City of London School for Girls

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City of London School for Girls
Coat of Arms of The City of London.svg
City of London School for Girls is located in City of London
City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls is located in Greater London
City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls is located in England
City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls is located in the United Kingdom
City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls
London, EC2

United Kingdom
TypeIndependent day school
MottoLatin: Domine Dirige Nos
(O Lord Direct us)
Local authorityCity of London
Department for Education URN100001 Tables
HeadmistressMrs E Harrop, BA (Salamanca), MA (Munich), MPhil (Cantab), MA (London)
Age7 to 18
HousesFleet, Tudor, St. Bride & Ward
Former pupilsCity of London Old Girls' Association

City of London School for Girls (CLSG) is an independent school in the City of London. It is the partner school of the all-boys City of London School and the City of London Freemen's School.[1]


The school was founded using a bequest by William Ward, a merchant of Brixton, in 1894.[2] It was his conviction that girls should be given a broad and liberal education with an emphasis on scholarship; he left a third of his fortune to the City of London to fund the foundation of a girls' school, a £20,000 legacy for the City of London Corporation. The school now receives financial support from the City Livery Companies as well as banks and other City firms. Links with the City of London remain strong – the City administers the school and the Board of Governors is appointed by the Court of Common Council. The school has strong links with its brother school – the City of London School is just a 15-minute walk away.

The school celebrated its 110th Anniversary in 2004–05, under the title of 'Women in Leadership'. It celebrated its 111th Anniversary in 2005–06, under the same title. It celebrated its 112th Anniversary in 2006–2007 under the title of 'International Women in Leadership'.


City of London School for Girls

The Good Schools Guide called the school an "Academic and hard-working day school that currently produces good results,articulate and independent girls."[3]

The school is for girls aged 7 to 18. Most pupils enter aged 7 ("7+" for the Prep School), 11 ("11+"), or 16 ("16+", for Sixth Form), although casual vacancies arise occasionally. The school's capacity is roughly 680 pupils. As its success rises, applications to the school continue to climb with new classrooms being continually created to meet this growing demand. They have a well known "Women in Leadership" interest, which continued in 2007 with an excellent conference concerning the global leadership of women.

Fees are currently £5,727 per term for the senior school exclusive of school lunches, and entrance is by examination. For 7+ and 11+ entry, the entrance exam consists of exams in English and Maths. At sixth form level, the entry process is more competitive, with exams being set in each of the subjects they propose to study at AS as well as a comprehension paper and logic test. The school remains relatively ethnically and socially diverse, and is said to be more diverse than other leading London schools in both the state and independent sectors. There are several societies and clubs.

The new headmistress, Ena Harrop, is the eighth headmistress of the school.


The school has an outstanding academic reputation and leading league table results. In 2005, the school came first in The Sunday Times table of Prep Schools, and 2nd and 3rd respectively in many published tables of England's GCSE and A-level results. In 2008, the school topped The Times A-level league table of England's independent schools. The Good Schools Guide credited the school with a "Very strong work ethic," noting that it "Continues to get good results."[3] In 2018, it was rated by The Sunday times as 2nd best independent school in the UK, based on GCSE and A-Level results.


The school's success gives it the reputation of a hot house, however, the school also encourages extracurricular activities. The arts are popular, appropriately enough for a school located across a lake from the Barbican Arts Centre. Furthermore, teachers are encouraged to go 'beyond the syllabus', exploring wider issues to nurture girls in areas that are not examined.

Music lessons are available to individuals or groups, and the school has successful Junior and Senior Orchestras, Junior and Senior Choirs, a gospel choir, a barbershop group and a swing band.

