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1950 F. West

FRED WEST

W.Bro Fred West  (W.M. 1950)  was the first Headmaster of Woodlands School Coventry.

 The Woodlands Comprehensive School opened at 8.55 a.m. on Tuesday 21st September 1954, making it one of the first comprehensive schools in the country. Fred West had previously been headmaster of Coventry Junior Technical School, and transferred to Woodlands when the Technical School closed. At Coventry Junior Technical School he succeeded   W.Bro H.B.(‘Ned’) Sparkes (W.M.  1941 ).

His deputy at Woodlands was W.Bro Ron Jones (W.M. 1974) who joined him at Woodlands; while other teachers at CJTS included W.Bro Cyril Nason (W.M. 1956) and W.Bro Reg Windridge (W.M. 1976).

The Coventry Technical School, which had been deliberately developed by its Headmaster with the support of the governors into a bi-lateral Technical – Grammar School with the comprehensive school in view, had been poorly housed in temporary huts behind the Technical College. One of the earliest decisions by the authority was to re-house the school in The Woodlands.

The secondary modern pupils came from the Templars’ School, a co-educational school… each of these schools contributed roughly 400 boys to the second forms upwards. With 300 new entrants at the age of eleven, the school began with 1,100 pupils; all of them “new boys” as far as The Woodlands was concerned. Fortunately continuity was secured as the staff of the two schools forming two thirds of the staff required, opted to go with their pupils rather than to any other school in the city.

Mr. West was Headmaster from September 1954 until July 1962. In this time he successfully amalgamated the staffs of The Templars’ and The Technical School and built up an enviable reputation for The Woodlands School. Under his leadership the pupils had been organised into diverse, mixed ability groups whilst in Houses but into streamed groups for teaching.

In his late 70’s or even in his 80’s, well into retirement, he worked for and obtained a PhD degree in Education  at the Open University.

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