This is a good article. Click here for more information.

St George's Academy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
St George's Academy
Motto Aiming High to Achieve Excellence for All
Established 2010 (1908)
Type Comprehensive secondary school and Academy
Principal Wayne Birks
Chairman of the Governors Graham Arnold
Location Westgate
NG34 7PS
Coordinates: 53°00′00″N 0°24′50″W / 53.000°N 0.414°W / 53.000; -0.414
DfE number 925/6909
DfE URN 136044 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 2,220 (February 2015)
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Website St George's Academy

St George's Academy is a co-educational comprehensive secondary school based in the English market town of Sleaford in Lincolnshire, with a satellite school at nearby Ruskington. Its origins date to 1908, when Sleaford Council School opened at Church Lane to meet the growing demand for elementary education in the town. After the Education Act 1944, the senior department became a secondary modern. A second school building was constructed at Westholme in the 1950s and expanded in 1983, allowing the Church Lane site to close; to mark the occasion, it was renamed St George's School. After it became grant-maintained, the school received a Technology specialism, became a Technology College in 1994 and later converted to Foundation status. Coteland's School in Ruskington federated with St George's in 2007; they merged to form the Academy in 2010.

The Sleaford school opened with a capacity for 600 pupils in 1908, but St George's had 2,220 on roll across both sites in 2015, of which 374 attended the Sixth Form; the Ruskington site, with roughly 350 pupils, makes up a small proportion of the total. Pupils generally sit examinations for ten General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) qualifications in Year Eleven (aged 15–16), and they have a choice of three or four A-levels in the sixth form, which is part of the Sleaford Joint Sixth Form consortium. In 2013, 88% of pupils achieved five GCSEs at grade A*-C and 51% achieved that including English and mathematics. An Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) inspection in 2015 graded St George's Academy as "good" in every category.[1]


Elementary school[edit]

During most of the 19th century, schooling in England was provided either on a fee-paying basis or by the Church. To ensure that all children had access to elementary education, the Forster Act 1870 set up Local School Boards to provide elementary schools for all children aged 5 to 10. From 1880, schooling became compulsory for that age group.[2] The Education Act 1902 consolidated these boards into local education authorities and allowed them to subsidise schools with money raised from local rate-payers.[3] Alongside a grammar school for boys, a private school for girls and a mixed National School, Sleaford had four elementary schools in 1905: two Wesleyan (one was for infants), one Catholic and one other infants school.[4] The construction of the Bass maltings (1901–1906) and the Rauceby Asylum (1897–1902) led to an increase in the town's population and school inspectors found that the four schools could not accommodate every child in the town.[5] The indebted Wesleyan schools could not afford any enlargements so the town's elementary school managers opted for Kesteven County Council to take responsibility under the 1902 Act.[5] The Council built a schoolhouse on Church Lane at the cost of £11,500, which opened as Sleaford Council School on 4 May 1908.[5][6] The staff and pupils at the Wesleyan schools were transferred there; its first headmaster was H. H. Godfrey, who had been master at the Wesleyan school.[5][7] Built with a capacity of 600 pupils, 280 were on roll when teaching commenced.[5]

From the outset, the school was run as an elementary school with an infants' department.[5][7] In 1918, the Fisher Act raised the school leaving age to 14 and many schools subsequently split into junior and senior departments;[8] to accommodate senior children at Sleaford Council School, the County Council proposed formally introducing separate departments, one for infants and junior pupils (those aged below 10), and another for the remaining (senior) pupils.[9] The Board of Education approved these plans in 1922.[10] In 1935 the County Council reorganised schooling in Sleaford so that the Council School's senior department received all the town's children in elementary education aged over 10.[11] The Board of Education sanctioned these changes on the condition that new classrooms be added to the Council school to accommodate Senior pupils and a new Infants' department be erected at the site.[12] Financial setbacks and delays over the purchasing of land meant that the new Infants' school was not completed until 1939.[13][14]

Secondary Modern and new site[edit]

The Education Act 1944 made secondary education available to all children up to the age of 15; a 'tripartite system' of secondary schools was established to provide curricula based on aptitude and ability: grammar schools for "academic" pupils, secondary moderns for practical studies, and technical schools for science and engineering. Pupils were allocated to them depending on their score in the eleven-plus examination.[15] The Senior department at the Sleaford Council School became its own school in March 1945 and was designated a secondary modern;[16] the County Council announced in May 1947 that the Infants' School would close and the former Senior school would be allocated £50,000 for adaptions as part of its conversion into a secondary modern for boys.[17][18] The school would use parkland at Westholme for playing fields, where a separate secondary modern for girls would be constructed and the High School rebuilt.[17] In 1957 the Secondary Education Sub-Committee amended the plans so that a new mixed secondary modern school be built on Westholme to replace the Church Lane school, which would become a further education college. The school would be allocated over 18 acres (7.3 ha) of the parkland.[19] By 1960, a new school building at Westholme had opened but Sleaford Secondary Modern was now split between there and the Church Lane site.[20]

Comprehensive debate[edit]

