The History of George Dixon School

George Dixon was born in 1820 and came to Birmingham from Yorkshire in 1838. The son of a well-to-do family he quickly became a successful businessman. At the same time he served the community as a councillor, magistrate and eventually as a Member of Parliament.

Birmingham in the nineteenth century was a city creating wealth but at the same time many of its citizens were extremely poor. George Dixon believed that lack of education was the main reason for so much crime and poverty, link. He spent his life trying to improve the education available to the people of Birmingham.

In 1884 he started a school, Bridge Street Seventh Grade School, to provide boys with two years of technical education. In 1888 the school moved to Oozells Street and started to provide education for girls.

George Dixon died in 1889. The two schools moved to new buildings at the present site on City Road in 1906. The decision was taken to honour the man who had done so much to help education in Birmingham by naming the schools after him.

"George Dixon - The Man and the Schools", by John Morris Jones.

A couple of extracts from the new book, 'The History of George Dixon School' soon to be published.

"Staff were appointed to the combined school in 1975 particularly two young teachers - Mr S Gale and Mr D Housley who successfully combined to replace Mr J C Endall in Economics and Geography and Mr P Harris (Physics). In the September of the same year Mr R J Hayes joined the staff in the History department; he had been in the school previously as a successful student teacher trainee. The following year Mr G P Vyse joined the Geography Department as a temporary appointment for Mrs Sue Cutler, the Head of Geography. Later Mr Vyse became one of Mr William Gray's first appointments. Apart from Mr Harris the other teachers have remained to this day and between 4 members of staff, they have 120 years service to the school."

"The musical 'Oliver' had some notable young actors namely Ewan Cummins as Fagin (the first young black actor to take this demanding role)- Miss Gregory spoke about Ewan to the local press 'If I had to pick out one actor who was exceptional, then it would be Ewan. It may be a little unusual, but he was the best person for the part.', Delyth Jones as Nancy and Andrew Tiernan as the Artful Dodger. Andrew later has a successful career as an actor starring in Prime Suspect 2 with Helen Mirren and other roles in theatre and film. The role of Oliver was played by two pupils on alternate nights- Jason Quigley (Andrew's brother) and James Oakley. The school orchestra provided the music and other peripatetic teachers conducted by Angela Gregory- the Head of Music. Notable staff in various roles- Paul Coley as Mr Bumble, Ilsa Mason as Widow Corney, Malcolm Hanney as Dr Grimwig, David Housley as Bill Sykes (plenty of padding)."