The first evidence of a village school in Amble can be found in records dating back to 1834. There were apparently four schools around this time located on: Gibson Street, in a cottage at the top of the Wynd, Victoria Street, and one next to the Wellwood Arms.
In 1850 a school committee was established and a new school opened in Queen Street. Later in 1855 the school was moved further up Queen Street to larger premises. In the same year a public school – ‘Lonnen School’ - was opened on the side of the highway leading to the sea, funded by a grant from Mr Smith of Togston. The school was in operation until 1909 when it was turned into the Urban District Council offices and then later on into a Tourist Information Office and latterly housing.
A Church of England school opened in Queen Street in 1872 to coincide with the building of the Parish Church. The original school playground backs onto St Cuthbert’s Church and is now used as a car park by the shops occupying the original school buildings.
In 1879 the Roman Catholic school commenced. It was located in a school chapel which was officially blessed and opened by Bishop Chadwick on the feast of the Sacred Heart, 22nd June 1879. The school occupied the site which is now the car park for the present RC church – just off High Street. Sixty children attended this school and it became officially established as a parish with Fr. Edward Robert as first Parish priest. In 1967 the old school chapel was pulled down and a new RC school was built just off Links Road on Links Avenue at the eastern end of the town.
In 1891 the old Wesleyan Chapel was converted into an elementary school which was later leased to the county council as an infant’s school
In 1899 the Medd Memorial schools were educating 330 children. This was situated on Dovecote St and this building is now used as the Adult Education facility for Amble as well as being the home of Busy Bees Pre-school.
In 1902 the Education Act set out to provide a new council school for Amble. A site was secured on the west end of the town. This is now Amble First School – although it is known locally as Edwin Street School.
Amble currently has education provision for all ages from the very young through its playgroups and nurseries, a three tier school system of First, Middle and High schools operates in the county and Amble also has some Adult Education provision. Schools in Amble are governed by the Northumberland Local Education Authority.
Current Education Provision in Amble
Brambles Childcare Centre opened in June 2004. It is located in purpose built premises on the Industrial estate on the outskirts of the town – just off the main A1068 road. Brambles meets a need in Amble for high quality full day care as well as session care, nursery education and an Out of School facility.
The BusyBees Pre-school has been operating since 1980 and has been registered in its current location in The Dovecote Centre in June 2004. It provides places for a maximum of 24 children at a time aged from two to under five years.
Amble First School - also known locally as Edwin Street School has recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. It is located at the south end of Amble just off the main A1068 road. It is a very successful school with pupils aged from 4 to 9 years of age.
Amble Links First School also caters for pupils aged 4 to 9 years of age. It is located in a 1960’s building on Links Avenue on the eastern side of Amble. There is also a 52 place nursery attached to the school.
Amble St Cuthbert’s RC First School has recently closed - traditionally, most of its pupils went on to attend the Thomas Percy RCVA Middle School in nearby Alnwick and then go to St Benet Biscop’s High School in Bedlington.
Some Amble Children attend Warkworth C of E Aided Primary School located on Guilden Road in Warkworth. The school also has a Nursery unit and has recently changed from a First School to a Primary School and now accepts children from the ages of 4 to 11 years of age.
Acklington First School and Amble Middle School on South Avenue have recently merged with the former Coquet High School on Acklington Road and been renamed James Calvert Spence College catering for pupils aged 4 – 18 years of age.
Some parents choose to send their children to other high schools in the local area such as: The King Edward VI School Morpeth, The Duchess Community High School Alnwick, St Benet Biscop Catholic High School Bedlington and even schools further afield in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Dovecote Adult Education Centre is situated in Dovecote Street in the centre of Amble. As mentioned earlier, the centre is the site of a former junior school in Amble