St James’ School is opening a school in southwest Kolkata’s Behala which will be co-educational, unlike the 159-year-old boys-only institution in Entally.
The new school, which will eventually be affiliated to the ICSE council, will start in April and take in girls and boys from Nursery (3-plus) till Class VII for the academic year 2023-24. It will be under the Kolkata diocese of the Church of North India, which already has 14 schools.
“We are now 159 years old and stepping into the 160th year. After 160 years, St James’ School, which is situated at 165 AJC Bose Road, is stepping out to the region of Behala, Barisha. It is an announcement not just for the educational fraternity but for parents and students who belong to south Kolkata that another branch is opening,” said Terence Ireland, principal, St James’ School.
In addition to his current role, Ireland will be principal of the new school, which will be governed by the constitution of St James’ School.
The Entally school was inaugurated on July 25, 1864. “The idea of a boys school is 159 years old. We have progressed 159 years and realised a coeducational school is also the requirement today,” said Ireland.
On Thursday, St James’ School signed a memorandum of understanding with Oxford Mission Trust to use a portion of its property in Behala to run the school.
“A lot of students come to St James’ from the south of Kolkata. The new school will cater to them. Music and games will be treated as compulsory subjects in all classes. The ground there is so big that we can later have a sports academy,” said Reverend Paritosh Canning, chairman of the board of governors of St James’ School and bishop of the Kolkata diocese of the Church of North India.
“We will have to maintain the St James’ standard and for that the existing teachers (of Oxford Mission) might have to undergo training,” he said.
A school called La Martiniere Oxford Mission School had been started in Behala but was later changed to Oxford Mission School.
All students and teachers of Oxford Mission School will be absorbed in the new StJames’ School, the school authorities said.
St James’ College, in the pipeline for several years, will hopefully start by 2025, the authorities said.