Our School

Ilford County High School is a high achieving, specialist grammar school for boys with six forms of entry from September 2016. 


There are 657 boys studying in the Main School and 342 in the Sixth Form.  The Sixth Form currently offers eighteen subjects to AS or A Level and we expect the number of students to rise to 360 by September 2017.

Originally one of a number of selective schools in the outer London Borough of Redbridge, ICHS was retained in 1973 as the only boys’ selective school in the area.

Admission at 11+ takes place through tests administered by the Local Education Authority, the London Borough of Redbridge.

General Facilities


The main building, built in the 1930’s, is on two floors.


The lower level includes the assembly hall, Modern Language rooms, Chemistry laboratories, Music rooms and a Humanities wing housing Geography, History, Economics and Business Studies. An extension to the main building, completed in two stages between January 1997 and March 1998, replaced and enhanced existing facilities for Design and Technology, Electronics and Science.

There is also a Sports Hall and heated indoor swimming pool as well as an extremely well equipped Learning Resource Centre that has excellent 6thForm study facilities.

Biology and Physics laboratories, the Art rooms, the Mathematics rooms, the Computer rooms, the room for Religious Education, and the Food studies room are all on the upper level.

External to the main building is the dining room, and a four-classroom English block.

There are also on-site tennis courts, a basketball court, and playing fields for football, rugby, hockey, cricket and athletics. Building work is currently underway to provide two new classrooms and an impressive new Science, Technology and Sixth form block. This project should be completed during the 2016/17 academic year.

School History

In 1901 the world was a very different place. Queen Victoria passed away, having reigned for 63 years, and the coronation of King Edward VII heralded a new age both for Britain and the Empire. In the USA President McKinley was assassinated leaving Theodore Roosevelt to take the reins of power and lead America upon the path to becoming a major world power. 

Ilford was also a rapidly changing place. In 1871 its population was 5,947 but by 1901 it had increased to 42,000. In response to this burgeoning growth, the Ilford School Board was formed in 1893 with the remit of providing a suitable education for the increasing number of children living in the area. With this task in mind the Board founded the Park Higher Grade School in Balfour Road, Ilford. The Ilford School Board’s stewardship of the school was to be short-lived as the Balfour Education Act of 1902 abolished School Boards. Responsibility for providing secondary education was transferred to county councils and county boroughs and in 1904 Essex Education Committee took control. 

Mr C W Clayson was the first Headmaster with A E Diggens and Miss A L M Hunter in charge of the boys and girls respectively. Shortly afterwards, it was decided that the boys’ and girls’ departments should have their own dedicated staff and the three senior posts were redesignated as Organising Master, Headmaster of the Boys' School and Headmistress of the Girls' School. The two schools then became completely separate entities with Mr Diggins as Headmaster and Miss E E Hunter as Headmistress. 

A book of photographs was published in 2001 to commemorate the centenary of the school which started life as The Park Higher Grade and which was destined to become, after several name changes, Ilford County High School (ICHS). The original school was home to both boys and girls until 1929 when the girls moved to a new site in Cranbrook Road. The Ilford County High School for Boys moved to our current site in Fremantle Road Barkingside in 1935.


The illustrious history of the school has been faithfully documented by our school magazine 'Chronicles' since 1908. It is easy to get lost in the hundreds of editions of the magazine that we have, reading about the fiercely contested House competition or the exploits of the Old Parkonians, the achievements of school leavers or the activities of the many clubs and societies in the school. It is when reading 'Chronicles' and looking through photographs like those presented here that we are reminded of all the things that make Ilford County High School the great school it is today and all the qualities that will take it from strength to strength in the future.