Reed's School

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Reed's School
Sandy Lane

, ,
KT11 2ES

Coordinates51°20′18″N 0°22′34″W / 51.338253°N 0.375981°W / 51.338253; -0.375981Coordinates: 51°20′18″N 0°22′34″W / 51.338253°N 0.375981°W / 51.338253; -0.375981
TypeIndependent school
Public school
Senior school
Boarding and day school
MottoFide (have faith)
Religious affiliation(s)Anglican
FounderAndrew Reed
Local authoritySurrey County Council
Department for Education URN125321 Tables
Chair of governorsMike Wheeler
HeadmasterMark Hoskins
GenderBoys, with a co-educational sixth form
Age11 to 18
Enrolment700 (620 boys, 80 girls)
HousesBlathwayt, Bristowe, Capel & Mullens
Colour(s)  Navy
School fees£32,910 (boarders); £25,530 (day pupils)
AlumniOld Reedonians

Reed's School is an independent secondary boarding school for boys with a mixed sixth form located in Cobham, Surrey, England. There are currently around 700 day pupils (620 boys, 80 girls) with 100 full-time boarders (80 boys, 20 girls). The school was founded in 1813,[1] by Andrew Reed and incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1845[2] under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke of Wellington and the Marquess of Salisbury[citation needed]. Since 1951, Queen Elizabeth II has acted as the school's 15th patron and has visited the school twice, in 1997 and in 2014,[3] as the reigning monarch. Alumni of the school are known as ’Old Reedonians’.



Andrew Reed - founder of Reed's School
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington - one of the first benefactors

A notable early sponsor was the Duke of Wellington[citation needed], a future Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

London Orphan Asylum, London (1813-1871)[edit]

The foundation was established to provide relief to destitute orphans, including children whose fathers had died and whose mothers were unable to provide for them. Initially the Asylum used two houses; one at Hackney Road, Shoreditch for the boys and one in Bethnal Green for the girls.[4] The asylum's first unified site was at Lower Clapton Road, Clapton, where Newcome's School had stood.[5][6]

There were 206 pupils in 1826 and 453 in the 1860s[citation needed]. During the asylum's time in East London, it was famous for having had some 2000 hymns written for it by the English architect James Edmeston[citation needed], a strong supporter of and frequent visitor to the London Orphan Asylum.

Following the school's 1871 move to Watford, the East London buildings were used by the Salvation Army.[7] Only the facade of the classical-style building remains,[8] and forms part of the Clapton Girls' Academy[9][10]

London Orphan Asylum/School, Watford (1871-1939)[edit]

Former school buildings in Watford, now a residential development

[11]) for the new school.[12] The Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, and his wife the Princess of Wales and future Queen Alexandra, laid down the foundational stones on 15 July 1869 and the school formally opened in 1871.

The school was renamed to the "London Orphan School" in 1915, following a merge with the recently closed Royal British Orphan School in Slough it was again renamed the "London Orphan School and Royal British Orphan School", before finally being named "Reed's School" in 1939, in honour of the late founder.[12]

In the early 1880s the London Orphan Asylum lost two football matches against the then named Watford Rovers, now known as Watford F.C..[13]

Headmasters at the Watford site included Oliver Carter Cockrem and H.W. Russell.[citation needed]

In the 1980s the buildings were converted into residential accommodation.[citation needed]

Reed's School, Totnes & Towcester (1939-1945)[edit]

During World War II the school was evacuated from Watford. The site was used as an Army hospital and then by the Ministry of Labour.[4]

Reed's School, Cobham (1945–present)[edit]

The Sandy Lane site had been purpose-built in around 1905 by architects Treadwell and Martin, who were also responsible for the design of Scott's restaurant (now part of the Trocadero Centre) and other notable structures. The new site provided facilities including a heated indoor swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, and two squash courts.[14]

A new headmaster, Robert Drayson, was appointed in 1955 and remained until 1964, when he migrated to Stowe. In 1950, Reed's School began to take fee-paying pupils, while retaining its charitable element. Foundation bursaries are still available for children who have lost one or both parents and currently 10% of pupils are supported in this way.

Founder's Prayer[edit]

The school's prayer, penned by the founder Andrew Reed, is recited at each chapel service:

Blessed Saviour,
Receive what I have:
Strengthen my body and uplift my mind
Let my heart be cleansed from any base feeling
Let it become the temple of the Holy Ghost,
And let me speak and act and think and live
Under His inspiration; for Thy name's sake.

Royal patronage[edit]

In 1815 King George IV 'accorded his blessing' by becoming the first royal patron of the School, a tradition which is continued today with the patronage of Reed's School by Queen Elizabeth II.

Patrons since 1815[edit]


Stained glass commemorating James Capel in the Dining Hall, Watford

The school is made up of four houses, named after school benefactors: Blathwayt (royal blue ties), Bristowe (red ties), Capel (yellow ties) and Mullens (light blue ties). In interhouse competitions, the four houses compete for the Edmonson Cup. There is also the Hopwood Cup for the most academic house.

Years Seven and Eight in the school are separated into 'The Close' (green ties) , which has its own competitive houses named after sister locations: Clapton, Reedhams, Royal Putney, and Royal Wanstead.


