Malton Grammar School

Malton School was founded by Robert Holgate, Archbishop of York on 4 May 1547 following approval by King Henry VIII. For the first 360 years of its life, it was sited in a small schoolhouse in the grounds of Old Malton Priory. Its roll was tiny by modern comparisons, with no more than 60 students – all boys – between the ages of 8 and 15. Another key difference with now was the length of the school day – school started at 6am in summer, finishing at 6pm; in winter the hours were slightly shorter – starting at 7am and finishing at 5pm. The holidays were also much shorter, just 6 weeks in the whole of the year.

In 1911 the school moved to Middlecave Road. The ‘new’ school opened on 14 September 1911, this time teaching 27 boys and 13 girls, with Ernest Watt as Headteacher. He remained as Head until his death in 1936. During his time, the number of students grew rapidly to exceed the school’s 120 capacity and as early as 1917 there were calls for additions to be made to the buildings.

Thomas Williams took over as Acting Head in 1936, before being appointed permanently to the position in 1937. He also held the post until his retirement in 1951. It was in Mr Williams first year as Head that one of the new extensions was officially opened – to include cloakrooms, changing rooms and a specialist science laboratory.

Perhaps the biggest impact on the life of the school came with the 1944 Education Act, which saw the school achieve voluntary controlled status. The Act also made secondary education available for all children with acceptance to study at a grammar school only being achieved by passing the ‘eleven plus’. For the first time in its history therefore all students who joined Malton Grammar School in the equivalent of Year 7 in 1945 gained their place by passing the entrance examination. Six years’ later the General Certificate of Education was introduced and saw 32 of Malton Grammar School’s students obtain an O level certificate and 8 an A level certificate.
On Mr Williams’ retirement in 1951, Philip Taylor took over the reins as Head. At this point, the school’s roll was 184 students and by 1956 there were plans to increase this to 350, and so additional buildings were added, almost doubling the school’s floorspace. However, by 1971 more fundamental changes to education meant this would be the last year students would attend Malton Grammar School.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]