Wennington School, an independent, progressive, co-educational boarding school, was founded by Kenneth and Frances Barnes in 1940. It closed in 1975.

The purpose of this site is to inform visitors about the school and its place in the spectrum of progressive education and also to provide a forum and reference point for all ex-pupils, staff and friends around the world.

The site is run by the Wennington School Association, a group of old scholars, staff and parents, and was created by an ex-pupil, Robin Sinclair (1968-74). It is being maintained and developed by by members of the Association, with the support of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust Archive and Study Centre, where the Wennington School and Kenneth C. Barnes archives are held.

Wennington School was, like any school, not without its faults and, consequently its critics. However, to many of those who attended it was a very special place which created and fostered very special, lifelong relationships.

It is hoped that this site will reflect those feelings.



 Please note that this website contains names and photographs of many former pupils and staff. If anyone would prefer not to be named, please let us know via the "Contact us" link.



Site Policies

The site policy is divided into two sections. The first, internal policy, covers the policy that applies to the materal that may be submitted for inclusion on this site. The second, external policy, applies to material that occurs on other sites that may be linked to from this site.

Internal Policy

Part of this site is aimed at allowing former pupils and staff to get in contact with each other in a friendly manner. We welcome reminiscences from people even if they did not particularly enjoy their time at Wennington but criticism should not be directed at named individuals, either staff or pupils.

External Policy

If a contribution is considered unsuitable for inclusion on this site we may still be willing to provide a link to another site hosting the material provided that the material is not too offensive and would not result in legal action for libel against this site or legal action against the targeted individual as a result of revelations, true or false, published on that site. Any site should always allow a critised person the right to reply.

External sites should never attempt to give the impression that they are part of the this site.

After leaving Wennington the following thirteen years were spent raising a family, Laurie, John and Katy, and moving around the country as husband, Gerald, moved up the ladder in the NCB. I did a small amount of private teaching. When Katy started school in 1966 I returned to part-time work as a peripatetic music teacher in SW Durham. This eventually expanded into full-time work in a variety of primary and secondary schools and a Saturday Music Centre.
All three Pentith children attended Wennington at different times between 1965-75 and are grateful to have been part of the 'Wennington experience'.
A move to South Yorkshire in 1972 as a peripatetic string teacher led to my appointment, in 1973, as Director of Music at Thomas Rotherham College, an open access Sixth Form College. This job involved preparing students for O & A level as well as Oxbridge entrance and instrumental teaching. I still worked on Saturdays as part of the local music centre team preparing pupils for AB theory exams, and began working as an assistant examiner for several O and A level boards. By the mid eighties I was Reviser for GCSE music and Chief Examiner for the History & Appreciation of Music GCSE for the NEAB.
On retirement from Thomas Rotherham College, in 1993, I was fortunate to walk into two part-time jobs teaching years 10-13 at a local comprehensive, covering maternity leave for a former student; and working for Sheffield University's Adult Education Department. From 1996/97 I was co/Scriptwriter for Classic FM's Masterclass programme in conjunction with QCA - a wonderful opportunity to introduce a variety of less well known music to a wide audience. A change of ownership of CFM led to the project being abandoned.
In September 2000 I moved to Hemingbrough, North Yorks, with my partner of 28 years, John Belcher, until retirement, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Family Housing. He spends a lot of time promoting the music of Alan Rawsthorne as Chair of the Alan Rawsthorne Trust and Secretary of the Alan Rawsthorne Society.
I am still Reviser for the GCSE Music exam and a question setter for A level, as well as marking A level papers annually. I do some CD reviewing for musical journals, have time to help anyone needing advice on music exam work or research projects, and having a large archive of material on a variety of topics am available for talks to music societies.
Sybil Pentith

Additional information