The Present Oatlands School

The Present Oatlands SchoolOpened in 1962, the present Oatlands School is located on the former site of a modestly large but unusual house named Kensington Lodge. Oatlands School provides primary educaton to children in the 4-7 year age groups, with a strong emphasis on community values.

Surrey Herald 21 Feb 1958

Kensington LodgeKensington Lodge was "compulsorily purchased" by Surrey Council in 1958 (see the 'clip' from the Surrey Herald 21 Feb 1958, at right). It had formerly been the home of the Stephens family since the time a gentleman named William Stephens had married a widow named Caroline Mathews (nee Smith) in 1882.
To read more about the fascinating story of Caroline and William Stephens,
click here.(Opens in new window)

Before then, the property was shown as "unoccupied" in the 1881 census but occupied in 1871 by a Charles Derry. He was listed as "Draper & Silk Merchant", but we would know him better as half of "Derry & Toms", the department store in Kensington High Street - having formed the partnership with his wife's brother, Joseph Toms, in 1862.


At the time of the 1861 census. The property was known as Carlton Lodge. The occupier, a Mr Charles Philips, was listed as "Attorney & Solicitor" but according to the 1864/65 survey of the Cherstey Union (usually referred to as "Ryde's Map"), the property is owned by James Trimming and occupied by Henry Henlett..

In 1962 the first groups of pupils moved across the road from the "old school" and the two schools ran in tandem under one head teacher until 1983. Then, after 100 years of sterling service, the old school was closed and subsequently demolished to make way for the "Old School Mews" gousing development.

The first headmistress of the new school was Miss Phylis Donald and the teaching staff at the new site included Miss Harris, Mr Eden, and Mr Mewis.

The new school had full kitchen facilities and several ladies were employed to prepare and serve lunches to the children of both the school sites. The logistics of moving children across the road was not the problem that it would be today as there was so much less traffic - even at the time of the old school's closure. A photograph from 1960 in our collection, shows only one vehicle parked in the whole length of St Mary's Road - rather different from today's scene...

The "Playground Assistant" at the new school was Mrs Marjorie Amos, Mrs Joan Stowe ("Miss Stowe") remaining at the old school where she had been for a great many years. Although Miss Stowe ruled "her playground" with an iron fist, she was like 'a wonderful grandma' if a child fell and scraped a knee. I make no comment on Mrs Amos - she was my mother!

Mrs M Price was the headmistress at the time of the two schools becoming one; the present occupant of the post is Mrs P Beechey.

We are hoping to compose a complete list of all teaching and other staff who have been at the Oatlands schools as information becomes available.

The website for Oatlands School is here. (opens in new window)
divider-genericWe would be very grateful to receive any more information relating to the schools of Oatlands - photographs (particularly showing the buildings or staff), ephemera (e.g. school play programme) and memories - everything is of interest in helping to construct a complete picture of our schools through time. Please use the contact form to get in touch with us as a first step.