The major sports at Reed's School are rugby, hockey and cricket with academies in tennis, skiing and golf. The senior school pupils (13+) play rugby, hockey and cricket in the autumn, spring and summer terms respectively. Pupils in The Close (the junior school, for 11–13 year olds) play hockey, rugby and then cricket. In the 2014/15 season, rugby fixtures included matches against Brighton College, KCS, Wimbledon, Caterham and Hurstpierpoint College. Cricket is played against City of London Freeman's School, Hampton, St. Paul's, St. George's Weybridge, Lord Wandsworth, Reading Oratory, KCS Wimbledon, Eltham College, King's School, Canterbury, and Merchant Taylor's School and others. The indoor tennis centre was opened by alumnus and former British number one, Tim Henman on 18 November 2014. The facility is regarded by the LTA as one of only 17 high performance centres in the country.[15] The foundation stone for the 25 metre, five lane indoor swimming pool was laid by Duncan Goodhew on 15 November 1990.

The school performs at the highest level in a number of other sports such as squash, athletics, cross country, basketball and swimming as well as offering access to more unusual sports though an extended activities programme; such as shooting, mountain biking, kung-fu and sailing. Reed's has won the International School Sport Federation's world schools' tennis championship more than any other team (in 2009, 2011 and 2015).[16]


Reed's school have improved at rugby over recent years with the 1st XV finishing seventh in the NatWest Schools Cup in 2014/2015 season acquiring wins against schools such as Brighton College, St John's School, Leatherhead, and St George's College, Weybridge. The season after was also successful finishing 17th in the NatWest Schools Cup with wins against St John's School, Leatherhead, Royal Grammar School, Guildford, and The Oratory School.[citation needed]

Ski racing[edit]

The ski team continues to be one of the best in the country, led by skiing master Mark Vernon, Reeds are regional and national title holders in both Dry Slope and Snow Ski Racing in the U14 Boys, U16 Boys and U18 Boys & Girls. Many racers who are members of the ski racing academy at Reed's have World Cup and Olympic aspirations, with multiple ORs having raced or currently on Olympic Teams, such as Luke Steyn (Capel 2012), OR Jack Gowercompeted in his world cup debut in November 2017 at Lake Louise. The team's current main sponsor is Equity; in the past it has been sponsored by Powder Byrne (when the ski academy was briefly rebranded to "Reed's Powder Byrne Ski Academy") and Fastlane.

The 2017/18 roll of honour includes students who were selected to represent Team England at the 2018 ISF World School Games in Grenoble.[17]


Reed's had its new Music School officially opened by Sir Cliff Richard on 24 March 2001. Its facilities include a recital room, state-of-the-art recording Studio (updated in 2011), keyboard studio, percussion room and music library.[citation needed]

Scholarships and fees[edit]

Fees at age 13+ for the 2019/20 academic year are £32,910 and £25,530 per annum, for boarders and day pupils respectively. Reed's School offers a number of scholarships at 11+, 13+ and for entry to the Sixth Form in a range of areas: Academic, Art, Drama, Music, Sport, Technology and for all round ability based on a combination of these. The awards are made on the basis of competitive tests and interviews held in the Autumn term for Sixth Form or Spring term for others prior to entry to the School. These awards can (in exceptional cases) be up to a maximum of 50% of the fees.


  • Robert Heath, (1826–1852)
  • Henry Beattie, (1852–1869)
  • A. F. Houliston (1869–??)
  • W. F. Jones
  • H. W. Bussell (1878–1886)
  • A. R. Clemens (1886–1887)
  • Dr. Oliver Carter Cockrem (1887–1915)
  • E. Hartley Parker (1915–1921)
  • John J. Jackson (1921–1924)
  • G. K. Allen (1924–1931)
  • C. R. Attenborough (1931–45)
  • H. E. D. Axton (1945–1954)
  • Philip Scott, acting (1954–1955)
  • Robert Drayson (1955–1964)
  • Rodney Exton (1964–1977) – Hampshire cricketer and schoolmaster
  • John Baird Tyson (1978–1982) – mountaineer and teacher
  • David Prince (1983–1997)
  • David Jarrett (1997–2014) – the first person to win a cricket blue for both Oxford and Cambridge[18]
  • Mark Hoskins (2014–present)

Notable staff and associated people[edit]

Notable Old Reedonians[edit]









  1. ^ "Regulatory Compliance inspection Report for Schools with Residential Provision Reed's School October 2017". Independent Schools Inspectorate. October 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  2. ^ "London Orphan Asylum". Exploring Surrey's Past. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to visit Reed's School today". Surrey Comet. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 November 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Exploring Surrey's Past
  5. ^ T.F.T. Baker (Editor) (1995). "Hackney: Clapton". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney. Institute of Historical Research. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge (1774-1850)". Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Portico History". Clapton Girls' Academy. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) London Orphan Asylum follies
  9. ^ "RIBA Find an Architect". Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Clapton Portico". Brady Mallalieu. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Bertrand Edward, Viscount Dawson of Penn Dawson | RCP Museum". Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  12. ^ a b "London Orphan Asylum, East London / Watford, Hertfordshire". Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Originsto1890" (PDF). Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Spiller, Richard (29 March 2015). "Andy Murray congratulates young tennis stars on Doha success". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.
  17. ^ Reed's School website
  18. ^ "David Jarrett". Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.
  19. ^ Eccleshare, Charlie (23 September 2018). "Britain's rising star Jack Draper: 'I'm happy with top 1,000 but I have got to push on and be hungry for more'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2019.

External links[edit]