The school was founded as a result of “Acts passed early in the reign of Queen Victoria to facilitate the conveyance of sites for schools for the education of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer classes in the Parish of Hurstbourne Tarrant.” (The School Deed) The Church of England spearheaded the development of a network of National schools throughout the country at this time. Mr Henry Atkins of Maddington, Wiltshire offered the site of two old cottages with 36 poles of land on which to build a school at Hurstbourne Tarrant.
The land was given to the Vicar and Churchwardens of the Parish. By Christmas day 1848, the one classroom, which is now the hall, was completed, and the school opened, under the Headship of William Alexander. The funds, amounting to £370.10s had been collected in the form of subscriptions from the local gentry and the building was undertaken by Mr Godwin of the village. Initially, the school did not admit infants but the children might well have remained there until they were thirteen. In those early days the school’s income was derived from endowments, local subscriptions, a variable government grant, the ecclesiastical commissioners, the sale of school copy books, a voluntary rate and school pence.
From this combined income, the teachers’ salaries, books, equipment, maintenance of the buildings, heating, lighting and cleaning were all to be covered. The school has gone through many changes since 1848 and now has 4 classrooms and several other spaces for the children to use. The most recent extension was completed in January 2005 which provided new toilets, a staffroom and a room for small group/individual work.
More information can be found in the publication ‘Hurstbourne Tarrant Primary School: A History 1848 – 1998’ written by Sarah Hobley and published to commemorate the school’s 150th anniversary.