Archive centreCarlisle
ReferenceDS 204
TitleSt Cuthbert's Church of England School, Great Salkeld
DescriptionDeposited at Cumbria Record Office, The Castle, Carlisle, by Canon G. Scott, Rector of Lazonby with Great Salkeld, on behalf of the governors of Great Salkeld Church of England School, 22 September 1987 (Accession 5987)

Great Salkeld Church of England (Controlled) School.

The old parish school which had been built in 1686 was described in 1855 by the new Rector, Reverend J.S. Mulcaster, as "being in a dilapidated state and having ceased to be of any servicemas a place of education". The rector issued an appeal to the landowners and farmers in August 1855, and following a public meeting on 20 September 1855 to discuss his proposals for a new school, a subscription was raised, amounting initially to £223 10s for the building fund and £28 5s for the master's stipend fund.

A piece of land adjacent to the church yard and the old school house was conveyed by the Duke of Devonshire, as Lord of the Honor of Penrith and the Forest of Inglewood, to the Rector and Churchwardens of Great Salkeld for the purpose of a school, on 1 March 1856. The trust deed also specified the management and conduct of the school, along lines which had been proposed by the Rector and approved at the public meeting on 20 September 1855. The school was to managed by a committee comprising of the Rector and four gentlemen elected by the subscribers of at least £1 (each £1 of subscription carrying one vote), and conducated in conformity with the principles of the Church of England. School fees were to be 5 shillings quarterly for each scholar, but subscribers to the stipend fund were entitled to nominate one scholar at half this rate for each 10 shillings subscribed.

Construction of the school was under way by May 1856 and regular teaching commenced in January 1857, with between 50 and 76 , scholars during the first year.The school and the masters house were built at a cost of £520, plus furniture and fittings, and after receipt of government grant, the deficit remaining was met by a further appeal to the local public. Maintaining the school by these means was not easy: in the 1870s the Rector compalined that "the non-resident Landowners do not subscribe and the Yeomen and Farmers are mostly of limited means, some of them complain that their subscriptions are greater than they can afford"; and he sought a grant form Betton's Charity "which probably might be the means of preventing us from drifiting into a Board School, which I would very much deplore." (PR 116/86)

The school succeeded in remaining a voluntary one, free of control by the local ratepayers, and sufficient [funding] was raised by local appeals in 1897 and 1907 to carry out minor improvements to the buildings. For many years there was also a fund in memory of Mr. John Bowstead for awarding a silver medal annually to the most deserving scholar.

Under the Education Act of 1902 the management of the school was reorganised from July 1903, when in addition to four Foundation Managers , the parish council and Cumberland County Council each had a representative. The dominant position of the Church of England continued until 1955 when there was a change to "controlled" status. Under the new instrument of management the Foundation Managers were reduced to two (the Rector and a nominee of the Diocesan Education Commmittee), while the representatives of the Local Education Authority and the parish council were increased to two each.

The school was an all-age school until August 1949, when its senior pupils were transferred to Lazonby School, leaving it as a primary school of about 30 pupils, in two classes, aged 5-8 and 8-11. By 1958 the school roll was increased to 45 pupils (21 infants and younger juniors, 24 older juniors), but by 1981 was only 16, rising to 28 in 1987.

The following records of the school are among the deposited records of the Great Salkeld parish: minutes of the meetings of the school managers, 1855-1903, (PR 116/81); minutes and accounts of the building committee, 1855-1857, (PR 116/121); Final Order of the Board of Education, 15 October 1903, (PR116/86 (j)); H.M. Inspectors' reports, 1881, 1913, 1925-1932, 1953, (PR 116/81, 84(b), 86(k)); Diocesan Inscpectors' reports on religious instruction, 1931-1937, (PR 116/84(B)).

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