Education in the 19th Century

Compared with its neighbours, Walsall had more early educational establishments. Education was on offer for both the poor and the better off. Education in the town at the beginning of the 19th century is summarised in a report produced by the Select Committee into the Education of the Poor.

The Extent of Education in Walsall (1818)

A free grammar school founded by Queen Mary in 1557. The headmaster receives £170 together with a house and the privilege of taking private pupils. The funds arise from lands situate in Walsall, Tipton and Norton, producing £400 per annum under the management of ten governors; and in consequence of the discovery of a coal mine under part of the estates, which was purchased for the sum of £12,000, to be paid into the hands of the chancellor, by instalments of £505 per annum the said governors obtained an Act of Parliament, authorising them to build a chapel, of which the headmaster for the time being was to be minister, and the surplus of the money, after the erection, is to be laid out in land for the benefit the above school; and under an extension of the Act, the governors have established a school for the convenience of the distant hamlets; the master has £80 per annum for his attendance at this and an evening school, and about 264 children are instructed under the endowment; and a school on the same foundation as the above, is about to be established for girls.

A Blue Coat charity school, on the national system, for the education of 25 boys and as many girls; 24 of the former 16 of the latter are clothed, and there are 100 other children. The master's salary is £80 per annum, together with a house, arising from 4 guineas, the produce of one acre of land at Dudley; £10 the rent of a house; £10 the interest of £200 from the corporation, and of £70 from annual subscriptions.

A Dissenting Sunday school, consisting of 230 children. The funds arise from three acres of land, producing £10 per annum, out of which the master receives £8 a year.

A school at Bloxwich, the funds of which arise from a sum of £20 per annum, paid by the Merchant Taylors company, to the minister of Bloxwich for the time being, for officiating at the chapel and school agreeable to the will of the late William Parker, but he allows £8 per annum out of the said stipend to the clerk to teach boys to read, who resides in the chapel house and receives also £25 from the parish, for teaching 25 boys writing.

Other Institutions

Five schools for boys and girls, taught by masters, consisting of 96 of the former and 21 of the latter; and 25 by mistresses, in which 178 boys and 322 girls are instructed. Also boarding schools for boys, containing 58 scholars.

A Church Sunday school, consisting of 383 children; one belonging to the Calvinists, containing 316; one to the Unitarians, 24; and another to the Methodists, comprising 120.

Observations

The poor of Walsall have the means of education, but those at Bloxwich are without them, and very desirous that their children should be instructed.

   
Read some descriptions of education in Walsall in the 1840s
   

In the first half of the nineteenth century Walsall had its grammar school, the Blue Coat School, a number of church schools, and several private schools, many offering an extremely basic education to the poorer members of society, who otherwise would not even be able to read and write. By the 1830s over 1,200 children attended day schools in the town, and over 1,700 pupils attended Sunday schools.

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Staffordshire, 1851 lists the following academies and schools in Walsall:

Daniel Aulton, Lower Hall Lane (boarding school)
George and Mrs. Bayley, Ablewell House (boarding school)
Mrs. Bingham, Bradford Street
E. Brown, Lichfield Street
Miss Butler, Bradford Street
John and Mrs. Russell, Blue Coat & National, Bridge square
Misses Andrews and Allport, British Schools, Bridge Street
James Lowry, Catholic School, St. Mary’s Mount
Miss Eyland, Little London (boarding school)
Miss M. Fox (infants) Windmill
Rev. J. B. Pugh, M.A., headmaster, Free Grammar School, Lichfield Street
Edward James, Peal Street
Mary Kealing, Ablewell Street
Harriet Mason, Bradford Street
Mrs. And Miss Morris, Park Street (boarding school)
Samuel Roberts and Miss Woodward, National Schools, (St. Peter’s)
Jane Parkinson, Goodall Street
Carolinn Peace, Wisemore
Miss Perkins (infants), Shaw’s Leasowes
Miss Richmond, St. Mary’s Mount (boarding school)
Jane Seaville, Littleton Street
Emma Wise, Lichfield Street (boarding school)
Mr. Smith, Wesleyan School
Thomas Withers, George Street
Mrs. Wright, Ablewell Street

By the latter half of the nineteenth century education became more important. It was felt that better educated young people were essential in order to enable the country’s industries to keep ahead of the competition, and maintain a lead in manufacturing. This feeling lead to the passing of the 1870 Elementary Education Act which stated that:

The country would be divided into 2,568 school districts. In each district a School Board would be created, consisting of members (the number depending upon the size of the population in the area) who were elected by local ratepayers. School Boards were to examine the provision of elementary education in their district and if there were not enough school places, schools (known as Board schools) could be built and maintained from the rates. They could also make their own by-laws and charge fees or let children in free.

