Clitheroe Royal Grammar School

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Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.jpg
Motto Latin: In Saxo Condita;
"Founded on Rock"
Established 1554
Type Grammar school;
Headteacher James Keulemans
Deputy Headteachers Jonathan Powell (Sixth Form), Catherine Reeves (Main School)
Chairman of Governors Dr Andrew Clayton
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School is located in the Borough of Ribble Valley
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
Location in Ribble Valley Borough
Location Chatburn Road
53°53′N 2°23′W / 53.88°N 2.38°W / 53.88; -2.38Coordinates: 53°53′N 2°23′W / 53.88°N 2.38°W / 53.88; -2.38
DfE URN 136390 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1,290 pupils
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Website Official website

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School is a co educational grammar school in the town of Clitheroe in Lancashire, England, formerly an all-boys school. It was founded in 1554 as "The Free Grammar School of King Philip and Queen Mary" "for the education, instruction and learning of boys and young men in grammar; to be and to continue for ever."

After forty two years of sharing the school buildings with the boys, the newly built Girls Grammar School opened in 1957, and merged with the Boys' Grammar School in 1985. CRGS celebrated its 450th anniversary in July 2004, an event marked by the planting of a tree by Prince Andrew. The same time, Mr Stuart Holt retired as headteacher, having started in 1991. He announced his retirement in October 2003. He was succeeded by Mrs Judith Child, who was headteacher until 2018, when she announced her retirement. She is to be replaced by Mr James Keulemans in September 2018.[1]

After becoming a Grant Maintained School in September 1991, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School became a Foundation School with a Foundation under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. Most recently, on 1 January 2011, the school converted to Academy School Status under the Academies Act 2010.

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School continues to thrive on two sites, with the Sixth Form Centre occupying the historic buildings on York Street, and the Main School at the former Girls' Grammar School buildings on Chatburn Road.


The Main School intake each year is 150 children, who have each reached the required standard in the school's entrance examination, with places being offered preferentially to candidates living within the school's defined 'Catchment Area'. Pupils are then divided into five forms, named after the initials of the form tutor, and each assigned a house (C, R, G and S), of around thirty-seven pupils each[citation needed].

This means the pupil population at Main School is about 690 (150 in each of the first three years, and 120 in the remaining two). This will eventually reach 750 total pupils in 2020 (150 in each of the five years) Sixth Form entry is based on GCSE performance and takes in around 330 students per year. The matriculation requirements are five grade Bs at GCSE, with at least a Grade C in English Language and Mathematics[1], while some subjects also require specific grades in related GCSE subjects.[2]

Sixth form[edit]

York Street Building

The school was originally based at St Mary's churchyard, and was moved to the York Street site in 1814, in rooms that are now used to teach Art and Foreign Languages. The school was extended in 1878, and again in 1914, to include what is now the Library. In 2009, the site was extended further to create more classrooms and a conference room. The sixth form centre has a wider selection of courses and is one of the largest sixth forms in the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

Commemoration Day[edit]

Every year the school holds a commemoration day to remember the founding of the school, on St. John the Baptist's Day in the local parish church of Mary Magdalene.

From the Statutes, dated 1622:

We ordaine and be yt a Statute of this Schoole for ever. That from henceforth once every year upon St John Baptists day called Midsommer day in the forenoone there shalbee a Sermon preached in the Church of Clitherow where the Maister Usher and Schoolers of the said Schoole shalbee p'sent before the Governors of the said Schoole and therein shalbee a comemoracon of the foundation of the said Schoole with an exhortation to the said Governors Schoolmr and Usher that they faithfully and diligently p'forme their duties.

Or, modernised:

Let this be a Statute of this school forever. Every year upon St John the Baptist's day (Midsummer's day) in the morning there shall be a Sermon preached in Clitheroe Church where the Master Usher and Scholars of the School shall be sent before the Governors the School and there shall be a commemoration of the foundation of the School with an exhortation to the Governors, Headteacher and Usher that they faithfully and diligently perform their duties.

Language College bid[edit]

After failing in the bid to become a Technology College, a language college committee was set up at CRGS in the autumn term of 2005, seeking to get specialist Language College status for the school. The bid was successful, and the school now receives extra funding for expansions and developments into further language areas.

As a result of the new status, taster courses in Mandarin, Urdu and Russian were being held, which were intended to be extended to the local community. This is no longer the case. The building programme has been completed, and contains four classrooms and two store rooms. In 2008, the school was awarded the Foundation International School Award in 2008 and the Full Award in 2009, recognising the outstanding work with partner schools in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

School newspaper[edit]

The school newspaper, the Royal Blazer, was printed three times a year until 2006. The paper was distributed within school free of charge, and was put up for sale in the local area. Pupils were encouraged to contribute articles on subjects important to them and the local community.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CRGS head is to retire next year". 1 October 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Morris, Richard (March–April 2005). "Sir William Addison (1905-1992) - a retrospective" (PDF). Loughton and District Historical Society. Newsletter 165: 3–5. Retrieved 20 March 2016. He was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School ...
  4. ^ Pierce, Steve (23 May 2003). "Obituary : William Blezard". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2016. 1938, he won a Lancashire County scholarship, leaving Clitheroe Royal grammar school [...] to go to the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London.
  5. ^ Howard, John (31 October 2002). "Obituary : Pattie Coldwell". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2016. After leaving Clitheroe Royal Grammar school, she worked as a secretary...
  6. ^ Newley, Patrick (12 August 2008). "Obituary : Bryan Cowgill". The Stage. Retrieved 20 March 2016. He was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.
  7. ^ Geldard, Suzanne (6 June 2014). "Dobson: Bolton exit could have ended career before I joined Burnley". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 20 March 2016. [His wish to be a professional footballer] was nurtured at school, Clitheroe Royal Grammar...
  8. ^ Moss, John. "Manchester Local Artists : Ross Eccles". Papillon Graphics Virtual Encyclopedia & Guide to Greater Manchester. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Ross was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School before studying Architecture at the Birmingham School of Architecture.
  9. ^ Graham, Natalie (5 May 2010). "Peter Hargreaves: My First Million". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Born in Lancashire, Hargreaves attended Clitheroe Royal Grammar School...
  10. ^ Law, Cheryl (2000). Women, A Modern Political Dictionary. I.B.Tauris. p. 77. ISBN 978-1860645020. Retrieved 20 March 2016. HART, Judith Constance Mary (nee Ridehalgh) (1924-) politician; do. H. Ridehalgh, Linotype operator; e. Elementary School, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, LSE...
  11. ^ The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1983. Times Books. 1983. p. 53. ISBN 0723002576. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Mr Michael Hindley, lecturer. Born Apr 11 1947; educ. Clitheroe Royal Grammar School and London and Lancaster universities.
  12. ^ "Louise wins coveted radio award". Burnley Express. 11 May 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil Louise Hulland hit the national spotlight this week.
  13. ^ "James King - The extraordinary life of a largely forgotten Clitheroe sea hero". Lancashire Life. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2016. ...James was a pupil at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School until the age of 12.
  14. ^ Tinniswood, Steve (25 July 2015). "Saturday interview: Modern pentathlon star Samantha Murray in hunt for European glory". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 20 March 2016. The former Bowland High School student - who also studied at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School sixth form...
  15. ^ "Starkie, Thomas (STRY799T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. "School, Clitheroe Grammar."
  16. ^ "Olympic kayak hero returns to Clitheroe Royal Grammar School". The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Jon, who attended CRGS from 1996 to 2003...

External links[edit]