Latymer Upper School

Latymer Upper School is a co-educational public school in Hammersmith, London, England, between King Street and the River Thames. The school has approximately 1,200 pupils, and is highly selective, accepting under 10% of applicants (in 2016); most are admitted through examination and interview to Upper School at the age of eleven, with some entering into the Sixth Form at 16.

Latymer Upper School
Latymer Upper School coat of arms 2020 –.png

, ,
W6 9LR

United Kingdom
Coordinates51°29′31″N 0°14′13″W / 51.492°N 0.237°W / 51.492; -0.237Coordinates: 51°29′31″N 0°14′13″W / 51.492°N 0.237°W / 51.492; -0.237
TypePublic school
Independent day school
MottoLatin: Paulatim ergo certe
(Slowly Therefore Surely)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Established1624; 398 years ago (1624)
FounderEdward Latymer
Sister schoolGodolphin and Latymer School
Local authorityHammersmith and Fulham
Department for Education URN100370 Tables
HeadmasterDavid Goodhew
Staff180 full time, 37 music staff
GenderCo-educational since 2004 (Formerly all-boys)
Age7 to 18
Colour(s)Black, blue and white
PublicationThe Latymerian
Former pupilsOld Latymerians
Boat ClubLatymer Upper School Boat Club

The school can be traced to a charity school for boys founded by the English merchant Edward Latymer in 1624. It moved to its present site in 1863 and in the mid-20th century became a direct grant grammar school. It has been independent since the abolition of that system of funding in the 1970s. It remained single-sex until Sixth-Form admissions were opened to girls in 1996; the remainder of the school became coeducational in the first decade of the 21st century.

Latymer has been ranked consistently among the leading schools in the country academically.[1] This is on the merit of its position in the national GCSE and A level examination performance tables combined with one of the highest Oxford and Cambridge acceptance rates of any secondary school or college, and it is one of the top schools for the arts and sport. As of 2020 the Sixth Form of 340 is one of the largest in London and offers forty academic courses as well as extra-curricular activities.[2]



The school ca. 1890

Latymer Upper School was founded in 1624 by Edward Latymer, a wealthy lawyer and puritan, who left part of his wealth for the clothing and education of "eight poore boyes" from Hammersmith. For the next twenty years, local boys were educated in a school erected in Fulham's churchyard, moving in 1648 to another school built in Hammersmith. Later, in 1657, a parochial charity school was set up, which served as the Latymer legacy for the following century until it was rebuilt in 1755.

A new facility was built on what is now King Street in Hammersmith in 1863, and was replaced in 1890 with a new building between King Street and the Thames. This structure persists to the present day as the core of the Upper School. The site also includes Latymer Prep, a preparatory school, which takes pupils aged 7 to 11.

Recent historyEdit

In the 1950s, the school was a direct grant grammar school, which took large numbers of state school pupils, whose fees were paid by the local authority, solely on the basis of merit. At the same time, it continued to take some fee-paying pupils. The Direct Grant system was abolished from 1975, and the school became fully independent of government funding.

The Sixth Form has been co-educational since 1996, and in 2004 the main school started to become co-educational, with the introduction of girls into Year 7. With that year's entry moving into Year 11, the school became fully co-educational by 2008.

Each year, the school gathers in the nearby St. Paul's church for "Founder's Day", an annual reflection upon and celebration of Edward Latymer and other beneficiaries of the school.

As a member school of the HMC it is a public school.

Student bodyEdit

Pupils come from a wide area of London. 176 pupils are on means-tested bursaries, 70 of whom are on 100 percent bursaries. A school statement in the Good Schools Guide said: "We attract a real mix from city investors, media types and academics living in leafy streets through to families on the White City estate, which is surely better than just those from a privileged bubble mixing with each other".[3] Tatler notes that the school says it is 'fishing in a brighter gene pool', and that 'philanthropy is integral to the spirit of the school and Latymer is one of the leaders in providing means-tested bursaries'.[4] In 2019, Tatler dubbed it "a truly remarkable, unpretentious, highly academic school."[5]


Tuition for 2020 was £21,000 per year, plus other mandatory and optional fees.[6]

Latymer offers a bursary programme, with 176 pupils on means-tested bursaries.[7][8] For families with incomes unable to pay the fees, Latymer Upper is free.[9] The school has a substantial fund from donations ring-fenced to fund bursaries.[10][11]


