Archive centreWhitehaven
ReferenceYDS 15
TitleGosforth Church of England School
Date1897-1973
ContextGosforth Church of England School was built in 1873 as a mixed all-age school for 140 children and was enlarged in 1886 by the gift of Sir Thomas Brocklebank, bart. to accommodate 140 mixed and 60 infants although its average attendance was substantially less than this. By April 1897 (when the extant log books commence) the school had over 140 children in attendance, and in the following month achieved an average attendance of 155.5, with 181 children on the register "the highest yet recorded" organised in three classes: 1) standards V -Vii; 2) standards ii - iv; 3) standard i and infants. Following the Education Act 1902 the managing body of the school was reconstituted to include representatives of Cumberland Education Committee, but the majority of the managers remained nominees of the church.During the 1900s and the 1910s the school roll declined. In 1914 the average attendance was 132 mixed and 45 infants. By the 1920s it was around 130 and remained at about this level until shortly before the Second World War. In September 1939 the school received a substantial number of evacuees from Newcastle, South Shields and elsewhere, increasing the roll to 168, although there was seating available for only 158 children. The overcrowding did not last for long, as many evacuees soon returned to their homes. By March 1942 the average attendance for the year was 100.5, "the lowest in the records of this school", falling in the last quarter of 1942 to another lowest record of 76.8. ByJanuary 1943 only seven evacuees remained, and in November 1944 the last of the Newcastle evacuees returned home, but one other evacuee remained until July 1945 when the school roll was 80.
In the immediate post-war years the roll rose steadily,reaching 134 in August 1949. This growth in numbers placed strain on the ageing building, and with the prospect of expensive maintenance, the managers applied to the Minister of Education for an immediate transfer to controlled status, whereby the Local Education Authority would assume responsibility for upkeep of the building, in return for majority control of the managing body.The change in status was granted early in 1950 and the managing body was reconstituted later in the year. In October 1959 there were 135 children on the roll, but in the following month the senior pupils were transferred to Millom and Seascale schools, leaving Gosforth as a primary school with 98 children organised in three junior classes and one infant class. In June 1960 work commenced on new school buildings, which were occupied in May 1961 and officially opened by the Bishop of Carlisle on 17 July 1961. The school roll continued to rise in the next decade. An additional Terrapin classroom was installed in October 1966, and the following September the roll reached 134, its highest point at the start of the school year since the school became a primary. In January 1973 the roll reached 162 and further extensions became necessary.
In September 1974 junior children were transferred to Gosforth from the Thompson School, Drigg, and the latter was "federated" with Gosforth from September 1980 until its closure in July 1984. The Gosforth school roll was 148 in September 1984 and it has continued to rise, reaching 168 in September 1989.Headteachers of the school have included:Joseph Birch Feb 1983 - Apr 1924 Ernest T Sharp Apr 1924 - Feb 1932 William Wilson Apr 1932 - Mar 1958 W R Kelly Apr 1958 - Aug 1977 Mrs P I Clatworthy (previously supply head) Jan 1978 -
Related materialHM Inspectors' and various reports (5) May 1923 - Jul 1960 at RMU, Carlisle
Catalogue levelFonds
Subject termsSchools
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