EARLIEST EDUCATION IN YARDLEY GOBION
The earliest education we came across in Yardley Gobion was 1779 when the 3rd Duke of Grafton employed Thomas Paxton to teach twelve poor boys of Potterspury and Yardley Gobion. A schoolhouse was built there by the Duke in 1791-2. for this schooling, Paxton was followed by Thomas Jones on Paxton’s death in 1779. A new schoolhouse was built in Potterspury a year after John Gleadah became master in 1804 but the Duke continued to pay Thomas Jones widow Ann for teaching a few boys at Yardley. It was the 4th Duke of Grafton who supported the vicar John Hellings in the establishment of a National School at Potterspury to which a number of Yardley boys attended although there was not enough room for all of them. There was a school within the Workhouse for the child inmates and a Sunday school was held there for village children until 1865.
It was decided that approximately 120 places were needed for Yardley to meet the 1870 Act, only half of these could be provided at Potterspury. Finally an Infant School was established in 1874 on ground given by the Duke: previously housing a malting barn, hence the name of the Maltings given to the yard outside the school gates. This opened on 30th January 1876. Both boys and girls transferred at 7 years to Potterspury. From 1883 only the boys were transferred, as Potterspury School was full. An extra room was then built at Yardley School in 1884 to accommodate the girls. At this time the Workhouse School closed and the children and their mistress joined the village children at school via a gateway that was opened in the wall between the Workhouse and the school playground. It was not until 1902 that Yardley became an all age school.
The balance of girls to boys in the school changed in 1940 when Yardley House now owned by Mr Fegan housed young Fegan’s boys aged four to eleven who attended the local school although there had previously been a smaller number fostered by village families from about 1930. Electric light was installed in 1943. In 1948 children over 13 ½ yrs were transferred to Potterspury and the following year Yardley became an infant/junior school. In 1968 before the housing estate was completed the children moved to a newly built school with 75 children on roll. Mr Brooks was the first headmaster there having taken over from Mr Lawson four years before.