Grey Coat Hospital

The Grey Coat Hospital is a Church of England secondary school with academy status for girls in Westminster, London, England.

The Grey Coat Hospital
Grey Coat Hospital seal.svg
Greycoat Place


MottoGod Give The Increase
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FoundersEight parishioners of the parish of St Margaret's;
Elsie Day (1874)
Department for Education URN138313 Tables
HeadteacherSusanne Staab
ChaplainRev Gary Swinton
Coeducational (Sixth Form)
Age11 to 18
Enrolment1026 (approx)
HousesG, R, Y, C, T, H
Colour(s)Queen Anne crimson and grey          
PublicationThe Grey Coat
NicknameGCH, Grey Coat(s)[1]
Former pupilsOld Greys


The school was founded on St. Andrew's Day in 1698. Eight members of the congregation of St. Margaret's, Westminster donated towards the founding of the school, initially a day school for 50 boys. In 1701, the Governors bought an old workhouse from Westminster Abbey to establish a boarding school. From that year it was also a mixed school, with both boys and girls attending.[2] The founders' aim was to provide the poor of the parish with an education, so that they could become "loyal citizens, useful workers and solid Christians".[1] From 1785, 60 boys and 30 girls were admitted. In 1874 it was changed to a girls' school under church management.[2]

In 1998, the school celebrated its tercentenary by opening a new building for the Upper School on Regency Street, replacing an older site on Sloane Square. The original building is still used primarily by years 7–9 (Lower School), while years 10–11 and the sixth form are based at the Upper School, although most years visit both sites regularly. In 2009 construction began on a new arts block at Lower School under the Building Schools for the Future programme.[3]

The school became a Language College in 2002, and in 2008 was also granted the status of Training School.[4] In its most recent inspection report in 2009, Ofsted again assessed the school as "outstanding".[4]

The current head teacher is Siân Maddrell, who succeeded Rachel Allard in April 2011. The school became an academy on 1 July 2012.


The school aims to enable girls to take charge of their learning, make decisions based on Christian values, live in the world as independent women, and meet the challenges of the 21st century.

School behaviour codeEdit

The school has a strict behaviour code, summarised for students as "The most important rule of all is to behave well at all times inside and outside the school, in a way which will bring honour to it, credit to you and that will show courtesy and consideration for other people."

The school suspended 29 students in December 2008 for joining an open Facebook group described by the Head as "a hate campaign against a member of staff". The Head said that the action was designed to send a strong message that the school does not tolerate such behaviour. She said that, of an unspecified number of parents who had visited her about the incident, the majority were supportive of the school's action. Westminster City Council also supported the school's decision.[5][6] Teaching unions said that one in five teachers faces cyber-bullying, and called for expulsions in serious cases. Although the Facebook group was removed, discussions remained on another website with disparaging comments about the teacher concerned. The Daily Telegraph reported that some pupils had contacted the paper to say that the school had gone too far.[7]

Notable former pupilsEdit

In 2007, Ray Mears visited the school to unveil a new plaque for notable former pupil David Thompson (born 1770), the explorer responsible for charting much of North America.[8]

Notable former pupils of recent times include:

Grammar schoolEdit

Former teachersEdit

Film locationEdit


  1. ^ a b "Gordon Brown hails Grey Coats a sporting success" (Press release). City of Westminster. 8 March 2007. Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b Historical notes on Westminster Schools, page 41. City of Westminster. 1997.
  3. ^ Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Archived 9 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine on school website
  4. ^ a b Ofsted – The Grey Coat Hospital
  5. ^ "Girls suspended for teacher jibes, against a member of staff". BBC News. 9 January 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2008.
  6. ^ Alford, Simon (10 January 2009). "School suspends students over hate campaign". The Times. London. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  7. ^ Nikkhah, Roya (11 January 2009). "Facebook bullying students 'should be expelled'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  8. ^ Herbert, Ian (29 June 2007). "Briton who charted Canada honoured at home". The Independent. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  9. ^ Anne Rafferty, ‘Goddard, Ann Felicity (1936–2011)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, January 2015 accessdate = 26 February 2017
  10. ^ Linda Newson
  11. ^ Fiona Booth at Sciencewise
  12. ^ Stormbreaker on IMDb

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°29′46″N 0°08′03″W / 51.4960°N 0.1343°W / 51.4960; -0.1343