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School Given Donation In Ex-Pupil's Memory

Monday December 9 2013


We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley


A SCHOOL has been given a £3,000 donation in memory of a former pupil whose work in education has been described as 'inspirational'.

Kath Harris died after a battle against cancer in July last year. She was regarded as an outstanding teacher and her death was marked by an obituary in the Guardian.

Her husband travelled from London to Birdwell to present her former school with the donation.

As well as the cheque, the school was also given a framed photograph showing Kath as a nine-year-old attending the school along with one of her in adulthood.

Kath was a pupil for six years in the early 1950s.

She went on to Barnsley High School before moving to Wakefield in the 60s.

For the last 20 years of her life Kath worked in London as a teacher in adult education at Kensington and Chelsea College and at Birkbeck College.

When she died her husband, Willie Coupar, and daughter Louise Hume, received more than 100 messages and tributes from former students.

Her obituary appeared in the Guardian and quoted one student: "Kath had a way of really getting through to you - she changed my life in so many positive ways."

Handing over the cheque to headteacher Jane Gilmour and the school council, Willie said: "Birdwell school fostered Kath's great interest in the world around her.

"It also encouraged her lifelong interest in drawing and painting. She had a total belief that education can bring huge benefits to everyone.

"I can think of no better way to remember her than to give something back to the school where it all started for Kath."

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Reply Posted by Collet on Saturday December 14 2013 at 08:45
The girl in question came from a very well known family in Birdwell, and she has made me very proud to be one of the many of them RIP Kathie

Reply Posted by Willy Coupar on Thursday July 17 2014 at 14:32
thanks Collet. your comments are really appreciated. I have been back to the school several times and always been made very welcome.