The early education instruction at Kings Langley was in the Friary, for the training of the Friars.
The first record of a school for the children of the village relates to 1786 when the Sunday School for both boys and girls was started. The National School for boys and girls and special buildings were provided next to the Parish Church in 1836.
From the 17th century there were private schools, at first in the Vicarage for boarders and also then in the manor house for day pupils. Kings Langley had too its School for Industry from 1840 until 1881: girls were trained to wash linen, sew and read.
School attendance was not compulsory unti1 1881, but in 1851 half of the children in the village were attending school. Children were not the only ones to receive education. Adults also had opportunities by way of lectures and concerts. These were organised by the Kings Langley Association for Mutual Improvement founded in 1859. The Association also encouraged evening classes for the education of young men in practical skills. A reading room and a library were established in the village with between them over a thousand books.
Private schools continued. The Priory School was built around the ruins of the old Friary in 1900. It was a school for boys and girls, run mainly as a boarding school, and operated after the First World War according to the principles of Rudolf Steiner. It was followed by the New School in 1949, run on the same principles. Now the Rudolf Steiner School, it caters for up to 440 pupils from pre-school right through to university entrance .
The local authority schools split into three separate entities in the 1960s—the Junior and Secondary Schools getting fine new buildings in extensive grounds. The National School building next to the Church served as the Infant School until it was finally vacated in 1984, the infants being housed with the Junior School in Common Lane.
Adapted from Palace, Priory and Mills KLLH&MS (1987)