Old Swinford Hospital

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Old Swinford Hospital
Heath Lane

, ,

Coordinates52°27′03″N 2°08′39″W / 52.4507°N 2.1442°W / 52.4507; -2.1442Coordinates: 52°27′03″N 2°08′39″W / 52.4507°N 2.1442°W / 52.4507; -2.1442
TypeVoluntary aided comprehensive
Day and boarding school
MottoUt prosim, vince malum bono
FounderThomas Foley
Local authorityDudley
SpecialistsBusiness and Enterprise, Science
Department for Education URN103870 Tables
ChairMr Malcolm Wilcox FRICS FRSA
HeadmasterMr Paul Kilbride
GenderBoys; Coeducational Sixth Form
Age11 to 18
Houses7 Senior Boarding Houses, 1 Junior Boarding House, 1 Day Student House
PublicationThe Foleyan
Former PupilsOld Foleyans

Old Swinford Hospital is a secondary boarding school in Oldswinford, Stourbridge, West Midlands, England[1] that has been in continuous operation since the 17th century. It is one of 36 state boarding schools in England, meaning school fees are funded by the LEA and pupils only pay boarding fees. Girls are admitted into the sixth form as day pupils.


Old Swinford Hospital opened in the late summer of 1667. Originally called Stourbridge Hospital,[2] it was founded by Thomas Foley, an ironmaster and prominent local landowner, whose main estate was at Great Witley, west of Stourport in Worcestershire, but with strong Stourbridge connections. It was to educate 60 boys from "poor but honest" families nominated by specified parishes in Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. The school was sometimes named as Foley's blue coat school or hospital, or Oldswinford Hospital Endowed School.[3] The school had increased to 70 boys by 1868.[4][5]


The school consists of eight boarding houses:

House Colour Built Namesake
Baxter Grey 1990 Richard Baxter, a 17th-century Puritan minister
Dudley Purple 1984 the Earls of Dudley, the family who bought the Foley's estate of Witley Court
Foley Green 1982 Thomas Foley, the founder of the School
Foster (Year 13) Red A prominent local family (see James Foster)
Potter Sky Blue 2009 Christopher Potter OBE, headmaster from 1978 until 2001
Prospect (Year 7) Prospect Hill, the house's location
Witley Yellow 1983 Witley Court, the Foley family mansion

There is one junior boarding house, Prospect House, which is for Year 7 boarders and one senior boarding house, Foster House, which is for Year 13 boarders. Foster was previously a boarding house for years 8-13 and reopened in October 2016 following redevelopment. The other six houses (Baxter, Dudley, Foley, Maybury, Potter and Witley) house boarders from year 8 to 12.

Before the houses were associated with buildings, there was also a Lyttelton house, named after the Lyttelton family who built nearby Hagley Hall. Katherine Lady Lyttelton and her son Sir Henry Lyttelton, sold the manor of Old Swinford to Thomas Foley in 1661.[6] In the mid-20th century, when day boys outnumbered boarders, there were also day houses called Stone and Chance. Stone and Lyttleton are now the names of teaching blocks at the school.


There is no catchment area and admission is non-selective except for Flexi-Boarders in Year 7. Boarding fees and day student facilities are charged but not tuition.[7]

Sixth Form[edit]

The school also offers a Sixth Form to which girls are admitted. Applications externally were subject to an entrance exam, which was dropped for students entering September 2015, and GCSE grades equivalent to 7 'A' grades. Boarding places are guaranteed for previous boarders. There is a minimum standard of 7 'C' grades at GCSE expected; this requirement can be waived if the pupil contributes to the school in other ways such as such as sport or music.[citation needed]


Old Swinford Hospital is a specialist Business and Enterprise School, a Specialist Science School and has recently[when?] been awarded an Artsmark and Sportsmark.

Foreign Language lessons are also compulsory and are offered as options to sixth form students as Spanish, French and German. Old Swinford Hospital has foreign language assistants, who come as native speakers of the language to teach and help at the school.[citation needed]

GCSEs are taken in Year 11. Lower Sixth take AS Levels, and Upper Sixth take A-Levels. Most Lower Sixth take 3 courses, and Upper Sixth take those same 3 Courses.

