It was the Cabinet of the 1945 Labour Government which decided that plans had to be in place for an education system, equivalent to the prevailing standards in the UK, and be available to the children of all entitled personnel (military or civilian), irrespective of Service or status or rank before families could join the entitled servicemen and certain military sponsored civilians in the British Zone of Germany.
The provision of primary education was solved relatively easily with the provision of small schools in all the large garrisons and individual, more isolated, major units.
The provision of secondary education (for children above the age of 11) was more complex as the 1,000 potential pupils were scattered over an area the size of Wales. A co-educational comprehensive boarding system was the deemed to be the only sensible solution although this was totally alien to the majority of parents, children and teaching staff.
Prince Rupert School in Wilhemshaven, opened in July 1947 in the Naval Barracks attached to the former Kriegsmarine Dockyard with 70 pupils for a one month trial. The experiment was judged a success and 250 pupils joined for the Autumn Term. King Alfred School in Ploen followed in the Summer of 1948 with initially 500 and subsequently 600 pupils.
There were also small Secondary day schools in Hamburg and Berlin for a time but these proved not to be viable and they were closed in the early 1950’s with the pupils being transferred to Prince Rupert School and King Alfred School. The provision of boarding school places peaked in 1953 with the opening of Windsor School in Hamm.
However, the signing of the German Peace Treaty, the Restructuring/Redeployment of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and the Royal Air Force Germany (RAF G) into the British Elements of a new NATO Force based in West Germany and the Status Forces Act, which limited BAOR to a maximum of 55,000 all ranks, and the increasing infrastructure costs meant that the existing education system had to be radically revised. As a result King Alfred School in Ploen closed in the Autumn of 1959 and Windsor School in Hamm was divided into two separate schools. Click on the following links for more detailed histories or select from the menu above.