Salesian College, Farnborough

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Coordinates: 51°16′48″N 0°44′35″W / 51.280°N 0.743°W / 51.280; -0.743

Salesian College
Motto Virtus Sola Nobilitas
(Latin: "Virtue is the only nobility")
Established 1901
Type Independent day school
Religion Roman Catholic (Salesian)
Headmaster Mr Gerard Owens
Location Farnborough
GU14 6PA
DfE number 850/6022
DfE URN 116543 Tables
Students 640~
Gender Boys
Coeducational (Sixth Form)
Ages 11–18
Colours Blue and Yellow
Website Salesian College, Farnborough

Salesian College, is an independent Roman Catholic school in Farnborough, Hampshire, England. It admits boys from the age of 11 to 18, and girls in the Sixth Form. The College was founded in 1901 as a small preparatory school for boys, but soon expanded to provide boarding secondary education owing to its increasing popularity.

For the 2007-08 academic year, the College announced that it would admit girls into the Sixth Form for the first time. The college has a strong record of academic achievement, with a 100% pass rate at GCSE in 2015, and 99.5% at A Level.


In 1901, Bishop Cahill of the Diocese of Portsmouth invited the Salesians of Battersea to take over the orphanage, a former tin factory, in Queen's Road, Farnborough. This marked the beginning of the Salesians' work in education in the local area and as a parish.[1]

By 1902 a reporter in Sheldrakes Military Gazette noted that the thirty 'poor Catholic waifs and those sons of sore stricken Roman Catholic parents' had a home 'comfortable in every respect',[2] and were learning trades to prepare them for life's struggles.

Under previous Headmaster, Mr Wilson, the College witnessed substantial structural growth, the most significant being the erection of the Sean Devereux Sixth Form Centre providing facilities for girls, and with new classrooms built equipped with improved technology. Upon the announcement that girls were to be admitted for the first time in the Sixth Form, Mr Wilson was quoted as saying, “At this time more and more boys’ schools are finding that the advantages of single sex schooling up to the age of 16 are best followed by having ladies in the sixth form environment as a preparation for higher education." The College maintains links with the nearby Alton Convent School and often organises joint activities and events together, such as the yearly Lower Sixth trip to Tregoyd and the Senior College Prom.

The most recent addition to the college is the renovation of the old music school. The process began during the 2012-2013 academic year and the new Father Brendan McGuinness Music Building was completed and officially opened in September 2013. It is named in honour of the college's former chaplain who has a long-standing affiliation with the college, lasting over half a century.

HCPT's Annual Pilgrimage to Lourdes[edit]

Every Easter, boys and girls from the Lower Sixth go on the HCPT Pilgrimage to Lourdes. In the past, students from Poland and Romania have joined the students from Salesian College.[3]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Among the College's alumni are the host of Britain's first-ever Prime Ministerial Debate (in April 2010), ITV News journalist and presenter Alastair Stewart,[4] and Salesian missionary and aid-worker Sean Devereux, assassinated in Kismayu, Somalia in 1993 while working for UNICEF. There is a stained-glass window to commemorate Devereux's life and work in the College Chapel. Racing driver and Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack contestant[5] Jeremy Metcalfe also attended the College. Neurosurgeon Sir Matthew Richard Fisher, famous for the discovery of the protein MMP in the brains of those suffering from dementia, who more recently has worked as a government adviser on plans to privatise parts of the NHS, is an alumnus as well.[citation needed]

England international rugby player Phil Taylor and musical theatre actor Daniel Boys also attended the college.[6] Naturalist, writer and television presenter Steve Backshall attended for a few years in the 1980s.

Farnborough Old Salesians Association[edit]

The Farnborough Old Salesians Association (OSA) is a society for former pupils who wish to contact other Old Boys. It has its foundations in the 1920s, with its first formal meeting held in 1927.[7] The Association has organised whole-year reunions.[8] The Association aims to provide all of its Old Boys around the world with information on other Old Boys, on events at the College, and on the OSA's activities.

For those Old Boys who live locally, the OSA organises activities throughout the year, such as a Remembrance Mass in November, OSA soccer matches and the soccer tour, OSA golf days and the golf tour, the Annual Reunion and AGM (two weeks after Easter), a presence at the College's Garden Fete, as well as funding OSA Prizes at Prizegiving. The OSA regularly assists the Salesian family in various local undertaking and around the world by activity or financial aid. The OSA maintains links with the wider Salesian family by means of the Salesian Past Pupils UK and Ex Allievi di Don Bosco.[9]

In the 1970s the OSA donated a marble tablet in commemoration of the Old Boys who gave their lives in the Second World War. The tablet shows the OSA (at that time the Salesian Old Boys Association Farnborough) badge and the motto "Salesian Old Boys Let not the glory fade away Keep bright the flame of memory and honour them 1939-1945." The new President of the OSA is Greg Sudell (a pupil from 1988-1995), who succeeds John Clenshaw (a pupil from 1937–44).[10]


1997-2014: Mr Patrick A. Wilson
2014-present: Mr Gerard Owens

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Many Lives through Many Eyes..." A Hundred Years of the Salesians in Farnborough, 2001, p. 8. Compiled by Rev. Francis Sutherland, SDB
  2. ^ Sheldrakes Military Gazette as cited in "Many Lives through Many Eyes..." A Hundred Years of the Salesians in Farnborough, 2001, p. 8
  3. ^
  4. ^ Interview with the Daily Mail newspaper
  5. ^ Dyke, Peter (3 January 2008). "Big Brother:Meet The Contestants". Daily Star. Retrieved 3 January 2008. 
  6. ^ Wakefield Express 5/9/1959
  7. ^ "Many Lives through Many Eyes..." A Hundred Years of the Salesians in Farnborough, 2001, p. 113
  8. ^ Farnborough Old Salesians Association webpage
  9. ^ "Many Lives through Many Eyes..." A Hundred Years of the Salesians in Farnborough, 2001, p.114
  10. ^

External links[edit]