Towards the Millennium
Political events over which he had no control forced mathematician and Olympic hockey player J. A. Strover (headmaster 1977-88) to consider a number of radical changes:
- the Assisted Places Scheme replaced the Local Education Authority's arrangement of paying for free places
- corporal punishment was totally abolished in the school, as was Saturday morning school
- marketing was developed as a concept and Open Days were introduced
- the number of school reports increased and staff started to be appraised
- O-levels were replaced by GCSEs in 1988, and an A-level pass rate of 90% was achieved
- Craft, Design and Technology became an academic subject
- the school's first dedicated computer room opened in 1981 with half a dozen Commodore PETs, soon to be replaced in 1986 by a full-size room with 17 BBC micros. Computing became an academic subject.
- instead of being shut down, the boarding house was refurbished. The number of boarding pupils from Hong Kong started to grow.
Physicist Dr P. J. Cheshire (headmaster 1988-2002) improved the facilities of almost every department in the school:
- a drama studio was built at the back of the Guy Nelson Hall
- the 1949 Orlits building was replaced by a purpose-built geography and history block
- the Music Department moved into Keeling's gutted 1905 science laboratories
- the 1911 outdoor swimming pool was filled in and replaced by a new Sports Hall
- the Assisted Places Scheme ended
- the 1890 gymnasium was converted into a Sixth Form Centre
- the library and IT Department moved to a new building named after OW John Masefield
- the old library became an extension dining room and functions area (the Pyne Room)
- a brand new theatre was built on the site of, and named after, Bridge House
- all staff were issued with lap-top computers
- the entire Junior School was refurbished and extended into a quadrangle
- the school’s first Archivist, Gervald Frykman, was appointed.