Selhurst High School

Selhurst High School
Selhurst Mathematics and Computing Specialist School
Established 1905
Closed 2008
Type Secondary School (Community)
Religion Non-denominational
Head Teacher Mrs J Pickering MA
Chair of Governors Mr K Robinson
Specialism Mathematics and Computing
Location The Crescent
Local authority Croydon
DfE URN 101804
Ofsted Reports
Students c.500
Gender Boys
Ages 11–16
Colours black     and white    
Former Pupils Old Croydonians (see section for more detail)
Website Selhurst High School for Boys Official Website

Coordinates: 51°23′29″N 0°05′34″W / 51.3913°N 0.0928°W / 51.3913; -0.0928

Selhurst High School for Boys is a name that has been given to two separate schools in England that existed at different times, but occupied the same site. The former school had been a grammar school that closed in 1988, the latter was the relaunch of a former comprehensive school, Ingram, under a different name in a different location. Thus, the current Selhurst High School for Boys is not simply an extension of the old school but rather has a more complex heritage. The school, located in the north of Croydon, is currently referred to as Selhurst Mathematics and Computing Specialist School. The school is notable not only in the eminent alumni that feature among its forerunners' former pupils, but also because of the dramatic contrasts in its academic fortunes over time.



The original Selhurst High School for Boys

Original Crest of Selhurst High School for Boys

In 1904 two schools were opened under the name Croydon Borough School, one of which was for boys, the other for girls. The Borough (renamed Selhurst in 1921) Grammar School for Boys was opened in September 1904 at the Scarbrook Road premises occupied in the evenings by Croydon Polytechnic.

Selhurst High School Buildings in the Crescent

The school moved into its premises in the Crescent in September 1913 but returned to Scarbrook Road in 1915 for the remainder of the First World War. In this period, the Crescent was used as a hospital. The school enjoyed a good reputation as a grammar school and remained a grammar school until it was taken into the State system in 1970 by Chris Chataway, the Education Secretary in Edward Heath's Conservative government. As a comprehensive, it became known as Selhurst High School for Boys. By 1977, a study of the school's population of 650 14-18 year old boys, showed that the school was the most ethnically diverse in the UK, with an overall mix of 51% non-white grandparents. The school's legacy as a grammar school permeated its culture and structure even into its comprehensive era. Masters continued to wear mortar boards and it retained a two-tier prefect system, the cane, and a public school 4 house system - alpha (red) - beta (green) - gamma (blue) - delta (yellow).

The school's proximity to Selhurst High School for Girls led to regular interaction between the two schools with regular drama productions involving both schools, and a mixed gender sixth form block and 'playground', although lessons were still attended separately.

Due to falling student numbers the school closed in 1988, as did the girls' school. The Boys school buildings went on to house Selhurst College, a tertiary sixth form college. This closed in the late 1990s and when in September 1999 Ingram School buildings were closed, this separate comprehensive was moved to the old Selhurst site and renamed as Selhurst High School for Boys.

Headmasters of the Boys' School

  • Arthur Hillyer BA - Previously for 11 years, Head of Elementary School in Leicester and then, for 15, Head of Croydon's Pupil-Teacher Centre) 1 September 1904-31 August 1920 when retired
  • Walter Henry Bentley MA - Member of staff from 1905 (latterly 2nd Science Master, a Housemaster and, from 1 Sept-31 Dec 1920, Acting Headmaster) 1 January 1921-31 August 1939 when retired
  • Frederick W. Turner MA MSc - Headmaster, Morley Grammar School, Yorkshire 1 September 1939-31 August 1945 when he took up an administrative post in Wolverhampton
  • Frederick T.B. Wheeler MA - Member of staff from 1906, latterly Senior History Master and then Second Master 1937-45 1 September 1945-31 August 1950 when retired
  • A.H.J. Barlow (Acting) - Earlier a pupil at the school 1 September-31 December 1950
  • C.F.R. Ackland -1 January 1951-30 March 1969
  • Ronald A. Smith MA - 17 April 1969-31 August 1988 when retired and the school closed

