Kesteven and Sleaford High School

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Kesteven and Sleaford High School
Jermyn Street

, ,
NG34 7RS

TypeSelective grammar school
MottoEducating today's pupils for tomorrow's society
Department for Education URN137667 Tables
Chair of GovernorsDeborah Hopkins
Head teacherJosephine Smith
Staff45 approx.
GenderGirls, Boys accepted to Sixth Form
Age11 to 18
Enrolment745 approx.
Colour(s)Green, yellow

Kesteven and Sleaford High School, (KSHS), is a selective school with academy status for girls aged between eleven and sixteen and girls and boys between sixteen and eighteen, located on Jermyn Street in the small market town of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, close to Sleaford railway station.


Sleaford and Kesteven High School Ltd. was founded by a group of local businessmen and housed in 62 Southgate, a town-house constructed by local architect and builder Charles Kirk for himself in 1850.[1][2] When teaching commenced, on 5 May 1902,[3] the headmistress, Margaret Kate Lewer, presided over 23 pupils, including 8 boarders; by 1909, 62 girls were on roll and over the next quarter of a century, the numbers at the school increased to 350.[4] Run by a board of nine directors with W. V. R. Fane of Fulbeck Hall as chair, the school operated independently until it was taken over by the local education authority in 1919.[4][5]

As the school increased in size, buildings were added to its grounds. The first were wooden huts, installed shortly after the end of the First World War, which provided the school with an assembly hall, office space and classrooms. A brick block was completed in 1924, followed by an extension to the original house three years later.[6] Kesteven County Council planned to rebuild the school in 1930, but this never came to fruition; instead, the school had to wait for prefabricated classrooms to be added in 1946–7.[7] The former urban district council offices at Jermyn Street were also purchased by the Council and converted into classrooms for the school.[8]

The Education Act 1944 abolished fees for state schools and standardised entrance examinations. As a result, KSHS wound down its preparatory school during the mid-1940s and the County Selection Examination was used for all admissions.[9] By the early 1950s, there were 330 pupils by 20 staff at the school.[4] In 1952, as part of the school's golden jubilee celebrations, staff and pupils at the school proposed purchasing land behind the school house. Owned by British Railways, the firm eventually agreed a price of £750; over a three-year period, the school raised the funds through donations from parents, staff and local people. The playing fields were eventually purchased, but delays meant that they were not opened until 1962.[10]

In 1957, the Council proposed erecting new classrooms and laboratories on the site of some disused air-raid shelters located within the grounds. Over the next decade, a series of new buildings were completed around the site, creating a hall, dining room, music, art and staff rooms, and a classroom block, which were completed in 1968.[11]

In 2014, the governors of Carre's Grammar School announced their intention to bid for conversion to a multi-Academy trust and became a coeducational, selective school on a new site;[12] in February 2015, Kesteven and Sleaford High School announced its intention to join the proposed trust, a move welcomed by Carre's.[13] On 1 September 2015, the school officially became part of the Robert Carre Multi-Academy Trust, which would see the schools operate on their sites sharing staff and facilities. KSHSSA's chair of Governors, Robin Baker, became a trustee prompting his replacement as chair by Deborah Hopkins. The headteacher, Craig Booker, resigned.[14]

School structure[edit]

Kesteven and Sleaford High School opened as an Academy on 1 November 2011 without sponsorship and run by the Kesteven and Sleaford Academy Trust. As of 2015, the student body is made up of 769 pupils aged between 11 and 18. The school admits girls on a selective basis for Years 7–11 and has a co-educational Sixth Form; there are 10 boys on roll as of 2015.[15] The majority of pupils are White British[16] and, as of 2015, 1.3% of the pupils are allocated free school meals;[15] when assessed by Ofsted in 2013, the inspectors reported that the proportion of students receiving FSM, disabled students and pupils with special educational needs are all "much lower than the national average".[16]

The annual intake to Year 7 for Key Stage 3 is around 120, although in 2006 the number rose to 150.[citation needed] School pupils are drawn from a 200 square mile area of South Lincolnshire, and as far as Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire.[17]

The sixth form takes both boys and girls and in 2013 was ranked at 117th in the country for its A levels results due to around 70% of Grades at A Level being A*-B.[18] In 2014 the school was ranked 170th, with 62.45% of A levels being A*-B.[19] In 2015 the school was ranked 200th, with 59.5% of A levels being A*-B.[20]



