Ketley: Education

A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.

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A P Baggs. D C Cox. Jessie McFall. P A Stamper. A J L Winchester, 'Ketley: Education', in A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford, (London, 1985) pp. 275-276. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

A P Baggs. D C Cox. Jessie McFall. P A Stamper. A J L Winchester. "Ketley: Education", in A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford, (London, 1985) 275-276. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

Baggs, A P. Cox, D C. McFall, Jessie. Stamper, P A. Winchester, A J L. "Ketley: Education", A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford, (London, 1985). 275-276. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,


Richard Reynolds built a school at Ketley in the late 18th century, probably the Sunday school that in 1786 had 300 places. (fn. 1) A private school at Coalpit Bank was run by Robert Pocock from 1830, or earlier, until his death in 1858. Colliers' children, however, depended on Sunday schools, one of the largest in the district being that held by the Primitive Methodists in Pocock's school: it had 500-700 pupils in 1841. (fn. 2)

Ketley Parochial (later National) School, with 200 places, was opened in 1842 at the 2nd duke of Sutherland's expense. The slated brick building at Redlake, near the new St. Mary's church, was probably designed by Charles Barry (fn. 3) and had three classrooms; there was also a teacher's house. Annual income in 1849 was £80: £20 in fees, the rest from the duke, who largely maintained the school. The master and his wife were jointly salaried at £60 and half the fees. From 1865 or earlier there were government grants. By 1870 it was called a National school; there were then boys', girls', and infant departments, but by 1885 only mixed and infant. Attendance averaged c. 150 in 1851, 223 in 1885, and 153 in 1895. (fn. 4) In 1895 the school closed, probably because of the cost of repairs and improvements. It passed to the school board, which reopened it in 1896 as Ketley National Board School, and it continued in existence until 1898. (fn. 5)

Ketley Board School, Holyhead Road, with mixed and infant departments, was opened in 1898 to replace the National Board School. (fn. 6) In 1905 a new infant school and teacher's house were built nearby. The mixed school was then adapted for older pupils; in 1907 it had 306 places, the infant school 236. (fn. 7) Attendance in 1909 averaged 290 mixed pupils, 180 infants. (fn. 8) In 1931 the former mixed school was used for the new Ketley Senior Council School (240 places), the former infant school for Ketley Junior Mixed and Infant Council School (230 places). That year the old National school was rented and adapted for temporary use as a domestic subjects centre, and in 1934 a room in the senior school was converted to a science laboratory. (fn. 9) Overcrowding in the 1950s in Ketley Primary School (fn. 10) (so called since 1945) (fn. 11) was relieved in 1958 when the seniors left their building for a new secondary modern school. (fn. 12) The juniors transferred to a new junior school in 1967, when the old school became Ketley County Infant School (fn. 13) and the building of 1905 was converted to a nursery unit, the first to be attached to a Shropshire infant school. (fn. 14) In 1980 the infant school had only 109 pupils. (fn. 15)

Ketley Town County Junior School, Riddings Close, with 320 places, opened in 1966 and admitted pupils from Ketley County Junior School. In 1980 there were 226 pupils. (fn. 16)


  • 1. R. F. Skinner, Nonconformity in Salop. (Shrews. 1964), 37 n., 39 n.
  • 2. J. E. G. Cartlidge, The Vale and Gates of Usc-con (Congleton, [1935]), 78, 103; S.R.O. 3038/6/1; 1st Rep. Com. Child. Emp. App. Pt. I [381], pp. 39-40, 83, H.C. (1842), xvi.
  • 3. Inf. from Mr. D. Blissett.
  • 4. S. Bagshaw, Dir. Salop. (1851), 438; P.R.O., ED 7/103, f. 118; Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council [3666], pp. 84-5, H.C. (1866), xxvii; P.O. Dir. Salop. (1870), 70; Kelly's Dir. Salop. (1885), 868; (1895), 109.
  • 5. S.R.O. 4005/3, pp. 1, 20-1, 42-3, 54-5. Evelyn J. Green, 'Development of Educ. in the Oakengates Dist. of Salop. betw. 1830 and 1902' (Liverpool Univ. M.Ed. dissertation, 1975), 52. No early record of the receipt of a Nat. Soc. grant exists. A Nat. Soc. letter to the incumbent (1907) described the schs. as 'estate' schs. belonging to the duke of Sutherland.
  • 6. S.R.O. 4005/1, p. 1.
  • 7. Ibid. p. 140; S.C.C. Mins. 1903-4, 219; ibid. (Educ.) 1905-6, 84; 1906-7, 143.
  • 8. Kelly's Dir. Salop. (1909), 119.
  • 9. S.C.C. Mins. (Educ.) 1930-1, 67; 1931-2, 12; 1932-3, 33; 1933-34, 86.
  • 10. Ibid. 1949-50,
  • 11. Inf. from S.C.C. Educ. Dept.
  • 12. Below, Hadley, Educ.; inf. from the headmaster.
  • 13. Inf. from the headmistress.
  • 14. Ketley Co. Inf. Sch. log bk. (at the sch.) 5 Oct. 1967.
  • 15. S.C.C. Educ. Cttee. Educ. Dir. (1980), 10.
  • 16. Ibid.; inf. from S.C.C. Educ. Dept. and the headmistress.