The Dukeries Academy (formerly Dukeries Comprehensive School)

50th Anniversary - Did you attend the school?

By Jane Paling

The original Dukeries Comprehensive School was built in 1964 on a campus which had excellent physical education and recreation provision, workshops, science and craft facilities.

At its peak the school accommodated 1800 students.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Dukeries Academy (formerly Dukeries Comprehensive School)' page

If you can help with any memories about your time at the school, please leave a 'Comment' via the link at the bottom of this page


Brief History of the School

In the 1980s the county council was facing significant declines in student numbers and, in consultation with the Department of Education & Science, produced an imaginative plan to remodel the school over three years. The project was completed in 1985, with the school redesignated as a Community College within a broader-reaching Dukeries Complex.


Community College

The Dukeries Complex  rapidly became a unique federation of organisations providing education for all, recreation, youth work, information and library services together with care services for the very young, the elderly and for those with learning disabilities.

The complex featured an FE College, a Day Centre for Older People, a Young People’s Centre, Ollerton & Boughton’s Children’s Centre, a Construction Centre, an indoor and outdoor horse-riding centre (incorporating the Dukeries RDA), a community theatre, a Leisure Centre, a Community Workshop, a hair salon, a beauty training room, a motor vehicle workshop, a public library, a Day Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities, Nottinghamshire Fire Training Centre, Nottinghamshire’s Registrar Service and Notts Homecare (a social enterprise) on our site.

The complex proved effective in securing additional external funding to further develop facilities and services. The theatre was been refurbished and hosts a variety of dramatic and musical events, whilst a £1m investment from the Sports Lottery resulted in floodlit all-weather pitches and tennis courts.

The forward-looking enviro-centre (opened by Prince Edward), and Construction Centre (opened by Ed Balls) have also resulted from successful bids.


A College of Further Education

The Dukeries College of Further Education was started in 1983 and now delivers a wide range of learning opportunities for those aged 16 and over.

The main provision is in Childcare, Health & Social Care, Construction, Skills for Life (Functional Skills), Administration and IT, but we also offer a range of short courses in leisure activities such as painting and drawing and foreign languages, as well as apprenticeship training and  Access to Higher Education courses. Dukeries FE has its own accommodation on site and access to all specialist areas when not in use by the Academy.


An Academy

With its image and reputation improving all the time, the college chose to become a sponsored Academy (from January 2013) in partnership with the Academies Transformation Trust. Working with ATT, we have committed to the ATT vision for all their sponsored schools of providing ‘An Outstanding Education for All’. Many changes are in hand and planned to support achieving this vision.

Do please visit our website, at, to find out more about us.


This page was added by Jane Paling on 23/01/2014.
Comments about this page

I attended between1970/76 all I remember is Mr apply and miss West but good time the dukeries youth club.

By Paul walker
On 29/03/2016

i was a former pupil age 11 in 1964 I remember standing in what was known as the covered area, and waiting for Mr West headmaster, Mr Greenhough deputy head, and miss Graham deputy headmistress to tell us which class we were in. We were in awe of the Dukeries school rubber floors nice desks and stairs, Mr west used to walk the corridors a bit like Darth Vader we were taught to walk on the left to open doors for teachers, to stand when a teacher came into the room, and to walk downstairs on the left. We were forbidden to run. I was involved in the youth services later in my life, and working for social services I used to take part in mock interviews for 5th formers. Much later I met Mr West when he needs help to support his wife at home via social services he told me the marbles he confiscated he dropped them inside the hem of his black gown to weight it down, and used to walk the corridors swinging the hems of his gown round and round. A brilliant school with lots of history and all of my 3 children and two grandchildren attended it. 

By Dennis Slaney
On 01/10/2019

I was in the first wave of pupils at the school in 1964. I remember I was in Pelham House and have wonderful memories of this cutting-edge establishment with its abundant facilities and would be great to get in touch with some schoolmates from that period...some of whom come to mind... Bruce Staley, Mark Woodhead, Martin Coops, Moyra Anderson.....

After my A-levels in maths and physics I went to London University, to study Philosophy & Physics, followed by a post-graduate teaching course at Putney Hill. After doing a few stints as a lifeguard on various London pools I moved to France, then 12 years later to California. I eventually moved back to Paris where I was a bookseller until my retirement last year..... I am now residing in Armenia! Would love to hear from anyone who remembers me....

By Michal Kamionko
On 17/12/2019

hi Michal,lots of people on Facebook from our era.Some asking about you.Dukeries Comprehensive is the site.

By Stuart Brown
On 12/08/2020

I attended Dukeries comprehensive school from 1968-1974. I had great opportunities to play in the various bands and sing in the choir. I travelled with the band to Germany, USA and Canada. We made an LP record and I had the pleasure of playing with the band at The Royal Albert Hall. I really enjoyed my school days and benefited by attending the school. 

By Linda Barker
On 12/10/2020

What were the names of the 6 houses?

By Jayne Bradley
On 07/05/2021

Markham, Bentinck, Manvers, Kingston, Pelham, Savile

By Maria Lawton
On 11/08/2021

A bit late for the 50th anniversary but.....

I attended the Dukeries (1969-1975) and had fantastic opportunities made possible by a brilliant music department. Paul Bailey, Chris MacDoull, Malcolm Bevan and Janet Baker were amazing music teachers. They gave me opportunities I would never have otherwise had. I was also taught French horn by a top peripatetic teacher David Leeder.

Thanks to them all I toured USA, Canada, Germany playing French horn with the school concert band and brass band. I also sang in the choir, became a member of the folk group and had great fun being involved in the recording of 2 LP's in the school theatre - I think Mr Bowles (science teacher?) was in charge of this particular venture. I also played at the Royal Albert Hall twice and I'm sure it was Paul Bailey who told my parents that when he took his bow to the Royal Box from the conductors podium, he noticed he'd forgotten to zip up his fly!!! I made a scrapbook of the wonderful USA tour .... still have it and even now, occasionally delve into it.

I followed these amazing people into teaching thinking that all music departments in every school must be the same as the Dukeries! I soon found out I was wrong! After qualifying, my 1st post (for 5 years) was in Burton on Trent and my only other post (29 years) was in Chesterfield as a Head of Music. I retired (early!!) in 2013. Whilst I enjoyed my teaching I have to humbly accept that I never managed to scale the heights of my childhood music teachers ...... so now I am even more in awe of what they achieved with us! In my defence, I think there was a tightening of the purse strings during a large part of my career and so opportunities to 'grow' a music department weren't always readily available to me. That's my excuse anyway!

And what a superb concert hall you have too. Regular end of term concerts playing to packed audiences were such a wonderful experience for all of us.

Great, great memories..... thank you.

Info for Jayne Bradley - the 6 houses were Markham, Bentinck, Manvers, Pelham, Kingston and Saville. I'll never forget!


By David Aldred
On 11/08/2021

I attended the final year 1964/65 the school wasn't even completely finished then, going from Whinney Lane school to this huge brand new school at the time seemed daunting but exciting where pupils from surrounding neighbourhoods where all transferred to, so lots of new faces new rules & for the first time Uniforms. I was in 4th year Arts/Crafts Manvers House. We could have been an early Harry Potter school in the making. I wonder where my old school chums are now....including Miss Dennison the Gym Teacher

By sharon BOWSKILL
On 31/08/2021

Here's a link to a Facebook group. If anyone want's to join, please feel free to look us up. Quite a few past-teachers are on here, as well as around 2,200 past students


By Mark Wardle
On 25/01/2022

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