Hull Grammar School Records



Admin History:

Hull Grammar School was endowed by John Alcock, Bishop of Worcester in 1479. The son of a Hull apprenticed merchant, Alcock eventually rose to become lord chancellor. An arrangement with the corporation would allow the property owned by the school to pay the salary of the schoolmaster, who would also be a priest and celebrate mass in the chantry chapel paid for by Alcock. The school was situated on the south side of Holy Trinity Church.

With the suppression of chantries in 1548, the net value of the stipend in effect became nationalised and was paid for by the government until the time of Queen Victoria.

During this period the corporation of Hull gradually resumed control of the school, appointing masters and occasionally buying new books or regulating fees. In 1583 the school moved to a new site, still on South Church side, a site they were to occupy until 1878. The corporation's right to appoint the schoolmaster was confirmed by the charter of King James I in 1611.

The school and the corporation continued to develop close links, although the number of boys in the school fluctuated. When Andrew Marvell attended during the 1630s there were about 100 boys: in 1680 there were only 29. There was also no prescribed time for entering or leaving the school, although 7 or 8 years was generally the rule. William Wilberforce was 7 when he started in 1776. During the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the school experienced some severe financial difficulties as the endowment could not provide enough income. As a result, the master had to rely on ex-gratia payments from the corporation and the fees from the boys, which fluctuated with their numbers.

Another reason for the difficulties the school faced was due to its divided control. In 1836, the old corporation which had governed the school since 1440 was abolished under the terms of the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835. The newly elected town council had responsibility for the appointment of the headmaster and regulations for the conduct of the school. In order to achieve this, a Grammar School Committee was appointed in 1838. But it had no control over the building, the responsibility for which was in the hands of a new municipal charity trust. Neither of these two bodies had the authority to help the school financially.

The school was in a difficult position. The buildings became so dangerous that in 1878 the school had to move to Baker Street, and use the Albion Street Congregational Church schoolroom, which itself had been previously condemned as unsuitable for use as a board school. The Trustees bought land off Beverley Road for a new school in 1862, but protracted delays meant the new building on Leicester Street did not open until 1892.

Four years later, in 1896, saw the corporation gain full control again and the school begin to revive. Recognition by the Board of Education in 1902 allowed the school to receive government grants and local rate aid. This helped end much of its financial insecurities. In 1907 it became fully part of the Hull Local Education Authority although still governed by the council's Grammar School Committee. The Education Act of 1944 made the LEA fully responsible for the school. This became just one part of the new national government's tripartite 'secondary eduction for all'. In 1953 the school moved to new buildings on what would eventually be called Bishop Alcock Road, on Bricknell Avenue. In 1969 the school became comprehensive, taking boys from 11-18.

From the 1940s, all schools within the city were grouped into clusters, and in 1946 the Grammar School was initially placed into group 25, along with Beverley Road School. From 1949 until 1959 it became part of a larger grouping, group 9. In 1959 it became part of group 8 and in 1969 the school was in group 6. The local government re-organisation of 1974 saw education transferred from Hull City Council to the newly created Humberside County Council. The re-organisation of Hull schools in 1988 could have seen the name disappear. The site on Bishop Alcock Road became the new Wyke Sixth Form College, whilst the boys themselves transferred to the former Bricknell High School, now called Bishop Alcock School, on Bricknell Avenue.

On hearing the proposals, a group was formed to try and save the name and traditions of the school. This resulted in the creation in 1989 of a new independent Hull Grammar School, a co-educational school for pupils up to the age of 18 years and occupying the site of the former Marist College on Cottingham Road. By 1991 the school was in severe economic difficulties and had been acquired by Nord Anglia Education plc from the administrator. In 2004 Nord Anglia sold the school to the Church Schools Company, which also owned Hull High School. The merger of these two schools was announced later that year and in July 2005 the new Hull Collegiate School opened, on the site of the former High School at Tranby Croft.

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