Moseley School

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Moseley School
A Language College
Moseley School.jpg
Established 1923/1955/1974
Type Foundation school
Headteacher Mr Craig Jansen
Location Wake Green Road
Moseley
West Midlands
B13 9UU
England Coordinates: 52°26′26″N 1°51′51″W / 52.4406°N 1.8642°W / 52.4406; -1.8642
Local authority Birmingham
DfE number 330/4245
DfE URN 103519 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students ~1,360
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses 8
Colours Black, red & white
Former names Moseley Grammar School
Moseley Modern School
Website Moseley School
Moseley school badge.png

Moseley School / A Language College (incorporating Spring Hill College) is a large comprehensive school in the Moseley area of Birmingham, England. The school's main entrance is situated on Wake Green Road and it lies in the parish of St Christopher, Springfield.[1] The school is non-denominational with around 1,360 students, two-thirds of whom are boys. 80% do not have English as a first language, and over 40% are eligible for free school meals.[2] The March 2012 Ofsted report graded the school as satisfactory with good features, at which students make good progress.[3] The school comprises two main buildings on a single campus – a Victorian college built in the 1850s, and a state-of-the-art modern building completed in 2012.

School history[edit]

The history of what is now Moseley School is somewhat convoluted, but can be traced back to 1838 when a private house in Spring Hill, Hockley, Birmingham, was opened as a training college for Congregationalist ministers – under the patronage of George Storer Mansfield (1764–1837) and his two sisters Sarah (1767–1853) and Elizabeth (1772–1847). Twenty years later, in 1857, after expansion to include a further three private houses, the establishment, still named Spring Hill College, moved to new, much larger, purpose-built premises on Wake Green Road in what was then rural Worcestershire, some miles south of the city. This striking Gothic revival building was designed by the architect Joseph James, and is particularly noted for its gargoyles.

In 1886, the college was closed and a replacement establishment founded in Oxford, known as Mansfield College (which is now part of the University of Oxford). Meanwhile, the Wake Green Road buildings were re-opened as the 'Pine Dell Hydropathic Establishment and Moseley Botanical Gardens', which entailed the construction of a swimming bath (with highly decorative ceiling) and greenhouses. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the building was commandeered by the government for use as a military barracks. After a brief period as an orphanage, the building returned to academic use in 1921 as a teacher-training facility (under the name Springfield College).

Finally, in 1923, the premises were handed over to Birmingham City Council which opened them as Moseley Secondary School, with Major Ernest Robinson serving as headmaster until 1956. The study bedrooms of Spring Hill College were merged in pairs to form classrooms, and the former hydropathic swimming bath was boarded over to serve as the assembly hall. An extension was built to house laboratories and further classrooms. A unique feature of the school was that the headmaster would live on the premises, which remained the case until 1972. Boys-only with a selective entrance exam, the school changed its name to Moseley Grammar School in 1939. In 1955, the city council opened a separate school, known as Moseley Secondary Modern School, fronting College Road, on what had previously been a playing field adjacent to the grammar school site. This new school, with Miss Eileen Cohen (later Mrs Eileen North) as headmistress until 1967, was both co-educational and non-selective, and was to specialise in performing arts such as theatre and music. Only a fence separated the two schools, and relations between the two sets of pupils were not always peaceful. It was during this period, under the headmastership of Bruce Gaskin from 1956 to 1972, that Moseley Grammar acquired its reputation for academic excellence, having previously been known more for its sporting achievements, particularly in rugby. In 1968 it acquired a former inn near Abergavenny, Wales known as the Old Grouse Cottage, for outdoor activities and field trips, which the current school still retains. The grammar school became a Grade II listed building in the year of Mr Gaskin's retirement.

In 1974, after two years of uncertainty over the issue and with only a few weeks' formal notice, Moseley Grammar and Moseley Modern were amalgamated into a single school, in a shotgun wedding that was resented by some, but warmly embraced by others (among the latter, Mr Gaskin, who after his retirement remained active on the school's Board of Governors until the 1980s). The combined establishment, known simply as Moseley School, became one of the largest comprehensives in Birmingham, and initially at least, inherited the good reputations of its predecessors in their respective fields. Donald Wilford, headmaster of Moseley Modern since 1967, was keen on being appointed head of the merged school (Moseley Grammar had been without a head since 1972), but in the event the job went to an outsider, Alan Goodfellow, who was on record as being bitterly critical of comprehensive education. He was also plagued by ill-health, finally dying, still in office, in 1981. Another period of uncertainty ensued, seemingly ended by the appointment of David Swinfen as head the following year. His ambitious plans, however, were overwhelmed by events, when the former grammar school building, known since the amalgamation as the West Wing, began falling apart as a result of decades of neglect and under-funding. In 1986 the roof of the library was declared unsafe halfway through an exam, and the entire building was closed and earmarked for demolition – the latter prevented only by Mr Swinfen's speedily organised campaign and the resultant public outcry. By the end of his tenure in 1992 the school had also undergone a radical change of character, following the redrawing of its catchment area in 1987/88. Hitherto, Moseley School had taken a majority of its pupils from the (then) largely white area of Hall Green, but now it would take them from the mainly Asian area of Sparkhill.

