainments: Board of Education Certificate; Intermediate Certificate of London College of Music; Special Certificate in Hamonium, Piano and Organ playing of Eildare Place College, Dublin.

Teacher Training: Kildare Place College, Dublin.

Career: Headmistress, Laragh School, co Wicklow 1904-1913; Bundoran School co Donegal 1913-1914; Hartley CofE School 1914-

School expanded 1936
A former domestic class room was converted to a classroom.  This enabled the school to accommodate 110 pupils, instead of the previous 70.  Hartley's population was growing all the time and additional space would have become necessary.

Report of County Architect on Visit Paid to the Hartley School on the 6th April 1936

The room in question is deficient in lighting and ventilation, and the heating is inadequate  It is suggested that a skylight should be fitted in the roof on either side for increased light and ventilation, and that two "Oresse" stoves be supplied to provide as near a uniform temperature as can be obtained without central heating.  The room at present is heated by a small domestic fire grate.

It is also recommended that the boarded ceiling be painted white.  It is at present stained and varnished a dark colour  The approximate cost is £47, which includes the cost of two skylights and opening gear, two "Oresse" stoves no 10, complete with floor plates and pipes, and the painting to the ceilings.

It is also suggested that a tap be fitted over the sink in the lobby  This appears to be essential, and the approximate cost is 15/-.

The question of heating in one of the other classrooms was also discussed, and the remedy appears to be to install another "Oresse" stove no 12 at an approximate cost of £12, leaving the existing fire grate as a reserve in case of cold weather.

Letter from Kent Education Committee to Ministry of Education 10 August 1936

Owing to an increase in the number of children in attendance at this school, it has been found necessary to bring into use once more a room in the school which for some time now has not been regarded by the Board as forming part of the acccommodation of the school.  The Committee, in order that they might be in a position to advise the managers on what was necessary to put the room in a condition suitable for school purposes, arranged for the County Architect to submit a report.  This report has now been received, and considered both by the Committee and the Managers, and the latter have obtained a satisfactory tender for carrying out the work set out in the attached specification.  A copy of the county architect's report is also attached.

The school is now closed for the summer holidays, but will reopen on Monday the 14th September, and the Managers are anxious that all the work should be completed by that date.  The Committee will be glad to know at an early date, therefore, that the proposed work meets with the approval of the Board, in order that an order may be issued in time to enable the work to be completed by the time the school reopens.

At the same time, the Committee will be glad to be informed of the revised accommodation of the school.

I am, sir, yours faithfully
E Salter Davies

Letter from Board of Education to Kent LEA 12 August 1936

With reference to Mr Salter Davies' letter of the 10th instant, I am directed by the Board of Education to state that they approve the Managers' proposals for improving the condidtions in the old disused classroom at the above named school in order to make it suitable for use for classroom purposes.

On completion of the work the room will be recognised as providing accommodation for 40 children and the total recognised accommodation of the school will therefore be 110 places for mixed and infant children.  The Managers should, however, consider whether for the increased number of pupils expected to be in attendance the existing office and cloakroom accommodation will be sufficient.

The plan is returned herewith.

As soon as the work has been completed, the managers of the school should forward to the Board, through the Local Education Authority, a certificate from the Architect, on the enclosed form 359G showing that the work has been completed in accordance with the approved plans.

A copy of this communication is enclosed for the convenience of the authority in communicating with the Managers.

I am, sir, your obedient servant
D O Cochrane

File has the form 359G from Hark & Norley?, 11 Essex Road, Dartford datd 12.9.1936 to confirm the works had been completed viz Increased lighting, heating and ventilation in former domestic subject room converted into a classroom 28' 6" x 15' - 427½ square feet.

School Inspection 1939

I beg to report that this school was visited by Miss P G Whiting in accordance with my directions on February 20th and 21st 1939 and to submit the following observations:

Mixed and Infants

The school has 56 children on the roll, organised in 3 classes, and the age range in each class is now more satisfactory.  Since the last report, class 2 has had four changes of staff, and the probationer teacher now in charge is leaving shortly.

