Schools in Dursley have seen large variation since the early ones sprung up in the 19th century. One of the first was housed in the old cottage at the bottom of Hill Road, now home to The Old Spot public house. In 1833, Henry Vizard funded the building of the National Boys and Girls Schools behind St. James' Church and around 1840 the Dursley Agricultural and Commercial Grammar School occupied a building in Woodmancote. Around this time there was also a school for nonconformists which met at the chapel in Boulton Lane, more latterly known as the Drill Hall but now demolished.
Church, either the established or nonconformist, played a large part in education in the 19th century and in 1861 the Jubilee school rooms opened next to the Tabernacle. In 1898 the Victoria Memorial Day School opened adjacent to the Methodist Chapel, a school which later continued as the County School and whose buildings continued in use in later life as the Dursley Education Centre. Unfortunately, all the Victoria Day (Council) School buildings (apart from one wall) were demolished in February 2009 as part of the site development for the new Sainsbury's supermarket. For a last look at the inside and outside of these buildings see the Victoria Day School slideshow.
The separate Boys and Girls National Schools were joined in 1843 by an adjacent Infant School, once again funded by the town's philanthropist, Henry Vizard. The two National Schools continued separately until amalgamation occurred in 1923 when the Dursley Church of England Mixed School was established. In 1936 there was another merger, this time with the Infant School and the whole became known as Dursley Church of England School. This pattern continued in 1966 when a new C of E school opened in Boulton Lane to accept all the infants from the old school. The juniors from the Council School moved to the church school which then ceased to function as a school. However five years later, in 1971, they moved again when all the juniors moved to the primary school at Highfields, recently vacated by children attending the Dursley Secondary Modern School when it merged with Dursley Grammar to form Rednock Comprehensive.
Independent schools also thrived in the town, especially at the beginning
of the 20th century. A few that existed include the "Boys Boarding
and Day School" in Prospect Place, the "School for Girls and
Preparatory School for Little Boys" in Woodmancote and the "Boarding
School for Young Ladies" in Long Street.