In 1862, a dispute arose within the Trustees at the Heygate School regarding the status of religious education being taught at the time. Some of the Trustees wanted the school to adhere to the Anglican principles taught by the National Society whilst the non-conformists wished otherwise. An application to Daventry County Court was made by John Heygate and the matter was duly heard on the 19th January 1863.

The following clip was extracted from Northamptonshire Notes and Queries (1)
and describes the ruling made by the County Court.
In essence, it states that the school should be conducted on the principles of the Established Church but that parents were able to exempt their children from being instructed in the doctrines of the Church of England or in the Church Catechism providing that they declare in writing their conscientious objections and attend some other place of worship at once on Sundays.

In 1870, the conscience clause in Forster’s Education Act made compulsory Sunday religious instruction a thing of the past, however exemption from religious education within West Haddon Voluntary School (as it was kown as by then) still required written permission from parents.

In 1905 it was written (1) that

“By permission of the Trustees and Managers, the vicar (Rev. W.E. Bannerman) now imparts religious instruction to the children of Church parents and others, and that given to the children of dissenting parents who so desire it is under the supervision of the Baptist minister (Rev.H.A. Hunt).”

Ref (1) Northamptonshire Notes and Queries - An Illustrated Quarterly
Vol.1., No.4, New Series December 1905,

Throughout the school’s history its links with the Church has been maintained.

In 1952,the school log entry for 5th February states that
“As from 28th January 1952 the school is now a Controlled School. Religious instruction must be based on agreed syllabus. Voluntary Controlled Primary School under s(17)(3) of 1944 Education Act.”
This meant that all maintenance to the school had to be funded by the Local Education Authority.

In September 1958, Guilsborough Secondary Modern School opened. West Haddon Controlled School was re-organised so that children up to the age of eleven only were educated at the school.

When the school was first endowed, no fee was payable by the pupils towards the teachers’ salaries or upkeep of the school but, soon after its foundation, a payment of 1d per month was levied from each child to cover the cost of books, slates, pens, ink etc.

By February 1882 the school logbook states that,
“A meeting of the Trustees was held today to discuss the question of raising the fees of the scholars, It was decided that the fees should be regulated by the social position of the parents viz:- 6d for Farmers, 4d for Tradesmen and 3d for jouneymen tradesmen subject to certain modifications.”

20th August 1891
The Trustees met to adopt the Free Education Act which meant that parents had no longer to contribute towards their children’s education at the school. This came into effect on 1st September 1891.
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