Bell sounds for final time at city high school

Lancaster's Skerton High School, originally opened in 1933, will finally close its doors this summer after the final students finish their GCSE exams.'Head Lyndon Day puts up a poster explaining that the school is now officially closed.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'22-6-2015
Lancaster's Skerton High School, originally opened in 1933, will finally close its doors this summer after the final students finish their GCSE exams.'Head Lyndon Day puts up a poster explaining that the school is now officially closed. PIC BY ROB LOCK'22-6-2015

It was the end of an era at Skerton High School this week as Year 11 pupils finished their exams and the school finally closed its doors for the last time.

The school was closed after a decision by county councillors last year based on low grades and falling roll numbers.

Head Lyndon Day outside the school with some of the last teachers still working there, L-R: Cheryl Hale, Abi Doughty and Christine Fell.

Head Lyndon Day outside the school with some of the last teachers still working there, L-R: Cheryl Hale, Abi Doughty and Christine Fell.

However, 23 Year 11 students were allowed to continue their GCSE studies on the premises.

Seven full and part-time teachers worked with the pupils over the last year, and the school also employed an administrator, teaching assistant, caretaker and three cleaners.

Unit manager Lyndon Day said: “We had promised that they would be able to complete all of their GCSEs, which included science, ICT, art, maths and English, and we have done that.

“We have tried to make it as normal as possible for them.”

The teenagers are being taken on a trip to London next month, funded by the school’s governors, as a reward for their hard work under difficult circumstances.

Mr Day added: “It was obviously a bit weird for them with having no other children to interact with.

“Skerton was always a school which had friendship groups across the years and that obviously wasn’t there.

“We still had a head boy and girl and deputies, and we tried to give the prefects some experience by going into Skerton St Luke’s to do some lunchtime duties for the year.

“I think the pupils handled it all incredibly well. They all wore their school uniforms for the year and looked very smart. Their attitude to their exams was the best I have seen in many years and I think they have done as well as they can do.

“I think the staff who stayed on have been brilliant too. They stayed for the children and really helped to see them through this last year.

“Those kids could well have been lost in the system somewhere and I think they have been supported really well.

“I am glad we have done what we did. We can look ourselves in the mirror and say we have done our best for them.”

Other secondary schools around the district are now taking assets from the school, while other items are being recycled where possible.

A decision is yet to be made on the future of the building, which has been home to Skerton High School since 1933.

Mr Day said: “I have been instructed to empty the rooms. All valuable resources have already gone from the premises.

“We have tried to allocate the resources to where our children mostly went to, so Central Lancaster High School, Morecambe High and Our Lady’s Catholic College have had the bulk of the items.

“Any historical items will be taken to the library.”

Mr Day, who has worked at Skerton High since 2007, will have one final duty when he returns to issue the students with their exam results on August 20.

He said: “We have had a long time to get used to this but there have been little things that were significant such as the very last exam to be held at the school.

“The enormity of it was strange. Obviously it is very sad but it has been inevitable for quite some time.”