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Head Teachers of Chenies School


The present school building dates from 1846, when it was built on the instruction of the Duke of Bedford. However there is evidence of an earlier school when the children were taught in the kitchen of the Rectory. An Infant School was also built by the Duke in 1845.


  • 1841 - Robert Hockley (29) Schoolmaster and his wife Harriet (33) were living in the Schoolhouse with their two children, Albert (2) and William (10 months). (1841 Census) This predates the present school building.


  • 1846 - The oldest part of the present buildings was opened.


  • 1851- Robert Hockley (38) Schoolmaster and Harriet Hockley (42), schoolmistress, were living in the schoolhouse with their children Albert 12, Robert 9, Harriet 6, Gertrude 3, all scholars, also Mrs Michel Clark ,a widow aged 39 and her daughter Hannah, 10, who was the Infant School Teacher. This was housed at No 49 Chenies, which has a Bedford crown and the date, 1845. These still remained in post in the 1861 Census.


  • 1868 - (approx) James Dolman, Certificated teacher, appointed, whilst Mrs Hockley continued as School Mistress.


  • 1871 - James Dolman (31),continued in post, living in a boarding house between the Bedford Arms and the School House with his wife Caroline, who was born in Chenies, the daughter of the licensee on the Red Lion (Hughes), and their two children, Frank,2, and James, 1. Michel Clark continued to be in charge of the Infant School. Robert Hockley, still living in the School House, is now described as the Parish Clerk, but Harriet is still schoolmistress. George Forfeit was a pupil teacher, son of the farm bailiff and living in the Bailiff’s cottage.


  • 1883 - Until the end of 1883 the School was described as “Mixed”, with Mr. Dolman in overall charge.


  • 1884 - The school was split into a Boys’ School under Mr. Dolman, and a Girl’s School under Zeta Bradshaw with an Infant Class.1885 - Edward G. Cocks takes over the Boy’s School. He was formerly a pupil teacher. “The Chenies Song Book” was later published with his name as author.1887 - Miss Sophia Smith was appointed Headmistress from September 1st, under the new School Board. The children were now taught in one mixed school.


  • 1893 - Thomas James was appointed Headteacher from 1st September 1893 and held the position for just over 28 years until December 1921.


  • 1922 - H. Shersby was a Supply Headteacher for one term.1922 - Mrs. Daisy Ethel Beal was in post from April 3rd until March 31st 1926.1926 - Kathleen Irene Cruickshank was in post for one term.


  • 1926 - Mrs. Emilie Life came to Chenies in July 1926 and retired 25 years later. She took the school through a very varied chapter of its history, seeing numbers rise from 17 to 155, and coping with the evacuees during the war years.


  • 1951- Miss Alice Redit (left) began her appointment on September 4th. 1951 and retired in July 1969 after 18 years.


  • 1969 - Richard Leonard Crozier came to Chenies in September 1969 and sadly died on January 29th 1982 while still in post. He was looking forward to taking early retirement in the summer of 1982 as he had not been in excellent health for some time.1982 - Mrs Joyce Gilding, the Deputy Headteacher, stepped into the breach as Acting Headteacher for two terms.


  • 1982 - Frederick Norman John Reeves (left) was introduced to the school, firstly as Acting Headteacher, and then was appointed as Headteacher. He steered the school through a period of change, with the challenges of falling roles, the introduction of the National Curriculum and the computer age. He retired after 17 very happy years, in July 1999.


  • 1999 - Miss Mary Green (right) arrived in September1999. During her time at the school she became Mrs Alderson and then, after 5 years, decided to re-train for a career in law.2004 - Mrs Gill Walley was with the school for two terms from September 2004 to April 2005.2005 -


  • 2010 Mr.Richings came first to Chenies as Acting Headteacher, and then became Headteacher.2010 - Miss. Hannah Ewers was appointed Acting Head in September 2010 with the intention to appoint as substantive Head once having acquired an NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship). A very busy first year got the School on track financially, re-organised the staff and delivered school meals on a daily basis. Miss Ewers at the same time as completed her NPQH and found time to get married; she became Mrs. Burnett in April 2011.


  • Mrs. Burnett was then made substantive Head in Sept 2011 with all the qualifications under her belt.

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