Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: April 03, 2021
Webpage updated: April 03, 2021

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By the Education Act 1902 the management of the Keyham Barton Roman Catholic Senior Mixed, Junior Mixed and Infants' School was transferred to the new Devonport Local Education Authority, which was actually the Education Committee of Devonport Borough Council.  The transfer actually took place on January 1st 1907.

By mid 1913 there were 100 to 110 children on the register but only two teachers in addition to the Headmistress.

In 1914 Keyham Barton Roman Catholic Elementary School* had accommodation for 112 junior mixed and 109 infants.  Miss Maria A Bolger was the mistress of the junior mixed school and Miss Annie Feeney the mistress of the infants' school.  The average attendance at that time was 111 junior mixed and 104 infants.

On and as from November 9th 1914, when Devonport was amalgamated with Plymouth, the School came under the management of the Plymouth Local Education Authority.

The Education Act 1918 raised the school-leaving age to the fourteenth birthday.

Great War "Victory" medals were presented to the children on the afternoon of July 18th 1919.

On the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, June 29th 1927, the children travelled by charabanc to Babbacombe Beach.  They set off at 10.30am.

From August 26th 1929 the infant department was reorganised in to a junior mixed school, taking all children under the age of eleven years old.  This seems to be the start of the Senior Mixed School.

During the summer holiday in 1930 the School was redecorated and the Senior School moved in to its own new building leaving the Juniors in the original one.

At the morning break on October 20th 1930 Horlick's Malted Milk was distributed to 187 children.

Swimming lessons were started Mount Wise Baths on June 1st 1931.  Twenty boys and twenty girls availed themselves of this new opportunity.

Work started on an extension to the School on April 18th 1932, causing two classes to be transferred to the Parish Hall.  The additional two classrooms were completed on August 29th 1932, after which there were eight classrooms to accommodate 340 pupils.  The opportunity was taken to extend the playground as well.

In 1937 Miss J R Duggan was the head mistress of the senior mixed school; Miss M Sheridan was head mistress of the junior mixed and infants' school.

Rediffusion (cable radio) was installed on July 19th 1935.  The installation cost 1 10s and a loud speaker cost a further 1 15s.

The School was closed on September 1st 1939 in order to prepare for Air Raid Precautions and was not reopened, for Senior pupils only, until September 18th 1939.  The baby class, for children under the age of 5, ceased and the Infants returned at a later date.  As it happened work on converting the ground floor cloakroom into an air raid shelter did not commence until November 30th 1939 and even then it could only hold 40 children: the remaining 281 had to use trench shelters in the playground.  They were first used at around 10.30am on July 4th 1940, when the first air raid warning was sounded.  The children 'conducted themselves bravely', reported the Headmistress in the school Log Book.

On the morning of April 23rd 1941 only 49 children out of 240 turned up for School due to the heavy air raid during the night, which destroyed the adjoining Roman Catholic Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer.  The first party of children were evacuated to Camborne, in Cornwall, on May 5th 1941, followed by others on May 12, May 16th and June 5th.  The Headmistress joined an evacuation train at Keyham Station on June 28th, also for Camborne.

The resultant drop in the number of children resulted in the Senior School being amalgamated with the Junior and Infant School for those children whose parents decided to keep their children at home.  Two further evacuation parties left on September 4th and October 9th 1941.

The Senior and Junior Schools were split again as from January 4th 1943.

At some point in March 1944 the first ever school photograph must have been taken as there was great excitement when the prints arrived at the school on April 3rd 1944.

The Education Act 1944 raised the school leaving age to the fifteenth birthday as from Tuesday April 1st 1947 and created Primary schools for the 5 to 11 years olds and Secondary Modern, Grammar and Technical Schools.


  * There is some doubt as to the actual titles carried by the former Roman Catholic Schools after they were transferred to State control.
The title used for this School has been assumed on the basis of what happend to former Board Schools.