Francis Combe Academy

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Francis Combe Academy
Francis Combe Academy Logo.jpg
Horseshoe Lane, Garston

, ,
WD25 7HW

Coordinates51°41′52″N 0°23′32″W / 51.6977°N 0.3922°W / 51.6977; -0.3922Coordinates: 51°41′52″N 0°23′32″W / 51.6977°N 0.3922°W / 51.6977; -0.3922
Former nameFrancis Combe School and Community College
Established1954 (1954)
Local authorityHertfordshire County Council
TrustMeller Educational Trust
SpecialistEnglish, Art, Media
Department for Education URN135876 Tables
PrincipalDeborah Warwick[1]
Age range11–18
Enrolment1,090 (2019)[2]
Colour(s)Orange, Red, Grey

Francis Combe Academy (formerly Francis Combe School and Community College) is an 11–18 mixed, secondary school and sixth form with academy status in Garston, Watford, Hertfordshire, England.[3] It was formerly a community school that was established in 1954 and adopted its present name after becoming an academy in 2009. It is part of the Meller Educational Trust.


The school opened in 1954 as Francis Combe School, a secondary modern school. It was named after Francis Combe (or Combes), a Hemel Hempstead landowner who founded a charity school in Watford in 1651, with a bequest of £10 per annum.[4][5]

It became the first comprehensive in Watford in 1966.[6] In February 2008, the school was given permission to explore becoming an academy, sponsored by West Herts College and the University of Hertfordshire. The academy opened in September 2009, specialising in English, art and media.[7][8] In 2011 the four old houses, Esher, Matisse, Kandinsky, and Picasso were replaced by Brunel, Turing, Curie, and Rowling.


All of the academy's buildings were rebuilt in 2012 except for the English and Maths block, which was built in 2001 (currently the Communications and Maths building).[9] The £25 million rebuild, which connects to the older building, features three storeys and houses Science, ICT & Business and Humanities (originally Maths). The sports department includes a large sports hall, a dance studio and changing rooms. Two new outdoor spaces, the MUGA (multi use sports and games area) and the Agora. A new entrance foyer and a new art department focuses on open plan and collaborative working with no fixed walls between classrooms.

Notable alumni[edit]

Francis Combe School and Community College


  1. ^ "Principal's Message". Francis Combe Academy. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Francis Combe Academy". Get information about schools. GOV.UK. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Francis Combe School and Community College Moto motto". Hertfordshire County Council. Archived from the original on 2006-09-11. Retrieved 2006-08-20.
  4. ^ Samuel Lewis (ed.) (1848). "Watford (St. Mary)". A Topographical Dictionary of England (7th ed.). p. 486. Retrieved 2008-03-22.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ William Page (ed.) (1908). "Hemel Hempstead". A History of the County of Hertford: volume 2. Victoria County History. pp. 215–230. Retrieved 2008-06-18.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "About the School". Francis Combe School and Community College. Archived from the original on 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  7. ^ "Francis Combe succeeds in their bid to become an academy". Francis Combe School and Community College. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  8. ^ "Academy programme to be further accelerated with lower set up costs as part of a new 'National Challenge' programme" (Press release). Department for Children, Schools and Families. 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  9. ^ "The Rebuild". Francis Combe Academy. Archived from the original on 2010-12-04. Retrieved 2011-01-28.

External links[edit]