North London Collegiate School

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North London Collegiate School
North London Collegiate School - - 486337.jpg
Motto in spe laboramus
Established 1850
Type Independent day school
Headmistress Bernice McCabe
Chairman of the Governors Tim Suter
Founder Frances Mary Buss
Location Canons Drive
Local authority Harrow
DfE number 310/6075
Students 1066 (2008)
Gender Girls
Ages 4–18
Houses Angus, Lindsay, Gibbons, Collet, Aitken
Colours Sky blue      Brown     
Former pupils Old North Londoners

North London Collegiate School is an independent day school for girls in London. Founded in Camden Town, it is now located in Edgware, in the London Borough of Harrow. It is a member of the Girls' Schools Association.

A line of lime trees runs down the grounds at NLCS and is known to insiders as "Lime Avenue".


The North London Collegiate School was founded by Frances Mary Buss, a pioneer in girls' education. She was listed by The Times as one of the top ten greatest women of all time. It is generally recognised as the first girls' school in the United Kingdom to offer girls the same educational opportunities as boys, and Miss Buss was the first person to use(/coin) the term 'Headmistress'.

The small school opened in 1850 at No.46 (later renumbered No.12) Camden Street, London.[1] She believed in the importance of home life and it remained a day school.[2]

In 1929, the school bought Canons, a modest villa built by William Hallett Esq, on the site of a palatial residence originally built in the early 18th century by the Duke of Chandos, and relocated to the property (designed by Sir Albert Richardson) in 1940.[3][4]

George Bernard Shaw's mother was a director of music at the school, followed in 1908 by J.B. Manson's wife, Lilian, whose ambitious revival of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas in 1910 gained coverage in The Times.[5]

Today the school caters to girls from ages 4 to 18. It comprises a Junior School (Reception to Year 6) and Senior School (Year 7-13). Former pupils are known as ONLs, short for Old North Londoners.

The school also introduced a house system in 2014, with the houses being named after noted past pupils. The houses have colours, and each house has two house captains amongst the pupils, and a staff head of house.

The uniform of North London Collegiate School is light blue and dark brown in colour.

The co-ed boarding North London Collegiate School Jeju opened in Seogwipo, South Korea in 2011.[6]


North London Collegiate is the one of the most academically successful schools in England, having been placed in the top TWO in the Daily Telegraph exam league tables every year for over a decade.[clarification needed] It has been an International Baccalaureate World School since October 2003 .[7][8] Girls may choose to take the traditional A Levels or the Pre-U or the IB curriculum.

The girls are also encouraged to participate in non-academic pursuits. The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is available similarly to all independent schools. They may also take part in activities such as World Challenge Expeditions, Young Enterprise, Model United Nations and various community service projects.[9]


Notable former pupils[edit]


  • The North London Collegiate School 1850-1950: A Hundred Years of Girls' Education Includes 'Essays in honour of the Frances Mary Buss Foundation' together with an appendix section that includes Royal Patrons, The School Prospectus, Prize Day List, Links to Girton College and the University of London, and regulations concerning Prefects and Monitors. Published by OUP (Oxford University Press) in 1950 with 231 pages, including the index. (No author or Editor) [17]
  • "And Their Works Do Follow Them" by Watson, Nigel London, James & James, 2000 ISBN 0907383300


  1. ^ "Secondary schooling". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Scrimgeour, Ruby Margaret, (ed.), The North London Collegiate School, 1850-1950: a hundred years of girls’ education, (Oxford University Press),
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Buckman, David (1973), James Bolivar Manson, p. 9, Maltzahn Gallery Ltd, London.
  6. ^ NLCS Jeju
  7. ^ "North London Collegiate School". Tatler. March 2012. 
  8. ^ "North London Collegiate School". IB World Schools. IBO. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  9. ^ Extracurricular Activities
  10. ^ The Book entitled The North London Collegiate School 1850 - 1950 contains a black-and-white frontispiece portrait of Frances M Buss, with a printed signature - See bibliography for further detail of book
  11. ^ a b The book entitled The North London Collegiate School 1850 - 1950 contains references in the index to this person and a black-and-white photographic plate with printed signature- See Bibliography for further detail of book
  12. ^ a b The book entitled The North London Collegiate School 1850 - 1950 contains references in the index to this person.
  13. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - subscription based
  14. ^ a b c d e f isbi entry for North London Collegiate School
  15. ^ a b c North London Collegiate School - Famous ONLs
  16. ^ Accomplished ONLS - Distinguished ONLS List Publisher: North London Collegiate School. Retrieved: 23 February 2014.
  17. ^ Detail obtained from a copy of The North London Collegiate School 1850-1950

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°36′54″N 0°17′41″W / 51.61500°N 0.29472°W / 51.61500; -0.29472