Burton-in-Lonsdale primary school closes its doors after 160 years

Headteacher Chris Norris

Headteacher Chris Norris

Headteacher Chris Norris

Pupils Ewan Greenep, Travis Faichney, Eric Williamson, Adam Nelson, Alfie Spencer, James Nelson, Charlie Fisher, Reuben Spencer , Jack Brady, David Williamson, Sam Fisher and Eithan Edmondson

First published in News

TIME has finally run out for a village primary school, which has closed its doors after 160 years.

Teachers and staff at Richard Thornton's C E Primary School in Burton-in-Lonsdale said goodbye to the school's remaining 13 pupils, all boys, on Friday.

They are all moving to new schools nearby.

Governors, parents and staff had fought for over a year to save the school, but North Yorkshire County Council chiefs decided it was no longer viable.

Chris Norris, who was headteacher at the school for 18 years, said that his emotions were difficult to explain. "I am a little sad I suppose, but everyone has been working so hard to make sure that our pupils are able to make the transition to new schools that we've not really had time to think about it.

"We have also been trying to pass on our teaching resources to other schools, which has been taking up time too.

"All the pupils have had several transition days at their new schools, where they have been able to start making new friends, meeting new teachers and learning new routines. They have all come back filled with enthusiasm for the new environment they'll be going into and we're very grateful for all the help they have received."

Mr Norris added that there had been a great deal of disappointment in the village over the closure decision, and the efforts of so many people to save it had been greatly appreciated.

A thanksgiving service to celebrate the achievements of past and present pupils was held at All Saints Church in Burton, with an address by the Right Rev Tom Butler, Bishop of Bradford. The final event was a 'Goodbye Garden Party' on Saturday, which featured a talent show and barbecue. The PTFA presented all the children with a special gift bag.

Mr Norris added: "We thank everyone who has supported us during the past year, worked with us to find a way in which the school could remain open, come into school voluntarily to work with the children and sent messages of encouragement. All have been very greatly appreciated. Most importantly, we know the children now move on to their new schools well prepared academically, emotionally and socially for the future. They leave with our good wishes and prayers for their every success and happiness."

The school was named after Richard Thornton, a 19th century entrepreneur, who donated money for the school to be built in 1853.

It was opened in January 1854 and further extended in 1932.

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