Progress in reading and number are evident in the 2 part class, but the handwriting is irregular.  The less formal activities are improving, and the children seem happy in their early school life.
The formal work of class 2 has been adversely affected by changes of staff, bu the reading is now well sectionalised and progress is more satisfactory.  Some practical arithmetic has been done with good effect.  The weakest part of the work in this class is in its written work  The English books are untidy in arrangement and handwriting, while corrections have not been methodical  The teacher has however developed in the children a livelier attitude towards their work through projects, and except in the written exercises already mentioned, has done some useful work in the school.  In particular, she had improved the art and physical training of the two top classes  She has paid continued attention to posture and physical training, and the children are more alert and responsive in their exercises and team activities.  The playground is small in area, and of poor surface, but the available space has been used to good advantage.

The work of class 1 is still mediocre.  The arithmetic books show a higher proportion of correct work, but more practical exercises are desirable, and problems should be set out more clearly.  The written work in English is generally weak as to spelling and punctuation.  Some dramatisation has recently been done, and the children showed some life in declaiming their parts.  In answering questions about their work, they still show considerable diffidence.  The oral work, especially of the boys, needs continued attention.

The singing of class 1 is taught by the Infant class teacher, and staff rotation receives attention  The singing could be lighter in tone and enunciation crisper.  The music of class 2 is in the Head Mistress’s hands, but the lesson heard was weak.

It is unfortunate that no facilities exist in the neighbourhood for Practical Instruction for either boys or girls.  The boy’s handiwork is varied and not uninteresting, but the needlework is indifferent.

Efforts have been made for some time to raise funds for a school wireless set  One has now been purchased, and its use for broadcast lessons should be very valuable for these country children.

The attention of the Head Mistress is also drawn to the following points:

(1) A clear timetable of work of the three classes should be completed.
(2) (a) The schemes of the school should be unified
(b) The history scheme is too factual and traditional, and needs revision
(c) There is no scheme in literature

E R Marsh, HMI

School Inspection 1950

This two teacher school has 23 children in the junior class and 35 in the infants, who use a double room with the partition opened back.  There is no hall.  A tarmac surface has recently been laid in the playground.

The children settle in happily to school life and receive good social training, but the Mistress, who is in her first year of teaching finds it difficult to organise the class so that all the pupils are occupied.  There is no set reading scheme and the shortage of suitable books and apparatus handicaps the work although the teacher has tried to alleviate this shortage by making some equipment.

The attainments of the junior class are disappointing.  Much of the work set is of a formal and unrealistic character with too great a reliance on text book exercises and copying from the blackboard.  Both in English and Arithmetic there is a need for a standard of setting out and of neatness.  Although the pupils are encouraged from time to time to write their own poems there is scope for the general development of original effort.  They should have the opportunity of using ink before they leave school.

A model of the Village Green has been made in connection with local studies in History, and there has been a recent improvement in Art and Craftwork, but if Needlework is not taken as a separate subject there should be a greater range of processes taught and an extension of the time allowance in order to give greater practice in needlecraft.

Some greater stability of staffing would assist the planning of a more continuous course of work suited to the needs of the pupils.

The mid-day meal, which is cooked on the premises, is served in the classroom  There is adequate supervision.

Final Extensions to the Old School 1957-62
As Hartley continued to grow after the war, so did the number of schoolchildren.  Two new classroom huts were added in 1957 (shortly after Green Way and Springcroft were built) and the old school house was once again pressed into service in 1961.  

Letter from Ministry of Education to Kent LEA 3.4.1957

  1. With reference to Mr Woodhead's letter of the 21st March 1957, I am directed by the Minister of Education to state that he approves, so far as his requirements are concerned, the work shown on the plans submitted, and the expenditure involved, £2,750.
  2. It is noted that this expenditure will be met by means of a loan.
  3. The plans, which have been retained by the Ministry, provide for the erection of two hutted classrooms together with cloak accommodation at the above named school.
  4. A certificate from the architect on the enclosed form SB23 should be returned to the Ministry as soon as possible after the completion of the work.
  5. Immediate notification of the date on which this accommodation is taken into use should be sent to the Ministry and Her Majesty's Inspector.