The campaign for the restoration of the West Wing would drag on for many years. As part of it, in 1995 Mrs Mary Miles, head teacher from 1992 to 2001, authorised the formation of the Moseleians Association, for former students and staff of the grammar school, secondary modern school, and comprehensive school. It publishes the twice-yearly Moseleian Gazette, and organises regular reunions and many other events. Continuing the work of the Old Moseleians Association – founded by Major Robinson in 1927, but with which the school had severed links in 1968 – the Moseleians Association has assumed an increasingly important role in school life, sponsoring competitions and prizes for pupils, raising funds for the school cottage, planting trees on the school grounds, and taking over the administration of the school archives.

After more than a decade of being closed and shored up with scaffolding, in 1998 – with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund – the West Wing was completely refurbished, and re-opened under its original name of Spring Hill College (as the sixth form of Moseley School). To coincide with its re-opening, the three daughters of Mr Gaskin published Moseley into the Millennium: The Story of Moseley School, detailing and celebrating the history of the school.[4]

Rebuilding[edit]

Following the resignation of David Peck, head teacher from 2001 to 2008, Tim Boyes, head of nearby Queensbridge School, was brought in as an interim replacement. He, and the City Council, advocated the creation of a combined Trust to administer both schools, which would share facilities and have a merged sixth form, based at Moseley. This plan, however, was scrapped in 2011 when Mr Boyes failed to secure the job of head teacher on a permanent basis.[5]

As part of the government's 'Building Schools for the Future' (BSF) strategy, in 2009 Moseley School received the go ahead for a massive new rebuilding programme, involving the complete demolition of the East Wing (the former Moseley Modern School, now in a bad state of repair), with the exception of its more recently built sporting facilities. The rest of the area would become the school's main car park, and meanwhile a new building would be constructed straddling the boundary between the former grammar and secondary modern sites, despite the steep incline from the latter to the former. The old grammar school building, or West Wing (Spring Hill College), would also have a number of alterations carried out to increase its capacity. These plans survived the Coalition Government's cuts almost completely intact. Work began in summer 2011 and was completed by October 2012. The East Wing was demolished in February 2013 and the new building, which had already been in use for some months, was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Mike Leddy, on 30 June 2013. The school has invested in excess of £1.5 million into ICT facilities to transform learning and teaching, with larger than average classrooms to provide students with a flexible learning environment.[6]

To coincide with the construction of the new building, Craig Jansen, head teacher since 2011, introduced eight new school houses to Moseley, which had been without a house system since 1982. Named after Oxford colleges, these are Mansfield, Nuffield, Keble, Pembroke, Hertford, Worcester, Lincoln and Exeter.[7]

List of head teachers[edit]

The following is a list of all those who have held the office of head teacher (earlier, headmaster or headmistress), or acted as such during vacancies, of Moseley School and its predecessor institutions, since the first secondary school was opened on the site in 1923.[8]

Moseley Grammar School[edit]

Moseley Boys' Secondary School 1923-1939; Moseley Boys' Grammar School 1939-1974. Colours: black, red & white.

Head teacher years notes
Maj. Ernest H. Robinson 1923-1956
Mr D. Bruce Gaskin 1956-1972
Mr Derek Moore 1972-1974 acting head / deputy head

Moseley Modern School[edit]

Moseley Mixed Secondary Modern School 1955-1974. Colours: red & green.

Head teacher years notes
Mrs Eileen North 1955-1967 née Cohen
Mr Donald Wilford 1967-1974

Moseley School[edit]

Moseley School 1974-2000; Moseley School / A Language College 2000- . Colours: black, red & white.

Head teacher years notes
Mr Alan Goodfellow 1974-1981 died in office
Mr Phil Bullock 1981 acting head / deputy head
Mr John Lockwood 1981-1982 acting head / deputy head
Mr David Swinfen 1982-1992
Mrs Mary Miles 1992-2001
Mr David Peck 2001-2008
Mr Tim Boyes 2008-2011 interim head / head of Queensbridge School
Mr Craig Jansen 2011-

Alumni[edit]

The individuals below are listed by the Moseleians Association as famous Moseleians, former pupils of Moseley Grammar School (MGS), Moseley Modern School (MMS), or Moseley School (MS). Those who were pupils at the time of the merger are identified according to the school they started at.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]