End of era as school set for closure

An appeal has gone out for people to share memories of Baldersby St James CE Primary School as it prepares to close for good at the end of the summer year.

By Janet Harrison
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 9:47 am

An appeal has gone out for people to share memories of Baldersby St James CE Primary School as it prepares to close for good at the end of the summer year.

Contributions will form part of a celebratory event, at the school and Church of St James, which will take place on Saturday July 2 and will be attended by The Rt Revd Paul Ferguson, Bishop of Whitby, staff, pupils and parents from the school and colleagues from across the Hope Sentamu Learning Trust.

The team at the school said they would love to hear from anyone who would like to contribute to the event in some way.

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Steff Brown, Headteacher at Baldersby St James CE Primary School said: “Whilst we are sad that the school has to close, we are very keen to celebrate the history of the school and all of the wonderful teaching, learning, events and activities that have taken place over the years.

“We’re delighted that we will be joined by the Bishop of Whitby who will lead the church service.”

Staff would like to hear from any past pupils or staff who have stories, anecdotes or photos to share or anyone who has a keen knowledge of the history of the school.

They would also be very keen to hear from anyone who has any ideas about the format and content of the event and anyone who has an interest in helping with the planning of the celebration.

Baldersby St James CE Primary School, near Ripon, was built by Lord Downe following the establishment of the village in 1850. The school has served generations of pupils in Baldersby St James, Rainton and the surrounding areas.

The decision to close the school was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Education in January 2022.

The local authority said that pupil numbers at the school have been low for several years, posing a continual challenge to the school in providing the breadth of educational experience for its pupils.

And it decided that pupil numbers show no prospect of improving for many years ahead, with predictions for demand for school places showing a steady decline until 2031/32.

Anyone who would like to share stories or would like to be involved in the event in some way, should email: [email protected]