Latymer Upper School is one of the highest academically performing schools in the UK historically and to date.[12] The school's own on-site prep pupils enter the Upper School automatically at the end of Year 6, Tatler Schools Guide commentated that 'competition for Latymer places is hotter than ever: 1,100 applicants sat the exam last spring; 400 were interviewed for 168 places'.[4] The examined subjects are in English and Maths, which are followed by an interview. There were 33 Oxbridge places in 2017, and an increasing number went to US universities such as Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Pennsylvania and Yale, and other universities.[13]


There are over 140 clubs and societies at Latymer, including the J. S. Mill, Literary and Latymer Societies. There are also clubs for bridge, chess, debating, philosophy and photography. The Drama Society holds several productions each year.[14] Two students in Year 10 won the International Debating Competition in Cambridge at their age level. The final consisted of four other London-based schools that included St Paul's and Westminster.

The school has links with other schools across Europe with a joint orchestra, as well as other trips (such as work experience), with Godolphin and Latymer School. There are trips abroad throughout the year, such as skiing trips, language exchanges, work experience in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm, Classics trips to Italy and Greece, sports tours and expeditions. Latymer Upper also participates in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.[15]

The school is active in charity work: the annual "Charities' Week" raised £3,000 in 2006. The school branch of Amnesty International is involved in fund- and awareness-raising campaigns. A student-led environmentalist group has led to each classroom being equipped with a recycling bin.[citation needed]

Latymer contributes to local music, art, drama, dance and sports projects, as well as acting as venue for a Sunday School and Scuba diving for the disabled. Sixth Form students are encouraged to help in local primary schools and old people's homes as part of their general studies program, as well as with groups helping the homeless and disabled. In addition, the school offers all students a trip every year in 'Activities Week'. Destinations have included Spain, the Ardèche gorge in the south of France.[16]

Sports & AthleticsEdit

The PE department offer extracurricular programmes. Optional sports include rugby, cricket, rowing, athletics, football, tennis, cross-country, fencing, karate, scuba diving, table tennis, squash, badminton and swimming. Over 700 students are currently learning to play a musical instrument, with 175 involved in the school's two full orchestras and five string orchestras and around 150 in the choirs.


The Latymer Upper School Boat Club has been open for over a century to school pupils, and offers rowing to both genders.[17] The boat house has taught three Olympic rowers, including Andy Holmes, Olympic gold medal rower (1984 Games and 1988 Games),[18][19] Henry Fieldman, Olympic bronze medal rower (2020 Games) and the Olympic Silver medallist Jim Clark was a coach. The Boat Club has gone on to win Henley Royal Regatta, most recently with the win of the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup.[20][21]


Academic facilitiesEdit

Latymer Performing Arts Centre
  • The Main Hall is the primary building around which the rest of the campus is grouped. It is the original Victorian school building, with a main hall in which assemblies are held, and a corridor linking to classes.
  • The Design block at one end of the main hall houses the Design & Technology labs.
  • The Modern languages block is a 1960s building housing the modern and classical languages departments.
  • The Latymer Theatre and Arts Centre, opened in 2000, includes a 300-seat galleried box theatre, music practice rooms, art galleries and studios, plus a cafe and atrium area.
  • The Latymer Performing Arts Centre, completed in 2009, contains drama studios, rehearsal rooms and a 150-seat recital hall.[22]
  • The Science and Library building, opened in 2010, includes labs for the three sciences and a library with seating for more than 200 pupils which occupies a floor at the base. Van Heyningen and Haward Architects were responsible for the design and delivery of these four buildings during a ten-year working relationship with the school.[23]
  • Outbuildings house history and geography lessons, as well as the arts.

150 computers are provided for pupil use, networked and with e-mail and internet access, and ICT is taught in one lesson a week in Years 7 to 9. Pupils are permitted to cycle to school, with storage space provided for their bikes. Meals are self-service in the lunch hall, and there is a café in the "atrium".

Athletic facilitiesEdit

  • The Latymer Upper School boat club faces the Thames and spans four stories.
  • The Sports Centre was opened in March 2016, which includes a six-lane swimming pool, basketball hoops, badminton markings, cricket nets, a fitness suite, and a rock climbing wall whilst at the same time offering an area for all pupils to take their examinations.[24]
  • The school's playing fields are about a mile and a half away, on Wood Lane, with a £2m sports pavilion and changing rooms completed in 2004. The playing fields are used for training by the England Rugby Team[25]
  • The Sports pavilion, costing £2m and containing changing rooms was opened in 2004.