The Boards were financed from the local poor rate, or from the municipal rates, and were also eligible to apply for capital funding in the form of a government loan. All schools were to be inspected, and be eligible for an annual government grant calculated on the results of the inspection. The Act allowed women to vote for the School Boards and serve as candidates on them. Something that was unheard of in local government at the time.


An Aldridge school march, Empire Day, 24th May, 1906. From an old postcard.

Walsall School Board was formed in February 1871. At the time there were 5,780 places in existing schools, but around 4,000 more were needed. In November the Board decided to build eight schools, the first of which would be built in areas where they were most needed. By 1873 three of the schools had opened, the others were completed in 1874. The Board schools were:

Bath Street, Bloxwich (Leamore), Butts, Elmore Green, Queen Street, Tantarra Street, Wednesbury Road, and Wisemore.

By end of the century there were eleven Board Schools, eleven church schools, the Grammar School, the Girls High School, and the Blue Coat School.

The Board schools  in 1904 (Kelly's Staffordshire Directory) were as follows:

Bath Street, erected in 1875, for 230 boys, 171 girls and 180 infants. Average attendance 210 boys, 150 girls and 120 infants.
The Butts, erected in 1876, for 284 boys, 250 girls. Attendance 306 boys, 250 girls and 256 infants.
Tantarra Street, for 223 boys, 189 girls and 252 infants. Average attendance 231 boys, 194 girls and 225 infants.
Wisemore, erected in 1873, for 276 boys, 218 girls and 230 infants. Average attendance 197 boys, 187 girls and 145 infants.
Wolverhampton Road, erected in 1883 and enlarged in 1893, for 330 boys, 305 girls and 306 infants. Average attendance 328 boys, 305 girls and 316 infants.
Palfrey, built in 1884 at a cost, including site, of £4,850, for 400 boys, 310 girls and 335 infants. Average attendance 448 boys, 310 girls and 347 infants.
Hillary Street (mixed and infants), built in 1893 at a cost of £9,000, for 720 boys and girls and 370 infants. Average attendance 760 boys and girls and 280 infants.
Croft Street (mixed and infants), erected in 1893 and enlarged in 1899, for 840 boys and girls and 320 infants. Average attendance 715 boys and girls 270 infants.
Whitehall (mixed), erected in 1899, for 1,050 children.

The church schools in 1904 (Kelly's Staffordshire Directory) were as follows:

St. John's, Pleck (mixed and infants), erected in 1855 at an estimated cost of £1,000, on a site given by the Earl of Bradford, for 200 boys and girls and 110 infants. Average attendance 200 boys and girls and 110 infants.
St. Matthew's, Church Hill (mixed), erected in 1852-3 at a cost of £743, for 150 children. Average attendance 148.
St. Michael's, Caldmore Road, for 110 boys and 120 girls. Average attendance, 115 boys and 118 girls.
St. Peter's, John Street, for 250 boys. Average attendance 230 boys.
St. Peter's, Whitehouse Street (girls and infants), erected in 1872 at a cost of £1,633, and enlarged in 1893, for 225 girls and 150 infants. Average attendance 225 girls and 150 infants.
St. Peter's, Birchills (mixed and infants), built in 1855, and enlarged in 1893 and in 1896, on a site given by the Earl of Bradford, for 400 children. Average attendance 360.
St. Mary's Catholic, The Mount (mixed), erected in about 1827, for 270 children and 173 infants. Average attendance 206 children and 120 infants.
St. Patrick's Catholic, Blue Lane East (mixed), erected in 1863, for 400 children. Average attendance 350.
St. Patrick's Catholic, Blue Lane East (infants), erected in 1890, for 280 infants. Average attendance 266.
Wesleyan, Ablewell Street (mixed) for 296 children and 296 infants. Average attendance 286 children and 269 infants.
Wesleyan (Centenary) (mixed), John Street, for 395 children. Average attendance 396.


St. Peter's School, Whitehouse Street.


A plan of St. Peter's School.

The 1870 Education Act did not make education for children compulsory. The 1876 Royal Commission on the Factory Acts recommended that education should be made compulsory in order to stop child labour. A further Education Act passed in 1880 finally made school attendance compulsory for children between the ages of five and ten. In 1893 the age range was extended to eleven, and in 1899 to twelve.

