Towards The 21st Century


After the war numbers at the school rose as a result of more scholarships and as people became more able to afford secondary education for their children. The school became the Godalming Grammar School and fees were no longer charged. The school now had in excess of 500 pupils and had outgrown the original accommodation. In 1954 land was purchased for new playing fields, new hard tennis courts were provided in 1955. New classrooms were added in 1957; new science laboratories in 1959. Extra car parking was provided in 1960 and the War Memorial Pavilion was finally completed in 1962.

In 1955 the school celebrated its Silver Jubilee.
On 31st August 1961 Mr Wigfield retired as Headmaster after 25 years at the school and was succeeded by Mr E P Dewar. The school continued to grow in numbers and size with the addition of the ROSLA (Raising of the School Leaving Age – from 15 years to 16 years) block in the 1960s and the addition of several temporary classrooms.

The school became a college in 1974 but only became entirely sixth form in 1978 when the last fifth form was phased out. The school, in consultation with local comprehensive schools, opted to cater entirely for sixth form students rather than become an additional school during the introduction of comprehensive education in Surrey. The target number of students was 5-600 but the college was so successful that by 1981 with over 1000 students, it had to turn students away due to lack of space and resources.

Mr Dewar became first Principal of the college followed in 1977 by Mr P G E Griffin.

1981 saw the opening of the Gill Building, named after Miss Druscilla Gill, vice-principal who had recently died unexpectedly. Since then other major additions to the college have been the Waring Building housing Art, Music and Theatre Studies in 1992, and the Goodridge Buildings in 2000 which contain new Design and Technology and Media Suites.


In January 1988 Mrs M E Hobrough became Principal and during her period of office saw further changes to the education system. The College became a corporation in 1991 and belts were tightened. In recent years many vocational courses have been introduced to the curriculum. In 1997 Mrs Hobrough was rewarded for her work both at the college and for education in general by the award of the OBE for services to education, and in 1998 the college was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Award for its work in Chemistry, Design and Technology and Electronics.

Margaret Hobrough
Queen’s Anniversary Prize Presentation
Queen’s Anniversary Prize Medal

The College is now a thriving community of over 1400 students studying subjects ranging from archaeology to information and communications technology and from art to music technology. It has an excellent record of achievement; results are consistently well above the national average, and it remains in the top 20 colleges nationally.

David Adelman, Principal