I am sir, your obedient servant
H Jordan

Letter from Ministry of Education to Kent LEA 2.8.1962

With reference to Mr Haynes' letter of the 15th June, I am directed by the Minister of Education to say he notes that the School House at Hartley Church of England Primary School became an integral part of the school as from 1st November 1961, and that it will be adapted to form a staff room, medical inspection room and store.
The new school in Round Ash Way 1960-1970
Kent County Council first authorise new school at meeting held 24.2.1960.  Officers were authorised to apply for sanction to borrow £33,050 to acquire the site (although a note says only £15,000 of the total is for this purpose, this was increased to £25,000 by supplemental vote on 25.7.1963, which increased the total project to £73,050).  Another supplemental vote dated 20.11.1963 added a further £181,750 to the project of which £14,500 was to go to the site acquisition costs.

Ministry of Education to Kent LEA - approval of new school plans 22.2.1963

With reference to Mr Hayne's letter of 15th January 1963, I am directed by the Minister of Education to state that he approves, so far as his requirements are concerned, the work shown on the plans submitted, as specified on Form SB16 at a cost of £45,045.

The sum is made up as follows:
Building Work £39,695
Professional fees and expenses £5,350
Total £45,045

The appoved plans provide for the above named hall and 3 classroom installment of a new primary school.  Work may not start on this school before 1st April 1963.

Expenditure of £7,200, calculated in accordance with the school meals premises grant formula will rank for 100% grant under regulation 5 of the Milk and Meals Grant Regulations 1959.

The estimated total net cost of £35,295 is the limit applicable to this project.  The Minister is unable to allow any net cost abnormal.

The estimated additional buildings costs amount to £4,400; the cross cost to £39,695.

The Authority's attention is drawn to the semi-official letter, dated 12th November 1962, and to the request to reduce the additional costs.  The Minister is of the opinion that these costs should be no more than £4,400 and the amount claimed on SB16 has been reduced accordingly.

A statement of cost on tender should be sent to the Ministry on Form SB27.  The tender need not be referred to the Ministry for approval, however, unless it is proposed to accept a price which would inccrease the gross cost of the project by more than 1% above the agreed estimate of £39,695.

A certificate from the Architect on form SB23 should be sent to the Ministry as soon as possible after the completion of the work.

The statement of final cost on form SB17 should be submitted as soon as the accounts are complete.  The Authority is asked to make every effort to clear the final account as soon as possible after the completion of the project.

Immediate notification of the date on which this accommodation is taken into use should be sent to the Ministry and Her Majesty's Inspector.

A copy of this letter is enclosed for the use of the Authority in commuicating with the Managers.

I am, sir, your obedient servant
Miss E Rylott

Kent Local Education Authority to Ministry of Education 24.2.1964
The Authority has recently purchased land at Fairby Lane, Hartley, as a site for the new buildings and playing fields of this school and would be glad to receive loan sanction. The following documents are attached in support of this application:-

1. The County Architect's technical report dated 18th January 1962,
2. The District Valuer's report dated 12th August 1963.
3. Form S.B.1 and the Authority's resolution authorising the raising of the loan.

The County Architect's report was prepared before the vendor had carried out development of his adjoining land and it was subsequently necessary to amend the eastern boundary of the school site to accord with this development. This account.= for the slight difference between the technical
report plans and that which accompanies the District Valuer's report.

I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant,
John Hargreaves, County Education Officer.

Reports by County Architect and District Valuer

Reference: SAWDRN.
Date of Inspection: 14th December, 1961


(iii)(a) Site Area
4.98 acres, together with full right of-way over and under the proposed estate roads, shown coloured brown, and rights of drainage through th., sewer to be constructed at point X on the plan. The Vendor should convey all rights he has over Fairby Lane.

(i) Owner
R.J. Billings, Esq., Fawkham Manor, Fawkham, Nr. DARTFORD.

(iv) Restrictions and interests to which the property is known to be subject:
The Postmaster General has an overhead telephone cable, with poles and a stay, along the southern boundary of the site.

(v) Rights or easements attaching to the property:
As referred to in 1(111)(a). The Vendor should be under covenant to construct the roads and extend the 6" sewer to a depth of approximately 7 feet at point X.

