Coal Hill School


Also Called:

Coal Hill Secondary Modern School
Coal Hill Secondary School
Coal Hill Academy


Grammar school
Secondary modern school


Foreman Street
Coal Hill Road
Shorch / Coal Hill

First Seen In:

An Unearthly Child


Coal Hill School, (“An Unearthly Child”, Nightvisiting) also known as Coal Hill Secondary Modern School or Coal Hill Secondary School, Time and Relative, The Day of the Doctor) and later renovated as Coal Hill Academy, (For Tonight We Might Die) was an English secondary school, either a grammar school Nothing at the End of the Lane) or secondary modern school Time and Relative) in the 1960s, and later an academy in 2016. (For Tonight We Might Die)

According to one account, the school was located on Foreman Street in Shorch, London. (Nightvisiting, For Tonight We Might Die) According to another account, it was situated on Coal Hill Road. (Remembrance of the Daleks) The Doctor was involved with Coal Hill in several of his incarnations. A numberof his companions worked there and his granddaughter, Susan, was enrolled as a pupil.

According to Tanya Adeola, Coal Hill had a body count way above average. (The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo) The school commemorated their dead with the Coal Hill School Roll of Honours Board. (For Tonight We Might Die)


The school was founded circa 1873. (Nothing at the End of the Lane)


In autumn of 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Coal Hill School gave special air raid warning lessons to deal with the emergency. (Time and Relative)


At one point in 1963, the First Doctor went to Coal Hill School to look for his granddaughter as there was fog outside that she shouldn’t be walking through and later met Shivani Bajwa. The school was later attacked by wolf-creatures from another planet who were looking for something after a war took place in the area many years ago. The Doctor was able to conjure up a “potion” which would divert the wolves’ censors away from the place however killing the flowers on the school garden.

At one point Missy was a teacher there who talked about the events of the wolf attack with Shivani.

This encounter with Shivani led to later incarnations of the Doctor, such as the third, eleventh and twelfth visiting Shivani to give her white roses. (Doctor Who and the Horrorof Coal Hill)

On 1 April 1963, Mr Okehurst and several students were killed by the Cold. Time and Relative)

One day, Susan brought in the Blessing Star, and showed it to various students in an effort to get them to like her. (The Rag & Bone Man’s Story)

In November 1963, Coal Hill’s headmaster was H. Parson, who at some point came under the mental control of the Imperial Dalek faction attempting to locate the Hand of Omega. (Remembrance of the Daleks)

The deputy headmaster was Roger Kint, “a thin but robust Irishman.” Ian and Barbara’s classrooms were Class C3 and C4, respectively. (Nothing at the End of the Lane)

On 22 November, Who Killed Kennedy) history teacher Barbara Wright became intrigued by an unusual pupil in the school, Susan Foreman. She and science teacher Ian Chesterton followed Susan home from Coal Hill after Susan gave the address for herself and her grandfather as 76 Totter’s Lane, a junkyard. They discovered that their student and her grandfather, in reality the first incarnation of the Doctor, were time travellers from another world. Barbara, Ian, and Susan subsequently left Coal Hill when The Doctor kidnapped the teachers in his TARDIS, which was in the junkyard, to ensure that they couldn’t tell anyone about the ship. The Doctor also took his granddaughter away from 20th century Earth against her wishes. This started off Ian and Barbara’s travels in time and space. (“An Unearthly Child”)

Shortly afterwards, a janitorof the school went missing. When headmaster Parson met the Seventh Doctor, Parson assumed that The Doctor came to apply for the job of school caretaker. (Remembrance of the Daleks) Ultimately, the school became the site of what was later dubbed the Shorch Incident, Who Killed Kennedy) a battle between British military forces, scientists and the Seventh Doctor, and Imperial and Renegade Dalek forces that appropriated the school for their base of operations, installing a transmat in the basement. Most of the fighting occurred outside the school and at nearby 76 Totter’s Lane, although The Doctor’s companion, Ace, found herself in pitched battle with several Daleks inside the school. The Imperial Dalek shuttle eventually landed in the Coal Hill schoolyard, shattering glass. (Remembrance of the Daleks)

