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Taunton School

Taunton School is a co-educational independent school in the county town of Taunton in Somerset in South West England. It serves boarding and day-school pupils from the ages of 13 to 18.

Taunton School
Taunton School - - 79881.jpg
Staplegrove Road

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Coordinates51°01′35″N 3°06′56″W / 51.026282°N 3.115493°W / 51.026282; -3.115493Coordinates: 51°01′35″N 3°06′56″W / 51.026282°N 3.115493°W / 51.026282; -3.115493
TypeIndependent school
Day and boarding school
MottoOra et labora - Worship and Work (senior school); Carpe diem - Seize the Day (preparatory school)
Religious affiliation(s)Christian
HeadmasterLee Glaser
Age0 to 18
HousesFairwater, Wills East, Wills West, Weirfield, Woodyer, Evans, Bevan, Goodland, Besley, Marshall, Jenkin, Foxcombe
Colour(s)Blue     , Red     , White     
AlumniOld Tauntonians

The current headmaster is Lee Glaser, appointed in the autumn of 2014.[1]

The school campus also includes Taunton School International for overseas students; Taunton Preparatory School, serving boarding and day-school pupils aged 7 to 13; Taunton Pre-Prep School, serving day-school pupils aged 4 to 7, and Taunton Nursery, serving pupils aged 2 to 4.



Taunton School was founded in 1847[2] as Independent College, a boys-only school for dissenters - those who were not members of the Church of England.[3][4] Right from its founding, it was in direct competition with the other schools in Taunton: King's College and Taunton Grammar School (both Church of England) and Queen's College (Methodist).

In the 1870s, the school's governors purchased a site at the northern end of Taunton, on Staplegrove Road. They had built, by Joseph James, a gothic-influenced building, in the prevailing style of the period. The school is constructed in a C-plan, with a 50-foot (15 m) high tower. Grey stone came from Somerset's Mendip Hills. This large building still dominates the school's 90-acre (36 ha) campus today. It is a Grade II listed building.[5]

The school was a founding member of the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships and has hosted the tournament numerous times.[6]

A chapel was built in 1907[7] in contrasting style to the rest of the school. Its sponsor was the wealthy William Wills, 1st Baron Winterstoke. Wills was a director of Bristol-based tobacco firm, W.D. & H.O. Wills. Two features in the chapel were especially of note: the organ and the mosaics. In 2007 on the centenary of the founding of the Chapel the original pipe organ was broken up,[8] it being replaced by a new digital organ which was funded in part, by donations from Old Tauntonians.[9]

In September 1971 Taunton School began the merger with Weirfield School, an independent boarding and day school for girls, which was also situated on Staplegrove Road, by admitting girls into the Sixth Form. Then in 1976 Taunton School completed this merger with the rest of the senior section of Weirfield School.[10] This became one of the earliest fully co-educational independent schools in England. Additional buildings were erected on the original Taunton School campus, and Weirfield continued as a girls-only junior school.[11]

In 1990, in order to create closer links between the two junior schools and Taunton School, Taunton Junior School (originally known as Thone) and Weirfield were renamed Taunton Junior Boys School and Taunton Junior Girls School, respectively. As both Junior Schools needed modernisation, building began in 1993 on the boys' site (Thone) to create a new joint boys and girls school, which was partly financed by the sale of the Weirfield site. In 1994 both schools were located at the Thone site and they were renamed Taunton Preparatory School.[12] A classroom block in the Preparatory School is called Weirfield, as is the main senior girls' Boarding house.[13]

Notable Old TauntoniansEdit

Former pupils of Taunton School are known as Old Tauntonians.

Academic resultsEdit

A-Level: Percentage of A level students achieving at least 3 A levels at A*-E: 2015 - 84% [34]

International Baccalaureate: The first cohort of students sat the IB Diploma in 2009. Their result ranked the school as the highest IB newcomer in the UK by the Financial Times.[35] In 2010, one student achieved the highest possible mark of 45 points.[36]

GCSE: Percentage of pupils who gained at 5 grades A* - C 2015 - 83% [37]

University progression: Over the past years, some students have gone on to universities including Oxford and Cambridge. Approximately 96% of all Sixth Form leavers take up University or College places.[38]


  1. ^ Taunton School headmaster John Newton leaves to take up new post, Somerset County Gazette, 4 September 2014
  2. ^ "Taunton School International". UK Boarding Schools. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  3. ^ "Inspection report on Taunton School". Independent Schools Inspectorate. Archived from the original on 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  4. ^ Brown, John (10 January 2012). "Independent Witness: One hundred and fifty years of Taunton School". Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Taunton School". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  6. ^ "Debating". Bishops Blue. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  7. ^ "Independent Schools". Folm and TV locations. Movie Makers Guide. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  8. ^ National Pipe Organ Register Somerset Taunton, Taunton School [D02946]
  9. ^ "Taunton School Music Department Facilities and resources, 2011" (PDF). Taunton School. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Reunion for Taunton and Weirfield oldgirls". Somerset County Gazette. 19 September 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Taunton Junior School Middle School Building". Steel Coleman Davis Partnership. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Taunton Preparatory School: Middle School Building". Steel Coleman Davis. Archived from the original on 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  13. ^ "Taunton Senior School". Ofsted. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Aftab Habib". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  15. ^ "Alan Gibson". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  16. ^ Kay, Richard. "Will Osborne be at Nat's 1m party?". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
  17. ^ "Ian McNeice". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  18. ^ "J.M. Roberts". London: The Independent. 2003-06-03. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  19. ^ "John White". Wisden. Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  20. ^ "John Cameron". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  21. ^ Foot, David (2000-03-02). "John Cameron". Obituaries. London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  22. ^ "John Jameson". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  23. ^ "John Rae". Obituaries. London: The Independent. 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  24. ^ Bassett, Kate (2012). In Two Minds: a biography of Jonathan Miller. Oberon Books. p. 336.
  25. ^ "The MT interview: Mark Getty". Management Today. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  26. ^ "Peter Redgrove". Obituaries. London: The Independent. 2003-06-18. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  27. ^ "Peter Redgrove". London: The Telegraph. 2003-06-18. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  28. ^ "Sir Peter John WESTMACOTT KCMG LVO". HEC. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  29. ^ 'MALPAS, Sir Robert', in Who's Who 2012 (London: A. & C. Black, 2012).
  30. ^ "Taunton School Notable Alumni - Politics". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  31. ^ Lorraine Shearer (February 2016). "Stephen Clackson – Politician, Polymath and Playwright". Living Orkney.
  32. ^ "Player profile: Thomas Jameson". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  33. ^ "Tim Wilcox". Perfect People. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  34. ^ "Taunton School". Department for Education. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  35. ^ "Taunton School's IB success". Dickinson British School Consulting. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  36. ^ "Taunton School celebrates International Baccalaureate results". Somerset County Gazette. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  37. ^ "GCSE Results Day 2015: Live news, views, pictures and more from across Somerset". Somerset County Gazette. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  38. ^ "Taunton School". UK Boarding Schools. Retrieved 20 October 2015.

External linksEdit