Buckhurst Hill County High School opened its doors on 15th September 1938. A shiny new grammar school sitting in the Roding Valley, half way between the railway stations of Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell.

Just over 50 years later, having undergone a transformation to comprehensive education during the mid 1970s, the school closed in 1989. Some argue that the closure was one year later - in fact the fifth form pupils who were there during the 1989-90 school year were by then officially part of Roding Valley High and remained at the Roding Lane site for their examination year.

During its fifty year history, around 5,000 boys were educated, and more than 300 staff employed at the school. As a grammar school, Buckhurst Hill CHS remained one of the most over-subscribed schools in the county, in days when school league tables were unheard of. Pupils travelled from long distances in many cases involving tortuous travelling arrangements.

Two headmasters led the school for well over 90% of its existence. These two men were very different from each other in many ways, and much has been written about their qualities in the columns of Old Buckwellians News. They both had success in selecting some highly talented and dedicated staff. The success of the Old Bucks network is largely down to the respect held for the staff by their former pupils.

Long serving staff toast the school when it formally closed

In 2020, we made a permanent visual record of the history of the school, and the events that led to its untimely closure. The documentary is called Buckhurst Hill County High School: the politics of education. Click on the image below to view the film.



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Buckhurst Hill County High School