England's Schools

BookEngland's Schools

England's Schools

History, architecture and adaptation

Informed Conservation


January 31st, 2010





For most of us, school was our first detailed experience of a building outside the homes of our parents, friends and relations. Many people react emotionally when their old school, charged with so many memories, is closed or demolished. Not all school buildings are worthy of designation, but many are major local landmarks and demonstrate an important part of our society’s evolution.

This book aims to raise awareness of the wide range of school buildings built in England from the Reformation to the Millennium, and discusses which buildings may be worthy of greater appreciation and preservation. It summarises the development of schools and analyses how social attitudes have been expressed in their architecture and planning.

Finally, it looks at the adaptation of older schools to modern needs and new uses for schools around the country, drawing on examples of best practice from Historic Building Inspectors and Advisers.

Author Information

Elain Harwood is a Senior Architectural Investigator with Historic England, specialising in the years after 1945.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
1. Introduction
2. The earliest surviving schools
3. When money wins: the growth of public and charitable schools, 1800-1870
4. The school boards, 1870-1902
5. Local authorities take command, 1902-1918
6. A missed opportunity: inter-war schools, 1914-1940
7. Education for all, 1945-1985
8. Guidance for selection for listing
9. Conclusions: new uses for old schools
Further reading