A school board was formed for
Wanstead in 1880, after complaints from Leyton
that Wanstead children were crowding Harrow
Green school. (fn. 1) At that time Wanstead's only public
elementary school was the Church school. Between
1882 and 1900 the school board built four schools
with nearly 5,000 places, all at Cann Hall. Under
the Education Act (1902) those four schools were
all placed under the Leyton 'Part III' authority. (fn. 2)
The rest of Wanstead then became the direct responsibility of the Essex county council which in 1908–11
built an elementary school with manual instruction
centre attached and an infants school, all at Aldersbrook. A county technical school built in central
Wanstead in 1912 was closed in 1930. Before the
First World War secondary education was thought
to be adequately provided by the local private
schools, (fn. 3) and Wanstead county high school was
not opened until 1924. In 1930–4 Aldersbrook
school was reorganized, and in 1937 a Roman
Catholic infants school was opened. Since the
Second World War the county council has built
a new primary and a new secondary (modern)
school, and the Roman Catholic school has been
provided with permanent buildings, as a primary
Wanstead Church of England
primary school, High Street, is said to have been
established in 1786 by the rector, Samuel Glasse. (fn. 4)
In 1795 he and his leading parishioners petitioned
Sir James Long, Bt., for leave to build a school on
the forest waste of the manor. (fn. 5) Presumably the
school was then in temporary premises. The foundation stone of the permanent building was laid
in 1796. (fn. 6) In 1807 there were 28 boys and 37 girls
in the school, of whom 12 boys and 15 girls
were being clothed. (fn. 7) The school was supported by
subscriptions. Some permanent endowments were
also received, which by 1834 were producing £20
yearly. (fn. 8) The main endowment of £470 had been
given by George Bowles, partly in his lifetime and
partly by his will dated 1813. The girls department
was described in 1807 as a school of industry, and
the school accounts for 1839–55 show that the sale
of the girls' work raised a few pounds each year. (fn. 9)
Shortly after 1818 the school went into union with
the National Society. (fn. 10) After 1832 attendance rose
steadily, and by 1846–7 there were 105 boys and
girls, and 50 infants in a separate department. (fn. 11) In
1861 the boys department began to receive an annual
government grant. (fn. 12) The school was enlarged in
1865, and from that time a grant was also received
for the girls. (fn. 13) In 1875 the Education Department
reported that the Wanstead boys department was
among the best in Essex in writing and arithmetic. (fn. 14)
The school was reorganized in 1934 for junior boys,
junior girls, and infants, and in 1953 for mixed
juniors and infants; it was granted Aided status in
1950. (fn. 15) The buildings, several times enlarged, include the original schoolroom of 1796. (fn. 16)
Aldersbrook county junior mixed and infants
school, Harpenden Road, originated in 1908, when
the county council opened an elementary school in
Ingatestone Road. (fn. 17) A separate infants school was
opened in 1911 on an adjoining site in Harpenden
Road. In 1930 the Ingatestone Road school was
reorganized for mixed seniors and mixed juniors,
and in 1934 the juniors were combined with the
Harpenden Road infants. The buildings were enlarged in 1934–5. During the Second World War the
school was temporarily reorganized in one department. In 1948 it was again divided into a senior
mixed (secondary modern) school and a junior
mixed and infants school.
Nightingale county junior and infants schools,
Ashbourne Avenue, South Woodford, were built
on land formerly part of Nightingale farm. (fn. 18) The
junior school was opened in 1954 and the infants
school in 1956.
Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic primary
school, Chestnut Drive, originated in 1937, when a
parochial infants school was opened in the church
in Cambridge Park. (fn. 19) In 1961 the present buildings
were completed for mixed juniors and infants and
the school was granted Aided status.
Technical and secondary schools.
Wanstead technical school, Woodbine Place, was built by the
county council in 1912. (fn. 20) It was closed in 1930.
A cookery and handicraft centre was attached to
the county council's school at Aldersbrook (1908).
Wanstead mixed county high school was opened
in 1924 in the old rectory, Redbridge Lane. (fn. 21)
Permanent new buildings in the rectory grounds
were completed in 1927. During the Second World
War the school was evacuated to Newent (Glos.).
The buildings were extended in 1964.
Nightingale mixed county secondary modern
school, Elmcroft Avenue, was opened in 1957,
adjoining the junior and infants schools of the same
name; it was enlarged in 1969. (fn. 22)
The origin of Aldersbrook mixed county secondary school has been described above.
