Cotwall End Primary School

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Cotwall End Primary School
Cotwall End Road

, ,

Coordinates52°32′15″N 2°07′35″W / 52.5376°N 2.1263°W / 52.5376; -2.1263Coordinates: 52°32′15″N 2°07′35″W / 52.5376°N 2.1263°W / 52.5376; -2.1263
Local authorityMetropolitan Borough of Dudley
Department for Education URN103810 Tables
Head teacherMrs Claire Williams
Age3 to 11

Cotwall End Primary School is a primary school for boys and girls in Sedgley, West Midlands, England. There are approximately 420 pupils on the school roll. The school's head teacher is Mrs Claire Williams.[1]


Cotwall End was built by Sedgley Urban District Council and opened on 30 April 1962, as a 5–7 infant and 7–11 junior school, with a nursery for children under 5 opening later in the 1960s.

During the 1970-71 academic year, an infant school building was added on the site (being officially opened in April 1971), but reorganisation in September 1972 saw the infant school become a first school and the junior school a middle school, with children now transferring to secondary school at the age of 12 instead of 11. However, the oldest age group in the first school were taught in the same buildings as the middle school pupils.

The two schools merged in 1981 to form a single primary school.[2]

The school had a nursery unit which was built during the 1960s, but it closed down and the building was incorporated into the new middle school in 1972.

Mr Clifford Whitehouse retired in July 1977 after serving Cotwall End as head teacher of the Junior/Middle School for its first 15 years.

When the secondary transfer age was reverted to 11 in September 1990, the building was taken over by a local playgroup. The playgroup disbanded in December 2000 and the building was demolished the following year.[3]

Mr Kenneth Thomas was appointed head teacher in January 1978 and remained in the post until he retired in April 2003.

Many teachers who worked under Mr Thomas went on to be head teachers at other schools; these included deputy head teachers Michael Harvey (interim head, Eric Tibble, David Cox, Phillip Everington, Adrian Slack and Leonard Hazelhurst, as well as class teachers Ann Mason and Joy Powell.

The old nursery unit was demolished in April 2001, four months after the local playgroup closed. This was due in part to an education authority reorganisation and to the poor state of the buildings.[4]

The school has been served by a schoolhouse since about 1970; this has always been occupied by the school caretaker. For more than 10 years until 1999, the occupants were caretaker Mr Alfred Taylor and crossing lady Mrs Jean Taylor and their three children. Jean is the cousin of former footballers Peter and Cyril Knowles. The occupant of the schoolhouse is Mr Martin Waldron, school caretaker since 2000.

A full-time nursery opened in September 2007, the school's first such facility in 35 years. For the previous 13 years, the school had been served by a twice-weekly pre-school club called "Cotty Kitten", which was open to pupils in their final term prior to compulsory education and took place in various sections of the infant school. The playgroup which ran between 1990 and 2001 was not connected to the school.

Mrs Nicole Anderton retired in July 2016 to be succeeded by Mrs Claire Williams, former head teacher of Bramford Primary School.



  • April 1962: Cotwall End Infant and Junior Schools opened within one building as one-form entry.
  • c. 1965: A nursery unit for children in the year preceding compulsory education is opened.


  • 1970/71: Cotwall End becomes two-form entry following the opening of a new infant school building, providing capacity for well over 400 pupils.
  • September 1972: Cotwall End becomes a first and middle school, with pupils now leaving at the age of 12 instead of 11, and the top two classes are accommodated in the closed nursery unit. The school now has capacity for some 500 pupils.
  • July 1977: Clifford Whitehouse retires as head teacher and his deputy Michael Harvey takes over on an interim basis.
  • January 1978: Mr Kenneth Thomas is appointed head teacher.


  • September 1981: Cotwall End's first and middle schools merge to form a 5–12 primary school.
  • October 1986: Mr Clifford Whitehouse dies aged 73.[5]


  • September 1990: the local authority lowers the primary school leaving age from 12 to 11, and the redundant two classrooms are taken over by a local playgroup.
  • September 1994: "Cotty Kitten", a twice-weekly pre-school club, is set up to accommodate pupils in the term preceding full-time school.
  • April 1999: a new school library is opened in the junior school.


