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School records guide

Parish records, financial records, maps and plans

Parish records

There are sometimes managers’ minutes and other records for Church of England or parochial schools among the ecclesiastical parish records.

These can include deeds to the school premises and correspondence with the Local Education Authority (LEA). See PD lists.

Accounts and financial records

We hold accounts for some, but not all, schools and very few accounts survive which detail the building of a school.

Stock books, which record the purchase of school equipment and its value, sometimes also survive. 

They are usually listed with the records of individual schools.

We do not hold the current or semi-current financial records of schools.

Maps and plans

Ordnance Survey (OS) maps at the Norfolk Heritage Centre (NHC)

Checking maps of different dates to see if the school is marked can help identify when it was built.

It can also show changes in the size and shape of the building over time.

The earliest OS maps date from the mid to late 19th century and are available at the NHC.

Department of Education and Science Building Grant plans

We hold a small but significant series of school building plans and drawings from the Department of Education and Science.

The Public Record Office, now The National Archives (TNA), gave these plans to us in 1965 and their reference is P/BG 1-140.

The records in this series are plans, elevations, sections and sketches of new or additional school building schemes.

These were submitted to the Department of Education and Science in the hope of attracting grants for the proposals.

Many were successful in attracting funding, but others failed to meet with approval. In these latter cases, no grant was made and no buildings were constructed in the form submitted.

The responsible architect or builder usually signed the plans, which cover both successful and failed proposals.

They mostly date from the 1840s to the 1870s in about 140 city and county parishes.

They are often accompanied by ancillary documents, including sketched details of fixtures and fittings and notes of costings.