Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Dennis Holman 1929-2012: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Dennis Holman 1929-2012: News

Article excerpt

Dennis Holman was a pioneer, taking on a job that was unique in education at the time and making a success of it.

Mr Holman was the founding principal of Cricklade College in Hampshire in 1975, the first purpose-built tertiary college in the country, offering both A levels and vocational courses. He presided over the birth of the college and was heavily involved with the simultaneous closure of the local grammar schools.

Growing up in Bristol, where his father worked as a fire officer, Mr Holman went on to study history at Exeter College, Oxford. After finishing his teacher training, he started work at the independent Felsted School in Essex.

Mr Holman's ambition was always to be a teacher and he was a natural. After Felsted he taught at two more independents, St Albans School in Hertfordshire and Bristol Grammar School, before moving to the maintained sector and taking on the deputy headship of Ellesmere Port School in Cheshire.

In 1965, aged only 36, Mr Holman was made head of Dr Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham, a post he held for seven years. By 1972, he was ready for a new challenge. First he took over at Andover Grammar School in Hampshire, and in 1975 he became the first principal of Cricklade College (now Andover College). At the same time, the area's grammar schools were closed, with a number of his former colleagues from Andover Grammar joining Mr Holman at the new college.

Mr Holman was involved in every aspect of college life - he never missed the annual staff-versus-students cricket match, for example. …

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