History of St Mary's School

St. Mary's School, run by the Sisters of Mercy, opened on 17th April 1928 in Eltham High Street with 186 children.   The great need for a school in Eltham was soon made abundantly clear by the large numbers seeking admission.   Records show that there were 449 children on roll in March 1934 and by September that number had risen to 494.


During the Second World War the school was evacuated to Ashford, Kent and then Wales, while the building was requisitioned for use as the HQ of the Eltham Rescue Service.  St Mary's was re-opened in 1940, to provide for children who had been returned home, with 16 children present for the morning sessions and 3 for the afternoons.   Normality was only resumed when peace prevailed in 1945.


St Thomas More Secondary School was opened in 1964, at which point St Mary's ceased to be an 'all age' school (one of the last in London to be re-organised) and started to cater exclusively for the 5-11 age range.


After 55 years as an educational landmark in Eltham High Street, the site was developed as a supermarket and St. Mary's was re-sited in its present premises on Glenure Road.   The staff and pupils moved in September 1984 and the official opening by Bishop Charles Henderson took place on 3rd May 1985.


In 1993, following the retirement of Sister Carmel, the Sisters of Mercy ended their long and fruitful years of service to St. Mary's School and the first lay Head was appointed.   The school continues to flourish and provide an excellent, Catholic education for the children of the area.