End of an era for Spen Schools

Staff, pupils and visitors at Whitechapel Middle School planting a time capsule and tree to commemorate their school closing. (d606a229)
Staff, pupils and visitors at Whitechapel Middle School planting a time capsule and tree to commemorate their school closing. (d606a229)

The curtain has been drawn on Cleckheaton and Gomersal’s middle schools in the biggest shake-up of education in the area for decades.

An emotional week saw teachers and pupils say goodbye to their schools, some of which have been open for generations.

Seven of the district’s schools will be affected, with all middle schools – West End, Whitechapel and Gomersal – closing their doors for good.

Heaton Avenue and Gomersal first schools will each become primary schools and move to new sites. Whitechapel Primary will also move from its two historic sites at the former St Luke’s and Moorend first schools to a new purpose-built site.

Whitcliffe Mount School is expected to take in an extra 800 pupils, as it will now accommodate years seven and eight.

The changes come as the old three-tier school system is scrapped, and switches to a primary/secondary model.

Whitechapel Middle school planted a time capsule in the school grounds to commemorate the end of the school, and were joined by famous former pupils, Leeds United’s Leigh Bromby and Huddersfield Giants’ Lee Mason.

See the full story on what will be happening to Spen’s schools over the summer on pages 8 and 9.