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Sibford School is a British co-educational independent school in Sibford Ferris, west of Banbury in north Oxfordshire, linked with the Religious Society of Friends. The school has both day and boarding pupils between the ages of 3 and 18.

Sibford School
Sibford School.JPG
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Boarding school
MottoTruth and Honour, Freedom and Courtesy
Religious affiliation(s)Religious Society of Friends
Department for Education URN123278 Tables
HeadteacherToby Spence
Age3 to 18
Colour(s)Green and yellow          
PublicationThe Sibfordian
Former pupilsSibford Old Scholars


History and overviewEdit

Sibford School was founded in 1842 as a co-educational boarding school for the children of 'disowned' Quakers - those who had married outside the Society of Friends - as their children were barred from entering Ackworth School.[1] It later accepted children from practicing Quaker families. The school was originally based in Walford Manor in the centre of Sibford Ferris, which had been remodeled in the 17th century. The Sibfords had a long association with the Quaker movement, although locally Quakers were still a dissenting minority in an area dominated by Church of England landowners.[2] It opened with 26 boys and 22 girls and the first recorded pupil was nine-year-old Lucy Endall, who entered the school on 16 January 1842.[3] Richard Routh was the first headmaster and remained in post until 1880. Sibford School initially occupied 18 acres of land and had a strong agricultural bias. The boys worked part-time on the farm while the girls did household duties. In this way it was possible to reduce fees to parents, which were adjusted according to means.[4]

The school expanded to a site to the south of the village with the opening of The Hill building by Dame Elizabeth Cadbury in 1930.[5] It was on this site that all future building projects took place, including several boarding houses, the science block, the dining hall, sports hall and an art and music building. The Junior School, originally called Orchard Close, for primary school aged pupils, opened in 1989.

The School todayEdit

Today the school accommodates both boarders and day pupils, of all faiths and none, and in September 2011 had more than 420 pupils. It is set in more than 50 acres (200,000 m2) of grounds surrounded by the Cotswold countryside. The school comprises three divisions of pupils: the Junior School for those aged 3–11; the Senior School for those aged 11–16; and the Sixth Form for those aged 16–18.[6]

Notable former pupilsEdit


  • Richard Routh (1842 – 1880)
  • Robert Oddie (1880 – 1906)
  • James Harrod (1906 – 1930)
  • Arthur Johnstone (1930 – 1956)
  • Hugh Maw (1956 – 1962)
  • Jonas Fielding (1962 – 1972)
  • Kenneth Greaves (1972 – 1980)
  • Jim Graham (1980 – 1989)
  • John Dunston (1990 -1996)
  • Sue Freestone (1997 – 2004)
  • Michael Goodwin (2004 - 2016)
  • Toby Spence (2016–present)

Further readingEdit

  • Jones, H.W. & Harrod, M. Sibford School, 1842–1942. (Pub. 1942).
  • Fowler, R.W.F. Quaker education with special reference to Sibford School (MA thesis, King's College London). (Pub. 1987).
  • Alphabetical list of scholars 1842–1867 (Sibford), prepared by Malcolm Thomas.
  • OSA Annual reports, 1 (Pub. 1903/4).
  • The Archway [school magazine] 1 (Pub. 1947).
  • Oxfordshire Record Office, Oxford; (later records at the school).
  • A View from the Hill ... a history of Sibford School 1842-2010 ~ an 'experiment' in Quaker education (Pub . 2010).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Michael Finch, A View From the Hill: A History of Sibford School 1842-2010 - An 'Experiment' in Quaker Education (2010).
  2. ^ A History of the County of Oxford: Banbury Hundred, Volume 10 (Victoria County History, London, 1972).
  3. ^ Michael Finch, A View From the Hill: A History of Sibford School 1842-2010 - An 'Experiment' in Quaker Education (2010).
  4. ^ Michael Finch, A View From the Hill: A History of Sibford School 1842-2010 - An 'Experiment' in Quaker Education (2010).
  5. ^ Michael Finch, A View From the Hill: A History of Sibford School 1842-2010 - An 'Experiment' in Quaker Education (2010).
  6. ^ "About Sibford School". Retrieved 28 January 2010.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit