St. James's National school opened in 1844 in a new building in the later St. James's Street at Barton End with accommodation for 486 children in boys', girls', and infants' departments.
It was built through the efforts of the perpetual curate, Thomas Hedley, who took responsibility for a considerable deficit in the finance.
In 1852, he gave two houses as an endowment. Attendance was 244 in 1847, 493 in 1877, and 469 in 1904. The building was enlarged in 1894, and again in 1909.
From 1931 the school had junior mixed and infants' departments, and from 1935 junior mixed alone.
In 1938, as St James's C of E School, it had an attendance of 324. It became a controlled school in 1949, and in 1984 had 103 children on the roll.