School History

The Cardinal Wiseman School was opened in 1959. It was built to provide an additional capacity for West London's expanding catholic community including significant numbers of Irish families settling in Ealing. The first Headteacher, Maurice O’Riordan and his colleagues established and maintained high standards, with many families opting to forego grammar school places to attend Cardinal Wiseman. When the school opened in 1959 there were 318 pupils; in 2022 we have almost 2,000 students.

Maurice O’Riordan, the first Head Teacher (1959-1979)

An early staff photograph (1959)

The foundation established by Maurice O’Riordan over sixty years ago is clearly evident today.  One example is the school avoiding the fashionable re-branding of uniforms. Our students proudly wear the original uniform and crest, proclaiming  ‘All Things for Christ’. We remain a school of the local parishes, with a number of current students following their parents and grandparents to Cardinal Wiseman.

Under the stewardship of Angus McMillan in the 1980’s and 90’s the school expanded, particularly through the amalgamation of Cardinal Wiseman with the Cardinal Newman School (Acton). The Cardinal Wiseman achieved Technology School specialist status and later added Humanities.

Mr. Angus McMillan (1991)

In 1997 the Labour Party, under elected Tony Blair, promised that education would be their priority for government funding and development. In the same year Paul Patrick became Headteacher, and had an immediate galvanising impact upon the school community. Three years after his arrival The Cardinal Wiseman achieved it’s first ‘Outstanding’ judgements from both the Ofsted and Diocesan inspections – inspection grades that Cardinal Wiseman has maintained (Ofsted Report) as we strive to continuously improve the provision for our students.

Photographs from the Cultural Evening 2010