Acton had two schoolmasters in
1628. (fn. 31) In 1637 Viscountess Conway bequeathed
a rent charge for teaching six poor children at 1s.
a week, which was paid out regularly by the
churchwardens until 1816 and thereafter into the
National school funds. (fn. 32) The rector, William
Antrobus, in 1805 offered to assist the foundation
of a school for the poor; (fn. 33) nothing further was
mentioned, although a school for girls was said to
have been established in 1808 under the auspices
of the rector and supported by subscriptions. (fn. 34) In
1815 a special vestry meeting considered building a National school for 50 boys and 50 girls,
supported by subscriptions and supervised by a
committee of 14; (fn. 35) the round house and coal
house by the north-west corner of the church
were to be rebuilt, next to a new schoolroom. (fn. 36) In
1816 the school was formally united with the
National Society (fn. 37) and by 1819 it had c. 110
pupils, taught by a salaried mistress with a house
and supported entirely by subscriptions. The
poor were said to possess sufficient means of
educating their children in 1819, when there
were also two boarding schools for tradesmen's
children and two or three other small schools. (fn. 38)
In 1833 there were c. 100 pupils at the National
school and c. 90, all fee paying, at four other day
schools. There were also three boarding schools,
one for 80 boys and the other two containing 50
girls, also supported by fees. (fn. 39) A separate infants'
school was built by the parish in 1837, (fn. 40) and in
1843, in addition to the National school with 108
pupils and the infants' with 84, there was a
common day school for 20 boys, besides three
dame schools containing 35 pupils, two of them
run by dissenters, for which 4d. to 6d. a week was
charged. (fn. 41) One was probably a forerunner of the
Wesleyan girls' school opened in the Steyne in
1846. (fn. 42) Poor children, regardless of religion,
were also taught by the nuns of the Sacred Heart
at Berrymead Priory between 1842 and 1850. (fn. 43)
Anglican education increased with the new
building of the National school in 1853 and 1862,
and the opening of National schools at East
Acton in 1862, Acton Green in 1863, and South
Acton, All Saints', in 1868, while Turnham
Green's Roman Catholic school moved to Acton
Lane in 1864. (fn. 44) By 1870 there were eight
elementary schools: four connected with the
Church of England, the infants' forming part of
Acton National school, two Wesleyan, one
Roman Catholic, and one of no stated denomination. Five were public schools, secured by deeds
and attended by 398 boys and 303 girls, and two
were 'adventure' schools, of which one had 46
boys and 15 girls. (fn. 45) The four National schools,
Turnham Green Roman Catholic, and the
Wesleyan day school were all recognized as
efficient in 1871, and it was considered that the
total of 1,381 places sufficed. (fn. 46) Two evening
schools were started in 1874, run as public
elementary schools for boys, in Acton and South
Acton. (fn. 47)
In 1875 a school board was requested by the
managers of the National schools, whose
threatened closure, on grounds of expense,
would have lost 1,400 out of 1,800 places. (fn. 48) The
board, with seven members, took over at the end
of 1875, (fn. 49) but met much opposition, because it
rented church schools for a nominal sum and
allowed the school managers to control the
premises until 9.45 a.m., in order that religious
instruction could be given to pupils arriving
early. Many nonconformists claimed that schools
maintained from rates ought to be unsectarian,
and the inspector in 1877 thought the practice
likely to provoke conflicts of interest over
financing between school managers and the
board, who were often the same personnel. (fn. 50)
Nevertheless the arrangement continued as long
as the buildings were required.
The first board school was opened in 1880,
with a second in 1882 and a third not until 1891.
The board also took over the Wesleyan school in
1895 and opened a new temporary school in 1898.
A persistent shortage of places was relieved by
using nonconformist churches and mission
rooms. Under the Education Act, 1902, Acton
became a Part III authority and the U.D.C.'s
education committee replaced the school
board. (fn. 51) Four permanent schools and one
temporary one had been opened by 1909, with
another permanent school replacing the
temporary one in 1912. In 1909 the council
stopped negotiations for another new school on
complaints of extravagance in building. (fn. 52)
An intermediate evening school was held at
Priory school, with 119 students in 1902, (fn. 53) and
from 1905 a central school provided higher
elementary education, for which children had
had to go outside the parish. (fn. 54) In 1906 the county
grammar school for boys was opened, in which
Acton boys made up a third. (fn. 55) A scheme was
drawn up under the Act of 1918 to improve
secondary and technical instruction, besides reducing elementary classes to 45 and abolishing
temporary and older accommodation. In 1919 it
was estimated that more than 3,000 additional
places in elementary and central schools were
needed for the next three years. Secondary
provision was poor and many older pupils had to
go outside the parish or to private schools. More
than half of the secondary places in Acton were
filled by children from outside. (fn. 56) Although the
plans for new central schools were not carried out
immediately, the sites chosen were eventually
used in 1939 and 1955.
From 1924 the central school took seniors
only, a new school being opened for the juniors.
