The School opened its doors to 115 first form and 84 third form boys on 9th September 1954. In addition to Mr J C Kingsland, the Headmaster and Mr R A Mayo, the Second Master, there were eight other members of the teaching staff and Mrs K Malins the School Secretary. There were 14 Governors. Mr Kingsland, Mr Mayo, three other members of the teaching staff and Mrs Malins were previously at Beckenham Technical School for Boys.
Mr J C Kingsland, former Headmaster of Beckenham Technical School for Boys, was appointed the first Headmaster of Cray Valley Technical School. He took up his duties on 1st May 1954. He was a member of Kent Education Committee selection committee and Chairman of the Heads of Technical Schools.
In 1954, Mr Kingsland said about the new school and its curriculum:
“We are primarily concerned with education of boys in the broad sense, but not with giving a narrow or specialised vocational training. It is a liberal and exacting curriculum with certain techniques borrowed from the engineering industry and providing generous social and athletic opportunities”.
In July 1955 in Issue 1 of ‘The Rook’ Mr Kingsland wrote: “To share in the creation of a new school is a
privilege, a challenge and a responsibility. To us has been entrusted the task of preparing the blue-prints and making the patterns from which the future life of the School will be cast. Upon the quality of work we are now doing, will depend the kind of life future generations of boys will enjoy. We have been given a splendid opportunity. We have a fine building and good equipment. We are determined that they shall serve the needs of a first-class school.”
He had previously written (in 1949) an article entitled ‘The Vocational Aspect of Education’, published in
‘The History of Secondary Technical Education’ in which, as Headmaster of Beckenham County Technical School, he wrote:
“The history of secondary technical education is unfolding around us”
and, in a memorandum to the Staff, said:
“We have faith in the importance and value of this type of education. …………..We are engaged upon a considerable enterprise and upon our efforts now depends whether there will indeed be parity of esteem for Technical Schools in the future. The acid test of the quality of the education we are providing is: ‘Would you be happy to think that your own boy was coming here?’ If the answer is ‘No’, then it is our plain duty to those who do come here to strive by every means to make good present deficiencies.”
Many believe that Cray Valley Technical School was testimony to his faith.
He was awarded the CBE when he retired in 1966.