Isle Abbotts History - Schools

 

The Parish Rooms Isle Abbotts first school

David Jay located various school records (registers, log books) now held at Somerset Record Office. A deed dated 25th September 1854 shows that a parcel of land was provided by James Ilott of Glastonbury to give an education to the children ‘of the labouring, manufacturing and poorer classes’ in the village.

The subsequent building served as a school for over 30 years. In 1861 out of a total population of 284 49% were under the age of 20, of which 40 were of pre-school age group and 49 were shown as ‘scholars’. There was no secondary school provision (only Ilminster Grammar School) and six 11 year olds are shown as ‘plowboys’. So there was a great need then for a village school and in its early years it was controlled by the Minister and the churchwardens. The old school was later used as a Sunday School and was always referred to as ‘The Parish Rooms’. It was repaired in Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Year of 1877 and at various times since. It has recently undergone extensive maintenance work and the village is planning improvements once funds are available to address this.

The new Board School (now the village hall)  was opened on 7th January 1878 and its Register of Admissions is complete up to its closure 81 years later on 20th March 1959. Its Log Book contains the comments of Headteachers regarding staff employed, illnesses and deaths, memorable occasions, the changing curriculum, inspection reports, school nurse visits, exclusions and even the floods that regularly prevented pupils from attending from nearby Isle Brewers

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