Pimary school teaching, teachers and staff

19th century staff.

 William Stephen Prentice  was headmaster for 25 years from 1876.

Sarah Wilden (b 1828) –  by the age of 23 she is working as a National school mistress, her father was an agricultural labourer. In 1841 at the age of 15 she was living in Pitman Road with her parents John and Amy Wilden

 1879, A teacher’s residence was added to the school. The average attendance at the school was 175 but there was  space for 200(Kelly’s 1900 directory)    

In 1890 the teaching staff were

  • Mr Prentice – 1st class certificated
  • Mrs Prentice -Sewing mistress
  • Miss Skeet – Asst mistress
  • Mrs Bridgeman – infant mistress
  • Mr Melles, a pupil teacher, 2nd year 
  • Mr Beecroft -pupil teacher, 2nd year
  • C.M.Dent had had to be removed from the register of pupil teachers due to poor health

Some of its 20th century Staff


1901 to 1922 – Arthur Gillat Bramhall was head (standing at the back with Margaret Catchpole  seated on the front row). Read more about Arthur Bramhall

In  1919 when Margaret Catchpole  completed her training as a student teacher Mr Bramhill  described her as “having skill both in teaching and management. Her general ability is above average and I feel confident that no body of managers would regret appointing her. Her personal character is above reproach and the children generally become attached to her””

 Exact dates are unknown but

  • Miss Keith lodged with Burch family when Jack Burch was born – 1893
  • Maud Francis – her parents lived where Sid Robinson’s family lived in mid 1900’s

   1908 – John William Petley taught at Stowupland, and played cricket for Stowmarket Cricket Club

Mr Ludbrook – during his time as head he organised a collection for the British Empire Cancer Campaign. Launched in 1923 the aims of the  (BECC or “the Campaign”) was  “to attack and defeat the disease of cancer in all its forms, to investigate its causes, distribution, symptoms, pathology and treatment and to promote its cure” .

1927 Mr Napthine (Head teacher), in 1927 he represented the school at the furneral of Mr H.F.Harward (Chair of school managers and owner of Stowupland Hall)

Miss Ada Kinch – Head teacher 1935 to 1955

1937 Miss Helen Burch, , Miss L.G. Abbott (see 1939 Miss Kinch hosts parents day)

(1939 War Survey lists Henry Brett as an \Elementary School Teacher, and Gladys Peppin living at The hall as an Assistant Elementary School Teacher but at which school is unknown)

Mr R. A. Wright head master  January 1957 – March 25th,1983.

Mr Wright was replaced by Mrs Redmund who travelled from Bury St Edmunds, so the first head teacher nor to live on the school premises.

Deputy head was Lilian Ellis


Charles A.W. Foord, teacher 1955 to 1974

Mrs B.Hill, Miss G.Buckley, Mr W.F. Willsher

1989, Miss Beryl Ley, retired after 35 years as reception class teacher

Ancillary Staff

Clerical asst Mrs V Wright (wife of Ron Wright)

Cleaner-in-charge Mrs E.D. Aylett

Kitchen Staff; Cook-in-charge Mrs M Fordsyke (she retired in 1990  after 29 years as dinner lady

  Asst cooks; Mrs M.L. Clarke, Dolly Wright (1955 to 1974)

   Supervisory Asst; Mrs F. Wilson


Head teachers

1876 -1901 W.S. Prentice – headmaster

1901 to 1922 – Arthur Gillat Bramhall

1922 to 1929 – Lewis Arthur Napthine (also a church warden)

                        (Frederick Lubrook)

 1957 – Ada Kinch was due to retire in 1955

1957 –  Ronald Alfred Wright, read  The Wright’s memories of Stowupland School in the 1950s and 1960s

   1960’s Deputy Head Lilian Ellis?

    1973 Deputy -Mr Keith Powell.

1973 –  Jo Redmund (MRS)

Andrew Firth

Charlotte White

(2018) Mr Pettitt


The School day

at first morning lessons were from 9 to 12, then children wnet home for a meal and returned for afternoon classes from 2 to 5. Children were taught by reading, copying or chanting lists and phrases till they were word perfect. they might use sand  trays before moving on to dipping pens with ink.

Read A few Notes on school life between 1914 and 1918

The children were encouraged to enter to take part in the Stowupland Flower Show and Fete. In 1953 Ada Kinch suggested suitable activites for the children to be judged on, and the monetary prizes they could win, read a  letter from Miss Kinch about Stowupland Floer Show Classes.

From 1969, when Mr Wright was Head  we have a list of pupils and the classes they entered, 1969 names for School children entering Flower Show and the money they could win.

A brief guide to teacher training as it affected Stowupland.

Pre – 1900 The first training colleges for elementary school teachers were set up in the first half of the 19th century. By 1850 there were over 30; all but 5 of which were associated with the Church of England. Conditions, especially for women were poor.

As the government got involved with educational reform in the 19th century  it become apparent that more trained teachers were neededWith few teacher training colleges by 1846 a national pupil-teacher scheme had been launched. It allowed   selected school pupils, aged 13 or over, who fulfilled certain scholastic, moral and physical conditions. to train as teachers of young children without leaving the home environments, whilst earning a wage to support their families and provided teaching assistants for rural schools.

From 1870 women teachers began to outnumber menin elementarys chools

These young pupil teachers served a 5 year apprenticeship under a head master. They would teach throughout the school day and be taught by the head teacher outside school hours for one and a half hours per day, 5 days a week. The pupil-teacher was paid  £10.00 p.a (or 1/3 less for girls) and the head  a subsidy of £5.00 p.a.  There was an annual inspection by HMI.

On completion of their apprenticeship the pupil-teacher would be eligible to  to sit an examination for the ‘Queens’s Scholarship.’ This would qualify the holder for a place in a training college with a maintenance grant of £25 for men, £20 for women. If they could not afford to delay working, or did not wish to, they could take up a position in a grant-aided elementary school as an ‘Uncertificated Teacher’. Training college students who successfully completed 1,2, or 3 years of training would be awarded 1st class, 2nd class or 3rd class [3rd class being the higher rank .] This Teacher’s Certificate entitled them to an annual supplement to their salary.

By 1900 25% of teachers were pupil teachers. In 1914 75% of elementary teachers were women.

The system underwent many modifications with college courses replacing pupil- teacher apprenticeships. In the 1950’s  ‘uncertificated’ teachers with between 5 and 15 years teaching experience were required to take a short course to obtain a Teachers Certificate’. Teachers with a longer service were upgraded without

Read more about Stowupland Elementary/Primary School