Of KSHS pupils, 100% gain five or more GCSEs at A*-C, and over 80% achieve A*-B. More than 90% of the AS/A2 level students go on to higher education.[21]

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Year 11 Kesteven and Sleaford High School students visiting Sachsenhausen concentration camp during the February 2007 History trip to Berlin

School clubs and societies include art club, drama club, the school choir, computing club, history club, technology club, the school orchestra and young enterprise and journalist clubs.[22][23] The school put on a performance of She Stoops to Conquer in 1924, but drama did not become a regular fixture until 1934, when an inter-form competition was arranged by Miss B. de L. Holmes; it was carried on until at least the late 1970s.[24] Since 1996 the school has put on an annual musical performance or a play.[25] From the very early years, the school also had cricket and tennis teams, who practised first in a field by King Edward Street and later at the town's cricket and tennis club grounds. In the 1920s and 1930s, sports days were conducted on Mr Coney's fields; alongside swimming lessons at Sleaford's baths, the school games were sports hockey, netball, tennis and stoolball (later replaced by rounders). By the 1970s, athletics and gymnastics were also a staple of sports education.[26] As of 2015, Sports clubs include athletics, badminton, basketball, dance, fitness, football, gymnastics, hockey, netball, rounders, tennis and volleyball.[27]

From its inception, the High School ran regular field trips, including excursions to Lord Tennyson's birthplace, the Wolds and the coast. The second headmistress, Miss Kirk, took large numbers of girls on visits to the Lake and Peak Districts; outings to Paris and Stratford were smaller affairs, while a contingent travelled to the Wembley exhibition in 1924. Geography trips to youth hostels around Britain were regularly organised after World War II, but in the 1960s, the school participated in education cruises aboard HMT Dunera and took trips to Russia, France and Holland.[28] As of 2015, the school typically offers groups of pupils the opportunity to take part residential trips to France (in year 9), Holland (art students in year 10), London (drama students in years 10–13) and Germany (year 11 history students), alongside language exchanges. Theatre and field trips are also offered, especially in years 7 and 8, and since 1962 pupils have taken part in Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions.[29][30]

Girl guiding has a long history at the school. In the early 1920s, the school had two companies of girl guides, but after their captain, Miss Gittings, left in 1925, the school groups were amalgamated with the town's company. The group was revived in 1955 as the 4th Sleaford Company led by Miss Outram. The company was active throughout the 1960s and 1970s, although Outram became divisional commander in 1969 and Misses Hudson and Broughton took over the school's guides, which were split into four patrols.[31] As of 2015, the 4th Sleaford (High School) Guides schedule weekly meetings on Thursdays at 4:00 pm.[32][33]

A house system has existed since the school's early days, when the first houses were named Green and Yellow, after the school colours. They competed in sports events and later academic house contests for trophy donated by E. Godson. In 1923 the growing school roll led to Red and White houses being instituted. In c. 1948, the system was reorganised by the school council so that six houses, named after prominent Lincolnshire families, were created: Brownlow (yellow), Cracroft (green), Dymoke (purple), Heneage (blue), Thorold (white) and Whichcote (red). These were run by pupil House Captains and their deputies until 1973, when staff took over their organisation.[34] As of 2015, pupils are allocated into one of four houses upon arrival at KSHSSA: Aveland, Flaxwell, Loveden and Winnibrig (named after wapentakes); inter-house competitions are run each year, ranging from academic events to Sports Day.[35]


The school's Ofsted report for 2013, carried out in May found the school to be of a 'Good' standard. Inspectors praised students at KSHS as having outstanding attitudes to learning. Teaching is described as good with a significant proportion that is outstanding. A key factor they identified in lessons was the excellent relationships between staff and students. The report stated that students feel safe and secure at the school which has a ‘calm and purposeful atmosphere’ complimenting KSHS students as being ‘considerate, courteous and polite at all times’.[36]


No. 62 Southgate, Sleaford, forming part of the campus of Kesteven and Sleaford High School.

No. 62 Southgate was built by the local contractor Charles Kirk for himself some time before 1850. Constructed to a Jacobean style, the stone house spans three storeys with three gables, the central one being moulded. Between canted windows on either side, the central section projects forward with quoins and includes an arched doorway with pilasters. Iron rails atop a stone wall separate the house from the street, and steps lead up to the doorway. Two pre-Conquest stone fragments, likely 11th century, are inlaid into a wall.[37]

A new block housing a library, three classrooms, a laboratory and office space was completed in September 2005 and officially opened the following December, when it was named after a former teacher, Jenny Cattermole.[n 1] The school has its own playing fields on-site.


