Education in the Ilsleys
Oct 2008 was the centenary of the Ilsleys school in its present location, but
there have been schools in the village since the early 19th century. Initially
these were private schools catering for those who could afford to pay. Later,
schools were opened to provide elementary education for the village children. A
booklet describing the development of education
in East & West Ilsley is available. The exhibition, held in Oct 2008 to
celebrate the centenary, has also been recorded on a CD which includes all of the photos displayed at the exhibition.
||Mr J Legge opened his academy at Ilsley Hall
for the tuition of young gentlemen in Jan 1806.
documents show that Mr Legge’s fees, as well as for board and lodging,
included sundry expenses for pencils, copy books, shoe cleaning and 'a seat
in the church'. They were payable twice a year. Principal vacations of one
month each were at Christmas and Midsummer, with the Half Term being in
April and October. Each youth, on coming to the School, was expected to
provide himself with a knife and fork, and six towels.
1812 Mr. Legge gave notice that he was taking over Greenham School near
Newbury at Midsummer. The Hall then ceased to be an educational
Other private education
establishments existed at Kennett House (ladies seminary), in Abingdon Lane
(classical academy) and in Broad Street.
|The 'Old' school was built in 1832 by the Rev.
Thomas Loveday to cater for the village children. It was a National
Sunday School, with places for 100 children. The building was of brick and
stood on the Compton Road (Cow Lane).
In 1872, it was converted to
a Board school, under the control of a locally elected board, rather than
the rector. There was considerable concern over the loss of religious
instruction within the school.
||The 'New' school was built in 1908 on high
ground behind the church. This did reduce the problems of damp that plagued
the old school, but raised new problems because of its exposed position. On
several occasions, windows were blown in. In 1966, children from West Ilsley
joined the school, on the closure of their own school.