By 1930 reorganization into senior and junior
schools was in progress, in accordance with the
Hadow Report. Five schools were opened, including one completely new junior school, and
three old ones closed. Montessori methods were
adopted for the infants' classes and practice was
afforded for Montessori students. (fn. 57) By 1936 the
borough had seven senior schools formed from
the central and elementary schools, although no
new buildings were provided.
Acton became an 'excepted district', responsible for primary and secondary education,
under the Act of 1944. By 1952 there were eight
primary and one voluntary aided all-age and six
secondary schools. Two were grammar schools,
the county school for boys and Haberdashers'
Aske's, a direct grant school, for girls, and a third,
Acton central, was selective. (fn. 58) A new secondary
modern school was opened in 1955 to replace an
old senior school and another in 1957 to replace
the central school. (fn. 59) Reorganization in 1961 (fn. 60) left
only two secondary modern schools. In 1963 a
voluntary aided Roman Catholic secondary
modern school was opened. (fn. 61) Few changes were
made in primary education, the two new schools
after the Second World War being a reopened
Church of England school and a voluntary aided
Roman Catholic school.
From 1965 Acton formed part of Ealing L.B.,
which reorganized all its schools in a three-tier
comprehensive scheme in 1974. (fn. 62) In 1979 Acton
had 8 first, 5 middle, 2 combined, and 4 high
Public schools. (fn. 63)
Basic historical information
and numbers on the roll for existing schools have
been supplied by head teachers. Except where
otherwise stated, the remaining historical information and accommodation and average attendance figures have been taken from: files on
Church of England schools at the National
Society; P.R.O., ED 7/87-8; Rep. of Educ. Cttee.
of Council, 1859-60 , H.C. (1860), liv(1);
1865-6 , H.C. (1866), xxvii; 1866-7
, H.C. (1867), xxii; 1870-1 [C. 406], H.C.
(1871), xxii; 1871-2 [C. 601], H.C. (1872), xxii;
1878 [C. 2342-1], H.C. (1878-9), xxiii; 1880-1
[C. 2948-1], H.C. (1881), xxxii; 1882-3 [C.
3706-1], H.C. (1883), xxv; 1884-5 [C. 4483-1],
H.C. (1885), xxiv; 1885 [C. 4849], H.C. (1886),
xxiv; 1888 [C. 5804-1], H.C. (1899), xxix; Return
of Schs. 1893 [C. 7529], H.C. (1894), lxv; 1899
[Cd. 315], H.C. (1900), lxv(2); Returns relating to
Elem. Educ. [C. 7529], H.C. (1894), lxv; Schs. in
receipt of Parl. Grants, 1898 [C. 9454], H.C.
(1899), lxxiv; 1899 [Cd. 332], H.C. (1900), lxiv;
List of Schs. under Admin. of Bd. 1903 [Cd. 2011],
H.C. (1904), lxxv; 1905 [Cd. 3182], H.C. (1906),
lxxxvi; Return of Non-Provided Schs. H.C.
178-XX (1906), lxxxviii; Public Elem. Schs.
1902-3 [Cd. 1490], H.C. (1903), li; 1906 [Cd.
3510], H.C. (1907), lxiii; 1907 [Cd. 3901], H.C.
(1908), lxxxiv; Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1919-38
(H.M.S.O.); Mdx. C.C. List of Educ. Svces.
(1957, 1963, 1964); Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1852,
1862, 1890, 1908, 1926); Kelly's Dir. Lond.
(1880-98); Acton, Official Guide (1936 and later
The following abbreviations are used: a.a.,
average attendance; accn., accommodation;
amalg., amalgamated; B, boy, boys; bd., board;
bldg., building; C.E., Church of England; Cong.,
Congregationalist; demol., demolished; dept.,
department; educ., education; G, girl, girls; ho.,
house; J, JB, JG, JM, junior, junior boys, girls,
mixed; I, infant, infants; M, mixed; mod.,
modern; Nat., National; parl., parliamentary;
R.C., Roman Catholic; reorg., reorganized; roll,
numbers on roll; S, SB, SG, SM, senior, senior
boys, girls, mixed; sch., school; sec., secondary;
tech., technical; temp., temporary; vol., voluntary; Wes., Wesleyan. The word 'school' is to be
understood after each named entry.
Acton County Grammar, Gunnersbury Lane.
First purpose-built county grammar sch. in
Mdx., opened 1906 for 200 B aged 10 to 19 on 4 a.
of Woodlands Ave. site, Acton hill. (fn. 64) 240 by
1908, one third from Acton. Financed by fees,
Educ. Bd.'s grant, and Mdx. C.C., and managed
by local higher educ. committee of C.C. Commercial training, besides arts and manual subjects, for London University and London
Chamber of Commerce. Two-storeyed wing
added c. 1934-6. Larger sch. built 1939 at
Heathfield Lodge, Gunnersbury Lane; Woodlands bldgs. later annexe of tech. college. (fn. 65)
Admitted G c. 1958 and fully co-educational by
1966. Comprehensive, renamed Reynolds high,
from 1974. (fn. 66) Roll 1979: 1,040 M. (fn. 67)
Acton Green C.E. I. Opened 1863 as Nat.
sch. in ho. in Middle Street, later Gladstone Rd.,
and financed by sch. pence and rector. 1864 a.a.