The educational opportunities for secondary modern pupils were limited compared to those at grammar schools, prompting criticism of the selection system; grammar schools and the eleven plus were also criticised for alienating working-class families.[21][22] A reluctance to improve secondary moderns or expand grammar schools under the Conservatives prompted the Labour Government to issue Circular 10/65 in 1965 which requested local education authorities convert to a comprehensive system.[21][22] In 1971, Sleaford parents voted in favour of comprehensive education, but rejected the Council's proposals.[23] New plans were unveiled in 1973: the High School and the Secondary Modern sites were to become mixed 11–16 schools and Carre's would become a sixth form college.[24] Parents voted for the plans (1,199 to 628), albeit with a 50% turnout.[25] The County Council approved them, but allowed governors a veto.[26] Following negotiations with governors at Carre's, the scheme was revised in 1974 so that Carre's and the High School became 11–18 schools; the secondary modern would be closed, Westholme absorbed by the High School and the Church Lane site by Carre's.[27]

Despite support from most staff and all three headteachers,[28][29] the new Lincolnshire County Council voted to return the scheme for further consultation in January 1975, a moved the Sleaford Standard called "politically motivated".[28] Two of the leading opponents, councillors Eric Fairchild and Reg Brealey, were governors at the secondary modern and Brealey was a former pupil.[28] He proposed a three-school system, arguing it offered more choice: the secondary modern would be consolidated at Westholme as a single-site 11–16 school; Carre's and the High School would operate Sixth Forms.[30] Fairchild argued that this would be more popular and cheaper.[28][31] After the Government ordered the Council to submit a comprehensive proposal in 1977, it voted to submit the three-school system, which had become popular with parents and was championed by Brealey, who had become chairman of the Governors.[32][33] But, the Labour Education Secretary, Shirley Williams, dismissed the proposals in 1978 on grounds that the Sixth Forms would be too small.[34] The council then voted against the two-school system again.[35]

St George's: rebuilding, growth and specialist status[edit]

In the 1979 general election, a Conservative government came to power and the Council shifted focus towards retaining Grammar Schools where they still existed and improving schools where work had been put on hold during the comprehensive debate;[36] despite 90% of English councils adopting comprehensive education, Lincolnshire had resisted.[21] In 1979, the schools sub-committee recommended that the Westholme site be rebuilt.[37] By December, the Council had approved the consolidation of the school at Westholme, but the catchment area was decreased to protect the smaller schools at Billingborough and Billinghay, causing controversy amongst parents in affected areas and governors at the school.[38][39] A new building was constructed at Westholme between 1981 and 1983,[40] allowing the Church Lane site to close in 1983−4.[6] Reg Brealey donated £250,000 in 1982 towards the establishment of a languages centre, which opened in 1985.[41] To commemorate the new buildings and the end of the dual-site format, the Board of Governors voted to adopt a new name: St George's School, which came into effect from September 1984.[42] A new badge, to be worn on pupil's blazers, was designed by pupil Stephen Robinson: it featured a gold sword atop a red dragon on a blue shield, bordered with gold, all above a scroll with the motto Loyalty.[42]

By 1991, St George's was grant-maintained;[43] in 1992, it was awarded Technology School status, which was accompanied by a Government grant of £500,000 and a gift of £250,000 made by Reg Brealey; these contributed to the construction of a Science and Technology building, which opened in 1994.[6][44][45] Sponsored by Brealey, St George's was one of the first schools designated a Technology College (a specialist school) in England in February 1994, a status renewed in 1997.[46][47][48] More extensions followed: an English building in 1994,[6] a library with art and physics classrooms in 1997,[49] a sports hall in 2001, and a science building in 2005.[6] In 2000, the Technology College status was renewed for the second time and the school received the Schools Curriculum and Sportsmark awards and was recognised as the 10th most improved specialist school in the country.[50] After the abolition of grant-maintained status in 1998, St George's converted to a Foundation School.[51][52]

Federation, merger and conversion to an Academy[edit]

In 2002, Ofsted recommended that Lincolnshire County Council review schools with under 600 pupils. Two years later, the Council's education officers suggested that some of these schools merge, close or federate to make them more economical. One such school was Lafford High in Billinghay,[53] which had been under-performing in GCSE and A-level league tables.[54] St George's became federated with Lafford and another small village school, Aveland High in Billingborough in 2005 and 2006 respectively.[55][56] A plan to merge them into an Academy was announced the following year; Coteland's School in Ruskington was allowed to opt-in.[56] When David Veal retired as headteacher of Coteland's in 2007, the school joined the federation;[57][58] with that, Paul Watson became executive head of all four schools.[59] Despite improvements,[57][60] the village schools were performing below the national average and Aveland was one of the lowest performing schools academically in Lincolnshire.[61][62] The County Council began consulting parents in 2008 about closing Lafford due to falling numbers. Parents complained that Watson had lost "passion" for the school and that St George's "cherry-picked" the most able pupils.[63][64] After a heated meeting with them in 2008, Watson resigned as Principal at Lafford[55] and the school closed in 2010.[65]

The first Academy plans outlined a £24 million grant for rebuilding Aveland and refurbishing Lafford.[56] Despite a delay in 2008,[66] the scheme was revived the following year: the three remaining schools would merge and up to £40 million of funds were being considered to pay for the redevelopment of each site.[67] The chairman of the governors, Graham Arnold, pledged to raise £2 million towards the scheme.[68] A feasibility report indicated that Aveland was not sustainable due to falling enrolment and would have to close; instead the remaining two sites would be redeveloped with £20 million of Government funding.[69] The scheme was approved and, on 4 January 2010, St George's combined with Coteland's and Aveland to become St George's Academy.[70][71] As planned, September 2012 saw the Billingborough site close and the remaining pupils transfer to the other sites. The oldest part of the Sleaford site was demolished and main building and sixth form centre constructed in its place, while new science and IT buildings were added and a new IT system rolled out; the original post-war buildings at the Ruskington site were pulled down and a new school built.[72][73][74]

