Ockley has a village school; You pass the well and next the pool, When a fair building meets thine eye, Framed with simple symmetry, Above the portal - pass it not - Are writ the words - a name - Jane Scott (From Ockley Parish Magazine, 1881)
Jane Scott was a remarkable benefactor to the village of Ockley. The daughter of ‘gentlefolk’ from Dalston near Hackney, she became the much loved governess to the Arbuthnot family at Elderslie for twenty years. During her time here she became deeply concerned at the hardships faced by the poorer people of Ockley parish and left most of her life savings for their benefit. In her Will she left £400 for a well to be dug on Ockley Green and decreed that the remainder should be used for: "Erecting, building and fitting up a School House in the Parish of Ockley for the use of the poor inhabitants and affording them gratuitous instruction therein."
Any funds left over were to be put: "towards providing proper Instructors Books, Rewards and other necessaries for carrying on the School, believing as I do that proper religious instruction in general is much required and being of the opinion that rewards are generally necessary to excite and encourage the young..."
Jane Scott’s life savings were probably not as much as she anticipated as she died from consumption at the age of 39. However, with help from the Lee Steere family (who gave the land) and the Arbuthnot family who provided some additional financial support, Jane's dream was realised and the School was opened in 1841.
The School Log Books provide a fascinating picture of school life over the next 150 years. In the early days, being a pupil can’t have been much fun. Lessons were monotonous and dull, conditions were austere, discipline was strict and punishments meted out regularly (something which persisted until the 1950s as many of those at the recent Millennium reunions still remember!). Nevertheless, the school gave Ockley children the chance to learn to read and write in the days when this was not an option for everyone. Furthermore, the standard of education was high and widened the employment opportunities for many. Above all, the school became a place where the lifelong bonds and friendships which create a village community were formed - something which remains exactly the same today.
In 1994, Surrey County Council’s Age of Transfer reorganisation meant that Ockley and Capel Schools became ‘infant’ schools (4-7 years) instead of ‘first’ schools (4-8 years). The reduction in pupil numbers meant that neither was viable alone. To avoid closure, they were therefore federated into a single school with one Headteacher and Governing Body. However, they continue to operate on the two village school sites (now called ‘Bases’) and each still retains its unique character and links with its own community. The new school was named “Scott-Broadwood” in recognition of the founders of the two village schools - Jane Scott of Ockley and the Broadwood family of Capel.