Sacred Heart High School, Hammersmith

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Sacred Heart High School
Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith, London in spring 2013 (3).JPG
Established 1893
Type Academy
Religion Catholic
Headteacher Mrs. Marian Doyle
Founder Society of the Sacred Heart
Location 212 Hammersmith Road
Greater London
W6 7DG
51°29′36″N 0°13′23″W / 51.4933°N 0.2231°W / 51.4933; -0.2231Coordinates: 51°29′36″N 0°13′23″W / 51.4933°N 0.2231°W / 51.4933; -0.2231
DfE number 205/4620
DfE URN 137935 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 50
Students 796
Gender Girls
Ages 11–18
Trusteeship Society of the Heart Charitable Trust

Sacred Heart High School is a Catholic secondary school and sixth form with academy status for girls, located in Hammersmith, London, England.


Sacred Heart is a popular girls' school for ages 11-18, located in Hammersmith. The former convent only accepts girls of the Catholic faith and a uniform is obligatory for all girls during the seven years at Sacred Heart. Approximately 900 girls attend the school. As of September 2014, the headteacher is Mrs Marian Doyle.



The school was founded by nuns of the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1893. One of the school buildings is named after the order's founder Madeleine Sophie Barat. It is built on an historic site with a long Catholic tradition dating back to 1609. In 1869 Archbishop Manning decided to convert the convent into a seminary but the original buildings were found to be unsuitable. By January 1876 John Francis Bentley, the architect of Westminster Cathedral, had completed the plans for the current Tudor styled buildings. By July 1884 the seminary was complete, consisting of a chapel, library, school, refectory, common room and upwards of sixty study bedrooms for staff and students.

Grammar school[edit]

In 1948 the convent school was reorganised as a secondary grammar school, continuing as a grammar school, the Convent of Sacred Heart High School, until 1976.


The school received its first comprehensive intake in 1976, gradually becoming comprehensive one year at a time until 1981, as the London Sacred Heart High School. It had around 550 girls in 1980. In 1989, a gradual change began to dispose of the sixth form, and by 1991, it was an 11-16 school, with A-levels being taken at the new St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College, in Kensington and Chelsea. From 1990, it was the responsibility of Hammersmith and Fulham, and since 1991 the headteacher has been Christine Carpenter, who replaced Moira Russell.

Apart from the twenty years as a seminary in the late nineteenth century, this site has a 330-year tradition of contributing to the education of young women. The school building was designed by John Francis Bentley, also responsible for Westminster Cathedral. In 1993 Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster, visited the school for a Mass to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

The school was awarded beacon school honors, and in 2005 it became a specialist school in Mathematics and ICT.

From September 2006, the school has improved nutrition by taking away the chocolate vending machines and not allowing girls to bring in that kind of food. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten during lunch. A new fruit juice machine has been introduced. Both the pupils and the teachers are encouraged to take part in regular activities both within and outside the school community, and all the years contribute to raising money and awareness of political, social and economic status' around the world. The school raises large amounts of money each year for various charities around the world.


On 1 March 2012, Sacred Heart High School officially gained academy status.

Sixth Form[edit]

From September 2013, the school has a sixth form.

Academic performance[edit]

The school has achieved a lot of A*s in the GCSEs and for brighter pupils, it is possible to be taught AS level Mathematics. For some girls, in year 9, they will start to work on their Maths GCSEs.

It gets exceptionally good GCSE results.

Notable former pupils[edit]


In July 1999 the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) upheld a complaint against the Mail on Sunday, from Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, who had claimed that they had improperly used their influence to secure the admission of their daughter, Kathryn, to Sacred Heart High School, some six miles from where they live, when other local girls were rejected. The PCC said: "There was no evidence to support the allegation that Kathryn Blair was unfairly admitted or had received special treatment, and the newspaper did not provide any."[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Education - Blairs' school complaint upheld", BBC, 16 July 1999
  2. ^ "The Prime Minister and Mrs Blair", Report 47, Press Complaints Commission

External links[edit]