Hampstead Parochial Church of England Primary School can trace its roots back to 1787 when Thomas Mitchell (1751-1799) founded the school from the Sunday School of St John-at-Hampstead.
Later, in the mid-nineteenth century as Hampstead’s population rapidly grew, living conditions for the poor were becoming increasingly cramped and unsanitary and medical care was out of the reach of most of the residents. It was left to the Revd Thomas Ainger (1799 – 1863), an energetic social reformer, theological heavyweight and vicar of Hampstead Parish Church for 22 years to found the Hampstead Provident Dispensary in New End in 1846 as a ‘relief’ club for the sick poor.
A growing population meant increasing numbers of children and as a Cambridge graduate Ainger valued the gift of learning and took on the responsibility for the development of local schools, including Hampstead Parochial School.
The school remains in the red-brick buildings Ainger built and his contribution is remembered in an annual school service held at St John’s and in the giving of the Ainger Prize, awarded to pupils for their involvement in the life of the school.
At the outbreak of World War II, the school was temporarily relocated to Whipsnade but returned home in 1951.
While the buildings are Victorian, today’s incarnation of Hampstead Parochial School is a modern, forward-thinking and progressive primary school with learning at its heart.
The founders of Hampstead Parochial School sought to provide a distinctive and inclusive education for the children of Hampstead. We remain true to this vision today.
To read more about the Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead where both Thomas Mitchell and Thomas Ainger are buried, click here.