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Shepley First School

History

Credit and many thanks to Mr David Billington who gave permission to include the following extract from his book "SHEPLEY Believe it ……or Not!"

Shepley Board School

    £ s d
Masonry  Harris Wood 2036    
Joinery Henry Noble 1044    
Plumbing George Lindley 156    
Plastering Alfred Jessop 200    
Painting George Lindley 39    
Slating Pickles Bros 438    
Hot water system Hargreaves & Dewhirst   152    
Architect-Commission Superintendence       400    
Furniture & Expenses   200    
Legal Expenses/Contingences   250    
Land Purchase   484    
Total Cost   5400    

The Education Dept. finally approved of the Plan, specifications and tender for the schools, which provide accommodation for 348 mixed scholars and to borrow the required money. Funding was obtained by a loan from the Yorkshire Penny Bank at 3 ¼ % repayable in 50 instalments of £218.8.10 (£218.94)

The school is detailed in the schedule of listed buildings as a Grade II building of the ‘Free Northern Renaissance Style’, The architecture is described as ‘bulbous engaged Ionic columns and tall swan-necked and enriched pediments’.

On the 16th November, 1896 the school was opened and a new educational era in the life of Shepley village had begun. The Chairman of the School Board, Mr W. Slater, provided a Celebratory reception for Shepley householders and a tea for the pupils on the 4th December 1896. The school was divided into infants and mixed (Juniors), each with its own Head. During the first few months the school attendance reached 277, there was a teaching staff of 9 and Mr William Hey was Headmaster.

It would be impossible today to construct a new school of the quality of the existing but a 300 pupil new building using modern construction methods and material is estimated would cost in excess of £10,000,000. Today’s small children can attend the privately run pre-school adjacent to the school then attend Shepley First School from 4 to 10 years; then Kirkburton Middle School (10–13 years) and Shelley College (from 13 years) before having options for higher education. The alternative is private education.

Shepley First School has earned a fine reputation for the quality of its teaching and its friendly atmosphere; so much so that places are in demand and Shepley residents have to be quick off the mark to ensure a place is available for their child. The school remains an important, integral part of the village with a high level of parental involvement. That is why the school is such a much-loved institution.