The history of Brookmans Park School
by Lilian Caras - First published 1983 (Revised May 2000)
Before the school was built, children living in Brookmans Park were educated in private schools, such as Ithaca House, in church-run schools, such as St. Mary's for Girls, Water End or St. Mary's for Boys, Welham Green, or made the journey to Potters Bar to state-run schools, such as Little Heath. The need for a LEA school in Brookmans Park was evident as early as May 1945 when the Hatfield Primary Education Sub-Committee of the County Council discussed the possibility of taking over Moffats School, Moffats Lane. During the war Moffats House became a school for evacuee children. The Committee decided that due to the limited provision of primary schools in the area it "strongly recommended that, as a temporary measure, immediate steps be taken to adapt the premises for use as a Primary School." But at a later Schools Sub-Committee, it was reported that the District Education Officer had decided to close Moffats School on 19 October 1945 and the children (totalling 20) should be transferred to other schools "according to the wishes of parents." So the children had to make the journey to Little Heath and Potters Bar.
This latter was presenting problems in 1946 since the 15 to 18 children attending there had to cross the Great North Road at Mymms Drive to get to the bus stop. The police and the School Attendance Officer ware called to investigate the matter after fears for the safety of the children were morning when the children crossed "35 motor lorries, cars and buses had passed in each direction at an average speed of 30-35 mph". The conclusion drawn was that if care was taken the children were not running any undue risk.
The timetable of the buses also created problems and the possibility of providing special transport was discussed in early 1947 when the number of children travelling to Little Heath School from Brookmans Park had risen to 49. The £2 a day estimate for providing a bus submitted by Messrs Brunt was not proceeded with since "no child lived more than two miles from the 'bus route". Instead the Hatfield District Education Committee agreed on 16 January 1947 that "every effort should be made to proceed with the new school at Brookmans Park".
The recognition that the educational needs of Brookmans Park children could only be served by a purpose built school can be seen in correspondence between North Mymms Parish Council and Hertfordshire County Council. The minutes of the Parish Council of 14 January 1947 record that a letter from "Herts County Council with regard to Education facilities had been received" in reply to the Parish Council's letter "pointing out that the present facilities are far from satisfactory, especially in the Brookmans Park area."
The reply stated: "the County Council is fully alive to the unsatisfactory nature of the school accommodation in the North Mymms area and hope as soon as practicable to put the matter right... In the Brookmans Park area negotiations are proceeding for a site on which to erect a Junior & Infants School. As soon as the site is secured it is hoped to erect some temporary premises to serve the younger children in the area until the school building programme can be undertaken in earnest."
The site referred to is quoted in the Hertfordshire County Council, Education (Finance & General Purposes) Committee of 11 June 1946 as "site off George's Wood Road, for two form entry Junior and two form entry Infants' schools "with an approximate age range of eight.
Chapter 2 - The Case for a Primary School in Brookmans Park
Index - The history of Brookmans Park School