Portora Royal School

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Coordinates: 54°21′04″N 7°39′18″W / 54.351°N 7.655°W / 54.351; -7.655

Portora Royal School
Omnes Honorate
1 Lough Shore Road, BT74 7HA
Northern Ireland
Type Grammar School
Established 1618
Chairman Right Reverend Michael St A Jackson, MA MPhil Phd
Headmaster J.N. Morton, BA, BSSC, DASE, MEd, MA, PQH
Enrollment 491 (2013/14)

Black and Old Gold

Nickname Wasps
Affiliations HMC

Portora Royal School located in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, is one of a number of 'free schools' founded by Royal Charter in 1608, by James I.[citation needed] Originally called Enniskillen Royal School, the school was established some ten years after the Royal Decree, in 1618, 15 miles outside Enniskillen at Ballybalfour, before moving to Enniskillen in 1661. It was not until 1778 that the school moved to its present location on Portora Hill, Enniskillen, when the nucleus of the present school was built.[citation needed]

Formerly a boarding school, Portora now caters for 490-day students. Originally the school only accepted male pupils, but in the 20th century females were first admitted to Portora; the school's website states, "the year 1979 saw a break from the tradition of the previous 361 years when a small number of girls were accepted as pupils. The number of girl pupils increased from the original 9 boarders and 2 daygirls of 1979 to a maximum of 31 girls in 1984. As of September 2011, girls can enroll into 6th form."[citation needed]


  • Age range: 11 – 18
  • Day pupils: 491 boys & girls
  • Annual school fees: £150, though this is just a 'voluntary' contribution as the school is a state grammar school, not a fee-paying private school but there is a £46 compulsory fee. Also various 'voluntary' contributions will be expected to be made to the school's sporting teams, even of those who do not play sport.
  • Total pupils: 491 boys & girls
  • Including 6th form/FE: 130 boys & girls
  • Staff numbers: 33 full-time
  • Method of entry: For entry from September 2010, following the abolition of The Transfer Test from 2009, pupils will be admitted on the basis of performance in the Post Primary Transfer Consortium tests, in English and Mathematics. The Post-Primary Transfer Consortium is made up of 28 Catholic, four non-denominational and two integrated schools.
  • Professional affiliations: HMC, ISC
  • Religious affiliation: Non-denominational, historically Irish Anglican
  • Headmaster: Mr N Morton
  • Vice Principal: Mr Trevor Smith


There is currently an ongoing proposal by the Department of Education to merge Portora Royal School with the Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School to form "Enniskillen Royal Grammar School", with effect from September 2016. The proposal is facing a lot of local opposition after being approved by the Minister of Education, John O'Dowd, in June 2015 and the matter was taken to the High Court in October 2015. The case is still ongoing as of late November 2015 and the verdict is expected to be announced around the end of 2015

Notable headmasters[edit]

Notable Old Portorans[edit]

See also Category:People educated at Portora Royal School


  • Former pupil Oscar Wilde won a scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, and his name therefore appears on the school's Honours board.[citation needed] The name shines more brightly than those of his contemporaries and visitors have suggested that it has been deliberately highlighted.[citation needed] In fact, following his conviction and imprisonment in the 1890s, the name was initially deleted but was reinserted in the 1930s, which accounts for its lustre.[citation needed] There is also an Ulster History Circle Blue Plaque on the school building commemorating him.

The house system[edit]

  • A house system was introduced in 1919, whereby pupils were placed into one of four houses, named after the four provinces of Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Leinster or Connacht, irrespective of which part of Ireland they came from.
  • Pupils in their first year at Portora entered Gloucester House, a separate preparatory department.[citation needed] Today, there is no separate prep school, however the name Gloucester House survives as the name of the Pastoral House for Year 8 pupils.[citation needed]
  • The remainder of the school is divided into the four provincial houses.[citation needed]

However, Houses exist to facilitate a range of extra-curricular provision and the pastoral provision is horizontal with form tutors and Key Stage heads reporting to Vice Principal Student Support.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ STUART, Ian Malcolm Bowen in Who Was Who (A. & C. Black), online edition by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 18 February 2014 (subscription site)
  2. ^ a b c Robinson, James. 2005. Pentecostal Origins: Early Pentecostalism in Ireland in the Context of the British Isles: Studies in Evangelical History and Thought. Milton Keynes, United Kingdom: Paternoster, pp. 34–35.. ISBN 978-1-84227-329-6
  3. ^ Patrick M. Geoghegan. 2009. Lyte, Henry Francis. In James McGuire, James Quinn (ed.), Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-63331-4
  4. ^ Patrick Maume. 2011. Kilfedder, Sir James. In James McGuire, James Quinn (ed.), Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-63331-4
  5. ^ James Quinn. 2009. Bourchier, James David. In James McGuire, James Quinn (ed.), Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-63331-4
  6. ^ "Leslie WADDINGTON". Debrett's People of Today. Debrett's. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 

External links[edit]