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Epsom College, 1940-1962
 
 

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The period after the Second World War was just as disrupted as the 1920s. The War had impoverished the College and most of her potential parents, while calls on the Royal Medical Foundation had never been so great. At the same time the Government decision to create a Welfare State impacted in many different ways - the Sanatorium was no longer so necessary now that free medical services were available in Epsom, co-operation with the Ministry of Education was vital over School Inspections, the Direct Grant and the creation of a new school exam system (O and A Levels), local planning restrictions forced the sale of land, just as they restricted the utilisation of the College itself for its own benefit. Without a large endowment to cushion the blows, the College had a very difficult few years, forced to look abroad for pupils and unable to afford the redevelopment that was really necessary. Through all this, school life carried on much as before - societies throve, this was the most prolific period for play productions, the opportunities for foreign travel began to multiply etc. Above all, school sport began to gain in reputation, while academically Epsom moved towards her strongest position compared to other schools.

However, Epsom was not moving on fast enough. The College was set in its pre-War mode of being a cheap education and, while this allowed the Foundation to support remarkable numbers of boys, it restricted the ability of the school to modernise as others were doing. By the end of this time, Epsom was beginning to look very old-fashioned and tensions between the school and parents and boys were becoming noticeable. Innovative in the 1860s, the College was by now backward-looking and extremely conservative in outlook, aided in its complaisant attitude by the accumulated scholarships tenable at universities and medical schools and tenable only by Epsom boys.