The first statutory inspection of the school also took place in 1906, and its findings closely matched those of Sadler. The conclusion of the inspectors, though, was interesting. "There is so much that is good in the school, and it is so clearly capable of filling efficiently a most important place in the public provision of education, that it appears incumbent upon the local authority to secure to it . . . a sufficient income". The strongest subjects were science and mathematics; the weakest were history, art and French. Entrance Scholarships were at this time awarded on the basis of an examination (held on the first Saturday in December) in Reading, Writing, Dictation, Drawing, and Arithmetic; and three subjects from History, Geography, Grammar, Mechanics and Shorthand. This exam must have been something of a marathon! The Headmaster stated that "scholarship boys pass through with distinction . . . some proceeding to the Universities".
In March 1907, the Board of Education threatened to withdraw its recognition of efficiency from the school, and its officers' minutes show clearly that this was an attempt to force the County Council into increasing their financial support, first given after the 1902 Education Act. A compromise was effected in June l907 whereby the county paid for an additional master (at £125 per annum), but the Board continued to deny permanent recognition, in the hope of persuading the council to give a further subvention. After an increase of fees in 1910, the Board put the school back on a permanent recognition basis.
Accounts of the school from former pupils at this time, like all such recollections, are tinged with sharp loyalty. There is no doubt the value of the teaching and school life were appreciated by the boys rather more than the accounts of Sadler and the Board's Inspectors would suggest. Despite the lack of money, school life was full. Games were played at various grounds in the town, the Forest was used for cross-country races and other athletic events. Various concerts and socials took place, and a December prize-giving, at the Victoria Hall, predecessor of the Granada Cinema. Most of the pupils found undoubtedly that the school gave them a good start in life; for many it was obviously the starting point of much social advancement. An Old Boys' Club was formed and thrived, when such things were virtually unknown, such was the loyalty of the former pupils.