Royal Liberty School

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The Royal Liberty School
Mottoes semper procedens
Established 1921
Type Foundation school
Headteacher Ms April Saunders
Chair Mr Garry woodman
Location Upper Brentwood Road
Gidea Park, Romford
Greater London
Coordinates: 51°35′08″N 0°12′35″E / 51.5855°N 0.2097°E / 51.5855; 0.2097
Local authority Havering
DfE number 311/4025
DfE URN 102343 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 573
Gender Boys
Ages 11–16

The Royal Liberty School, once a traditional English grammar school, is a state comprehensive boys' secondary school in Gidea Park, London.


It no longer has a sixth form. It is situated on Upper Brentwood Road about 400 metres north of Gidea Park railway station. It is halfway between Gidea Park and Ardleigh Green in the north-east of Romford, and about half a mile south of the Gallows Corner[1] A12/A127/A118 junction. It is in the parish of St Michael & All Angels,[2] Gidea Park.


The school's houses were previously known as Danes, Normans, Romans and Saxons. Then there was a period where they were known as Darwin, Newton, Rutherford and Salk. They are now known as Discovery, Challenger, Endeavour and Voyager to reflect the school's status as a specialist science college.


Grammar school[edit]

The school was founded in 1921 in the buildings and grounds of Hare Hall and takes its name from the Royal Liberty of Havering.

Royal Liberty was the first school in Europe to install an electronic computer (an Elliott 903, similar to the 920 military version: See Elliott Automation, in 1965) (see RLS Old Boys External Link below).

The school, as a grammar school, operated a squadron of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), incorporating basic, army, navy, and air cadets (including a training glider).


  • 1974 – In accord with UK Government policy, and in spite of manifest opposition, the school converts from 'grammar school' to 'comprehensive school'.
  • 1988 – J.P. Coles, after 25 years of service through some of the school's best years, retired. L.B. Thomas (previously Deputy) was appointed Head Master.
  • 1990 - The sixth form was twinned with the Francis Bardsley school. Harvey was the only male student attending.
  • 1992 – The Sixth Form ['A' Level studies] was abolished.
  • 1996 – School was placed under Ofsted [UK Government Office of Standards in Education] 'special measures'. L.B. Thomas left. S. Berwitz appointed Head Teacher.
  • 2000 – School removed from 'special measures'.
  • 2001 – School cited by Ofsted as "one of the most improved schools in the UK
  • 2003 – Mark Morrall leaves. Julia Deery appointed Head Teacher.
  • 2004 – The school launched a bid for 'specialist school' status, hoping to attract additional government funds.
  • 2006 – School wins specialist school bid.
  • 2009 - Rated Good by Ofsted.[3]
  • 2013 - Rated Good by Ofsted.[4]
  • 2014 - Julia Deery leaves. April Saunders

Notable former pupils[edit]

Royal Liberty School[edit]

Ken Farnes, England cricket fast bowler

Dr David Scurry, Dean of Undergraduate Programmes, Oxford Brookes University. 1989-2008.

  • Prof Ged Martin, Historian, Emeritus Professor of the University of Edinburgh
  • Prof Peter Grubb, Emeritus Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Investigative Plant Ecology, Cambridge University


External links[edit]