56 I. (fn. 68) New sch. built 1870 on site adjoining St.
Alban's church, financed by parl. grants and sch.
pence. 1870 a.a. 127 M. Rented by sch. bd.
1876. (fn. 69) 1878 accn. 206 M. 1888 a.a. 193 M. JMI
by 1891. Replaced by Beaumont Pk. (q.v.). (fn. 70)
Acton Green Middle, see Rothschild first and
Acton Nat., see St. Mary's C.E.
Acton Wells First And Middle, School Rd.,
Victoria Rd. Opened 1909 on 4½-a. site (fn. 71) for 358
SM, 358 JM, 408 I, replacing Willesden Junction
temp. (q.v.). 1919 a.a. 324 M, 145 I. 1927 accn.
496 M, 400 I; a.a. 469 M, 255 I. Reorg. between
1932 and 1936 for 320 SM, 364 JM, 364 I. 1938
a.a. 211 SM, 360 JM, 158 I. After 1945 SM
formed Acton Wells sec. mod., which closed by
1955. JMI became combined first and middle
sch. 1974. Roll 1979: 310 M. (fn. 72)
All Saints' C.E., Strafford Rd. Opened 1868
as Nat. sch. by vicar of South Acton, with 40 I.
Financed by sch. pence (2d.), parl. grants, and
vol. contributions. 1870 a.a. 92 I. Schoolroom
added 1874 and adjoining sch. for 196 B opened
1875. Rented by sch. bd. 1876. 1877 I sch. accn.
100 G, 165 I; a.a. 166 G, 237 I. (fn. 73) Some pupils
attended Osborne Rd. (q.v.) from 1880. 1888 a.a.
396 BGI. 1898 accn. 494; a.a. 414. Closed 1904. (fn. 74)
Beaumont Park, Acton Lane. Opened 1891
for 300 B, 300 G, 428 I. 1891 a.a. 200 B, 225 G,
157 I. Enlarged 1898 for 540 B, 540 G, 548 I.
Temp. accn. for 105 B and 60 G in iron bldg.
added by 1906. 1906 a.a. 586 B, 546 G, 514 I.
Temp. accn. 1911 for additional 85 G in 3 rooms
rented from Acton Green Wes. mission. (fn. 75) 1919
a.a. 416 B, 450 G, 328 I. 1927 a.a. 366 B, 317 G,
279 I. Reorg. between 1927 and 1932 for 450 SG,
450 JG, 400 I. 1938 a.a. 123 SG, 193 JG, 164 I.
Closed after Second World War. Bldgs. used by
Priory G sec. mod. until 1961, by Cardinal
Newman R.C. sec. mod. 1963-76, and Acton
Green middle from 1976.
Berrymede First, formerly I, see Osborne Rd.
Berrymede Junior B, see South Acton B.
Berrymede Middle, Osborne Rd., South
Acton. Opened 1931 for 542 JG from Osborne
Rd. I (q.v.), using upper floor of Osborne Rd.
bldg. 1938 a.a. 338 JG. Amalg. with Berrymede
JG 1961 (see South Acton B) to form Berrymede
JM in same bldgs. Middle sch., occupying both
bldgs. in Osborne Rd., from 1974. Roll 1979:
Bromyard M Sec. Mod., see Faraday high.
Cardinal Newman R.C. High, Creffield Rd.
Opened 1963 as mixed vol. aided R.C. sec. mod.
sch. in former Beaumont Pk. sch., taking S pupils
from St. Mary's R.C., Turnham Green (q.v.).
Comprehensive high sch. from 1974. Moved
1976 to former Haberdashers' Aske's bldg. in
Creffield Rd., (fn. 76) which had been extensively
modernized. Roll 1979: 570 M.
Central, Shakespeare Rd. Opened 1905 for
340 SM, 340 JM, 403 I, with initial intake of 242
SM, 281 JM, 190 I, inc. pupils from Gunnersbury Lane (see Wes. day). (fn. 77) Weekly fees 6d.
(SM), 4d. (JM), 3d. (I); one tenth of SM places
free. (fn. 78) SM fees abolished 1919. (fn. 79) SM received
higher grade instruction, although application
for higher elementary status withdrawn on
change of age structure. (fn. 80) 1908 accn. for JM increased to 400 a.a. 244 SM, 371 JM, 323 I. 1910
accn. 497 SM, 497 JM, 410 I, children over 16
being excluded. (fn. 81) 1919 a.a. 398 SM, 452 JM, 311
I. Reorg. 1924 when JMI formed Derwentwater
(q.v.). 1927 accn. 480 SM, a.a. 408 SM. 1938 a.a.