School structure[edit]

St George's Academy is a state-run comprehensive secondary school and Sixth Form serving pupils aged between 11 and 18.[70][75] It converted to an Academy on 4 January 2010 and is run by St George's Academy Trust and sponsored by the University of Lincoln,[75] Lincolnshire County Council and Graham Arnold, who is the main sponsor.[76][n 1] The school operates across two sites: one at Westholme, Sleaford, and the other in Ruskington, which approximately 350 pupils attend.[71][78][79] The school is co-educational and has a maximum capacity of 2,500 pupils;[70] as of January 2014, there are 2,220 pupils on roll: 1,175 boys and 1,045 girls.[80] 11.2% of these pupils receive free school meals.[75]

St George's can admit up to 380 pupils annually.[81] Upon admission, pupils are allocated a mixed ability form, where they are registered, taught Life Skills and have access to pastoral support from their tutors.[82] For all other lessons, pupils are setted by ability.[83] Each year group has a progress manager with responsibility for the students in that year. Since the Education Act 2002, years 7, 8 and 9 have been grouped into Key Stage 3 and years 10 and 11 into Key Stage 4, which co-ordinates how the National Curriculum is taught. At St George's, a manager is assigned to each Key Stage for pastoral support.[82][84] Before the conversion to Academy status, the school uniform consisted of a navy-blue blazer with the school emblem sewn on, a white shirt, navy-blue tie and dark-grey trousers (girls could wear plain-blue skirts) for all pupils in years 7–10; year 11 pupils could wear a dark-blue jumper, shirt and grey trousers.[85] Since 2010, girls no longer wear ties, and must wear a revere collar blouse. Dark-grey trousers or a pleated dark-grey skirt are available for girls to wear; boys have dark-grey trousers. All pupils wear a blue blazer, but those in Key Stage 3 have bright blue piping on their lapels; shirts are white until Year 11, when thin blue stripes are worn.[86]

There is capacity for 450 pupils in the Sixth Form, including up to 50 people from outside the Academy.[87] Along with Carre's Grammar School, St George's is part of the Sleaford Joint Sixth Form, which was founded in 1983 and included Kesteven and Sleaford High School until it withdrew in 2010.[88][89] It provides a common timetable across both sites and allows for pupils to choose from A-Level options offered at both schools.[89] Pupils may apply to be based at either school, where their pastoral and tutorial activities take place.[89] Pupils are required meet minimum grade requirements for their subject choices and may have interviews to revise offers where appropriate. The Sixth Form has been based in the Arnold Centre since 2012.[90] Sixth Formers are not required to wear school uniform, but must wear business-like attire, namely a lounge suit for boys, including a tie, and a business suit for girls, with either full-length trousers, or a knee-length skirt or dress.[91]


Key Stages 3 and 4[edit]

As of 2014, the school follows the National Curriculum in Years 7–11[83] and offers a range of GCSEs (national exams taken by pupils aged 14–16) and A-Levels (national exams taken by pupils aged 16–18). The school has no affiliation with a particular religious denomination, but religious education is given throughout the school, and pupils may opt to take the subject as part of their GCSE course.[92] Although morning assemblies take place and are Christian in nature, they are non-denominational; in some cases, local clergy attend as guest speakers.[92] Pupils participate in a number of educational visits throughout their school career and Year 10 pupils are offered the opportunity to participate in a work experience programme, which usually lasts for two-weeks.[93]

For Key Stage 3 pupils, the curriculum comprises English, mathematics, science, technology, a modern foreign language, art, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), geography, history, religious education (RE), physical education (PE), and a life skills programme, incorporating citizenship, sex and relationships education and personal and social education. The school offers French, Spanish and German as foreign languages and, in Year 8, pupils take a second language to supplement the one studied in Year 7. The use of ICT is central to all teaching and is taught as a subject in Key Stage 3.[94]

In Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11), pupils study a core curriculum comprising English, mathematics, science, PE, RE and citizenship.[83] They are required to take GCSEs in English, mathematics and science, alongside two option blocks, plus either a modern foreign language or a vocational course.[95] English Language is taught in Year 10 and Literature the following year.[96] Mathematics in taken by all pupils; they may opt-in for a GCSE in Statistics in Year 10, and the most able pupils may take Further Maths at GCSE in Year 11.[97] Science courses are based on ability; pupils may study for three separate science qualifications, a dual or single award in Science or BTEC Applied Science.[98] pupils may choose a modern foreign language (French, Spanish or German), a humanity (history or geography), computing or separate sciences (biology, chemistry and physics) for their options as part of the English Baccalaureate.[83] Additionally, the school offers six technology courses at GCSE (electronics, food technology, graphics, product design, resistant materials and textiles), as well as art and design, drama, music, PE, RE and child development GCSE qualifications. Vocational courses are also offered at Level 2, including applied business, construction, engineering, health and social care, ICT, music, performing arts, and travel and tourism. Pupils also participate in work-related learning.[95][99]

