Old Monovians Association; History of the School

Decline and Refoundation; 1820 - 1889 - 4

Funds were then allowed to accumulate, the school being held in abeyance by virtue of a decision of the Charity Commissioners in 1880. On 9 September 1884 the Commissioners made a scheme which provided for the re-foundation of the Monoux School. This diverted the income of certain other charities to augment the Monoux and Maynard income, taking £130 per annum out of the Inhabitants' Donation Trust (a fund set up in 1650 which was endowed with a field to the south of Hagger Lane, and which had just been divided up, some parts let on building leases, and some sold to the Great Eastern Railway), and £50 per annum from Wise's Charity, a fund established in 1734. This fund was endowed with land in the Leytonstone Road, which had also in the 1870s been let on building leases.

The 1884 scheme was the first clear and unambiguous basis that the school had ever had. It laid down in considerable detail the aims and conduct of the charity. The Head Master was to be a graduate secured by public advertisement. The School was to be for day scholars only, not fewer than two hundred in number, between the ages of seven and fifteen. The upper limit was subject to raising in individual cases. Preference was to be given to Walthamstow boys. An entrance examination in reading, writing from dictation, and arithmetic, was to be held. Fees were set at between £3 and £6 per annum, but twenty free places were to be maintained unless more than 200 boys were being educated, when one additional free place for every ten additional scholars was to be made available. (it will be remembered that Monoux had provided for free education for only 20 or 30 children.) Free places were to be awarded preferentially to Walthamstow elementary school scholars.

The Headmaster's salary was fixed at £100 and a house, and a capitation allowance of 30s. to £3 per annum for each pupil in the school. The Headmaster was superannuable at the Governors' discretion. The school was to teach the following subjects : non-denominational religious instruction, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, history, English grammar, composition and literature, mathematics, Latin, at least one modern language, natural science, drawing, drill, and vocal music. The arrangement of the timetable was left to the Headmaster's discretion. The school was to be inspected annually for its attainment and efficiency (in addition, the Board of Education held inspections from 1902 onwards).

The really significant factor of the 1884 scheme was that it allowed the school to expand. The old system had restricted its size, and thus its efficiency. But by the 1884 arrangements, the demand for private education was to subsidise the education of the poor, in a much larger foundation. But because £180 per annum was diverted from the dole charities to the educational charity, the scheme laid the Governors open to later allegations that, in fact, the reverse was happening.

The school therefore re-opened on 14 January 1886 in the schoolroom in West Avenue belonging to the Trinity Congregational Church. The Head Master appointed in 1885 was Henry Allpass, a young man of 25, who had previously taught at the Bristol Cathedral School. He later entered the ministry, and combined his post with that of curate of St. James' parish. By the 1884 scheme, the Governors had been empowered to hire buildings pending completion of their own. At first, they had intended to use the house "Woodlands" near Wood Street, but the Endowed Schools Commissioners had objected. The site for the new building was in High Street and construction began in February 1889 to a design by W. Jacomb-Gibbon and J. W. S. Burmester, though the actual erection was less ornate than the plans owing to lack of funds. It cost £4,095. The foundation stone was laid on 13 July 1889, and the building was formally opened on 18 December 1889 by the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Henry Isaacs, though lessons did not begin there until 20 January 1890. For recent migrants to Walthamstow, the High Street building stood on the site now occupied by British Home Stores and the forecourt to the Selborne Walk Shopping Centre - the old school, having served as offices for various departments of the Council, was demolished in 1986.

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