365 SM. After 1945 became a selective mixed sec.
mod. Closed 1957 and replaced by the Elms (see
Derwentwater First And Middle, Shakespeare Rd. Opened 1924 for JM and I depts.
of central sch. (q.v.), on same site. 1927 accn. 441
JM, 350 I; a.a. 417 JM, 299 I. 1938 a.a. 330 JM,
278 I. First and middle schs. from 1974. Rolls
1979: 292 M and 365 M.
East Acton C.E. First, East Acton Lane.
Opened 1862 as Nat. sch. for 39 I in converted
cottage under managers of St. Mary's C.E.
Financed by parl. grants, vol. contributions, rent
for a 'small bit of ground', and sch. pence (1d.).
Adjoining ho. for teacher. New sch. for 92 M, 80
I built 1870 on land granted by Goldsmiths' Co.
of Lond. (fn. 82) with aid of parl. bldg. grant. 1871 a.a.
37 I. 1910 accn. 64 M, 80 I. (fn. 83) 1919 a.a. 77 MI.
Reorg. 1926 as East Acton J for 250 JMI, with
roll of 137. Sch. used for demonstrating
Montessori methods, intro. 1929. (fn. 84) Closed 1931
and replaced by John Perryn I (q.v.). Reopened
1950 for I. Extra accn. for 4 classes in huts. First
sch. from 1974. Roll 1979: 177 M.
Elms, Sec. Mod., see Twyford high.
Faraday High, Bromyard Ave. Opened 1955
as Bromyard M sec. mod., with pupils from John
Perryn sec. mod. Reorg. 1961 as Faraday sec.
mod. with pupils from Priory schs., and new
bldg. added. Comprehensive, renamed Faraday
high, from 1974. Roll 1979: 730 M.
Gunnersbury Lane, see Wesleyan day.
John Perryn First And Middle, Long Drive,
East Acton. Opened 1931 for 648 M, 336 I; 355
pupils from East Acton, Acton Wells, Derwentwater, and other schs. (fn. 85) 1932 a.a. 491 M, 325 I.
Reorg. between 1932 and 1936 for 360 SM, 288
JM, 336 I. 1938 a.a. 162 SM, 217 JM, 225 I. First
4 I classes on Montessori lines. (fn. 86) SM formed M
sec. mod., replaced 1955 by Bromyard (see
Faraday high). First and middle schs. from 1974.
Rolls 1979: 109 M and 322 M.
Osborne Rd. I, South Acton. First sch. to be
opened by sch. bd. 1880, on south side Osborne
Rd., (fn. 87) for 337 I. Pupils from All Saints' (q.v.). (fn. 88)
Sch. pence (2d.). 1880-95 a.a. 170, 1888 222.
Temp. bldg. 1895 until sch. enlarged. Original
bldg. enlarged 1897 and 1898. (fn. 89) 1898 a.a. 466 I.
1899 accn. 564 G, 664 I. From 1905 renamed
South Acton G and I. (fn. 90) 1927 accn. 542 G, 450 I;
a.a. 423 G, 390 I. Reorg. 1931 as Berrymede J
sch., later middle (q.v.) on upper floor and
Berrymede I for 450 on ground floor. 1938 a.a.
241 I. Became Berrymede first sch. from 1974
and moved to new bldg. in Park Rd. North. Roll
1979: 252 M.
Priory First, formerly also B and G, Acton
Lane. Opened 1882 for 360 B, 300 G. 1888 a.a.
524 G. Sch. pence (2d. and 3d.). I shared G accn.
until extension built (fn. 91) to include large central
hall, seating 600, also used for public assemblies.
Temp. bldgs. for tech. educ., erected by Mdx.
C.C., in grounds until 1894. (fn. 92) 1893 accn. 1,025
BGI. Extension built 1896 for B, including
offices for Acton sch. bd. (fn. 93) 1899 accn. 1,447 BGI,
a.a. 1,177. 1903 accn. 550 B, 542 G, 550 I. 1906
a.a. 576 B, 465 G, 455 I. 1927 accn. 500 B, 499 G,
400 I; a.a. 402 B, 383 G, 306 I. Reorg. between
1927 and 1932 for 500 SB, 499 SG, 400 I. 1938
a.a. 272 SB, 251 SG, 221 I. After 1945 SG
formed Priory G sec. mod. and moved to
Beaumont Pk. SB formed Priory B sec. mod. in
original bldg. Priory G amalg. with Elms sec.
mod. (see Twyford high) and Priory B with
Faraday sec. mod. (q.v.) 1961. Priory I became
first sch. 1974, occupying half of Priory bldgs.,
with youth centre in other half. Roll 1979: 180 M.
Reynolds High, see Acton county grammar.
Rothschild First and Middle, Acton Green.
Temp. iron bldg. opened 1904 as Rothschild Rd.
sch. for 280 I to relieve Beaumont Pk. (q.v.). 1906
a.a. 156 I. From 1909 accn. 295. 1912 a.a. 254.
