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Grove Park Road
|Type||Independent day school|
|Motto||Gloria Filiorum Patres ("The fathers are the glory of the sons" – Proverbs 17: 6)|
|Department for Education URN||101693 Tables|
|Age||7 to 18|
|Former Pupils||Old Elthamians|
The school dates back to the early Victorian era, when it was founded as the London Missionary Society's School for the Sons and Orphans of Missionaries. Within a short time the Baptist Missionary Society joined as co-founders. A girls' school had been established in Walthamstow in 1838 and a boys' school was opened in the same place at the beginning of 1842. The boys' school later relocated to Mornington Crescent in 1852 and then to a purpose-built location in the centre of Blackheath in 1857 (the building, directly adjacent to Blackheath Station, later became the headquarters of the Church Army and is now a private hospital). Missionary David Livingstone sent his son Robert to the school during the 1850s.
The school moved to its present site - centred on an 18th-century mansion (Fairy Hall) in Mottingham - in 1912. The building had previously been used by the Royal Naval School from 1889 to the end of the summer term in 1910.
Eltham College began life as a small boarding school catering for children of missionaries serving overseas, mainly in India, China and Africa. From 1945 to 1976 Eltham was a Direct Grant school; thus, for example, the 1952 intake was roughly 20 pupils from London County Council schools and 20 from Kent schools (all 40 of these on scholarships), and 20 fee-payers. When the Direct Grant system was abolished in 1976, the school chose to go fully independent. After the 1950s the number of missionary sons fell sharply and the school became primarily a day school for boys until it went fully co-educational in the 2020s. The sixth form has admitted girls since 1978. Reflecting the origins of the school, each of the four houses is named after a prominent LMS or BMS missionary, namely Carey, Livingstone, Chalmers and Moffat; coloured blue, green, red and yellow respectively.
21st century developmentsEdit
Headmaster (2000-2014) Paul Henderson continued a programme of building and development started by Christopher Waller, including major refurbishments to the junior school and music school, and a car park in front of the college. The Gerald Moore Art Gallery (partly funded by and named after artist Gerald Moore, an Old Elthamian) opened in 2012, displaying works by Moore, students and other artists.
Also in 2012, to mark the centenary of the move to Mottingham, the college launched a campaign to raise the funds to replace the Sixth Form Centre and Jubilee Block. Construction began in July 2017 and ended in February 2019. The new Turberville building (named after Geoffrey Turberville, the college's longest serving headmaster, 1930–1959) is located on the west side of the Old Quad with a new colonnade linking it to existing buildings. A triple-height, glazed atrium forms a link between the quad and the playing fields to the east and gives access to the David Robins Sixth Form Centre.
Girls were admitted to Year 3 and Year 7 for the first time in autumn 2020 (since the late 1970s girls have been members of the sixth form). Thus Eltham College will be fully co-educational in every year from autumn 2024.
Sexual abuse allegationsEdit
As of June 2021, Eltham College became involved in a legal dispute about sexual abuse and safeguarding. Former students who compiled a dossier of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations between 2016 and 2021 were sent solicitor's letters requiring them to desist, as publicising the extent of the alleged problem was said to be hampering an internal inquiry.
The school's headmasters at Blackheath were:
- 1852-1866: William George Lemon
- 1866-1868: James Scott
- 1869-1870: Charles Dugard Makepeace
- 1870-1875: Edward J Chinnock
- 1875-1892: Edward Waite
- 1893-1914: Walter Brainerd Hayward (he brought the school to Mottingham in 1912)
- 1914-1926: George Robertson
- 1926-1930: Nevil Wood
- 1930-1959: Geoffrey Turberville
- 1959-1983: Christopher Porteous
- 1983-1990: Christopher Waller
- 1990-2000: Malcolm Green
- 2000–2014: Paul Henderson
- 2014–present: Guy Sanderson
Notable Old ElthamiansEdit
(in alphabetical order)
- Sir John Bailey, Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor
- Philip Bailey, cricket statistician
- Stuart Ball, political historian
- George Band, mountaineer
- Nicholas Barberis, Professor of Finance
- Piers Benn, philosopher
- Andrew Percy Bennett, diplomat
- Sir Anthony Bottoms, criminologist
- Fenner Brockway, peace campaigner
- Tony Brise, racing driver
- Sir Michael Buckley, civil servant
- Nabil Al Busaidi, adventurer
- Charlie Connelly, author and broadcaster
- Stephen Dunnett, neuroscientist, and Professor of Biosciences since 2005 at Cardiff University
- Ernest Fahmy, obstetrician and gynaecologist
- Frank Farmer, physicist
- Stephen Farr, organist
- Nick Ferrari, radio broadcaster
- Freddie Foster, cricketer
- Simon Gass KCMG CVO, Senior Diplomat, Ambassador to Iran 2009-11, and to Greece from 2004-9
- Barry Hammett, Royal Navy chaplain
- Brian Harris (priest)
- James Harris, Welsh rugby union player
- Christopher Idle, Anglican priest and hymn writer
- David E. H. Jones, chemist and writer
- Jim Knight former Labour MP, Minister of State for Schools in the UK Government, MP from 2001-2010 for South Dorset
- Barnaby Lenon, headmaster of Harrow School and academic
- Eric Liddell, Olympic athlete, after whom the sports hall is named
- Peter Luff, campaigner
- Johan Malcolm, Leicestershire county cricket player
- Alan Martin, Professor of Theoretical Physics
- Gerald Moore, surgeon and artist
- Adrian Nance, Royal Navy officer
- Jack Oliver, weightlifter
- Phil Packer MBE, soldier and fundraiser
- Mervyn Peake, author of Gormenghast, after whom the library is named
- Geoffrey K. Pullum, Professor of General Linguistics since 2007 at the University of Edinburgh
- David Sanger, organist
- Michael Saward, Anglican priest and hymn writer
- Andrew Sentance, Member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee from 2006–11, and Chief Economist of British Airways from 1998-2006
- Gerald Summers, furniture designer
- Bryan Sykes, human geneticist and genealogist
- Alan Wolstencroft, Archdeacon of Manchester
References and sourcesEdit
- Rhind, N. (1993) Blackheath Village & Environs, 1790-1990, Vol.1 The Village and Blackheath Vale (Bookshop Blackheath, London), p.117.
- Rhind, N. (1993) Blackheath Village & Environs, 1790-1990, Vol.1 The Village and Blackheath Vale (Bookshop Blackheath, London), p.118.
- Weale, Sally (13 June 2021). "Ex-pupils who compiled sexual abuse dossier accused of blocking inquiry". the Guardian.
- Rhind, N. (1993) Blackheath Village & Environs, 1790-1990, Vol.1 The Village and Blackheath Vale (Bookshop Blackheath, London), p.119.
- "Obituary from The Independent". Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
- Evening Standard, 6 May 2010, "The brash voice of LBC"
- "Obituaries". The Times: 41. 7 August 2017.
- "Eltham College". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
- Eltham College website
- Independent Schools Inspectorate, containing a report on the College[permanent dead link]
- Old Elthamians RFC website