The Salt Schools opened in 1868, for both day scholars and half-timers, who would work at the mill for half a day and attend school for the other half. Before this, the factory school was housed in the Dining Hall.
Boys entered on the right and girls on the left and the school was designed to cater for 750 children initially. In 1874, there were 806 half-timers and 454 day scholars, with an average attendance of 665. The schools were constructed with state-of-the-art technology: hot water central heating, gas lighting, and tip-up lavatories.
In 1878, the school split, with infants moving to Albert Road Board School (today Saltaire Primary School) and the Salt Schools becoming the Salt High School. This eventually moved to a new site on the far side of Roberts Park. Today, the original building, along with the Exhibition Building, Dining Hall and the Jonathan Silver building, forms Shipley College, a further education institution.
Outside the Salt Building, there are two lions, and two more on the opposite side of the road. Their names can just be made out, inscribed on their pedestals: Peace, War, Vigilance and Determination. Local legend has it that these were originally constructed for Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square. This is, unfortunately, almost certainly a myth.