This is a very short article covering the end of Wennington School. I have virtually no original source material from the period and I left one year before the school finally closed but this article should be of interest to anyone who left before 1968 and have heard nothing since. I will cover the what and when but not the how and why. This is largely written from memory so no assumptions should be made concerning the veracity of it. It is hoped that at some point someone will produce a more diffinitive account of the events.

In the beginning Barnes created Wennington School in Wennington, Lancashire. In around 1945 it moved lock, stock and pupil to Ingmanthorpe Hall, the building we all came to know and love/loathe [delete as appropriate]. The school grew and prospered and by the time Barnes retired in 1968 all looked rosy. A good indication of the prospects for the school at the time can be obtained by reading Kenneth's valedictory essay in the prospectus for 1967-68. He states "the demand for pupil places is still rising and we have to think about the possibility of a larger school". He then goes on to discuss the prospects of the school rising to about 250 pupils. He concludes by saying "It is good to be handing the school over to him [Brian] at a time when it is firmly established, much in demand for pupil places, and when new buildings and equipment make new achievements possible".

For about the first two years the school seemed to be stable at about 120 pupils After that the rot seemed to set in rather rapidly.

By Brian's fifth year things were so bad that he was forced out. Michael Campbell ( "Chops" ) took over during the interregnum until a new headmaster could be appointed. During this time the pupils' representatives were invited to the interviews but their views were ignored. Eventually the powers that were chose and American who at the time was teaching at the Friends School in Safron Walden.

At the beginning of the 1973-74 academic year the new headmaster took over. Fred Sessa ( "Yogi" ) tried to turn the school totally on its head by introducing rather outdated disciplinary systems such as 'report cards' - the lucky recipient of such a card had to report to a member of staff at the time specified on the card and get it initialled. Fred wanted to be seen as the headmaster of a successful, disciplined school. Had the school ( and the pupils ) been stable and disciplined in the first place he might have got away with it but the culture shock following the anarchy of the Brian era was asking for trouble.

Fred lasted two years and the school closed down in the summer of 1975. The building was turned into some sort of boys home for a while. It is now rather dilapidated and acting as a location for Yorkshire Television drama productions. Brian and Kenneth both died in the late 1990's and as far as I know Fred is still around.


The above article was compiled by Robin Sinclair.


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