Closed 1912 and replaced by Rothschild sch.,
built on verandah system, (fn. 94) for 545 JM and 400 I
on same site, taking many pupils from Beaumont
Pk. and Southfield Rd. (q.v.). 1919 a.a. 438 JM,
344 I. Reorg. between 1927 and 1932 for 450 JB,
400 I. 1938 a.a. 193 JB, 224 I. After 1945 reorg. as
Rothschild JM and Rothschild I on same site.
Two classroom huts built in playground 1967.
JM and I amalg. 1973 but reorg. separately as
Rothschild first and middle schs. 1974. Middle
sch. renamed Acton Green middle 1975 and
moved to Beaumont Pk. bldgs. 1976. Acton
Green roll 1979: 190 M. Rothschild first roll
1979: 170 M.
St. Mary's C.E., Oldham's Terrace, High
Street. Day sch. for poor children of parish
joined Nat. Soc. 1816, when 100-20 BG taught
by mistress with salary and ho. (fn. 95) Schoolroom
built opposite almshouses in Steyne. (fn. 96) Financed
entirely by annual subscriptions 1819. (fn. 97) Separate
sch. for I built 1837 at north end Oldham's
Terrace. 1846-7 a.a. 43 B, 40 G, 79 I. Financed
by subscriptions and sch. pence (1d.). (fn. 98) New sch.
for BG, with master's ho., built 1853 at south end
Oldham's Terrace, with Nat. Soc. and parl. bldg.
grants. Sch. pence (1d.). 1854 a.a. 78 B, 41 G.
1857 a.a. 86 I. G moved into new extension built
1862. (fn. 99) 1870 a.a. 325 BGI. Rented by sch. bd.
1876. 1878 accn. 496 BGI, a.a. 392 BGI. Sch.
pence raised 1883 to 6d. for B and 4d. for G. (fn. 1) 1888
a.a. 412 BGI. 1906 accn. 204 B, 155 G, 163 I; a.a.
148 B, 134 G, 174 I. 1919 accn. 310 B, 129 G, 142
I; a.a. 224 B, 110 G, 136 I. BG bldg. sold to
U.D.C. 1926. (fn. 2) Reorg. 1926 for 184 JM, 122 I.
1932 a.a. 233 JMI. Closed 1932. I bldg. housed
Acton Wells special sch. (q.v.) 1926-72. B and G
bldg. replaced by labour exchange.
St. Mary's R. C., Turnham Green. Opened
1853 in Chiswick by parish priest for BGI,
financed by sch. pence (1d.) and priest. (fn. 3) 1864 a.a.
27 B, 23 G, 25 I. New sch. built 1864 for 325 M in
Acton Lane opposite Gladstone Rd. junction.
Vol. aided by 1893, financed by parl. grants,
endowment producing £44 14s. a year, and vol.
contributions. 1893 a.a. 165 M. Trust for educ.
and religious purposes created 1902. 1906 accn.
251 M, 74 I; a.a. 210 M, 67 I. 1909 accn. 123 M,
90 I, and temp. accn. for 130. (fn. 4) 1927 a.a. 284 MI.
Single dept. sch. from 1932. 1938 accn. 236 M,
91 I; a.a. 229 MI. By 1952 mixed vol. sch. for all
ages. S pupils formed Cardinal Newman R.C.
sec. mod. (q.v.) from 1963, when JMI moved to
new bldg. in Turnham Green. (fn. 5) Acton Lane bldg.
demol., site forming grounds of Acton Green
St. Vincent's R.C. First and Middle, Pierrepoint Rd. Opened as private day sch. (fn. 6) but vol.
aided primary sch. with intake of 350 JMI from
1963, when larger bldg. needed. First and middle
sch. from 1974, with additional accn. in two huts.
Roll 1979: 445 M.
South Acton B, Osborne Rd. Opened 1904 (fn. 7)
on north side of rd., opposite I sch., for 360 SB,
360 JB, taking pupils and staff from All Saints'.
Manual centre in bldg. in grounds. (fn. 8) 1906 a.a. 474
SB, JB. 1908 a.a. 303 SB, 231 JB. 1919 accn. 400
SB, 360 JB; a.a. 335 SB, 261 JB. 1927 a.a. 255 SB,
249 JB. Closed 1931 and replaced by Berrymede
JB for 640 in same bldg. 1938 a.a. 353 JB. Amalg.
with Berrymede JG (q.v.) 1961.
Southfield First And Middle, Bedford Pk.
Opened 1906 as Southfield Rd. sch. for 378 SM,
378 JM, 383 I on separate floors of bldg. on 1½-a.
site. I from Beaumont Pk., SM from Beaumont
Pk. and Cobbold Rd., Hammersmith. (fn. 9) 1909
accn. 419 SM, 381 JM, 400 I. 1919 a.a. 321 SM,
336 JM, 314 I; accn. increased 1919 to 415 JM,
1922 to 451 SM. 1927 a.a. 357 SM, 281 JM, 219
I. Reorg. 1932 as Southfield sch. for 415 SB, 382
JM, 350 I. 1938 a.a. 135 SB, 285 JM, 216 I.
