Grey Coat Hospital

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The Grey Coat Hospital
Grey Coat Hospital seal.svg
Motto God Give The Increase
Established 1698
Type Academy
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Siân Maddrell
Chaplain Rev Gary Swinton
Deputy Headteacher Sandra Young,
Peter Shaw
Founders Eight parishioners of the parish of St Margaret's;
Elsie Day (1874)
Location Greycoat Place
DfE number 213/4628
DfE URN 138313 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1026 (approx)
Gender Girls
Coeducational (Sixth Form)
Ages 11–18
Houses G, R, Y, C, T, H
Colours Queen Anne crimson and grey          
Publication The Grey Coat
Nickname GCH, Grey Coat(s)[1]
Former pupils Old Greys

The Grey Coat Hospital is a Church of England secondary school with academy status for girls in Westminster, London, England.


The school was founded on St. Andrew's Day in 1698. Eight members of the congregation of St. Margaret's, Westminster donated towards the founding of the school, initially a day school for 50 boys. In 1701, the Governors bought an old workhouse from Westminster Abbey to establish a boarding school. From that year it was also a mixed school, with both boys and girls attending.[2] The founders' aim was to provide the poor of the parish with an education, so that they could become "loyal citizens, useful workers and solid Christians".[1] From 1785, 60 boys and 30 girls were admitted. In 1874 it was changed to a girls' school under church management.[2]

In 1998, the school celebrated its tercentenary by opening a new building for the Upper School on Regency Street, replacing an older site on Sloane Square. The original building is still used primarily by years 7–9 (Lower School), while years 10–11 and the sixth form are based at the Upper School, although most years visit both sites regularly. In 2009 construction began on a new arts block at Lower School under the Building Schools for the Future programme.[3]

The school became a Language College in 2002, and in 2008 was also granted the status of Training School.[4] In its most recent inspection report in 2009, Ofsted again assessed the school as "outstanding".[4]

The current head teacher is Siân Maddrell, who succeeded Rachel Allard in April 2011. The school became an academy on 1 July 2012.

In March 2015, the BBC’s Education reporter, Judith Burns, reported that parents offered sixth-form places at the school had been sent a letter signed by the deputy head which said: “If you confirm your offer of a place at Grey Coat for September 2015, then we ask you to pay School Fund, which for sixth-form students is set at £120 per annum [...] Paying School Fund is an important way of showing us that you are serious about taking up a place with us in Year 12". Burns’ report noted that the admissions code for England states that schools must not "request financial contributions (either in the form of voluntary contributions, donations or deposits, even if refundable) as any part of the admissions process – including for tests" and that the Department for Education had issued a statement in which it said that “Any claim that the school admissions code has been breached will be investigated. We take any allegations very seriously." Grey Coat Hospital said it was “not commenting on the matter at the moment”.[5]


The school aims to enable girls to take charge of their learning, make decisions based on Christian values, live in the world as independent women, and meet the challenges of the 21st century.

School behaviour code[edit]

The school has a strict behaviour code, summarised for students as "The most important rule of all is to behave well at all times inside and outside the school, in a way which will bring honour to it, credit to you and that will show courtesy and consideration for other people."

The school suspended 29 students in December 2008 for joining an open Facebook group described by the Head as "a hate campaign against a member of staff". The Head said that the action was designed to send a strong message that the school does not tolerate such behaviour. She said that, of an unspecified number of parents who had visited her about the incident, the majority were supportive of the school's action. Westminster City Council also supported the school's decision.[6][7] Teaching unions said that one in five teachers faces cyber-bullying, and called for expulsions in serious cases. Although the Facebook group was removed, discussions remained on another website with disparaging comments about the teacher concerned. The Daily Telegraph reported that some pupils had contacted the paper to say that the school had gone too far.[8]

Notable former pupils[edit]

In 2007, Ray Mears visited the school to unveil a new plaque for notable former pupil David Thompson (born 1770), the explorer responsible for charting Canada .[9]

Notable former pupils of recent times include:

Grammar school[edit]

Former teachers[edit]

Film location[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Gordon Brown hails Grey Coats a sporting success" (Press release). City of Westminster. 2007-03-08. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  2. ^ a b Historical notes on Westminster Schools, page 41. City of Westminster. 1997.
  3. ^ Building Schools for the Future (BSF) on school website
  4. ^ a b Ofsted – The Grey Coat Hospital
  5. ^ Burns, Judith (12 March 2015). "Cameron school in alleged admissions breach row". Retrieved 13 March 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  6. ^ "Girls suspended for teacher jibes, against a member of staff". BBC News. 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 
  7. ^ Alford, Simon (2009-01-10). "School suspends students over hate campaign". London: The Times. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  8. ^ Nikkhah, Roya (2009-01-11). "Facebook bullying students 'should be expelled'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  9. ^ Herbert, Ian (2007-06-29). "Briton who charted Canada honoured at home". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  10. ^ Anne Rafferty, ‘Goddard, Ann Felicity (1936–2011)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Jan 2015 accessdate = 26 Feb 2017
  11. ^ Linda Newson
  12. ^ Fiona Booth at Sciencewise
  13. ^ Stormbreaker on IMDb

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′46″N 0°08′03″W / 51.4960°N 0.1343°W / 51.4960; -0.1343