The Walsall School Board created a by-law in 1872 which made school attendance compulsory, but for many years Walsall had a terrible attendance record. In 1880 only seventy percent of children attended school, and in the poorer districts (Bath Street, Leamore, Tantarra Street, and Wisemore) attendance was down to between fifty and sixty percent. School fees averaged around three pence per week, which the poorer people could not afford. Although they could apply for free education to the School Board, many parents who had not been educated themselves could not see the need for their children to be educated. They often could not afford proper clothing for their children to wear at school, and they could always send their children to work instead.

   
Read a description of a visit to Wisemore Board School in 1888
   

In 1891 the Elementary Education Act made elementary education free, by providing grants that were available to fund all schools. By 1900 attendance rates had improved, because people’s attitude towards education had changed, and the formation of a school attendance committee.

The 1902 Education Act abolished all School Boards. Their duties were handed over to local authorities, which then formed education committees to oversee education in their area.


Class 6 at Tantarra Street School, in the Chuckery. The Teacher is Miss E. P. Clayton who married the Headmaster, Mr. Bullock. Many people might remember has as Mrs Bullock. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.


Another class at Tantarra Street School. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.


Class V at Chuckery Junior School in 1921. The teachers on the back row are, left: Miss Clayton, and right: Miss Malcolm. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.


The names to the previous photo. Courtesy of Lily Partoon.


Another class at Chuckery Junior School, this time in 1922. The teacher is Miss Grey. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore. The names are below:


The names are courtesy of Lily Partoon.

Queen Mary's Grammar School

In 1553 John Dudley, Lord of the Manor of Walsall was executed for high treason, and Edward VI’s half sister Mary came to the throne. His estates were taken over by the crown and so Queen Mary acquired the Manor of Walsall. At that time many of the citizens of the town felt that Walsall had missed out, because the 1547 Chantries Act had not been imposed there. The Act abolished the 2,374 chantries and guild chapels. Their buildings and lands were sold, and some of the money raised was used for the good of the public (as stated in the Act). In several places schools were built on chantry land.

A petition from the town, asking for the Act to be enforced in Walsall, was taken to the Queen by Nicholas and George Hawe. Queen Mary granted their wish, and ‘The Free Grammar School of Queen Mary’ was founded in the town in 1554, and given some of the chantry lands. It was built on Church Hill next to the churchyard.

The school moved to Park Street after purchasing a house with a garden, a warehouse, and other buildings in 1813. The asking price was £2,750. They were converted at a cost of £940 into two school buildings, and houses for the master and usher of the grammar school.

In 1850 the school moved to new premises in Lichfield Street after the South Staffordshire Railway made an unmissable offer of £3,000 for the Park Street site.

   
Read a description of the school from 1851
   


A view from around 1909. From an old postcard.

Land was purchased in Lichfield Street from Lord Hatherton at a cost of £965.7s.6d. and a new school was built at a cost of £5,107.19s.10d.

It was designed by Edward Adams, and built of brick with stone facings for doors, windows and quoins.

It could accommodate 150 boys.

Other buildings included a headmaster’s house with a dining room, drawing room, study, and five bedrooms; a second master’s house; a commercial master’s house; a boys’ dormitory; two playgrounds; a porter’s lodge; and a stable and coach house. The new school opened on 9th April, 1850.

In 1873 the main school became The High School, and the Commercial School became The Lower School. In 1893 the two schools were reunited and called The High School for Boys. In the same year the governors opened Queen Mary's High School for Girls in Upper Forster Street, adjoining the buildings in Lichfield Street.

In order to fit the school into the new framework of the Local Education Authorities and the Board of Education, The High School became Queen Mary's Grammar School in 1909.

The school buildings in Lichfield Street were extended in 1921 to cater for students who intended to become school teachers. They were sent to the school by both Walsall and the County Education Committees.


Queen Mary's Grammar School in the late 1960s. Courtesy of the late Will Parker.

In 1944 the school became a Voluntary Aided grammar school with entry via the new 11 plus examination.

In the 1950s pupil numbers grew, and in 1961 building work started on the current school in Mayfield.

It was officially opened in 1966 by the Dean of Westminster. The old school buildings in Lichfield Street were taken over by the Girls' High School.

