Lord Williams's School

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Lord Williams's School
Motto Sic itur ad astra a tous venaunts
(thus the way to the stars for all comers)
Established 1575
Type Voluntary controlled academy
Headteacher Mr David Wybron
Location Thame
England England Coordinates: 51°44′48″N 0°59′30″W / 51.746666°N 0.991777°W / 51.746666; -0.991777
Local authority Oxfordshire
DfE URN 138667 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 2,100 approx.
Gender Co-educational
Ages 11–18
Colours      Maroon
Website www.lordwilliams.oxon.sch.uk

Lord Williams's School is a co-educational secondary school with academy status in Thame, Oxfordshire, England. The school takes children from the age of 11 through to the age of 18. The school has approximately 2,100 pupils.

In September 2001 the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) designated the school as a specialist Sports College.[1]

David Wybron has been head of the school since September 2004 after taking over from Michael Spencer.

In 2006, together with Thame leisure centre, the school opened a new astro-turf pitch. The official opening featured a team decathlon by the students, after which the ribbon was cut by the women's England hockey captain. The mayor of Thame was also present on the day.[citation needed]


The school opened in 1575, having been founded at the bequest of John Williams, 1st Baron Williams of Thame, after his death in 1559. It became a comprehensive school in 1971 when it merged with Wenman School. For many years there were boarders at the school.


Boys boarded at the school for over 400 years, firstly at the old school house in Thame then later moved around 1880 to Main House at the site of the current school. The boarders also used Greenacres and Highfield as houses for the older boys.


It was said that George Plummer, a house master in the early 19th century murdered the Matron and disposed of her body in the vast Main House attic. It is said that once a year her ghost rings the old assembly bell which is on top of Main House which is no longer in daily use.

Drama Studio Fire[edit]

On the 30th of June 2007 a fire broke out at the drama studio of the Lower School campus of Lord Williams School. The emergency services received a 999 call at 9.42pm although it is currently believed the fire had started at 8.30pm.[2]

65 fire fighters from across the county were able to control the blaze and stop it from destroying a neighbouring building with fire fighters from Thame, Wheatley, Watlington and Slade Park, as well as teams from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue coming from Aylesbury, Brill, Princes Risborough and Waddesdon attending the blaze.[3]

The flames were said to be 60 to 70 feet (21 m) high.


Originally it was believed that arson was the cause but an electrical fire was not ruled out. However, in February 2008, a 23 year old man was found guilty of arson and sentenced to five years in prison.[4]

The Phoenix Project[edit]

In early 2008, a project began to raise up to £1m in order to replace the drama studio with a new, state-of-the-art, drama and dance studio, including a box office and permanent seating for the popular Thame Youth Theatre, based at the studio.

Notable Old Tamensians[edit]

Former pupils of the school are called "Old Tamensians".


  1. ^ "Specialist Schools Home". DfES. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  2. ^ "Thame School Fire Was Arson!". ThameNews.net. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  3. ^ "Police Investigate Fire At Thame School.". ThameNews.net. Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  4. ^ "Two More Arrests In Thame School Arson Attack.". ThameNews.net. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 

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