Selhurst Grammar School for Girls

Original crest of Selhurst High School for Girls

The Borough (renamed Selhurst in 1921) Grammar School for Girls was opened in September 1904. It was housed in the premises of South Norwood branch of Croydon Polytechnic until January 1910 when it moved to its new building on "The Crescent" which had been designed by the architect Carter Pegg in the Crescent. During World War I it moved to the Croydon Polytechnic buildings in order that The Crescent premises should be used as a hospital. Following WWI it returned to The Crescent. During the Second World War, the school was evacuated to Hove and in 1940 moved inland to Virginia Water and Egham and later to "The Beeches", at Guildford, again to return after the conclusion of hostilities.[citation needed] Mirroring the Boys' school, in 1971 the school became a Comprehensive for girls aged 14 and above. Like its male counterpart, it was closed in 1988 on account of falling numbers and secondary reorganisation. The buildings went on to house the BRIT School.

Heads of the Girls' School

  • Jane E. Holden - 1 Sept 1904-31 Aug 1906
  • Edith Wohlmann B.A. - (later Anglicised to Wellman) - 1st Assistant Mistress Queen Mary's School, Walsall (b. 1873), 1 Sept 1906-31 Aug 1931
  • Miss Hannah Lister MA - 1 Sept 1931-25 Apr 1960
  • Miss M.J. Harley-Mason - 26 Apr 1960-31 Aug 1969 when appointed Head of Guildford Cof E High School
  • Mrs B.E. Green - 1 Sept 1969-31 Aug 1982 when retired on account of ill health
  • Miss M Freeman BA (Acting) - 1 Sept 1982-31 Dec 1983
  • Dr David Dibbs, - (Deputy Head Teacher, Richmond High School, Halesowen) 1 Jan 1984-31 Aug 1987 when appointed Head of Riddlesdown High School.
  • Miss M Freeman BA (Acting) - (Deputy Head Teacher) 1 Sept 1987-31 Aug 1988 when she retired and school closed.

Ingram School


Ingram Road Council School, a public elementary school, was established in 1905 on Ingram Road in Thornton Heath, Surrey. It was a mixed school in its beginnings and remained a mixed school after its name was changed in 1922 to Ingram Council School (or just Ingram School, as the Council was often left out of the title).[1]

After the Butler Act of 1944, Ingram was attributed Secondary Modern status and the school was divided into two schools for either sex, becoming Ingram County Secondary School for Boys (or Ingram School for Boys) and Ingram County Secondary Girls' School.

Ingram County Secondary Girls' School

The girls' school, also known as Ingram High for Girls, continued until 1958. After this date the girls school moved to new premises less than a mile away to become Westwood High School from 1958. This school is still in operation today.

Ingram High School for Boys

Like the girls' school, Ingram for Boys was also known as Ingram High and became a comprehensive school in the 1970s. It maintained a steady record of moderate academic achievement until the early 1990s. Its fortunes then declined spectacularly, and in 1995 it was named by the government as one of the 18 worst schools in Britain; it was placed in Special Measures and closed.[2]

Ingram Infants

When Ingram Road School was opened in 1905, an infants school was also established, named Ingram Rd Infants School. Like its larger counterpart, the Infants' School also changed its name by dropping the 'Road' in 1922, to become Ingram Infants School. It preserved this name until 1961 when it was renamed David Livingstone Primary School.

The new Selhurst High School for Boys - Ingram re-launched

Selhurst was formed from the re-launch of Ingram High School which had been placed in Special Measures in 1995. The school was moved to its present site in 1997 and re-named Selhurst High School for Boys. A new Headteacher was appointed in 1999 and Special Measures were removed in 2000. Subsequent inspections by Ofsted in 2002 and 2006 were satisfactory.[3]

2008 closure

At the meeting of the Croydon Council School Organisation Committee at the end of March 2007 the decision was taken to close Selhurst Maths and Computing School in August 2008. Many people will remember that Selhurst, as Ingram High School, was in Special Measures for a number of years and was highly underperforming. Under the current Headteacher the school has grown from strength to strength and the 2006 examination results are the best it has ever achieved. Selhurst also had a very positive Ofsted inspection last October which recognised the school’s significant strengths.

