The history of modern Seacroft began in 1934 with the compulsory purchase of around 1,000 acres of land by what was then known as the Leeds Corporation to provide a site for a new modern housing scheme. This scheme was designed to provide accommodation for the many hundreds of families affected by the extensive slum clearance program, undertaken by the newly formed housing committee, under the chairmanship of the Rev. Charles Jenkinson.
In the years between 1934 and the outbreak of the 2nd world war in 1939, around 1330 properties had been completed, ranging from 1 bedroom flats for old people to 5 bedroom houses for larger families.
During the post war development program of 1946 the Seacroft Housing Estate had figured prominently in the Housing Committee’s plans, to such an extent that it was now the largest single estate in the city with a total of no less than 7291 houses and a population in the region of 25,500 people. Seacroft had been chosen for the site of the city’s 1st flag ship comprehensive school, a school that was designed to cater for the entire secondary education of children in the surrounding area.
From September 1956 Foxwood School, under the Headship of Mr M R Rowlands, occupied the buildings which later became Parklands Girls High School for 2 years at the top of South Parkway, before moving into the partly completed building on Brooklands View in 1958.
The new Foxwood Comprehensive school with its vast playing fields cost in the region of £750,000 to build and occupied an area of around 37 acres of land but wasn’t fully operational until the summer of 1959 when the Main upper school and kitchen was completed. The official opening took place on February 5 1960 by Sir Hugh Gaitskell MP who used a golden key to unlock the main entrance doors to the school.
Initially Foxwood opened as an all boys school for pupils aged 11 -16 and by means of locking only 4 doors could be split into 2 self contained schools, The school was designed to cater for around 1800 pupils but on first opening in 1958 held just over 1,000.
Foxwood went mixed in 1971, during the Headship of Bob Spooner, some 3 years before the rest of Leeds, unfortunately the intake of boys was always going to be in excess of girls due to the close proximity of Parklands Girls School which was situated within Foxwoods catchment area.
In 1973 the Tory council undertook a massive reorganisation of the education system by establishing a first, middle and high school pattern of education which came into force the following year.
During the 1980’s falling pupil numbers across the city meant that all Leeds high schools developed surplus places, so in 1986 another plan of major upheaval was launched, middle schools were due to be eliminated reverting back to the old style pattern of primary and secondary system of education. Under this plan Foxwood was to be come a tertiary college for higher education.
In 1989 the overall development plan was rejected by the LEA. Foxwood was to remain open, however under the plan a new all boy's high school was to open on the former site of Braim Wood Middle School in 1992 when the plan came into force. At the same time the governors of Foxwood, according to former head Bob Spooner, decided to rename Foxwood and give it a fresh image. It was to have been named on the reorganization of 1992 the Denis Healey Secondary School but decided against it on reflection of the initials, later calling it East Leeds High School.
After a not so bad ofsted report in 1994 but still falling pupil numbers across the city it was decided to close two East Leeds schools. East Leeds High and Cross Green High were to merge to become Copperfield College on the site of the old Cross Green School. East Leeds High school closed its doors to pupils in summer 1996 and in the same year the Building opened as The East Leeds Family Learning Centre.
To be continued...........