Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle

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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School
West Street

, ,

Coordinates53°12′35″N 0°07′19″W / 53.2098°N 0.1219°W / 53.2098; -0.1219Coordinates: 53°12′35″N 0°07′19″W / 53.2098°N 0.1219°W / 53.2098; -0.1219
TypeGrammar school
MottoLiberae Scholae De Comune Sigilum
("Free School with a Public Seal")
1571 (Received Royal Charter)
FounderEdward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln
Department for Education URN138665 Tables
Chair of GovernorsDavid Bennett
Head teacherHeather Payne
Age11 to 18
Enrolment877 pupils
Colour(s)Maroon, navy and black

Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle is a co-educational grammar school with academy status in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, England. In 2009, there were 877 pupils, of whom 271 were in the sixth form.[1]

Although royally chartered by Queen Elizabeth I in 1571, there had already been a school in Horncastle for two hundred and fifty years. The original charter document, with its royal seal, remains in the custody of the school's governors.

The school's catchment area includes Horncastle and the surrounding area, Wragby, Bardney and Woodhall Spa to the west, the Lincolnshire Wolds to the north and east, and Coningsby.



A school is known to have existed in Horncastle as far back as 1327 but records of the present school effectively begin when Queen Elizabeth I granted the charter to establish a grammar school in Horncastle, on the petition of Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln.[2] The school received its seal on 25 June 1571 and the charter document remains in the possession of the present school governors.

Originally, the school was built on a site adjoining the River Bain close to St Mary's Parish Church. It was demolished and rebuilt after the Civil War on the same site, remaining there until the first decade of the 20th century when in 1908 the present dining hall was the first building to be established on the current school site. The summer of 2008 was the school's 100th year on the present site and was duly marked by several centenary celebrations.

Coeducation and expansion[edit]

For much of its existence, Queen Elizabeth's was a boys' only day and boarding school. Girls were only admitted for the first time around the late 1900s. Since then the school has continued to expand, with further buildings added as the number on roll has increased. Up to the Education Act of 1944, Queen Elizabeth's had been an independent school. Following the Act the school voluntarily handed over control and finance responsibility to the local authority.

Change of status[edit]

In the autumn of 1991, the parents voted overwhelmingly for the school to become a self-governing grant maintained school. When grant maintained status was abolished by the new Labour government under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, schools were offered a choice of returning to local authority control or opting for foundation status. Foundation status offered an environment within the education authority but with autonomous school governors controlling admissions criteria and standards for the school, directly hiring and employing the school's staff and holding ownership of the school's estate. This was the route the school selected and Queen Elizabeth's later gained foundation status which allowed a degree of independence from the local authority. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth's gained joint specialist status for science and mathematics in partnership with Banovallum School, Horncastle's secondary modern school. A second specialism for modern languages was added in 2008. The school converted to academy status in September 2012 and is now independent of local authority control.

Present day[edit]

Ofsted report[edit]

The most recent Ofsted inspection took place in November 2011.[1] The inspector described the school as follows:

This is an outstanding school with a good sixth form. It enables its pupils to achieve high levels in both their personal and academic development. All groups of pupils, including those few who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, make excellent progress between Years 7 and 11. The school has established a track record for enabling its pupils to attain consistently well above national average standards in GCSE examinations; this includes overall attainment in the school’s specialist subjects. Provisional national data for 2011 show this trend continued with 44% of entries gaining A* and A grades and 78% A* to B grades.


Entry at age eleven is determined by the school's own selection procedures, which remain in line with those[which?] operating in other parts of the county. Normally the school commences four forms of pupils annually, representing the top 25% of the catchment area ability range. Continuation to the school's Sixth Form is open to all pupils for whom the school can provide a suitable course of study.