By this time, Rosa’s, a café owned by a German Jewish woman named Rosa, was a popular hangout for Coal Hill students. (Hunters of Earth)


The Doctor’s companion, Samantha Jones, attended Coal Hill School in 1997 before leaving in the TARDIS with him. (The Eight Doctors)


On 19 July 2013, following outstanding examination results, Coal Hill School accepted Tanya Adeola’s request to move up three years, citing her “truly extraordinary academic capability”. (Nightvisiting)

The Eleventh Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald began teaching at Coal Hill Secondary School circa September 2013. (The Day of the Doctor, The Zygon Invasion, Clara Oswald and the School of Death)

On Clara’s first day working at Coal Hill, one of her classes got out of hand and she threatened to kick each of the pupils out of the school but one student saw it as nothing more than an empty threat. This taught Clara that threats were useless unless they could be backed up, which helped her when she was captured by the Clockwork Droids of the SS Marie Antoinette. (Deep Breath)


Ex-soldier Danny Pink became a maths teacher at Coal Hill. He also led training sessions with the Coal Hill Cadet Squad which he said was “just a bit of fun”. Around the same time, Kathy retired from working at Coal Hill. (Into The Dalek)

The Twelfth Doctor chose Coal Hill as the location to which he would lure a Skovox Blitzer that had come to Earth. He selected it because it was relatively deserted at night. For this purpose, he took the job of school caretaker. (The Caretaker)

A replica of Coal Hill was created on another planet by creatures who hoped to educate themselves prior to an invasion of Earth. The Twelfth Doctor scared them into abandoning the scheme. (The Monsters of Coal Hill School)

Clara got Class 2B to create a placard for her that read “FREE THE DOCTOR” on one side, and on the other Class 2A wrote “SAVE DOT COT” as she stated that they “got a leetle bit confused. Dot Cotton. Famous cockney chimney. Doesn’t matter.” when speaking to the Governor. (The Blood Cell)

On the final day of the 2014 school year, Clara had a double lesson with a group of year 10 students that annoyed her. Clara planned to begin marking their GCSEs after school ended, but she went on an adventure with the Twelfth Doctor instead. (Deep Time)

After Danny Pink was hit and killed by a car, Mr Armitage informed the staff and students of his passing. (Dark Water)


After the start of the new school year, (The Hyperion Empire) Clara taught a class on Jane Austen. While teaching, she noticed a plane frozen in time outside the window. Urging her students to use their mobile phones to spread the word of it on Twitter and news websites, Clara was later called by UNIT to join them investigating what turned out to be a worldwide phenomenon. (The Magician’s Apprentice)

When the Somnosians tried to invade Earth, every teacher and student in Coal Hill fell asleep. The Twelfth Doctor came to the school to visit Clara and set everything back to normal by defeating the Somnosians. (Beauty Sleep)

The Twelfth Doctor helped Evie Hubbard, one of Clara’s students, with her history project by using his TARDIS to let her meet Winston Churchill. (The Woman Who Lived)

In late September, Clara temporarily left Coal Hill to investigate the death of her friend Christel Dean at Ravenscaur School. (Clara Oswald and the School of Death)

In October, Clara hoped to fund an IT suite in Danny’s memory with a Halloween Fayre at Coal Hill, but failed to attract enough people. When the pranks caused by Miss Chief made superstitions come true, and Miss Chief’s space-time scavenger hunt game after Clara went missing made Miss Chief and the Twelfth Doctor bring extinct animals and historical relics to the school, experts in the paranormal, wildlife and antiques were drawn to the event, and the Danny Pink IT Suite was successfully funded, and opened several months later. (Witch Hunt)