Sixth Form[edit]

The majority of pupils take four A-levels subjects in Year 12, with most choosing to focus on three in Year 13.[89] The Joint Sixth Form allows pupils to choose from 63 vocational or academic subjects including: art and photography (separate A-Level or BTEC options), applied Science, biology, bricklaying, business (A-Level or BTEC), childcare, carpentry, chemistry, computing or ICT (A-Level or BTEC), drama or performing arts (A-Level or BTEC), electronics, engineering, English (language and/or literature), film or media studies, French, German, geography, government and politics, health and social care, history, hospitality and catering, law, mathematics and further mathematics, music (A-Level or BTEC), philosophy and ethics, psychology, physical education or sport (A-Level or BTEC), physics, product design, public services, light vehicle maintenance, Spanish, sociology, travel and tourism, and work skills.[100]


In 2013, 88% of pupils achieved five GCSEs at grade A*-C and 51% achieved that including English and Maths, the thirty-fourth highest percentage in the county (out of ninety-six).[101][102] Figures for the 2010/11 cohort show that 84% of pupils continue in education after leaving Year 11, with 45% carrying on to Sixth Form, 33% going into Further Education and 6% participating in an apprenticeship programme.[101] In 2013, 50% of pupils achieved at least three A-Levels at grades A*-E and 4% achieved at least three A-Levels at a minimum of AAB grades including at least two "facilitating subjects"; the average point score per pupil was 660.4 and the average grade per entry was a D+.[101]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

School clubs and societies include singing and drama clubs, chess club, sports clubs, film club and computer games club.[103] A student council system is in place which acts as a forum between pupils and staff; elected representatives of each year group attend fortnightly, pupil-run meetings to discuss school policies with staff.[104] On the Ruskington site, a pupil-run Interact Club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sleaford and Kesteven, coordinates charitable and community work in the school.[105] The school newspaper club produces an annual newsletter and the school takes part in the BBC School Report day.[106][107] Badminton, association football, volleyball, trampolining and gymnastics clubs are run every week at the Academy.[108] The physical education department runs Inter-House sports competitions and co-ordinates school rugby, association football, basketball, boccia and netball teams.[109][110] The music department hosts a junior and senior choir, swing band, Woodwind ensemble, Samba group and Vocal groups; the music rehearsal rooms can be booked for band practice. Pupils can audition for parts in the school's annual musical production and summer cabaret. For a fee, pupils may take up music lessons taught by tutors at the school.[111] The school has supported music students in local and regional music festivals.[112]

Sites and property[edit]

Church Lane, Sleaford (1908–1984)[edit]

The site at Church Lane was acquired at a cost of £900 in c. 1908;[5] it was undeveloped when the previous Ordnance Survey map was completed in 1905.[113] The schoolhouse was constructed to the plans of Mr Dunne of Lincoln by the contractors Messrs Wright and Son, also of Lincoln, who secured the contract for £7,442. The school building had entrances for girls and boys, who were taught separately in six classrooms; the assembly hall was 62 by 28 feet (18.9 by 8.5 m) with a domed ceiling. An infants' department consisted of three classrooms, while a workshop and kitchen were housed in separate buildings.[5]

When teaching was transferred to the Westholme site in 1984, the original schoolhouse was demolished.[6] The Infants' School buildings survived until the early 2000s, when they were also torn down to make way for the new buildings of its successor, Church Lane Primary School.[114]

Westholme, Sleaford (1957–present)[edit]

Westholme House, constructed c. 1849, originally a private residence, it became the Academy's administrative centre in 2012.

Westholme House was designed by Charles Kirk the younger and built by his firm Kirk and Parry in c. 1849.[115] The Gothic stone mansion, off Westgate, is situated in grounds spanning 32 acres (13 ha) (as of 2011).[116][117] The Victorian buildings also include stables, which Sir Nikolaus Pevsner called "charming", and two Tudor-style lodges.[116] Initially occupied by Kirk's business partner Thomas Parry,[116] the businessman and Liberal politician Samuel Pattinson lived at the house from at least 1924 until his death in 1942.[118][119] His wife, Betsy Sharpley Pattinson, died the same year and their trustees auctioned off the furniture at Westholme in 1944.[120][121] During the Second World War, the grounds were occupied by the War Department,[122] but by 1945 Kesteven County Council had acquired the land and planned to use it for educational purposes.[123] In 1957, the Council proposed a new mixed secondary modern school building on the site and, by 1960, the new building housed Sleaford Secondary Modern, which operated there and at the Church Lane premises.[19][20]

A new building at Westholme was constructed from 1981 to 1983 at the cost of £1 million. It included a gymnasium, changing facilities, and music, technology and domestic science classrooms.[40] A civic centre opened in the main building with conference rooms and a bar which could be hired out. Run by a committee of Town Councillors, school governors and the headmaster, the centre could also let out the school hall and gymnasium to the public.[124] A languages centre, partially funded by Reg Brealey, opened in 1985.[41] Fitted with a satellite dish that could pick up signals from Russia, the centre housed a computer laboratory and classrooms; a local reporter described it as "probably the most advanced in the country" at the time its designs were released to the public.[41][125] In 1994, science, technology and English buildings opened followed by a library and art centre in 1997. A second sports hall was completed in 2001 and extended in 2003 to include ICT classrooms; science and construction buildings were completed in 2005, a childcare centre in 2008[n 2] and an art building in c. 2009.[6][126][127]

