Haberdashers' Abraham Darby

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Haberdashers' Abraham Darby
Motto "Confident, Calm, Caring = Impressive and Employable people"
Established 1937 (original school), 2008 (Academy)
Type Performing Arts and Business Enterprise College / Academy
Headmaster Lee Hadley
Location Hill Top, Ironbridge Road

52°38′01″N 2°28′13″W / 52.6336°N 2.4703°W / 52.6336; -2.4703Coordinates: 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

Haberdashers' Abraham Darby for the Performing Arts and Business Enterprise in Telford, Shropshire, England, is a comprehensive school on Hill Top Lane, Ironbridge Road in Madeley which was founded in 1937. It is named after Abraham Darby III and is situated 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 Haberdashers' Adams, and was accepted by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). The headteacher is Lee Hadley.


The old school building, demolished at 85 years old, was founded as Madeley Senior Council School, Hill Top, opened in 1927 with 400 mixed places. It became known as Madeley Modern School from 1944, 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 a 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 11, 2012.[citation needed]

The school's name was changed in early 2018 from Abraham Darby Academy to Haberdashers' Abraham Darby. To quash rumours and 'gossip' about the school's name changed, a letter was sent to parents in which principal Lee Hadley stated, “In order to strengthen and highlight our partnership with Adams, to link us more obviously with other Haberdasher schools across the country and to emphasise the role of Haberdashers’ Company, governors have decided the Haberdasher name should have more prominence. I wholeheartedly support this.”


Links between Abraham Darby and Haberdashers' Adams 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. The curriculum is supported by ICT, however, each school will have specialisms: Abraham Darby with performing arts and possibly business and enterprise; Adams 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 a sponsor. The two schools, although operating separately, will share governors. Part of the project will be a capital investment, and new school building by 2011.[citation needed]

Abraham Darby student uniform comprises a tie, and a blazer bearing the Haberdashers’ crest, almost identical to that of Adams, with the difference being a newer style of tie, introduced in late 2016.

Notable alumni[edit]

Madeley Modern School[edit]

Coalbrookdale County High School[edit]

External links[edit]