Raine's Foundation School

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Raine's Foundation School
Raine's Foundation School-view-1.jpg
Approach Road

Bethnal Green
, ,
E2 9LY

Coordinates51°31′52″N 0°03′04″W / 51.5312°N 0.0511°W / 51.5312; -0.0511Coordinates: 51°31′52″N 0°03′04″W / 51.5312°N 0.0511°W / 51.5312; -0.0511
TypeVoluntary aided school
MottoCome in and learn your duty to God and man
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Established1719; 301 years ago (1719)
FounderHenry Raine
Local authorityTower Hamlets
Department for Education URN100979 Tables
HeadteacherMr Ramsey
Age11 to 18
Colour(s)Black, blue
Former nameRaine's Foundation Grammar School

Raine's Foundation School is a Church of England voluntary aided school based on two sites in Bethnal Green in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Henry Raine, a very rich man who lived in Wapping, decided to create a school where poor children could get an education for free, so that they could go into skilled labour when they left. In 1719, the Lower School opened. It has moved many times and the school now has two separate buildings, one for Years 7 and 8, and one for Year 9 and above. From September 2010, due to BSF works the Lower School site will accommodate Years 7 to 8, with Years 9 to 13 remaining at the Upper School.


It is situated in the north of Bethnal Green, just to the east of Cambridge Heath Road (A107) and half a mile south of the Regent's Canal and not far from the Cambridge Heath railway station. It is opposite the London Chest Hospital, just off the Old Ford Road (B118) and in the parish of St James-the-Less, Bethnal Green. It is one of six schools in the borough that has a sixth form.


Henry Raine had made a good sum of money from selling alcohol. However he was a devout Christian, and he knew that he should use his wealth for good. He decided to found a school where poor children could get a free education. He built it in Wapping, where he lived and named it "the Lower School". It opened in 1719.

"The Lower School", was designed to provide an education for fifty boys and fifty girls between the ages of 8 and 18 years. They would learn "the three Rs", which were reading, writing and arithmetic. Girls however were also taught to sew and to cook, and boys were also made to shovel coal underground for the school's heating, and to scrub the floors. This was done in between periods.

Boarding school[edit]

In 1736 Henry built and set aside money for a boarding school which would take on forty girls from the Lower School. It was known as "Raine's Hospital" and later "Asylum"(this did not have the connotations it has today). It would have been quite pleasant, with clothes being provided along with frequent meals.

The boys and the girls were separated at first and the boys would be beaten if caught talking to a girl. Because of this a fence was put up between the boarding and lower school.

In 1820, a new boys' school was opened as there was a large increase in boys at the lower school which was only a boys' school, the girls had the boarding school but were soon to move to the Lower School. It was opened in Silver Street by the Duke of Clarence who was later King William IV.

In 1883, the boarding school closed and a new boys' and girls' school opened in Cannon Street Road. Not all places were free anymore, it was 3d a week for the preparatory school and 6d for the senior school.

Raine's Foundation School-Approach Road site-part to south.

Former site[edit]

In 1913, the school moved to Arbour Square in Stepney, the building still stands today and is part of Tower Hamlets College. It was state of the art with its gymnasium, science laboratories, a girls' cookery room and in World War I a rifle range was built on the open rooftop for boys who could prepare for the army which they would fight in against the Germans. The separation for boys and girls continued until 1964, even the hall was separated by a hinged folding wooden dividing wall.


In 1977, Raine's merged with St Jude's Secondary School and became a comprehensive school.

In 1985, the school moved to Old Bethnal Green Road (the lower school for years 7 and 8), and the old Parmiter's building in Approach Road. Both are in Bethnal Green and remain there until today. The Upper School site is being redeveloped from Summer 2010 as part of the Building Schools for the Future project. This will result in Year 9 being based in the Lower School building.


The motto was devised when the school opened. It was:

"Come in and do your duty to God and man".

It has, however, been changed to:

"Come in and learn your duty to God and man".

The words of verse 4 of the school song say "Enter in and learn your duty, duty both to God and man"[1]

Ethos and events[edit]

The general ethos of the school has a friendly feel to it. The social integration of the pupils is good, as is their relationship with the teachers. Events include talent shows held regularly in the school at the end of terms. These are occasions when the pupils can show off talents or skills to their fellow pupils. The most recent was at Summer 2009.


When it first opened it had a boys' uniform: cap, long coat with buttons (the neck button always had to be done up), tights and high heel-like shoes. The girls had: a coat, skirt and a hat.

