Holmwood Technical High School was established as the first Practical Training Centre in February 1936. The initial enrollment was fifty male students who boarded at the school under the tutelage of Mr. Edger B. Rodgers the first superintendent. At the time the school owned Denham Farm in Chudleigh and the boys practiced practical agriculture there. Ancillary disciplines of wood-work, book-keeping and other related studies were taught at the school.
In 1961 the school was converted to a Technical High School and Mr. Winston B. Johnson appointed as principal. Agriculture was discontinued and the farm in Chudleigh sold. The curriculum was changed to traditional high school subjects with the practical subjects of Metal-Work, Auto-mechanic, Woodwork, Technical Drawing, Cookery, Dressmaking, Typewriting, Accounts, Shorthand, Office Practice, Surveying and Electrical Installation added to the curriculum. The school also became co-educational and girls boarding was afforded. The school served mainly the parishes of Manchester, Trelawny and St. Ann but students came as far as Westmoreland.
Mr. Johnson was succeeded as principal in 1971 by Mr. Ronald A. Hamilton. The school made considerable physical expansion in 1974 with the construction of a three storey block of classrooms and six staff flats. Agriculture was re-introduced into the curriculum and the student population increased. The eighties saw the inclusion of a vocational department to the school and the nineties the addition of a computer science laboratory; this latter through a gift by the Canadian Corporation and the Jamaica Computer Society supported by the Past Association in Canada.
In 1996 Mr. Hamilton was succeeded Mr. Paul Bailey as Principal of this noble Institution. Throughout his tenure as Principal, Mr. Bailey oversaw the introduction of a vibrant Sixth Form programme to the school in 2003 as well as the Grade Seven programme through which Holmwood welcomed its first set of GSAT students in 2012.
The school presently has a population of over thirteen hundred (1300) students and is currently under the leadership of Mr. Hidran McKulsky, Principal; Mrs. Jean James, Snr. Vice-Principal; and Mrs. Jennifer Brown, Vice-Principal. The school is divided into the following departments:
- Home Economics
- Technical Studies
- Business Studies
- Physical Education