The Hathershaw College

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The Hathershaw College
Established 1955
Type Secondary Academy
Principal David McEntee
Location Bellfield Avenue

Greater Manchester
DfE number 353/4011
DfE URN 137039 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1045 (approx.)
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–16

The Hathershaw College is a coeducational, Secondary Academy for 11 - 16 year olds in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England.

In 2007, OFSTED rated the school as "good". In 2010, OFSTED described it as "good with outstanding features". In 2014, the school was judged to be requiring improvement overall.

School history[edit]

A view over the extensive playing fields of Hathershaw College. One of the sports halls is visible centre-left.

As Hathershaw Technical High School, it opened in 1955; it had a selective intake. The school was housed in three blocks (a main building, a science block and a craft/engineering block). The school was sponsored by the aviation manufacturer Avro, and the ground plan of the main building was inspired by the outline of a Lancaster bomber.[1] It competed for intake with Oldham's state grammar schools, but offered a more technical syllabus. Provision of equipment and machinery for metalwork and woodwork was considered to be amongst the finest available nationally.[2]

In 1966 the school became a co-educational comprehensive school. In 1970 it was made into an 'upper-school' for pupils in the 14–18 age range, supplied by two separate 'lower-schools', Greenhill and Fitton Hill. The two feeder schools, which were on sites significantly distant from each other and Hathershaw School, educated pupils from 11 to 14 years of age.[3] In the school year 1977–78 the system was reorganized and Hathershaw again catered for the full 11 to 18 age range, with sixth form entry. In the same year the school uniform colours changed from blue/black to maroon/grey, at present they are maroon/black. The loss of selective entry in 1966 and the system of split-site feeder schools led to a period of falling academic attainment.[4] The trend was reversed after the appointment of John Cole to the headship in 1976. He has been credited as having "transformed Hathershaw School."[5][6]

In 1981, Oldham's first joint school/community sports hall was built. In a 1992 reorganisation, it became an 11-16 school - losing its sixth form to Oldham Sixth Form College. In December 1999 it was recognised by the government as one of the 50 most improved secondary schools in the country.

In September 2000 the school became a Technology College and in May 2003 was admitted to the Specialist Schools Trust "Value Added" club for significantly improving examination results between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4.[1] In November 2004, the school received more than £1 million in lottery funding to improve its sports facilities. Hathershaw became the first dual-specialism school in England, in March 2005, specialising in sport as well as technology. In October 2005, the school opened a £350,000 netball complex.

The OFSTED inspection of November 2007 gave the school an overall rating of "good". In November 2010, the school was re-visited by OFSTED and given the official description 'good with outstanding features'.[7] In 2012, the College achieved its best GCSE results to date inclusive of Maths and English: with 51% gaining 5 A*-C grades including both English and Maths.[8]

On 1 August 2011, The Hathershaw College gained academy status.


Mr. Charles Bell 1955–1967

Mr. John Hemmings 1967–1976

Mr. John H.S. Cole 1976–1988 (left his post as Oldham's assistant director of education to take on the school's headship) [9]

Miss. Averil Cunnington (temporary appointment) 1988

Mr. C. Midgely 1988–1999

Mr. C.W. Edney 1999–2003

Mr. David Ashley 2003–2005 (left to become Headteacher at Parrs Wood Technology College)

Mrs. Carol Cawkwell 2005-2014 (change of formal title to Principal).

Mr. David McEntee 2014-

Staff numbers and pupil to teacher ratio[edit]

Headcount of all teachers - 72

Headcount of all teaching assistants - 37

Headcount of all support (exc. auxiliary) staff - 26

Pupil to teacher ratio = 15.5:1 [10]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Liz McInnes, Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton.

JS Raynor (John Stephen Raynor), author - fiction and fictionalised biography.

David Richards, TV director - Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Crocodile Shoes etc.

Colin Waldron, football player - played for Chelsea, Burnley, Manchester United and Sunderland football clubs.

Famous visitors[edit]

In 2001 Coronation Street star Tina O'Brien visited the school.[2]

In November 2006 former Manchester United and Spurs player Garth Crooks visited the school.[3]

In 2010 the Member of Parliament and former Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls visited the school shortly before the United Kingdom general election, 2010.


  1. ^ Taylor and Ryan, pp. 103–104. Taylor, Cyril and Ryan, Conor (2004) Excellence in Education: the Making of Great Schools, David Fulton.
  2. ^ "'Street star highlights net risks". BBC News. 2001-07-10. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  3. ^ "'Garth gives things a kick". Oldham Chronicle. 2006-11-06. 

External links[edit]

  • Official Hathershaw School website
  • [11] Article on the history of the school, by a former pupil and teacher/assistant headteacher.
  • [12] Film Archive clip of murals being painted by pupils and staff on the side of the school in 1980.
  • [13] Article about a former Hathershaw pupil carrying the Olympic Torch - Chronicle Online.

Coordinates: 53°31′20″N 2°06′42″W / 53.5221°N 2.1118°W / 53.5221; -2.1118