The Hillcrest School
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|Type||Comprehensive community school|
|DfE URN||103863 Tables|
The school was opened in 1958 as one of two new secondary schools built in the expanding town. The other was Saltwells Secondary School. Both of these schools replaced a smaller pre-fabricated school in Halesowen Road which was known locally as "The Iron School". Saltwells in turn closed in 1986 to merge with an expanded Hillcrest, though it still does not have enough places to accommodate the town's entire secondary school age population. As a result, a significant number of pupils aged 11 to 16 living in Netherton have had to attend schools further afield including Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath and Castle High School in Dudley. From September 1972 until July 1990, there were no 11-year-olds at the school as the secondary school transfer age in the north of the Dudley borough was 12 years.
The school's current Principal is April Garratt who took over in Easter 2007. Prior to this the school was run by Dame Maureen Brennan, who was appointed as a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in December 2005 in recognition of her services to local education. She had been appointed as Principal of the school five years earlier, shortly after a damning OFSTED report which criticised the school for a catalogue of shortcomings, combined with a disappointing 17% of GCSE students attained 5 or more A-C grades.