William Seckar, a local farmer who died in 1604 left his house and land to his wife but on her death the income from the estate was to be used for “the maintenance of one free school, to be kept for ever in the said house, while the world endure, in Scarning.” The endowment formed the basis of a registered charity with powers to provide special benefits at the school and to promote the education (including social and physical training) of persons under the age of 25 years who or whose parents are resident in the area of benefit or who have at any time attended as a pupil of the school. The area of benefit covers the parishes of Scarning and Wendling.

Click here for the Scarning School page. Click here to visit the School’s own website.

More about the history of the trust can be found in part 3 of “The Hundred of Launditch…in the County of Norfolk ” by GA Carthew 1879. Carthew printed notes by Barry Girling, giving a spirited account of the Trust and the school down to 1850 with details of numerous controversies surrounding the conduct of the trustees and masters they appointed in the 17th and 18th centuries. You will also find a modern account in “Scarning A Portrait of a Village” by Nick Hartley [Parish Clerk] 2009.

The part of the 1840 Tithe map reproduced on the right shows some of the land owned by the trust and the buildings as they were before the still standing buildings of 1850 were erected. Income from investments and the rent from tenant farmers is used to further the aims of the Trust. The diagonal line indicates the proposed route of the railway which once ran through the Parish (now the A47 trunk road)

The Trust established by William Seckar still continues as the Scarning School Endowed Charity. [Charity Commission number 311171] It is administered by a board of nine competent persons who act as trustees. They are co-opted because of their local knowledge or appointed by the Norfolk Children’s Services, Scarning Parish Council and the Parish Church.

Examples of the kind of thing the Trust has given grants for include funding for School trips, educational expenses at University, uniform costs and art materials.
As well as helping to fund several students the Trust has contributed towards the transport costs for extracurricular activities at the school. Contributions have been made for the Wildlife Pond and bird hide in the field adjoining the school and The Amphitheatre, as shown in the photos on the right.

The Trust’s objectives are very similar to those of William Seckar – “for providing special benefits at the Charity’s School …. and in promoting the education (including social and physical training) of persons under the age of 25 who, or whose parents, are resident in the area of benefit or who have at any time attended as a pupil at the Charity’s school …. and who are in need of financial assistance ….. ”
Application Criteria
To be eligible for consideration, you need to satisfy the following criteria:
(a) be under 25 years; AND
Satisfy any one or more of the following:
(b) you are resident in Scarning or Wendling;
(c) your parents are resident in Scarning or Wendling;
(d) you have attended or are attending the Scarning VC Primary School;

Please note that the Trust does not provide retrospective funding.
Over recent years the trust has made a major contribution towards the facilities at the school and the trustees are delighted to witness the school’s growth and success. Whilst the emphasis is on providing help to the school so that all pupils can benefit, the trustees can also help individuals.

The Trust body gives confidential individual consideration to each application received.

Applications should be made using the Grant Application Form  or obtained by contacting the clerk to the Trustees:

Spire Solicitors
The Priory
Church Street
NR19 1DW
08453 724240

From Dec 1982, BBC Radio Norfolk’s Village Voice – Leslie & Pam Allwood discuss the village hall, school trust & the WI.

For full details of this recording and others included in the radio programme, please see the Radio Norfolk’s Village Voice page on this website.

1840 Tithe Map
Caroline Evans
Caroline Evans was the benefactor of the Village Hall - 1902
The Wildlife Pond and Bird Hide
The Amphitheatre