The school's conversion to an Academy included a £20 million grant, which funded renovations around the site and the construction of two new buildings: a science and IT building, and the Arnold Centre,[n 3] which opened in 2012 and included a new hall, Sixth Form centre, library, drama studio and classrooms.[72][73]

Billingborough (2010–2012)[edit]

The Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, the Earl of Ancaster, opened Billingborough County Secondary Modern School in 1963.[128] On 11 acres (4.5 ha) of playing ground, including tennis courts, the steel-framed building was constructed by Messrs. Fosters of Grantham under the supervision of J. W. H. Barnes, county architect. It housed an assembly hall and dining space, gymnasium and three-storeys of classrooms alongside workshops for practical subjects.[129] Following the closure of the Billingborough site, the buildings were demolished in 2014.[130]

Ruskington (2010–present)[edit]

In 1947, Kesteven County Council outlined its 15-year plan for secondary education, which included the construction of a new secondary modern school at Ruskington.[17] The buildings were completed in the 1950s and teaching commenced at Ruskington Secondary Modern School in 1956; the buildings were officially opened by Sir John Wolfenden, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, the following year.[131] Built on a 9-acre (3.6 ha) site at a cost of £100,658, the new school buildings consisted of a three-storeys of classrooms and a gymnasium, assembly/dining hall, library and greenhouse. The buildings were built around a prefabricated steel frame and modular concrete blocks clad in brick. Much of the site was devoted to playing fields, which were supplemented by eight grass tennis courts and playground.[131]

These buildings were demolished in 2012 and work began on a new school as part of the Academy development plans.[74] A hall and classrooms were completed in January 2015 as the first phase of the rebuilding; work on the second phase, which is planned to include vocational classrooms and a technology suite, began two months later and was scheduled for completion in September 2015.[132] With the second phase complete, the new campus buildings were officially opened on 6 November 2015.[133]


The first headmaster at Sleaford Council School was H. H. Godfrey, who had been schoolmaster at the Weslyan school on Westgate since the 1890s. His successor at the Senior department, A. R. N. Rooksby, had taught in Grantham, a background not dissimilar to the third headmaster, F. A. Speechley. Appointed in 1973, John Hodgson was the first university-educated headteacher of the school. All four remained in the role for at least twenty years, with Hodgson being the longest serving at 25 years. Upon retirement, he was succeeded by Paul Watson, who had served at two Lincolnshire schools before his appointment; he formally used the title "principal" instead of headteacher.[134][135] He was at St George's for 15 years until he retired and gave way to Wayne Birks, in 2014.

Years Name Notes Refs
1908–1931 Henry Hilton Godfrey[7] Born in 1870 in Luton, Bedfordshire,[136] Godfrey was the son of Solomon, a hat manufacturer.[137] Educated in Luton and at Westminster Training College,[136] he was master of the mixed Weslyan School on Westgate by 1896.[138] He was a scoutmaster, a Methodist Circuit Secretary and Chairman of the Sleaford County Library Association.[136] He died in 1956.[139][140] [6]
1931–1952 Arthur Richard Newton Rooksby[141] Rooksby was the son of Richard Newton Rooksby, a schoolmaster, and his wife, Harriett Elizabeth née Hunter.[142][143] Educated at Grantham, and the Training College at Peterborough, he served as a commissioned officer in the First World War. He was involved in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and then taught at Peterborough and the Castlegate School in Grantham before his headship in Sleaford commenced. A keen gardener, he was a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society.[141][144] He died at Grantham in 1975, aged 86.[141] [6][145]
1952–1972 Frank Alfred Speechley[146] Educated at the King's School, Grantham, he trained as a teacher at Isleworth, and taught at Nottingham and Grantham before he was enlisted into the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.[147] He became headmaster at the Grantham Technical Institute in 1946 and Huntingtower Road School in 1947, before his appointment at Sleaford.[147][148] Appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1949, he served as Deputy Chairman of the Grantham Borough Magistrates.[147] [6][147]
1973–1998 John Charles Hodgson[149] Born in Stockton-on-Tees, Hodgson was educated at Darlington and graduated from Durham University with a BA in Classics. He qualified as a teacher in 1957 and taught at Stockton Grammar School and the Freyense Comprehensive School in Basildon; he became acting head at several schools in Huddersfield before taking up his post in Sleaford.[149] [6]
1998–2014 Paul Frederick Watson[150] Educated at Nottingham and Leicester Universities, Watson then taught in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.[134] He helped to establish the Lincoln School of Science and Technology and was appointed its deputy headteacher in 1992, before he was seconded to Middlefield School in Gainsborough as acting deputy headteacher; he eventually became the school's head.[151] [6][152]
2014–present Wayne Russell William Birks[153] Birks was appointed headteacher at Ramsey Abbey School in 2001 and remained in that role until it merged with Ailwyn School in 2006; he then served as headteacher of the new school, Abbey College, until joining St George's.[154] [152][154]