In 1807 there were three small
private schools in Wanstead. (fn. 23) During the 19th
century the number of private schools listed in
directories slowly increased to a peak of 11 in 1898. (fn. 24)
Among the few which survived for more than a short
time were those of Ann Jenkins (c. 1848–70) and
Mary Easton (c. 1863–1902). A report of 1906
mentions three private schools recognized by the
Board of Education: Wanstead high school, Wanstead college, and Gowan Lea. (fn. 25) Wanstead high
school, in Wellesley Road and later in High Street,
was kept by Emily Walker (c. 1890–1908). Wanstead
college, Woodford Road (c. 1892–1933), kept by
Mr. and Mrs. Beecham Martin, was merged after
Mrs. Martin's death with the neighbouring Gowan
Lea. (fn. 26) Gowan Lea, Woodford Road, was founded
by 1902 and closed in 1970. Its name was a rebus of
the names of Miss Gowlett and Miss Freeman, joint
principals c. 1902–8. (fn. 27) St. Joseph's Roman Catholic
convent school, Cambridge Park, was opened in
1918 by the Sisters of Mercy, who came from Commercial Road, London. (fn. 28)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR. (fn. 29)
Parochial Charities, (fn. 30) registered with the Charity
Commission in 1962, include the following charities
for the poor which together are administered by the
rector and churchwardens of St. Mary's: Tylney,
Plomer, Waldo, Bowles and Rushout, Rushout (for
blankets), the Lying-in charity, Plampin, Hill,
Spering, and Searle. In 1970 the income from these
charities was distributed to the poor in the form of
Christmas gifts. The Scott charity was separately
administered, also by the rector and churchwardens.
In 1928 the Charity Commission ruled that beneficiaries of Wanstead's charities might come from
any part of the ancient parish, irrespective of
modern boundary changes.
Robert Rampston (d. 1585) left a rent of £1 for
the poor, charged on Stone Hall in Little Canfield.
In 1834 it was spent along with the income from
Tylney's, Waldo's, and Plomer's charities, on gifts of
food, clothing, and cash. It was still being received
in 1865, (fn. 31) but payment seems to have lapsed by c. 1880.
Frances Harrison, by her will dated 1689, with
codicil 1690, devised for the benefit of the poor, a
reversionary interest in her house in Wanstead.
It seems unlikely that the reversion ever took effect,
though the parish sought a legal opinion on the
matter as late as 1838. (fn. 32)
John Tylney, Earl Tylney (d. 1784), bequeathed
£100 stock in trust for the poor. In 1962 the income was £2 10s.
Robert Mangles in 1791 gave £69 stock in trust
for the poor. It was stated in 1820 that the income of
£2 had not been received since 1811, and there is
no evidence of any later payments.
Thomas Lyttleton, assistant curate of Wanstead,
in 1799 gave £50 for the poor, secured on a cottage in
Cann Hall Lane, the occupier of which was to pay
an annual rent-charge of £1 10s. In 1834 the occupier stated that £50 had been given to his father
towards the building of the cottage on condition
that he paid £1 10s. a year to the poor for the duration of his 21-year lease, starting in 1802. The rent
was actually paid only until 1821.
William Plomer in 1803 gave £166 stock in trust
for the poor. In 1962 the income was £4.
Mrs. Rebecca Waldo in 1810 gave £37 10s. stock
in trust for the poor. In 1962 the income was £4 10s.
George Bowles of the Grove, by will proved 1817,
gave £500 stock in trust to provide a donation of
£1 each to 20 poor families on New Year's day.
The income proved insufficient, and Anne Rushout,
Bowles's niece and his successor at the Grove, during
her lifetime made a voluntary gift of £2 10s. a year
to enable the donations to be fully made. By her will
proved 1849 she added £166 to the trust fund. In
1962 the total income was £16 13s. 4d.
Anne Rushout, by her will proved 1849, also gave
£180 stock in trust to provide blankets for the poor.
In 1962 the income was £4 10s.
The Lying-in charity was founded in 1864 by
public subscription to provide maternity benefits for
poor women. (fn. 33) The trust fund, which in 1865 totalled
£166, was increased to £266 by further subscriptions
in 1914. In 1962 the income was £6 13s. 4d.
Mrs. Fanny Plampin, by her will proved 1864,
gave £100 stock in trust to maintain a family vault in
the parish church, the residue for poor widows not
receiving poor-relief. The trustees maintained the
vault until 1928, when the Charity Commission
pointed out that they had been contravening the rule
against perpetuities. In 1962 the income was £2 10s.
Margaret Hill, by will proved 1878, gave £500
stock in trust to provide blankets, clothing, or bread
for the poor at Christmas. In 1962 the income was
Mrs. Mary Spering, by will proved 1884, gave
£403 stock in trust for poor widows aged 60 years
and over. In 1962 the income was £10.
Mary Ann Tickell Scott, by will proved 1922,
gave £1,000 in trust for gifts at Christmas to 25
poor women, aged over 60 years and communicants
of the Church of England. In 1953 the income was
£35, which was distributed in cash to 18 persons.
By 1971 the income was being used for the maintenance of the graves in the churchyard of St. Mary's.
Mrs. Emma Florence Jane Searle, by will proved
1958, gave 1/9 of her residuary estate, amounting to
£1,833, in trust to Wanstead Parochial Charities.
In 1962 the income was £94.