Billericay Station

History of the Billericay Educational Trust



Although it is difficult to believe today, prior to the 1944 Education Act, there was no provision for universal free education in this country. Indeed, before the 1902 Act, free education was certainly not the norm which led worthy citizens to set up charitable institutions in their localities to provide limited funds for the education of local poor children.

In 1908 three of these Foundations (Bayly’s Foundation ­ Mabbs Foundation - Meads Foundation) were amalgamated to form the Great Burstead Exhibition Foundation, which is now run as The Billericay Educational Trust.


A Short History


The Great Burstead Exhibition Foundation was established in 1908 for the purpose of providing free places at the Brentwood Grammar School or other approved school, to be awarded to boys and girls attending a public elementary school. Preference was to be given to those resident in Great Burstead, which at that time, included most of Billericay.


The Foundation incorporated three long established Billericay Charities; Bayly’s, Mabbs and Meads. The first of these had been created in 1685, when Francis Bayly, Rector of North Benfleet, made his Will and bequeathed a farm at Laindon for the provision of a school in Billericay at which ’the meanest sort of children be taught gratis’. The Mabbs Trust was established in 1773 and administered by the Trustees of the Dissenters Meeting House to whom James Mabbs had bequeathed the sum of £500 for the education of poor children. The last of the three charities came into existence in 1864, when Rachel Mead in her Will, left £511 for the instruction of the children of poorer members of the Congregational Church.
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