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Spotland Primary School is committed to safeguarding the children and young people in our care. We expect all staff, governors, visitors and volunteers to share this commitment. For details please see our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy or pick up a leaflet at the office.

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Spotland Primary School History


On November 4th 1895, the newly built Spotland School opened to receive pupils from the surrounding area.

516 children were on the roll of the mixed department and 305 on the infant register, though not all attended. By the Elementary Education Act of 1870 every district had to provide places in elementary schools for children. These could be in voluntary church schools, or in schools built by publicly elected bodies called School Boards. The first Board School built in Rochdale was the Halifax Road School in 1878, followed a year later by Cronkeyshaw. Byelaws in 1871 laid down that school was compulsory from 6 to 13 but of course a great many children did not attend for a variety of reasons, poverty being a major one. The fees, starting at 2d a week in the infants, were still too much for poor families who might have several children. Rochdale employed five attendance officers from 1873 to chase up absentees.

By the 1890s when education was compulsory nationally, and free, there was obviously a need for a new school in Spotland. The Clover Street School was full to over-flowing; several inspectors' reports mention how cramped the conditions were and say that the cloakrooms must not be used for teaching.

The Rochdale School Board was immensely proud of the new Spotland School which was very much a showpiece for the forward-thinking body. The Rochdale Observer tells us that the school cost approximately £14,000 and was built on land "leased from Colonel Royds MP for 999 years at an annual ground rental of £78.1Os."

The newspaper describes in glowing terms the design and materials used in its construction. Towards the end of the article it says : "We can do no more than mention the elaborate arrangements for heating, ventilating and lighting the school The best available system in each case has been adopted, every care being taken in these and in all other matters to secure the physical comfort and meet the needs of the children."

There was an excellent attention to detail demonstrated in the list of contractors who worked on the building, all were local firms (none of which are now in existence) and included suppliers of such things as dado tiles, clocks and lightning conductors.

The Headmaster of the mixed school was Mr. Henry Shepherd, who had come from Cronkeyshaw School, and he had a staff of 11, which included five pupil teachers and one monitor. Miss Mary Beatrice Wheeler was head of the infants. When school closed for its first holiday on December 9th, Mr. Shepherd notes in the log book that there was "a prevalence of measles" and because of this it didn't re-open until January 13th, The following day, the 14th, was very cold with driving rain and the headmaster decided to send home the children who lived some distance away at 11.35 am and the rest went" a little later". A shaky start to the new term!.

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