Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: December 24, 2019
Webpage updated: March 31, 2021

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In April 1910 the Trustees of the Royal Naval and Military Free Schools in King Street, Devonport, transferred the School to the Devonport Local Education Authority with the express condition that it be transformed in to an elementary school within the new Education Act of 1903. It thus became the King Street Junior Mixed and Infants' Elementary School.  The first headmaster was Mr Nathaniel Cephas Steed (1857-1942), who continued from the Royal Naval and Military Free Schools.

The Trustees also included an endowment of 2,500, which was bringing in an income of about 70 per year towards providing scholarships. 

Devonport's Education Committee were advised by the Board of Education to demolish the old building and replace it with something newer and larger.  An adjoining property was therefore purchased at a cost of 4,950 in order to extend the area of the site.  On August 3rd 1915 Alderman W Littleton, chairman of the Authority, laid the foundation stone for the new building, which was designed by Mr Charles Cheverton.  The contractor was a Mr J Paynter and the Clerk of Works was Mr S R Martin.

The building was capable of accommodating 288 boys, 288 girls and 240 infants, a total of 816 children.  The infants were, as usual, on the ground floor, where they occupied an assembly hall and five classrooms.   The girls occupied six classrooms on the first floor while the boys occupied six classrooms on the second floor.  Two of the classrooms were divided by a sliding partition, which when opened created an assembly hall.  Each class was to comprise 48 pupils.

King Street School was officially opened at the girls' entrance door by the Mayor of Plymouth, Mr J P Goldsmith JP, at 3pm on Wednesday February 21st 1917.  The National Anthem was sung to the accompaniment of the school's violin class.  The remainder of the ceremony was conducted in the assembly hall on the ground floor, with former Devonport Town councillor, Mr Littleton, presiding.

The building and furniture had cost 10,775, which with the purchase price of the adjacent premises, brought the total to 15,625.   The school's endowment brought in an annual income of 170, which was to be used to provide scholarships for pupils going on to higher elementary or secondary education within the Borough.

Mr Nathaniel Steed was Headmaster of the Boys' School in 1914, with Mrs Annie Steed in charge of the Girls' School and Miss Fanny Chandler in charge of the Infants' School.  The average attendance at that time was reported to be 294 boys, 228 girls and 175 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.

By 1935 the School had become the King Street Senior Mixed School with Mr W F E Stone as head master of the boys' School and Miss A M Cole as head mistress of the girls' School.

In 1937 Mr F S Blight was head master of the senior boys' school and Miss A M Cole head mistress of the senior girls' school.

During the air raids of the Second World War the top floor was badly damaged.   As most of the area surrounding the School was destroyed or equally badly damaged, it was closed down.

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.  The building was eventually used for the Marlborough Primary School.