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Publication Review
A HISTORY OF EYNSFORD'S ELEMENTARY AND PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Diana Beamish
£2.50   A4, 44 pages, 3 plans, 15 photographs, published 1998

Formal education was begun in Eynsford in the 1830s, with the foundation of an Anglican school. A Baptist rival was set up in the following decade. After the Education Act of 1870, which saw the beginnings of state provision of primary education, more children than ever before attended school. At the beginning of the twentieth century, there were still two schools in Eynsford - the Council school and the Church (of England) school. Both kept log books which have been quarried by the author to good effect. The schools were amalgamated in the 1920s. A canteen was started in February 1926. At the beginning of World War II evacuee children from SE London were absorbed into the school. Air raid shelters were built in 1940, just in time for the blitz. After the war, when the school-leaving age was raised to fifteen, it was decided that the senior part of Eynsford's school (which had educated children until they were fourteen) was to be closed, seniors being sent instead to Swanley. What remained was Eynsford County Primary School, which had about 160 pupils in the 1950s, and over 200 in the 1960s. At Easter 1973 Eynsford's primary school was amalgamated with that of Farningham under the name of Anthony Roper County Primary School. This school is in Eynsford, but not at the site of the former school. The closing pages of this book cover the doings of Anthony Roper school up to the present day. A lot of information is packed into this book, which will be of considerable interest to those who were educated in Eynsford. It is also helpful on the background movements in education over the past century and three quarters, and how they shaped what happened in this particular village. The book ends with a list of head teachers, sources, photographs, plans and copies of items of interest from the archives.

Review reprinted from J. Kent History for March, 1999