Archive centreCarlisle
ReferenceDS 106
Alternative ref.DS 89105
TitleNetherton Infant School, Maryport
DescriptionNetherton Infants' Board School was built by Ellenborough and Ewanrigg School Board for 175 children at an estimated cost of £850 and was designed by Mr C Eaglesfield in what was described by a local newspaper (The Whitehaven News, 25 January 1894) as a warm, red sandstone in the Gothic style. It was formally opened on 22nd January 1894 by Mr Twentyman Graham, Chairman of the School Board after which a free tea was given to all the children of Netherton between the ages of 3 and 7 years. The tea was attended by 204 children, served by the 4 teachers of the Board's other schools and other helpers. In the evening there was a concert for the general public (at 3/6 d a head) followed by a dance, after which the party broke up.

Teaching commenced the next day when about 100 scholars were admitted under Miss Ellen Elizabeth Crewdson (formerly of the Ellenborough and Ewanrigg School), 2 pupil teachers and a monitress. By the end of April 1894 the school had 132 children on the roll including 60 in the babys' class. In June 1897 Miss Jane Elliot McVitie came to the school as Head Teacher, serving in that position for more than 39 years until September 1936. In June 1987 Miss Jane Elliot McVitie came to the school as Head Teacher, serving in that position for more than 39 years until September 1936. At the commencement of her remarkable period of office, the school had about 100 children. In Auguest 1897 the HM School Inspector reported that 'The School has improved during the past year, and is now in good order and in a very fair state of efficiency as regards most of the subjects'.

When control of the school passed to Cumberland Education Committee in August 1903, there were 126 children on the roll, organised in 3 classes and 2 groups of 'babies', taught by 2 qualified teachers, 2 pupil teachers and a candidate. By September 1904 numbers had fallen to 111 and were reduced to 100 when children in Standard I were transferred to other schools in the town. The numbers of children and teachers continued to fluctuate, being 83 in October 1906, 102 in March 1912, 99 in January 1914 (when there were only 3 teachers), 107 in February 1918 and 64 in January 1924. By July 1928 the school was down to 56 children and 2 teachers, falling further to 43 in April 1931, recovering to 58 in January 1933, although 28 of these were below the statutory school age and included 12 under the age of 4 years.

The roll recovered to 69 in November 1935 and was 59 when Miss McVitie left in September 1936. By February 1939 it had risen to 64 children in 3 classses and 73 in May 1944, but fell to only 39 in September 1946, rising to 61 in September 1947, 81 in September 1950 and a similar number in February 1954 when HM Inspector found 3 classes being taught in only 2 rooms, the larger of which was later partitioned. By the next inspection in July 1962, numbers had declined and the school had been reduced to 2 classes each of 27 pupils, all above 5 years of age. In September 1964 the roll stood at only 40 children, rising to 69 in April 1969, and thereafter remained relatively stable at about this level.

Head Teachers since the departure of Miss McVitie have been Miss Doris Birkett, October 1936-December 1938; Miss Josephine Skelton, January 1939-December 1952; Miss A I Stordy, January 1953-July 1964; Miss W M Austin, September 1964-July 1966; Mrs L Moore (Supply Head), September 1966-July 1967; Mrs D M Bowe, September 1967-December 1971, Mrs J Clarke, January 1972-July 1986 and Mrs J L Rotheram from September 1986.
Date1894-1994
Catalogue levelFonds
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