Listed status for Margaret Thatcher's school welcomed

Kesteven and Grantham Girls School
Image caption Baroness Thatcher was head girl at the school in 1943

A decision to grant heritage status to a school where Baroness Margaret Thatcher was head girl has been welcomed.

The Kesteven and Grantham Girls School has been given a Grade II listing by English Heritage for its "architectural and historic" interest.

Courtney Finn, of Grantham Civic Society, said the school had a "handsome, proud and eclectic design".

Baroness Thatcher, who died on 8 April, attended the school from 1936 to 1943.

Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey said: "As well as its architectural interest, the school has huge historical interest, and the education Margaret Thatcher received there was a formative experience which went on to affect her life and political convictions."

Mr Finn said any future changes at the school must be done "in a sensitive way… and with consent of local planning authority" as a result of the heritage status.

Emily Gee, of English Heritage, said: "Margaret Thatcher's connection to her home town was a poignant one, and her views on education were no doubt shaped by her experiences in this building."

Grantham Museum chairman Helen Goral said the decision to protect the building was "a good step", but added there were "lots of other buildings that should receive a similar status as the town's architecture is very impressive".

She said although the move does have the potential to restrict future development, it was important to recognise the town's heritage.

Baroness Thatcher was the UK's first female prime minister and served three terms in that post, between 1979 and 1990.

Her funeral at St Paul's Cathedral was the biggest such occasion since the death of the Queen Mother in 2002.

The event also prompted a number of protests around the UK from people who opposed her policies.

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