Mike Leader© 2019 All Rights Reserved

A history of the Greenwich Blue Coat Schools

1700 ~ 2014
Home Greenwich Blue Coat School 1700 St John's National School Blackheath & Kidbrooke School Blackheath Bluecoat School School Archives Contact Home Greenwich Blue Coat School 1700 St John's National School Blackheath & Kidbrooke School Blackheath Bluecoat School School Archives Contact Blackheath Bluecoat School 1968 - 1972

In 1968 the third stage of extending the school began in earnest. The Head Master, Mr John Williams, and the Chair of Governors, the Rev’d Robert Otway (Vicar of St Johns) worked tirelessly to promote the project for Blackheath Bluecoat School to become the Church of England’s most modern, fully comprehensive school in South East London. They visited other schools up and down the country and spent hours in meetings and discussions with the Diocese of Southwark, the Inner London Education Authority (I.L.E.A), the Blue Coat Trust, governors and teaching staff.

Stillman & Eastwick Field were appointed as the architects and imaginative plans were drawn up to link five two-story pavilions to the existing school building. Each unit would serve as a teaching base for a groups of subjects - science; mathematics and commerce; geography and history; English, languages and divinity; and music and drama. Each unit would have a central “social teaching” area surrounded by a group of teaching spaces for team teaching and project work. A sixth separate pavilion would be a sports hall and gymnasium. It was envisaged that the school would for the first time have a full academic sixth form as well as maintaining its traditional interest in practical subjects.

The existing school buildings would be re-modelled to cater for Art, Catering, Housecraft, Needlework, Woodwork and Engineering. It would also contain a new Youth Centre to enable the school to play its part in the community. By 1975 the school role would increase from 300 to 1050, becoming fully comprehensive, with “a unique opportunity to combine the best in modern educational ideas with the best in modern buildings.”

The cost of the whole scheme was estimated at £750,000: the I.L.E.A. gave a grant of 80% and the Diocese of Southwark and the Blue Coat Trust provided over £100,000. The governors launched an appeal for £45,000 to complete the project. The appeal was supported by the Bishops of Southwark, Woolwich and Kingston, as well as the Mayor of Greenwich and local Members of Parliament.

Launch of the Appeal 1972

Right: Mr John Williams (Head Master) welcomes the Mayor of Greenwich, Councillor C. Scales.

Below: The head girl makes a presentation to the Bishop of Kingston (The Rt Rev’d Hugh Montefiore) watched by the Chair of Governors (The Rev’d Robert Otway)


The Inner London Education Authority was established when the Greater London Council (G.L.C.) replaced the London County Council (L.C.C.) as the principle local authority for London in 1965. It was responsible for education in the 12 Inner London Boroughs until its abolition in 1990.