The Blue Coat School

The school was founded in the late 17th century to provide free education for children from poor families. The school derives its name from the colour of the school uniform. It began life in the High Cross, also known as High Cross House that was built in 1691 on the site of the old market cross at the top of High Street and remained there until the building was demolished in 1800. There were initially 24 boys and 16 girls.

The school then moved to a house on The Bridge which had been purchased by the trustees. It consisted of a single schoolroom with a teacher's house attached. By 1819 a second story had been added so that the building could accommodate 140 boys and 160 girls. Free education was provided for 25 boys and 25 girls. In 1820 the school merged with the recently formed National School. The building was rebuilt in 1826 and greatly enlarged. It could then accommodate 228 girls and 228 boys. The fee-paying children paid one penny a week.

In 1859 the school moved to a larger building in St. Paul's Close. It was designed by Henry Cooper of London and had rooms for boys and girls, and houses for a master and mistress. There was also a large domestic science room for the girls, with a wash house where laundering could be taught. The cost of the development was met by subscriptions, gifts, a government grant, and the sale of land at Dudley, and the sale of the old site.


The Blue Coat School in St. Paul's Close. From an old postcard.

In 1884 the school began to take older pupils from St. Matthew's Church of England School, and in 1891 as a result of the Elementary Education Act, fees were abolished for the younger children.

In 1933 the school’s building was purchased by the council in readiness for the town’s central bus station. The senior school then moved to Springhill Road, the junior school moved to the vicarage in Hanch place, and the infants moved into the council’s Bath Street school building.


Blue Coat School in Springhill Road. From an old postcard.

In 1953 the governors decided to retain voluntary aided status and to provide new buildings for the senior school, which in 1965 moved to a new building in Birmingham Street.

The juniors moved into new premises on Springhill Road and the infants moved to Hanch Place.

In 1972 the secondary school was expanded to form a larger comprehensive school with its own sixth form, and the former Chuckery council school in Lincoln Road became an annexe. Over the next two years the Birmingham Street site was extended.


The Blue Coat School. From an old postcard, courtesy of Christine and John Ashmore.

St. Matthew's Church of England School

The school was established in 1853 on a site at the east end of St. Mathew's Church that was given by Lord Bradford. The school building consisted of a single classroom with accommodation for 150 children, and a teacher's house. In 1855 one hundred children attended the school, each paying two pence per week. As already mentioned, in 1884 the school worked in conjunction with the Blue Coat School, and became the Blue Coat Infants school in 1906.

St. Andrew's Church of England Junior and Infants' School

In 1855 the managers of St. Peter's National Schools opened a branch school in Hollyhedge Lane, Birchills, known as Birchills National School, built with the aid of grants from the government and the National Society. It catered for eighty fee-paying children. In the late 1880s it was also used as a mission church until the consecration of St. Andrew's Church in 1887. Three years later it was taken over, and enlarged by the church. In the 1930s it became a junior mixed infants school. 

St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Junior and Infants' School

The school opened in 1859 in a school room behind St. Patrick's Church in Blue Lane East. It catered for 170 children, some of whom received free education. In 1864 it was extended with the addition of a separate room for infants, and in 1902 a new infants' school opened. After 1963 the senior pupils moved to the newly opened Francis Martyn Roman Catholic High School, and in 1967 the school moved into new buildings in Blue Lane East.

Caldmore Church of England School

In 1867 a school for boys, girls, and infants, with a teacher's house attached, opened on the corner of Caldmore Road and St. Michael Street. The running of the school was taken over by the newly formed parish of St. Michael and All Angels in 1872. It later became a junior mixed and infants' school, and closed in 1959.

Wednesbury Road Congregational School

The school, attached to the Congregational chapel in Wednesbury Road had opened by 1869. By 1876 the weekday and Sunday school catered for 476 children, but soon ran into financial difficulties. In 1880 it became the Wednesbury Road Board School, and continued as such until 1884 when Palfrey Board School opened. In 1902 it was taken over by the council, and run until 1905.

Pleck Church of England School

It opened in 1825 as a National School to provide cheap education for around 60 children from the Pleck area, between the ages of 7 and 13. There was a single schoolroom, and a school mistress. Children were charged two pence a week. The schoolroom soon became inadequate because of the rapidly rising population in Pleck, and in 1855 a new larger school was built in Pleck Road, on land given by Lord Bradford. The new school, which opened in 1856, catered for 54 boys and 46 girls, and was also used for church services until St. John's Church opened in 1858. Thanks to a government grant, the school was enlarged in 1867 to provide separate rooms for boys and girls, and remained as such until 1930 when it became an infants only school. The school closed in 1962.

