Skipton school stalwart recognised for decades of tireless service

Skipton's Ermysted's Grammar School has put up a plaque to honour a former pupil who has given decades of his life to supporting the school.

83-year old Ken Oxley attended the school from 1950 to 1955 before going on to work his entire career at Skipton Building Society.

Mr Oxley has been a mainstay of the Ermysted's Old Boys' Society, serving as Treasurer continuously for the last 48 years from 1975 to 2023 - and took on the role of Chairman for three years in the 1990s as well.

Following his retirement from the building society, he was the Clerk to the Governors at the school for 17 years between 1998 and 2015 and more recently has been overseeing the school's archives alongside being instrumental in the running of the Old Boys' Society. He received a standing ovation at the school's Speech Day when he retired from his role as Treasurer to the school's charitable Foundation after many years.

As Mr Oxley steps back from his formal association with the school, the Old Boys' Society wanted to mark his many years of service with a fitting tribute - a plaque on the wall of the Refectory, one of the buildings he was instrumental in making happen.

The inscription on the plaque reads: 'In recognition of an association with Ermysted's spanning more than 70 years... let his selfless and kind dedication to this school stand as testament to the qualities that Ermysted's aspires to instil in its pupils'.

Stuart Clarkson, Secretary of the Ermysted's Old Boys' Society, said: "During the period of the school's expansion in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ken was responsible for much of the work to bring in funding and project manage the development of new buildings. In one case, having been offered just £20,000 to replace an old canteen building Ken lobbied the Department for Education hard - and put forward such a strong case that they awarded a grant of £1.7 million!

"There isn't much Ken doesn't know about the history of our school and he will go down in the history books himself having made a significant impact on the life of thousands of pupils. He's been the driving force behind the Old Boys' Society for nearly 50 years, working tirelessly to organise events and ultimately raise money to support the work of the school. We send our very best wishes for his 'second retirement', 25 years after the last one!"

Michael Evans, Headteacher at Ermysted's Grammar School, added: "Ken is an inspiration to us all and we can't thank him enough for all he has done. He has been an integral part of our school community for almost 50 years and we are immensely grateful for his selfless and kind dedication in volunteering so much of his time in the way that he has. He has come through the school gates with the same enthusiasm all these years as I am sure he had as a pupil back in the 1950s - always willing to help and to share stories from his vast experience from his time at Ermysted's."


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