The difficulty is that fewer and fewer parents have chosen Selhurst for their sons and because of low numbers the school is no longer viable. School budgets are dependent on the number of pupils in the school and Selhurst with such low numbers would not be able to deliver an appropriate curriculum. Pupils currently in Year 9 at Selhurst will begin moving to new schools at the end of May and it is expected that the great majority will have transferred by the end of term. They will all be in their new schools for the beginning of term in September so that they can start their GCSE courses. This transfer process will be repeated for the current Year 7 and Year 8 at this point next year.

Clearly some staff will be leaving the school at the end of this term and others will stay until the last pupils leave in July 2008.[4]



The school was set in the Crescent, Croydon, close to Selhurst Park.[citation needed] It is a red brick building, once covered in ivy. It has a semi-circular front and boasted a large main hall, extensive playing fields, two gyms and a library. The school also had its own sports ground at the foot of South Norwood Hill at Norwood Lakes in Cypress Road, and use of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.[citation needed]

Ingram Building

The buildings of the site of Ingram on Springfield Road have been identified as being of Architectural or Historic Interest[5]

The Old Croydonians

The Old Croydonians Association represents past pupils of the schools that have occupied the Crescent site in Selhurst. For this reason they represent:

  • Selhurst Grammar School for Boys (The Original Selhurst High School for Boys)
  • Selhurst Grammar School for Girls
  • Selhurst High School for Boys
  • The B.R.I.T. School

Interestingly, even though Selhurst High School is a relaunch of Ingram High School, the boys of Ingram High School are not covered by the Old Croydonians association.


Of Selhurst Grammar School for Boys/Original Selhurst High School for Boys

Of Ingram Boy's School

Of Selhurst Grammar School for Girls/Original Selhurst High School for Girls


  • Arthur W. McLeod - Best friend of D H Lawrence and Headteacher of Ingram High School for Boys between 1 September 1919 and 31 October 1922.
  • Wilfred Bennetto, Bard of the Cornish Gorseth, taught English here.

External links

Further reading

  • John Gent and Isabel McLeod, The Selhurst Schools, 1904 to 2004 Publisher: Old Croydonians' Association


  1. ^ London Borough of Croydon Official Website
  2. ^ "Education Audit: The named and shamed, how the 'Blunkett 18' fared". The Independent. 5 January 2004. 
  4. ^ Bulletin issued by the Cabinet Member for Education, Youth and Lifelong Learning, Croydon Council
  5. ^ Croydon Council -Local List of Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest
  6. ^ His own words, from his bio on the internet: "I had a very warm, cosy [sic] young life. There was just Mum and Dad -- who was working as a poultry farmer -- and myself. But I seemed to have lots of cousins living close by and I was rarely alone -- certainly not spoilt. Our road was Broadway Avenue, Croydon, and at the end of it there was a country grammar school. And as soon as I was old enough to be aware, my one big ambition was to go to that school. Every day, along with my small friends, I watched pupils going to that school. They seemed very superior to us and therefore, children to be especially envied. I was born in 1930 and life was not always good for the average working-class family. But my father was lucky; he stayed in work. They tried to save hard out of his money -- I think he made about £2.10s. a week; and I remember we had one of those great big box radios full of valves that you were almost frightened to look into. But there was always the overall feeling of warmth and care and cosiness. I still make a point of driving down that road sometimes and I think what a wonderful way I was brought up. I never got to that grammar school. I left the area when I was seven, but I know most of the other kids in the street made it."
  7. ^ gbrathletics

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