Skip to main content

‘Strict is good – it moulds us into young gentlemen’

Five years ago, pupils were embarrassed to admit that they went to St Thomas the Apostle College – an inner-city school on the brink of closure. Last month, it was named Tes’ secondary of the year. Adi Bloom details the story of an amazing transformation

Magazine article image

In the old days, people simply did not want to go to St Thomas the Apostle College. Such was its reputation, in fact, that even the current headteacher did not want to go there.

“I’d stupidly registered with a few headhunting agencies,” says Eamon Connolly, who at the time was deputy headteacher at Mossbourne Community Academy in East London, under future Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw.

“They said, ‘Do you fancy being head of an all-boys’ school in Peckham?’ I said, ‘You have to be kidding.’”

St Thomas the Apostle (“Stac” to those who go there) was everything that one would expect from an ...

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.

Subscribe now