Ilford County High School

Ilford County High School
Established 1901
Type Grammar
Head Teacher Mrs R A Drysdale
Location Fremantle Road
Barkingside, Ilford
Coordinates: 51°35′31″N 0°04′37″E / 51.592°N 0.077°E / 51.592; 0.077
Local authority Redbridge
DfE URN 102850 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 88
Students 898[1]
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Houses      Eagles
Colours           Maroon and Silver

Ilford County High School (often abbreviated to ICHS) is a selective 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, from 1993, was Mr S I Devereux who retired in December 2009. From January 2010 to 18 April 2010 Mrs Carole Jordan (Deputy Head) became Acting Head Teacher. 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. Mr Capon retired from the school in July 2014 after only four years of service to the school. He was succeeded by Mrs Rebecca Drysdale as Acting Head Teacher at first, while her position of Deputy Head was accepted on an acting basis by Mrs Foucher and Mr Streatfield. Mrs Drysdale is the second female acting head teacher in Ilford County High School's history.[2]On 28 April 2015 Mrs Drysdale's appointment to the post was confirmed by the governors as substantive. Mrs Foucher and Mr Streatfield were appointed substantive Deputy Headteachers following interviews held on 12th June 2015.


The school was founded in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford as Park Higher Grade School, before moving to its present site on Fremantle Road, Barkingside in 1935.[3] 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.[4] 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

The Old Parkonians Association was founded as an association of former pupils of the Ilford County High School. Today, the Association performs a dual role, as “land lord” of the excellent facilities at the Oakfield Playing Fields and parent body for the affiliated Sports Clubs, and as a social hub for former pupils of the School. The chairman of the Association is Edward Lennard.

The Association has two affiliated sports clubs; the Old Parkonians Football Club & the Oakfield Parkonians Cricket Club.

Old Parkonians FC currently has nine senior teams, all of which compete in the Southern Amateur League. In the 2011/12 season OPFC became the first club to simultaneously hold the Senior (1st XI), Junior (2nd XI) and Minor (3rd XI) Old Boys cups. The current captain of the first team is Mark Jamieson, and the chairman of the football club is Edward Lennard.

In Summer 2014 the football club created a youth section called the Young Parkonians Football Club. There are currently Under 13's and Under 16's teams competing in the Echo Junior Football League with plans to add more youth teams in future years.

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 2015, Jibran Azam 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 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 members of staff Mr Champion and 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.


"STEM" was a termly periodical, formed and edited by a team of sixth form students which published articles on science-orientated subjects. The periodical was distributed during the 2015 academic year and remains available to view on the school website[5]

New facilities

Side view of the new Sports Hall

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.

Recently in 2014, the Sixth Form Suite was constructed, purpose made for KS5 students to use as a learning environment outside of the LRC which is used by all years. The block is constructed in the location of the old Economics and Business class, which has since been housed elsewhere in the school. The Sixth Form Suite also houses the offices for the Head of Sixth Form & Deputy Heads of Sixth Form.

On 1 June 2015 work is due to commence on a complete refurbishment of the canteen facilities, and in August 2015 on the construction of a new science and technology block, with additional sixth form facilities, preparatory to expansion of the main school to six forms of entry commencing with the Year 7 intake in September 2016. Work is not delayed due to planning permission going through with the sister school, Woodford County High School. In September 2015, construction commenced for the expansion of the school, while the school maintained normal functionality.

Notable alumni

Notable ex-pupils include:

Notable teachers

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


External links

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