Old Swinford Hospital is placed in the top 5% of all schools at GCSE and with a strong record at A level.[citation needed] In October 2006, OFSTED rated the school as Outstanding. The most recent judgement, in 2017, judged the school as Good.[8]

Upon publication of the 2007/2008 academic year results tables, Old Swinford Hospital were the best school in the Dudley local area for pass and success rates in GCSEs with 89% of pupils gaining 5 or more A*-C grades.[citation needed] A Level students also performed well with 99% of examinations taken passed, and an average point score per pupil of 805.8; significantly higher than the Dudley local average of 733.1[9][10] For 2010, it remained the highest performing school in the Dudley borough with 94% of GCSE students gaining 5 or more GCSEs at grade C or above.[11]


The main school sport is rugby; the school has reached the Semi-Finals in the U15 and U18 Daily Mail Cup, reaching the final in the U18 cup in 2012, and winning many other cups.[citation needed] From Michaelmas term the sport is played, with Sevens being played late in the Lent term. Other top level sports include Hockey and Cross Country. Cross Country had a successful 2007/2008 season, winning trophies in both 1st and 2nd team categories. The school runs 3 senior football teams which are coached by former professional footballer Dale Rudge.

In Summer the main school sport is cricket. David Banks, the former Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire cricketer is a member of the teams coaching staff.

In 2011-2012 the Basketball team suffered only 2 defeats in the entire season. The juniors are coached by Barrie Mann.

Other sports include Golf (Old Swinford Hospital owns Stourbridge Golf Club), Squash, Tennis, Rounders, Athletics, Volleyball, hockey and Mountain Biking.

Shooting is a sport also offered at the school.[citation needed]

International links[edit]

Old Swinford Hospital has international links with schools and educational establishments abroad.[citation needed] The three most notable are in the table below. Old Swinford has a history of raising money, and assisting in many ways with St. John's Secondary School in Nandere, Uganda through various charitable events and days and through the Uganda Link society. When the school had power issues in 2007, Old Swinford managed to raise the money needed to get power supplies back within one day.[citation needed]

School City
Uganda St. John's Secondary Senior School[12] Nandere
Argentina St. George's College North[12] Buenos Aires
Australia St. Joseph's Nudgee College[12] Brisbane

Old Foleyans[edit]

Former students of the school are called Old Foleyans after the founder of the school, Thomas Foley.







Headmasters since 1883[edit]

  • Mr WJ Maybury (1883–1928)
  • Mr HC Stone (1928–1951)
  • Mr Lawrence Sheppard MBE (1951–1978)[13]
  • Mr Christopher Potter OBE (1978–2001)
  • Mr Melvyn Roffe (2001–2007)
  • Mr Peter Jones (2007–2014)
  • Mr Paul Kilbride (2014–current)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "about-the-school". Old Swinford Hospital. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Thomas Foley after William Trabute, line engraving, late 18th to early 19th century". Home / Collections / Large Image - NPG D30030; Thomas Foley. National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  3. ^ The lancet London: a journal of British and foreign medicine, surgery, obstetrics, physiology, chemistry, pharmacology, public health and news, Volume 2. 1852. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  4. ^ OLD SWINFORD - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868
  5. ^ Hopkins, Eric (June 1969). "A Charity School in the Nineteenth Century: Old Swinford Hospital School, 1815-1914". British Journal of Educational Studies. 17 (2): 177–192. doi:10.2307/3119259. JSTOR 3119259.
  6. ^ British History Online: History of the parish of Old Swinford
  7. ^ "Admissions and Fees". Old Swinford Hospital.
  8. ^ Owen, Dan. "Short inspection of Old Swinford Hospital" (PDF). Ofsted. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  9. ^ http://www.oshsch.com/2009/01/old-swinford-hospital-top-of-league-table/ Old Swinford Hospital Top of League Tables
  10. ^ http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/cgi-bin/performancetables/group_08.pl?Mode=Z&Type=LA&Begin=b&No=332&Base=g&Phase=1&F=1&L=50&Year=08 DSCF Dudley KS4 result tables
  11. ^ "Secondary schools in Dudley". BBC News. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  12. ^ a b c "Housemaster Job Description". Old Swinford Hospital. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  13. ^ Sheppard, L W (1953). "From charity foundation to residential technical school". The Vocational Aspect of Secondary and Further Education. 5 (10): 37–42. doi:10.1080/03057875380000041.