Sandford- A Long and Proud Tradition
Sandford School was built in 1826 in the parish of St. Peter in the then semi-rural setting of Ranelagh. A chapel and residences for chaplain and school teachers were built in the same year and the entire project was financed by George Sandford of Somerset. Robert Newenham, a friend of Lord Sandford, requested this financial support which totalled 4000 pounds. He lived at Merton, a substantial house in the Ranelagh area and was a lay member of the Established Church of Ireland.The 1835 Register of Schools lists three schools on the site: Sandford School for males with 43 boys on the rolls, Sandford School for females with 26 girls on the rolls and Sandford Infant School with 45 on the rolls. Three members of the Coombe family taught in the school, which was financed by Church funds, an endowment by George Sandford and voluntary contributions. About half the children paid one penny a week.In the 19th century enrolments peaked in the 1850's with 125 on the rolls but declined as the century progressed, falling to 55 children by 1899 when Sandford had only 2 teachers. In 1901 Sandford Parish School became Sandford Parish National School under the National Board of Education, coming in later than most Church of Ireland Schools. Numbers grew steadily and were further increased by the amalgamation of Sandford with Donnybrook Church of Ireland School in the 1960's. Two prefabs were acquired at that time to accommodate the extra classes. A new school was built on the existing site in 1992-1993 and the original hall was retained and upgraded. In 2009 the Department of Education and Skills approved the building of an additional extension to the school. All prefabs were removed and 2 additonal classrooms were built. Two additional resource rooms, a secretary's and Principal's office were also built. The staffroom was extended and a library was included in the building project. These additions have greatly enhanced the school building.The school now has over 200 children on the rolls. Staffing levels are in accordance with Department of Education and Skills regulations.