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The History of Robert Sandilands Primary School and Nursery

Robert Sandilands Primary School and Nursery was opened on Tuesday 5th September 1967.   It was named after the Reverend Robert Sandilands, an 18th Century vicar of Speen.  The Reverend Robert Sandilands was keen to establish a Charity School in Speen similar to those which had been created in the poorer areas on London. 


As the Reverend Robert Sandilands wrote,

"for some time I have been labouring for, and have set up in my parish, and as minister thereof, I am obliged to do all the good possible especially to the poor, that their children might be instructed and brought up in the fear of God and in the principles of the Christian Religion, as taught and preached in the Church of England.”

(Robert Sandilands, 2nd September 1713)


The Reverend Robert Sandilands persuaded a gentle woman, Madam Deal, who lived in the parish of Speen to subscribe £4 per year to establish a school.  Due to the work of Robert Sandilands, more people donated. 

In November 1713, a school was opened in a room in the house of George Millard.  The school taught 30 poor children and Thomas Downs was the first school master.  He taught in the school for a year before he was succeeded by John White on 1st November 1714.  Unfortunately, John White died after a few years and the trustees chose Thomas Fortie to become the new schoolmaster.  Soon after the appointment of Thomas Fortie, the school ceased to operate. 


As the Reverend Robert Sandilands stated,

"the school came to decay and little or no order kept and the trustees took little or no care or concern to Inspect or look after either the master or scholars."

(Extract from Walter Money’s History of Speen Parish)


Robert Sandilands died in January 1727.  When the present school opened in September 1967, it took the name Robert Sandilands in honour of his life and work within the Parish of Speen.


Since opening in September 1967, there have been six Headteachers of Robert Sandilands:

-Mr Dennis Corp, September 1967 - August 1976

-Mr Kenneth Williams, November 1976 - July 1985

-Mr John Thomas, September 1985 - April 1990

-Mr Eddie Edge, April 1990 - December 1993

-Mr Richard Blofeld, January 1994 - August 2017

-Mrs Libby Bucknell, September 2017 

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