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Schools Review 1949

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 22nd April 1949, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Managers to Discuss Schools

Dissatisfied with the Chief Education Officer’s reply to a request for a review of the town’s educational facilities, Rushden Council decided to call a conference at which school managers and governors can state their views. It also learned of proposals to build a new school block between Spencer Road and Hayway next year.

The Council received a long letter from Mr. J. L. Holland, and each member had a copy of a sketch plan showing the site of proposed new school buildings between Spencer Road and Hayway, with an access road through Spencer Park.

Mr. Holland claimed that the transfer of the remaining senior children at Higham Ferrers County School and Rushden Newton Road County School to the Modern Schools in Hayway and Tennyson Road would complete the reorganisation of Rushden and Higham Ferrers. It would leave room at the first two schools for the children from the new housing estates in Upper Queen Street and at the junction of Rushden and Higham Ferrers, and the distances from these estates to the two schools were “not unreasonable.”

The position, however, would be kept under review, and if it was found that still more accommodation was required, the committee would negotiate for the reservation of a site.

Site in View

Dealing with the need for more accommodation at the Modern Schools, Mr. Holland said the committee had proposed to the Minister of Education that both should be enlarged in 1950. the Tennyson Road School could be extended on the school site, but at North End there was not sufficient room, and the committee had looked for a site which was conveniently close.

The site in view was between Spencer Road and the playing field already used by North End School, but for a large school which would accommodate eventually between 400 and 500 children it would be desirable to have another approach, and the committee asked the Council to permit this being made through Spencer Park, where the hut would have to be removed. They also sought permission to widen the pathway leading from Spencer Road to the park entrance.

Mrs. Muxlow said she was prepared to accept this solution for the time being, but it should be emphasised that in the near future something more would have to be done.

Councillor J. Allen said the whole point of the Council’s proposal was the provision of a new school for the younger age groups, but the letter avoided the point all the way through. Rushden was entitled to a little more consideration.

Councillor J. T. Richardson said it would be a long way from “The Hedges” to the Higham Ferrers School or from Upper Queen Street to Newton Road.

Councillor F. E. Brown said they should press for land to be reserved near the new housing estates so that a new school could be built when possible.

Councillor A. H. Bailey said the County Education Committee was starting at the wrong end. The South End School had for many years been considered unsatisfactory.

Mrs Muxlow observed that this year’s school building programme had been settled, but they might get a new school for the younger children considered in next year’s programme.

After further discussion the Council agreed “in principle” to the steps proposed in Mr. Holland’s letter and to the access being made through Spencer Park. It was also decided to call a conference with a view to ultimate discussions with one of the education officers, and Mrs. Muxlow asked that the town’s County Council representatives should be included.

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