Current boys' uniform[edit]

  • Black blazer with school badge; white shirt; school tie;
  • Plain V-necked black or navy pullover (cardigans and hooded tops are not permitted);
  • Black trousers (not denim or corduroy); plain black leather shoes (boots are not permitted);
  • Plain dark socks
  • A plain navy or black coat or anorak. Plain blue or black scarf.
  • No hats or caps to be worn in school
  • Jewellery – small stud earrings; one in each ear lobe, a small cross and chain and a watch only

The girls' uniform[edit]

  • Black skirt
  • School blouse-white plain V - necked navy or black pullover (cardigans and hooded tops are not permitted);
  • School blazer
  • School Tie
  • Plain black or neutral coloured tights;
  • Plain black leather shoes with a low heel (boots are not permitted).
  • A plain navy or black coat or anorak. Plain blue or black scarf.
  • Jewellery – small stud earrings; one in each ear lobe, a small cross and chain and a watch only

Summer uniform[edit]

  • White Raine's polo shirt
  • Blue skirts (girls) and black trousers (boys)
  • Black shoes


Unlike in the past, Raine's teaches a number of subjects stretched across a five period day. The list below gives times per week for Key Stage 3, not the number of times if taken for options.

The subjects taught now are:

  • English x7
  • Maths x7
  • Science x10 (Year 7), x7 (Year 10 onwards)
  • D.T. (Design and Technology) x1 (Year 7, Year 9), x2 (Year 8)
    • Textiles
    • Graphic Skills
    • Resistant Materials
    • Art (becomes weekly in Year 9)
    • Computer graphics (Year 9 only)
  • French/Spanish x2
  • Religious Studies x5
  • Physical Education x8
  • History x3
  • Geography x2
  • Information Technology x1
  • Business Studies (Only available as an option)
  • Skills x1 (Year 7, Year 8)
  • Citizenship x1 (Year 10 onwards)
  • Preparation for Adult Life x1 (until Year 9)
  • Music x1
  • Drama x1 (Year 7, Year 8, Year 9)

Compulsory subjects for GCSEs:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Religious Studies
  • ICT
  • Physical Education
  • Citizenship

The subjects in italic do not have to be taken for GCSEs, but an allocated number of periods per week for these lessons must take place.

Headteachers and Heads of Years (2019)[edit]

  • Headteacher: Mr. Woods
  • Deputy Headteacher : Mr. Justin Childs
  • Head of Year 7: Mrs. Omo-Bare
  • Head of Year 8: Mr. Blenman
  • Head of Year 9: Mr. Jenkins
  • Head of Year 10: Mr. Leighton
  • Head of Year 11: Ms. Ayling
  • Heads of Sixth Form/Year 13

Partnership with China[edit]

The school has recently begun a relationship with a school in China. Chinese are currently visiting the school. Opportunities within the relationship will include foreign exchange trips from both England and China.

Chinese lessons currently take place after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A new teacher has taken over the lessons.

In 2007, some teachers and sixth form students went on a residential trip to China to visit its partner school, and it was an incredibly successful and enjoyable trip for all.

Success story[edit]

The school's athletic department is top in P.E. The football teams usually gets through to the borough finals along with the basketball and athletics teams. The Girl's Athletics team have won the borough athletics league for 7 years in a row.

Also the Math Challenge with EPGY is run every year with students who excel in Mathematics. It is an annual course in which pupils must sit an entrance exam.

The future[edit]

In 2006, the school received £17 million which will be spent on refurbishing both lower and upper schools which are aging rapidly. At some point in 2008 it is proposed that lower and upper schools will temporarily be merged in order to allow building work to take place at the lower school site with the current building being demolished. Due to its age, the upper school buildings shall remain but the interiors will receive refurbishment. The old Headteacher, Gordon Clubb, moved from temporary Head to a permanent position in 2007-2013.

As a result of poor administrative decisions, in regards to hiring of senior staff within the school, the quality of the school significantly dipped. This was evidenced by the school's 2017 Ofsted report which concluded the school 'Requires Improvement'.[2] Ultimately, it seems as if the school will be shut down and absorbed by nearby Oaklands.

Academic performance[edit]

It gets GCSE and A level results slightly under the England average. GCSE results are generally high in Tower Hamlets LEA. Raine's gets the second highest A level results in the borough.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Notable past pupils include:

Raine's Foundation Grammar School[edit]


External links[edit]