As Hanwell’s population grew rapidly in the second half of the nineteenth century the demand for schools to avoid overcrowding increased.
Hanwell School Board was formed in 1899 , St Ann’s was built during 1901
The architect, Mr. Pywell, was a Hanwell man who was also responsible for designing two other local Hanwell schools – Oaklands and Hobbayne .
It opened its doors in September of 1902 just before the board’s functions were transferred to the county council . Initially it catered for all ages, providing education for hundreds of boys and girls from the northern part of the parish .
Hanwell School Board however ‘soon doubted the wisdom of mixed schooling’ and in 1903 the school was closed and immediately reopened as separate St Ann’s Boys’ and Girl’s Schools, with distinct entrances.
In 1926, when Hanwell became part of Ealing, the new borough took over the council schools.
Shortly before the second World War a further change took place when the opening of a new boys’ schools in the area resulted in the removal of the boys from St Ann’s and the school was redesignated as St Ann’s County Secondary School for Girls.
Although records are scant, we do know that in the 1920s the school housed a cookery centre and that the extensive basement was used as an air raid shelter during the WWII raids.
In the post-War period the 1960’s saw a marked increased in pupil numbers resulting in the erection of a Science block on the site, and the absorption of the adjacent St Ann’s Primary School.
In 1982 it became a special needs school and remains so to this day .
Many thanks to Jonathan Oates, Nick Maddison, Paul Lang and David Blackwell for their contributions.
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