|Schools (updated 15 June 2008)|
Ofsted (reports on local schools)
KCC reckon that numbers will continue to fall at Langafel, but recognise that it would cause hardship to close the school and force pupils to travel elsewhere, due to its remoteness. They therefore propose eliminating the surplus over time by reducing entry each year to 45.
Source: Proposals for the Reduction of Surplus Capacity in Primary Schools in Dartford District (KCC 8 May 2006)
Grammar School attendance is very high at 46% of all pupils from Hartley.
The figures for attendance at secondary schools show graphically the links Hartley has to the north. Although we are in Sevenoaks Council Area, just 3.7% of secondary children attend schools there.
(NB. Leigh City Technology College is omitted because this is run by the government and not KCC, therefore KCC do not have figures)
In addition there is the Milestone Special School in Hartley parish. In 2005/6 KCC planned to spend £20,000 on replacement windows there.
History of Education
The "spouse" figures
are likely to be a better indicator of literacy, because there is
some evidence that people known to be literate were chosen as witnesses
- Francis Treadwell of Fairby Farm appears many times as a witness
A school roll of 1831 lists 22 children at the school: William Martin, James Martin, Charles Day, William Day, Mary Martin, Eliza Longhurst, John Ware, William Ware, Anne Hayes, Thomas Packman, Charlotte Packman, Jane Longhurst, Richard Day, Mary Day, Hester Ware, Emma Ware, George Outred, Isaac Outred, Thomas Deane, William Mitchell, Henry Day and Henry Packman. The winner of the annual prize was Thomas Deane who became a carpenter and wheelwright and lived at Bay Lodge, Ash Road. (Hartley Parish Magazine, March 1926).
But local people wanted a proper school, so Fawkham, Hartley and Longfield decided to club together to pay for a school for 70 children in 1841. The owner of Middle Farm (William Smith-Masters of Camer) sold them the land on the green for £2 and the school cost £135 to build. Part of the money came from local people and part from the Church of England National Society for Education, because then it was a church school. It doesn't sound very much money, but remember you could buy a loaf three times the size of today's sliced bread for 4p, and milk cost ½p a pint and the wage of a farm worker was 51 p a week.
Every 10 years a census is taken of everyone living in the country, and you will be recorded in the next one which is this year. From these records we can find out who the teachers were from 1841 to 1891:
1841 James Cox, aged 45
In those days most parents would have had to pay for their children to go to school -even for many years after it was made compulsory in 1870. The school was extended in 1876 and rebuilt in 1907.
A lady who went to school here in the 1850s remembered that on Sundays the children walked two by two from the school on the green to Hartley Church. In winter they were given red cloaks to wear as Sunday best, and in summer white calico capes with straw bonnets. There is another excellent description of the school from 1912 to 1917 in "West Kent Within Living Memory" (West Kent Federation of WIs, Maidstone, 1995).
As well as a school there was also a house next door for the teacher to live in.
In the last century two ladies were headmistress for a long time - Miss Fiddis from 1915 to 1944, and Miss Dorothy Barnes from 1944 to 1970. Writing in the Hart of July 1970, Miss Barnes said when she came it was a "tiny, ill-equipped, only two teacher school" with lessons constantly interrupted by air raid sirens. When the senior children were transferred in 1946, the numbers fell to 29, but in 1970 there were 427 enrolled with a staff of 11 teachers plus herself.
When the school was built in 1841 only 199 people lived in Hartley, now many thousands live here. Numbers rose rapidly from the low of 1946, rolls topped 100 for the first time in 1959 (Hart May 1969). So the old school became too small and a new one built in Round Ash Way (1965). Infants continued to use the old building, until it was closed forever in December 1968. The old school was knocked down and replaced by the three new houses opposite the green. Now the school has a capacity of 406.
(c) Other Schools
(d) Former Schools
There were also schools in the 1930s at Bonsalls, Church Road; Fairby High School, The Stoep, Fairby Lane; and Merton House (now Amberley, Merton Avenue, run by the Mrs Cromar who used to be headmistress of Hartley Primary School)