A Brief History of St Andrew’s CE High School for Boys
In the beginning was the church, and the church was St Andrew the Apostle, Clifton Road Worthing. Consecrated in August 1889, St Andrew’s follows the High Anglican tradition of the Church of England, which, at the time, was unique in Worthing.
In line with contemporary Victorian tradition, the congregation of St Andrew’s Church began the process of providing education for the children of the parish. Due to the generosity of a parishioner – Lady Loder – a plot of land adjoining the church to the North was purchased and in 1895 the first meeting of the School Management Committee took place. Funds in the sum of £1,850 were raised and St Andrew’s Higher Grade School was finally opened on the 25th January 1897. Joseph Theakstone was the first Headteacher, and there was an initial intake of 128 mixed sex pupils of all ages. School fees varied between 3d – 6d a week and a wide curriculum was taught.
Further expansion took place in 1914, and in 1928 the girl pupils were moved to Davison School and St Andrew’s was designated a Church Senior Boy’s School. 34 ex St Andrew’s pupils gave their lives in the First World War and over 30 old boys made the same sacrifice in the Second World War. Today the young men of St Andrew’s remember their predecessors’ contribution annually as part of the nation’s Remembrance Day activities.
St Andrew’s maintained its Christian tradition and, as a Voluntary Aided Worthing Deanery School, is still supported by all of the local churches, not just St Andrew’s church. Today the local churches very generously contribute to the maintenance funds of the school. To reinforce this connection, the lower school still makes regular visits to some of the local churches at the major Christian festivals, and to celebrate St Andrew’s Day.
By the 1950’s rising pupil numbers meant further expansion was needed, and under the leadership of the then Headteacher – Mr Percy (Polly) Parritt - the old Sussex Road and Little High Street primary school buildings (now the Sydney Walter Centre) were acquired. The school, therefore, operated over three sites – hardly convenient!
The Sackville Road site was purchased by the Diocese in 1963, and in 1965 a new, purpose built school, with accommodation for 486 boys was opened.
Today the school has capacity for over 1000 students with impressive sports facilities (including a much prized sports field and MUGA pitch), a full technology suite and ample facilities to support and celebrate the arts.
Lady Loder’s initial gift to the Worthing community is honoured today by the family of St Andrew’s, and ensures that a strong Christian foundation, quality education and the futures of all its young men are at the heart of its mission.