Wolverhampton Grammar School
|Type||Independent day school|
|Headteacher||Mrs Kathy Crewe-Read|
|Founder||Sir Stephen Jenyns|
|DfE URN||104411 Tables|
|Former pupils||Old Wulfrunians|
Initially Wolverhampton Boys Grammar School, it was founded in 1512 by Sir Stephen Jenyns, a master of the ancient guild of Merchant Taylors, who was also Lord Mayor of London in the year of Henry VIII's coronation. Jenyns was born in the city of Wolverhampton circa 1448.
In 1875, the school moved to its present site on the Compton Road from its previous site on John Street in the centre of Wolverhampton. This move was overseen by the Chairman of Governors, Sir Rupert Kettle.
In September 1984, after 472 years as an all-boys school, the school admitted girls to the sixth form and in other embraces of modernity was the largest single user of assisted places funds, with over 40% of pupils in the 1980s and early 1990s reliant upon assisted places funding. This resulted in the school adopting its current name of Wolverhampton Grammar School.
In September 1992, the school became fully co-educational, admitting girls from the age of 11, a move seen as somewhat controversial at the time; however, other mixed grammar schools had existed for many years previously, while other single sex grammar schools had merged to continue as mixed grammar schools or mixed comprehensives. Unusually, Wolverhampton Girls High School has remained in existence alongside it, pressure for places at that school being eased by girls now being able to attend the grammar school. It has never been disclosed why the grammar school became mixed while the Girls High School has remained open as an all-girls school.
The current head, Kathy Crewe-Read who was appointed in September 2013, is the first female head in the school's 500-year history. Replacing Vincent Darby who retired after five years in post, Kathy Crewe-Read studied Pure Mathematics at Aberystwyth University. Prior to joining WGS, Kathy was Senior Deputy at The King’s School, Chester. She has also taught at King William’s College Isle of Man, St Swithun’s School Winchester and Yarm School in Yorkshire.
Over recent years the school has undergone development to improve facilities available to pupils. This included construction of a rock climbing wall, which replaced an Eton Fives court behind the sports centre. A new large extension to the music block was also completed in 2005, and officially opened by Robert Plant. In December 2007, a new block for the arts was opened on Merridale Lane, beyond Moreton's Piece, with a production of As You Like It and an exhibition by artist in residence, Derek Jones. It houses a number of art classrooms on two storeys, a gallery space (The Viner Gallery) and a 150-200 seat studio theatre (The Hutton Theatre, named after the late headmaster Patrick Hutton), a versatile performance space with extensive technical facilities. The last addition was a two storey extension to the school's Derry dining hall which provided a superb viewing pavilion overlooking the sports fields as well as teaching and learning spaces across the two floors.
In September 2011 Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School (WGJS) was opened on the school site, adding Year 3, 4 and 5. The old art block has subsequently been converted into a new languages suite and the former languages building, the Hallmark - is now the junior school. The new school is led by Mr Andrew Hymer.
The school marked its 500th anniversary in 2012 and as part of the celebrations hosted a gala dinner for 500 Old Wulfrunians (alumni) in a marquee in the school grounds and launched a Qunincentenary campaign to fundraise for buildings and bursaries.
Notable alumni (Old Wulfrunians)
- John Abernethy, F.R.C.S. English surgeon - founder of the school of medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital
- Thomas Attwood - founder of the Birmingham Political Union and National Political Union (1829) in 1829, which pushed for democratic reform, feted as a hero after the Great Reform Act 1832, later an MP for Birmingham.
- Sir Arthur Benson 1907-1987, Chief Secretary to Central African Council, Governor of North Rhodesia 1954 - 1959
- Sir William Congreve, 2nd Baronet (1772-1828), inventor and rocket designer.
- Robert William Felkin, 1853-1926, LRCS (Edinburgh), MD (Marburg), FRSE, FRGS, medical missionary, ceremonial magician and member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, author on Uganda and Central Africa, early anthropologist.
- Chris Kelly, Conservative MP for Dudley South at 2010 general election, attended from 1989 to 1996 including sixth form.
- Baron King of Lothbury. - Mervyn King left his office as the Governor of the Bank of England on 30 June 2013, and was replaced by Mark Carney. He was appointed a life peer by Queen Elizabeth II for 'contributions to public service'. Mervyn King entered the House of Lords on 22 July 2013 as a crossbencher, taking the title Baron King of Lothbury. He was also Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee.
- Sir David Wright, a British diplomat, ambassador to Japan 1996-1999.
- Sir Norman Brook, 1st Baron Normanbrook of Chelsea 1902-1967, Head of the British Civil Service in the late 1950s and 1960s. Described by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as "the great technician of cabinet government in the mid twentieth century", also Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors 1963-1967.
- Augustus Edward Hough Love, Mathematician. Developer of the theory of Love Waves.
- Mark Moore, headmaster of Clifton College.
- Sathnam Sanghera, Times journalist and author.
- Roger Squires, crossword compiler.
- Jacqui Oatley, first female football commentator on television.
- Sir Alfred Hickman, MP, benefactor and leading businessman.
- Alfred Goldie, 1920-2005, Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Leeds. Author of Goldie's theorem.
- Sir Michael Griffiths, OW Knighted in the New Years Honour List 2014, for his Service to Education.
- Tim Stimpson, dramatist, known particularly for 'The Archers'.
- Jon Raven, author of many books related to the Black Country and folk musician.
- Gerald Poynton Mander, The History of the Wolverhampton Grammar School (Wolverhampton: Steens, 1913)
- WGS Official Site
- Old Wulfrunians Homepage
- Ventrolla - Wolverhampton Grammar School Sash Window Renovation Project