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The Bushey Academy is an academy in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England, which opened in September 2009 to replace Bushey Hall School. The principal is Andy Hemmings, who joined Bushey Hall School in January 2009. The academy is co-sponsored by businessman David Meller and Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden. The academy is benefiting from a number of planned refurbishments such as a media studies suite/ TV studio, a designated student services area and internet cafe.
The school descends from a technical school in Watford, while the site it now occupies was originally a private junior boarding school.
Watford was a local pioneer in technical education, restructuring its School of Art, Science and Commerce in 1922, and establishing a Junior Technical School in the old public library building on Queen's Road in 1929. In the following year, these were brought together in the Watford Technical School, with an annexe to the old library building opened by Lord Eustace Percy, an advocate of technical education. Inspectors praised the school in 1934 for its high employment rate among the skilled trades. It became a prestigious selective school, though behind Watford Grammar School for Boys and Watford Grammar School for Girls. Ambitious expansion plans were drawn up by the county council, but were shelved on the outbreak of the Second World War.
Around 1960 the Watford Technical High School moved to cheaply constructed buildings on the north side of Bushey Hall Road. The Queen's Road site has since been demolished to make way for the Harlequin Shopping Centre. When the school became a comprehensive in 1971, it was renamed Bushey Hall School. The new school was simply a continuation of its predecessor, with no change in students, staff, and no special measures. Both road and school were named after the original Bushey Hall, which was located just to the north on Aldenham Road, and is now the site of a leisure centre and golf course.
The school relocated to the London Road site in 1988, with September 1988 marked as the inaugural year for pupils at the new site. The buildings at the old Bushey Hall Road site remained derelict for 4 years before being demolished following a drowning in the old swimming pool. A housing estate and caravan site now occupy the Bushey Hall Road site.
The London Road site
The current site is the location of the former Bushey Manor. The buildings were erected in 1928 to house the Royal Masonic School for Boys junior school, which opened in the following year. The school was designed to house 400 boarders in a line of four buildings connected by a cloister (covered walkway), across the quadrangle from the main building. The other buildings on the quadrangle were the dining hall (on the east side) and the teaching block and library (west).
Due to falling rolls, the junior school closed in 1970. The site was then home to Grange Park School (a secondary school for boys) until it closed in 1987, when Bushey Hall School moved to the site.
The building still bears evidence of its masonic heritage in the architectural detailing. The brick pillars to the main gate on London Road are topped with stone globes, unusually a lunar globe and oceanic globe. These relate closely with other celestial detailing on the site; in the main entrance hall a stained glass roof dome is marked with the 12 signs of the zodiac. Other masonic markings can be found on the stone lintels over significant doorways.
The library was replaced in 1993 with the construction of a learning resource centre on the green space beside the gymnasium hall. An arson attack in 1994 destroyed the gymnasium roof and it was closed due to lack of funds to replace the heavy timber trusses. A temporary structure was built on the playing fields as a replacement gymnasium.
Since to the introduction of partial selection in several other schools in southwest Hertfordshire in mid-1990s, the school's intake has been skewed toward the lower end of the ability range. Results at the school have been poor for several years and the school was placed in special measures in April 2008 following an Ofsted inspection in March 2008. As part of its improvement measures it is seeking academy status.
The school converted to academy status in September 2009.
Students from Bushey Hall and Bushey Meads School appeared as extras in My Dad's the Prime Minister. The school provides a venue for community activities such as the Bushey Festival and the Bushey Symphony Orchestra. The school also participated in the Watford 10k Fun Run.
- David Parker (2007). Hertfordshire Children in War and Peace 1914–1939. University of Hertfordshire Press. pp. pp196–198; 206. ISBN 978-1-905313-40-2.
- William Page (ed.) (1908). "Bushey". A History of the County of Hertford: volume 2. Victoria County History. pp. pp179–186. Retrieved 2008-06-20. "Bushey Hall was in 1882 converted into a hydropathic establishment and licensed hotel, in the grounds of which are some well-known golf links."
- William Page (ed.) (1908). "Bushey". A History of the County of Hertford: volume 2. Victoria County History. pp. pp179–186. Retrieved 2008-06-20. "A little to the west of the church on the north side of High Street is the Manor House, a large red brick building with a slated roof, the property of General Forestier-Walker."
- G. Montague Hall (1938). A History of Bushey. Bushey: Bournehall Press.
- Bushey, Hertfordshire: Official Guide. Bushey: Bournehall Press. 1956.
- Bushey Hall School. "About the School". Retrieved 2008-06-20.[dead link]
- Bob Nunn (1987). The Book of Watford: A portrait of our town c1800–1987. Watford: Pageprint. pp. p318.
- Professor David J Newton, Schools Adjudicator (1999-09-17). "Determination: Bushey Hall School" (MS Word). Office of the Schools Adjudicator. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Department for Children, Schools and Families. "Achievement and attainment tables". Department for Children, Schools and Families. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Filip Hnizdo (2008-04-29). "School 'among weakest in country'". Watford Observer. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Bushey Hall School, Office for Standards in Education.
- Filip Hnizdo (2008-10-10). "'A formula that creates excellent aspirations'". Watford Observer. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
- Bushey Festival
- Bushey Symphony Orchestra
- Watford 10k Fun Run