Educating Astley: The History of Education in a Warwickshire Village


By Trevor James, published 13th November 2014

Educating Astley: The History of Education in a Warwickshire Village, David Paterson, Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre, 2014, 55p,
£3-95 [+£2-00 postage and packing from Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre, Avenue Road, Nuneaton CV11 4LU]].  ISBN 978-0-9927628-1-0

David Paterson has traced the history of Astley School from its origins as a 17th Century charity school to its final closure as a village primary school in 1972. It was always small and vulnerable but David's painstaking scholarship draws out the elements which enabled it to survive. It emerged from being within the control of the founding Newdegates to the point when it became fully
incorporated into the public system in1902. He has managed to draw up biographical profiles of the early teachers, with a remarkable range of prior occupations, together with providing a commentary on what was taught and the educational and structural challenges that the school encountered over the centuries.

This is a remarkable and meticulous piece of research at two levels. David Paterson has very carefully and effectively placed the emergence and role of Astley School in the context of this quite small and remote Warwickshire village but, in doing so, he has also provided a template for others who might, both in terms of local or family historical research, now be tempted to embark on a similar investigation.