Abraham Darby Academy

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Abraham Darby Academy
Motto "Education is about instilling values and creating dreams"
Established 1937 (original school), 2008 (Academy)
Type Performing Arts and Business Enterprise College / Academy
Headmaster Lee Hadley
Location Hill Top, Ironbridge Road

Coordinates: 52°38′01″N 2°28′13″W / 52.6336°N 2.4703°W / 52.6336; -2.4703
Local authority Telford and Wrekin
DfE URN 123596 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 144
Students 1220
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–16
Houses Webb, Owen, Woodhall and Darwin
Colours Blue, Green, Red and Black
Website www.abrahamdarbyacademy.org.uk

Abraham Darby Academy for the Performing Arts and Business Enterprise in Telford, Shropshire, England, is the current name for the comprehensive school on Hill Top Lane, Ironbridge Road in Madeley which was first founded in 1937. It is named after Abraham Darby III and is situated approximately one mile from the Iron Bridge which he built in 1779. In September 2008 the School was converted to an Academy through a link to Adams' Grammar School, and was accepted by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). The current headteacher is Lee Hadley


The old school building, demolished at 85 years old, was originally founded as Madeley Senior Council School, Hill Top, opened in 1927 with 400 mixed places. It later became known as Madeley Modern School from 1944, it was enlarged in 1958-59 and had 619 pupils by the end of 1959.[citation needed]

It amalgamated with Coalbrookdale High School in 1965 to form the Abraham Darby Comprehensive School. There were 1,244 pupils in 1980. The school has had 44 years of musical tradition, particularly with the wind band and the Abraham Darby Showband, which has played in the Royal Albert Hall and at the Carnegie Hall in New York City. The school achieved Arts College status and again renamed itself, this time to the Abraham Darby School for the Performing Arts in 2003.[citation needed]

The new building began construction in late 2009 and completed in 2012. It was officially opened by Prince Edward on October 11th 2012.[citation needed]


Between 2006 and 2008 there were significant improvements at Abraham Darby,[clarification needed] and the upgrade from a school into an Academy gave the opportunity for further improvements.[citation needed]

Links between Abraham Darby and Adams' Grammar School at Newport are being developed, with student and teacher exchanges, leadership training, mentoring systems, and a common house system. There will be joint events, including those for sport, music, and drama. Curriculum is supported by ICT, however each school will have different specialisms: Abraham Darby School with performing arts and possibly business and enterprise; Adams’ Grammar School with technology and modern languages.[citation needed]

The joint project is supported by Telford and Wrekin Council, the DCSF, and the 300-year-old Haberdashers' Company as sponsor. The two schools, although operating separately, will share governors. Part of the project will be capital investment, and new school building by 2011.[citation needed]

Abraham Darby student uniform comprises a tie, and a blazer bearing the Haberdashers’ crest.

Notable alumni[edit]

Some of Shropshire's most famous sportsmen attended the various forms of Abraham Darby. Billy Wright, the former captain of Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. and the England football team, attended Madeley Senior School and former English super-middleweight professional boxer Richie Woodhall attended during the 1980s.

External links[edit]