Westminster City School

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Westminster City School
Motto Unitate Fortior
Established 17th century
Refounded in 1877
Type Academy
Headteacher James Wilson BSc NPQH
Chaplain Rev Gary Swinton
Deputy Headteacher Justin Alcock
Location 55 Palace Street
England Coordinates: 51°29′52″N 0°08′21″W / 51.4978°N 0.1391°W / 51.4978; -0.1391
DfE number 213/4687
DfE URN 138312 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 739
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Website www.wcsch.com

Westminster City School is a Christian secondary school and sixth form for boys in Westminster, London. The school has 739 students on its roll. It offers the majority of places each year to boys practising the Christian faith in the Anglican dioceses of London and Southwark and the other 25 places to boys of other world faiths. The current Headmaster is James Wilson.[1] In July 2009, the school was awarded specialist status in Science.

In 2010 Ofsted rated the school as satisfactory and in some ways good, and encouraged the pupils to continue their good behaviour and attendance.[2] The school became an academy in 2012. In January 2013, Ofsted rated it "good" in all aspects.[3]


The school is amalgamation of the former Brown Coat, Green Coat and Black Coat schools. Key dates in its history are:[4]

  • April 1874: The school was formally opened.[5]
  • April 1876: The ‘Foundation stone’ was laid in Palace Street by Sir Sydney Waterlow.[5]
  • April 1877: The new school building was opened by the Dean of Westminster, Dean Stanley.[5]
  • 1890: Officially named Westminster City School[5]
  • 1900: London County Council placed a statue of Sir Sydney in Waterlow Park.[5]
  • 1901: The sculptor Frank Taubman placed a copy of the statue of Sir Sydney in front of the school.[5]

The school suffered bomb damage to its building in Palace Street during the Blitz.[6]

In 2004 a teacher was raped by a pupil in an empty classroom after the end of classes. The student involved was sent to prison and the teacher eventually won compensatory damages and legal costs from the school.[7]

Since 2004 the school has undergone massive changes enhancing its reputation and standing.[citation needed] In 2009 the school became a Specialist Science College and in 2012 the Secretary of State approved its academy converters application. From 2005 to 2010 the school benefited from the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) program resulting in new facilities for the school and community.


The charters and foundations of several historic charity schools[8] were by Act of Parliament in 1873 incorporated into the Grey Coat Hospital Foundation and United Westminster Schools (UWS) Foundation. UWS comprised the Westminster City School and Emanuel School, Wandsworth; The Grey Coat Hospital Foundation comprised the Grey Coat Hospital, Westminster and Queen Anne's School, Reading. In 1910 The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers transferred the Sutton Valence School in Kent into UWS.[4][9]

School Houses[edit]

For some social and competitive purposes, pupils are grouped into "houses". The names have also been used for school buildings. They represent some of the historic charity schools in Westminster mentioned above.

  • Dacre's: Commemorating the foundation of Lady Anne Dacre, who died in 1595 and whose executors established Emanuel Hospital, incorporated by Queen Elizabeth I in 1601.
  • Hill: Retaining the name of the school established in 1647 by Mr Emery Hill, a churchwarden in the parish of St Margaret's, Westminster.
  • Kings: In 1633 Charles I granted a Charter of Incorporation for the education of poor boys and girls in Westminster which was aided annually by King Charles II.
  • Palmer's: Continuing the tradition of the school provided in 1645 by Revd James Palmer of the parish of St Margaret's Westminster.
  • St Margaret’s: Arising from the St Margaret’s Hospital, established by the churchwardens of St Margaret’s in 1624.
  • Waterlow: Commemorating Sir Sydney Waterlow, the Lord Mayor of London, who was elected the first Chairman of Governors in 1873 and filled his post with enthusiasm and distinction for over a quarter of a century.

Form Groups[edit]

140 boys are admitted in each year group, arranged in six forms. Each form is named after one of the six houses of the school and is known by the initial letter of the house name. A form tutor is assigned to each group and will have oversight of each pupil’s well-being and academic progress. The form tutor is the primary point of contact between parents and the school.