  1. ^ Being an Academy means that it receives funding directly from central government rather than a local education authority, and is run by a trust on behalf of the government; until 2010, Academies needed sponsors who were required to provide at least £2m towards it.[77]
  2. ^ Named the Thorold Centre in 2012 after Canon John Thorold, a former chairman of the governors[73]
  3. ^ Named for Graham Arnold, chairman of the Governors[73]


  1. ^ Ofsted 2015, p. 1
  2. ^ Ward & Eden 2009, p. 5
  3. ^ Floud, Humphries & Johnson 2014, p. 112
  4. ^ Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire, 1905, p. 512
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Sleaford new council schools" (PDF). Sleaford Gazette and South Lincolnshire Advertiser. 9 May 1908. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Brief history", St. George's College of Technology, as archived at the Internet Archive on 11 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b c Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire, 1909, p. 517
  8. ^ "Education 1870 – 1944". Victoria County History. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Letter from W. T. Phipps, Chief Education Officer at Kesteven County Council, to the Secretary of the Board of Education formally requesting approval for recognition of an Infants' and Senior department at Sleaford Council School. Dated 24 October 1922. Kept in the National Archives, reference number ED 21/33994.
  10. ^ Letter from A. P. Oppé of the Board of Education notifying the Chief Education Officer at Kesteven County Council of the Board's approval of plans to recognise Sleaford Council School's division into Infant and Senior departments. Dated 21 December 1922. Kept in the National Archives, reference number ED 21/33994.
  11. ^ Board of Education Inspector's Report for Sleaford Council School (Kesteven, Lincs.). 1935. London: Board of Education. A copy is kept in the National Archives, reference number ED 21/33994.
  12. ^ Letter from the Board of Education to Kesteven County Council approving the reorganisation of elementary schooling in Sleaford and outlining the required modifications to the Council School. Dated 26 February 1935. Kept at the National Archives, reference number ED 21/33994.
  13. ^ Letter from Chief Education Officer at Kesteven County Council to the Board of Education informing them of delays in purchasing land for the erection of a new Infants' school building at Sleaford Council School. Dated 27 June 1936. Kept at the National Archives, reference number ED 21/56392.
  14. ^ Letter from the Director of Education at Kesteven County Council to the Board of Education formally notifying the Board that Sleaford Infants' Council School opened on 9 January 1939. Dated 9 January 1939. Kept at the National Archives, reference number ED 21/56392.
  15. ^ Ward & Eden 2009, pp. 34–35
  16. ^ Report by HM Inspectors on Sleaford County Secondary School, Lincs. (Kesteven). London: Ministry for Education. 1949. p. 2. 
  17. ^ a b c "Primary and secondary education". Sleaford Gazette. 16 May 1947. 
  18. ^ "Kesteven's education plan will cost £3,125,013". Lincolnshire Echo. 14 May 1947. p. 5. Retrieved 31 March 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  19. ^ a b "New mixed secondary modern school for Westholme site?". Sleaford Gazette. 19 April 1957. 
  20. ^ a b "Sleaford County Secondary School", 1960, B/W silent film on 16mm film (23 mins). Preserved at the Lincolnshire Film Archive, no. 495. For a short clip, see "Sleaford County Secondary School", published 5 March 2013 on YouTube.
  21. ^ a b c "Comprehensive schools: the history", Times Higher Education, 15 January 1996. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  22. ^ a b Ward & Eden 2009, pp. 36–37
  23. ^ "Schools switch—the count-down starts next week". Sleaford Standard. 5 January 1973. 
  24. ^ "Schools Switch—The Count-down starts next week". Sleaford Standard. 5 January 1973.  The proposal involved the abolition of the eleven-plus examination and the establishment of five co-educational comprehensive schools at Sleaford Secondary Modern, Sleaford High, Ruskington Secondary Modern, Lafford High and Billingborough Secondary Modern, with Carre's being converted into a sixth form college.
  25. ^ "Parents vote for schools reshuffle". Sleaford Standard. 4 May 1973. 
  26. ^ "All-in schools go-ahead, now for the crunch". Sleaford Standard. 3 August 1973. 
  27. ^ "Decision day for all-in schools plan". Sleaford Standard. 20 December 1974. p. 1. 
  28. ^ a b c d Lenton, Bob (10 January 1975). "Schools plan delay stuns teachers". Sleaford Standard. p. 1. 
  29. ^ "Schools plans – heads and staff 'agreed'". Sleaford Standard. 17 January 1975. p. 3. 
  30. ^ "Millionaire in fight to save his old school". Sleaford Standard. 17 January 1975. p. 1. 
  31. ^ "Shock as Council call for rethink". Sleaford Standard. 10 January 1975. 
  32. ^ "School's life in balance". Sleaford Standard. 31 March 1977. p. 1. 
  33. ^ "'Three school' plan victory". Sleaford Standard. 5 May 1977. p. 1.  "Three school plan victory". Sleaford Standard. 7 July 1977. p. 1. 
  34. ^ "Three-school scheme is thrown out". Sleaford Standard. 30 March 1978. p. 1. 
  35. ^ "It's the three-school scheme: County throws out two-school idea". Sleaford Standard. 27 July 1978. p. 9. 
  36. ^ "Bright future for grammars". Sleaford Standard. 17 May 1979. p. 1. 
  37. ^ "Split-site school to be rebuilt". Sleaford Standard. 13 September 1979. p. 1. 
  38. ^ "No guarantee over school". Sleaford Standard. 13 December 1979. p. 7.  Lenton, Bob (13 December 1979). "The school equation no-one has solved". Sleaford Standard. 
  39. ^ "Education chairman speaks out on schools controversy". Sleaford Standard. 3 January 1980. p. 1.  "School-shuffle support refuted". Sleaford Standard. 10 January 1980. p. 1. 
  40. ^ a b "A new lease of life for Sleaford Secondary". Sleaford Standard. 17 June 1983. p. 2. 