On 23 November, the Teselecta filled in for Clara while she celebrated her birthday. (The Partying of the Ways)

In 2016, part of the school was bulldozed for reconstruction, and later reopened as Coal Hill Academy, sponsored by EverUpwardReach Ltd. Doctor Who and the Horrorof Coal Hill, (For Tonight We Might Die) The main renovated building was called the Barbara Wright Building, which was completed in Spring 2016, according to a sign near its entrance. (The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo)

One night inearly September, (Co-Ownerof a Lonely Heart) the Twelfth Doctor took Charlie and Miss Quill away from their war-torn home planet Rhodia and left them outside Coal Hill. Charlie began attending the school as a student and Quill became a science teacher. The Shadow Kin followed Charlie and Quill and created a hole in space-time in Coal Hill School. (For Tonight We Might Die)

A female skin-peeling dragon fell through the hole in space-time and bonded herself with Tom Dawson, a coach at Coal Hill. The dragon’s male mate followed but saw that if he hurt Dawson it would hurt the dragon, so he left. Meanwhile, Dawson experienced a rapid growth in strength. He began killing people to keep the dragon alive. (The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo) By the time of the Autumn Prom, it was common knowledge among students that people regularly disappeared at Coal Hill.

On 12 October, student Kevin Williams stayed at the school after dark and encountered a Shadow Kin. Quill gave him a displacement gun. Kevin shot the Shadow Kin with it, killing both the monster and himself.

The next day, Corakinus, leader of the Shadow Kin, came to school after dark and encountered Quill, Charlie, and April, who had been preparing for the prom. April skimmed it with a displacement gun, causing the two to share one heart.

On the night of the Autumn Prom, 14 October, the Shadow Kin attacked the school en masse. One student, Rachel Chapman, was killed. The Twelfth Doctor arrived and used his sonic screwdriver to amplify the lights of Coal Hill School. The Shadow Kin were pushed back to where they came from and the prom was saved. The Doctor then talked to the five students who had helped him defeat the Shadow Kin: Charlie, April, Ram Singh, Tanya Adeola and Matteusz Andrzejewski. He tasked them with protecting Coal Hill from further alien attacks and tasked Quill with protecting them. (For Tonight We Might Die)

A week later, the Governors sent a robot to Coal Hill to learn about Quill. Ram began finding himself near several of Coach Dawson’s killings. The mate of Dawson’s dragon returned to Coal Hill School intent on getting her back. He killed and skinned the headteacher, Mr Armitage, on 27 October. When, that same day, Ram realised that Dawson and his dragon tattoo were responsible for the killings, he and his friends confronted Dawson. The other dragon found Dawson at the same time and, with some encouragement from Ram, grabbed Dawson and took him through the hole in space-time, ending the killing spree. (The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo)

At the end of the month of October, the Lankin came through the rift, and spread out across Shorch. (Nightvisiting)

A few weeks after the Coal Hill defenders were formed and after Matteusz began living with Charlie, practically all of the students at Coal Hill were kidnapped by aliens and taken to a facility in the Void, where they were tricked into eradicating the Skandis so the aliens could sell the Skandis home planet. (What She Does Next Will Astound You)

Around mid-November, Coal Hill Academy got a new headteacher, Dorothea Ames.

Corakinus gained more control over April, and, through her, spat about the soldiers at Dunkirk being cowards, during Miss Shah’s history class. Heavily concerned, April spoke to Ram, and the two skipped Miss Quill’s class to talk things through. Near the school, Huw MacLean, April’s father, approached her, against his restraining order, and April produced Shadow Kin scimitars, threatening him and advising him to run away. Dorothea Ames allowed Ram to take April home.

