In 1815 William Hughes
bequethed the sum of £300 a year towards the education of six children
to be chosen by the village's parish minister, the churchwardens, the
overseers and the schoolmaster. This bequest was to be "for
A schoolroom was
subsequently erected in 1817 with funds raised by voluntary
contributions and the Parochial Returns of 1818 record that there were
60 children supported by subscription and four children educated from
the income amounting to eight guineas from the endowment in what became
known as the National School
There was in addition a
small girls' school and the Curate, the Rev John Edwards stated that the
poorer classes thankfully availed themselves of the means provided for
the education of their children.
By 1833, 125 children
attended the school. They were charged one shilling (5p) a quarter
except for six who were paid for from the endowment. The returns of the
National Society's School Enquiry 1846/7 recorded that 68 boys and 41
girls received instruction in the school. Of this number, 48 boys and 32
girls attended both on weekdays and Sundays, 19 boys and 6 girls on
weekdays only and one boy and three girls on Sundays only.
They were taught by a
master and assistant mistress and five paid monitors. The total
expenditure in salaries amounted to £44 6s and the estimated annual
cost of maintaining the school was £63 1s.
In 1860, the Rector of
Hethersett, the Rev William Collett, applied to the National Society for
aid towards erecting a new mixed school measuring 53ft x 18ft to
accommodate 120 children, with a teacher's house attached. The site,
valued at £92 10s was taken from glebe land and the cost of the new
schoolroom and proposed teacher's house amounted to £751 15s 6d. A
government grant of £280 4s was received, £44 11s 6d was raised
locally and the National Society contributed £30.
The new school was
completed in 1861 and the original building was retained as an infants
It was proposed to charge
1d per week for the children of farm labourers, 2d or 3d for the
children of gentlemen's servants and mechanics and 6d for the children
of small farmers. The school received an annual government grant and an
additional classroom for infants was added in 1883 at a cost of £173,
raised by local subscription and with local builders Bailey & Son
carrying out the work.
In1850 the British School
came into being in the village to provide education for both children
and adults in the Great Melton district. The National and British
schools worked side by side until their amalgamation in 1951, when it
proved obvious that neither of the existing schools could reach the
standard in buildings and amenities laid down in the Education Act of
The British School was sold
to become the village's Church Hall.
The National School was
taken over by the Local Education Authority and became known as
Hethersett Voluntary Controlled School. It became a state school and
also a church school with the village Rector playing a major part in the
management of the school.
After the amalgamation
children over the age of 11 were removed and growing numbers as the
village expanded led to the provision of additional classrooms and a new
school hall in 1970.
In 1972 a First School was
built elsewhere in the village and in the same year the school's
swimming pool was opened. Today the school is known as Hethersett
Voluntary Controlled Middle School.