The Royal School, Wolverhampton
|The Royal School, Wolverhampton|
|Motto||Nisi Dominus Frustra|
("Except the Lord in Vain")
|Religious affiliation(s)||Church of England|
|Department for Education URN||143101 Tables|
|Age||4 to 18|
|Former pupils||Old Royals|
The Royal School, Wolverhampton is a co-educational free school and sixth form for day and boarding pupils in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. It is the only state school of its type in the UK to have a Royal Charter and it has been a free school since September 2016. The school was previously a fee paying independent school and it is now one of a handful of state boarding schools in the country.
The Royal School, Wolverhampton began life as The Wolverhampton Orphan Asylum. It was founded in 1850 by John Lees, a local lock-manufacturer and freemason, after a cholera epidemic ravaged the town and left many children orphaned. The orphanage was completely funded by voluntary subscription and was dedicated to the education and maintenance of children who had lost one or both parents. 
The Royal Orphanage of Wolverhampton came into being in 1891 when Queen Victoria gave permission for the prefix 'Royal' to be used. The charity carried on using this title until the late 1940s when King George VI permitted it to be re-styled The Royal Wolverhampton School.
The following decade saw a rapid decline in the number of pupils as the newly formed Welfare State took over some of the school's responsibilities. The cost of caring for orphans also dramatically increased and so the constitution was controversially changed to allow the admission of fee-paying pupils. Their proportion steadily grew to the extent that they eventually constituted around 90% of its students.
The school became a free school in September 2016.
Buildings and Facilities
The school's original premises were at 46 Queen Street, Wolverhampton. In 1854 it moved to new buildings on Penn Road. These have been greatly extended over the years but they still form the nucleus of the current school.
Hilda Hayward Swimming Pool
The original Hilda Hayward swimming pool was constructed in the 1970s with money donated by the Hayward Foundation. It was named in honour of Sir Charles Hayward's wife who died during its construction.
This pool was destroyed in a fire in February 2005. Its replacement, also called the Hilda Hayward swimming pool, cost £2.5 million and was opened by Prince Edward in September 2006.
The Hilda Hayward pool also provides facilities for the School's Elite Swim Club and Learn to Swim Programme, part of the Amateur Swimming Association.
Eric Idle was an Orphan's scholarship holder and benefited from a forces bursary as his late father had been a former member of the RAF.
- Montagu Dawson, RAF group captain
- Alice Dearing, swimmer
- Edward Gopsill, lieutenant colonel
- Gilbert Harding, broadcaster
- Eric Idle, comedian
- Kelly Massey Olympic 400m athlete
- Michael Kidson, schoolmaster
- Philip Oakes, journalist
- Jonathan Pedley, wine expert
- Tom Webster, cartoonist
- Roger Branton (23 November 1966). "School that is rich in history has big plans for the future". Wolverhampton Chronicle.
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