(A brief Time Line of the Elliott School and of this website)
Elliott School Time line:
The Southfield School opened in Merton Road in temporary buildings in 1904 and in permanent buildings in 1905. In 1910 Southfield School was given Central School status. In 1911 the name was changed to Elliott Central School after Sir Charles Elliott first Chairman of Managers and the Elephant Badge derived from his service in India. The School Houses scheme first appeared in July 1914 and the four houses were designated Eagles, Lions, Wolves and Tigers. In October 1914 this was changed and Eagles became Celts, Lions became Danes, Wolves became Normans and Tigers became Saxons.
School leaving age was raised to 14 in 1918 under the Education Act 1918,(Fisher Act), and the Elliott (Mixed) School was reorganised into separate Boys’ and Girls’ Schools in 1925.
These schools were evacuated separately, to different places in 1939. An Emergency School opened in Merton Road in 1940, which merged with the two Elliott Schools in 1945 when they returned to Merton Road at the end of the war.
In 1956 the two Elliott Schools and Huntingfield Secondary Modern School amalgamated on a new site in Pullman Gardens, to become Elliott Comprehensive School, once again becoming a mixed school. The estimated cost was about £617,000 and equipping it cost a further £57,000. It was officially opened on the 7th of June 1957 by the Rt Hon Hugh Gaitskell MP. In its first year the school housed some 1700 pupils a figure that would rise to a peak of around 2500 in 1958/9. the school was approximately 9 acres and was on four floors plus a roof area containing Geography classes and a lower level Drama Hall.
The first Head of the new school, 1956 - 1967 was Mr Holmes, followed 1968 - 1974 by Mr Davies, 1974 - 1982, Mr Rospigliosi, 1982 - 2002 ,Mr Burgess and 2002 -2005 Mr Willis. From September 2005 until Easter 2009 the Head was Mrs Farrell. Then Mrs Peacock was brought in from Chestnut Grove as Interim Head, until Easter 2010 when Mr Mark Phillips took up the appointment. Mark Phillips would became the last in a long line of Heads of the school and have the dubious distinction of being the one who ended its long run.
Since 1956 Elliott has evolved from 'Flagship Comprehensive' to Language College and survived as a Mixed Comprehensive while local Mayfield Girls' and Wandsworth Boys' closed. In 1992, Elliott School, Pullman Gdns, was made a Grade II Listed Building and given Grant Maintained Status and in 1999 this was replaced by Foundation Status.
During 2010, negotiations were ongoing for a drastic refurbishment of the building and the development of Trust School Status, linked with other local establishments. This however was later abandoned as part of government savings. Then in 2011, Mr Phillips (Head Master) announced in the WBC Magazine 'Brightside' that "the former specialism in languages has been dropped in favour of all-round academic achievement plus a strong focus on the arts"
Also in 2012, plans were revealed to turn the School into an Academy, with a maximum Roll of 1,200 Pupils. Wandsworth Borough Council proposes to fund this by selling off 56% of the School grounds, leaving a Statutory minimum of open space, to the front of the building. This proposals include the demolition of the Workshops, Gymnasia and 6th Form block and building a new 'Sports Hall' on the present 5-a-side courts area. The name "Elliott" was also threatened with removal. A campaign to oppose these changes was mounted and as a result some concessions were made. This Elliottonian Website remained neutral through out this conflict.
"In September 2012 the School re-opened as ARK Putney Academy, with new uniforms, a new House structure and a completely new format and website. In early 2013 builders erected temporary buildings in the grounds to house the School while the main building was gutted, re-structured and re-glazed. In the same year Alison Downey, formerly vice-principal of Burlington Danes Academy in west London, became head
The school building were officially reopened on 8th July 2016 by Justine Greening.PC MP (now the Secretary of State for Education). There is a desire amongst the teachers at the ARK to keep the links with the Elliott alive, but it seems that the name Elliott and the school's proud history, are now going to be preserved in this Elliottonian Website
Website time line:
The Elliott 'ex pupils' website was started by Andy Lambert in 2000, simply because of the fact, 'no one else had'. Andy had been a pupil at the school during the period 1958 to 1963 and although he was not a great pupil, he still had fond memories of his time there.
Within a few months he had changed the website to incorporate 'anyone' who had a connection with the school i.e. Pupils, Teachers or Staff and current, or past ‘inmates’. People started sending emails to the website to be passed on to other people and so in late in 2001 Andy formed an ‘E’ group. This was to be used so that those using the website could communicate with each other and like minded fellows.
Then Alan Morrin (a teacher from1972 to 2004) also joined the group and was quickly asked to became a moderator. Alan was able to use the E group to helps spread the word about the 100 celebration and reunion, held in 2004. Also in 2004 Edmund Hodges himself a retired teacher (from 1958 to 1985), offered to help and he was also made a moderator. Edmund has been instrumental in researching background information and especially active in recruiting many new members. During the summer of 2006 Andy was contacted by Zubair Khatri (a former pupil from 1977-82). Zubair is now a director of QI2 Limited, a web hosting company and he offered to host the the website for free. Clearly this was an offer we gladly accepted.
During the lead up to the 50th Birthday Celebrations, the schools Deputy Head Michael Tucker talked of his plans to launch the Elliottonian Association. It was clear that the Elliottonian Website should be part of this scheme and that its associated E group, would be a perfect medium for communication. Regrettable this scheme came to nothing and the website carried on being the only place to organise reunions, until facebook groups stated to to be formed around 2012.
Mr Tucker helped the website get access to the school to record the old building during its demolition and then Alison Downey the new Head allowed us access to record the rebuilding Alison also arranged for us to attend the Grand reopening of the building on the 8th July 2016. .Videos of all these events can be found on this website's Video Link Page.
In April 2017 the Elliottonian Website was relaunched in a totally new and modern format.
What can you do? Most of all enjoy the website.
If however you feel you would like to get involved, please contact Andy, Alan, or Edmund. We are always looking for people who are happy to research projects. For example we would like to know more about the buildings at the old Elliott site (this would be perfect for someone with time on their hands, living in Southfields).
Perhaps you would like to write a short (or long) piece on your recollections, of your time at the various Elliott locations. Maybe you have a special experience, or memory, you would like to share. Do you have a picture of a teacher on our list, but missing an image?
We are also very keen to collect 'copies' of any interesting pictures. These copies we will make available to all via this website, so that everyone can enjoy them. Being so freely available means that anyone can use them, in any research they are undertaking. Please email the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org