  41. ^ a b c "Old boy Brealey gives school new £1⁄4m centre" (PDF). Sleaford Standard. 22 April 1982. p. 1. 
  42. ^ a b "[no title]" (PDF). Sleaford Standard. 9 March 1984. p. 2. 
  43. ^ 13 May 1991, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), col. 13W
  44. ^ "School delighted by technology status" (PDF). Sleaford Target. 30 January 1992. 
  45. ^ 23 January 1992, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), col. 310
  46. ^ 3 November 1994, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), col. 1396
  47. ^ 11 May 1995, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), col. 594W
  48. ^ "Technology title stays". Sleaford Advertiser. 21 March 1997. 
  49. ^ "Builders start work at school". Sleaford Advertiser. 5 December 1997. 
  50. ^ "College receives four national awards" (PDF). Sleaford Target. 18 October 2000. 
  51. ^ "Opt-out schools claim cash crisis". BBC News. 24 September 1999. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  52. ^ "The St George's College of Technology: general", EduBase (Department for Education). Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  53. ^ "Small secondary schools to shut?". Lincolnshire Echo. 27 April 2004. p. 3. 
  54. ^ "Struggling school may get new headteacher". Lincolnshire Echo. 12 May 2005. p. 13. 
  55. ^ a b "Lafford School head resigns". Sleaford Standard. 21 March 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  56. ^ a b c "Plans to merge schools into £24 million academy". Sleaford Standard. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  57. ^ a b "Head calls it a day after 13 years". Sleaford Standard. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  58. ^ "Ruskington governors agree to join schools partnership". Sleaford Standard. 21 May 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  59. ^ "£300,000 boost for academy". Lincolnshire Echo. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  60. ^ "Lafford High is nation's most improved school". Sleaford Standard. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  61. ^ "'Vote of confidence' for schools over exams". Sleaford Standard. 17 June 2008. 
  62. ^ "Lafford High: the big GCSE improvers!". Sleaford Standard. 16 January 2008. 
  63. ^ "St George's cherry-picked star pupils", Sleaford Standard, 13 March 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  64. ^ "Parents reach boiling point". Sleaford Standard. 13 March 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  65. ^ "Fighting to save Lafford school buildings". Sleaford Standard. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  66. ^ "Sleaford schools merger put on hold". Sleaford Standard. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  67. ^ "New academy would be 'once in a lifetime opportunity'". Sleaford Standard. 26 February 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  68. ^ "Governor's millions for school challenge". Lincolnshire Echo. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  69. ^ "Aveland High School to close if Sleaford academy scheme goes ahead". Sleaford Standard. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  70. ^ a b c "St George's Academy: summary", Edubase (Department for Education). Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  71. ^ a b Ofsted 2012, p. 3
  72. ^ a b "Diggers move in to start work on £20M Academy". St George's Academy. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  73. ^ a b c d "St George's Academy open new building". Sleaford Standard. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  74. ^ a b "Memories come flooding back as old Ruskington school is demolished". Sleaford Standard. 1 September 2012. . Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  75. ^ a b c "St George's Academy: school characteristics", Edubase (Department for Education). Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  76. ^ Ofsted 2015, p. 3
  77. ^ "Q&A: Academies". BBC News. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2015.  Archived at the Internet Archive on 12 February 2015.
  78. ^ St George's Academy 2014, p. 4
  79. ^ "About", St George's Academy. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  80. ^ "St George's Academy: school census data", Edubase (Department for Education). Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  81. ^ St George's Academy 2014, p. 18
  82. ^ a b St George's Academy 2014, pp. 17–18
  83. ^ a b c d St George's Academy 2014, p. 8
  84. ^ Education Act 2002, s. 82
  85. ^ For the change of uniform, see St George's Academy 2010, p. 2. For the old uniform, see, for instance, St George's College of Technology 2005, pp. 11–12
  86. ^ St George's Academy 2014, pp. 29–31
  87. ^ St George's Academy 2014, p. 21
  88. ^ "Heads issue reassurances after joint sixth form break up". Sleaford Standard. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  89. ^ a b c d "Sixth form", St George's Academy. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  90. ^ St George's Academy 2014, p. 9
  91. ^ St George's Academy 2014, p. 32
  92. ^ a b St George's Academy 2014, p. 48
  93. ^ St George's Academy 2014, pp. 8, 12
  94. ^ St George's Academy 2014, pp. 8, 59
  95. ^ a b "Subjects", St George's Academy. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  96. ^ St George's Academy 2014, pp. 43–44
  97. ^ St George's Academy 2014, pp. 44–45
  98. ^ St George's Academy 2014, pp. 45–46
  99. ^ St George's Academy 2014, pp. 8–9
  100. ^ Sleaford Joint Sixth FormProspectus, 2014, p. 8
  101. ^ a b c "School performance tables", Department for Education. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  102. ^ "School performance tables – Lincolnshire [sorted by percentage of pupils achieving at least 5 A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths]", Department for Education. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  103. ^ St George's Academy 2014, p. 10
