Phoenix High School, Shepherds Bush

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Phoenix High School
Established 1995
Type Foundation school
Executive Head Teacher Michael Taylor
Location The Curve
Shepherds Bush
W12 0RQ
Coordinates: 51°30′46″N 0°14′16″W / 51.5127°N 0.2379°W / 51.5127; -0.2379
Local authority Hammersmith and Fulham
DfE number 205/4314
DfE URN 100359 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 950
Gender Mixed

Phoenix High School (formerly Hammersmith School, which had been formed from the merger of Christopher Wren School and Hammersmith County School) is a secondary school near White City, London, England. In 2003 it had 759 students, of whom 429 were boys.[1]


Prior to 1982 there were two schools on the current site of Phoenix High School: Christopher Wren Boys' School and Hammersmith County Girls' School.

In 1982, these two single-sex schools were merged into one co-educational comprehensive school on a single campus. This school was named Hammersmith School, with the two major wings named Wren Wing and County Wing to denote the previous school buildings. At the time of merging, the combined pupil population was 2,200.[2]

By the early 1990s, both the pupil population and educational standards at Hammersmith School had fallen and it was judged by OFSTED to be a failing school. It was featured in a Mail On Sunday article under the headline "Is this the worst school in Britain?". A relaunching and rebranding of the school to The Hammersmith School failed to improve standards, and in 1992 a major fire started by pupils in County Wing building caused extensive damage.

In 1994 the school had been placed in special measures and was listed as one of the eight most challenging schools in England and the school population had fallen to 500 pupils. William Atkinson was appointed as headteacher to attempt to turn around the school's fortunes, and it was relaunched as Phoenix High School.

In 2007 it was reported by The Guardian to be the "most improved school" in the United Kingdom, judged by "league tables" of results.[3] Headmaster Atkinson was knighted in the 2008 Queen's Birthday Honours for "services to education and community relations".[4]

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ Ofsted report 2003
  2. ^ [1] The school that rose again from the ashes - The Independent, June 3, 1998
  3. ^ [2] High flyers - Education Guardian, January 11, 2007
  4. ^ "Phoenix head given a knighthood". BBC Online. June 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  5. ^ Wise, Dennis (2000). Dennis Wise: The Autobiography. London: Boxtree. ISBN 0752217194. 
  6. ^ "Hammersmith and Fulham – Team of the Month". Rugby World. April 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2012.