Shipton Gorge Parish Council

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The Village School

school houseA National School was built in 1862 for 90 children but closed in 1949 when there were just 8 children on the register. It was in a thatched building opposite the village hall on the way to St Martin's Church. The house has been privately owned by the Jones family ever since its closure and is now known as the Old School.

The last teacher at the school was Mrs Osborne who later moved into one of the council flats in the village on her retirement. Her son, John, remained living in the village after her death and subsequently moved into Bridport. Mrs Osborne is remembered as a typical "school marm", well educated, fairly strict and with a love of music which she imparted to her son.

The last resident to attend the Shipton school was Fred Smith who lived in the council houses until his sudden death in 1979. He is buried in the churchyard.

After 1949 the primary aged children were taken to Burton Bradstock School by car and then bus and this continues to this day. In the mid 1970s that school also was threatened with closure but the growing numbers of children in both villages during the 1970s combined with recognition that Burton Bradstock school is one of the finest village schools in the area ensured its survival. Indeed its facilities were improved and updated during the 1990s and places are now sought after at this popular school.

Children of secondary school age generally attend the Sir John Colfox School in Bridport, with a few also attending Beaminster and Woodroffe schools and some in private education.