Ilford County High School

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Ilford County High School (often abbreviated to ICHS) secondary grammar school for boys located in the Barkingside area of the London Borough of Redbridge. It was formerly called Park High Grade School and as a result old boys are referred to as Old Parkonians.

ICHS is a four-form entry school, each form comprising up to 30 pupils. Originally one of a number of selective schools in the London Borough of Redbridge, ICHS was retained in 1973 as the only boys’ selective school in the borough. Admission at 11+ takes place through tests administered by the borough as local education authority. There is also opportunity for admission at 16+, directly into the sixth form, but the majority of places each year are taken up by existing students of the lower school. In 2004/5, there were 843 pupils, including 245 in the sixth form, and 88 members of staff, including 63 teachers. The Headmaster, since 1993, was Mr S I Devereux who retired in December 2009. On 19 April 2010, Mr Michael Capon officially became the new Headmaster of Ilford County High School. He was previously Deputy Headteacher of St Martins School, Brentwood.

ICHS was designated a specialist science college in September 2004, and additionally specialist language college from 2009.


The school was founded in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford as Park High Grade School, before moving to its present site on Fremantle Road, Barkingside in 1935. The ground floor of the original building in Balfour Road is today used as an annex for the adjoining Christchurch Primary School, and the remainder of the building as Redbridge Teachers' Centre.

Although there once existed several selective grammar schools in the area, by 1973 it remained the only boys' selective school in Redbridge. The girls' section split off in 1929 to a new site in Cranbrook Road, where the school was known as Ilford County High School for Girls. Following the conversion of the girls' school to being part of a co-educational school (Valentines High School), Woodford County High School (WCHS) is now seen as the "sister school". In recent times, it has become the "partner school" of Trinity Catholic High School and Ilford Jewish Primary School.

Old Parkonians

Old Parkonians is a club for ex-pupils of Ilford County High School and contains football and cricket teams. There are currently nine footballing XIs under the name of Old Parkonians, all of which compete in the Southern Amateur League. The current captain of the first team is Mark Jamieson, and the chairman of the club is Edward Lennard.

The Cricket Club, now open to all, still retains strong links with the School, providing coaching during the winter and playing the annual Centenary Trophy match against the School 1st XI each year. The Cricket Club fields 4 XIs is the Shepherd Neame Essex League, an occasional 5th XI on Saturdays, and two teams playing friendlies on Sundays, as well as running a successful and very popular Colts section. For 2010, James Foley is Club Captain, and Chris Nutt continues as Chairman.

School magazine


The school has published a magazine since its foundation entitled "Chronicles", often showcasing students' poems and artwork, in addition to news. Prior to 2007, Chronicles had always been published in book format by Mr. A. Gill and distributed to students throughout the school. However, this was discontinued in 2007, and was replaced by an online-only version.


"Focus" is a school newspaper written by a group of lower school pupils, supported by two members of staff- Mr. Champion & Mrs. Foucher. The first edition was released in 2010 and all editions are available to view on the school website. The newspaper discusses on-going school issues and other topics of interest to pupils.

New facilities

thumb Construction of a new Sports Hall was completed in November 2006 and was opened by former pupil Sir Trevor Brooking. The Sports Hall provides access to gym equipment, a swimming pool and a large sports hall, catering for most indoor sports including football, cricket, badminton, basketball and table tennis.

The Learning Resource Centre (Library) also came into action in October opened by Chris Ryan. This gives the pupils more books and a quiet option to study or go on the laptop. The LRC also has an internet bar which pupils can use if they need to for a short time e.g. to print documents.

Notable former pupils

Template:See also Notable ex-pupils include:

