Archive centreCarlisle
ReferenceDS 36
Alternative ref.DS 88028
TitleHethersgill Church of England (Controlled) School
ContextAccording to records held by the Department of Education and Science, Hethersgill School was founded under a declaration of Trust by William Dacre, Lord of the Manor, on 31 January 1792 and by decision of a public meeting on 28 January 1841 its management was entrusted to the vicar, churchwardens and overseers of the parish. Although originally, there was no specific provision relating to religious education, the school was 'C of E by usage,' and was affiliated to the National Society.
The original school appears to have been rebuilt in 1870 on the same site at Shaw Foot, three quarters of a mile west of Hethersgill on the southern side of the road to Smithfield. An extension to the original site was granted on 28 December 1894 by Hugh Patrickson, to the vicar and churchwardens and in 1895 a new classroom was added, making the school capable of accommodating 120-130 children, although its average attendance was only 86 in the years immediately following the extension. It was a mixed, all-age school at that time.
Under the Education Act of 1902, the managing body comprised four Foundation Managers (the principal minister of the parish and three other members of the Church of England) and two Representative Managers (one appointed by Cumberland Education Committee and one by Hethersgill Parish Council). The influence of the Church over conduct of the school was greatly reduced by a change to 'controlled' status in September 1950, followed by a new instrument of management, dated 31 March 1951, under which there were to be only two Foundation Managers (the principal minister and one member of the Church of England, appointed by Carlisle Diocesan Education Council) and four Representative Managers, (two each by the County Council and the Parish Council).
This change in status was prompted by the need for the expenditure of more than £2,000 in rehabilitation and improvement of the building, which the voluntary school management board were unable to afford.
Shortly after its change in status, the school also lost its senior pupils and became a junior mixed and infants school in January 1953. By 1958 it had only 38 children, in two classes. By 1973 the school had a similar number of children and organisation of classes; the number of children increased to 42 by 1978 and remained at this level until up to 1982. At this time, Cumbria Education Committee undertook a review of primary education and proposed to close the school and send its pupils to Fir Ends School at Smithfield. Despite vigorous protests from the governors and local community, the decision of the Education Committee was confirmed and Hethersgill School closed in July 1984
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