The American School in London

Coordinates: 51°32′05″N 0°10′36″W / 51.5348°N 0.1766°W / 51.5348; -0.1766
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The American School in London

United Kingdom
TypeInternational school
Department for Education URN101168 Tables
Color(s)Orange and Black
Head of SchoolCoreen R. Hester

The American School in London (ASL) is a private, independent school in St John's Wood, London, England, for students from kindergarten through high school. The school's mission statement is: "The American School in London empowers each student to thrive as a lifelong learner and courageous global citizen by fostering intellect, creativity, inclusivity and character."[1]

Many students have at least one parent with a U.S. passport, but the school's admissions policy stresses that the school tries to admit a diverse student body. The school takes children aged four through 18 and provides an education based in American pedagogy with an international perspective. The kindergarten classes are inspired by the Reggio Emilia method.


The school was established in 1951 by journalist Stephen Eckard. It was first situated in Eckard's home, and was a school primarily for 13 students. The school's colors, orange and black, are inspired by Eckard's alma mater, Princeton University. Prior to that, the school's official colors were red and black.

In 1964, the newly formed Board of Trustees made the landmark decision to raise funds for a $7 million building to house the whole school. They broke ground in 1968 with the help of David K.E. Bruce. The cornerstone was laid two years later by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. The Rt. Hon. Margaret Thatcher, MP, then Secretary of State for Education and Science, spoke at the building's dedication in 1971.

In September 2000, the School opened a new High School wing, which included an additional 24,000 square feet of space, a new gym, art studios, high-tech computer labs and a renovated library.[2]

In June 2006, the School broke ground on the School Center for Education and the Arts, to create a 450-seat theater and new flexible teaching and performance space. The Center was completed in the winter of 2007 and officially opened in March 2008.

In 2011, the School marked its 60th anniversary by celebrating Founder's Day on 21 April, the date on which founding headmaster Stephen L. Eckard opened the doors of his Knightsbridge flat to begin the American School in London in 1951.

In May 2014, the School broke ground, once again, on the construction of a Community Arts Building (opened in January 2016); an underground Aquatic & Fitness Center with a 6-lane, 25-meter swimming pool, fitness center and multipurpose instruction space (opened September 2016); and the renovation of a middle school science labs (opened in September 2016). These new facilities provide an additional 26,000 square feet of teaching and learning spaces.[2]

Visitors to the school have included U.S. Presidents Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama during their visits to London.[3] At a visit to The American School In London, President Obama made a short speech in which he talked about the US-UK relationship and the importance of children as the future.[4]

According to the Good Schools Guide, 80% of the 1,350 students hold United States passports, and half of those are multi-passport holders from dual national families.[5]

A 2018 Ofsted inspection report rated ASL as "outstanding" in all fields inspected.[6]

In 2021, The Head of the School Robin Appleby announced her resignation as the school had been accused of indoctrinating its pupils in critical race theory.[7][8][9] Following a December 2021 inspection, the school was downgraded two ratings by Ofsted to "requires improvement". Ofsted had inspected the school following media reports of political indoctrination. While the school was found to give "strong importance to equality and inclusion", the report continued "Sometimes, however, teaching places much more weight on the school’s approach to social justice than on learning subject-specific knowledge and skills". Reporting on the teaching of humanities in the lower school, Ofsted found that pupils "spend much time repeatedly considering identity (including analysing their own characteristics) rather than learning, for example, geographical knowledge". In a follow up inspection in October 2022, OFSTED determined that following changes the school once again met all independent school standards. [7]

Current and former heads[edit]

  • Stephen Eckard, founder, head of school 1951–1971
  • Jack Harrison, head of school 1971–1986
  • William E. Harris, head of school 1986–1991
  • William Greenham, interim head of school 1991–1992
  • Judith L. Glickman, head of school 1992–1998[10]
  • William C. Mules, head of school 1998–2007[citation needed]
  • Coreen R. Hester, head of school 2007–2017[11]
  • Robin S. Appleby, head of school 2017–2021
  • Coreen R. Hester, interim head of school 2022–2023
  • Matt Horvat, head of school 2023–

Notable students[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mission and values - The American School in London".
  2. ^ a b "History - The American School in London".
  3. ^ "History". The American School in London.
  4. ^ "G20 summit: Crowds gather to meet Barack Obama as he speaks of close US-UK ties". The Telegraph.
  5. ^ "The American School in London". The Good Schools Guide.
  6. ^ "American School in London". Ofsted. 5 November 2010.
  7. ^ a b Weale, Sally (7 March 2022). "Ofsted downgrades American School in London over focus on social justice". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  8. ^ Editor, Nicola Woolcock, Education. "American School in London accused of 'racial indoctrination'". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 27 November 2021. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Quetteville, Harry de; Steafel, Eleanor (25 November 2021). "Educating snowflakes: Why our public schools have gone woke". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  10. ^ "American School in London 2018" (PDF). Accents. 8 – via Resources.
  11. ^ "News Post". The American School in London.
  12. ^ "OBE for Broxbourne MP Charles Walker". Hertfordshire Mercury. 30 December 2013. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2017.

External links[edit]

51°32′05″N 0°10′36″W / 51.5348°N 0.1766°W / 51.5348; -0.1766