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Staff member
In September 1958 after 43 years of separate existence, the two Lescudjack schools became one. The amalgamation, which might well have been a difficult operation, bearing in mind the long tradition of division, was accomplished remarkably smoothly.

The L.E.A. and the Governors of the two schools had, of course, intended that this merger should take place when Miss Harvey retired, so there was plenty of time not only for detailed preparations, but still more important, for staff pupils and parents to get attuned to the idea of a " mixed " school.

To Miss Harvey goes much of the credit for the smoothness of the operation; not only had she and Mr. Hichens established two schools with the highest possible standards, but she was always ready with wise and sympathetic advice and a quiet and deprecatory smile to curb my juvenile excesses. Needless to say, much time was spent in earnest and voluble conversation with Miss Symons, Mr. Cock and Mrs. Andrewartha, planning the details of the new set-up.

A good deal of mental re-adjustment was demanded from the staff—a certain amount of abandonment of accustomed ways, but this too was gladly forthcoming.

Finally, but most importantly, the pupils took the whole thing in their strides, so much so that only eight months later I was able to say " We find it difficult to recall a time when the School was not mixed."

A special tribute should be paid to the girls, I feel, the boys, after all, had had four years to get used to me and my particular and peculiar ways of doing things; it was the girls who were, to a great extent, being taken over. Girls, of course, because they tend to mature earlier than boys have an especially important part to play in schools catering for the 11—16 age group, and my experience, since leaving Lescudjack, of many capable and talented girl prefects, has not dimmed the memory of Wendy Williams, Judith Perry, Ann Mitchell and the other members of the first group of Lescudjack girl prefects.

Our 1915 buildings, and the presence of the Infants, presented certain difficulties in the early days. At the very beginning, indeed, lesson changeover took place via a long trek round the outside of the Infants' School.

I was pleased to see when I visited the School at the time of its Jubilee celebration that a number of the material improvements which we had hoped for in 1958 had taken place. Clearly, one pressing need is a " mixed " staff-room.

We opened as a mixed school with some 550 pupils on roll and this number made it possible to organise the teaching on more efficient lines than had been possible in the two separate schools. By the amalgamation, therefore, achieved so successfully through good-will and co-operation on all sides, the " mixed " Lescudjack school could look forward to a period of continued and expanded usefulness, based on the inspired and devoted work of the two " separate " schools between 1915 and 1958.
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