Wade Deacon High School
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Wade Deacon has a Public Admissions Number of 300 per year and is oversubscribed. It is situated on Birchfield Road (B5419) between the districts of Farnworth (to the north) and Appleton (to the south) and opposite Victoria Park. Widnes railway station is just north of the school, and Widnes Golf Club is next door to the west. It is in the parish of St John, Widnes.
It was formerly two grammar schools - Wade Deacon Grammar School for Boys and Wade Deacon Grammar School for Girls. The school was named after Sir Henry Wade-Deacon CBE, Chairman of Lancashire County Council for four years until January 1931, and was one of seven sons of Henry Deacon, an important local industrialist of the United Alkali Company (now Ineos) and friend of Michael Faraday. He died on 29 July 1932 aged 79, being born on 18 October 1852. He left a will of around £75,000.
It was designed by Stephen Wilkinson, the architect of Lancashire County Council. It had room for 550 boys and girls. The grand-designed building was made of Ravenhead and multi-coloured rustic bricks with stone dressings. The floors of the main entrance were made marble terrazzo. The main drive from Birchfield Road was finished with Carnforth gravel. The building included two hard tennis courts. It opened as a single mixed grammar school in September 1931 with grounds of 40 acres (160,000 m2). The school separated into separate gender schools in September 1947, next door to each other, with 400 in the boys' school and 450 in the girls' school. It was administered by the Widnes Committee for Education, part of Lancashire Education Committee, based on Lugsdale Road, and later in the 1960s known as the Widnes Excepted District. The girls' school had 700 girls in 1953, 500 in 1958, and 600 from 1967-74. The boys' school had 450 boys in 1953, 600 in 1960, and 700 from 1964-74. Rugby was an important sport at the boys' school.
In April 1974 it came under the jurisdiction of Cheshire Education Committee.
It became the Wade Deacon High School in September 1974 for ages 11–16. The headmaster, Mr Ernest High Smith, came directly from the Kingsway County Secondary School, a secondary modern school on Kingsway, which formed the comprehensive with both grammar schools. He left in December 1978. A levels would be taken at Widnes VI Form College or Halton FE College. In April 1998, it was administered by Halton borough.
The school converted to academy status on 1 March 2013.
It gets very good results on paper at GCSE: the best in the borough of Halton, and comparable with many Cheshire schools. Like all schools in Halton except one school, St Peter and Paul Catholic Sports College (which is next door), it has no sixth form.
Notable former pupils
Wade Deacon Grammar School
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- Alan Bleasdale, renowned playwright (1957-1964)
- Prof James Durbin, Professor of Statistics from 1961-1988 at the London School of Economics, and President from 1986-7 of the Royal Statistical Society and from 1983-5 of the International Statistical Institute, and who invented the Durbin test (1934–41)
- Fred Lawless, writer and producer for Brookside
- Gordon Oakes, local Labour MP for Halton from 1983–97 and for Widnes from 1971–83
- Steve Platt, journalist
- Agatha Ramm, historian
- Sir Ken Robinson, author (1963-1968)
- Stephen Myler, Professional Rugby Union player, Northampton Saints and England
- Rachel McDowall, Film Actress
- Professor Steve Molyneux, Educator (1967)
- "Principal's Welcome". Wade Deacon High School. Wade Deacon Trust. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- Guardian 2 October 1930, page 4