Clayton Hall Business and Language College
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Newcastle under Lyme
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|Former name||Clayton Hall Grammar School|
The present Clayton Hall, which is used as part of the college, is at least the third Hall on or near the current site. There was a Hall on Clayton Road where Barn Court is currently situated. This belonged to the Lovatt Family, local landowners at the time. The second Hall was opposite the Nuffield Hospital, it eventually belonged to Mary Lovatt Booth, the sole survivor of the Lovatt and Booth families. She was a local heiress and married John Ayshford Wise in 1837. The Hall and the family are featured in John Ward's book, Stoke-upon-Trent of 1842.
The family did not live at Clayton Hall, as it was a little run down at the time. They had a new Hall built on the present site as newlyweds. In order to provide more private grounds Clayton Lane was moved to its present position, however, it originally ran through the College grounds. The Hall appeared to be occupied by the family by November 1841. Their elder daughter planted a tree near the drive, and there is still a plaque there now. The family was not living in the Hall at the time of the April 1841 Census. John Ayshford Wise and his wife were wealthy landowners and had three children.
Behind the Hall were separate laundry rooms, a stable and a coach house, and food storage areas for fresh produce from the estate. The orchard dates from this time. By 1891, when the Hall was put up for sale, a single storey Billiard Room had been built. This is the present Library. The ceilings in this area are highly decorated with papier-mâché and pierced coving, and the rooms that were used by the family have chimney breasts for open fires.
The Hall was used as a family home for nearly one hundred years until 1939. It was then taken over during the Second World War as a training base for Fleet Air-Arm apprentices, and extra outbuildings built. Only the gymnasium, chapel and minibus garage remain from this time. The Hall was painted in camouflage during the war time. It was used as a navy training camp, where a "fake boat" was built to train thousands of young men and women.
The Hall and the wartime buildings became bart of Clayton Hall Grammar School for Girls in 1947. This was administered by the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme. It had around 500 girls in the 1950s, then 600 in the 1960s.
It became a mixed comprehensive school, Clayton High School, in 1978. It lost its sixth form. The main teaching block and assembly hall were built in 1963, the technology block in 1978, the mobiles in 1987 and the sports hall in 1995. In 1997, the school won a grant of £60,000 to restore a historic garden wall which was originally built in 1840. Once it was restored, the public were invited to attend a ceremony performed by the Education Chairman, Councillor John Brooks.
Specialist School status
In 2005, the school became a Specialist School, specializing in Business & Enterprise and Languages. The school changed its name from Clayton High School to Clayton Hall Business and Language College. Due to this status, unlike many other schools, a language at GCSE is compulsory.
South Newcastle Federation
In 2010 the school became a key partner in the South Newcastle Federation, which shares governance and leadership with NCHS The Science College. This partnership brings many benefits for both schools including shared teaching expertise & resources, a stronger leadership team, cost savings and increasingly varied option choices at Key Stage 4.
If the school receives more applications for admission than have been planned for, places are allocated according to the guidelines laid down by the Local Education Authority. It is an 11–16 mixed comprehensive of about 1000 students and around 100 staff.
The school is based around a Grade II listed building referred to as The Old Hall. The rest of the school comprises a mixture of buildings dating from 1940–2007. It is situated in a residential area, on the east of the A519 in the south of Newcastle under Lyme, next to the church of St James the Great.
The school has a good record of achievement at GCSE level. Current information on results can be found on the school website.
There are four main colleges within Clayton Hall:
- King's College
- Trinity College
- Stanford College
- Melbourne College
The system was introduced 2009-2010.
A wide range of subjects are offered from Engineering to Performing Arts. For current courses please refer to the website.
Notable former pupils
- Curtis Nelson - Plymouth Argyle and under 18's England footballer.
- James Buckley Thorp (entrepreneur, born 1989) Founder and Director of apparel corporation Rupert and Buckley
Clayton Hall Grammar School
- Jane Drabble OBE, Editor from 1986-7 of London Plus, and from 1987-91 of BBC1's ethical series Everyman, and from 1994-99 the Director of Education at the BBC
- Jane Panton, Headmistress from 1994-2005 of Bolton School (girls), and from 1988-94 of Merchant Taylors' Girls' School
- Lynne Sedgmore CBE, Executive Director since 2008 of the 157 Group