Bloxwich Church of England Junior and Infants School

The school was founded in 1616 thanks to a bequest by William Parker, a successful London merchant taylor whose home town was Bloxwich. In his will he left land to the Merchant Taylors' Company. The proceeds from which were to provide an annual salary of twenty pounds for the minister of Bloxwich Chapel, on condition that he should teach boys who live in Bloxwich, Harden and parts of the surrounding area to read. This was to be done without charge, either in the chapel, or the minister’s house.

This continued until the early nineteenth century when the minister paid a master, who was also the chapel clerk, eight pounds a year to teach the boys. The children were taught in the minister’s house, where the clerk lived rent free.

In 1826 John Baylie became the minister and decided to occupy the minister’s house instead of the clerk. The school then became a Sunday school until 1828 when Baylie reopened the school as a National School for boys and girls at the northern end of Bloxwich High Street. National Schools were Church of England schools, established in the nineteenth century by the National Society in England and Wales.

By 1833 there were 108 boys and 70 girls in attendance.

On Sundays it became a Sunday school with 140 boys and 80 girls.

The fees were one penny or two pence per week, but the school continued to provide free education to fifteen boys, as specified in William Parker’s will.


Bloxwich High Street. From an old postcard.

In the mid 1840s the building was extended, and a teacher’s house was built. The school was rebuilt in 1862 and enlarged at the turn of the century. In the 1930s it became Bloxwich Church of England School, with departments for senior mixed pupils, junior mixed pupils, and infants. As a result of the 1944 Education Act the senior school became a secondary modern school, which closed in 1974 and was taken over by the junior school.


Rushall School in around 1908. From an old postcard.

Christ Church Junior and Infants' School

The school opened at Blakenall Heath as a branch of the National School at Bloxwich, in 1843. It was also used as a mission church, and opened thanks to the efforts of the minister, John Baylie. The school catered for 40 boys and 44 girls on weekdays, and 60 boys and 44 girls on Sundays. The buildings were enlarged in 1861, and older children were admitted. The school ceased to be used for worship when Christ Church opened in 1870, and three years later the church took charge of the school. Further building work took place in 1928, and the school became a junior mixed and infants' school. In 1971 the school moved to new buildings off Harden Road.

Elmore Green Junior and Infants' School

The school, situated in Elmore Green Road, Bloxwich, opened in 1882 as a mixed and infants' board school. The school was extended in 1904 with the addition of a building to house the junior mixed school. In 1906 the school became a junior mixed and infants school, and an upper-standard school, which became a higher elementary school in 1908, and a selective central school in 1922-3, offering commercial and academic courses.

In 1944 it became Elmore Green High School, and provided grammar, commercial, and technical courses. In 1958 the pupils and staff moved to new premises in Lichfield Road, Bloxwich, to form part of the T. P. Riley Comprehensive School, itself now replaced by Walsall Academy. The school is now Elmore Green Primary School.

Leamore Junior and Infants School

The school opened in Bloxwich Road in 1873 as a board school for boys, girls, and infants. The boys section closed in 1916 due to a shortage of teachers. After the war in 1919 the school was reorganised. The ex-boys section was taken-over by the girls, the infants moved into the vacated girls building, and the old infants building became a domestic science centre, which closed in 1925 when a domestic science centre opened in Field Street School. In 1929 it became a junior and mixed infants school. It is now Leamore Primary School.

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Primary School

The school opened in 1825 as St. Thomas's Roman Catholic School, in a small schoolroom next to St. Thomas the Apostle Chapel in Harden Road (previously Harden Lane). It catered for around 56 pupils on weekdays, and 76 on Sundays. Children from better-off families were charged one penny a week, and taught to read. Pupils were taught to write for an extra penny a week, and taught arithmetic for another penny. In 1869 St. Thomas's Chapel closed when  St. Peter's Church opened in Bloxwich High Street. A year later the school moved to new buildings in Harrison Street behind the new church, and became St. Peter's Catholic School, catering for 65 fee-paying pupils. In 1899 the school was enlarged, and in 1963 the senior pupils moved to the newly opened Francis Martyn Roman Catholic High School in Dartmouth Avenue. The school moved to its present site in Lichfield Road, Bloxwich in 1972.

