Les Quennevais School

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The original building

From the school website

Les Quennevais School and Community Centre was officially opened on 6 June 1966, the school's first intake of students having already taken place on 5 January 1965, four months behind the originally planned date of September 1964. The students were drawn from the primary and all age parish schools west of a line drawn from north to south which roughly divided the island into two equal areas.

Throughout its history the school has had six headteachers:

  • John Watts 1964-1969
  • Ted Tranter 1970-1988
  • Tom McKeon 1988 - 1992
  • Jenny Hydes 1992 - 1999
  • John Thorp 1999 – 2013
  • Sarah Hague 2013 to present

Numbers

The number of students has varied. The school was built to accommodate up to 500 pupils but by 1970 the numbers had risen to over 700. By 1975 there were over 900 pupils, and approximately 2,000 students registered for the adult classes that were organised through the school.

In order to cope with the extra numbers a block of temporary classrooms was erected in the school playground. These remained until 1986, by which time pupil numbers had fallen back to below 700. Towards the end of the 1980s the numbers once again began to increase, and by 1993, when a complete refurbishment programme was started, the numbers had risen to slightly over 750.

Employment

Until the school leaving age was raised, the majority of students left when they were 15, though a few went on to Highlands college of further education for vocational courses. The main industry in the island at this time was tourism, which employed well over half the island's working population. Of the remainder of the workforce about 15% were employed in the primary sector (farming, fishing and quarrying) and about 10% were employed in the manufacturing sector.

More recently the financial services industry has become established and now contributes over 70% of the government's total income while employing a significant proportion of the workforce, including many school leavers.

The majority of students now stay on in full time education beyond their sixteenth birthdays. The two main destinations are Hautlieu and Highlands College.

Les Quennevais School has had a Governing Body since 1995, a Home and School Association since 1994, and has recently established the Les Quennevais School Trust Fund for the benefit of its students.

The school has always played an active role in the local community and continues to be a centre for adult education classes. It has worked hard to introduce innovative approaches to teaching and learning and public examination results have improved as a result. The school also provides excellent opportunities for sport, art, drama and music and has a deserved high reputation in each of these areas.

A fashion show in the late 1960s

Pictures from the original school prospectus

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