Richard Hale School
|Motto||Doctrina cvm virtvte
(Learnedness with virtue)
|Established||16 April 1617|
|Headteacher||Mr Stephen Neate|
|Chair of Governors||Mr S Goodair|
|DfE URN||139873 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
|Gender||Male (and Coeducational 6th form)|
|Houses||Cowper, Croft, Hale, Kinman, Page, Wallace|
Richard Hale School is a boys' secondary school with academy status, located in Hertford, Hertfordshire, in the south east of England. In the 2007 – 2008 academic year the school had over 1,000 pupils, including students attending the optional sixth form, which is also open to girls.
The school was founded on April 16, 1617 by the affluent merchant Richard Hale, eldest son of Thomas Hales of Codicote (a likely descendant of the Kentish Hales) who wished to "erect a grammar school for the instruction of children in the Latin tongue and other literature in the town of Hertford". The original school building was in use for 313 years from 1617 to 1930, and still stands near to All Saints Church. It was known as the "Hertford Grammar School" until 1967, when it became comprehensive.
It began the transition to a comprehensive school in 1975, a process completed when the last grammar intake left in 1981. New buildings, including the gym, were built in 1982 and the Sixth form centre from 2009-11. It became a science college in 2003.
The school converted to academy status on 1 July 2013.
Hale gave his name to one of the five original houses of the school. The remaining four were named after the school benefactors Francis Thomas de Grey Cowper, 7th Earl Cowper KG and Richard Benyon Croft; and former pupils Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Page, DSO and bar, and the evolutionary biologist Alfred Russel Wallace. These five houses remained for several decades until a sixth house called "Kinman" was added to the growing school, named after the headteacher Major George Kinman who organised the school's move in 1930. This house was for the boys who were previously in an overflow form, and not grouped together with their other housemates. House competition is an integral part of school life at Richard Hale, with competitions taking place not only on the sports fields, but on the stage in both music and drama.
The school has a long tradition of rugby for boys and more recently girls. The school has also been successful in other sports including cricket, basketball, athletics and tennis. In recent years, football has become a part of the extra curricular programme and the 1st XI won the Under 18 County Cup for the first time, beating Dame Alice Owen's School from Potters Bar, in March 2011. In light of this, planning permission for a new sports hall was given. However, the Sports Hall became unaffordable so its funds were used to erect a Sixth Form Centre, which was finished in the summer of 2011. The school still wishes to build a sports hall but needs £2.2M.
The school's current headteacher is Stephen M. Neate, who had previously been temporary headteacher since 2005 following the retirement of the previous incumbent, Michael James.
Notable former pupils
- Rupert Grint, best known as Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter film adaptations
- Mike Fibbens, swimmer
- Billy Lunn and his brother Josh Morgan, musicians of The Subways
- Rob Playford, drum and bass DJ, and record producer
- Mark Williams, MP for Ceredigion, (Wales)
- Samir Carruthers, Aston Villa footballer
Hertford Grammar School
- Sir Roy Anderson, Rector of Imperial College London and a notable epidemiologist
- Sir Ernest Woodford Birch
- Nicholas Bell, English-Australian Actor
- Prof John Cannon CBE, Professor of Modern History at Newcastle University from 1976-92
- Air Vice-Marshal Leslie William Cannon CB CBE, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Pakistan Air Force from 1951-5
- Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London since 1996
- Michael Dobbs, author and screenwriter
- John Fincham, late Professor of Genetics at Cambridge University, and President of the Genetical Society from 1978-81, and Editor of Heredity from 1971-8
- John Flack (Bishop), Bishop and Anglican representative to the Holy See, and Bishop of Huntingdon from 1997-2003
- David Gentleman, illustrator, and has designed the most Royal Mail stamps
- John Gladwin, Bishop of Chelmsford since 2004
- Geoff Hamilton, television presenter and gardener
- Captain W. E. Johns, author of the Biggles series
- James Judd, conductor
- Air Vice-Marshal Alan Merriman CB CBE AFC, Station Commander of RAF Wittering from 1970-2
- Des de Moor, singer, songwriter and performer
- Kenny Pickett, singer of 1960s band The Creation
- Stephen Pound, Labour MP for Ealing North since 1997
- Derek Savage, pacifist
- Rt Rev David Smith, Bishop of Maidstone from 1987-92 and Bradford from 1992-2002
- Brian Wilde, actor