Reorg. after 1945 for JMI only. First and middle
schs. from 1974. Rolls 1979: 122 M and 225 M.
Turnham Green R. C., see St. Mary's R.C.
Twyford High, Twyford Crescent. Opened
1957 as the Elms mixed sec. mod. in former home
of Wegg family, (fn. 10) to which block was added.
Pupils from central sch. and new 6th-form
intake. Roll 1957: 464 SM. (fn. 11) Amalg. 1961 with
Priory G sec. mod. and Acton sec. tech. to form
new '7-year' sec. mod. in Elms bldgs., renamed
Twyford sch. Extensions inc. teaching block
early 1960s, tech. block 1971, and c. 15 temp.
classrooms. Comprehensive high sch. from 1974,
with peak attendance 1,100. Roll 1979: c. 800 M.
Wesleyan Day, Gunnersbury Lane. Opened
1846 for 50 G in ho. in the Steyne, rented by
Thomas Farmer of Gunnersbury Ho. and
managed by him in connexion with Wesleyan
Normal Training Institution, Westminster
Financed by Farmer and sch. pence; parl. grant
for teacher from 1853. Sunday and day sch., with
teacher's ho. built 1857 with new Wes. chapel
east side Gunnersbury Lane. 58 pupils 1863. (fn. 12)
1871 a.a. 77 M. 1878 accn. 110 M, a.a. 103 M.
1893 accn. 136 M. Rented by sch. bd. 1895 as
Gunnersbury Lane bd. sch. (fn. 13) Transferred 1901
to temp. accn. in Cong. Churchfield hall,
Churchfield Rd. (fn. 14) 1903 accn. 357 M, a.a. 199.
1905 a.a. 87 SM, 181 JM, 96 I, when replaced by
central sch. (fn. 15)
West Acton First, Noel Rd. Opened 1937 for
300 I, with full time nursery class for 30. 1938 a.a.
204 I. First sch. from 1974. Additional accn. in
huts and open-plan bldgs. 1970s. Roll 1979:
Willesden Junction Temp., Railway Cottages, Old Oak Lane. Opened 1898 for MI in iron
bldg. erected by bd. behind St. Luke's mission
church, leased from L. & N.W.R. (fn. 16) 1899 accn.
213 M, a.a. 193 M. Church leased during sch.
hours from 1905 for additional accn. (fn. 17) 1906 accn.
123 M, 90 I; a.a. 127 M, 101 I. 1909 a.a. 198 M,
95 I. Replaced 1909 by Acton Wells (q.v.).
Acton Wells, School Rd.,
Victoria Rd. Opened 1915 for 65 mentally
deficient children, using 2nd floor of Acton Wells
council sch. Attendance 1915: 45. Moved to St.
Mary's C.E. I sch. bldg., Oldham's Terrace,
1926. Roll 1949: 40, from Acton, Ealing, and
Harlesden, to age 16. Roll 1972: 39. (fn. 18) Replaced
by Castlebar sch., Ealing, 1972. (fn. 19)
Technical and further education.
council provided technical education at Acton
and Chiswick polytechnic (fn. 20) from 1899, to which
Acton local board contributed. Designed to meet
the needs of local industry, branch classes were
held in Acton at the Priory schools from 1900,
with 173 students in that year, and also at the
central and county schools by 1911, when the
total attendance in Acton was 360. (fn. 21) Acton school
board, and later the technical committee of the
U.D.C., also ran evening continuation schools
from the end of the 19th century, for boys and
girls who had left elementary school.
A junior technical school was also started,
using the polytechnic until Acton technical college was opened in 1929, when it was transferred
there. (fn. 22) By the 1930s it was run as a secondary
technical school, taking boys at 13 years for 3year courses leading to apprenticeships in
engineering. In 1938-9 there were 312
students. (fn. 23) In 1958-9 the technical school, much
reduced, moved to Acton Wells secondary
modern school (fn. 24) and from 1961 it formed part of
Twyford school. (fn. 25)
Acton technical college, originally 'institute',
was built in 1928 on the site of Grove House,
High Street, by the county council, as the first of
seven colleges to expand further education in
Middlesex. (fn. 26) Opened officially in 1929, it
provided evening classes in science, engineering,
and building trades, which had outgrown the
accommodation at Acton and Chiswick polytechnic, and housed a junior technical college in
the day time. In 1931 it was decided to concentrate at Acton all the more advanced further
education in the county, at that time comprising
courses for Higher National Certificates and
the Intermediate examinations for the external
London degree. Courses to final level for the
B.Sc. in engineering and science subjects were
soon introduced, with management subjects to
gain membership of professional institutes. The
college was so crowded that local schools were
used by 1931 and extensions to the original
buildings were made in 1932 and 1937-9. In 1939
the former county school in Woodlands Avenue
was acquired. There were 3,912 students in
1938-9: 163 senior day, 147 part-time day, and
3,602 evening and weekend students. After D.
