The ‘National’ School

Collage of 3 B+W photos The Bloxwich National School 1931; Music Hall 1910; School children in class 1920s.

The Bloxwich National School 1931; Music Hall 1910; School children in class 1920s.

In 1616, William Parker, a London merchant tailor from Bloxwich, left land to the Merchant Tailors Company to provide £20 annually for the minister of Bloxwich Chapel to teach the boys of the area to read English, in either the chapel or the minister’s house. By the early 19th century the minister paid a master to teach 15 poor boys to read. In 1826 John Baylie, the newly appointed minister, occupied the house, and the school declined into a Sunday school, meeting in public house club-rooms. Baylie re-established the school in 1828 as a National School for boys and girls, built on the present site off the High Street, on land given by Lord Bradford. Fees of 1d or 2d a week were charged but 15 boys were still taught free of charge as per the Parker bequest. In 1833, 108 boys and 70 girls attended on weekdays, and 140 boys and 80 girls on Sundays. The school was rebuilt in 1862, enlarged in 1900 and 1931. By then it was called Bloxwich Church of England School, it was re-organised as a senior mixed and junior mixed and infants schools.

The senior school became a Secondary Modern school in 1944.  In 1974 the secondary school closed. Its senior functions were transferred to T.P Riley School in Lichfield Road, now itself replaced by the new high-technology Walsall Academy.

A video still of the front of Walsall Academy School 2016

Walsall Academy 2016

Here’s a great film of T.P Riley school in the 60’s.

The school then became Bloxwich Church of England JMI/Primary School, until 2015 when it became All Saints National Academy (now sponsored by CECET, the Church of England Educational Trust).

Elmore Green Schools

Elmore Green Junior and Infants School opened in 1882. In 1902-3, lack of space at the school compelled the transfer of the younger boys to temporary premises in High Street.
A building for a junior mixed school was added across the road at Elmore Green in 1904.
In 1906 the schools were reorganised into junior mixed and infants plus upper-standard schools. The latter was recognised by government as a higher elementary school in 1908 and as a selective central school in 1922-3. It offered commercial and academic courses, and in the reorganisation after 1944 it became Elmore Green High School, offering grammar, commercial, and technical courses.
In 1958 Elmore Green High School’s pupils and staff moved to new premises in Lichfield Road, Bloxwich, to help form the nucleus of the new T. P. Riley Comprehensive School, now itself replaced by Walsall City Academy. In the 1970’s the Elmore Green High School buildings were used as the annexe to T.P. Riley School, but the old High School is now a primary school, with the second building shared between a nursery and the Electric Palace youth facilities run by Bloxwich Community Partnership.

There are some great stories and photos about Bloxwich Schools on the Bloxwich Old and New Facebook page