  • Sir Husein Hasanally Abdoolcader (1890-1974), Indian-born Malayan politician
  • Alan Aldous (1923-1992), Headmaster
  • Kenneth Allen (1923-1997), Professor of Nuclear Physics, University of Oxford
  • Laurence Baxter (1954-1996), Professor of Statistics, State University of New York
  • Raymond Baxter (1922-2006), TV personality (Tomorrow's World)
  • Sir Michael Berry (b. 1941), Professor of Physics at Bristol University
  • Sir Trevor Brooking (b. 1948), Footballer
  • Geoffrey Michael Brooks (b. 1944), Author of Hitler's Terror Weapons
  • Gerald Butler (b. 1930, died 28 February 2010), Judge <ref name="WW">Who's Who (UK) 2007</ref>
  • Air Vice-Marshal Arthur Button (1916-1991), Director of RAF Education
  • Jack Charles (1923-2006), Civil Servant and employee of the Greater London Council <ref name="WW"/>
  • Varun Chopra (b. 1987), Batsmen for Essex County Cricket Club and former captain of the English U-19 cricket team.
  • Roland Dobbs (b. 1924), Professor of Physics, University of London <ref name="WW"/>
  • John. H. Drayson O.B.E (1912-2003), Assistant Director, Monopolies and Mergers Commission <ref name="WW"/>
  • William Thomas George Gates (1908-1990), Banker
  • Jeffrey Alan Gray (1934-2004), Psychologist and Linguist
  • Brian Green, QC (b. 1956), barrister
  • Steven Haberman (b. 1951), Professor of Actuarial Science at City University
  • Boyd Hilton (b. 1967) TV Editor, Heat Magazine and broadcaster
  • Ronald Hutton (b. 1954), Professor of History at the University of Bristol
  • David Ian (b. 1961), Theatre Producer <ref name="WW"/>
  • Norman Lloyd Johnson (1917-2004), Professor of Statistics
  • Kenneth Lefever, CB (1915-2006), Senior British civil servant.
  • Kathleen Lonsdale (1903-1971), Chemist, who had studied at the girls' school and transferred to the boys' school at the age of 16 so she could study science.
  • John Lyall (1940-2006), Former Footballer and West Ham manager
  • Raymond Lygo (b. 1924), Chief of Naval Staff 1978 <ref name="WW"/>
  • David Miller (b. 1949), Deputy Chief Inspector of Air Accidents.
  • John Moloney (b. 1965), Comedian and Writer.
  • Neil Merritt (b. 1939), Law Lecturer; Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth <ref name="WW"/>
  • John Mitchell (b. 1925), Assistant Director General, British Council <ref name="WW"/>
  • Sunil Ohri (b. 1962) Cardio Vascular Surgeon
  • Kele Okereke (b. 1981), Singer, Bloc Party
  • Kenneth Pepper (1913-2002), Commissioner of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise
  • Raymond Peters (1918-1995), Professor of Polymer and Fibre Science, University of Manchester
  • John Reddaway (1916-1990), Deputy Head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
  • John Rickard (b. 1940), Government economist <ref name="WW"/>
  • Allen Sheppard (b. 1932), Baron Sheppard of Didgemere, industrialist <ref name="WW"/>
  • Derek Smith (b. 1931) Jazz pianist ex Johnny Dankworth and Benny Goodman - hailed as finest Jazz pianist ever to go to USA
  • Ralph Stead (1917-2000), Chairman, Eastern Region, British Gas
  • Bramwell Tovey (b. 1953), Conductor
  • Peter Turner (b. 1928), Head of Operations Research at Her Majesty's Treasury, 1981-4 (Who's Who 2013; [1])
  • Geoffrey Tyler (b. 1920), Educationalist

Notable teachers

ICHS teachers notable in other fields, or who became head of a school, include:

  • John Bennett, born ? 1954, Headmaster of Marshland High School, Wisbech, taught at ICHS, 1980-4
  • (Archibald) Keith Dawson, born 1937, Headmaster of Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School 1987-96, began his teaching career at ICHS, 1961–63
  • David Evennett, MP 1983-1997 and 2005-, had his entire teaching career at ICHS, 1972-4 <ref name="WW"/>
  • Paul Kitson, born 1951, Belgian Congo, Headmaster of John Spendluffe Technology College, Alford, Lincolnshire, began his teaching career at ICHS, 1972-4
  • John Moore, born 1943, Headmaster of St. Dunstan's College, Catford, was Headmaster, 1986–93
  • John Speller, born 1949, Headmaster of the Liverpool Blue Coat School and Norton Knatchbull School, Ashford, Kent, was Deputy Head, 1983-9
  • Philip White, born 1954, Headmaster of Cordeaux School, Louth, Lincolnshire and La Mare de Carteret Secondary School, Guernsey, was Deputy Head, 1989–94



External links

Template:Schools and colleges in Redbridge