Dame Catherine Harpur’s School was set up as a charitable trust in 1744 by benefactress Dame Catherine Harpur, to provide free education for the boys and girls of Ticknall and the surrounding parishes.

Two hundred years later, the village school was still going strong, and from 1903 was administered in partnership with Derbyshire County Council. It became a Voluntary Controlled Church of England Primary School and continued as such until 1987, when the LEA closed the school because of insufficient pupil numbers.

Parents and local people felt the village school was just too good to let it just disappear, and so they reopened it straight away, independently of the LEA, under the terms of the 1744 trust. The commitment, ingenuity and enthusiasm of all those involved has ensured Dame Catherine’s has gone from strength to strength through the years.

We hold fund raising events to support the school which included a major project in 2013 to transform the tired school house into the wonderful modern addition to the school that it provides today. We also have many parents who volunteer their skills within the school and a committed Senior Management Team who support the dedicated teaching staff.  In 2014 we were lucky to have a master craftsmen (an ex parent of the school) working with the children to design and fabricate a new fence around the school house, assisted with a grant from the Arts Council.