Shelthorpe School – a Diamond Jubilee
13 July 2020
Shelthorpe Infant and Junior schools were created to serve the community of the Shelthorpe housing estate, built to the south of town by the Loughborough Corporation from 1926 onwards.
The schools were designed by Edward T Allcock of Loughborough, the initial idea being they would stand around two enclosed quadrangles, though in the end these didn’t materialise, as neither did the nursery which also appeared on the original plan.
The Infants’ section of the school opened on 1st June 1933, with headteacher Miss D M Hallam and her staff welcoming fifty children aged from 5 to 7 years old.
By July 1939 the number on roll had risen to three hundred and five, half of whom were above the age of seven. These older children were soon accommodated at Shethorpe Junior School, which opened on 28th August 1939 under the headship of Mr T S Fielding.
Two hundred and fifty children were admitted to the Junior School, with another forty or so turned away through lack of room. The issue of space was exacerbated when within days war was declared and both schools were called on to accommodate the evacuees from Sheffield who arrived in the town on 1st September.
When they reopened on 18th September, ninety-three evacuees and an additional thirty-seven local children swelled the ranks of those already attending the schools. A temporary concrete building was placed on the site at some point during the second world war.
Both the infant and junior schools were extended in 1948 and, in 1975, a community centre was added to site to provide facilities for the use of adults. The infant and junior schools joined together into one school in 1981.
Diamond jubilee celebrations took place at Shelthorpe in June 1993. A special newsletter was published documenting key points in the school’s history and its many great achievements, which included it having one of the most successful community centres in the county.
During those commemorations, the community room was renamed the ‘Wallace Humphrey Room’ in recognition of a much-loved former headteacher and the contribution he made to developing community provision over his twenty-one-year post at the school.
In 2012 Shelthorpe School changed its name to Beacon Academy when it joined the Academies Enterprise Trust national family of schools.
Compiled by Alison Mott
With many thanks to the Humphrey family for the loan of The Shelthorpe School Diamond Jubilee Scrapbook which you can read here.
Read the history of the award-winning Shelthorpe housing estate – designated as a Conservation Area in 1976 – here.