Waldegrave School

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Waldegrave School
Motto Enjoy, Achieve, Empower
Established 1980 (current school)
1909; 1936
Type Academy
Headteacher Philippa Nunn
Deputy Headteacher Mrs M Cassels
Location Fifth Cross Road
Greater London
51°26′22″N 0°21′03″W / 51.4395°N 0.3508°W / 51.4395; -0.3508Coordinates: 51°26′22″N 0°21′03″W / 51.4395°N 0.3508°W / 51.4395; -0.3508
DfE URN 138461 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1490
Gender Girls
Coed (Sixth Form)
Ages 11–18
Houses Pankhurst, Elliot, Franklin and Seacole
Colours Royal blue
Former location of Thames Valley Grammar School
Website Waldegrave School

Waldegrave School is a secondary school with academy status in Twickenham, London, England. It takes girls between the ages of 11 and 16 and has a coeducational sixth form, opened in September 2014. There are four houses and each house is named after prominent women: (Mary) Seacole, (Emmeline) Pankhurst, (George) Elliot and (Rosalind) Franklin.


Waldegrave School converted to academy status in 2012, having previously been part of the Richmond upon Thames LEA.[1] It is situated between the A311 and A305 around 500 metres north of Fulwell railway station and west of Strawberry Hill.

The Headteacher is Mrs Philippa Nunn, the school's third head, who has held the post since 2006 when she succeeded Heather Flint.[2]

In 2002 it had an enrolment of 1034 pupils. Waldegrave was a Beacon School from 1999 and became involved in a Leading Edge Partnership with Grey Court School in 2004. It was also awarded specialist Science College status in September 2004, and continues to specialise in science today. It is the only state-maintained girls' school (ages 11 to 16) in the borough.[3] In 2014 it opened a co-educational 6th form with approximately 140 students in each year.

Academic performance[edit]

Due to its exam success it is a popular school, and very much over-subscribed (close to 200% over-subscribed). The over-subscription has been reported to have included a higher proportion of bogus applications than for other secondary schools in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.[4]

The 2002 Ofsted report noted that the school, which received pupils from more than 40 different primary schools, was heavily oversubscribed and had been for several years. Attainment on entry was well above average, and over 90% of pupils went on to further education. It described Waldegrave as "a very good school that provides a high quality education for its pupils", despite receiving below average funding for a London school.

Strengths were identified as:

  • Teaching
  • Pupils' attitudes and behaviour
  • Leadership by the headteacher
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the school's work
  • A range of provision suitable both for more able students and for those with learning needs or behavioural difficulties

The report identified no major areas of weakness, and its Ofsted Inspections came out with successful results.[5] Students achieve well above average GCSE results. Students have supported many charity events, are very successful in Sport and Physical Education and are also one of the most environmentally friendly schools in their borough.[citation needed] It gets the best GCSE results in the LEA, with some of the highest results at GCSE in England. In 2016 in its first set of A level results pupils achieved a 100% pass rate. Of these, 40% were A* to A grade and 75% A* to B.

In 2010 Waldegrave was named the top state secondary school, without a sixth form, in the country, by The Times Parent Power and again in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. This is a survey based on the % of A and A* grades achieved by students.[citation needed] In 2016, it was named Comprehensive School of the year by the Sunday Times Schools Guide in recognition of its consistently good GCSE results and the high standard of results for its first A level cohort.


Waldegrave School was formed in 1980 by the merger of two girls' schools – Twickenham Girls' School and Kneller Girls' School – on its present-day site. Its name commemorates Frances Lady Waldegrave, a former local resident of Strawberry Hill House.[2]

Twickenham County School for Girls[edit]

Twickenham County School for Girls opened in 1909, later known as the all-girls Twickenham County Grammar School[6] or the Cowsheds. With the end of selective grammar education in the borough in 1972, the school became a comprehensive known as Twickenham Girls' School in 1973.[2]

Ruth Kirkley (1935 – 21 July 2009), headteacher from 1977, continued as the first headteacher of Waldegrave school until 1991.[7]

The site of Twickenham Girls' School is now the St Richard Reynolds RC College 51°26′51″N 0°20′03″W / 51.4475°N 0.3342°W / 51.4475; -0.3342

Kneller Girls' School[edit]

Kneller Girls' School opened in 1936 at the railway end of the Meadway site shared with the mirror building, but initially completely segregated, Kneller Boys' School. The building was augmented by huts following the raising of school leaving age to 15 after the Education Act 1944.

The schools merged as Kneller Secondary Modern School before 1959 when the boys moved to what is now Twickenham Academy in Whitton, and the school reverted to all-girls and its original name. The girls' numbers were increased with the transfer of secondary school age girls from the Stanley Road school.[8] In 1978 the school relocated to the site in Fifth Cross Road.[2] (The Fifth Cross Road site had previously been occupied since 1928 by the Thames Valley Grammar School which became a Sixth Form College in 1973 and had closed in 1977 with the formation of Richmond upon Thames College).[9]

The former Kneller school site in Meadway is now a residential estate. 51°26′52″N 0°21′06″W / 51.4478°N 0.3516°W / 51.4478; -0.3516

Notable former pupils[edit]

Waldegrave School[edit]

Twickenham Girls' School[edit]

Kneller Girls' School[edit]

Twickenham County Grammar School[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Also appeared in 1989 film Shirley Valentine starring Pauline Collins

It was also used in the series Goggle-Eyes adapted for television by the BBC as a four-episode mini-series, which was broadcast in 1993.

The school was also featured in a short section of Before I go to Sleep (2014) starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth


  1. ^ "Two local schools take up academy status". 
  2. ^ a b c d "Waldegrave School - 30 years old". Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Secondary schools". Schools. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  4. ^ Ross, Tim (22 October 2008). "Rise in families caught cheating for school places". London Evening Standard. ES London Limited. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  5. ^ Head, Jean (March 2002). "Inspection Report Waldegrave School for Girls" (pdf). Ofsted. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Twickenham County School for Girls". The Twickenham Museum. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Clarke, Helen (30 July 2009). "Tributes to head who insisted on high standards". The Hounslow Chronicle. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Kneller Girls' School". The Twickenham Museum. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Thames Valley Grammar School". The Twickenham Museum. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Caroline Flint: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Jasmine Whitbread". Woman's Hour. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "Julie Girling Chief Whip and Conservative Spokesman on Employment and Social Affairs". Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  13. ^ Madden, Paul (8 January 1993). "Obituary: Dianne Jackson". The Independent. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 

External links[edit]