Desborough College

Desborough College is a secondary school with academy status located on Shoppenhangers Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

Desborough College
Shoppenhangers Road

, ,

MottoStrenuis Ardua Cedunt ("Difficulties Yield To Diligence")[1]
FounderMr. F. Fairman
Local authorityWindsor and Maidenhead
SpecialistLanguage College
Department for Education URN138879 Tables
Chair of GovernorsNigel Cook
PrincipalMs. M. Callaghan
GenderBoys with mixed sixth form
Age11 to 18
HousesElgar, Dickens, Brunel, and Constable
Colour(s)Purple and Gold         

Until 2009 it was an all-boys school, however, the sixth form has since become co-educational.[3] It was founded as Maidenhead Modern School in 1894 under its first Headmaster Mr F. Fairman, who was headmaster until 1910.

In the 1970s reform in the Royal Borough ensured all schools converted to the then new comprehensive schools system, which prompted the school's name change to Desborough School after Lord Desborough, a prominent Maidonian.

For the second time in the school's history it changed status in 2012 becoming an Academy school, and changed its name to Desborough College. As part of its academy status it is partnered with the independent Radley College, Microsoft and The John Lewis Partnership.[4]


According to the book One Hundred Not Out [5] written by a former History master at the School, Mr. David M. Evans, the school was founded as Maidenhead Modern School in 1894, and was originally located on High Town Road. It was originally a private venture until taken over by Berkshire County Council in 1906, from whence the teachers became employees of the county. The school eventually moved to its present site on Shoppenhangers Road in 1910, after land had been purchased from Lord Desborough, after whom the school was eventually named. At this point the school was named Maidenhead County Boys’ School. In 1943, and under the Headmastership Mr A. W. Eagling, the school became known as Maidenhead County Boys’ Grammar School, a status that it maintained until September 1973 when it converted to comprehensive schooling.

During the 1990s Desborough School became a grant-maintained school providing it with increased funding and a greater degree of autonomy. The passing of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 abolished grant-maintained schools and Desborough reverted to LEA control.

In 2003, the school won Language College status. Additional languages are offered as extra curricular subjects.

A major renovation of the historic main school building was completed in 2006. This upgrade saw a new library and staff room, more classrooms and the removal of the school reception to the old music house. A new music department has been built in the place of the old temporary buildings.

The school became an academy in October 2012 and changed its official name to Desborough College.

School houses

There are four school houses in Desborough which relate to important figures in British history, each with its own colour:

On their arrival at Desborough, every new boy is placed into a house where they can compete in various areas such as sporting events or other extra curricular activities. At the end of every major term an end of term assembly is held where the houses' points are collated from competing in various areas such as chess, rugby, hockey, and so on and then the house with the highest number of points is awarded with a trophy for the period of the next term. The colour of each house is displayed on the students tie with a series of stripes and on their house polo shirts as the primary colour.


Notable alumni include:


Desborough has had many headteachers:

  • Mr. F. Fairman, 1894 – 1910
  • Mr. J. Stanton, 19.10 – 1913
  • Mr. A. E. Brooks, 1913 – 1941
  • Mr. A. W. Eagling, 1941 – 1954 (Oversaw conversion to Grammar School)
  • Mr. J. C. Oliver, 1954 – 1960
  • Mr. C. Macdonald, 1960 – 1965
  • Mr. L. C. Reynolds, 1965 – 1981 (oversaw conversion to Comprehensive School)
  • Mr. D. F. Miller, 1981 – 1988
  • Mr. M. J. Oddie, 1981 - 1994
  • Mr. D. Eyre, 1994 - 2005, who moved to Brighton Hill Community College[8] at Basingstoke.
  • Mr. Linnell, 2005 - 2012 [9]
  • Mr. P. Frazer, 2012 - 2019 [10]
  • Ms. M. Callaghan, 2019 - present

Sixth Form

Desborough sixth form offers full-time places to female students, thus making it a mixed sixth form. It is led by the head of Key Stage 5 education and two heads of year. The sixth form facilities include a private study section of the Library, with a selection of specialist books, three private computer suites and a quiet study room.

The school has joined The Consortium programme along with Altwood Church of England School, Cox Green, Newlands School and Furze Platt Senior School in 2003. The Consortium allows sixth form students to take a subject not offered at their school and study it at another participating school. Subjects such as geology and politics are among the subjects that Desborough offers to the other schools. Transport is provided between schools.


  1. "Welcome - Desborough College". Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  2. "Desborough School official website: Vacancies – Information for Candidates (updated May 2012)".
  3. "Desborough School official website: Sixth Form – Prospectus 2011".
  4. Template:One Hundred not Out, Evans, D. M. McGraw-Hill Book Company Europe; 1st edition (1995)
  5. ""Toby Anstis Interview: Toby talking to old teacher Mr Lehain."".
  6. here, RAF Details. "RAF - Page not found".
  7. "Brighton Hill Community School".
  8. "Maidenhead Advertiser 3 May 2012: "Desborough's headteacher Andrew Linnell steps down"". Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  9. "Maidenhead Advertiser 18 May 2012: "Desborough's new head vows to make school 'beacon of excellence'"". Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2012.

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