On a gentle hill to the north as one enters Accra on the Winneba road, a tall white tower beshadows the campus of Accra Academy. Over sixty years ago in the slums of James Town, Mrs. Ellen Buckle let her large two storied house for use as a classroom block to accommodate the newly founded Accra Academy. It was to satisfy the urgent need for a secondary school which would provide good tuition at a reasonable cost to children from less fortunate homes who had the aptitude but whose parents could not send them to schools like Achimota, Mfantsipim and Adisadel that the late Dr. K. G. Konuah, the late G.N. Alema (BA, Oxon.), the late S.N. Awuletey (inter BA, Durham) and the late J.A. Halm-Addo founded Accra Academy as a private educational enterprise.
After repair work had been completed on Ellen House and furniture procured, Accra Academy was officially opened on 20th July, 1931. The school started with a school population of 19 distributed into forms one to three including A.K. Konuah (later Headmaster), C.S. Duah (later a member of the teaching staff), R.Q.E. Blankson (later Town Engineer, Accra Municipal Council) and F.G.Torto (later Professor of Chemistry at the University of Ghana, Legon). The original teaching staff comprised the four founders and the two others who had just completed Mfantsipim School. These were M.F. Dei-Anang and S.S. Sackey who for twenty years worked the dual capacity of teacher and school Bursar.
The school offered a wide range of courses in Arts, Science and Business. Mr. S.N. Awuletey taught shorthand and Book-keeping. Today, Accra Academy stands as one of the foremost institutions in the country, firmly built on the foundations laid by S.N. Awuletey. Mr. W.K. Lutterodt set up the Science Department and arranged practical lessons at Achimota School at weekends for his students while Mr. G.N. Alema taught Agricultural Science and held practical lessons on his farm In December, 1932, the first batch of ten students were presented for the Junior Cambridge School Certificate Examination. Seven of these passed.
In 1939, forty five students were entered for the Senior Cambridge School Certificate Examination. Forty two of these passed of whom ten obtained exemption from the London Matriculation Examination. The impressive examination results recorded by the school soon caught the attention of the Department of Education and in 1947, a recommendation was made to the Director of Education to place Accra Academy on the list of government assisted schools and from 1st January, 1950, Accra Academy became a government assisted secondary school.
Even though the school started as a day school, accommodation was later on secured in Claremont House, a storey building adjoining Ellen house, to provide limited boarding facilities. In the course of time, the school began to work towards the acquisition of a plot of land for the erection of permanent building structures. Plots acquired at Kokomlemle and later Korle Gonno were given up because of protracted litigation and remoteness of site, respectively.
In 1957, however, the school was offered a thirty seven acre plot at Bubuashie, off Winneba Road by the C.P.P. government as a result of negotiations in which Mr. J.A. Halm-Addo was very instrumental. The contract for the construction of permanent buildings on the new site was awarded to J. Monta & Sons in October, 1959. Actual work on the site began in December, 1959, and in July, 1961, the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the school, the contractors handed over the complete buildings to the school authorities. In September of that year, staff and students moved to the present site.
The new buildings were officially opened later in ebruary, 1962, by Mr. A.J. Dowuona-Hammond, then Minister of Education. A dormitory block to provide boarding facilities was completed in 1966. By 1965, the student enrolment had risen to nearly 600, one third of whom continued to be day students. Due to its exceptional academic attainments, A sixth Form department was added to help the products of the school who qualify to gain ready admission into this sector. The courses offered initially were the Arts and Science.
Fifteen Arts and eight Science students were offered admission for the 1961/62 academic year. Business Education was incorporated into Sixth Form studies in the school in September, 1970. The fiftieth year 1981 of Accra Academy outdoored a full fledged second cycle institution with a student population of 900. Staff establishment was 52.