|Motto||Honneur aux dignes
Honour the worthy
|Type||Independent day and boarding school|
|Religion||Church of England|
|President of Trustees||Lady Patten of Barnes|
|Local authority||Brighton and Hove|
|DfE URN||114616 Tables|
|Former pupils||Old Roedeanians|
Roedean School is an independent day and boarding school in Roedean Village on the outskirts of Brighton, East Sussex, England for girls aged 11 to 18. The campus is situated near the Sussex Downs on a cliff overlooking Brighton Marina. The school incorporates a 320-seat theatre, a heated indoor swimming pool and a chapel, as well as a range of workshops, studios, laboratories and sports pitches. Current school fees are between £5,250 and £11,550 per term, from the youngest day girls to the oldest boarders. This puts Roedean among the most expensive girls' schools in the United Kingdom. Roedean School is a member of the Girls' Schools Association. The Good Schools Guide stated that the "School has a healthy spirit and much to offer."
The school was founded in 1885 as Wimbledon House by three sisters: Penelope, Millicent, and Dorothy Lawrence. Their brother was the lawyer Sir Paul Lawrence of Wimbledon, who helped them considerably, and their Lawrence great aunts had been noted school teachers earlier in the century, mainly in Liverpool. Roedean was founded to prepare girls for entrance to the newly opened women's colleges at Cambridge University, Girton (now co-ed) and Newnham Colleges. In 1898, the school moved to its present site occupying new buildings designed by the architect Sir John Simpson. A sister school, also called Roedean School and co-founded by the youngest Lawrence sister, Theresa, in 1903, is located in Johannesburg, South Africa.
During the Second World War, the students and staff were temporarily evacuated to Keswick, in the north of England. The school buildings in Brighton, Sussex were then used by the Admiralty  It was used by Navy cadets attending the Mining and Torpedo School (known as the HMS Vernon). Hence Roedean has the rare honour of being one of the few girls' schools in the country with an Old Boys' Association. The artist Percy Shakespeare was killed by a German bomb while serving at Roedean.
St Mary's Hall
Inspired by his friend William Carus-Wilson, who founded Cowan Bridge School, Reverend Henry Venn Elliott proposed for the foundation of a similar school for the county. St Mary's Hall was opened in 1836 and was the oldest girls' school in the United Kingdom before it was closed in 2009. Its junior section became Roedean's junior school while many senior girls were transferred to Roedean. The junior school was closed in 2011 as the school administration decided to focus on secondary and sixth form education.
The school community is divided into houses.
The Lawrence and Tanner House (with Senior and Junior wings) system introduced in 2005 was reversed starting in 2010 with the reintroduction of numbered house systems.
Upper Three (Year 7) to Six One (Year 12) students are spread out amongst House 1, 2, 3, 4.
Six Twos (Year 13) are admitted to Keswick House, which is detached from the main school building.
In the past, such as the 1960s, the houses were: Junior House; House Number 1; House Number 2; House Number 3; House Number 4; and a Sanatorium. In 1966 part of the Sanatorium was made into rooms for VIth form girls, two VI form girls from every numbered house.
Roedean is a selective school, and entry to the school is based upon various examinations, interviews and reports from the girls' previous schools. Entry at 11+ and 13+ is through the Common Entrance Examination. Applicants of 11+ and 13+ who are unable to take the Common Entrance Examination, those wishing to enter at 12+ and overseas applicants may sit the Roedean entrance examination.
For entry at 14+, places are offered to girls who reach the required standard in the Roedean entrance examination and early application is advised. Late applications will only be considered if places are available for the two year GCSE courses. Sixth Form entry is very competitive, and requires at least 55 points in GCSE or equivalent where A*=8, A=7 etc. and, ideally, a grade A in the subjects (or related subjects) that the candidate proposes to take at AS/A level. Applications are also assessed on the basis of the school's Sixth Form entrance examinations in English and Mathematics, together with either a verbal reasoning test or a non-verbal reasoning test.
Scholarships can be entered for at 11+, 12+, 13+ and upon entrance to the Sixth Form. These are calculated based upon the results of the Upper Five (year 11) end of term exams.
Past pupils are known as Old Roedeanians and include:
- Alison Adburgham, fashion editor of The Guardian, author and social historian
- Jani Allan, journalist, broadcaster
- Jill Balcon, actress
- Ursula Graham Bower, anthropologist, guerrilla fighter in Burma during World War II
- Jill Braithwaite, anthropologist, diplomat and social reformer
- Lynda Chalker, Baroness Chalker, politician
- Hermione Cockburn, broadcaster
- Dame Margaret Cole, politician
- Tessa Dahl, novelist
- Elizabeth Devereux-Rochester, member of SOE F Section
- Noel Dyson, actress
- Adèle Geras
- Zerbanoo Gifford
- Lucy Griffiths, actress
- Rebecca Hall, actress
- Jessica Hester Hsuan
- Verity Lambert OBE, television producer
- Sarah Miles
- Rhona Mitra
- Beatrix Ong MBE
- Phyllis Pearsall MBE
- Margaret Postgate
- Dame Cicely Saunders
- Nancy Spain
- Tanya Streeter
- Philippa Tattersall
- Perdita Weeks
- Honeysuckle Weeks
- Katharine Whitehorn
- Olive Willis
- Vera Stanley Alder
- Zina Saro-Wiwa
Roedeanians in fiction
- Chummy Browne (Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne) in Call the Midwife
- Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward (heroine in the marionette series Thunderbirds)
- Dawn Drummond-Clayton (Tarzan's great-granddaughter in the Bunduki series)
- Emily James (Head of PR, Hotel Babylon)
- Scarlett Papava (a character in the James Bond novel Devil May Care)
- Lucy Saxon, a character in the science fiction series Doctor Who. Both Emily James and Lucy Saxon are portrayed by Alexandra Moen.
- Monica Simmons and her five sisters in Pigs Have Wings and Galahad at Blandings
- Cecilia Tallis in the novel Atonement
- Lady Mary Wimsey in Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels
- Evelyn Caldessa in Mike Carey's Felix Castor novels
- Roedean School
- History of Roedean
- 2nd World War Blog - Keswick Hotel and Roedean
- "obituary:Lieutenant Claude Holloway". Daily Telegraph. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Roedean Old Boys' Association
- "Percy Shakespeare Collection". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- St Mary's Hall Association
- Junior School
- Milner, Catherine; de Burton, Simon (30 June 2002). "Daisy pulls it off - with a spanner". The Daily Telegraph.
- School Website
- St Mary's Hall Association Website
- Profile on the ISC website
- Profile at the Good Schools Guide
- Profile on MyDaughter
- ISI Inspection Reports