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Sponne School new buildings


Dana Darvall chronicles the history of Sponne School, Towcester, founded on £20 a year long, long ago.

It may have taken 550 years, but education in Towcester has come back to the original intentions of Archdeacon Sponne.

As he breathed his last in 1448, he decreed that an endowment of £20 a year be provided for a grammar school for poor scholars. In 1430 he has started teaching boys Latin and Music at the original Towcester Chantry, so starting five and a half centuries of education in the town. ...

A brand new school was built in Brackley Road in 1890 with 33 fee paying pupils. Girls were allowed into the hallowed halls in 1920, but in 1923 the building was gutted by fire. The present building, finished in 1928, forms an important part of the campus today.

Meanwhile, in 1914, work started on the Council Secondary School nearby. In 1968 the schools combined and the whole became known as Sponne School, following the decision to introduce comprehensive education in the county.

Since 1968 building programmes, including a swimming pool and new crafts block, have increased the size of the original campus by at least four times. The old Grammar School became the Upper School and the old Secondary School became the Lower School. ...

Present headmaster John Mayes commented: "... What has changed during the last decade is where the children come from to school. The catchment area has been contracting. In 1968 they came from a tremendously wide area but then when we stopped the 11+ exam we did not have so many coming in. ..." ...
  1. Extracts from an article "1430-1980 A school down the centuries" by Dana Darvall which appeared in the Northampton Chronicle and Echo on Tuesday July 22nd 1980.
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