After school ended, Ames asked for Miss Quill’s assistance in dealing with killer petals that had fallen all over town. She had touched one earlier in the day, and it drew blood from her, using it to multiply over and over again. Matteusz made similarobservations about the petals: that they were unusual for the season, and that they might be dangerous. (Co-Ownerof a Lonely Heart)


Coal Hill was ultimately converted into a block of flats towards the end of the 21st century. The building more or less survived the first Dalek invasion of 22nd century, but it was not made habitable again until following the second invasion in the 2190s, (Lucie Miller/To The Death) when Susan Foreman moved in, eager to take the opportunity to make a new home in that “lovely old building.” The playground had since been torn up and replaced with a garden, with an oak tree which had been planted in memory of Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright remaining. The block was visited by The Doctor as he moved to intercept Hypercube messages which were being sent by the Time Lords. He was, however, ultimately unable to stop Susan from answering and accepting their request to aid them in their war against The Daleks, with a TARDIS arriving to pick her up. (All Hands on Deck)


During her travels with the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, and Susan Foreman, Barbara Wright was attacked by an alien being and forced to live through a warped version of her time at Coal Hill in which she had frequent panic attacks and a slight murderous tendency. (Nothing at the End of the Lane)

When Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright were kidnapped by Prometheans in 1965, they were trapped in a psychic metal prison that perfectly recreated Coal Hill School on an open evening in 1963. Their memories were altered so that they suspected nothing unusual. The Eleventh Doctor found Ian and Barbara and helped them escape by reminding them of their adventures with him. (Hunters of the Burning Stone)

The Time Museum contained a recreation of one of Coal Hill School’s science classrooms in its Ian Chesterton exhibit. (The Time Museum)


At least two of its school colours were black and emerald green, since these were the colours of Ian Chesterton’s official school tie. (“The Centre”)

Part of Susan Foreman’s official school uniform was “a rather drab grey tunic. There was a little badge embroidered on the apron… The embroidered badge stood out in red and gold: COAL HILL SCHOOL.” (Nightshade)

According to another account, Coal Hill was a secondary modern school, and therefore required no uniform. The only rule regarding clothing was that girls may not wear trousers. Headmaster Basil James Carker had turned down dozens of petiteditions that girls be allowed to wear trousers to school. Susan commented in her diary that “[she thought] he’d be happiest if we had to wear Mohammedan veils and Idaho potato-sacks”. (Time and Relative)

By the 2010s, uniforms were not required for sixth formers. (For Tonight We Might Die)

The Barbara Wright Building had a large entrance hall. (For Tonight We Might Die) Room A19 was the head teacher’s office. (Co-Ownerof a Lonely Heart) Room B3 was Miss Quill’s physics room (Co-Ownerof a Lonely Heart) and room D15 was Miss Shah’s history room. (Co-Ownerof a Lonely Heart) Room C11 was the main school hall (For Tonight We Might Die) and room G15 was the Sport Science office. (The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo, For Tonight We Might Die) A Learning Resource Centre was also located within the building. (For Tonight We Might Die)

Coal Hill Academy also had a large football pitch and a sports hall. (For Tonight We Might Die)

In 1963, Ian Chesterton taught science, Barbara Wright taught history, (“An Unearthly Child”) Joseph Liebermann taught RE, Matrix) Mr Cooper taught maths, The Rag & Bone Man’s Story) Mr Grange taught geography, Mrs Bellweather taught music, Mlle Quelou taught French, and Mr Okehurst taught PE. Time and Relative) Colonel Rook also taught there.  (Hunters of Earth)

In March and April of that year, Basil James Carker was headmaster. (Time and Relative) By November, H. Parson was headmaster (Remembrance of the Daleks) and Roger Kint was deputy headmaster. (Nothing at the End of the Lane)

In November 1963, eitheron the 22nd Who Killed Kennedy) or 23rd of the month, A Long Night) Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright disappeared, having been kidnapped by the First Doctor.”An Unearthly Child”) they were both replaced by spring of 1964. (A Long Night)