Academic life[edit]

The school is made up of three parts:

  • Lower School (Years 7, 8 and 9)
  • Middle School (Years 10 and 11 - GCSE Years)
  • Upper School (the Sixth Form - A Level Years)


The subjects taught at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle are:[3]

School uniform[edit]

School uniform is mandatory for all pupils. For years 7 to 11, this consists of a maroon blazer and maroon/blue/white tie. In the sixth form, boys wear a black blazer and black and gold tie, while girls wear a navy blazer with a navy and silver tie.

School estate[edit]

The school consists of the main school building and several outer buildings.

The main building contains 30 classrooms, 4 IT rooms, school offices, a main hall, a sports centre, a sixth form block and a library.

There are several outer buildings including the science, English and music blocks. This contains two music classrooms along with practice rooms, a large drama studio and lighting balcony and 2 art classrooms and a gallery. The new English block contains 4 classrooms and an office

Sports facilities[edit]

The facilities at the school are:

  • 3 football pitches
  • 5 netball courts
  • 9 tennis courts
  • 2 grass hockey pitches
  • 1 cricket pitch with three outdoor nets
  • Athletics track
  • Trim track
  • Gymnasium including table tennis
  • Sports hall
  • 4 rounders pitches
  • 4 outdoor table tennis tables

Transport arrangements[edit]

A fleet of contract and services buses, organised by the education authority, provides transport for pupils in the school's catchment area, who live more than three miles from the school. The school is also served by a privately organised service for out of catchment area pupils from the Sibsey and Stickney areas to the north of Boston, as well as Lincoln and its surrounding area. It should be noted that this isn't free, with many students paying their own fare.


In 2014 the school experienced a sex scandal when it was discovered that whilst on a school trip that two pupils (both under the age of consent) had sexual intercourse. The event occurred when girls allegedly, unbeknownst to staff as they were sleeping, snuck into the "boys only[4]" dormitory. No action was taken by the school authority until pupils began to confer the details of the event with their peers. The decision by the school was to suspend the staff involved with the trip, however the suspensions have since been revoked. The pupils who committed the act were also suspended. Parents of the pupils who attended the trip received letters from the school.

The school was met with dismay from the parents with one explaining "“I am worried about letting my children go on trips and I know some other parents feel the same.”

A pupil also added “It’s no big secret. It (sex) has gone on on other trips.[5]


On 21 March 2014 a statement was released by David Bennett, Chair of Governors that stated:

" The school takes the welfare and well-being of all its pupils very seriously; it remains a priority whether they are on site or away on trips or visits.

All educational visits are thoroughly risk assessed and, where any risk is identified, steps are put in place to minimise it.

In dealing with the issue which arose on a recent school trip, the school acted quickly, responsibly and carried out a full investigation.

I am happy this was dealt with in an appropriate and proportionate way.

We remain very grateful for the support we have received from parents and pupils following recent coverage in a local newspaper.

Although this issue was distressing for all concerned, we look forward to school life returning to normal for the benefit of all our pupils.[6]

Sporting achievement[edit]

  • Pupils represented county and higher level in sports such as cricket, hockey, tennis, football and squash.
  • Many of the schools sports team won county competitions and went on to national level.
  • Several teams played sports in other countries.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ofsted report" (PDF). Ofsted. January 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Horncastle". Genuki. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  3. ^ "QEGS Prospectus 2013" (PDF). QEGS. 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Grammar school governors in Horncastle respond to claims of underage sex on school trip". Lincolnshire Echo. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Parents shocked by school sex scandal". Horncastle News. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  6. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: Statement from QEGS Governors following 'sex scandal' story". Horncastle News. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Prof. Alfred Lodge". Nature. Nature Publishing Group. 141: 191. doi:10.1038/141191a0. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  8. ^ [1], Press Gazette, 17 January 2014
  9. ^ Memory Champion's secrets, BBC News, 7 April 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2011
  10. ^ "Comedy Star Goes Back to School". Horncastle News. 14 April 2006. Retrieved 9 December 2011.

External links[edit]