School History – 1980-89

Headmasters / Principals

  • Mr Murphy (1980-94)
  • Mr Boston (1994-2011)
  • Mr Gould Oct (2011-2016)
  • Mrs Hingley (2017-)

Until the 1970s, schools across the country had been mainly organised as three types of school, Secondary Grammar, Secondary Technical and Secondary Modern. In the Audley area this had been started in the late 1930 with the closure of the infant and junior departments at the school. From then until the late 1970s pupils aged 11 came to the school but some were able to transfer to the local Grammar School at both 11 and 13.

By the 1970s questions started to be asked about whether this was the most sensible way to organise schools and the notion of the all ability ‘Comprehensive’ was created. Different parts of the country converted their schools into Comprehensives at different times and it was not until the late 1970s that this idea came to Audley and Halmer End.

Mr Cooper, the Head at the Head at the time was able to secure funds for significant extensions with the aim of creating up-to-date facilities for all the pupils as the first full ability age group was admitted in 1980. A new Head, Mr Murphy, took control at the same time. The subsequent years saw many changes:

  • A formal school clothing was introduced.
  • The school was still using a variety of buildings including ones on the High Street as the new facilities were still not complete.
  • The concept of a daily morning assembly for everyone (still done today) was started
  • A new tutor system was started
  • The annual Christmas Concert was started

1981 The new facilities were opened.

This transformed the school. A large two floor building provided new facilities for Science, Art and Technology and a new Sports Centre was started. By the autumn of the year:

  • All the school classes were now on the same site
  • Harvest Festivals started each Autumn (and are still held each year)
  • Speech Day was established to mark the leaving of a year group and to report about the progress of the school during the year.
  • School Camps were re-established

1982 The year started with the opening of the new Sports Hall.

This was, and still is, one of the best of its type in the area. In addition:

  • A number of fields against the school were purchased to create new playing fields. It took a further two years to shape these into the current extensive sports fields of today. Until then a number of other fields were used including ones near to Churchfields School
  • Formal exams were held for each year group
  • School Camps were held at Stanley Head and Covan
  • The School Uniform became more formal
  • The process of election for Head Boy and Girl was started


  • The first Computer facilities were added
  • Girls started to wear ties
  • Annual School Play established (at least one a year has been held since)


  • Sports Fields were officially opened
  • First School Sports Day on new facilities. (One has been held every year since then)
  • School House system changed and new houses added


  • The original school on High Street was demolished. In the past few years it had been used as the Art Department but with the new facilities this had stopped and it was now only used a a dinner room and kitchen. Although the building was in good order the local authority decided it was surplus to requirements and had a demolished!
  • Work Experience for all pupils in Year 10
  • Mock Interview Evening started
  • Play season expanded to a Music Hall format- licensed bar etc.
  • Christmas non-uniform and activities day


  • Primary School Sports Day- senior pupils act as stewards
  • School Fayre- carnival floats/ slideshows/ stalls- in school grounds
  • Day trips to France
  • Ski and soccer trips open to all pupils


  • Weekly focus on school attendance- attendance certificates etc.
  • Pastoral system established with volunteer year heads


  • Year 11 PE moved to Friday pm:
  • to facilitate attendance checks
  • to facilitate off-site options
  • to alleviate pressure on timetables


  • Year 11 disco/buffet replaced by off-site leaver’s meal
  • Year 7 clinic evening
  • Speech Day becomes Awards Evening