Ethel Joy Wragg was the founder of Sherrardswood School.
She was a practical, down to earth person as well as a visionary. Miss Wragg spent a lot of time visiting a number of 'new era' schools which were generally referred to as 'progressive schools'. Following a holiday course in pottery in 1928 at one of these progressive schools, she found herself working as a part-time teacher there looking after a group of 11 year old students. She eventually became one of the owners of the school and when she embarked upon a camping trip with her fellow proprietors, Miss Backett and Miss Grimshaw, she felt a calling to start a new school in Welwyn Garden City. It was a new town, still at the beginning of its development. She obtained the names and addresses of a number of parents of young children and drafted a letter stating her intention to start an independent, co-educational school in and invited these parents to meet with 40 people in attendance. They chose a chairman who guided question and answer periods and several parents promised they would send their children to the school as soon as it was ready. She was unable to give a definite date, but promised them it would be sometime in September.
In September at 13 Elmwood in Welwyn Garden City, the school had three boarding pupils and the school was called The High School. There was as yet no secondary school in Welwyn Garden City, so they hoped the name they had chosen would indicate the intention to develop into a Senior school with a preparatory section.
After a month of being in Elmwood, she was told by a planning committee that a school could not continue in a house any longer and that they must find a building. Miss Wragg consulted an architect who was enthusiastic about the school and the site chosen was Digswell Road and Sherrards Road. Within a week work was beginning on the new site and in September 1929, about 60 children started at the new school.
The anniversary of the founding of the school is celebrated at the Birthday Assembly on September 28 each year and the school will be 93 years old this year.