Napier & Sons began to send apprentices to the
college in 1936, the number of students on day
release from employment rose to 321 in 1940-1
and 667 in 1944-5, increasing more rapidly
By 1949 there were 410 full-time and 1,368
part-time day students, most of them from
outside Acton. Sandwich courses started in 1955,
by which date there were 100 full-time and 250
part-time teachers for nearly 5,000 students,
more than half of them being evening students,
one third being on day release schemes, and one
tenth on full-time day courses.
In 1956 it was decided to do all the advanced
teaching in new buildings in Woodlands Avenue,
near the former county school, and to create two
separate institutions. The Woodlands classes
were formed into a regional college of technology, renamed Brunel college (below). The
High Street buildings housed a local technical
college, which continued with 254 full-time and
1,924 part-time students in 1957-8 and mainly
undertook courses for City and Guilds certificates and the General Certificate of Education.
Although it had lost its most highly qualified staff
and its pre-eminence among Middlesex colleges,
the college still used the former county school
and acquired a former laundry building in
Winchester Street in 1968, besides a disused
annexe of Ealing Mead school in 1977. There
were 642 full-time and 3,213 part-time students
in 1978-9, when there were courses for certificates of the Business Education and Technical
Education councils and in computing, mathematics, and the sciences.
Brunel college of technology opened in 1957
with departments of management and production engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics, electronics, and electrical and mechanical
engineering from Acton technical college, and
became a college of advanced technology in 1962.
Its buildings in Woodlands Avenue, begun in
1951 for the technical college's science departments but not completed until 1957, housed
1,200 and were later extended. Engineering
courses were still taught at the technical college
in High Street, plans for another block at Woodlands being superseded by the college's move in
1965 to Uxbridge common. Brunel became a
university in 1967.
Thomas Huxley college opened in 1967 as
Acton college of education, to prepare mature
students for teaching, and was housed in the town
hall. The number of students quickly increased
to 300. Its name was changed in 1971, to honour
the Ealing-born scientist, and the college moved
into the former Brunel building in Woodlands
Avenue in 1973. There were courses leading to
the Certificate of Education and the B.Ed. degree
of London University, besides in-service courses
for teachers in west London, mainly in mathematics. The college closed in 1980, after the government had decided to cease teacher training there
and Ealing L.B. had abandoned plans to merge
it with Ealing technical college, which housed
some of its own departments in the same building. (fn. 27)
The Society for Maintaining
and Educating Poor Orphans of the Clergy
purchased the copyhold later called Orger House
in 1804, for a school, which was transferred from
Thirsk (Yorks. N.R.). (fn. 28) There were 50 boys in
1809 (fn. 29) and Dr. Bell's system, the basis of the
National Society's system, was adopted in
1811. (fn. 30) The school was moved to St. John's
Wood, Marylebone, in 1812. (fn. 31)
A boarding school used the former assembly
rooms, Acton wells, by 1816, (fn. 32) and in 1819 there
were two boarding schools in the parish for the
children of tradesmen, and two or three other
small schools. (fn. 33) They may have been the schools
existing in 1826, which included two boarding
schools and two preparatory schools in Acton and
a preparatory school in East Acton. (fn. 34) In 1833 feepaying pupils were about twice as numerous as
the children at the National School. There were
four day schools with c. 90 children, a boys'
boarding school with c. 80, and two girls' boarding schools with 50 altogether. (fn. 35)
Felix Mullens ran a boys' boarding and day
school by 1826 at Orger House, probably the
boarding school which had 80 boys in 1833. (fn. 36) His
schoolroom was used for services in 1836-7,
while the parish church was being altered. (fn. 37)
Mullens was still there in 1842, (fn. 38) but by 1851 had
been succeeded by George Smalley, who was
boarding 21 boys aged 7 to 14 years. (fn. 39) He was
succeeded by a Frenchman, Stanislas Bard, who
had run a day preparatory school in 1832, an
academy in 1845, and a mixed boarding school in
High Street in 1851. Orger House was burned
down shortly before 1858, when the school
apparently did not reopen. (fn. 40)
Frances Beechey ran a ladies' day and boarding
school in 1826 and 1832, described as a boarding
and finishing school in 1828 when it was at Acton
House, West Acton. (fn. 41) Her school near the Rectory apparently had c. 40 boys in 1832. (fn. 42) It had
probably closed by 1845, although Miss Beechey
was described as an infants' school mistress in
Gunnersbury Lane in 1851. In 1832 Mary Ann
Fowler ran a day school at the Manor House,
described as a seminary in 1845, when Ann
Fowler also had a school; both had closed by
1851. (fn. 43) Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart
from France opened their first convent in
England at Berrymead Priory in 1842, where
they opened a private boarding school for Roman
Catholic girls and a free day school for the poor.
