SCHOOL visits to one of Sheffield’s most historic properties are being axed by Museums Sheffield because it can no longer afford to staff them.
The trust has run school visits for thousands of youngsters to Bishops’ House, at Norton, since 1998 but the last will take place this week.
Kim Streets, Museums Sheffield director of learning and knowledge, said: “We’re very sad to see our work with schools at Bishops’ House come to an end, though we hope that we can find a way to resume it in the future.
“In the current climate, we simply can’t afford to maintain that provision and it just isn’t viable to ask primary schools to meet the full cost.
“Our focus now is on working with partners such as the Friends of Bishops’ House to find a solution which will allow schools to access the house.”
The running of the house was handed over to The Friends of Bishops’ House last year to save costs and the trust has kept school visits.
John Brown, chairman of Friends of Bishops’ House said: “We are greatly concerned that the high standards of service to schools at Bishops’ House that have been set by Museums Sheffield to schools are not lost.
“With help from our partners we are urgently considering what options are open to the Friends to have Bishops’ House open to schools by September, when the seasonal rush for school visits will resume.
“We can make no promises at this stage, but hope we are looking at a suspension of service here rather than closure to schools.”
He added: “We’ve established a good track record, but what we can do here for the schools will be dependent on the levels of funding and professional help available.” ■ Bishops’ House is open to the public for limited hours at weekends. Visit www.bishopshouse.org.uk.