Queen's College, Taunton

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Queen's College Taunton
Queen's College, Taunton - geograph.org.uk - 174503.jpg
Trull Road

, ,

TypeIndependent day and boarding school
MottoNon scholae sed vitae discimus
"We learn not for school, but for life"
Religious affiliation(s)Methodist
Department for Education URN123913 Tables
HeadmistressDr Lorraine Earps
Age3 months to 18
Houses4 Boarding houses, 4 day pupil houses
Colour(s)Black and Gold          
Former pupilsOld Queenians

Queen's College is a co-educational independent school located in Taunton, the county town of Somerset, England. It is a day/boarding school for children aged 0–18. The school incorporates Nursery, Pre-Prep, Junior and Senior schools. The current Head Teacher of the Senior School (11–18) is Dr Lorraine Earps. Mrs Tracey Khodabandehloo is Headmistress of the Junior School (0–11)


First known as the Wesleyan Collegiate Institute, Queen's College was established by the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1843. Originally located in the Norman Castle in the town centre, the school opened with 34 pupils on 12 July 1843.

Under the Headship of Thomas Sibley the school outgrew the old school classrooms and so a new building was commissioned in 1845 in the Trull area. Due to the increasing popularity of the school, they were forced to vacate the castle premises in 1847 and move into the new building before it was finished. The current school building is a symmetrical Tudor Gothic building built by Giles and Gane in 1845 and has been designated as a Grade II* listed building.[1] The original school site consisted of the main school building and upper playing fields. Since then the buildings have expanded, with the bridge and Library (now known as the Old Music Room) being added to the school in the 1920s. This addition was built in commemoration, along with the obelisk on the front lawn, for those who served in the First World War.

Current Day[edit]

Since the school moved to its current location, there has been a significant expansion of the site to meet demand. With the addition of the lower playing fields, the Junior school building and the dormitories the school now sits in approximately 35 acres (140,000 m2) of grounds.

Facilities at the school include a sports centre with gym and heated pool, dedicated Chemistry, Physics and Biology block, DT workshop, Food nutrition classroom, IT Suites, Library and Learning Resource Centre, art studios, Drama Studio and, theatre seating 550.

Since the 1970s the school has been co-educational with both female and male boarding houses being present on the school grounds.

The college's motto isnon scholae sed vitae discimus ("We educate not just for school but for life’")

In 2016 the school appointed their first female Head Teacher, Dr Lorraine Earps, who has driven a major refurbishment project including the upgrading of the old school room (now known as the Performing Arts Centre) into a leading space for lectures, dance and music recitals as well as formal dinners and conferences.

Methodist Church[edit]

The school is part of the Methodist trust and this plays a significant role in the charitable and social actions of the school. This is overseen by the resident school chaplain who is responsible for the social development and responsibilities of the school and its pupils.


The school has sports teams in cricket, rugby union, hockey, swimming, athletics, netball and tennis. The school also provides other popular disciplines such as rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, canoe polo, fencing, Duke of Edinburgh Award, mountaineering, badminton and horse riding.


Queen's College teaches performing arts, including drama and music, and dance. The Quartz festival, running from the first Wednesday of October each year for ten days, attracts over 6,000 visitors annually.[2]

An edition of the BBC television programme This Is Your Life was broadcast from the school hall in February 1958, when host Eamonn Andrews surprised H J ‘Dapper’ Channon, a college master, known affectionately by all at the school as ‘Mr Chips’.[3]


The Junior School is split into four day houses and one boarding house, each accepting both boys and girls. The houses are named after local hill ranges: Quantocks, Brendons, Blackdowns and Mendips.

The Senior School is split into boarding and day houses for girls and boys.[4] The houses are named after past headmasters or early pupils:

Day Houses Boarding Houses
Male Sibly, Fielding School House, Channon
Female Laker, Ashurst Hutton

Notable alumni[edit]

Former pupils are known as Old Queenians, and include:


In 2016, headmaster Chris Alcock resigned after he was confronted with accusations of downloading "highly inappropriate material" on computers and a phone provided to him by the college. Governors also discovered evidence of "inappropriate adult relationships" and accused Alcock of violating the school's code of conduct.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Queens College". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
  2. ^ "Quartz Festival". Quartz Festival. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
  3. ^ HJ Dapper Channon's appearance on This Is Your Life
  4. ^ "Houses". Queen's College. Archived from the original on 2009-11-14. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
  5. ^ Phil Hill (2016-06-23). "Queen's College, Taunton, headmaster Chris Alcock resigned over 'inappropriate downloads and adult relationships'". Bridgwater Mercury News. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  6. ^ Natalie Evans (2016-06-24). "Headteacher at top public school quits amid police probe over 'downloading porn at work'". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2017-06-26.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°00′07″N 3°07′00″W / 51.002069°N 3.116738°W / 51.002069; -3.116738