St Marylebone School

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For the former grammar school, see St Marylebone Grammar School.
St Marylebone School
Motto "An Opportunity To Excel"
Established 1791
Type Academy
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Ms Kathryn Pugh
Location 64 Marylebone High Street
Coordinates: 51°31′20″N 0°09′06″W / 51.5221°N 0.1517°W / 51.5221; -0.1517
DfE number 213/4673
DfE URN 137353 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Gender Girls (boys in years 12-13)
Ages 11–18
Houses Dickens, Barret, Hardwick, Nightingale, Wesley
Publication Ad Astra

St Marylebone C of E School is a secondary school for girls in Marylebone, London. It specialises in Performing Arts, Maths & Computing and Special Educational Needs (Communication and Interaction).[1] In the sixth form, boys can also attend. On 1 September 2011 the school became a converter academy having previously been judged "outstanding in every respect" by Ofsted.

Founded in 1791, St Marylebone Church of England School is a multi-faith comprehensive school for girls aged from eleven to eighteen. The main site is located just behind St Marylebone Parish Church at the top of Marylebone High Street, with the Sixth Form Centre based in another building in nearby Blandford Street, 7 minutes away.


The St Marylebone School began as the Marylebone "Day School of Industry", founded in 1791 in what was then Paradise Street, now Moxon Street, to educate the children of the poor in the parish. Boys and girls were taught skills such as needlework and straw plaiting. The school was funded by donations, charity sermons and income from the children's handiwork. In 1808, with the support of local philanthropist and social reformer Sir Thomas Bernard the school moved to 82 Marylebone High Street, which is now the boutique store Rachel Riley. Subsequently, to make room for growing numbers, it move to a site on Paddington Street, which is identifiable today as a Mission Church. Then in 1858 the 5th Duke of Portland and his wife Lady Lucy Howard de Walden bought a plot of ground near the top of Marylebone High Street and covenanted the site to be used for a girls' school in perpetuity. The main site of the school has been there ever since.

The Day School of Industry had been incorporated with Sir Thomas Bernard's school under the direction of the Governors of the Church of England's United National Schools. In 1858 it became known as Central National School, to distinguish it from the Eastern (now All Souls CE Primary) and Western National Schools (now St Mary's Bryanston Square CE Primary) founded in 1824 at nearby parishes.[2]

The boys' section was eventually closed and it became a girls' school, adopting its current name. In the 1960s-70s the school used a building in Penfold Street, about 15 minutes from the main site, for Domestic Science lessons; this building is now used by the Westminster Youth Service. In 2005 the sixth form moved to part of a building that had housed a convent; in 2008-9 this was demolished and rebuilt as a five-story, university-style Sixth Form Centre.

Between 2005 and 2010 the main site saw extensive building and refurbishment work. 2007 saw the opening of major new facilities, including an innovative below-ground gymnasium and dance space and a three-story visual and performing arts space.

Houses and local connections[edit]

Historically, the school had four houses- Dickens, Barret, Hardwick and Wesley. In September 2010, a fifth house, Nightingale was added. The houses are named after these significant people as they have had some kind of connection with the school (e.g. Thomas Hardwick designed the St Marylebone Church). The houses have the following colours; blue (Barret), yellow (Dickens), red (Hardwick), green (Wesley) and purple (Nightingale). When joining the school, pupils are allocated to one of the houses.


It was designated a Specialist Arts College by the DfES in 1998, gaining a second specialism as a Mathematics and Computing College in 2006 and a third specialism in Special Educational Needs (Communication and Interaction) in 2009; this makes it one of the very few high-performing Specialist Schools in the country with three specialisms. The school offers a huge range of enrichment activities across the performing arts, and in 2012 was accredited a Gold Standard Arts Mark for the third time in succession. St Marylebone is also a Woodard School, part of a small family of state and independent church schools which prioritise pastoral care with academic excellence.

At the latest Ofsted inspection, St Marylebone was judged "outstanding in every respect". In 2013, exam results were the best in Westminster and the school topped the DfE League Table comparing all schools nationally with a similar intake. For the 11th year running well over 90% of GCSE entries received A*-C grades and more than half received A* or A. St Marylebone is one of the most oversubscribed schools in London; in 2013, almost 7 students applied for each of the places available in Year 7. It is the top non-selective school in London.

In September 2013 St Marylebone school opened an affiliate school, The St Marylebone Bridge School. The Bridge School is a co-educational Free Special School providing "an innovative education to students with statements for Speech, Language and Communication". As part of the Teaching School Alliance, St Marylebone School is also working with various partners to support the development of other schools in London, including the expansion of St Mary and St John's Primary School (SMSJ) in Hendon into a through-school from nursery through to Sixth Form. Former Head Teacher Elizabeth Phillips advised on the bid to establish a new Free Secondary School for boys in Marylebone, the Marylebone Boys' School,[3] which opened in 2014; the new school will receive support and guidance from St Marylebone through the Teaching School Alliance.


From 1993 to 2013, the headteacher of St Marylebone School was Elizabeth Phillips, OBE, one of the most influential and successful headteachers in recent secondary education. The new headteacher is Kathryn Pugh, who took over in January 2014.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ Quality Indicators at, DCSF
  2. ^ "Historical notes on Westminster schools" (PDF). Westminster City Council. 
  3. ^ "Marylebone Boys' School". Marylebone boys. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 

External links[edit]