The Amalgamation

Former acting head teacher Derek Moore corrects some misunderstandings


Derek Moore
Moseley Grammar School Acting Head Teacher 1973-1974

First, Bruce Gaskin (who, by the way, did not oppose the change to comprehensive education) had. in the 1960s, appointed two or three lady members of staff. Being young and attractive they were welcomed by the boys; being competent and enthusiastic they were quickly and easily accepted by the staff, none of whom contemplated suicide.

All staff were assured of continued employment. John Lockwood and Phil Bullock, the Deputies of the two schools, became the joint Deputy Heads of the new school. ‘Re the appointment of the-Head Teacher. In June- I974 the Birmingham Education Committee interviewed Mr. Goodfellow, Head of Central Grammar School Mr. Wilford,; Head of Moseley Modern. and myself, acting Head of Moseley Grammar School. Mr. Goodfellow was appointed Head of Moseley School. (in the next day or so Mr. Wilford was appointed Head of Yardleys, and I was appointed to amalgamate Central Grammar and Byng Kenrick Girls Grammar Schools.)

Due, I seem to recall, to delay by central government in approving Birmingham’s plans for comprehensive reorganisation, these appointments allowed very little time to solve the many problems which faced staff in preparing for this new venture to be launched some two months later.

I cannot comment on the subsequent verdict of the Moseley School staff on the radical change. However, in general terms, I suspect that those who were bitterly opposed to comprehensive education, mainly to be found in the grammar schools (though these were a minority in the staff appointed by Bruce Gaskin), will claim that many of the ills of modem society are due to the change. Others, while regretting that only in a few parts of the country has a truly comprehensive system been given a chance to prove what it can achieve, nevertheless will claim that many youngsters have benefited by the increased opportunities it has afforded them.