The Minster School, York

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The Minster School

, ,

Coordinates53°57′42″N 1°04′51″W / 53.961716°N 1.080791°W / 53.961716; -1.080791Coordinates: 53°57′42″N 1°04′51″W / 53.961716°N 1.080791°W / 53.961716; -1.080791
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Established1903,[1] but traces its origins back to 627[2]
FounderPaulinus of York[2]
Department for Education URN121731 Tables
Head teacherAngela Mitchell [3]
Age3 to 13[4]

The Minster School, York was an independent preparatory school[5] for children aged 3–13 in York, England. It was founded to educate choristers at York Minster and continued to do so, although no longer exclusively,[6] until in June 2020 it was announced that the school would close at the end of that term.[7]


The school occupies a complex of buildings on Deangate and Minster Yard in York, directly across from the York Minster.


The school traces its origins to a "song school" founded in 627 by Paulinus of York, the first Archbishop of York,[2][8] however the current school was re-founded in 1903.[2] The Minster School has a strong focus on music and, of the 180 pupils, 40 are choristers at York Minster.[8]

Buildings used by the school have been awarded listed status, among them the school house built 1830–1833,[9] two houses dating back to 1837,[10] and a Georgian building of 1755.[11]

The school buildings were used to depict the House of Lords in the 2016 series Victoria.[12]

Suspension of staff in 2018[edit]

In May 2018, the school attracted national press attention when the headmaster and two other senior members of staff were suspended after three unsecured air rifles were found on school premises.[13] The Dean of York faced protests by parents supportive of the staff and angry at the manner of the suspension.[14][15]


The school had relied upon income from York Minster, however the Minster's budget for 2020 had been based on expected tourist income in the coming year. When the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to this the Minster was unable to continue assisting the school.[16] Therefore the school had to announce that it would be closing for good at the end of the Summer Term 2020. They will help to find new places elsewhere for their students.[17] There is now an announcement about the proposals on the school website.[16]


  1. ^ Roden, John (2005). The Minster School, York: A Centenary History 1903-2004. York: Sacram Publishing. p. 1. ISBN 0-9535775-1-1.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Minster School: Standard Inspection" (PDF). Independent Schools Inspectorate. 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Welcome from the Head Teacher". The Minster School. The Minster School. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b "The Minster School - GOV.UK - Find and compare schools in England". Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  5. ^ Prest, Victoria (12 January 2016). "Minster School plans expansion into neighbouring building". The Press. York. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  6. ^ "York Minster recruiting boy choristers". Minster FM. York. 30 May 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Shock as The Minster School is closed – as York Minster suffers a 'catastrophic loss of income'". YorkMix. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  8. ^ a b "History". The Minster School. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  9. ^ Historic England (14 June 1954). "Minster Song School (Part), York (1257229)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  10. ^ Historic England (14 June 1954). "Minster Song School (Part), York (1257259)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  11. ^ Historic England (14 June 1954). "Minster Song School (Part), York (1257261)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  12. ^ Liptrot, Kate (27 August 2016). "York and Jenna Coleman star in ITV's Victoria". The Press. York. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  13. ^ Ward, Victoria (29 May 2018). "Dean of York faces revolt as three senior teachers are suspended from private school over 'unsecured' air rifles". The Daily Telegraph. York. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Parents stage protest demanding the reinstatement of York school head teacher". York Mix. York. 8 July 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  15. ^ "York Minster School air rifles: Parents support teachers". 30 May 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  16. ^ a b "The Chapter of York announces proposals for the closure of The Minster School". The Minster School York. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  17. ^ "York Minster prep school to close through 'lack of funds'". BBC News. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.

External links[edit]