Originally established by William Bliss in his will dated September 1674 to provide an educational establishment in Nether Heyford. This was to be funded by an initial sum of £400: £100 to buy the schoolroom and £300 to be invested in agricultural land to provide for the upkeep of the school. The last piece of land still held is between Church Street, Church Lane and Weedon Road.
A schoolroom was purchased in 1681 on the current school site. This original building was sited, to the best of our knowledge, where the current mobile classroom is situated. This original building was opened in 1683 and was used until the ‘new’ building was erected in 1880. The old schoolroom fell into disrepair and on instruction from the trustees demolished in the late 1960’s. NB if anyone reading this page has a photograph of the old schoolroom the trustees would love a copy for our school archives.
The Laurels was built in 1850 for the headmaster on the plot immediately behind the school in Middle Street. This property was transferred to the local authority in 1969 during a period of expansion when new buildings were erected at the school to cope with the increase in the village population following the developments in Manor Park and the Wilson’s estate.
The Bliss Charity owns the whole school site, including all the school buildings, the attached school house and the outdoor classroom behind the Laurels.
The Charity retained responsibility for the maintenance and development of the all the school buildings until 2003. The system worked with the Charity paying the bills and claiming back 85% of the total cost from the Local Authority. The charity retains responsibility for the school house.
The charity has made contributions to the running of the school including the library, providing computers, helping to fund field trips for needy pupils.
The charity now has income from a limited number of sources:
- Charity bonds purchased from the charity’s share of the proceeds from the sale of the Laurels
- Peppercorn rent from the land holdings
- Rental income from the school house
From these income sources the Charity has continued to make grants to meet educational needs.
As Bliss School is a voluntary aided school the school’s governing body includes governors appointed by the school’s founding body, i.e. The Bliss Charity. These governors are known as foundation governors. The present regulations are that the Bliss Charity can appoint eight foundation governors out of a total of fourteen governors. The founding body is always allowed to appoint at least two more governors than non foundation governors.
You can find out more on the Bliss Family History Society website.