The schools and colleges linked to Sir William Turner date from the 17th century and have gone through various forms and partnerships since that time to the present day.
The first separate boys school was founded in 1709 and the charitable foundation established then to support the school continues to function as the Sir William Turner Education Foundation. This independent Foundation continues to support the educational provision at Redcar & Cleveland College.
A full history of Sir William Turner, his Schools and Colleges was published in 2010, entitled New Lamps for Old – a hidden history of Redcar & Cleveland College, 1709-2009,
by Peter M. Chester.
Although the Free School had a fine building, income from endowments, a salaried Master and Usher, pupils from local gentry families, school rules and a curriculum, it did not really flourish..
Placing the School in Coatham and Redcar, with its rail connections to East Cleveland and Teesside, gave it a new opportunity to flourish, which it did under its first two Headmasters.
In 1927 Canon Harold D. Littler, the Headmaster from 1919 to 1941, realised his ambitions when the school was acknowledged nationally as a public school. In developing along such prestigious lines in the 1920s, the school acquired many of the trappings of a public school.
The 1944 Education Act created state grammar schools and, despite a brief attempt at full independence, state funding was the only viable option for Sir William Turner’s after 1945. After a hesitant start, and some consolidation of staffing, by 1950 the school was already achieving results bettering those of the 1930s.
The advent of comprehensive schools in Redcar in 1975 was accompanied by the establishment of a dedicated Sixth Form College, for 16-19 year olds, most of whom sought an academic education preparing them for higher education.
Cleveland Technical College was opened in 1957 in a new dedicated building on Corporation Road Redcar. Working closely with the major employers of the area, Dorman Long and ICI, the North Riding County Council provided a centre to meet the educational and technical training needs of the major local industries at that time.
The 1988 Education Act encouraged partnerships between colleges and that established in 1994 between Sir William Turner’s 6FC and Cleveland Technical College was one of the first.