Wolverhampton's Locally Listed Buildings

Dudley Road School

Dudley Road

Listing:  Locally listed in 2001.  Opened 1875.  One of the first two Board Schools in Wolverhampton.  The other has been demolished. Now used as a community centre.  Significant landmark building on a major route into the city centre.  Historically important, having played a formative part in the history of education provision in Wolverhampton.

Comment:  Wolverhampton was one of the first boroughs to adopt the provisions of the Education Act 1870 - the town council was particularly concerned that education in England was far behind that of Germany and the USA, our leading commercial competitors, and felt that we must catch up to remain competitive.  The elections to the School Board were hotly contested between (roughly) the Conservatives and the Church of England on one side; and the Liberals and the Non-conformists on the other.  The Liberals had a slight majority. 

The school in about 1910. Photo by courtesy of Wolverhampton City Archives, call no. 13/DUD/E/3.
The date of this school shows the speed with which everyone worked and its size shows how great they perceived the problem to be.

The building has undergone some alterations as the photo above shows, the annexe in the centre of the photo being demolished; and a new storey being added to to the left wing to make a two storey wing matching the other. 

Sue Whitehouse writes that the Dudley Road Boys' School "became Dudley Road Senior Mixed School in 1931.  Many of the new students in 1931 came from Dudley Road, All Saints' and St. Luke's schools.  The Senior Mixes School itself closed in 1938.  Dudley Road Girls' School opened at the same time, becoming Dudley Road Junior Mixed School in 1931, the Dudley Road Junior and Infant schools in 1961.  By the 1980s over 90% of the pupils at Dudley Road schools spoke English as a second language.  The schools closed in 1986 and most of the children went to Graiseley School.  The school buildings were then used as a community centre as they still are today. 

The school closed in 1986, the staff and pupils being transferred to Graiseley Primary School.