The Old Westminster Citizens' Association[edit]

The Association of Old Boys of Westminster City School aims to keep Old Boys from around the world informed and in touch. Started in 1908, it maintains close links with the School and through its Trust Fund provides finance to support a number of activities and projects.

Notable former pupils[edit]

  • Percy Edgar Lambert, (1881 – 31 October 1913) was the first person to drive an automobile a hundred miles in an hour.
  • John Auguste Pouchot, (known as Jack) was the youngest man to be decorated with the Distinguished Conduct Medal in battle during the First World War.[10]
  • Edgar Mountain, competed over 800m distance at Olympic games in both 1920 and 1924.[11][12]
  • Sir Cyril Hinshelwood, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1956.[13]
  • Sir Walter Thomas Layton, 1st Baron Layton, CH, CBE (15 March 1884 – 14 February 1966), was a British economist, editor and newspaper proprietor.
  • Sir James Dale Cassels, (22 March 1877 – 7 February 1972) was a British judge, journalist and Conservative politician.
  • Alan Francis Bright Rogers, (1907–2003)[14] was an Anglican Bishop who held three different posts in an ecclesiastical career spanning over half a century.[15]
  • John Walter Baxter, CBE (4 June 1917 London - 21 October 2003) was a British civil engineer.
  • Sir Denis Eric Rooke, OM, CBE, FRS, FREng (2 April 1924 – 2 September 2008) was a British industrialist and engineer.[16]
  • Sir Martin Broughton, (born 1947) is a British businessman who is the current chairman of British Airways.
  • John Edward Tomlinson, Baron Tomlinson (born 1 August 1939), is a British Labour Co-operative politician. He is currently a life peer in the House of Lords.
  • Sir Norman Rosenthal, (born 1944) is an independent curator and art historian.[17]
  • Andy Mackay, (born 23 July 1946) Musician, best known as a founding member of the art-rock group Roxy Music.
  • Andy Hamilton, (born 28 May 1954) is a British comedian, game show panellist, television director, comedy screenwriter, and radio dramatist.
  • Christopher Warren-Green (born 30 July 1955, Gloucestershire) is a British violinist and conductor.[18]
  • Terry Marsh, (born 7 February 1958 in Stepney, London, England) is a former professional boxer who was an undefeated world champion.
  • Gary Alexander, (born 15 August 1979 in Lambeth) is an English footballer who scored one of Wembley's best ever goals.[19]
  • John Boyega, a British-Nigerian actor, known for the lead role in 2011 film Attack the Block.
  • Wes Streeting, (born 21 January 1983) is Head of Education at the LGBT charity Stonewall, and a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Redbridge.[20]


  1. ^ "Westminster City School : Home". wcsch.com. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Westminster City School Inspection report". OFSTED. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Westminster City School Inspection report". OFSTED. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b A brief history, Westminster City School. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Westminster City School and its Origins by R.Carrington Published by kind permission of the United Westminster Schools Foundation and the Governors of Westminster City School. 1983
  6. ^ Ronan Thomas, Victoria Street SW1 1940-1945, West End at War, with photograph. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  7. ^ Teacher raped by boy wins damages, BBC News, 22 June 2009
  8. ^ "WHERE DID THEY GO TO SCHOOL?". 26 May 2004. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Foundation, Westminster City School. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  10. ^ "John Auguste Pouchot - Fenny Stratford In The Great War". freewebs.com. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Athletics at the 1920 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 metres
  12. ^ "OWCA | Welcome to the Old Westminster Citizens' Association". owca.org.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  13. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1956". nobelprize.org. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "National Portrait Gallery - Person - Alan Francis Bright Rogers". npg.org.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  15. ^ Who's Who (UK)
  16. ^ "Sir Denis Rooke, OM - Telegraph". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Rosenthal quits Royal Academy after 31 years of blockbusters | UK news | The Guardian". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "My perfect weekend: Christopher Warren-Green - Telegraph". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Gary Alexander Goal - YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Councillor details - Councillor Wes Streeting". moderngov.redbridge.gov.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 

External links[edit]