Years Headteacher Notes
1902–1909[4][40] Margaret Kathleen Lewer Lewer had been second mistress at Lincoln High School before her appointment at KSHS in April 1902.[41] She later married Rev. Arthur Geoffrey Douglas Capel (d. 1933), who had taught at Carre's Grammar School before being ordained a priest and serving as curate and vicar for a number of parishes.[42][n 2]
1909–1944[4] Frances May Kirk A native of Lancashire, Kirk graduated from Owens College, Victoria University of Manchester, with a first-class BA in 1902.[44] She was assistant mistress at the Pupil Teachers' Centre, Nelson (1902–04), then Principal at the Pupil Teachers' Centre in Altrincham;[45] she was a lecturer at Cherwell Hall and vice-principal at Milham Ford School immediately before she became head at KSHS in 1909.[46] She retired in 1944[47] and died aged 72 in 1951.[46]
1944–1947[4] Mary Anderson Ruth Baynes (acting) Baynes was the sister of Arthur Clifford Baynes.[48] She was acting headmistress after Kirk's retirement and then retired herself at the end of the summer term in 1947.[49] She died in London in 1960, aged 75.[50][48]
1947–1971 Helen Elizabeth Vidal Vidal had a Bachelor of Science degree from Bedford College, University of London, and trained as a teacher at the University of London Institute of Education. She started teaching in 1933 and taught Mathematics at the Mount School in York (1937–44) and Watford Grammar School (1944–47) before becoming headmistress at KSHS.[49][51] She retired as head in 1971[52] and died in 2002.[53]
1971–1980 Ann Brooks Brooks graduated from Southampton University with a BSc in physics and applied and pure mathematics, and completed a certificate of education at the University of London. She taught at girls' grammar schools in Chatham and East Ham, before spending 5 years at St Paul's Girls' School in Hammersmith, and then 21⁄2 years at State House Road Girls' School in Nairobi until she took up her post at KSHS in 1971.[54]
1980–1996 Neville William McFarlane McFarlane was head of modern languages at Carre's before becoming deputy headmaster (1967–1980). He then took up the post of headteacher at the High School and remained there until his retirement in 1996.[55] He has been bandmaster for the Sleaford branch of the Salvation Army since 1963 and received the British Empire Medal for his services to the community in 2014.[56]
1996–2012 Alison Ross A student of Lancaster, York and Warwick Universities and the Open University, Ross taught in Oldham from 1982 to 1992, before spending four years as deputy headteacher at Lancaster Girls' Grammar School. She was head at KSHS between 1996 and 2012,[57] but was on secondment as interim head at King's Lynn Academy between 2010 and 2011.[58]
2012–2015 Craig Stewart Booker[59] Booker had been teaching at KSHS for 11 years before he was appointed head in January 2012. He had been a deputy headteacher at the school during that time and was acting head while Alison Ross was on secondment at another school.[60][61] He resigned in 2015 following the establishment of the Robert Carre multi-Academy trust.[14]
2015–present Josephine Smith A deputy headteacher at KSHS, Josephine Smith became Head of School after Craig Booker left in 2015.[14]

Notable teachers[edit]

Notable former pupils[edit]



  1. ^ Cattermole was a PE teacher at the school before she died in 2000; her husband, John, taught at Carre's Grammar School until his death in 2011 and attended the opening of the building at KSHS.[38][39]
  2. ^ He was ordained a deacon in 1908 and priest in 1909 by the Bishop of Lincoln and served as curate of New Sleaford (1908–09), St John in New Clee (1909–10) and Saltash (1910–15). During the First World War, he was temporary chaplain with the Royal Navy, and afterwards served as vicar of St Genny (1918–24) and St Winnow with St Nectan (1924–33). From 1929 till his death, he had been rural dean of Bodmin. He accepted the vicarage of Brauncewell with Dunsby and Anwick in 1933, but died before being instituted.[43]


