The Gelligaer School Board unanimously agreed to adopt the Free Education clauses of the Education Act, and that all schools of the parish were free on and after 1 September 1891.
The next report available was that of the dilapidated state of the school buildings as reported in the 1 January 1910 issue of the Merthyr Express.
Gellygaer School Managers: Dilapidated State of Fochriw School The monthly meeting of the Managers of the Gellygaer Council Schools was held at Hengoed on Tuesday evening. Mr. John Jones referred to the dilapidated state of the school at Fochriw. A terrific hurricane, he said, took away part of the roof - half a dozen slates or more - making a big hole; later on, the ceiling came down, so that snow and rain came through. This state of things had been allowed to continue for three weeks. The master had also called his attention to the state of the lobby where children had had to walk through up to two inches of water to get into the schoolroom. The masters house was also in a wretched state: he had put pans in the bedroom to catch up the water coming through the roof. Also, on Sunday evenings, before he went Chapel, he had to take out the fire because of the smoky flue. Apart of this, the school wall had also fallen on to the public footpath. The Clerk said that this state of things had never been reported to him. Mr. D. Pugh Jones said he had no recollection of seeing a word about the master's house. It was all very well to make speeches and complaints in such a meeting as this, but why were the facts not communicated to him. Mr. W. C. Beddoe drew attention to the fact that the Managers had the power to spend a sum of money for small matters, up to £5, and he thought the local members should have undertaken on their responsibility to replace the slates. The Clerk said that the local members had no such powers, and the master should have communicated with him. It was decided that the architect should visit Fochriw at an early date to inspect the premises.
The new infants school was opened in July 1910 and was attended for instruction by the scholars for the first time on the first Monday of September 1910.
Mr Arthur Cumpstone remembers the stone being quarried from the nearby mountainside at a place locally known as “Dead mans hollow” and hauled by horse and cart to build the perimeter wall, which enclosed both buildings. The horse used was named 'Dick' and after the task was completed he was renamed 'Dick New School'.
Following an inspection of both board schools in October 1910, the committee recommended the building of a new mixed school adjoining the present school, with accommodation for 250 children, and that more land to be obtained for that purpose. The state of the present school was filthy, and the whole committee agreed that a new school was needed. A report was sent to the County Authority.