Fryerns Comprehensive School

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Fryerns School

SS14 3RN

Coordinates51°34′37″N 0°29′13″E / 51.577°N 0.487°E / 51.577; 0.487Coordinates: 51°34′37″N 0°29′13″E / 51.577°N 0.487°E / 51.577; 0.487
TypeSecondary school
MottoLatin: Age Quod Agis
("If you do something, do it well.") Motto on Fryerns pulpit in hall "Labor omnia vincit"
Local authorityEssex
Department for Education URN115224 Tables
Head teacherMr Cyril Baggs, Mr Timothy Slater, Mr Stuart Hayes, Mr D.A. Anderson
Age11 to 18
PublicationFryern' Easy
Former nameFryerns Grammar and Technical School, Craylands County Secondary
FateClosed in 1999
Craylands School, built in 1935. Taken in 2007 by Paul Francis.
Fryerns School. 2007 by Paul Francis.
Badge of Fryerns School

Fryerns Comprehensive School /frəns/, also known as Fryerns Community School, was a mixed intake secondary school in Basildon, Essex that opened in 1956. The school was situated around one mile directly east of Basildon town centre. It was closed in 1999 due to falling pupil numbers. The site is now being redeveloped into two housing estates.


Fryerns School was the first new secondary school to be opened in Basildon New Town.[1] Its name came from the nearby Fryerns Farm which also provided the name for the local area.

Fryerns was created as a Grammar and Technical school. In August 1968, it merged with Craylands County Secondary school, which had opened on the same site in 1935, to create Fryerns Comprehensive. The influx of families into the area meant that another secondary school, Barstable, was placed across the road. In 1994, the school changed its name once again to Fryerns Community School.

Essex County Council Education department closed Fryerns in 1999 due to falling pupil numbers and a serious funding issue.[2][3] Basildon's demographics had changed markedly over the previous four decades. A rapidly ageing population meant that there were too many schools in the district for the number of pupils and Fryerns had to close. Fryerns, had been threatened with closure in 1990–91 but a strong defence of the school was launched in parliament by the then Basildon Conservative MP David Amess.[4] In the speech he stated that no school would close in Basildon while he was its member of parliament. This turned out to be the case as in 1997, he did not contest the Basildon seat as the New Labour candidate Angela Smith MP was elected. Less than two years later the school had closed.

After closing, the newer school buildings to the south of the site were taken over by Essex Social Services and the playing fields next to it were used for a new housing estate. The school buildings and fields of the old Craylands school were left derelict. Eventually the buildings were demolished and work was started on another new estate.[5]

School traditions and achievements[edit]

  • Perridge Awards – These were medals awarded for consistent effort, progress and conduct. They were awarded in three categories, bronze, silver and gold.
  • Cake Competition – An annual five-a-side football knockout competition. If a class played a team from the year above they would get a two goal head start. So if a year 11 team played a year 7 team the match would start at 10 – 0. The prize was a large cake produced by the Home Economics department.
  • Skiing trip to Villach, Austria was organised annually for pupils in years 8 and 9.
  • In 1987 the sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp was artist-in-residence at the school. Her piece “mother and child” was on display in the entrance hall.[6]

Notable former pupils ("Fryernists")[edit]

  • Graham Bonney - singer (chart hit with "Super Girl" in 1966)[7]
  • Nicholas Farrell - actor
  • Aden Hynes - sculptor[8]
  • Jillean Porter, former England Netball Captain and winner of 100 international caps.[9]
  • Jon Robson - golfer[10]


The school's badge is a stag lying in a laurel wreath. This denotes peace, harmony and triumph.[11]


  1. ^ "B. Cox (2006) "Basildon History Online." Retrieved 17 January 2013". Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
  2. ^ "Fryerns School to close - It's official." Basildon Recorder, 21/09/98. Retrieved 13 January 2017
  3. ^ "Carry on teaching until 1999" Basildon Recorder, 1 October 1998. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  4. ^ "David Amess MP defends Fryerns School. 12 December 1991 6.44 pm. Retrieved 19 January 2013". Archived from the original on 2012-12-22. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
  5. ^ ""Craylands and Fryerns redevelopments." Retrieved 18 January 201313". Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
  6. ^ ‘’Residencies’’ Fryerns School, Basildon 1987. Retrieved 19/01/13.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ From a former pupil
  8. ^ "Official website". Archived from the original on 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
  9. ^ "Netball career of Jillean Hipsey, nee Porter". Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
  10. ^ "From a former pupil". Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
  11. ^ ""Meaning of heraldry symbols" (sic) Retrieved 18/01/13". Archived from the original on 2013-03-29. Retrieved 2013-01-17.

External links[edit]