Elvian School from Southcote Lane
|Established||1931 (as Presentation College)
2004 (as Elvian School)
|Location||63 Bath Road
|DfE URN||110113 Tables|
The Elvian School was an independent school in Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom run by the Licensed Trade Charity as a co-educational, non-denominational Christian school. It was previously the Catholic boys' school Presentation College, Reading, until it went into administration in 2004. In March 2010 it was announced that the school would close at the end of the academic year.
The school opened in 1931 as Presentation College, Reading, an independent boys' day school run by the Presentation Brothers. In May 2003, the Presentation Brothers made the highly controversial decision to close the school the following summer. However, due to the "Save Pres" campaign by staff and students, the Presentation Brothers reversed the decision and the school was transferred to a trust. However, in mid-2004 the school went into administration and was taken over by the Licensed Trade Charity and became the Elvian School. The final headteacher of the school was Paul Bevis.
On Sunday, 14 June 2009, one of the school's students, 15-year-old Nicholas Rice, died in an air collision incident over Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire. His Grob Tutor aeroplane collided with a civilian glider, during an Air Experience Flight. The pilot of the Grob Tutor, 62-year-old Michael Blee, was also killed, while the pilot of the glider, Henry Freeborn, parachuted to safety and survived.
In January 2010, staff and parents of pupils were sent letters stating that the future of the school was unclear and that the feasibility of continuing to operate was being considered during a consultation period. On 3 March, a further letter and announcement by the school's director of education, Ian Mullins, stated that the consultation had unanimously agreed that the school could not run into the 2010/11 academic year. The school closed in July 2010.
In 2013 members of the West Reading Education Network WREN announced plans to open a Free School on the site of the former Elvian School, re-using some of the Elvian school buildings. These plans were delayed whilst developers Taylor Wimpey agreed to purchase the site subject to obtaining planning permission for 182 homes. Planning permission was refused. Taylor Wimpey appealed the refusal, and their appeal was dismissed in December 2013 after a public enquiry. Taylor Wimpey appealed to the High Court for a judicial review of the refusal, which was dismissed in June 2014. The new school opened with the name "The Wren School" in 2015.
The school offered a broad curriculum and included all the subjects of the National Curriculum.
Notable former pupils
- Michael Bond OBE – children's author
- Gerard Johnson – rock musician.
- Cormac Murphy-O'Connor – Roman Catholic cardinal.
- Damian Thompson – journalist and author.
- Mike Oldfield – rock musician.
- Lawrie Sanchez – football player and manager.
- Joseph Kelly – newspaper editor and publisher.
- Jonathan Bowden - Nationalist political philosopher.
- Charity Commission. Society of Licensed Victuallers, registered charity no. 230011.
- "RAF crew dead after mid-air crash". BBC. 14 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
- "Teenage plane crash victim named". BBC. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
- Mullins, Ian (3 March 2010). "Outcome of Consultation and Future of the Elvian School". The Elvian School. LVS Reading. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
- "Elvian School bids its final farewells". Get Reading. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- "Bear author given honorary degree". BBC News. 2007-07-08.