West Leeds High School

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West Leeds High School: Specialist Technology College
Motto Non sibi sed ludo (Not for self but for the game)
Established September 1907
Closed August 2009
Type Comprehensive
Location Congress Mount

West Yorkshire
LS12 3DT
53°47′41″N 1°36′23″W / 53.7946°N 1.6064°W / 53.7946; -1.6064Coordinates: 53°47′41″N 1°36′23″W / 53.7946°N 1.6064°W / 53.7946; -1.6064
Local authority City of Leeds
Students 1,119
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Website West Leeds High School (closed down)

West Leeds High School Specialist Technology College was a mixed comprehensive school located in Armley in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The school had around 1,200 students on roll from ages 11 to 18. The school was replaced with Swallow Hill Community College in 2009, following the merger between two local schools. After 102 years West Leeds High School closed and replaced by Swallow Hill.


The school served the Armley, Bramley and Wortley areas of Leeds for 100 years.

Grammar school[edit]

The West Leeds High School opened on 7 September 1907 to improve standards in the city. The school was effectively two schools in one as both Girls and Boys were kept completely separate from each other. In September 1930, following a knock on the knee in the gymnasium on a vaulting horse, Oswald Harland, the 10-year-old son of a master, died of pyaemia in Leeds General Infirmary.

By the 1950s the schools were known as West Leeds High School for Boys, with 500 boys, and West Leeds High School for Girls, with 450 girls. They were administered by the City of Leeds Education Committee. In 1959 the Girls School moved to a new campus and formed West Leeds Girls' High School on the Congress Mount Campus, with 550 girls. The Boys' school remained at the Tong Road Campus and formed West Leeds Boys' High School on Whingate, with 550 boys.


The schools retained their name as 13–18 ages comprehensives. In 1993 the two schools merged to form West Leeds High School. The Congress Mount Campus was expanded in 1999 to become the size it is today. The boys' campus was sold off and converted to 66 apartments by North British Houseing and renamed as 'Old School Lofts'. The School also merged with Benjamin Gott High School, as that school had failing results and a falling pupil roll.

In 2004 the School successfully applied for Technology Status and became West Leeds High School Specialist Technology College. The School renovated some classrooms and fitted new SmartBoard software.


The school increased its A*-C GCSE examination results from 19% in 2000 to 39% in 2006.[citation needed]


School Buildings Being Demolished

In 2006 the school was informed that it would be merging with another local school, Wortley High School, to form a new school because of the falling birth rate in the local area. Both schools opposed the merger saying that this would create more disadvantages than benefits. The merger was approved and construction of the new school began in 2008 on the West Leeds High School site, named, in May 2008, Swallow Hill Community College. In September 2009, After the new school was completed, the West Leeds buildings were closed. In October 2009 the school buildings began to be demolished to be replaced with sports fields for the new school.[citation needed] However the original 1907 school still stands, a listed building on Whingate where it was converted into apartments.

Former teachers[edit]

John Wishart (statistician), known for the Wishart distribution, taught mathematics from 1922–4. Stanley Wilson the leading British javelin thrower in the 1930's taught PE at the school in the 1950's 60's and 70's. [1]


Boys' grammar school[edit]

  • Sir Jeffrey Benson, businessman, Group Chief Executive from 1978–82 of NatWest, and President from 1983–5 of the Institute of Bankers (now called the ifs School of Finance)
  • Joseph Hiley, Conservative MP from 1959–74 for Pudsey
  • Bill Bowes, Yorkshire and England cricketer
  • Alex Lyon, Labour MP
  • Prof Colin McGreavy, Professor of Chemical Engineering from 1974–97 at the University of Leeds
  • John Sheldon OBE, Joint General Secretary from 1996–2000 of the Public and Commercial Services Union, and General Secretary from 1993–6 of the National Union of Civil and Public Servants, and from 1982–88 of the Civil Service Union
  • Cecil Shipp CB OBE, deputy Director-General from 1982–8 of MI5
  • Phil Tate, musician
  • Amman Ahmed – Entrepreneur – Visited the school on 11 October 2013 and was quoted as saying "Started from the bottom now we here"
  • Sir Harold Fieldhouse KBE Permanent Secretary responsible in 1948 for shepherding the three major Acts through Parliament creating the Welfare State. Father of Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Fieldhouse of Gosport who in 1982 commanded the forces tasked with retaking the Falkland Islands.[1]
  • Professor Darren Griffin BSc, PhD, DSc, CBiol, FRSA, FRSB, FRCPath. Professor of Genetics, University of Kent, 2007-present. https://www.kent.ac.uk/bio/profiles/staff/griffin.html

Peter Robinson, award winning crime novelist, author of Inspector Banks novels.

Girls' grammar school[edit]


  1. ^ "Commander in Chief" by Basil Watson published in 2005 by the RN submarine Museum

External links[edit]