Boston Grammar School

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Boston Grammar School
Motto Floreat Bostona
Type Grammar school;
Headteacher John McHenry
Chairman of Governors Stephen Woodliffe
Location South End
PE21 6JY
England Coordinates: 52°58′28″N 0°01′16″W / 52.97437°N 0.02103°W / 52.97437; -0.02103
DfE number 925/5424
DfE URN 139180 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 507
Gender Boys (coeducational sixth form)
Ages 11–18
Houses Muston
Colours Black and Amber
Publication The Grammar Gazette
Alumni Old Bostonians
Website Boston Grammar School

The Boston Grammar School is a selective grammar school and sixth form college for boys aged 11 to 18 and girls attending the sixth form aged 16–18 located in Boston, Lincolnshire, England.

Boston Grammar School


The school was founded by charter of Philip and Mary in 1555. The oldest sections of the school were built in 1567, formerly referred to as the "big school" and is now used as the school library. South End Site became the model for Boston Latin School which was the first school in what was to become the United States of America. The school still retains the Latin motto 'Floreat Bostona' (May Boston Flourish). This motto also forms the title of the official school song, written by Dr G.E. Pattenden, headmaster from 1850–1887, which he referred to as 'my school hymn'. The song is still sung at official school occasions such as Prizegiving, Charter Day and Beastmart, and is generally fondly remembered by Old Boys of the school.

In the 1960s when under Holland County Council Education Committee, it was a voluntary controlled school with around 500 boys, 550 by the 1970s, and 600 by the 1990s. The school had a CCF.

In recent years girls have been admitted to the sixth form for the first time. There were 597 pupils on roll as at April 2008, including 170 in the sixth form. The school has been awarded Technology College and Sports specialist status. In December 2012, Boston Grammar School shut its doors for the final time as a selective school, run by the local authority. In January 2013, Boston Grammar School re-opened as a selective academy.



There are four houses in the school named after important figures in the school's history. Each is associated with a different colour which is reflected in PE shirts, and boys are assigned to a house when they join the school on an arbitrary basis in order to create different groups for school activities, including Sports Day.

Laughton - (yellow), John Laughton left a bequest to the local bluecoats' school. On its closure this was subsequently given to the grammar school Head of House: Miss. Amanda Cook;

Muston - (blue), Robert De Muston was the first schoolmaster of Boston in 1329. Head of House: Mr. Alan Mountford;

Gannock - (red), William Gannock was the Mayor of Boston at the time the school was built on its current site in 1567. Head of House: Miss. Christine Abrams;

Parry - (green), John Parry the Liberal MP for Boston who in 1875 gave a gold medal to the scholar of the year. This medal is still awarded to the student who attains the best A level results each year. Head of House: Miss Louise Brown

Beast Mart[edit]

Beast Mart is an annual half-day holiday, awarded to boys to commemorate the annual cattle market that took place traditionally in the school yard (the Beast Yard). The Beast Mart declaration takes place one day in December each year. The Council Chief Executive (in place of the historical Town Clerk) reads the declaration of the Beast Mart and the Mayor requests that the headmaster give the school a half-day holiday. The head of school then leads three cheers to the Queen and the Mayor calling "hip, hip, hip!"

Charter Day[edit]

A celebration of the granting of the school charter takes place annually at St Botolph's Church, Boston, (known locally as Boston Stump). During this celebration the school song is traditionally sung.


An annual prizegiving ceremony is held in December of each year. During this event a number of awards recognising achievement in academic disciplines, sport and other areas are awarded. Old boys are often in attendance, including the previous year's A-level students who return to receive their A-level certificates. The prestigious Parry Gold Medal is awarded to the student who achieved the best A-level Results. A guest speaker is always invited, and notable guests of honour have included Helen Sharman, Barry Spikings and Mark Simmonds MP.

Federation plans[edit]

Following a falling rolls argument in 2006 by the Local Education Authority, figures that have since been cast into doubt, plans were put into place to amalgamate Boston Grammar School with its sister establishment Boston High School for Girls as a coeducational school under a single roof with effect from September 2009. Detailed plans were proposed by the executive head and approved by the Local Authority. In preparation for the hard federation in 2007 the two schools were to be jointly headed by a single executive head teacher.

Following the redundancy and retirement of the former headmaster, John Neal, at the end of the 2007 school year, the school was placed under the executive headship of Helen McEvoy, who was also head of Boston High School. With the executive head's resignation in April 2010, the Federation continues with two largely separately staffed schools under one governing body and under two school 'acting Heads' [Paul Marsh] and [Jackie Thornalley] for the time being.'

Federation progress[edit]

During 2009 and 2010 the school has been the subject of mounting criticism and debate by parents and local politicians over the proposed hard federation with the girl's high school. A significant number of stakeholders in the school have voiced concerns over the substantial proposed changes. It was perceived that the joint head appeared to favour the high school, her original school, as the preferred location for the combined establishment. The grammar school proponents argued that the grammar school was the older establishment, carrying more history and traditions and that these aspects of the school would be swept away and replaced. However, supporters of the Boston High School claimed that it offered a more modern environment, which would provide additional benefits to the newly combined schools.

In January 2009, it was announced, following receipt of a feasibility study in Autumn 2008 (almost 2 years late) and a governing body decision, that a new purpose-built school would be built on the Boston Grammar School site subject to the acquisition of substantial funding through the Labour government's 'Building Schools for the Future' programme. That funding, although promised by the local authority since 2006, had never materialised. Since the spring of 2009, the staff redeployment and restructuring plans that were introduced by the executive head for amalgamating the school staff to work across two separate sites became unworkable. Many staff left. Year 6 boys passing the 11+ entered the Boston High School illegally in September 2009 due to the school being declared co-educational before the appropriate prescribed change had been obtained from the DCSF. Attempts were made by the then chair and the executive head to ratify the co-ed intake retrospectively but the governing body realised what had been happening due to the exposure of information obtained under Freedom of Information and decided to call a halt to the move to co-ed status at the Boston High School. The local authority is alleged to have overturned both the governing body decision to withdraw the co-ed status application and the governing body's subsequent appeal against the Local Authority's actions. The matter is ongoing. Mrs McEvoy resigned from the combined headship effective 1 May 2010.

Governing body minutes are now posted on the school website. Failed attempts were made to defederate the two schools. The chair and vice-chair of governors both resigned in March 2010. Plans to close Boston Grammar School were exposed by some governors of the federation. The closure plan approved by the Local Authority has been stopped by the current governing body. To introduce stability for staff and pupils governors have put into place plans to keep the two schools substantially running as two schools with some joint staffing according to revised curriculum timetabling needs - ready for September 2010. The two schools will not 'amalgamate' onto one site. The two schools may co-exist, with Boston High School relocating to a 70% rebuilt/redeveloped Boston Grammar School site at South End with both schools retaining their separate DCSF school numbers and PAN but only if there is written confirmation of substantial funding provided through Lincolnshire County Council, as had been announced in March 2010 under the outgoing Labour government's BSF Building Schools for the Future programme. [source: BGSF GB minutes]

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ (Retrieved 20 November 2012) John Cridland CBE - Director-general CBI
  2. ^ Enderby, David (Retrieved 20 November 2012) George Edward Hale Enderby - Pioneer and architect of modern anaesthesia BMJ

External links[edit]

News items[edit]


2014 : William swain (year 9) has won the national biathlon" I exceeded all my expectations" he said