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Headington history: Schools

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Here is a list of the known schools of Headington, past and present, linked to a brief page on their history. (For practical information on all current schools in Headington, see the Education page)

Date
founded

Original name of school
(with link to brief history)

Present name of school
(or date of closure)

1805

Free School

Closed 1874

1822

Miss Hanwell’s Seminary

Closed 1862

1836

Mrs Butler’s Boarding School for Young Ladies

Closed by 1846

1840

Old Headington & Barton Infant School

Closed c.1908

1847

Headington National School

St Andrew’s Primary School

1859

Linden House School

Closed 1864

1863

Rookery Preparatory School for Eton and Harrow

Closed 1897

1864

Headington Quarry National School

Closed 2003

1869

St Aloysius’ / St Joseph’s School

St Joseph’s Primary School

1873

New Headington Infant School

Closed 1908

c.1885

Miss Steff’s School

Closed 1939

1908

Margaret Road/Headington
Council School

Closed 2004

1915

Headington School

Headington School

1918

Hunsdon House Nursery School

Hunsdon House

1928

Ormerod School

Ormerod School

1930

Rye St Antony School

Rye St Antony School

1935

St Anne’s School

Closed 1945

1936

Headington Senior Council School

Windmill Primary School

1941

Headington Preparatory School

Closed c.1950

1949

Barton Junior Mixed & Infant School (later Bernwood First School)

Closed 1975

1952

Barton Infant School

Closed 2003

1953

Bayswater Secondary
Modern School

Bayards Hill Primary School

1954

Wood Farm Junior Mixed School

Wood Farm Primary School

1957

Josca’s

Moved to Frilford Heath 1970

1954

Cheney School

Cheney School

1959

Cheney Girls’ School

See also Mrs Morrell’s Training School for Servants
(also known as Headington Hill Hall School) in the “Headington Hill” section.

A History of Milham Ford School (PDF)


The names of the earliest Headington dames’ schools have gone unrecorded. The Vicar of Headington mentions their existence in a letter to the Bishop of Oxford on 29 April 1808:

There are 3 little Village Schools besides [the Free School] which the Parents of the Children pay for themselves, the Number of scholars about 60, they are taught to read, write and plain work in general…. None of the Schools are kept by Dissenters.


Other very small private schools which did not survive for long include:

  • Mrs Bennett's Preparatory School, for which there is just one advertisement, in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 26 October 1822:

    MRS. BENNETT begs leave to inform her friends in Oxford and its vicinity, that she has taken a commodious House at HEADINGTON, where she can receive a few YOUNG LADIES, as BOARDERS, and hopes, by every attention to their improvement, to merit the support of those parents who may please to intrust their children to her care.
       Tuition of Needle-work, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic:
    For Boarders, (per Annum): £16 0 0
    Day Scholars (per Quarter): £0 10 6.

  • Miss Edney’s School at 84 (formerly 48) Old High Street in the late 1920s
  • Mr & Mrs Benjamin Francis Ward’s School at 33 (formerly 5) Old High Street in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Miss Evett’s School in Quarry Hollow: this was a Montessori school, also known as the Old Vicarage School, and was open from the 1930s. It closed in 1959 when one of the Miss Evett sisters died and the other gave up.
  • Miss Hammersley’s School at Sandy Lodge in the Croft, in the 1930s

For information on the two small schools in Old High Street, see the reminiscences of Kathleen Eastes.


Headington Parish Magazine, July 1872:

It is very sad to see how many of our people neglect the education of their little ones, and allow them to run idle during the School hours about the streets of the Village. We beg the Parents in our Parish to consider this seriously,—that if they will not of their own accord send their children more regularly to School, the Government will compel the Parish to use severe measures for enforcing the regular attendance of all boys and girls who are between the ages of 3 and 13 years. We repeat what we have said before in speaking to the Parents, that we hope the good sense of our Headington poor will lead them to send their children regularly to School, and so prevent the introduction of anything like compulsion, which will fall very hard upon many of them and reflect no little disgrace upon the Parish generally.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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