In 2005, City held its first ever drama festival; a fortnight of productions and workshops. Sports are another strength at City, with clubs, teams and squads in abundance. City encourages girls to take up sports they have never done before and push them when necessary. The Gym and Dance display which is held every other year shows parents, relatives and friends the girls' talents and gives the girls a chance to "shine". The school has a swimming pool, a lecture theatre, two netball/tennis courts, a drama studio, an all weather playing field and an indoor gym with climbing wall, as well as a gym complete with exercise equipment such as treadmills and weights. Debating is another popular activity, with a weekly club and participation in public speaking events such as Model United Nations and European Youth Parliament.

Trips and visits are common, and City girls are offered language exchanges to France, Spain, Germany and China, as well as other travelling opportunities through schemes such as World Challenge, which has seen girls go recently to Venezuela. Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions have been confined to the UK since 2001 when student Amelia Ward was killed whilst abseiling on a Duke of Edinburgh trip in South Africa.They regularly have exchanges from countries such as Australia, China, Germany, France, and Spain.

The school team won the Kids' Lit Quiz in 2010 at the world final in Edinburgh.[4]


The school is secular, yet has mildly Christian traditions, with an optional annual Carol Service in the neighbouring St Giles' Church. There is a Jewish Society as well as an Asian Society, an Oriental Society and an African-Caribbean Society.[citation needed]

The House System[edit]

City has a relatively new house system which consists of four houses. Each girl is allocated a house when they enter the school.

The four houses are:

  • Fleet – after Fleet Street
  • Tudor – after Tudor Street
  • St. Bride – after St. Bride church on Fleet Street,
  • Ward – after William Ward, the founder of the school.

The School encourages good-natured competition. There are a variety of inter-house competitions, including Drama, Debating, Maths, Art, Music, the Inter-House Quiz and at Sports Day, as well as several other sports competitions throughout the year.[citation needed]


There is now a Sixth Form Block, intended to cater for the ever-growing number of girls – the 2000 intake swelled from the usual 60–70 girls per year to 90+. An all-weather playing field was added to the school's outdoor facilities after the winter term of 2008.[citation needed] In January 2018 plans were to expand the school further and open a preparatory school for four- to seven-year-olds. The school would be located in an underground car park of an adjoining tower block, Thomas More House. The school's all-weather playing pitch is already built on top of the prosed site. Residents parking space would be rationalised and placed in vacant spaces in neighbouring blocks.The conversion plan proposals include new classrooms, a hall, dining area and play spaces, which would allow the school to begin taking in pupils at reception and upwards, thus increasing pupil numbers by 150 by 2024. The plans are being prepared by Nicholas Hare Architects. There is already opposition from the neighbours who are concerned about the loss of convenient parking, the traffic hazards caused by parental drop off and pickups for so many young children and the prospect of a school with no natural ventilation or light. [5]

Head Mistresses[edit]

  • 1894–1910: Alice Blagrave[6]
  • 1910–1927: Ethel Strudwick[6]
  • 1927–1932: Hilda Doris Bugby (died in office)[6]
  • 1932–1937: Julia Elizabeth Turner[6]
  • 1937–1949: E. D. M. Winters[6]
  • 1949–1972: Gladys Colton (1909–1986)[7]
  • 1972- : Lily M. Mackie
    Venetia France
  • 2007–2014: Diana Vernon
  • 2014: Ena Harrop (appointed with effect from Summer Term, 2014)

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "CITY'S CASH ANNUAL REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2016" (PDF). Corporation of the City of London. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  2. ^ "City of London School For Girls (CLSG History)". Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  3. ^ a b Archived 26 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ KLQ 2010 Archived 13 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Weale, Sally (22 January 2018). "Top London school plans new wing in underground car park". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e History of CLSG at Retrieved 2 February 2014
  7. ^ 'COLTON, Gladys M.', in Who Was Who 1981–1990 (London: A. & C. Black, 1991, ISBN 0-7136-3336-0); online edition by Oxford University Press, December 2007
  8. ^ Dorothy Whitelock, 'Florence Elizabeth Harmer', in Interpreters of Early Medieval Britain, pp. 369–380

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′09″N 0°05′40″W / 51.51916°N 0.09449°W / 51.51916; -0.09449