|Type||Independent day and boarding school|
|Age||0 to 18|
|Houses||School, Pinkie, Hope, Seton, Balcarres, Holm, Eleanora Almond|
|Colour(s)||Langhorne, Tristram, Greenlees, Mackintosh.|
|Former pupils||Old Lorettonians|
The school was founded by the Reverend Thomas Langhorne in 1827. Langhorne came from Crosby Ravensworth in Westmorland. He named the school for Loretto House, his then home, which was itself named for a medieval chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto which had formerly stood on the site of the school. The school was later taken over by his son, also Thomas Langhorne. The last link with the Langhorne family was Thomas' son John, who was a master at Loretto from 1890 to 1897, and later headmaster at John Watson's Institution. Loretto was later under the headmastership of Dr. Hely Hutchinson Almond from 1862 to 1903.
In the 1950s the school increased the accommodation in science laboratories, established arts as a part of the curriculum and introduced the chapel service as part of the daily school life.
In 2001 the film director Don Boyd published an article in The Observer detailing his systematic sexual abuse by a teacher in the school in the 1960s. The revelation led to further allegations about the teacher from other former pupils and subsequent calls for the teacher's prosecution. The teacher, then 79 years old, was charged, but the case was dropped on the grounds of his ill health. The teacher subsequently died. In 2017, it was announced that the school would be investigated as part of Lady Smith's inquiry into child sexual abuse.
In 2010 the school was sued by an employee for sex discrimination: the employee felt she had been treated unfavourably following the announcement of her pregnancy. Judge Stewart Watt rejected the sexual discrimination claim asserting that 'there appears to be have been no ulterior motive to make [the employee] redundant during the review of the department; the only motive was to try to better organise the school', but he stated that the school had breached maternity regulations. The tribunal Judge was clear in his findings that 'the school at no point acted with an ulterior or blameworthy motive and that the breach of maternity leave regulations was quickly corrected.'
In 2013, Loretto School was informed by the Scottish Charity Regulator that it did not qualify for charitable status for failing to provide sufficient public benefit. Subsequently, the school modified its means-tested bursary provision and has maintained full qualification as a registered charity ever since.
Former Scotland rugby captain Jason White took his first steps into teaching with a role at the school in September 2017. In the same month it was announced that Jacob Slater, 15, a pupil at the school, would appear in the American-Scottish historical action drama "Outlaw King" about Robert the Bruce and the Wars of Scottish Independence, which will be distributed by Netflix.
In September 2018, the employment of a teacher at the school was terminated who had been accused of inappropriate behaviour towards students. The investigation did not relate to current pupils of the school. There was no Police case in association with the matter.
Loretto School was listed as the fourth highest Scottish independent school in the 2018 A level league tables.
Loretto School is set in an 85 acre (34 hectare) campus and is made up of three parts: the Nursery for children aged 0 – 5, the Junior School ('The Nippers') for children aged 5 – 12, and the Senior School for those aged 12 – 18. Pupils attend as boarders, flexi-boarders and day pupils and are all attached to a specific house. Houses include Schoolhouse (day pupils), Seton House (boys' boarding), Holm House (girls' boarding), Balcarres House (girls' boarding), Pinkie House (boys' boarding), Hope House (boys' boarding) and Eleanora Almond House. It was announced on 27 June 2018 that Eleanora Almond House would be temporarily closed at the end of the academic year for renovation and extension.
Loretto Golf Academy
The Loretto Golf Academy, established in 2002, offers golf to over 250 pupils using the local links courses and the School's new Indoor Golf Centre.
- 1825–1862 Langhorne family (Thomas, Thomas II, John)
- 1862–1903 Hely Hutchinson Almond
- 1903–1908 Henry Barrington Tristram
- 1908–1926 Allan Ramsey Smith
- 1926–1945 Dr James Robertson Campbell Greenlees
- 1945–1960 David Forbes Mackintosh
- 1960–1976 Rab Brougham Bruce Lockhart
- 1976–1984 David Bruce McMurray
- 1984–1995 The Rev. Norman Walker Drummond
- 1995–2000 Keith Joseph Budge
- 2001–2008 Michael Barclay Mavor
- 2008–2013 Peter A. Hogan
- 2013–2014 Elaine Logan (Acting Head)
- 2014 – present Dr Graham Hawley
- For a more inclusive list see Category:People educated at Loretto School, Musselburgh
Notable Old Lorettonians include:
- Sir A. G. G. Asher – international cricketer and rugby player
- George Bertram Cockburn – pioneer aviator
- Don Boyd – film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist
- Alexander Bruce, Lord Balfour of Burleigh – Unionist representative peer, Secretary for Scotland, Governor of the Bank of Scotland, Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, and leading figure in the Church of Scotland
- Charles Walker Cathcart - International rugby player and surgeon.
- Iain Conn - CEO Centrica
- Alexander Cary, Master of Falkland – nobleman and screenwriter
- Jim Clark – Formula One Champion (twice), Grand Prix winner and world champion
- Paul Clauss – international rugby player
- Alistair Darling – former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer
- Air Marshal Sir Patrick Dunn – Royal Air Force officer who served as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Flying Training Command
- Fergus Ewing – SNP politician
- Sir Nicholas Fairbairn – Conservative politician, former Solicitor General for Scotland
- Sir Denis Forman – Chair of the British Film Institute; Chairman and Managing Director of Granada Television
- Peter Fraser, Baron Fraser of Carmyllie – Conservative politician, former Solicitor General for Scotland
- Keith Geddes – Scottish Rugby Union player who fought in the Battle of Britain
- Stephen Gilbert (1912–2010) – Northern Irish novelist
- Major George Howson – Founder of the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory
- Alan Johnston, Lord Johnston – Senator of the College of Justice
- William Alexander Kerr – Victoria Cross recipient
- Hector Laing, Baron Laing of Dunphail – businessman and peer
- Norman Lamont – former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer
- Hew Lorimer – sculptor
- Donald Mackenzie Scottish judge, styled Lord Mackenzie
- Andrew Marr – journalist
- James, Duke of Montrose – nobleman
- Jamie Parker – actor and singer
- Edward Powys Mathers – translator, poet, and pioneer cryptic crossword setter
- Robin Orr – composer
- Hugo Rifkind – columnist
- Rev. Henry Holmes Stewart (1847–1937) FA Cup winner in 1873
- Rob Strachan – Commander of Clan Strachan
- David Strang – Former Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders, and Chief Inspector of Scottish Prisons
- Alan Sutherland – artist
The motto of the school, Spartam nactus es, hanc exorna, means literally "You have obtained Sparta: embellish it". The Latin is a mistranslation by Erasmus of a line from a Greek play, Telephus by Euripides. The words have been interpreted as meaning "You were born with talents: develop them" or "Develop whatever talents you have inherited".
"There is something else than the mere alternative of absolute destruction, or unreformed existence. Spartam nactus es; hanc exorna. This is, in my opinion, a rule of profound sense, and ought never to depart from the mind of an honest reformer. I cannot conceive how any man can have brought himself to that pitch of presumption, to consider his country as nothing but carte blanche, upon which he may scribble whatever he pleases ... a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman.
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