Filton High School


Filton High School - A Brief History by John Bailey

Filton High School was built in 1959 by Gloucestershire County Council at a cost of around 330,000 and despite its name has always been situated within Stoke Gifford. It opened in September of that year as a grammar and technical school and was situated in what was then mainly open countryside between Filton and Stoke Gifford. It catered for students from as far afield as Severn Beach, Almondsbury and Coalpit Heath as well as the more local area.

The first Headmaster was Frederick Baird who led the school for 10 years until his retirement when the school became comprehensive by amalgamation with Charborough Road School. He was succeeded by Michael Smith (OBE) who was head of the school for 24 years. In 1974 the school came under the control of the new Avon County Council.

In the 1993 John Symes was appointed as Head teacher and in 1997, he was replaced by Colin McArthur, the school by then coming under the control of South Gloucestershire Council. He stayed until December 2004, a period which saw the school attract an increasing number of students from ‘the Stokes’ and during which he oversaw the setting up of the present collaboration with Filton College and their new WISE facility which was built on part of the school playing field area.

By this time the school buildings were becoming increasingly unsuitable and starting to ‘look their age’. In September 2006 the government awarded 25 million pounds for a completely new purpose-built school, to be situated on land just behind the present school which will then be demolished. The current Head teacher, only the fifth since 1959, is Ann Duff who will lead the school through the transition and who has established a clear vision for the future of the school. It is likely that a new name will accompany the new buildings from 2010 to reflect the community of which the school will be a key part.

In 2009 the school will celebrate its 50th anniversary and various events are being planned for the autumn. It will give an opportunity for some the many students and staff who have passed through the school over the years to take a last look at the buildings they knew well.

February 2008. School website is