City of London Freemen's School
|Motto||Domine Dirige Nos|
Day and boarding school
|DfE URN||125349 Tables|
|Houses||Hale, Gresham and Whittington|
|Colours||Red & White|
|Website||City of London Freemen's School|
City of London Freemen's School (CLFS) is a coeducational Public school for day and boarding pupils, located at Ashtead Park in Surrey, England. It is the sister school of the City of London School and the City of London School for Girls, which are both independent single-sex schools located within the City of London itself. The school is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
The school was founded by the Corporation of London and was originally located in London to educate orphans of the Freemen of the City. It is still possible for such orphan children to be educated as “Foundationers” at the school with the costs of their education borne by the Corporation of London.
The tradition of Freemen goes back many centuries, when the citizens of towns and cities would be granted valuable rights to trade, and other privileges conceded by royal charters.
The system was also shared by Livery Companies, associations of craftsmen developed to control the admission to the trade by apprenticeship, and founded on the triple bases of commerce, benevolence and religion.
From mediaeval times the City of London worked together with Livery Companies to control acceptance of Freemen. However in the nineteenth century it became possible for people to apply for the Freedom of the City of London without belonging to a Livery Company, and this created the need for an organisation to which all Freemen could belong to pursue the interests of the City.
This led to the foundation, in 1908, of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London, to bring together free men and women, for the purposes of charity, benevolence, education and social interaction.
City of London Freemen’s School is set in 57 acres (230,000 m2) of Ashtead Park in the heart of Surrey, having moved from London to Ashtead in 1926 from Brixton. The School celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2004 with a year long series of events. The Anniversary started with a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral attended by the whole School (now numbering over 800) and culminated in the School being represented with a float in the annual Lord Mayor’s Show.
The School has three Houses: Gresham, Hale and Whittington (colors green, red and blue respectively).These are named after the influential Londoners and school benefactors Sir Thomas Gresham, Warren Stormes Hale and Richard Whittington. Pupils are assigned to a House as they start at the school, which they stay in throughout their school career. Since it is now predominantly a day school and there are limited numbers of boarders, Houses do not have the same connotations as in similar independent schools, though are still important for Inter-House Competitions and weekly House Assemblies. If a sibling of a City of London Freemen's pupil were to join the school, he or she would be assigned to the same house.
The School has a very strong sporting reputation and the impressive grounds include rugby, hockey and cricket pitches, as well as two all-weather pitches, both of which are floodlit, with a variety of uses. There are also tennis courts, cricket nets and athletics facilities. The school has a large, modern, multi-purpose Sports Hall complex that incorporates a multi-activity fitness suite. The 25 m indoor swimming pool has recently burnt down and CLFS is using by local swimming pools to keep up with the swimming demand.
Sporting fixtures are played in a wide range of sports against other independent schools such as Sevenoaks School, The King's School, Canterbury, St Mary's Ascot, King's College School and The Oratory School. The School tends to achieve superior results at the Public Schools Fencing Championship.
Once pupils leave school they become part of Old Freemen’s Association, which includes the Old Freemen's Rugby Football Club, Cricket Club and Hockey Club all accessible through http://www.oldfreemens.co.uk. There is also a Guild of Scholars of the City of London, which was formed to encourage former pupils from the three ‘City Schools’ to develop links with The City of London. Membership is open to all former pupils, staff, and retired staff, who must have obtained their ‘Freedom of the City of London’ but there is no subscription.
In addition any pupil aged 14–17, who is still at school may apply to become an Apprentice to a Freeman of the City at little cost and minimal commitment. They will then be entitled, at the age of 21, to apply for the Freedom of the City and membership of the Guild of Scholars. This Apprenticeship will be of particular interest to those who wish to pursue a career in the City. Annual events are organised to promote fellowship among the members, including an annual dinner and visits to places of interest.
Old Freemen's Alumni. Official group for all City of London Freemen's School Alumni. This is a private group and only past pupils will be allowed to join. All latest news and events happening at Association will be posted up on this site, but we also welcome everyone posting their own reunion events, news and requests. https://www.facebook.com/groups/oldfreemensalumni/
Drama and music
The school organises a number of performances each year, and these have included Oliver!, Oklahoma!, Cabaret, Les Misérables and Into the Woods. CLFS was one of the first schools in the country to obtain rights to Cameron Mackintosh's Les Misérables. The latest addition to this list is Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which was performed in December 2009 and received well by independent critics. The senior school musical for 2011 is "Evita".The school also gives the pupils a chance to learn instruments inside school, and most go on to do ABRSM exams, and some pupils have even gone on to doing the diploma, aged only fourteen.
The catering is currently provided by the contract caterers Sodexo. Catering is provided for the pupils and staff through a number of outlets. The main dining hall, located in the main house, is the focal point of catering operations, with breakfast, lunch and dinner being served from here. The dining hall is also employed for a number of private dinners, both internal and external, throughout the year. The main house may also be seen as the hub of operations as it houses the catering facilities offices. The Tuck Shop, located in the sports hall, offers a choice of hot and cold meals and snacks to all those who choose not to subscribe to school lunches. Both the Junior School and the Senior School (Haywood Centre) also house common rooms which come equipped with tea and fresh coffee making facilities.
- Danes Hill School, Oxshott
- Downsend School, Ashtead
- Kingswood House School, Epsom
- Milbourne Lodge School, Esher
- Aberdour School, Burgh Heath
Notable former pupils
Former pupils are known as Old Freemen. Some better known Old Freemen include:
- Tommy Bastow - Actor from Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and lead singer of UK band FranKo
- Rory Burns - Surrey cricketer 
- Jack Clarke - racing driver currently competing in the FIA Formula Two Championship
- Simon Cowell (presenter) - MBE, Presenter of Animal Planet and Wildlife SOS
- Warwick Davis - Actor, star of Willow, also appeared in the Star Wars and Harry Potter movie series
- Andrew Garfield - BAFTA award winning actor who recently appeared in the films Red Riding, Boy A and Lions for Lambs as well as the plays Romeo & Juliet, The Laramie Project, Kes and the Channel 4 show Sugar Rush. He recently played Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network and the title role in the 2012 release of The Amazing Spider Man. Andrew has signed up to the remaining two instalments of the The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, due for release in 2014 and 2016
- Ashley Mote - Former UKIP MEP
- Joe Strummer - Lead singer of The Clash. Joe's real name was John Mellor (deceased Dec. 2002)
- Guy Spier - Investor
- Gavin Turk - one of the Young British Artists
- Gustav Wood - Frontman of British rockband Young Guns
- Official website
- Profile at the Good Schools Guide
- Theatre Dreams - Website maintained by the Head of Drama
- Old Freemen's Association