  104. ^ "Student council", St George's Academy. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  105. ^ "Ruskington Interact Club", St George's Academy. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  106. ^ "Academy pupils make the news". St George's Academy. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  107. ^ "BBC School Report", St George's Academy. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  108. ^ "Extra-curricular sports clubs", St George's Academy. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  109. ^ "Physical education and sport", St George's Academy. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  110. ^ "Students remain boccia champions", St George's Academy, 4 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  111. ^ "Music", St George's Academy. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  112. ^ "Gifted students to perform for the regional Music for Youth Festival", St George's Academy, 13 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  113. ^ County Series: Lincolnshire (Ordnance Survey), 1905, 1:2,500. As scanned at and retrieved 19 March 2015.
  114. ^ "Former buildings at Church Lane Infant School, Church Lane, Sleaford (reference name MLI97432)", Lincs to the Past (Lincolnshire Archives). Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  115. ^ Historic England. "Westholme (1062153)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  116. ^ a b c Pevsner, Harris & Antram 2002, p. 655
  117. ^ "Home", St George's College of Technology, as archived at the Internet Archive on 16 December 2014.
  118. ^ 'Pattinson, Samuel', Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2015; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014
  119. ^ "To be Married". Flight. 4 December 1924. p. 780 – via Flightglobal Archive. 
  120. ^ "Ex-Horncastle M.P.'s wife". Lincolnshire Echo. 5 November 1942. 
  121. ^ "Sales by auction". Lincolnshire Echo. 24 July 1944. 
  122. ^ "War Department claim". Sleaford Gazette. 21 February 1947. 
  123. ^ "Items from committees' reports". Sleaford Gazette. 2 March 1945. 
  124. ^ "Civic centre for the people". Sleaford Standard. 17 June 1983. 
  125. ^ "New centre is 'the most advanced in the country'" (PDF). Sleaford Standard. 22 April 1982. 
  126. ^ "St George's College opens new building". Sleaford Standard. 17 June 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  127. ^ "New art block – St George's Academy". Gelder Group. 16 February 2010 (Gelder Ltd.) Retrieved 26 May 2015. Archived at the Internet Archive on 26 May 2015.
  128. ^ "Official opening", The Aveland High School (St George's Academy). Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  129. ^ Billingborough County Secondary Modern School: Dedication and Official Opening, 21 May 1963, pp. 4–8
  130. ^ "Demolition", A.R.T. Demolition Ltd. Retrieved 24 March 2015 and archived at the Internet Archive on 24 March 2015.
  131. ^ a b "Opening ceremony today of £112,000 school at Ruskington". Sleaford Gazette. 12 July 1957. 
  132. ^ "New work starts on St George's Academy academy extension". Sleaford Target. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  133. ^ "St George's Academy officials open newly-extended campus in Ruskington". Sleaford Target. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  134. ^ a b "Taking college into next century". Sleaford Standard. 17 September 1998. p. 11
  135. ^ "St George's Academy: Communications", Edubase (Department for Education). Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  136. ^ a b c Methodist Times and Leader 1933, p. 317
  137. ^ Marriages at Victoria Wesleyan Chapel in the District of Great Lever, Bolton [1904–1910], no. 37 (LDS film no. 1538363). See transcript.
  138. ^ Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire, 1896, p. 469
  139. ^ National Probate Calendar, 1956, p. 606. Probate granted to "Florence Garner Godfrey widow and Kenneth Hilton Godfrey highway surveyor."
  140. ^ Memorial inscription, Find a Grave. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  141. ^ a b c "Ex-headmaster dies aged 86". Sleaford Standard. 14 February 1975. 
  142. ^ "Ex-Headmaster and his wife die within 24 hours of each other". Grantham Journal. 20 April 1951. p. 2. Retrieved 12 April 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  143. ^ "Former "head" of C.E. boys' school". Grantham Journal. 1 February 1952. p. 2. Retrieved 31 March 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  144. ^ "Grantham headmaster's new appointment". Grantham Journal. 28 March 1931. p. 6. Retrieved 31 March 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  145. ^ "Presentation to Mr. Rooksby". Grantham Journal. 19 December 1952. p. 2. Retrieved 31 March 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  146. ^ Justice of the Peace and Local Government Review, vol. 115 (1951), p. 331 for full name.
  147. ^ a b c d "Sleaford school head quits after 20 years". Sleaford Standard. 15 December 1972. 
  148. ^ "Model school loses its first headmaster". Grantham Journal. 19 December 1952. p. 1. Retrieved 31 March 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  149. ^ a b "Sleaford school's new head". Sleaford Standard. 2 February 1973. 
  150. ^ ""Paul Frederick Watson". Companies House. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  151. ^ "Principal nominated as teacher of the year", St George's Academy, 27 February 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  152. ^ a b "Re: Principal appointment" (St George's Academy), 27 February 2014
  153. ^ "Wayne Russell William Birks". Companies House. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  154. ^ a b "[no title]". The Hunts Post. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2015 – via LexisNexis Academic database. (subscription required (help)). 


External links[edit]