In 1975, the port of Richards Bay was officially opened. In the same year, the first High School was established Richards Bay High School, in buildings that presently house Richardia Primary School. Progressive growth over the years meant that a second Secondary school had to be established.

After much deliberation, the community of Richards Bay determined that the new school being built in Saligna Road should become an English Medium School with the existing school remaining Afrikaans. After two years of feverish construction, the new premises, then known as Saligna High School, were occupied by some 518 pupils and 32 teachers in January 1985. Later on in the year, it was officially named John Ross College.

It was officially opened by the Administrator, the Honourable Mr Radcliffe Cadman, on 2 May 1986. Its strategic site on one of the busiest corners of Richards Bay make all in Richards Bay conscious of it, and its pupils are at all times in the public eye.

JRC was the first English Home Language only school to be opened in Zululand. We were also the first school in this area to become multi-cultural and since 1994 we have been a proudly rainbow school.