The Francis Martyn Roman Catholic High School closed in 1973 and was taken over as an annexe by St. Thomas More Catholic School, Willenhall. The Dartmouth Avenue site closed in about 1990 and was demolished.

The Dissenting Charity School

In the late 18th century, the Dissenters School Charity ran a Sunday school at the Presbyterian meeting house in Bank Court, High Street, which by that time had become Unitarian. By the early 19th century around thirty children were taught reading and writing on Sundays without charge, and writing lessons were held on weekday evenings. Seventy children regularly attended the Sunday School.


Another view of the old Queen Mary's Grammar School.

The Ragged School

Ragged schools were established in the 1840s and 1850s to provide free education to children from the poorest families. They were run by charitable groups who used almost any kind of available building for their classes. The teachers, who were usually volunteers, taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and bible study. The Ragged Schools Union, founded in 1844 helped to provide free education, food, clothing, and lodging for destitute children.

A ragged school was established in Pig Lane, Walsall in the late 1840s, which moved to Townend Bank in 1849 or 1850. Sadly it had a very short life because the teachers felt that the extreme smell of the children was damaging their health.

Croft Street Junior and Infants' School

The school opened in Birchills in 1894 as a mixed and infants' board school. The building was enlarged in 1899, and in 1923 divided into separate boys and girls sections. Six years later the school was again divided, this time into junior mixed and senior girls sections. The senior girls section became a girls' secondary modern school in 1944. The school closed in 1965.

Joseph Leckie School

The school, based in Walstead Road West, the Delves, opened in 1939 as a senior school for boys, and a senior school for girls. They were combined in 1947 to form a bilateral secondary school, the first of its kind in the country, an early form of comprehensive school. The school was extended in 1972 when the school became fully comprehensive. It is now an academy.

Edward Shelley School

The school opened in 1930 in Scarborough Road, Pleck, as a junior school, and a selective central school specialising in technical education. In 1944 it became a technical high school, which became part of the Wilfred Clarke Comprehensive School in 1971, the junior school having closed in 1958.

Wolverhampton Road Board School

The school opened in 1883 and catered for  boys, girls, and infants. The school was extended in 1901 and 1906, and in 1929 was divided into four departments: senior boys, senior girls, junior mixed, and infants. In 1944 the senior departments became a secondary modern school, which survived until 1971. The junior and infants school closed in 1967.


Courtesy of David Clare.

Hillary Street Junior and Infants School

The school opened in 1893 in Hillary Street, Pleck as a mixed and infants board school. It was extended in 1906, with the addition of a higher elementary section which became a mixed secondary modern in 1944. This part closed in 1971, but the junior and infants section remained open and is now Hillary Primary School.

Alumwell Junior & Infants School

The school opened in 1951 in Primley Avenue as an infants school. Three years later the junior section was added. It is still there today.

West Walsall E-ACT Academy

The school opened in 1971 as the Wilfred Clark Comprehensive School, formed by the amalgamation of four secondary modern schools. It was the first school in Walsall to incorporate a community centre running out of school hours. In September 1974 it became the Alumwell Comprehensive School, then the Alumwell Business and Enterprise College, and in September 2012 the Walsall E-ACT Academy, after gaining Academy status.

Other Church Schools

There were also many other day and Sunday schools run by local churches including Whittimere Street School, founded by the Methodist Free Church; Stafford Street day school which opened at the Centenary Wesleyan Methodist Chapel; St. Mary's Roman Catholic Junior and Infants' School, which was opened in Vicarage Place by St. Mary's Chapel; St. Peter's Church of England Junior and Infants School, which opened in John Street; and Ablewell Street Wesley School built in Forster Street by the Ablewell Street Chapel.

Outdoor Education

In 1926 the Walsall Schoolchildren Holiday Camp Trust purchased a site in Streetly for use as a campsite for Walsall schoolchildren. The site was sold in 1960. Nine years later the trust purchased a house and ten acres of land just outside Llangollen, and in partnership with Walsall Council opened it as Bryntysilio Outdoor Education Centre, to provide courses of outdoor education to school groups from Walsall. Today the centre also runs one-day courses, and provides a base for conferences and individual groups.

Today there are 128 schools in Walsall LEA, consisting of 87 primary schools, 21 secondary schools, 8 nurseries, 7 special schools, and 1 FE college.


Mayfield House, Sutton Road, Walsall. Purchased by Queen Mary's Grammar School in 1924. Now Mayfield Preparatory School. From an old postcard.

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