Ollerton School

THROUGH THE EYES OF A FORMER PUPIL

Ollerton SchoolhouseMr Arthur Crimes, a past pupil of the school in the 1930's started school at the age of 5 years and spent his early education in the "little classroom" and then at the age of 8 years moving up into the "big room" under the instruction of the Head Teacher. The start of the school day was the ringing of the school bell with the same after dinner to start the afternoon lessons. Older pupils were appointed as Monitors to see that the desk inkwells were supplied with ink and other tasks to ensure the school day ran smoothly.

Games were part of the school day with the school having a football team and engaged in rounders, cricket and ball games in the school playground. Pupils were allowed to make super slides on the village pond across the road from the school during the frosty winter period. The pond was a quite sizeable area of water and of course the traffic in School Lane was almost non-existant and the playing of marbles and the spinning of Tops (Sleepers and Window Breakers) could safely take place in the Lane.

The School closed in 1993 and sold in 1994 and is now a private house. The closure of the School was a sad occasion, and as Chairman of the Governors along with teachers and staff from the School, parents and residents of the Village organised a strong campaign to keep the School open. But with pupil numbers being approximately 30 and predicted to fall over the next ten years, the battle was lost. Another aspect of village life which cannot be regained but maybe to the bebefit of gaining a broader education for our children.

LEGAL UNDERPININGS

The school was built in 1876 by Lord Egerton and an agreement dated 1903 between Lord Egerton and Managers, Rev. Greswell, Charles Stanier, Samuel Callwood and Mr. J.T. Smith, his Lordship gave permission as Tenants to use the School for Educational purposes.

Under the Elementary Education Act of 1870 the County was divided into School Districts and Boads were elected and empowered to establish and maintain Elementary Schools.

Universal Compulsory School attendence was not acheived until later Acts in 1876 and 1880 were passed. The Education Act of 1902 abolished School Boards, transforming their functions to the County Councils. The Education Act of 1918 abolished fees in Elementary Schools and raised the school leaving age to 14 years and also established Nursery Schools for children between 2 and 5 byeras of age.

The Education Act of 1944 repealed earlier legislation ansd restarted the new National System of Education which has influenced the pattern over the following years. During this time the Ministry of Education raised the leaving age of pupils to 15 years and then 16 years and promoted Primary, Secondary, and Further Education through the County Education Authorities and Local School Management Bodies.

It is interesting to note that Ollerton School was built in the year of the Education Act 1876 and the Management agreement with Lord Egerton was signed within Tweleve months of the passing of the Education Act 1902.

George Littler
18th August 2004, with thanks to Mr A. Crimes for his contribution