THE HIGH PAVEMENT SOCIETY (Founded 1989) The Website of the High Pavement Society - for former pupils of High Pavement Grammar School and former students and staff of High Pavement Sixth Form College and Sixth Form Centre.

The Schools

Charity Schools for Children of ALL Denominations


LONG HISTORY:     Founded in 1788 (235+ years ago)

3rd OLDEST:   3rd Oldest School in Nottingham, still in existence.

EQUALITY:    Educated Boys & Girls equally from outset (1788).

SCIENCE SCHOOL:  Founded the Country’s 1st Organised Science School (1883) .

NON-DENOMINATIONAL:  Amongst the first Non-Denominational Charity Schools (1796).

BRITISH SCHOOL:   Amongst the first state-regulated British / County Schools (1851 & 1861) .

ACADEMIC SUCCESS:   92 Oxbridge Scholarship (1932-1979).

SPORTING SUCCESS:    Outstanding Sporting Success - particularly in Rugby, Rowing, Cricket, Swimming, Boxing & Athletics - many trophies won.

MANNING GIRLS SCHOOL:    A very successful girls Secondary / Grammar School from 1931-74 (43 yrs) which was formed from the Girls of the High Pavement School (and many of the staff) in 1931 and therefore shared the same 143 year history.

ALUMNI:    Distinguished Alumni include 6 Knighthoods & 4 Fellows Of The Royal Society (FRS).

PAVIORS RFC:   This present day very successful Nottingham Rugby Football Club (just celebrated Centenary) was originally founded in 1922 as the High Pavement School Old Boys Rugby Club.

BOY SCOUTS:    The School founded the 121st Nottingham (High Pavement School) Boy Scout Group in 1934 and this ran for 46 yrs before being dissolved in 1980 (following School conversion to 6th-Form College).

FOUNDATION DAY:   26 Jan 1788 – the day the 1st European Colony in Australia founded (now celebrated as Australia Day).

DOCUMENTATION:   School History well documented & much researched by educationalists.


High Pavement School Nottingham was founded in 1788 by the members of the High Pavement Unitarian Chapel.  Over the subsequent 230+ years, the institution has evolved from Charity Day School (1788) to Boys Grammar School (1945) and Sixth-Form College (1975).     

In 1998, the Sixth-Form College became part of New College Nottingham (NCN) which in turn merged with Nottingham Central College in 2017 to form Nottingham College.  Today, the direct descendent High Pavement Sixth-Form exists as part of the much larger Nottingham College.

THE BEGINNING (1788-1805, 17 yrs):  When the School was first founded, there were no dedicated school buildings and, for the first 17 years, teaching was conducted at the home of the Headmaster, Thomas Wheatcroft.  Initially, his home was at the junction of Willoughby Street and Fisher Gate, but later he moved to St Mary’s Gate.     

Over the subsequent 230+ years, the School occupied dedicated school buildings at 4 different sites in Nottingham.  Old Paviors have observed that all 4 sites have been very near the top of fairly large hills, ensuring that pupils got plenty of free exercise but were also able to enjoy some fine views of the City.

SITE 1:  HIGH PAVEMENT (1805-1895, 90 yrs):  A very small site (less than 0.1 acres) directly behind the High Pavement Unitarian Chapel on High Pavement, in the heart of Nottingham.  Curiously, it is built on the face of a cliff, so that there are windows on only one side.

   The photo shows (highlighted) the school buildings much as they were when the school left the site in 1895.   When first built in 1805, it is believed that the building consisted only of the central block with 7 columns of windows visible.    The Girls School would have been on the top floor and the Boy’s school on the lower floor.    The 2 end blocks are believed to have been built later, probably during a major redevelopment around 1845.

SITE 2:  STANLEY ROAD (1895-1955, 60 yrs):   Built on a green-field site about 1 mile north of the city centre (and the original School site) on Stanley Road in the Forest Fields area of the City.      

SITE 3:  GAINSFORD CRESCENT (1955-2002, 47 yrs):   

Built on a green-field site of approx. 27 acres (incl extensive Playing Fields) on the outskirts of the City on Gainsford Crescent in the Bestwood Estate, some 3 miles north of the City Centre.

SITE 4:  CHAUCER STREET (2002-Present, 17+ yrs):   

The present site of the High Pavement 6th-Form is once again in the City Centre and back close to the original School site on High Pavement.