Heritage and history

St Edmund’s Girls’ School came into existence through links with the church, specifically the former St Edmund’s Church, which is now Salisbury Arts Centre in Bedwin Street.

St. Edmund’s School, in association with the National Society, existed in 1815 but by 1818 it was only a Sunday school. It had become a day school again by 1835 when there were 69 boys and 49 girls attending. By 1859 the boys were being taught at other schools in the city and 70 girls were taught in a building attached to the church.

The former St Edmund's School

The former St Edmund’s School

In 1860 the church, in union with the National Society, built a new school for boys and girls to the west of the church. The new school (pictured left) was a success and was used as a practising school for the Diocesan Training College. The school had eight classrooms of which seven were in use in 1870; two for boys, two for girls and three for infants, with 509 children on the school books but with an average attendance of only 345. Children paid between one penny and fourpence a week while 46 children attended night school at twopence a week.

Alterations to the school buildings in 1896 increased the accommodation from 574 to 675 places and the attendance in 1905 was 490 with 172 boys, 162 girls and 156 infants. The school received good reports in the early years of the 20th century. The average attendance was 336 in 1926 when re-organization of education in the city changed the school into one for 350 senior girls, aged 11 and over, from the parochial schools. In 1944, under the Education Act of that year, the school became a secondary modern and was known as St. Edmund’s Girls’ Secondary Modern School. In 1951 the school became voluntary controlled and by 1955 it contained about 500 girls.

new-st-edsThe current school was built in Church Road, Laverstock, on the edge of the city, and completed on 3rd February 1964 at a cost of £218,217.There were places for 480 pupils and the school became St. Edmund’s Church of England Girls’ School. There have been extensions to the school over the years and today there are over 800 girls in the school, which became a converter academy in 2012.