  • September 2000: a new nursery unit is constructed in an extension to the infant school.
  • April 2001: two former classrooms on the junior school playground are demolished.
  • April 2003: Ken Thomas retires after 25 years as head teacher and is replaced by Mrs Nicole Anderton.
  • October 2004: two new "annexe" classrooms are added to the junior school.
  • June 2005: Mrs Diane Morgan, who taught in the infant/first school from 1974 to 1999, dies of cancer aged 66.
  • October 2006: OFSTED removes the 'notice to improve' on Cotwall End and praises its rising standards.
  • September 2007: Cotwall End Nursery Unit is opened.


  • September 2015: Mrs Sue Sullivan is appointed joint head teacher.
  • July 2016: Mrs Nicole Anderton retires after 13 years as head teacher, having worked part-time during her final year.
  • September 2016: Mrs Claire Williams, former head of Bramford Primary School, is appointed head teacher.
  • August 2017: Mrs Dorothy Barwell, who taught in the infant/first school from 1971 to 1994, dies of cancer aged 81.
  • March 2019: Pupil Sanjay Singh (aged 10) dies in a car crash near Sedgley, his two-year-old brother also dies.

Academic standards[edit]

Cotwall End School from its inception in 1962 always prided itself in the very high academic standards (compared to local primary schools) it set itself and its pupils. When the 11-plus examination was in place in the school's early years, the majority of the school's pupils passed the exam to attend High Arcal Grammar School, although with the introduction of comprehensive education in the Dudley borough from September 1975, pupils attended Dormston or High Arcal, depending which school's catchment area they lived in. Since the 1990s, however, many pupils leaving the school have transferred to a number of other secondary schools due to a relaxation of catchment area regulations.

The school has a broad curriculum, including English, mathematics, science, geography, history, information technology, physical education, music (including instrumental music), and religious education.[6]

In 2005, an OFSTED inspection of the school found that the overall effectiveness of the school, and in particular progress in English, mathematics, and science was inadequate, particularly in Years 3 through 6. The school was given a Notice to Improve. The school's strengths include physical education, art, and music.[1]

However, in October 2006 Ofsted said that it was "a satisfactory and improving school" and praised the efforts of Anderton.[7]

The school regularly comes in the upper section of the Dudley borough's Key Stage 2 SATs league tables.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Extracurricular activities include sports such as football, basketball, and cross-country running, and musical activities like orchestra and choir. There is an after school club.

The school is represented by separate football teams for boys and girls. The boys football team is the longest established, and has enjoyed success in local competitions which include several league championships.

In spring 2005 the children worked with resident artist Ilona Bryan to produce a mosaic based around exotic birds.[8]

Notable staff and pupils[edit]

  • Jon Turley, children's author, taught at Cotwall End from 1996 to 1999, just before he began his writing career. He taught in the junior part of the school and was in charge of the school football team, who were joint winners of the local league in 1998 and runners-up the previous year.[9]


  • A C Jolly (6 April 2000). "Cotwall End Primary School" (PDF). Ofsted. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2007.
  • "Cotwall End Primary School". The Good Schools Guide. Lucas Publications Limited. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. – 5-year test performance data for the school
  • "Ofsted School Inspection Report for Cotwall End Primary School". 26 September 2006. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007.
  • School handbook, Retrieved 26 September 2006.


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Go-ahead for nursery unit demolition". Stourbridge News. 9 January 2001. Archived from the original on 15 May 2007.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2010-11-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Praise for head over standards". Birmingham Mail. 26 October 2006. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Corner of paradise in Cotwell End". Black Country Newspapers. 2 June 2005. Archived from the original on 6 March 2006.
  9. ^ "Tell me a story". Black Country Newspapers. 11 March 2004. Retrieved 2007-12-25.[dead link]

External links[edit]