  1. ^ Pawley 1996, p. 119
  2. ^ "No. 62 Kesteven and Girls' High School, Southgate, Sleaford (HER number 64697)", Heritage Gateway. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  3. ^ Lincolnshire Echo, 5 May 1902, p. 3, col. 5
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Kesteven and Sleaford High School's Jubilee", Sleaford Gazette, 9 May 1952
  5. ^ "Sleaford High School for Girls", Lincolnshire Echo, 29 January 1903, p. 3; Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire, 1919, p. 505
  6. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, p. 95
  7. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, pp. 95–96
  8. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, pp. 96
  9. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, p. 59
  10. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, p. 67
  11. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, pp. 67–68
  12. ^ "Expansion plans for Carre's". Sleaford Standard. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Three-school joint sixth form set to return". Sleaford Standard. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  14. ^ a b c "Headteacher leaves as Kesteven and Sleaford High School joins Carre's multi-academy trust". Sleaford Standard. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy". Edubase. Department for Education. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  16. ^ a b Inspection Report (PDF). Ofsted. 2013. p. 3.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Prospectus, 2015, p. 6
  23. ^ "Trips". Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  24. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, pp. 111–114
  25. ^ "Musicals and theatre". Kesteven and Sleaford High School. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  26. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, pp. 103–105
  27. ^ "Sports". Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  28. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, pp. 101–103
  29. ^ "Trips". Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  30. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, p. 118
  31. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, pp. 116–118
  32. ^ "4th Sleaford (High School) Guides". Lincolnshire County Council. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  33. ^ "Extra-curricular". Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  34. ^ Edmonds and Venn 1977, pp. 100–101
  35. ^ "The House System". Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  36. ^
  37. ^ Historic England, "Kesteven and Sleaford High School (1062097)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 16 March 2015
  38. ^ "Building named after former teacher". Sleaford Standard. 15 December 2006. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  39. ^ "Tributes to popular Grantham teacher John Cattermole". Sleaford Standard. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  40. ^ Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire, 1905, p. 512
  41. ^ Lincolnshire Echo, 17 April 1902, p. 2, col. 5. Retrieved 20 November 2015 via British Newspaper Archive (subscription only)
  42. ^ "The living of Brauncewell and Anwick". Grantham Journal. 27 May 1933. p. 2. Retrieved 18 November 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  43. ^ "Death of Vicar of St. Winnow". Western Morning News. 2 June 1933. p. 8. Retrieved 18 November 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  44. ^ "The Victoria University". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 2 July 1902. p. 8. Retrieved 20 November 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  45. ^ The Victoria University of Manchester: Register of Graduates up to 1 July 1908. 1908. Manchester: University Press. p. 210
  46. ^ a b "Tributes to Miss F. M. Kirk". Sleaford Gazette. 26 January 1951. p. 1.
  47. ^ "35 Years Head of Girls High School". Grantham Journal. 26 May 1944. p. 8. Retrieved 17 November 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  48. ^ a b "Deaths". The Times, 1 March 1960 (issue 54708). p. 1
  49. ^ a b "New Headmistress". Lincolnshire Echo. 25 April 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 17 November 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  50. ^ Sleaford Standard. 11 March 1960
  51. ^ "Sleaford High School". Sleaford Standard. 26 April 1947, p. 5
  52. ^ "A school says goodbye". Sleaford Standard. 23 July 1971. p. 1
  53. ^ "Deaths". The Times. 3 October 2002. p. 37
  54. ^ "New Head aims to keep a happy school". Sleaford Standard. 10 September 1971. p. 12.
  55. ^ Harmston and Hoare 2004, pp. 149, 158
  56. ^ "Salvation Army stalwart right on song with a gong". Sleaford Standard. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  57. ^ "Ross, Alison". Schools' Who's Who. 2015. Ayr: Carrick Media. Retrieved 29 October 2015 via KnowUK, a ProQuest database (subscription required)
  58. ^ "New principal for King's Lynn Academy". Eastern Daily Press. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  59. ^ "Craig Stewart Booker". Companies House. Retrieved 18 November 2015
  60. ^ "Deputy becomes high school head". Sleaford Target. 18 January 2012. p. 11. Retrieved 29 October 2015 via the LexisNexis academic database (subscription only)
  61. ^ "New head 'honoured' to be given role". Sleaford Standard. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  62. ^ Helen Roberts and Juliet Webster, "Sheila Allen: Uncompromising sociologist who pioneered the concept of institutional racism in Britain", The Independent, 4 May 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2018.


  • Edmonds, Kate; Venn, Elizabeth (1977). A School Remembers: Kesteven and Sleaford High School 1902–1977 (privately printed by the school)
  • Pawley, Simon (1996). The Book of Sleaford (Baron Birch for Quotes Ltd.) ISBN 0860235599

External links[edit]