Rugby Group

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The Rugby Group is a group of 18 British independent schools. The group was formed in the 1960s as an association of major boarding schools within the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. As with the Eton Group, which was formed a few years later, headmasters and heads of the academic departments meet annually in rotation to discuss matters of common interest.[1]

The schools in the group are:

Five of the Rugby Group schools, Charterhouse School, Harrow School, Winchester College, Rugby School and Shrewsbury School, are members of the original nine 'Clarendon' public schools defined under the Public Schools Act 1868, with the other Clarendon schools (Eton College, St Paul's School, Merchant Taylors' School and Westminster School) having other affiliations.

In 2003, as part of a wider investigation into alleged fee fixing at UK independent schools, the Office of Fair Trading published an e-mail exchange between the bursars of Rugby Group schools containing detailed information about planned fee levels at each of the schools.[2][3] The case was settled in 2006, with 50 schools admitting that such exchange of information "involved a distortion of competition and infringed competition law", but not admitting to any effect on fees. The schools each paid a £10,000 penalty, and agreed to make ex gratia payments totalling £3 million to a trust to benefit pupils attending the schools in the relevant years.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Walford, Geoffrey (1986). Life in Public Schools. Methuen. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-0-416-37170-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Syal, Rajeev (14 September 2003). "Price-fixing inquiry spreads to 700 private schools". The Telegraph.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Halpin, Tony; Coates, Sam; Owen, Glen (13 September 2003). "E-mails tell story of record rise in fees". The Times.
  4. ^ "Independent schools agree settlement" (Press release). Office of Fair Trading. 19 May 2006. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2010.