(i) Description of site:
Part wooded, part rough grassland

(ii) State of cultivation

(iii) Description of boundary fences and gates
NORTHERN - 6 feet high thorn hedge, with remains of a post and wire fence. EASTERN - Unfenced.  SOUTHERN - 8 feet high hedge, with numerous small trees and odd lengths of post and wire fence.
WESTERN - Part undefined, part mixed hedge and trees, but sparse.

(iv) Predominant use of surrounding property

(i) Contours
General fall down to north, but south¬western corner falls to south.

(ii) Nature of soil and sub-soil
Loam and pebble overlying chalk

(iii) Natural drainage

(i) Road classification, description and condition
Fairby Lane is an unmade road, in a poor condition. The new estate roads have n yet been constructed.

(ii) Building and Improvement lines
Fairby Lane is to be improved to a width of 36 feet, and there is a building line of approximately 30 feet on the site frontage.

(iii) Liability for road charges, if any
The purchase price should include all charges for the estate road, but there may be a charge when Fairby Lane is widened.

(iv) Nearest access to highway if private road
The site is approximately 300 yards from Ash Road.


(i) Soil drainage
None at present, but the sewer will be extended. Cesspools will not be permitted

(ii) Surface water drainage
To soakaways.

(iii) Water supply
3" main in Fairby Lane

(iv) Gas supply
No gas mains in the vicinity

(v) Electricity Supply
L.V. overhead supply along Fair-by Lane


(i) Existing Use Class

(ii) Proposed Use Class

(iii) Zoning proposals of Development Plan
Approximately 2 acre along the eastern side of the site is zoned for residential purposes. The remainder is a "White area'

(iv) Staging of development plan proposals
Residential, 6-20 years

(i) Possible scope for adaptation or further development:
The site will be enclosed by housing development on three sides, with a Country Club Sports Ground to the north. Due to the lack of main drainage, the site
is capable of limited building development only.  The sewer extension will serve approximately 2½ acres of the site.

(ii) Clearance, drainage, fencing, repairs or other works necessary before the proposed development could take place
It will be necessary to clear the majord::y of the wooded area, carry out conditioning works for the playing fields and fence whole of the boundaries. Development could
not be completed until the road and sewer have been extended, although access may be possible from Fairby Lane during building operations

(iii) Action recommended in respect of acquisition
The site is recommended as suitable for a 10 class Junior and Infant School for 400 pupils, but acquisition should be dependent-upon adequate provision being made in the Conveyance for the central estate road and drainage extension.  It is suggested that the Vendor should covenant to provide these services within six months of the date of completion

Date: 18 January 1962
County Architect.

File also contains application to sanction loan to Kent County Council dated 16.1.1964.  District valuer gives total cost of £39,123.  Made up land acquisition (£38,080), legal expenses and conveyancing costs (£615), Surveyor's fees (£428).  Interestingly the form says that KCC would only be the initial owner pending transfer to the school trustees, suggesting at this point it was still intended to be a church school.

Sanction for loan: Department of Education and Science to Kent LEA 28 August 1964

I am directed by the Secretary of State for Education and Science to refer to Mr Haynes' letters of 24th February 1964 and 10th August 1964 and to state that the Department has now recommended the Ministry of Housing and Local Government to issue formal consent to the borrowing by the Kent County Council of the sum of £39,123 for a period of 60 years in respect of purchase of approximately 4.76 acres of land adjacent to Fairby Lane, Hartley, Kent, as site and playing fields for Hartley Church of England Primary School

I am sir, your obedient servant
R S Young

Architect's certificate of completion of works 8 December 1965

Hartley Church of England Primary School

I hereby certify that I have personally inspected the buildings of this school and that the new buildings for which plans and specifications were approved by the Ministry of Education on the 22nd February 1963 were erected under my direction, and completed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications on the 9th September 1965.

Signed County Architect 8.12.1965

School building project - Hall and 3 classroom installment of a new school.  Classrooms for 120 pupils.  Kitched for 300 diners (200 in first instance) in 2 sittings.  Net cost of initial scheme £28,000.  Complete scheme net cost to be £66,500 for 10 classes and 8,120 square feet of classrooms.

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