Barking Abbey Secondary School

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Barking Abbey School (also referred to as Barking Abbey) is a secondary school located in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.


The school is a specialist Sports College, and is also a registered humanities college. The school draws its pupils from primary schools in the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, and Newham.

The school operates on two sites just under a mile apart. Years 7 and 8 (ages 11 – 13) are at the Longbridge Road site, and years 9 to 13 (ages 13– 19) at the Sandringham Road site. Barking Abbey also has a Sixth Form of over 400 students. AS, A2, BTEC courses are available to 16-19 year olds. Template:Citation needed

An oversubscribed school, it is situated in Fair Cross, just west of Mayesbrook Park, north of Upney tube station. Template:Citation needed


Grammar school

Barking Abbey School was founded in 1922 as the first co-educational grammar school in England.Template:Citation needed At the time, the local area was largely rural area, with fields and farmland close by. Gradually, as Barking began to expand as a residential centre, the school became a focal point for the community with an educational provision of national standing. The first headmaster was Colonel Ernest Loftus, who stayed for twenty seven years, being replaced by Mr Young DFC in 1949.


In 1970, Barking Abbey Grammar School was merged with Park Modern Secondary School to form what is now Barking Abbey School, then known as Barking Abbey Comprehensive School.Template:Citation needed

In 1997, the school celebrated its 75th anniversary. Ex-pupils from all over the world, including Canada, the USA and New Zealand, met to review seventy-five years of progress and achievement.Template:Citation needed

The school today

Barking Abbey School is a mixed school of approximately 1650 pupils, with an annual intake of 270 new students. Template:Citation needed

In 2003, Barking Abbey School became the first school to have the SATs taken in Year 8 to allow students to spend 3 years studying for GCSEs as opposed to previously having 2 years. This practice was subsequently adopted on a permanent basis.Template:Citation needed

In 2005, Barking Abbey agreed to begin a Barking Abbey Basketball Academy, run by Mark Clark, a past Women's Great Britain Team manager, and Lloyd Gardiner the ex-London Leopards point guard, both highly experienced in the sport. This enabled younger players from around London, Essex, and Hertfordshire to experience the life of being in a Basketball Academy, preparing some of them to move abroad on Scholarships to various Countries around the World. It has recently been announced that Barking Abbey will become the first pilot Regional Institute of Basketball within Great Britain

In 2007, Barking Abbey's Dance Department opened its Dance Academy as a "centre of excellence"

It has introduced the teaching of Latin, one of the few state schools in London to offer this course.


Barking Abbey are looking forward to fit more students into Barking Abbey. By that they will turn the Sandringham Road Site to a Lower Site and the Longbridge road site to the new Upper Site. The parents, students and staff are all helping by making plans for the future.


In 1997 it was among the first six schools to be awarded "Specialist Sports College" status. At the same time a grant of £2.1 million from the Sport England Lottery Unit and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham enabled the building of a Leisure Centre, with full-time nursery provision. In 1999, the school was nominated by the Government's Chief Inspector as one of the most improved schools in the countryTemplate:Citation needed. The school also achieved the Schools' Curriculum Award in 2000, the Government's Achievement Award for Excellence in 2001 and the Technology Colleges Trust "Most Value-added Schools" Award in 2002Template:Citation needed.

ICT Testbed

Barking Abbey was selected by the DfES as one of five secondary schools in the county to be an ICT Testbed Pilot School.Template:Citation needed This meant that over £2 million was to be spent on computer technology equipment. Students and staff gained access to state-of-the-art technologies to enhance and transform their teaching and learning. A new block on the Sandringham Road site was built to accommodate this.

Academic performance

The school gets the best GCSE results in the LEA, with well above average results. At A-level, it gets slightly disappointing results, but the second best in the LEA, although below-average for England.

Notable alumni

  • Billy Bragg, musician (spent a year at Park Modern)
  • Malcolm Eden, member of indie pop band McCarthy
  • Tim Gane, member of McCarthy and Stereolab
  • Bobby Zamora, QPR footballer
  • Joss Labadie, Tranmere Rovers footballer
  • Leanne Brown, Great Britain Flatwater Canoeist.
  • Ravi Bopara, Essex and England cricketer

Barking Abbey Grammar School

  • C. J. Freezer, model railway enthusiast
  • Prof Harold Henbest, Professor of Organic Chemistry from 1958-73 at Queen's University Belfast, who discovered the link between retinol and Vitamin A, and worked with Sir Ewart Jones to synthesize cortisone
  • Sir Brian Jarman OBE, Professor of Primary Health Care from 1984-98 at Imperial College School of Medicine and President from 2003-4 of the British Medical Association
  • Dr Royston Lambert, founded the Boarding Schools' Association in 1966
  • Steve Mogford, Chief Executive of United Utilities Group plc
  • Victor Rice, Chief Executive from 1996-9 of LucasVarity and of Varity from 1980–96
  • Professor Alan Smithers, educationist

See also

  • List of schools in the United Kingdom
  • Education in England



External links

News items

Template:Schools and colleges in Barking and Dagenham