Other facilitiesEdit

  • The chapel is housed at the top of the Geography & History building.

Coat of armsEdit

The school for many years used the armorial bearings of the founder, Edward Latymer. This included his motto, paulatim ergo certe ("Slowly therefore surely"), which doubled as a pun, including the word "latimer" (spelt thus as there is no letter y in Latin). An intermediate coat of arms was taken from one of the quarters of the original coat of arms which combined that of the Latymer Foundation and of the Latymer School. The motto was dropped in 2004 along with the coat of arms, and a new, much simpler, shield (described in the school literature as a "new crest") was adopted.[26] The Coat of Arms was again changed, to its current form, in September 2020.

The original arms continue to be used, with a different motto, by the sister school, The Latymer School.

Public examination resultsEdit

Latymer has been ranked consistently in the leading schools in the country academically based on the merit of its position in the national GCSE and A level examination performance tables combined with one of the highest Oxford and Cambridge acceptance rates of any secondary school or college.

GCSE & A-Level summaries over five years[27]

GCSE summary[27] A level summary
2019 77.8 92.1 98.2
2018 70.8 90.0 97.5
2017 70.6 91.2 98.5
2016 61.6 86.9 97.7
2015 69.7 92.2 98.8
2019 31.8 70.7 91.2
2018 29.4 66.9 90.6
2017 34.8 74.7 92.2
2016 32.0 75.8 95.2
2015 32.1 73.3 91.7

Old LatymeriansEdit


Film and TheatreEdit



Other fieldsEdit

Notable former staffEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "11+ results 2019 London prep schools". London's Top Schools. 10 March 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Latymer Upper School". Tatler. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Latymer Upper School, London". Good Schools Guide. Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  5. ^ Mohr, F. B. (11 February 1966). "A Truly Remarkable Fly". Science. 151 (3711): 634–636. Bibcode:1966Sci...151..634M. doi:10.1126/science.151.3711.634-b. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17813782.
  6. ^ School Fees Information
  7. ^ "The dilemma of a left-leaning private school teacher". Tes. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  8. ^ Connington, James (17 October 2015). "Can't afford private school fees? You may not have to pay". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  9. ^ Viña, Gonzalo (28 April 2016). "Britain's private schools offer record bursaries". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  10. ^ Lough, Catherine (28 February 2020). "Revealed: Private schools with the highest surpluses". TES. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  11. ^ Bray, Paul (28 March 2013). "Private school bursaries: helping talent shine through". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  13. ^ "A-Level Results: Another record-breaking year!". Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  14. ^ Clubs Archived 2008-07-08 at the Wayback Machine Latymer Upper School
  15. ^ Clubs, Activities and Trips Archived 2009-01-31 at the Wayback Machine Latymer Upper School
  16. ^ Activities Week Archived 2008-09-07 at the Wayback Machine Latymer Upper School
  17. ^ "Inside the mind of a Team GB rowing cox ahead of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games". South West Londoner. 10 March 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  18. ^ Quarrell, Rachel (25 October 2010). "Death of double Olympic champion Andy Holmes sparks health alert for rowers". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Tributes to Olympic rower Holmes". BBC News. 21 November 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Henley Royal Regatta Day 4 - as it happened". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  21. ^ Quarrell, Rachel (5 July 2019). "German eight on last warning after repeat offence at Henley Royal Regatta". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  22. ^ New Music Building Building, Latymer Upper School
  23. ^ "van Heyningen & Haward: Latymer Upper School, West London". Architecture Today. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  24. ^ "New Sports Centre opens - LUS".
  25. ^ "The England rugby squad trains at the Kensington Latymer Upper School..." Getty Images. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  26. ^ Old Latymerian News, October 2004 Archived 2006-10-29 at the Wayback Machine (PDF document). Accessed 15 December 2006.
  27. ^ a b "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  28. ^ "Keith Vaz: Who is the Labour MP caught up in male prostitute claims?". The Independent. 4 September 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  29. ^ a b Griffiths, Sian. "Latymer Upper School forces out seven over drugs | News". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  30. ^ "The trickle-down effect has dried up | News". 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  31. ^ "Everything You Need To Know About Britain's Hottest Band". 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 27 December 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  32. ^ Latymer Upper School, Directories, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986.

External linksEdit