Both convent and school moved to Roehampton
(Surr.) in 1850. (fn. 44)
A commercial school was run by Frederick
Geary at Acton House, Acton Vale, in 1851,
when two other schoolmistresses, a French and
dancing teacher, and a teacher of classics and
mathematics also lived in the parish. (fn. 45) In the late
19th century the number of private schools increased: there were 12 in 1873 and 15 in 1890, 9 of
them ladies' schools, (fn. 46) but most were short lived.
Acton Collegiate school, day and boarding for
boys, was established in 1864 by Henry Mayner
Coules, who had an academy in Mill Hill Road in
1873. (fn. 47) In the 1870s the school occupied Bank
House, which had been a girls' industrial school
c. 1865, (fn. 48) but it had moved to no. 6 Apsley Villas,
Horn Lane, by 1886. (fn. 49) Coules offered mathematics, modern languages, and science, and training
for the universities. The school was taken over
between 1926 and 1928 by Miss C. C. Coules,
who had run a ladies' school at no. 1 Apsley Villas
in 1890, and had closed by 1940. (fn. 50)
Queen's College school was started in 1871 by
Mary Pierce and was at no. 1 Apsley Villas, Horn
Lane, in 1890 and at Shalimar, Pembridge Road,
by 1901. At one time the largest private girls'
school in Acton, it included a kindergarten and
prepared girls for public examinations, besides
offering science and cookery. It closed between
1905 and 1911. (fn. 51)
Springfield college was a boys' boarding and
day school run by Henry Waymouth, who
opened a collegiate school at nos. 8 and 9 Apsley
Terrace, Horn Lane, c. 1889, moving to Hill
House, Acton hill, by 1901. The school provided
a commercial education and training for public
school and other examinations. After its closure,
between 1906 and 1911, the buildings were
demolished. (fn. 52)
Acton Commercial college, a boys' boarding
school, at Grove House, High Street, from 1896,
was run by E. C. Sunnock, a trustee of Acton
Methodist church. It provided preparatory
classes for young boys and courses for careers in
business, the civil service, and engineering. By
1911 the school had been taken over by John
Mackay, under whom it moved to the Mall,
Ealing, as Ealing college in 1925, (fn. 53) Grove House
being sold to Acton U.D.C. and demolished. (fn. 54)
Helen Hopkins ran a girls' day school at no. 28
Churchfield Road West by 1890, which closed c.
1932. (fn. 55) Leith House, no. 10 Burlington Gardens,
was a girls' day and boarding school run by Alice
Mackerness in 1890. It was taken over by Mrs.
Stredder by 1901, when it also had a kindergarten, and prepared girls for examinations. By 1914
Mrs. Stredder had moved her school to no. 102
Goldsmith Avenue. After the First World War it
was known as Shirley House school for girls, with
a preparatory department for boys. Under Miss
M. Stredder in 1939, it had closed by 1955. (fn. 56)
Haberdashers' Aske's school for girls, financed
by Robert Aske's trust, was the most important
girls' school in Acton, where it moved from
Hoxton in 1898. Temporary premises were
used (fn. 57) until new buildings, designed by Henry
Stock for 350 girls, were opened in Creffield
Road on the Springfield Park estate in 1901. Girls
were taken from the age of 8, later 5, and
prepared for university. The upper school also
had a secretarial and business training department. A new wing was built in 1910 and accommodation increased to 550 places by 1924, and
600 by 1936. Playing fields of 6 a. near West
Acton station had been acquired by 1936. (fn. 58) After
the Second World War, the school became a
direct grant secondary school for girls and in
1974 it moved to Elstree (Herts.), (fn. 59) its building
being used by Cardinal Newman high school
from 1976. (fn. 60)
The Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul
ran a day and kindergarten school at nos. 3 and 5
(later 45 and 47) Avenue Road in 1902. Convent
and school moved to no. 9 Rosemont Road in
1930 and expanded into the adjoining premises at
no. 1 Pierrepoint Road in 1959. Girls were taught
to the age of 16. (fn. 61) In 1964, when more accommodation was needed, the school became a
voluntary aided primary school. (fn. 62)
A few new schools, mainly day and boarding
schools for girls, were later added to those that
had survived from before the First World War,
and a very few were recognized by the L.E.A. in
the 1930s. The principal ones were East Acton
House high school, East Acton Lane, started c.
1928 but closed by 1939 when the house was
demolished, Lancaster House school at nos. 21
and 23 Cumberland Park, started by 1928 and
still there in 1940 but closed by the early 1950s,
and York House school, Grafton Road, which
was recognized by the L.E.A. in 1934 but closed
by 1939. The Parents' National Educational
Union opened Ambleside school in Creffield
Road hall c. 1930, for girls to the age of 17 and
boys to 10. It was recognized by the L.E.A. and
survived in 1940. (fn. 63)