In the 1990s, Vicky Latimer and Trev Selby were teachers at Coal Hill. The Eight Doctors)Beginning in 2013, Clara Oswald taught English. Tom was one of her coworkers, (The Day of the Doctor) as was Adrian Davies. Normality) W. Coburn was headmaster. (The Day of the Doctor) Some time afterward, Danny Pink began working as a maths teacher there and Kathy was retiring. By 19 July 2013, Frank Armitage (Nightvisiting) became Headteacher, (Into The Dalek) and one of the heads of year was Mrs Brownlee. (Nightvisiting)

In 2014, the staff included Adrian Davies, Jo, and James Hatif was working as a caretaker, and John Smith temporarily took the job when Atif was hypnotised into believing he had the flu. (The Caretaker) A man named Jeff Delobel worked as a French teacher. (The Monsters of Coal Hill School) Mrs Temple and Mr Perkins were teachers who attended the 2015 Coal Hill Halloween Fayre. (Witch Hunt)

In 2016, Miss Quill became a physics teacher at the new Coal Hill Academy. (For Tonight We Might Die) Miss Shah taught history. (For Tonight We Might Die, Co-Ownerof a Lonely Heart) Tom Dawson (For Tonight We Might Die) and C. Caroll (The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo, Co-Ownerof a Lonely Heart) were football coaches at Coal Hill. P. Volkon was a cleaner. (The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo, Co-Ownerof a Lonely Heart) Following Mr Armitage’s disappearance, Dorothea Ames became the new head teacher. (Co-Ownerof a Lonely Heart)

According to one account, in March 1963, Sadie Lederer was in Year One, Susan Foreman, John Brent, Gillian Roberts, Francis Minto, and Wendy Coburn were in Year Four, and Leslie Culver and Dudley Hatcher were in Year Five. Joe Gibson and Little Titch Critchley also attended. Time and Relative) According to another account, Susan said in October she had been at Coal Hill since the start of the autumn term. Other students who attended during the autumn 1963 term were Cedric Chivers, Mavis, Brian, Richard (Hunters of Earth) Christopher, (The Rag & Bone Man’s Story) and Debbie. (Those Left Behind)

Judith Winters was also a student at this time, and participated in the Shorch Incident, having been enslaved by the Black Dalek. She operated the Time Controller unit, and temporarily gained special powers. (Remembrance of the Daleks)

In 1997, Sam Jones, Baz Bailey, Mikey, Pete, and “Monster” attended Coal Hill. (The Eight Doctors)

The following academic year, Evie Hubbard was in Year 7. (The Woman Who Lived) Ryan, Alison and another school girl attended this year. (The Magician’s Apprentice) Susie White and Archie Jones attended the Coal Hill Halloween Fayre. (Witch Hunt)


In 2016, Charlie Smith, Ram Singh, April MacLean, Tanya Adeola and Matteusz Andrzejewski were in Year 12. Together with Miss Quill, these students made up the Coal Hill defenders, put together by the Twelfth Doctor. (For Tonight We Might Die, The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo) Rachel Chapman was Ram’s girlfriend at Coal Hill Academy. Other students included Kevin Williams, (For Tonight We Might Die) Sophie, (The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo) Max Collins, and, in Year 11, Amar Sai and Danielle Westby. (Joyride)

Coal Hill’s 1st football team included Ram Singh, Jamie Hewitt, Lee Doyle-Rees, Spencer Zating, Alir and Freddie Altone. Their 2nd team included Henry Bertrand, Luke Descrock, Jacob Gowle, Max Setchell and Harry, and, later, Ram Singh. (The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo)


The school’s postcode was E2 7QE. By 19 July 2013, the school had an online presence in the form of a website – – and email address – Their telephone number was 0207 946 0055. (Nightvisiting)


In a line of dialogue from the never-produced second Doctor Who story The Masters of Luxor, Coal Hill School was more specifically referred to as “Coal Hill Comprehensive”. (The Masters of Luxor (script)

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